Disclaimer: I was in a bad mood when I wrote this so reader discretion advised. Read at your own risk.
Our constant readers may have noticed that the F2H family failed to post their usual live review articles about Smackdown Live’s No Mercy and last night’s Monday Night Raw. Have we lost faith in Vince McMahon’s promotion? Are we bored with the product? I’ll answer your question with a question: does a bear shit in the woods? In this instance, the bear is Sean Waltman and the woods is Rena Lesnar’s luggage; and the answer is an emphatic yes.
While on the surface the No Mercy pay-per-view seemed like a solid venture, when you scrutinize it even a little bit, the entire show folds like a wet house of cards. Here is a short list of some of the more cringe-worthy moments of the show. The pre-show featured Jerry Lawler awkwardly flirting and eye-fucking Nikki Bella, a 4-team tag match (overkill in any scenario) that included The Acesnsion, and Curt Hawkins big debut that was only a declaration by him that he would have a match on Tuesday.
Prior to the show, WWE announced the “main event” triple-threat would go on first to start the show, essentially confirming WWE’s lack of confidence in their own product, being fearful that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would pull viewers and bomb their PPV. Although the triple-threat was a decent match, it still featured yet another John Cena title attempt, grasping for the coveted Ric Flair record; and Dean Ambrose in the main event picture, a man with no charism, character evolution, or ability to carry a promotion as either a heel or babyface. And while AJ Styles put on a great outing, I am still watching him on NJPW every week on AXS-TV and his crimped style with WWE is nowhere near his best work in a ring.
No Mercy also featured Nikki Bella utilizing the antiquated 50/50 booking style of WWE in order to beat Carmella. Speaking of the women, Becky Lynch was suddenly injured and not competing. So we saw Naomi not only wrestle but defeat Alexa Bliss. Both finishes were weak and did nothing at all for the losers while barely giving a boost to the winners. The third women’s match of the night was between Jack Swagger and Baron Corbin. Yeah, I said it. Why is this on a pay-per-view? Nobody cares!
The highlight of the night was Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. This was an excellent match and the best on the entire card. Nothing to complain about here. The main event was Randy Orton taking on Bray Wyatt. Oh great, two of the weakest in-between heel/face chimeras in the entire company. Wyatt has strewn together infinitely more losses than wins. And Orton has been a watered down version of himself ever since returning from injury. The build to this match was terribly dis-interesting. And the big “twist” finish was a Luke Harper run in. This ended a pay-per-view in 2016.
Skip ahead to Monday Night Raw and now we’re really swimming out to the deep end with no life preservers. We’re talking about a show that surprisingly opened with Sasha Banks and Charlotte declaring they were having a rematch INSIDE Hell in a Cell. This was a groundbreaking moment…that was immediately cut short by Rusev interrupting. He insults both of them, along with all women’s wrestling (as does Lana) and hijacks what should have been an epic segment. Then Roman Reigns comes out and further buries the angle. Then, in all of Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley’s jaded wisdom, they put Charlotte on a team with Rusev against the team of Banks and Reigns. Despite Rusev belittling Charlotte, she now gets the “honor” of being his tag team partner.
Do you know why this segment happened? Because Kevin Dunn (a guy that probably has twenty Donald Trump signs in his yard) objectifies women and probably doesn’t think they can carry a moment on their own. They needed big, strong men to come out and bolster their credibility. “Nobody is going to buy women in the Cell! We need men to put it over!” Nevermind the fact that when you have a match with Roman Reigns, Rusev, Charlotte, Lana, and Sasha Banks, the only goddamn babyface in the entire thing is Banks. Reigns is not a face! But WWE continues to try and pair him with any one in order to try and persuade the crowd to oh and ah over him.
Then we have a match between Kofi Kingston and Cesaro. The big angle here is Sheamus sits ringside and tweets during the match. Oh, just brilliant fucking television. Really helps sell Cesaro and Sheamus as a team and absolutely helps make New Day look strong. *vomits in mouth, down onto Ultimate Warrior t-shirt*
Bayley comes out and wrestles Cami Fields. Who? Exactly. She beats a jobber and then gets attacked from behind by Dana Brooke (wearing a way-too-tight outfit) and then Brooke just stands there awkwardly like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights when he doesn’t know what to do with his hands. Brilliant. There were four horsewomen in NXT. Becky has the Smackdown Women’s Title. Sasha and Charlotte are breaking new ground fighting for the Raw Women’s Title. Meanwhile, Bayley is given about two minutes against someone named Cami Fields. Just a real career booster for her. Good job, Vince!
