Tag Archives: Intercontinental Championship

Smackdown Live’s 2016 TLC Full Match Results and Feedback


      As we predicted earlier, the 2016 TLC is set to be a spectacle. This is one of the premiere events of the year and the fact that it is a Smackdown Live exclusive has us excited that perhaps it will be a really powerful pay-per-view for WWE. Without further ado, let’s get into the show with our live play-by-play, match results and instant feedback.

      The pre-show gave us some tag team action to get things going. American Alpha, Hype Bros and Apollo Crews took on The Vaudevillians, The Ascension and Curt Hawkins. Whole lot of silliness and antics throughout this one. Too many goofy personalities crammed into one match. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of massive tag team matches. Ten competitors outside of a Royal Rumble or a battle royale is far too many. The Alphas did pretty solid and the match wasn’t flat by any stretch of the term. All ten guys put on a great show for the crowd, who were lively and behind the match. In the end Gable and Jordan pick up the pinfall for their team. Okay match with the correct ending.

      The first match as the show begins is for the Smackdown Live tag team titles. The Wyatt Family (featuring Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt) challenging Heath Slater and Rhyno. This match was a little short in my opinion. Solid action. The finish was Wyatt distracting Rhyno and Orton hit him with an RKO out of nowhere. After the match, Orton and Bray put the titles on Harper’s shoulders and then posed for the crowd. Very interesting booking here. This is the first time heels have held these titles. It will be fun to see what they do with it. Give it up for Smackdown always pushing the unexpected into our laps. With the pre-show victory, one has to assume American Alpha will be coming down the line to challenge The Wyatt Family for their new shiny belts.

      Next up is a No Disqualification match between Nikki Bella and Carmella. As feuds go, this one is ice cold. It doesn’t really do anything in the grander scheme for either woman or the viewing audience. But, a No DQ match is usually a good way to keep me interested. There’s always the possibility of serious injury or death, two things I have often wished on Nikki Bella (and her boyfriend). Carmella dominates to start and eventually ties Nikki upside down in the corner. She gets a kendo stick out and hits Nikki in the stomach. Nikki turns the table when she sprays Carmella in the face with a fire extinguisher. Rack Attack 2.0 lays Carmella out and Nikki picks up the pinfall win. After the match, Carmella gets on the mic and says she didn’t attack Nikki at Survivor Series. She tells her it was Natalya. Duh, we all knew that the moment it happened.

      It’s not even 9:00PM yet and the third match is about to start. That seems odd. Half their matches in the first hour? Maybe WWE is starting to end PPV’s earlier. The next bout is Dolph Ziggler challenging The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship in none other than a ladder match. Ziggler the aggressor to start the match. The fight spills out of the ring and Miz plants Ziggler on the ramp with a super kick. They stay outside the ring for quite awhile using ladders as weapons against one another. Ziggler hits an outstanding satellite DDT on a ladder and both men are down. Ziggler finally gets a large ladder into the ring. He attempts to set it up but Miz dropkicks him from behind.

      The Miz mocks Daniel Bryan at one point with a YES! gesture right before dropkicking a ladder into Ziggler. Both men climb a ladder and trade blows right below the title. Ziggler knocks Miz off but before he can recover, Miz yanks him down. Miz goes to work on Ziggler’s leg, slamming it into a ladder over and over. Miz wraps Ziggler’s leg through a ladder wrung and then locks in a Figure Four leglock. Ouch. Miz then hits a Skull Crushing Finale into a ladder. Miz sets up a ladder and tries to grab the belt. Ziggler knocks the ladder away and Miz is hanging from the belt! Ziggler slams the ladder into his knee and Miz falls to the mat and rolls out of the ring. Ziggler climbs up the ladder on one leg, but before he gets to the top, Miz runs in and powerbombs him into a ladder. The pair are at the top of a ladder again and then Ziggler starts hitting Miz with headbutts. Miz falls down. Miz pops up and kicks Ziggler in the junk. Twice. Ziggler crumples to the mat as Miz climbs up and retains his IC title.

      As ladder matches go, nothing groundbreaking happens. It’s hard to top some of the epic matches we’ve seen in the past. But it is entertaining throughout. Both men bring their a-game. The crowd was really behind Ziggler so the finish was booed, but it was actually really great. I enjoyed that bout. Best match so far tonight. After the match, The Miz gets on the mic and dedicates his victory to Daniel Bryan.

      Next match is a chairs match between Baron Corbin and Kalisto. As you might expect, Corbin dominates to start this match, spilling the action out around the ring. He manhandles Kalisto like a paper doll. Kalisto rallies with some nice offense and the two manage to get some oh’s and ah’s from the crowd with some pretty devastating moves, ie: violence. Kalisto dives out of the ring towards Corbin, but he catches the tiny Lucha and hits a Deep Six on the floor. In the ring, Corbin covers but Kalisto kicks out. Corbin hits End of Days on a pile of chairs and that’s the ballgame. A breakout out match for both guys, really. Very nice to watch. The arena crowd was flat, but make no mistake that this was a really great match to watch.

      Natalya is interviewed and asked about attacking Nikki. Instead she wishes Becky Lynch luck in her title defense. Then she calls the comments Carmella made absurd and calls her a liar. Natalya versus Nikki or Carmella is not a very promising feud. Let’s hope they skip that and move on to something else. This interview did segue nicely into the next match. Alexa Bliss challenging Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a tables match. Both ladies aggressive to start. Becky is the first to set a table up outside the ring, but Alexa stops her from utilizing it. The crowd is shit throughout this one, chanting for other things unrelated to the match. Charlotte and Sasha spoiled us on Raw this past week, but Becky and Alexa are putting on a good show. Outside the ring, Alexa powerbombs Becky through a table for the win! What!? That’s exciting! Alexa Bliss is my favorite female on both rosters so this is really great. Yes!

      The main event of the night is Dean Ambrose challenging AJ Styles in a traditional TLC match for the WWE World Championship. The championship hangs high above the ring. Ambrose going right after the champ as soon as the bell rings. Ambrose clotheslines Styles outside the ring. He follows the champ out and they fight up the ramp. This spills out into the crowd. Ambrose is all over the map. He puts a trash can on Styles and hits him near the announce table with a chair. He gets in the ring and sets up a ladder, but Styles recovers enough to stop him, planting him on the mat. Styles takes control as the crowd rallies behind him, chanting his name.

      Ambrose pounds Styles into a group of chairs, garnering a “Holy Shit!” chant from the crowd. Ambrose throws Styles through the metal legs of a table. Styles bounces back and suplexes Ambrose through a table. Wow, a really terrific few minutes of action. Goodness. Dirty Deeds and Phenomenal Forearm both countered, respectively, and then Ambrose throws Styles out of the ring. Ambrose puts Styles on one announce table and sets a ladder up on a second table. Ambrose off the ladder, dropping an elbow into Styles, crashing through the announce table. Mauro Ranallo screams, “Oh my god!” and then the announce team falls silent as the crowd chants, “This is awesome!”

      Ambrose leaves Styles in the wreckage and gets a ladder into the ring. He climbs towards the belt. Styles gets on the apron and leaps off the top rope to hit a Phenomenal Forearm, knocking Ambrose off the ladder. They both recover and crawl up either side of the ladder. They knock each other off the ladder and then Ambrose spins Styles into the ladder. Styles sets Ambrose on a table outside the ring and does a 450 splash off the top rope, driving Ambrose through the table. Styles sets a ladder up in the ring as James Ellsworth comes down. Styles foregoes the ladder and goes after Ellsworth. Ambrose hops up and hits Dirty Deeds on the steel steps.

      Ambrose scrambles into the ring and sets up a ladder under the title. Ambrose gets up two rungs before Styles joins him on the ladder. Ambrose knocks him off the ladder and out of the ring. Just as Ambrose is reaching for the title Ellsworth tips the ladder over and Ambrose goes through two tables! Ellsworth cheers on Styles has he sets up a ladder and slowly works his way to the top. Styles grabs his title and retains. What a fantastic match. Easily the best match of the night. Bravo. Once again, Smackdown Live has outdone themselves, continuing to stand out within the WWE brand split.

      What did you think of tonight’s pay-per-view? Let us know in the comments below! See you all tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!

Article by Jamie Curtis Bakerfotoflexer_photo


F2H’s Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up 09.19-09.25.2016


      — We kicked off the week shooting around some scenarios with John Cena’s future as a part-timer, retiring The Undertaker, and moving the WWE into a younger generation. We learned that Shelton Benjamin was injured and his WWE future is questionable at this particular point in time. He will most likely need surgery and may be on the injured list for several months.

      — Monday Night Raw gave us the go home show leading up to tonight’s pay-per-view. We saw a women’s tag match, Rusev taking on Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns versus Kevin Owens in a steel cage! Plus, the introduction of the Cruiserweights. All this and more in our full review of RAW.

      — Smackdown Live came at us on Tuesday and featured The Usos can full dark side, American Alpha’s return, The Miz forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship, and The Viper, Randy Orton, in action. The main event was John Cena against Dean Ambrose in singles competition. Read all about it HERE.

      — Taped from Full Sail, NXT arrived on the WWE Network on Wednesday. Samoa Joe gave William Regal a very stern ultimatum about Shinsuke Nakamura and the rest of the locker room. Cruiserweight Classic Tournament competitor, Cedric Alexander, made his NXT in-ring debut. And Austin Aries called out Hideo Itami. Read all about the latest taping right HERE.

      — Dixie Carter won the week with yet another fantastic episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling. The stage is slowly being set for Bound For Glory. We saw the Grand Championship tournament finals lock in their last two, Maria Kanellis-Bennett public training, an X-Division Championship match, and a four-man tag team match for the main event featuring Lashley, EC3, Moose, and The Miracle. Read about the entire stellar broadcast HERE.

      — The last NJPW before Wrestle Kingdom came to us from AXSTV on Friday, featuring a CMLL World Welterweight Championship title defense, and a tag match between four warring competitors. The main event was Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata taking on Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii, and boy did they go to war. Read the full play-by-play HERE.

      — And of course, tonight is WWE’s Clash of Champions PPV live from Indianapolis, IN. Face To Heel will be live from the arena! We will try to Tweet, get lots of photos, and soak in every wonderful moment. Read all about our full match predictions HERE and be sure to follow our site and our writers on twitter: @FaceToHeel, @OhhhTweener, @MrNotWell. Enjoy the show everybody and we’ll see you tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!

Article by Jamie Curtis Baker20140601_175649


Smackdown Live Presents: 2016 Backlash – Full Match Results and Live Feedback


      For ill or for gain, history is being made tonight. Smackdown Live is debuting it’s first stand-alone PPV on the WWE Network, Backlash. The match card is not very stacked. It would appear they have a low number of matches for a three hour event. It was announced moments ago that Baron Corbin and Apollo Crews would square off in the pre-show. But first, #SignHeathSlater was trending as he and Rhyno join Tom Phillips in the social media lounge. First question is what if Heath loses. Slater says he can’t lose because he has everything riding on the line. Heath says when they win he is buying tiki-torches to put all around his above-ground pool. Rhyno and Slater are hilarious in tandem, playing off each other to the viewer’s delight. Rhyno is excited to win so that they don’t have to swim at the community pool anymore. And he wants Slater to take his family to Golden Corral. When asked about a possible tag team name they joke: “Beauty and the Man-Beast.” We will be live posting and updating this article throughout the broadcast.

      Alexa Bliss joins the pre-show panel wearing her hair, make-up and ring gear like a cool Harley Quinn costume. She cuts a promo saying she has plans for tonight and that everyone is looking at the new Smackdown Live Women’s Champion. Renee Young says she is tiny but terrible. She seems ready for the Women’s Six Pack Challenge later this evening.

      JBL, Mauro Ranallo and David Otunga are shown ringside and we are ready for some in-ring action. Apollo Crews comes out to a decent pop from the crowd. The stadium is mostly filled at this point which is good. Many times the pre-show matches have a lot of empty seats. When Baron Corbin’s music hits, crowd is vocally polarized. If it was ten years ago, it would seem that Corbin’s path would most definitely have to cross Kane at some point. Grappling to start, Corbin tosses Crews off. They pace each other and then lock up again. There is bad blood between these two due to run-in’s down in NXT. Huge shoulder tackle off the ropes from Corbin to put Crews down. Crews pops up and dropkicks the big man. Crews tries a springboard off the top rope but Corbin clobbers him with a massive punch and he tumbles off the apron to the floor below. Commercial break.

      When we return both men are in the ring and it’s more of Corbin dominating Crews. A kick on the apron gives Crews some breathing room. He hits a leaping lariat and finally puts Corbin down. Corbin recovers and whips Crews into the corner, and then punches him in the back of the head. Crowd boos as Corbin unleashes a flurry of punches. He knees Crews in the face. Devastating clothesline by Corbin and he covers Crews. Mere two count and the crowd can’t believe it. Running knee by Crews and both men are down. Referee starts a 10 count. Both men up at 8. A kick and a standing moonsault by Crews and he covers Corbin but no dice as he kicks out at two. Olympic slam by Crews but again Corbin kicks out. Corbin hits a Deep Six and covers Crews, but he kicks out. Crowd fired up now. Outside of the ring Corbin tries to run at Crews, but he moves and Corbin collides with the steel steps. Crews gets him back in the ring, climbs the top rope but Corbin rolls away. Crews jumps down and punches Corbin in the corner. Corbin explodes out with an End of Days and covers for the pinfall victory. That was a well-done match for these two. Might have been the best we have seen Baron Corbin on the main roster. And Apollo Crews was as good as ever. High marks for just a pre-show match.

      Pretty epic, long promo package for AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose at 7:57. They are really hyping this match up. I hope the actual match delivers. The pre-show panel is split on which one will walk out as the champion. Hopefully the match will be a straight up, clean bout. If John Cena runs in to do something, that will really take away the title’s credibility. On the first ever Smackdown Live pay-per-view, we don’t need any gimmicks or shenanigans in the main event.

      Here Comes The Money! The Smackdown Live commissioner, Shane McMahon comes down to the ring. General Manager, Daniel Bryan, then comes down to his typical, huge crowd reaction. A YES! chant starts. And if anybody wondered how they would fill three hours with only six matches, well here we are. Shane thanks the production crew, staff, roster, and audience for Smackdown Live’s success. Shane goes over the title matches for the night and ends with talking about the Sixpack Challenge for the Women’s Title which is kicking off the show! Becky Lynch comes down, fired up. Natalya walks out looking confused as to whether she is a face or heel. Her character has been in limbo for a long while. Naomi comes out to her bright lite dance show which is terrific to watch. She may be the dark horse to steal the belt tonight. With this gimmick having her run with the title is fine by me. Alexa Bliss comes out, followed by Carmella. Those are the two I hope win the new title. Nikki Bella comes out last. My son groans, as did my wife, as did I. We all hate the Bella’s in this household! All six women in at once and single elimination for this one.

      Female brawl to start, clearing out the ring and leaving Naomi and Lynch to square off. Naomi strikes Lynch with a bunch of kicks, but then Lynch throws her over the top rope. Carmella attacks her from behind and tries a cover. Kick out at two. Nikki gets in the ring and faces off against her nemesis Carmella. Natalya and Bliss attack both from behind. Natalya throws Carmella into the barricade as Bliss puts Nikki down and tries a cover. Nikki jumps off the second rope and kicks Bliss. Near fall, but Bliss kicks out at two. Basement dropkick from Natalya on Bliss as Niki rolls out of the ring. Lynch comes in and takes Natalya and Bliss down. Suplex by Natalya on Lynch. I am struggling to keep up with all the action, which is a rare statement for a women’s match. Proud of all these ladies putting on a fantastic match. The ring clears out and Nikki goes ballistic on Carmella. Carmella gets Nikki in the Code of Silence, but Nikki gets out. She slams Carmella and covers, but a kickout from Ms. Fabulous. No one eliminated yet. Superplex/powerbomb from Natalya, Carmella and Nikki in the corner. Took too long to setup. But they nailed it and it looked nice. Crowd starts a “This Is Awesome!” chant. Carmella and Bliss square off. Carmella dumps her out, Nikki dumps Carmella out. Five women down outside, Naomi off the top rope, spring-boarding down and taking out all of them. She nearly slips on the rope, but thankfully she pulled it off.

      Bliss punches Natalya in the corner. Naomi and Natalya absolutely destroy Bliss with a suplex powerbomb. Naomi covers her and she is gone. Natalya then locks in the Sharp Shooter on Naomi. She taps out in a matter of seconds. Natalya takes out Carmella and then Nikki clothesline Natalya. Backbreaker on Nattie and Nikki covers. Three count and Natalya is gone. Carmella small package on Nikki and she eliminates her! Yes! Crowd starts a chant for Becky. Becky puts the Dissarmer submission on Carmella and makes her tap! Becky Lynch is the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion! After the match, Becky is interviewed in near tears. She thanks the crowd, who cheer her on. Nice start to the show, proper booking, this pay-per-view has been great so far.

      Bray Wyatt is shown backstage attacking Randy Orton. He slams his leg in a door before a ref intervenes. Orton is rumored to not be competing and Kane will take his place. Very disappointing. The Usos come out in new ring gear, no face paint. Heel turn complete. The Hype Bros come out next. The winner of this match faces Heath Slater and Rhyno later tonight. Mojo and Ryder look strong to start, really taking it to the Usos. Huge missile dropkick off the apron by Ryder and then Mojo shoulder tackles both Usos nearly out of their shoes. Loving this match so far! Things slow down as Jey goes to work on Ryder. The Usos isolate Ryder, not letting him get a tag. Ryder hits a hangman’s neckbreaker out of nowhere and plants Jey. Mojo reaches out for a tag. Jimmy gets a tag instead and he runs across the ring to knock Mojo off the apron. Jimmy and Jey double team Ryder. He clears the ring and manages to get Mojo in. Stinger splash by Mojo and he hits a military press slam on Jey. He tags Ryder who hits a Frankensteiner on Jey, but Jimmy breaks up the pin. As Ryder is distracted by Jimmy, Jey takes him out at the knee. Half crab submission and Ryder has no choice but to tap out. The bad guy Usos are here to stay. And I think I like them. They advance to fight Slater and Rhyno for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships later tonight.

      Dolph Ziggler comes down next, challenging The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship. Before Miz comes out, he is shown backstage talking to Daniel Bryan. He demands a contract negotiation to be “paid like the A-lister I am.” Bryan is silent. The Miz says, “What? Nothing to say? And you call me a coward.” He sends Bryan back to his “cubby-hole” and enters the arena with wife, Maryse. This match should be good. Feels like the Ziggler/Miz feud is what the Ziggler/Ambrose feud could have and should have been. Spine buster by Ziggler right out of the gate. Miz rolls out of the ring to regroup. Mat grappling by Ziggler once Miz rolls back in. He shows his amateur skills. Miz fights back with a punch and a slam. Crowd boos. Ziggler off the ropes and he lands two dropkicks on Miz. Miz catapults Ziggler against the bottom rope. Cover but Ziggler kicks out at two. Bow and arrow stretch by Miz and Ziggler screams in pain. Miz catapults Ziggler out of the ring. Miz takes control for a few minutes. He hits three dropkicks in a row in the corner.

      He taunts Daniel Bryan and then hits a running clothesline on Ziggler. Miz hops up to the top rope and drops off with a double ax handle on Ziggler. Skull Crushing Finale attempt by Miz but Ziggler blocks it and dropkicks him. Both men down. Ziggler recovers, hits a swinging neckbreaker, spinebuster and then drops an elbow. He covers but Miz kicks out at two. Miz crashes shoulder first into the corner. Ziggler tries a Zig Zag, but Miz powerbombs him off the ropes then down to the mat. He covers, but Ziggler kicks out. That was a lovely series of moves. The crowd has been fired up throughout this entire broadcast and have stayed lit for this match as well. Zig Zag by Ziggler, but Miz kicks out. Crowd in a frenzy. Headlock by Ziggler as he leaps on Miz’s back. He drops to one knee, face turning red. Miz runs Ziggler into the turnbuckle and he collapses. DDT by Ziggler and he covers but a long two count is all he gets. Super kick by Ziggler but Miz blocks it and hits a DDT into a Figure Four Leglock. Ziggler screams. Ziggler takes a long time to crawl to the rope, but he manages and the ref breaks the hold. Miz kicks him in the face. Miz tries another leglock but Ziggler kicks him in the butt. When he turns around, superkick by Ziggler. He covers, but Miz reaches his leg out and touches the bottom rope with his toe. Ref stops the count. That was a really nice false finish. Both men out of the ring and ref starts a 10 count. Ziggler gets him in. When the ref is distracted, Maryse sprays Ziggler in the face. Skull Crushing Finale and Miz retains.