The newly formed Cruiserweight Division continues to get its legs cut out from underneath it as WWE, despite having three hours of television, just keeps hitting us with Cruiserweight tag-team matches. We get Tony Nese and Drew Gulak against Sin Cara and Lince Dorado. Without fanfare, Sin Cara is now suddenly in the division. Dorado spends the whole match carrying Sin Cara before picking up the win. According to Kevin Dunn and Vince McMahon, there are only two Cruiserweights named T.J. Perkins and Brian Kendrick. Anybody who isn’t them will just be the bathroom break match on Raw.
Then we come back from commercial to find Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas in the ring. Oh boy! That’ll really boost the ratings! Luckily we are saved by Enzo Amore and Big Cass. But before we can even see them wrestle, they are attacked by The Club. So let me get this straight. Cesaro and Sheamus, a team thrown together two weeks ago get to face New Day, but two of the top three tag teams on Raw have a segment with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel? Then WWE hits us with a bullshit 4-team tag at a PPV the night before? Why not save the multi-team matches for actual talent? I’d definitely watch New Day vs Enzo and Cass vs The Club any day.
Oh, but that segment isn’t even over. After The Club and Enzo and Cass leave, Axel and Dallas are still competing! They demand a team! So we have to suffer through not only them in a match, but a hastily thrown together Sami Zayn and Neville tag-team. Is Teddy Long running creative all of a sudden? We’ve had five matches so far and four of them have featured tag teams! Brilliant! I’m just as baffled as Vince as to why the ratings continue to tank. Fuck you, McMahon.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, we then are “treated” to a match between R-Truth and Titus O’Neal thrown together, on the premise, and I shit you not, of Truth trying to give O’Neal’s favorite candy bar to another wrestler. Now, while I can appreciate both men as they have skill and could be great if pushed properly (yeah right, as if that would ever happen), they certainly should not be in a match facing each other. Why, you might ask? Because they have a combined age of fucking 83. R-Truth is in his mid-forties and Titus is 39. This is not a live-TV match. This is not something you expose people to and then try to laugh off the sliding ratings to the board of directors. In simple terms, this is not a match you put on TV if you want people to take what you do seriously.
Backstage segment with Perkins and Kendrick showcasing the 50/50 booking again. I won’t even elaborate on any of that. Braun Strowman then squashes the “Splash Brothers” (who look like a Sheamus and Xavier Woods cosplay couple) and then asks Foley for stronger competition. If only Braun could be what he’s asking for: better talent. He has become a spectacle much like Big Show, Kane, and The Great Kahli before him. Vince will take a giant, twist and contort them, and turn them into a traveling freakshow.
And then the inter-gender match. Holy shit what a waste of time. Rusev and Charlotte against Reigns and Banks. The big creative ending here was Sasha making Charlotte tap to the Bank Statement timed perfectly with Reigns hitting Rusev with a spear. Been there, done that, played all the way out. Then Reigns and Banks stand with their arms in the air, smiling. As if Reigns was suddenly a good guy. Then T.J. Perkins defeated Jinder Mahal. Oh wait, that was Ariya Daivari. Another useless squash match doing nothing for anybody, including the viewers.
The main event was Seth Rollins versus Chris Jericho. Alright, I really can’t complain about this if I’m being fair and unbiased. It was a great match, highlight of the night for me. My only real gripe is that Jericho has main-evented a shit ton of Raw’s this year and did so again last night. Yes, Jericho is awesome. And his work these past few weeks with Kevin Owens has really been the crutch that has saved Raw from swirling into a black hole from wince there is no return. That being said, Jericho is older than both R-Truth and Titus O’Neal. Is the best WWE can do is to have a 45-year-old in the main event? Does that sound bonkers to anyone else? It says a lot about how incredibly talented and what great shape Y2J is in; but it also speaks volumes about how weak WWE thinks their own product is.