      Bray Wyatt comes to the ring amidst his fireflies. Due to injury Randy Orton is not cleared to compete tonight. Bray Wyatt wants the 10 count to signify his victory via forfeit. Bell rings and the ref starts a 10 count. He rings the bell and Wyatt gets up on the corner and holds his arms out. The announcer informs us all of his victory. However, he says, Bray Wyatt will have a no holds barred match against Kane! What!? Thank you Shane and Daniel! Bell rings and they just go after each other. The history between these two has already been established. We don’t need a gimmick or a story. Just let them go at it. They quickly spill out of the ring and Kane clears the announce table. Bray hits him with the ring bell then slams his head against the apron. Wyatt picks up a chair. But Kane socks him in the mouth. In the ring Bray clobbers Kane with a steel chair. This one is just brutal. What a great idea to throw this in the middle of the pay-per-view. Smart booking.

      Outside the ring, Wyatt takes apart one of the other announce tables. He lays Kane on one and stands on the next one over. He poses like Randy Orton and then leaps back first into Kane, breaking the table. Crowd starts a “Holy Shit!” chant. Back in the ring, Bray attempts a Sister Abigail but Kane blocks it and chokeslams him. Cover, but Bray kicks out at two. Kane puts a chair on the mat and runs a thumb across his throat. He picks Bray up but instead Wyatt counters and slams Kane into the chair. He covers but a kickout at two. Bray can’t believe it. Randy Orton limps out, crowd goes wild. Bray stares him down. Kane sits up. Orton comes in the ring and RKO’s Bray Wyatt. Crowd erupts. Kane chokeslams Bray against the chair and covers him. Three seconds later and Bray Wyatt’s pay-per-view losing streak continues. I’m not sold on the outcome, but you can’t hate on that match. It was damn good. Nice palette cleanser for the rest of the broadcast.

      Time to determine who is going to be the inaugural Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions. Heel Usos come down first followed by Slater and Rhyno who get a huge pop. Rhyno and Jey start and the crowd starts an “E-C-DUB!” chant. Slater tags in but the Usos double team him and suplex him into the steel post outside the ring. They isolate Slater, not allowing him to tag. The Usos do a great job as heels. Everytime Slater is close to a tag they either pull him to the mat or they kick Rhyno away. It’s fun to watch. This is how you tell a good story. Slater and Jey collide and both men are down. Heath crawls around trying to find his corner. He does and tags in Rhyno who quickly takes the Usos apart. Belly to belly suplex on Jimmy. Slater tags himself in and hits a pair of neckbreakers on the Usos. He kicks Jimmy in the gut and hits a DDT. He covers, but Jey pulls him out of the ring. Superkick by Jimmy, but Rhyno hits him with Gore! Slater rolls in, covers, and that’s all she wrote! Crowd goes wild! Your first Tag Team Champions for the Smackdown brand are Heath Slater and Rhyno! Slater has a contract! Yes! Crowd starts a “You deserve it!” chant. Heath says, “This is probably the biggest night of my life. You know, besides, like a couple of my kids being bored.” He yells to his wife they’re getting a double-wide. This is a great moment.

      Dean Ambrose defends his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles for tonight’s main event. Styles is introduced as The Face Who Runs The Place. Some light grappling to start. Ambrose does some good arm drags. Nothing much exciting happens at the beginning. The crowd starts a chant for JBL. Styles argues with the ref multiple times. Offense finally gets going with Ambrose hitting a backdrop. Styles trips him into the rope, throat first. Crowd split with dueling chants for both. The pacing is a little stagnant in this one. Not sure why these two chose to move this slow, but the crowd is still into it. The pair botch a move off the top rope. Not sure what it was supposed to be but both slam into the mat awkwardly and are down. Ref starts a 10 count. Styles rolls outside of the ring and Ambrose drops an elbow on him off the top rope. Back in the ring, Styles suplexes Ambrose into the turnbuckles. The match is slow and methodical, but not necessarily boring. Just seems like an odd flow considering all the highs we’ve had all night. Styles locks in the calf crusher submission. Ambrose struggles to the bottom rope and manages to break the hold. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Ambrose grabs the ropes. On the apron, Ambrose catapults Styles into the steel apron. Back in the ring, Styles lifts Ambrose into a firemen’s carry and then flips Ambrose into a neckbreaker.

      Springboard 450 Splash into a cover by Styles. Ambrose narrowly kicks out. Ambrose dropkicks Styles out of the ring and then leaps out after him. He throws Styles into and over the announce table. Then he throws him into the crowd. He climbs the announce tables and jumps over the barricade to drop an elbow on Styles. Back in the ring Ambrose clothesline Styles head over heels. Ambrose tries Dirty Deeds, but Ambrose runs into the ref. Low blow by Styles and he hits a really terrible Styles Clash that he almost botches. He covers and the ref counts to three. Styles wins and holds the belt above his head. Well, is something about to happen? It’s only 10:37. Feels like we still have another ten minutes to go. Styles walks up the ramp laughing, clutching the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to his chest. But no, the trademark box pops up and this one is over. Really weird early finish. But pretty decent match for the world title.

      Overall, the pay-per-view itself was maybe one of the best WWE has done this year. The pre-show match was excellent, even being slated in a bad spot. Both men really did a fantastic job firing up the crowd and keeping them excited for the main show. The show kicked off in a shocking manner with the women’s Sixpack Challenge which was jam packed with terrific action. One of the best female matches we have seen in awhile and the right lady won. The Usos had a very successful heel turn and demonstrated they are new and improved against The Hype Bros. And that was just the first hour! The Miz and Dolph Ziggler made the Intercontinental Championship match matter, putting on a near-flawless match. The ending probably made some people mad, but Miz is a heel. And he does whatever it takes to hold on to his prestigious title. Besides, having a wonky finish protected Ziggler a little bit. Kane and Bray Wyatt had a hell of a match. The finish is questionable. Not sure why Wyatt became the permanent jobber at pay-per-views, but the match was fun to watch. And technically he beat Randy Orton in the record books. Slater and Rhyno are so over and their win solidifies their place at the table. Loved the match, loved the outcome. AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose put on a good match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship. But it was very slow and didn’t really wow me. If I had one complaint for the night it would be just utterly being done with Ambrose as champion. This match tonight shined a spotlight on the fact he can’t carry a match and is not main event material. Throughout the match you can clearly see him calling spots the whole time. And to me it looked like Styles was having to hinder himself in order to keep up with Ambrose’s slow, clunky style. But the crowd and commentary were amazing all night tonight. Even David Otunga wasn’t completely horrible. Overall just a really solid show from Smackdown tonight. No lulls in action, no boring segments. I was very impressed. What did you think of tonight’s show? Let us know in the comments below! See you tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!

Article by Jamie Curtis Baker20140601_175649


WWE Needs To Capitalize on The Miz Right Now


      For those of you who missed Talking Smack on the WWE Network following Smackdown Live this week, things got interesting. Daniel Bryan awkwardly insulted The Miz in an uncharacteristically roast-like way insinuating Miz was soft and wrestled like a coward. It didn’t seem like a scripted moment. And Bryan did not cushion his slights with any sort of compliment. He just straight-up went for the jugular. Within seconds Miz was screaming at Bryan, Renee Young, and the cameras. What transpired was a pretty emotional promo that seemed all too real and showcased just how talented and passionate The Miz is. See the full video HERE.

      Who would have thought that out of nowhere we have someone step up on the Smackdown roster ready to cut the fat and shoot straight from the hip? The best gimmicks are the ones that aren’t even gimmicks. When you take someone’s regular personality, turn it up to 11, and let it fly, what you get is wrestling gold. The Miz owned the audience, he demanded and got a camera to look at him and zoom in. He put Daniel Bryan and Renee Young in their places, and he became the new sensation around social media. My advice to WWE (free of charge, of course) is to push Miz right now, no holds barred.

      Miz is currently headed towards holding the Intercontinental Championship for 150 days. That’s longer than most in the title’s historic, nearly four decade existence. This is Miz’s fifth title reign. He is currently 20th on the all-time list. WWE has a real opportunity to capitalize on something organic that just fell into their lap. Maybe have Miz demand a new, better looking title since Smackdown seems determined to create their own stuff now. Maybe Miz demands a World Heavyweight title shot. Maybe Miz wins and holds both belts like a really dominant heel. Maybe have a bitter GM in Daniel Bryan put Miz through the ringer, throwing him in insurmountable odds and difficult matches, only to see him come out on top and always find a way to win.

      Have Miz demand the main event at Backlash. Have Miz interrupt other wrestlers. Have him hijack Smackdown. Whatever it is, WWE must do something to keep this momentum going. The Intercontinental Championship was once the wrestler’s belt, prestiged and highly regarded. The Miz took great strides to put it on the map again this past week. Fans typically love Daniel Bryan, but in less than 90 seconds, The Miz made him look like a weak, scared little boy who is so insecure about himself he had to run and hide off camera. That is a big deal in wrestling. If Miz can talk like that off the top of his head, I fully support any decision to push him to the moon. He instantly cut a better promo than anything current world champion, Dean Ambrose, has ever done. And that just by itself should get him a title shot.

      The Miz is genuinely the total package. He has the superstar look, he can wrestle, he can work the mic, he can make the crowd really hate him, and there are other additions to him that make him a candidate to be “the guy.” For one, he’s a real life movie star. He has a foreign, attractive wife. She’s no Lana, but it’s a positive for Miz. He’s recognizable, and he’s someone you can actually promote and put in front of a camera. He’s not going to go on Good Morning America or The Tonight Show and embarrass the WWE. And, as he said in his rant against Bryan, he doesn’t get injured. What more do you want?