They don’t trust their youngers guys to do the job. They don’t have faith or confidence in their roster. And this is true across the board. Both Raw and Smackdown suffer from this inability to pull the trigger on younger talent. The result is getting a 39-year-old John Cena in a main event trying to get another world title. When is WWE going to move on? They speak of a new era and yet continue hitting us with out-to-pasture talent. Now the big hyped up sell is a potential match between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, a match about fifteen years too late between two men with a combined age of 88. Granted, both men are genetic anomalies (Lesnar more so on the chemically enhanced side) and will probably look great. But the point being is that WWE continues to live in the past. And the WWE Universe seems nostalgic to days gone by.
That’s why Sasha Banks gets a pop for mentioning Eddie Guerrero. That’s why Charlotte gets a “Woooooooooo!” every single time she mentions her dad. WWE doesn’t do anything to make their current talent relevant. They are censored and limited and forced to get over by mentioning long since retired or dead Superstars. It’s a vicious cycle all the way around. Fear, uncertainty, doubt; it all mixes together to make WWE unsure of their talent, the talent unsure of their place, and the fans unsure of why they should even give two shits about any of it. There are so many problems to list but I’m just one man and this article is already absurdly long. I have a love/hate relationship with WWE. It’s a frustrating partnership because I see the potential of what this company could be. As a kid I watched wrestling. Then I grew up. But wrestling never did. It plateaued and in some instances took a step back.
You can blame the break of kayfabe. You can blame the dirt sheets. You can blame the internet. You can even blame Vince for bringing too many promotions together and “killing the biz.” It doesn’t matter what the cause was. The effect is what truly matters, and in this case the effect is mediocre, unfulfilling, lazy, and often boring professional wrestling. CM Punk said it best: “Vince McMahon is a millionaire who should be a billionaire.” The reason why he isn’t is that the wrestling experience he presents is no longer thrilling to a certain extent. We demand more but WWE keeps coming up short. Smackdown Live is on tonight and we won’t be doing a live review for that either. If they want us to write something, they need to give us something worthwhile to write about. Until then, let the onslaught begin.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
True TNA fans have been looking forward to this all week long. It’s the culmination of many hard-working people in the pro-wrestling business. It’s TNA’s big event of the year, Bound For Glory. This year looks to be quite a whopper. The rumors still run rampant through the internet of Vince McMahon aggressively going after TNA. But we aren’t worried about that tonight. We just want to watch some great wrestling and a high-quality program. Without further ado, TNA’s 2016 Bound For Glory.
Editor’s Note: We predicted yesterday that Aron Rex would win the Grand Championship over Drew Galloway. Unfortunately after an epic Lethal Lockdown on Thursday’s Impact on POP episode, Galloway is out with a legit injury. Instead Aron Rex will face Eddie Edwards on tonight’s show.
The show kicks off with Broken Matt Hardy playing piano with his son, King Maxell. There is a cool storytelling graphic and Matt tells Maxell a story about his Broken Brilliance and the journey thus far. A packed arena greets the opening of the program as Pope and Josh Mathews are ringside for commentary. Our first bout is an impromptu X-Division Championship. This wasn’t on the official card and is a surprise for most fans. DJ Z defends his belt against the aggressive Trevor Lee. The bell rings and Lee tries going after DJ Z, but he can’t get a leg up as DJ Z has a counter for every move. Trevor Lee rolls out of the ring to regroup.
He rolls back in the ring and DJ Z continues the attack. Crowd is lively in Orlando. Arm drag take down by DJ Z and he covers, but Trevor Lee kicks out at two. Minor grappling here in the early goings. Neither man has taken to the skies yet. DJ Z knocks Lee out of the ring and then baseball slide dropkicks him to the floor. He gets him back in the ring, tries a springboard but Lee counters kicking him off the apron. He gets on the apron and penalty kicks DJ Z to the floor with a vicious boot. Great execution on that and well sold by DJ Z. Lee gets DJ Z back in the ring and covers, but kickout at two. Lee goes off the top rope but DJ Z hits him with a flapjack.
DJ Z sets Lee up on the top rope and and hits him with a hurricanrana, throwing him to the mat. DJ Z goes on the attack, but Lee rolls out of the ring. DJ Z flips over the top rope and takes his opponent down. Trevor Lee hops up, runs in the ring and does a suicide dive onto DJ Z. Z gets in the ring, and dives out onto Trevor Lee! Awesome action. This crowd is really great so far, adding a lot of energy to the match. DJ Z hits him with a reverse hurricanrana, then tries a ZDT but it’s blocked. Huge suplex into a bridge by Lee and he covers DJ Z. Kick out at two. Crowd starts a “This Is Awesome!” chant.