      Now might be the perfect time for The Miz to take off. Give him a chance. Because what else, really, does Smackdown have going for it? AJ Styles trying to get #BeatUpJohnCena trending? Dean Ambrose wearing funny hats? Baron Corbin talking about expensive watches? See a pattern here? This scripted comedy stuff doesn’t cut it. It makes WWE Creative look dumb, and makes the wrestlers seem incompetent. In much the same way as CM Punk’s infamous Pipe Bomb blasted him into the stratosphere, maybe this “Smack Talk” promo can be something that catapults The Miz into epic superstar status. The truth hurts, but damn does it make for good television.

Article by Jamie Curtis Baker20140601_175649

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Monday Night Raw Review and Feedback (07.11.2016)

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      The show kicked off in an interesting way. Dozens of wrestlers in the ring ready to compete in a battle royal. Apollo Crews comes down and The Miz gets on the mic, clearing his throat and spewing nonsense. The battle royal will determine who the #1 Contender is for the Intercontinental Championship at the Battleground pay-per-view. Guess Crews is the only one who gets an entrance? The bell rings and off we go. Miz joins commentary.

      Bob Backlund is ringside as his man, Darren Young, is in the battle royal. Seems really strange to build up Darren for months only to cram him here and not even give him an introduction. Fun little moment where The Usos try to eliminate each other all in good fun. And then seven minutes into the broadcast we go to commercial for almost four minutes. It comes down to Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Darren Young, Apollo Crews, and Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio is eliminated. Corbin launches Ziggler out of the ring. Corbin and Crews tumble each other out and Darren Young wins. I get it, but weird booking. He will fight The Miz at Battleground. Bob Backlund could not be more excited. In terms of matches, that one stunk. As battle royals go, that one came up short. Iffy start to the show.

      After the commercial break, backstage bickering between Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon. Seth Rollins interrupts and the crowd cheers. Later, Zack Ryder is backstage challenging Rusev and he is attacked by Sheamus. Sheamus comes to the ring followed by Ryder. This spills out of the ring immediately. Sheamus wins in quick fashion and as soon as the final bell rings, Rusev storms down to the ring. Rusev bets Ryder and then puts him in the Accolade. Rusev screams he accepts Zack Ryder’s challenge. Neat little segment, then again I am always interested to see Ryder get demolished.

      Breezango, which, can I just say is the worst tag name ever, takes on The Lucha Dragons up next. You have to feel sorry for Tyler Breeze. He was such a unique character that Vince ruined once he brought him up to the main roster. Breeze picks up the pinfall, but as tag matches go this one is mediocre at best.

      Seth Rollins comes down. He debuts his new show “The Rollins Report.” He interviews Roman Reigns with hilarious doctored footage. It makes Reigns look foolish. After Rollins demands Reigns be taken from the triple threat title match at Battleground. Dean Ambrose interrupts. Ambrose and Rollins trade barbs back and forth but nothing of worth is said. Rollins says he is the best member of The Shield. Ambrose says he is the king of the company. Ambrose says he will put the title on the line any place, any time. Rollins skirts out though and says he’ll see him next week. Flat segment. Ambrose isn’t really solid enough on the mic to stand across from Rollins.

      Sami Zayn at ringside. Kevin Owens’ music hits but he refuses to go out. Stephanie orders refs to go to the ring and make Sami leave. The refs escort Sami up the ramp and Owens’ music hits again. He walks out and waves at Sami. Sami attacks him and they briefly fight before the refs separate them. Owens gets in the ring. A limo is shown pulling up and Vince McMahon gets out. He is here to name the Commissioner of Smackdown live.

      After the commercial break, Cesaro comes down to take on Owens. Entertaining match. Owens might be the best heel working in the business today. These two together know how to flow. This is how you tell a story in the ring. First big segment of the night for my money. The fact these two are battling and not involved in a title picture is a shame. Each man trade turns doing all their patented moves. Crowd very much into this one. Not doing play-by-play because I am just enjoying the match. Owens wins via pinfall after a nice finish. Owens gets on commentary and out of nowhere Sami Zayn leaps out of the crowd and attacks Owens. Sami clobbers Owens into the ring where he meets Cesaro and gets put into a double digit swing. Solid segment throughout and might be the highlight of the night. Complete and satisfying story told.

      Social Outcasts come out. Their leader Heath Slater set to wrestle Titus O’Neal. Total squash match for Slater as Titus spends most of the match tossing him around like he’s a bundle of kindle. Titus easily wins, despite Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas trying their best to distract. After the match Titus dances to his theme music.

      Sasha Banks interviews backstage. She cuts a scathing promo on Dana Brooke. One of the best mic segments of the night so far. After the commercial break something really annoying happens. For once, Vince and WWE actually copy off TNA Impact Wrestling. Last week TNA featured The Final Deletion between Jeff and Matt Hardy. And tonight Raw tried to recreate that with The Wyatt Family and The New Day. It’s really sort of pathetic. Of all the angles to copy, the disasterpiece of Broken Hardy is one of the “worst” of all. Shame on WWE. New Day is at the “Wyatt Compound” and the they fight in the forest in truck headlights. It amounts to just a fight while the camera man wobbles the lens and they put a blinking filter over the image. I am very disappointed with this. Failing marks all across the board. TNA did this so much better with The Hardy’s last week.

      The Club comes down to the ring. Enzo and Cass come out. Enzo calls The Club chicken tenders because they got no spine and are boneless. Hilarious segment, commercial break. After the break Gallows and Anderson take on Enzo and Cass. Nothing much to hate about this. Just good ring work and storytelling. Eventually, Styles throws Cass into the timekeeper’s area and the ref calls for the bell. John Cena’s music hits and he runs into the ring. Three on three. Dare I say the crowd actually starts a chant for Cena. Huh.

      Dana Brooke comes down accompanied by Charlotte. Her opponent is the LEGIT BOSS, Sasha Banks. Both women look strong throughout, taking turns dominating. Dana Brooke is talented as far as wrestling is concerned, her personality is just kind of flat. If she built up her gimmick she could be a real powerhouse. After a fairly excellent women’s match, Sasha makes Dana tap out via submission for the win. After the match, Charlotte says she’ll see Sasha on Thursday. Yay for delaying things until taped Smackdown broadcasts!

      Shane McMahon comes down to the ring, followed by his sister Stephanie. Then the chairman, Vince, comes down. Vince pokes fun at his kids implying they are soft. Steph throws her brother under the bus. Shane panders to the crowd. He questions whether his dad still has “the grapefruits.” Vince announces Shane as the Commissioner of Smackdown. Vince calls Raw the “flagship” show which is not a good sign for the upcoming split. He names Stephanie the Commissioner of Raw. Next week both Steph and Shane have to name their GM’s for their respective show. Meh. What an anti-climatic segment. WWE had a real opportunity to do something special and they shit the bed again. Not a good starting platform for the brand split. Half-hearted Raw tonight, with very little to get excited about. The final segment took a lot of the momentum and excitement out of Smackdown going live. I guess when you get so desperate you start copying TNA angles, not that much should be expected.

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


2016 WWE Money In The Bank Matchcard And Predictions


      The 7th Money In The Bank PPV will be held in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada this year. We still only have the one briefcase for the WWE World Heavyweight title; since the belts were unified, WWE has not opted to add another briefcase for a contract for the United States, Intercontinental, or even the Women’s Title, something that would be incredible to see. Notably absent from this PPV is The Miz, our current Intercontinental champion. According to his Twitter account, the title is safely around his waist while he is off filming The Marine 5. Let’s take a look at the match card and make some predictions for the show tomorrow night.

      Apollo Crews vs Sheamus – Preshow Kickoff Singles Match

      It’s difficult not to smile when Crews enters the arena; he is a giant ball of positive energy, is incredibly grateful for the opportunity he has earned, and always gives 100% in the ring. If you’ve watched Breaking Ground on the WWE Network, you are familiar with his journey (and if not, I recommend checking it out).  Pitting him against Sheamus works to both men’s advantages; Apollo gets to be the hero and Sheamus gets to be extra villainous to promote his role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. This feud is good for Crews; he needs the opportunity to practice his mic skills and promos, so pitting him against someone who has been on the main roster for years will be helpful.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Apollo Crews

      Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin – Preshow Kickoff Singles Match

      This will hopefully be the final chapter in this feud; Corbin and Ziggler have had great matches over the past few weeks, but it’s time for both men to move on. Corbin’s debut to the main roster was done in a huge way with his WrestleMania win in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal; he was the 3rd man to win this match, after Cesaro and Big Show, which is saying a lot. There are big things in his future for sure. Ziggler is one of the most underutilized guys on the roster; he’s done great work with Corbin but I would like to see him seriously enter into a title picture and/or move along to something that better shows his full potential (like maybe the indie circuit). They may be on the preshow, but these two are worthy of the main event.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Baron Corbin

      The New Day (c) vs The Club vs Enzo and Cass vs The Vaudevillians – Fatal 4-Way Tag Title Match

      The tag team division has come a long way, and the credit has to go to The New Day. They took a ridiculous gimmick that was seemingly doomed to fail and turned themselves into fan favorites. As two time champs, they have made their titles meaningful and interesting once again. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson of The Club are relatively new to the WWE and have done little else than step on anyone who is in their way. The Vaudevillains have lived up to their name since moving up from NXT and gained their first title shot due to Enzo’s untimely injury. Speaking of Enzo, he and Cass have been beyond over since their debut and even Enzo’s absence didn’t derail their momentum. Regardless of the winner, this should be an exciting match.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Enzo and Cass

      Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs Natalya and Becky Lynch – Tag Team Match

      I’m incredible let down that the Women’s title is not on the line Sunday night. We’re still in the early stages of revamping the former Divas division, and instead of making the title meaningful, we’re shoving it aside in favor of a tag match. Charlotte ditched her daddy and seemed to be going down the independent route, but instead she replaced Ric Flair with Dana Brooke, who recently came up from NXT. So, we still have a champion who is incapable of winning matches by herself and who doesn’t even defend her title at PPVs. Not a great direction for our women. On a positive note, it’s great to see Natalya finally put in the spotlight; she’s taken a backseat for years and it’s a shame given the amount of talent she has.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Natalya and Becky Lynch

      AJ Styles vs John Cena – Singles Match; Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are banned from ringside

      This match is being billed as WrestleMania worthy, the greatest match in history, a must-see event, and overall the best thing to happen to wrestling, period. Of course, since we have John Cena making his triumphant return from an absence due to injury, his returning feud has to be bigger than life. While this isn’t the Match of the Century as Michael Cole would have you believe, it is a pretty big deal. Since signing with WWE, Styles has earned a tag title shot and a WWE World title shot, the latter earned quicker than any debuting star in history. Now, he has to go through Cena, the same way everyone else on the roster has to, only in this instance they are loudly vocalizing the fact and stressing that Styles won’t matter in the WWE if he fails at this. I don’t often have interest in Cena’s matches, but I’m interested in this one.

      F2H Winner Prediction: AJ Styles

      Rusev (c) vs Titus O’Neil – United States Title Match

      After being suspended over something that, in my opinion, was not a big deal whatsoever, O’Neil is back in action. He handled his suspension with class and did not speak one negative word about the situation, so it’s fantastic to see him earning a title shot upon his return. The downside to this is that it unfortunately turns into Russia vs USA, regardless of how the WWE plays it. My husband and I both had initially assumed that John Cena would be the one to challenge Rusev for the title, so it’s fantastic to see that the WWE chose an entirely different direction. After a brief run-in with Jack Swagger, Rusev moved on to O’Neil, a competitor that is bigger, stronger, and has a fantastic chance of ending his title reign. I’m a fan of both men, so it’s difficult to pick a winner; there are definite advantages to having either man as our US Champ.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Rusev

      Sami Zayn vs Cesaro vs Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens vs Alberto Del Rio – MITB Ladder Match

      I want Kevin Owens to win this match and to torment the WWE Heavyweight champ, and everyone else, while he holds the briefcase and the contract that goes with it. I’m leading with this because I do not believe it will happen, unfortunately. We have six very strong competitors in this match; I don’t agree with the addition of Jericho, but I suppose it could be worse. With the exception of him, any of the remaining five would do a good job of carrying the briefcase and would be able to get a good reaction from the crowd over potential cash-ins. The ladder matches over the past few months have been phenomenal, so I expect big things from this one. I am also hoping to see a last minute addition to this match; a mystery 7th man could add a whole other dynamic and would definitely be exciting. At the end of the day, WWE will probably give the briefcase to Ambrose to work The Shield angle for the next year with Reigns and Rollins.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Dean Ambrose

      Roman Reigns (c) vs Seth Rollins – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match

      WWE made a big deal of a Shield reunion on Raw during an episode of the Ambrose Asylum. They have showed us their debut at 2012’s Survivor Series as well as their disbanding when Seth Rollins turned on his brothers. We’re getting reminders of how dominant The Shield was during Raw and Smackdown at every opportunity. This leads me to believe that Ambrose will not only win the MITB ladder match, but will cash in tonight during this match to make it a Triple Threat. Brother vs Brother vs Former Brother makes for a good main event. Given the amount of Shield-heavy promos we’ve been seeing lately, this is a very likely outcome. There is a chance that they are doing it solely for Reigns vs Rollins, but I’m not convinced that is the case. What is clear to me is that it’s time for Reigns to lose the title. He wasn’t ready for it the first time he won it and he isn’t ready now. The crowd is over him, he’s not improving on the mic, and he refuses to stop showboating and be a legitimate heel in the ring. Both Ambrose and Rollins are stronger and would make better champions, so I’m going to be highly disappointed if the title doesn’t change hands tonight.

      F2H Winner Prediction: Seth Rollins

      The Money in the Bank kickoff show will begin at 7pm ET/4pm PT, with the pay-per-view starting an hour later, both live on the WWE Network. Please feel free to leave your own predictions and thoughts in the comments section below, and follow Face To Heel on Twitter using the hashtags #MITB and #FaceToHeel as we live tweet during the event!

Article by Mrs Jamie BakerIMG_20140926_193145


2016 WWE Extreme Rules Live Feedback, Match Results and Review


      Just finished watching last year’s Extreme Rules. The roster was so very different. John Cena, Big Show, Randy Orton, Luke Harper, and Seth Rollins all had matches. A lot has changed in a year. This year’s Extreme Rules promises to be interesting. Let’s take a look.

      For some reason, The Dudley Boyz come down to address the crowd during the preshow. First they get the crowd to cheer along with them, then they call them all sheep and Bubba asks Devon if they can get out of the city. Big Cass interrupts. Major kudos to Cass. This is by far the best he has worked on the mic since Enzo went out with his concussion. Good job, big man. Cass rolls into the ring and fights both Dudley’s. He hits Devon with an East River Crossing. Really good segment for the hometown boy. Two thumbs up.

      Baron Corbin comes down to take on Dolph Ziggler in a No Disqualification Match. Maruo Ranallo is on commentary for this one which is awesome. Ziggler takes a nasty spill early over the top rope in the corner, inadvertently kicking a camera guy. Baron lays an ass whooping on him for several minutes. End of Days ends it and Corbin wins. Pointless to put a stipulation on this match, as they didn’t utilize it. Match only lasts a few minutes. Just not enough. If Baron Corbin is supposed to be a monster why was this segment booked like this? Pure lazyness on WWE’s part. Both competitors did a great job, but we needed more.

      Tornado Tag Team match up next with The Usos taking on The Club, Anderson and Gallows. Quick, violent start to the match. The Club tags control early. Double super kick on Gallows stops the momentum. Usos climb opposite corners but Anderson breaks it up. Gallows collects the ring bell. He tries to hit Jimmy Uso, but takes a kick for his effort. Jimmy jumps off the top rope but misses and lands on the ring bell. Gallows and Anderson hit Magic Killer for the pinfall victory. Okay match, nothing too exciting if we’re being honest about what was just viewed. So far “extreme” is missing from this pay-per-view. As is excitement.

      Rusev vs Kalisto for his United States Championship up next. Smartly booked match between a big man and a little Luchador. They choreographed it really well. Rusev looks strong, Kalisto gets quick moves in, including getting Rusev to slam into the steel steps outside the ring. After a vicious slam on the apron, Rusev locks in the Accolade and Kalisto taps. Rusev is now a two-time champion. Well executed match. Now, one of two things happens. Rusev drops the title to John Cena. Or Rusev picks up his WrestleMania loss against John Cena. Either way, Rusev vs Cena is about 30 days away.

      Tag team gold on the line next as The New Day takes on The Vaudevillians. Enjoyable tag team match, but pretty much a standard run of the mill match. Nothing stands out as amazing. My wife was right, this match should have been the Tornado Tag Match. Missed opportunity by WWE. Xavier Woods gets isolated and it looks like New Day is done, but with some clever maneuvers and a small interference by Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods gets the pinfall. New Day retains. Okay match, at least the right team won.

      Kevin Owens comes out to a huge pop. He has three opponents, including the Intercontinental Champion, The Miz. Cesaro comes out second, followed by Sami Zayn and the champion for this Fatal 4-Way. Right off the bat, Zayn kicks Owens out of the ring. Miz goes next, then Zayn and Cesaro square off in the ring, which was as awesome as it sounds. All four men in this match are fun to watch. Good ring generals that always tell some sort of story. Owens clears the ring and isolates Zayn for a couple of minutes. Best match of the night so far, easily. Dang near flawless execution. Each competitor gets a chance to shine in this match. Crowd really gets behind this one and much deservedly so. There won’t be any following this match. The rest of the show is probably going to be a dud after this one. Zayn and Owens go to brawl outside the ring while Miz sneaks in to cover Cesaro for the pinfall. What an amazing match. Once again the IC Title is the top draw.

      Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose in an Asylum Match next up on the card. Y2J comes out first followed by Ambrose and they are locked into the cage. First weapon to come down is a mop, which Ambrose goes to work on Y2J with. Jericho recovers and tries for a pinfall. Ambrose grabs nunchucks and Jericho gets a 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire. Ambrose wins that war, but Jericho finally gets the infamous kendo stick and beats Ambrose down. Then he gets a large leather strap and whips it across the back of Ambrose. Ambrose wrestles it away from Y2J and hits him with it. So far this is the most extreme match of the night. Y2J throws Ambrose hard into the cage. Y2J tries to leave the ring, but Ambrose keeps him in. Ambrose gets a fire extinguisher and Y2J gets a straitjacket. He throws the jacket in Ambrose’s face and tries for a pinfall, but no dice. Y2J starts putting the straitjacket on Ambrose. He struggles out of it and takes the fight back to Y2J. Ambrose climbs to the top of the cage and drops an elbow on Jericho. Great move, no reaction from the crowd who seems bored with this one. Ambrose gets a bucket down and pulls a bag of thumbtacks from it. Both men tease us with it back and forth, but nobody lands on them. Y2J locks in the Walls of Jericho submission. Ambrose fights out with a kendo stick, climbs the top rope and tries to hit Y2J with it, but Jericho shoots Ambrose with a fire extinguisher, hits Code Breaker and goes for a pin. Ambrose manages to kick out. Jericho picks up the barb-wire wrapped 2×4 and taps Ambrose on the back a few times. I say tap because he very obviously does not swing with full power. Jericho goes for another Code Breaker and Ambrose reveres him into the thumbtacks! Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds into the thumbtacks and gets the pinfall! Well told match, fun to watch. The smarks will be bitching about it, though.

      The Women’s Championship Submission match is up now; champion Charlotte is facing off with Natalya. Ric Flair is banned from ringside, so a victory by our champ will have to be earned on her own. Charlotte quickly gets Natalya down to the mat and demands that she tap, but Natalya is able to get to her feet. She throws Charlotte to the mat and lands a kick to the face. Natalya gets her in another hold but Charlotte breaks free. Natalya hits a clothesline and Charlotte rolls out of the ring. The two start trading blows outside of the ring, with Charlotte yelling “I’m the champ!” Natalya throws Charlotte into the steel post, and the two return to the ring where Natalya isolates her in the corner. Charlotte lands a kick to the face and is able to lock in another submission. Natalya is able to break free, only to quickly find herself in another hold. She’s able to get her hands to the ropes to break the hold, but is greeted by vicious kicks from our champ. Charlotte delivers a vicious suplex, and Natalya is down. She goes to the top rope and hits a moonsault before going into a half crab. Natalya is screaming no over and over again, breaks free, and delivers a German sulpex to the champ before going for the SharpShooter. She locks it in, but just when it looks like she has the upper hand, Ric Flair’s music hits. Natalya assumes she won because of the stipulation Shane McMahon put on the match, but it turns out to be Dana Brooke dressed like Ric Flair! Ha! She goes in to distract Natalya. The distraction allows Charlotte to lock in the figure eight and win the match. Pretty good women’s match. WWE seems still hesitant to let them all the way off the leash. The ladies can go, so let them.