The pair trade offense until Trevor Lee hits a double stomp, planting DJ Z. He kicks DJ Z in the side of the head and covers. DJ Z kicks out at two. In anger, Trevor Lee grabs the ref. He raises a fist but doesn’t strike him. DJ Z hits some sort of flipping suplex/powerbomb into a ZDT and steals the show right out of the gate! He covers and retains via pinfall victory. What an excellent match. That got the show off to a super strong start. Nice job to both men.
Jessie Godderz comes down as the first entrant in the 10-Man Gauntlet Bound For Gold Match. Last man standing in this one gets a world title shot. Rockstar Spud comes down next, looking angry. Godderz dominates Spud most of the opening minutes that is until Spud low-blows him. Braxton Sutter is the next entrant and he goes right at Spud. No love lost between these two. Sutter and Godderz double team Spud, stomping him in the corner. Eli Drake comes out next and damn near gets eliminated as soon as he steps into the ring. He recovers and eliminates Braxton Sutter! Robbie E is next up and he comes in and takes down both Rockstar Spud and Eli Drake. The Bro Mans plant Spud and then Robbie E tries to eliminate Godderz. Jessie dropkicks Robbie. Baron Dax comes out next as the crowd starts a chant for Rockstar Spud.
Grado comes out next, fanny pack in tow. Grado dances into the ring, across it, and then gets eliminated. He keeps dancing and walks back up the ramp to the back. HaHa. The Bro Mans work in tandem again, trying to eliminated Eli Drake. Basile Baraka runs in and works with his tag partner Dax to go after everybody. Robbie E and Baraka fight on the apron and knock each other out of the match. Tyrus comes out as Dax is eliminated by Godderz. Spud tries to get Tyrus to work with him but instead Tyrus easily tosses him over the top rope. Mahabali Shera comes out and squares up to Tyrus. He chops Shera and then splashes on him in the corner. Shera picks Tyrus up to slam him but Eli Drake stops him and then eliminates him. Godderz attacks Drake from behind and tries to eliminate him but Drake catches the bottom rope with his feet and hangs on. Tyrus plants Godderz with a slam. Godderz tries to spill Tyrus over the top rope. Eli Drake sneaks in and eliminates both Tyrus and Godderz at the same time!
After a brief segment with Gail Kim’s husband, Robert Irvine, Mike Bennett comes to the ring, solo. The Miracle is set to take on Moose in singles action. A bunch of uniformed football players bring Moose out. The bell rings and Bennett runs out of the ring. Moose chases him around and into the ring. Bennett slams Moose into a chair on the outside and tries to leap off the apron onto him. But Moose catches him and throws him into the corner post. Bennett drops Moose on his back on the steel steps. Back in the ring, Bennett chops Moose in the corner. Moose counters and chops Bennett. He runs at The Miracle, but Bennett counters, taking Moose out at the knee.
Bennett locks up Moose’s leg in a submission. He punches Moose in the knee. Moose crawls to the bottom rope for the break. Huge clothesline for Moose but he only gets a two count on Bennett. Bennett rakes Moose’s eyes and hits a DDT and a pile driver. He covers, but Moose narrowly kicks out. Bennett turns the Moose Crossing into a diamond cutter and covers. Near fall for Moose, but he manages to kick out. Moose hits a spinning clothesline Knockout Shot and covers for the pinfall victory over his former friend. Solid match, but didn’t wow me to be honest.
Eddie Edwards going head to head with Aron Rex up next for the Grand Championship. For this “special event” tournament the matches will be five minutes instead of three. Rex comes out of the gate aggressive, but Eddie slows things down. This one spills outside the ring and Eddie takes out Rex right near a judge. He tries to flip out on him, but Rex grabs him and slams him into the steel barricade. Missile dropkick by Eddie and he covers. Rex kicks out at two. The bell rings and we go to the judges. They award the first match to Eddie Edwards.
Aron Rex is much more aggressive to start the second match. He hits lots of offense and tries for a couple of pinfalls. About halfway through the match Aron Rex gets Edwards in a leglock submission. The lights go out. Apparently there is an electrical issue. The two get a spotlight and keep fighting as Eddie breaks the hold. The lights come back up and the crowd goes wild. Eddie leaps off the top rope but Rex counters it into another unique submission. The bell rings and the judges give round two to Aron Rex.