      The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles, comes down to the ring, set to take on Roman Reigns for his World Heavyweight Championship. The stipulation here is Extreme Rules Match so hopefully we see some antics, tricks and weapons. Little bit of strong style to start the match, with some vicious kicks and punches from the champ. A steel chair is introduced but Reigns fails multiple times to hit Styles with it. The fight spills out into the crowd and up to the preshow announce table. They make their way back towards the ring after Reigns takes a high-flying Phenomenal Forearm. Styles pulls up the floor padding around the ring, exposing concrete. Styles goes for the Clash but Reigns punches him and then starts taking apart the German announce table. He goes for a powerbomb but Styles punches out and gets Reigns up on the table. He tries a Styles Clash but Reigns punches him away. Styles flies at Reigns but gets dropped on his back into the main announce table. Good moment. Crowd hits Reigns with a “You Still Suck!” chant. Reigns rolls his opponent back in the ring and tries for a pinfall, but Styles kicks out at two.

      Reigns tries for a Superman Punch but Styles clips him at the knee. Suplex by Styles into the corner. Outside, Reigns swings Styles into the ring and the barricade and then tosses him into the announce table again. Reigns goes for a Spear but Styles moves and Reigns slams into the time keeper’s area. Gallows and Anderson run out and start attacking Reigns. They beat Reigns down and Styles goes for a pin but the champ kicks out. The Usos run out as The Club grab steel chairs. Two super kicks to Styles. They roll Reigns onto Styles but he kicks out at two. Styles Clash, Reigns kicks out again! The suspense is thick throughout this one. Fantastic story being told. As much as I hate Reigns, this is a good title match. Props. Reigns back drops Styles on a steel chair, goes for a Superman Punch but receives a kick in the middle of the ring. Styles Clash on the chair. Styles goes for the cover and The Usos drag him out of the ring. Styles recovers, tries another pin but the champ kicks out at two. Styles hits Reigns with the chair, then takes turns hitting The Usos. Styles goes for another Phenomenal Forearm, but Reigns spears him out of the air and covers him for the three count. As Reigns is celebrating, Seth Rollins runs up behind him and hits him with a Pedigree! Holy shit! Welcome back, Champ!

      Although Payback last month was better, this pay-per-view was pretty great. I enjoyed most of it, especially that ending. Rollins is back. Play time is over. Most of the match outcomes were great choices, and I really can’t hate too much. WWE seems to have gotten the message over how much we hated WrestleMania. The last two pay-per-views have taken it up a notch. Let’s hope the trend continues. See you tomorrow night for Monday Night Raw.


Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


Monday Night Raw Live Review, Feedback and Match Results


      Monday Night Raw is just twenty-four hours removed from a stellar Payback pay-per-view. Tonight, the workload is split right down the middle as Stephanie and Shane McMahon are running Raw together. Let’s get down to business and cover the event live.

      The show kicks off with Stephanie McMahon strutting out with a red gift bag in her hand. Would have preferred a match to kick off the show instead of another McMahon dramathon, however, this is a new era and we need to see the dynamic between brother and sister. Steph begins to talk and is almost instantly interrupted by Shane. Steph says the gift is a “peace offering” for him. It’s a framed photo of Vince and Shane. She asks Shane for his idea regarding tonight’s show. As soon as Shane goes to talk, Kevin Owens’ music hits! He demands a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. As the trio hash it out, Cesaro comes out. He’s not too keen on Owens getting a rematch when he thinks he deserves one. Shane wants to settle the dispute right now and sets up a match, leading us into our first commercial break.

      The Miz and Maryse join the commentary team as Cesaro goes to work against Owens. After a flurry of offense from Cesaro, Owens rolls out of the ring to catch his breath. But Cesaro jumps off the barricade and flips into Owens, knocking him down. He tosses Owens back into the ring and hits him off the top rope with a cross-body. Owens recovers and puts Cesaro down with a vicious kick and running senton. They trade punches and uppercuts. Both men take turns pulling off amazing moves that eventually lead to a bullfrog splash from Owens on Cesaro outside the ring. After several uppercuts, Cesaro takes a suplex and then a cannonball from Owens in the corner. Owens goes for the pin and Cesaro kicks out at a close two and three-fourths. Springboard uppercut by Cesaro and Owens rolls out of the ring. Cesaro runs around and uppercuts Owens into the barricade. Owens elbows Cesaro and grabs the IC title from Miz. He tries to hit Cesaro, but Miz stops him. Cesaro knocks down Miz and gets Owens back in the ring. He goes for a Swing, but Miz attacks him and the ref rings the bell. All three men start fighting. Sami Zayn’s music hits and he rushes out to attack Owens. Maryse gets Miz out of the ring and Zayn is left standing all alone. He picks up the white IC belt and holds it above his head. Crowd goes wild. The IC Title card is in excellent hands and all four of these guys are working hard to elevate its status. So far, Raw is firing on all the right cylinders.

      Dean Ambrose runs into Steph McMahon backstage and he tells her she’s pretending to be a new person but he’s not buying it. She says tonight Ambrose Asylum can be an open forum and he can ask her anything. Commercial break. Funny backstage segment after the break with Gorgeous Truth (R-Truth and Tyler Breeze) and the pairing of Goldust and Fandango. Styles, Gallows, and Anderson are shown in the locker room. Anderson says there’s no way Roman Reigns leaves Extreme Rules as the champion. “Is that so?” Reigns says off camera and he confronts Styles. The Usos come up behind him and they all agree to a three on three tag match for later tonight.

      Goldust and Fandango come down. Another commercial break. Ai-yi-yi. Gorgeous Truth enter. Breeze and Goldust set for singles action. Goldust and R-Truth spend the whole match being hilarious. It’s short, with Breeze winning off a quick rollup. A lot of complaints about this one on Twitter, but I thought it was fine. Good comedy, everyone played their part well. I laughed. It was a nice way to break up the evening.

      The New Day prances out to the ring. They discuss Enzo Amore’s injury from last night. They show a picture of Enzo getting out of the hospital. Woods says they sent him a box of Booty-O’s cereal. The Vaudevillians interrupt. They say it’s a tough business but a real man would have gotten back up. “Last night we made Enzo Amore the realest guy in the emergency room.” Dudley Boyz’s fireworks go off. Bubba says they need to start the tag team tournament over. Devon starts to speak and Big Cass comes out. He says Vaudevillians attacked his family last night. He calls them and the Dudley’s SAAAAAAWFT and dives into the ring. Everybody starts brawling. Commercial break. When we return, eight man tag team with Cass and New Day vs Dudley’s and Vaudevillians. Evenly matched bout with all four men getting into offensive grooves. The Dudley’s isolate Xavier in the middle of the ring. Commercial break during the match. That’s disappointing. Naturally, Big Cass gets the hot tag. He absolutely destroys English with a bunch of slams and a hard elbow. He goes for the pin but Bubba stops the count. Cass takes out Gotch. Devon hits him and Bubba scoops him up for a slam. Cass kicks out at two. Devon tags in and they look for a 3D. Kpfo takes out Bubba. East River Crossing on Devon and Big Cass gets the pinfall win. Great match with a satisfying ending. Big Cass has the potential to be a big singles star. Interesting.

      Becky Lynch bounds to the ring. Her opponent is Emma. Respectable match, however they spend a whole lot of this one pulling each other’s hair which is definitely not what we need in the Women’s Division. Emma wins after she hits Becky in the eye behind the ref’s back. Not the best women’s match. Sasha Banks is missed.

      The Lunatic Fringe, Dean Ambrose, comes out after the break to host the Ambrose Asylum. He brings Stephanie out. Ambrose antagonizes her about Payback, and also about the Spear she took from Reigns at WrestleMania. He questions Shane’s dedication to the company and mentions all the sacrifices Steph has made. Steph officially cancels the Ambrose Asylum. Ambrose takes his potted plant, Mitch, and goes to leave. Steph introduces the host of the Highlight Reel, Chris Jericho. Ambrose puts Mitch on the steel steps and the two men stare each other down. Jericho is dressed like one of the faun from Narnia. Ambrose attacks him. They make their way into the ring and Y2J hits a Code Breaker on Ambrose. Jericho smashes Mitch into the back of Ambrose’s head. Okay segment. Nothing much new to be had here. We’ve seen this play out already. However, if this sets up an Extreme Rules match between these two, I suppose it’s forgivable.

      United States Championship battle royal up next. Last man standing becomes Number #1 Contender for the US title. Great to see Titus O’Neal back in action. Kalisto is sitting rindside. Baron Corbin and Ziggler have a brief, interesting little segment during the match. Commercial break while the match is still going on with 8 men left. (((sigh))) The final four gets down to Rusev, Del Rio and Sheamus, the former League of Nations partners, and Zack Ryder. It comes down to Rusev vs Zack Ryder. Rusev eliminates Ryder, becoming #1 Contender. Which sounds great, except when you consider John Cena comes back at the end of the month. Odds are Rusev takes the title from Kalisto only to once again drop it to Cena. Which means WWE broke up the League of Nations just to give Cena another title. I hope I’m wrong, but this is WWE Creative in a nutshell. Decent little battle royal with a not so great ending. Side bar: Ryback was supposed to be in this match, but reports around the web say he has been taken off TV indefinitely due to contract disputes with WWE.

      The Flair family comes to the ring. Charlotte and Ric say there was no controversy at Payback and the Harts quit like they always do. They call out ref Charles Robinson, aka Lil Naitch. Crowd starts a cheater chant. As Charlotte starts laughing, Natalya comes out and snatches the mic from the champ. She calls out Ric Flair then knocks Charlotte out of the ring. She slaps Ric and puts him in a Sharpshooter. She steals Flair’s watch, ring and jacket. Charlotte helps her father up the ramp. Okay, segment. But if the go-ahead plan isn’t a rematch for Nattie, this whole thing means very little. Also, still waiting on Sasha Banks… Well, sure enough, after the commercial break, Stephanie makes a rematch for Natalya vs Charlotte at Extreme Rules. It will be a Submission Match and Ric Flair will be banned from ringside. It’s about damn time.

      Tonight’s main event is the six man tag featuring Roman Reigns and The Usos vs Styles, Gallows, and Anderson. Styles and his “Club” come out first. Reigns and The Usos come out next and we have a match. Styles, who will appear on Sportscenter tomorrow night, starts off the match against Reigns. Fast paced match that kept the crowd engaged, but was oversold by Michael Cole. Styles gets the pinfall win. After the match, Gallows throws Reigns into the ring and Anderson grabs a steel chair. Gallows and Anderson hold Reigns and tell Styles to hit him with the chair. Styles refuses. The Usos hit Styles with the chair and clear the ring. Styles gets behind them and clocks them with chair shots. Roman sees this and jumps up. He lands a Superman Punch on Styles and throws him out of the ring. He tosses AJ into the barricade. Reigns throws Styles through the announce table. Audience boos.

      Not the best Raw ever, but it was entertaining enough to watch all the way through. Some funny moments, solid matches, and intriguing setups for future matches. Extreme Rules should be good, and everything after that should open the flood gates for some creative booking. Stephanie and Shane seem to be walking on eggshells and we really need more juice behind their decisions, they need to definitely play up the split. Sad to hear about Ryback. If he is done with WWE, I’m sure NJPW can find a place for him. WWE needs to elevate the next few weeks of Raw episodes in order to really get us excited about Extreme Rules.

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


2016 WWE Payback Live Review and Match Results


      WWE’s post-mania PPV is tonight, May 1st, in Rosemont, IL, and I’m enjoying a glass of wine and juicy steak while I get excited about the line up for the evening.  We have Renee Young, Corey Graves, Booker T, and Jerry Lawler on the preshow, which makes me wonder if Lawler will be replaced by someone else on the main event commentary.

      Our preshow kickoff starts with Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler. Moving this to the kickoff seems to be a poor choice, especially considering the huge pops both men received as they walked out to the arena. Corbin comes out strong and dominant, but Ziggler’s energy is high and he manages to eventually get Corbin to a knee with a sleeper hold. The action moves outside of the ring, where Corbin dominates and throws Ziggler into the steel post. As Corbin is arguing with the ref and maintaining dominance over a comatose Ziggler, Dolph suddenly comes back to life and scores a victory with a quick roll up. Normally, I don’t like these type of endings, but this was a shocker and was also Corbin’s first lost on the main roster. No doubt we will see Corbin back for revenge later on.

      Next up we have a great video package for the Zayn vs Owens match that leads into a Q&A with Sami Zayn. It’s clear that if you want your tweet to be on TV, you have to have a very WWE-themed twitter handle and ask a very easy question. Zayn is doing great answering the questions, but the interviewer is pretty flat.

      Up now, we have the US Title Match between reigning champion Kalisto and challenger Ryback. Once again, these two are competing on the preshow kickoff. As a diehard Ryback fan, I’m annoyed. Ryback comes out to some loud boos, which get louder when he starts to mock CM Punk’s entrance. It was brilliant. Push Ryback forever. Ryback comes out strong and dominant, ignoring the taunts from the crowd as he throws Kalisto around the ring. Kalisto manages to get the Big Guy to the floor outside of the ring, but Ryback gets control of the match back right before we go to a commercial. He’s the perfect heel, and I just noticed that his belt says “The Preshow Stopper.”  Ryback is gold. Ryback goes up to the top rope, but Kalisto ruins it with a well timed kick. Ryback gets control back quick and goes back to the top rope, but misses wildly, allowing Kalisto to regain control and pick up the win. I am very unhappy.

      Moving on to the main show, we start things off with The New Day, who are out to watch the Tag Team match to see who qualifies for a shot at their titles. I hated New Day when they debuted and now I can’t get enough. As New Day settle in with some snacks, Enzo and Cass come out to the arena. Enzo drops his mic and makes a show of running around to retrieve it as my husband and I yell along to his intro. The Vaudevillains are heavily booed; there is no question who the favorites are in this match. Enzo and Gotch start things off with a  very acrobatic display, and I just noticed the poop emoji on Enzo’s ass, which is the greatest accessory of the night so far. Enzo gets taken down after an ugly hit to the head, and the ref throws up an X, signaling the ringside doctor. A stretcher is brought out and the match is called, which is quite possibly the worst thing that could have happened. My heart goes out to Enzo; I hope he’s all right.  But the show must go on…

      We move into a video package for the Owens vs Zayn match, and Owens is the first to the ring to a lukewarm response as the crowd tries to move on from Enzo’s injury. These men are now also tasked with getting the crowd back into this event, and I don’t envy them this job.  I’m about to go get some vodka to numb the pain while Zayn throws Owens outside the ring and gets aggressive.  Owens quickly regains control and throws Zayn into the steel steps as we get an update that Enzo is being taken to a local hospital and is able to talk and move his arms. Owens seems pretty cocky at this point, nearly getting a pinfall victory and talking trash to the announce team. We’re getting a lot of near falls in this high energy match; it’s incredibly tense. The crowd is definitely back into it now. The action moves to the apron and Zayn is able to throw Owens onto the lip, sending him out of the ring and diving through the bottom rope to take Owens down with a DDT.  Owens is able to counter once they return to the ring, using a pop-up powerbomb to win the match. Owens throws Zayn out of the ring and forces Byron Saxton into the ring so he can force an interview and proclaim that he has finally beat Zayn and proved that he is the better man. He has announced his plan to win back “his” IC Title and then invites himself to the commentary table for the title match up next.

      The Miz will now defend his title against Cesaro, who returned from injury stronger than ever and with an interesting take on a 007 gimmick. The Miz gets the red carpet treatment as he walks out with wife Maryse, who looks like a circus ringmaster. Cesaro comes out to a strong showing from fans with Cesaro Section signs.  The Miz is getting destroyed thus far as his wife screams encouragement and Owens screams insults. Of course, Maryse gets involved to allow Miz to regain control. The most entertaining part of this match so far is Owens on commentary, but it’s difficult to follow Owens vs Zayn. Cesaro is pulled into a submission, but is able to turn it into a suplex and break free. Cesaro pins Miz a couple times for a near fall, but Miz is able to break free. Cesaro tries to get Miz up for the Swing, Miz counters, but Cesaro is still able to get the pin that is broken up when Miz gets his foot on the bottom rope. Out of NOWHERE, Zayn runs out to the ring and attacks Owens! In the ring, Cesaro hits the Swing for a dizzying 20 rotations, and then gets him in a crossface submission. Miz TAPS, but because Zayn and Owens begin fighting on the apron, the ref is distracted and Miz is able to steal the win via quick rollup. Owens is the only one left standing tall at the end of this mess, with the IC Title in hand. The IC Title suddenly means everything.

      Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose is up next. Ambrose says everything I secretly think about Jericho, only out loud, and I love it.  This feud is a lot like the Jericho vs Punk feud on Jericho’s side as he keeps repeating “I’m the best in the world at what I do.” My husband pointed out that this match could have used a stipulation, and I clouldn’t agree more. Ambrose is best when you give him accessories. A “Y2Jackass” chant starts.  Jericho looks tired, and if I’m being honest, even Ambrose seems to be holding back and is less enthusiastic than normal. Jericho locks in the Walls, but Ambrose is able to drag him from the center of the ring over to the ropes to force a break. The two move outside of the ring; Jericho’s face is bleeding and Ambrose is destroying the German announce table. Jericho is able to gently toss Ambrose into the timekeeper area and get back into the ring. This match has definitely picked it up from a slow start. We’re getting a lot of near falls now, and the crowd is hyped up. Ambrose tries for Dirty Deeds but Jericho counters and locks in the Walls again. Ambrose counters and gets the pin but Jericho kicks free. More near falls, and my kid is losing his mind. Ambrose finally hits Dirty Deeds and gets the win. Jericho leaves the ring to go attack paperwork and throw a fit.

      Mauro Ranallo conducts a brief interview with AJ Styles backstage before we move on to the Women’s Title Match. It feels so good to say “Women’s” instead of “Divas.” The champion is out first, followed by Natalya and  Bret Hart. I hope that Bret and Ric are able to keep to themselves and let both women have an honest one-on-one match. The crowd is behind Natalya and so am I. The Network drops for the first time tonight, which is likely the fault of the storms we’re having in Indiana.  Hopefully the weather doesn’t kill this PPV for us, because it’s been a great one so far. A “We Want Sasha” chant breaks out, and I get it; I was hoping The Boss would be champ at this point. Charlotte throws Natalya violently into the ropes and tries to go to the top rope, but is knocked off by Natalya. The action moves to outside the ring; the women get a bit sloppy, but are really holding their own thus far. Natalya is favoring her left leg but isn’t giving up. Charlotte is showboating and delivers a beautiful moonsault off the top rope to pin Natalya, who kicks free. Charlotte locks in a figure four and the match is called even though Natalya doesn’t tap out. In retaliation, the Harts lock Ric and Charlotte into figure fours to come out on top, but the fact remains that Charlotte won the match dishonestly once again.

      Vince McMahon comes out to the ring now, strutting confidently as we await his decision on Stephanie and Shane.  The crowd responds with a CM PUNK chant, but quiets down as Vince begins talking about the success of Monday Night Raw. Nevermind, they just got even louder with it. We will chant for Punk in Chicago forever. Vince invites Stephanie McMahon to the ring next. The crowd is booing so loud, I can barely hear what she is saying. She proclaims that the Network has hit 1.8 million subscribers as she showers herself with compliments and insults her brother. Shane has had enough and comes out to the ring doing his best White Boy dance. A deafening “Shane-O-Mac” chant rings through the arena, but Steph breaks it up by calling it pandering. Shane shows the crowd headline after headline that shows how great Raw has been since he was able to take charge. He continues to tear down his sister by accusing her of poisoning the company alongside Triple H. The crowd clearly supports Shane, but Steph insists that popularity isn’t what runs a business. Vince announces that he wants his children to either disembowel each other or learn to work together, because they both will be running Raw. What?