Eddie Edwards gets a near fall at the start of the third match. He keeps clutching at his knee though, and Aron Rex takes control. The third round is pretty evenly split. Both men are winded and they continue to hold on. Eddie tries a moonsault off the top rope, but Rex moves. He goes for a Revelator, but Eddie counters with a clothesline. He hits a Shining Wizard and both men are down with 10 seconds left. On their knees, both guys trade punches. The bell rings and the ref has to try and separate them because they won’t stop fighting. The judges give it to Aron Rex via split decision. He is the first ever Grand Champion. Crowd actually boos. And I sort of agree. Aron Rex shouldn’t have just walked in for only his second match and win a brand new title. Should have gone to someone who has been in TNA for awhile. Seems like a poor decision. Really solid three rounds of wrestling, but I question the final outcome.
Christy Hemme comes to the ring. She brings out Taryn Terrell. Both ladies praise Gail Kim. They bring out Awesome Kong, who says she is so proud of Gail Kim. Christy brings out Dixie Carter. The air goes out of the room a little bit. She praises the work and career of Gail Kim and then brings out the 2016 Hall of Fame inductee. Awesome promo package for Gail Kim’s epic career. Gail gives a speech saying her job is not a job. She loves what she does. She said wrestling is her passion. She thanks dozens of people and her husband. And she thanks the fans. Dixie Carter then gives her a retirement watch. And I just about died laughing on my couch. A retirement watch! HaHaHa!
The Great War is up next between Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy and Decay. Reby is at the top of the ramp in a red gown, sitting in front of a grand piano. She plays Broken Matt Hardy out. The crowd starts a delete chant. Crowd in a frenzy as Broken Jeff Hardy comes out. He starts singing his obsolete theme song and the crowd finishes it with a shout of “Obsolete!” Matt and Jeff get in the ring and chant delete along with the crowd. Decay creeps out to the ring. All three members of Decay spit mist into the eyes of Reby after the bell rings. That’s unfortunate. Reby is helped out of the arena by a ref. The first weapon is a trash can wielded by Crazzy Steve as he smashes it against Matt Hardy. Steve holds the can against his face and Rosemary leaps across the ring and dropkicks it into his face. Steve bites the forehead of Matt.
Abyss has a staple gun he is trying to use against Jeff Hardy in the ring. Jeff tries to flip him over but Abyss blocks it and shoots a staple into Jeff’s forehead. Matt and Abyss fight up beside the ramp and behind the curtain to the back. Abyss throws Matt into a bunch of chairs. This part is hard to see because the light is limited. Abyss puts Matt into a trash can. Abyss hits the ref and knocks him out. Jeff and Steve are off fighting somewhere else in the back. Steve throws a ladder into Jeff’s face and then bites his finger. Then he clobbers him with a music stand. Abyss and Matt are now outside in front of the Universal Orlando sign. Steve throws water on Jeff from Matt’s Lake of Reincarnation. He gets the ref to cover, but Jeff has magically vanished. Pumpkins start being thrown at Steve. Matt and Abyss are outside near a parking lot. Jeff is some new character. He throws watermelon at the ref. He throws Steve against a wall. Matt and Abyss fight onto someone’s car who starts honking at them. What in the hell is going on?
Rosemary attacks Jeff and gets him off Steve. She turns around and Jeff puts a pumpkin on her head. She spits mist in his face and then Steve attacks him. Steve sends Rosemary to help Abyss. Matt is punching Abyss on the back of the head yelling delete, delete, delete. Abyss tosses him against a U-Haul truck. He starts choking Matt, Rosemary comes up with Janis. A truck pulls up and a guy gets out. It’s the guy Decay carjacked a few weeks ago. He tries to attack Abyss, but he gets thrown into a bunch of bushes. Jeff transforms into Willow and attacks Steve. Matt Hardy has fireballs in his hands. He throws one at Abyss and Janis catches on fire. Matt and Abyss fight on the back of a moving truck as Rosemary drives. The truck pulls over and Vanguard shoots mist at Rosemary. Willow throws Steve against a ladder and covers. The ref only gets to two before he kicks out.