      We return to the preshow announce team briefly to recap the night’s events thus far. Up next, our main event; reigning champion Roman Reigns vs newcomer AJ Styles. A video package plays to show the build to this championship match and highlights the recent attacks from new signees Gallows and Anderson. The big question of the night is who is going to interfere in this match. We have The Wyatt Family on the Payback poster, and we also have the rumors of Finn Balor’s debut. Excited to see what will happen.

      After an update on Enzo’s condition (concussion, all other tests negative), Styles and Reigns enter the ring.  Reigns gets booed heavily, and no, Lawler, we’re not booing because we like to do it. A “Roman Sucks” chant rings through the arena as the match starts, followed by a loud “AJ Styles” chant. We’ve never been behind Reigns as champ, and the majority of fans are pulling for Styles to win tonight. A “You Can’t Wrestle” chant follows. I don’t know how much clearer it can be that Reigns is the wrong guy to be the face of this company. Styles forces Reigns out of the ring to get his bearings, and he takes his sweet time getting back into the match. Meanwhile, WWE tweets out an update; Enzo has been discharged from the hospital and is hopefully heading home to rest. His injury has cast a shadow over this PPV, but all the credit goes to the competitors; they have brought their A-Game and kept the crowd from getting down about the injury.

      The announce team again discusses Styles’ career, pointing out that he hasn’t “made it” until he earns the WWE title, which he hopes to do tonight. Reigns takes control of the match, showcasing his strength and throwing Styles around like a rag doll. This is a good showing from Reigns so far; he isn’t resorting to fist-cocking (yet). It’s only10:35pm, so a hell of a lot can happen before we crown our champion. Of course, as soon as I type it, Reigns cocks his damn fist. He tries for a Superman punch, but Styles counters with a kick to the head and puts the champ down. Styles is showing his experience and not holding anything back; he has an answer for everything Reigns is throwing at him. Styles is able to lock Reigns in a submission, but Reigns quickly gets to the ropes for the break. Styles jumps off the top rope to deliver a Phenomenal Forearm that crushes Reigns and the announce table. Styles makes it back to the ring and wins the match via count out. What a letdown the title won’t change hands and this was a lazy way to end it. That said, it’s only 10:42pm, and Shane’s music just hit!

      Shane restarts the match and declares that there will be no count outs, so the match continues! Styles is looking for a way to put the champ down for good, delivering a 450, but Reigns puts his knees up and goes for a pin. Both men go down after Reigns hits Styles with a low blow and gets disqualified, so Styles is called as the winner via DQ. Again, no title change. My husband called this; Steph’s music hits and she restarts the match with no disqualifications. The match will not end until we have a clear winner! Reigns violently knocks Styles out of the ring and throws him over the barricade and into the crowd. Reigns is all business at this point as he looks to put his challenger down, but Styles is able to counter and throw Reigns into the announce table. Reigns isn’t down for long; he delivers two Superman punches and starts with his showboaty nonsense. As he’s pandering to the crowd, Gallows and Anderson intervene and take Reigns down. Styles is struggling to get to his feet, but he manages to get back up and pin Reigns for the win; unfortunately Reigns is able to get his foot on the rope to stop the count. The Usos run out to the ring to attack Gallows and Anderson to even the odds, and Reigns steps in and throws Styles into the four brawling men outside of the ring. There is so much going on! Reigns jumps out of the ring to land on all 5 men, Styles quickly counters to get Reigns back into the ring so he can get a clean win. Reigns hit a spear and wins with a lazy cover, and the crowd goes mild. Great match, but not my ideal ending.

      Overall, this was an amazing PPV. For me, this topped WrestleMania. As Reigns is celebrating, we cut backstage to see the McMahons discussing Shane and Steph’s decisions regarding this main event. We’re also getting previews of what will come on Raw and what the plans will be for Extreme Rules in three weeks. It’s already been decided that Styles will have a rematch with Reigns at Extreme Rules, and I am excited to see what will happen next. For once, I have no complaints about anything that transpired tonight, except for Enzo’s untimely injury. See you all tomorrow night for Raw with Co-GM’s!

Article by Mrs Jamie BakerIMG_20140926_193145

WWE Payback Matchcard and Predictions


      WWE’s Payback PPV will take place tonight in Chicago, IL at the AllState Arena. My husband and I attended Payback in 2014 and had a blast, so if you’re in the area and attending, I am jealous. This was originally scheduled to take place on May 22nd in Newark, NJ, but was rescheduled. It will be the fourth Payback PPV in history. Every title but one is on the line tonight, plus we will find out the future of Shane McMahon and his sister, Stephanie. Let’s take a look at tonight’s matches and make some predictions.

      Kalisto (c) vs Ryback – United States Championship Match (Kickoff Show)

      For the second PPV in a row, the US Title will be defended on the pre-show kickoff, because the WWE clearly doesn’t care about making this title matter. Kalisto’s title reign is on track to become more useless than Dean Ambrose’s reign, and that’s pretty bad. What is the point of having this title if it’s ignored or shoved to the preshow on a consistent basis? Complaints aside, I’m hoping that these two go full force and give us a match that screams Main Event. I’m also pulling for The Big Guy 100%, which is no surprise.

      WINNER: Ryback

      Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho – Singles Match

      Jericho has thankfully moved on from bothering AJ Styles and calling him a rookie, and is now wrapped up in Ambrose’s antics. Ambrose shoved Jericho out of the way, replacing the Highlight Reel with the Ambrose Asylum. I thought that Jericho would be taking another break from in-ring action after his feud with Styles ended, but it looks like he’ll be sticking around for a few more months. Jericho may still “have it” if you listen to the fans, but for me, he’s best used in a part time capacity in limited matches. It’s unclear whether or not this match-up will be repeated in the future, but I hope it isn’t.

      WINNER: Dean Ambrose

      Enzo & Big Cass vs The Vaudevillains – #1 Contender Tag Team Championship Match

      I initially thought that the tag titles would be defended tonight, because that would make sense, but instead we’re getting the qualifying match to see who will face The New Day for the titles. I’m disappointed not to see a Tag Title match, but incredibly excited to see Enzo and Cass compete. They are among the most over wrestlers in the company right now, and for good reason. NXT took a hit when it lost these two, but I’m happy they finally got a well-deserved call up to the main roster. I hope that New Day takes over the commentary table for this match the way they did on Smackdown recently.

      WINNER: Enzo & Cass

      The Miz (c) vs Cesaro – Intercontinental Championship Match

      I love that The Miz keeps winning titles in underhanded, obnoxious ways. This time around, he stole the title from Zack Ryder 24 hours after he won it. I’m sadly not a fan of Maryse, Miz’s wife and new valet. She is joining the cast of Total Divas and will be on Raw and Smackdown for the foreseeable future as a way to promote her appearance on the reality series. Cesaro is back from injury with a new James Bond 007 gimmick that wasn’t necessary but not completely terrible either. I’m glad he’s back and still popular, and I’m hoping he wins tonight so he can have a decent run as champ. He’s earned it.

      WINNER: The Miz

      Charlotte (c) with Ric Flair vs Natalya with Bret Hart – Women’s Championship Match

      Fans want Sasha Banks to be champ. I want her to be champ. WWE wants Charlotte though, and they don’t want her without her daddy in tow. Adding Bret Hart to the mix is actually an interesting move. It evens the playing field so we can hopefully finally have an honest match instead of seeing Charlotte’s victories earned by her father instead of by her. My hope is that Ric and Bret entertain each other outside of the ring so that Charlotte and Natalya can have a true one-on-one. The worry here, of course, is that Bret helps Natalya win and she becomes the same sort of champion Charlotte is now.

      WINNER: Charlotte

      Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin – Singles Match

      I became a serious fan of Corbin after watching Breaking Ground and I’ve been enjoying his (squash) matches on Raw and Smackdown lately. He’s a powerhouse and his character feels genuine because it’s based on his personality to the letter. Ziggler is a good guy to have Corbin go against because he can make being hit by a light breeze look like getting mowed down by a freight train. I hate to see Ziggler jobbing, but if he has to job to someone, Corbin is a good choice. And maybe Ziggler doing the job now pays off for him in the future.

      WINNER: Baron Corbin

      Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens – Singles Match

      The build to this match has been phenomenal. Owens and Zayn have one hell of a history, and have gone from best friends to mortal enemies. I imagine that both men are excited about this one. Having worked with someone for so long and then both make it to the main roster of the WWE together has got to be a great feeling. This match has had so much hype behind it, you would think it was the main event. And rightly so; it’s about damn time we recognize real talent instead of the John Cena’s and Roman Reigns’s of the world being the only ones coming out on top. Regardless of how this turns out, I’m happy. It’s going to be fantastic and will also be a nice preview of what is to come when these two men finally main event a WWE PPV together (eg: WrestleMania 32?)

      WINNER: Kevin Owens

      Roman Reigns (c) vs AJ Styles – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

      I’m so confused about this match. I don’t know why Styles was thrown into the title picture so quickly, especially given all the “rookie” nonsense. No other male competitor has received a title shot so fast, and while Styles may deserve it, it is questionable given all the other seasoned talent on the roster. I’ve been working with the assumption that Seth Rollins will return at or around Summerslam, so I’m closely analyzing every move they make with the WHC belt. Styles makes no sense to me. As far as Reigns goes, it’s clear that we’re not going to have the strong and silent Reigns any time soon, so it’s also clear that I’m not getting on board with him. If I see him blow on his fist as if it is the barrel of a shotgun one more time, I’m going to lose it. I’m curious to see if The Authority makes an appearance during this match, especially since Triple H is due his rematch. Keep in mind the name of the show is “payback” so maybe HHH, Gallows and Anderson, or even Rollins comes out to get some.

      WINNER: Roman Reigns

Article by Mrs Jamie BakerIMG_20140926_193145