Willow and Steve fight back out into the arena and the crowd starts a TNA chant. Willow gets a big ladder. Steve throws Willow into the steel steps. Then hits him with a cannonball against the steel step. Abyss and Matt arrive back at the arena and they fight back into the crowd. Abyss suplexes Matt against the entrance ramp. Willow goes under the ring and comes back out at Jeff Hardy. Abyss gets a bag of thumbtacks out. Twist of Fate on Abyss by Matt and then a swanton by Jeff. Abyss kicks out. He takes down both Hardy’s and throws Steve onto Matt. He covers, but Jeff breaks it up. Abyss gets out a board with barbed wire on it. He gets another and both boards are in the ring. Matt pours the thumbtacks on one of the boards. He slide slams Abyss onto the board. He lifts the other board up and puts it barb-wired face-first on Abyss. Matt jumps off the top rope and drops an elbow on the board. He covers, but Rosemary breaks it up.
Matt goes after Rosemary on the apron. She looks ready to spit mist on him, but Reby runs in and plants Rosemary right into a table! Jeff puts a chair on Steve’s neck and slams him into the turnbuckle. Matt hits him with a neckbreaker, with the chair still on his neck! Crowd starts a “This Is Awesome!” chant. Matt sets up two tables. He gets on the mic and tells Jeff to indulge in his spot-monkey addiction. Jeff sets up a ladder. Matt puts Steve on a table. Jeff flips over the ladder and hits a swanton on Steve breaking both tables. He covers and Matt and Jeff Hardy are the new TNA Tag Team Champions! Wow! What a match! This match was worth the $50 just for that match. I enjoyed every minute of that. I can’t wait to see what Matt and Jeff are going to do next.
Christy Hemme brings out Gail Kim set to take on Maria Kanellis-Bennett for the Knockouts Championship. Maria comes out with Allie. She says the doctor said her hand is broken and she can’t compete. Allie grabs the mic and says she misunderstood and the doctor said she is clear. Maria refuses to get in the ring. Gail gets out to get her and Maria slaps her in the face. The ref rings the bell as Gail chases her. Allie gets in the way by accident and Maria takes advantage. She gets Gail in the ring and beats her down. Mike Bennett comes out and throws Maria her brace. He distracts the ref as Maria hits Gail with the brace. Maria covers, but Gail kicks out on a long two. Allie gets the brace and Maria screams to give it to her. The crowd chants no.
Allie throws it over Maria’s head and Gail catches it. She offers it to Maria. When she goes to grab it, she tosses it out of the ring. Gail ties Maria up in a figure-four leglock off the ring post. She has to break at five. She flips Maria off with both birds, hits Eat the Feet and covers. Gail Kim wins her sixth Knockouts Championship! Predictable, but still the right call. Hopefully Maria can just fade away into background noise now. Mike Bennett checks on his wife as the crowd chants for Allie. Mike gets on the mic and says, “It wasn’t supposed to happen like this!” Mike says he is shutting the show down. He says there isn’t a damn person who can stop him. The lights go out. Cody and Brandi Rhodes appear at the top of the ramp. Crowd goes wild. He squares off with Mike as the crowd chants his name. Maria gets in her face. Brandi steps up. Maria slaps her. Brandi knees her out of the ring. Cody goes after Mike and hits Beautiful Disaster. Welcome to the Impact Zone, Baby Rhodes!
Time for tonight’s main event! Ethan Carter III comes to the ring to challenge Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Championship. This match is no holds barred. As Jeremy Borash is introducing EC3, Lashley Spears him out of the ring. He then makes Borash introduce him. Lashley stands alone in the ring with his arms raised. EC3 is down outside the ring against the barricade. EC3 screams, “Ring the fucking bell!” And the match begins. Lashley goes right after him in the corner. He lifts EC3 up and dumps him out of the ring. Lashley clotheslines EC3 to the mat and then stands, flexing his biceps. Lashley hits a devastating suplex. EC3 recovers with some forearms and he spins Lashley over the top rope. EC3 hits a suicide dive outside the ring, taking Lashley down. EC3 suplexs Lashley on the floor outside the ring.
EC3 chops Lashley against the barricade. EC3 throws Lashley into the steel steps. But Lashley hits a massive spinebuster on the entrance ramp! Ouch! Lashley gets EC3 back in the ring and continues running the table. EC3 dropkicks Lashley and then hits a neckbreaker. EC3 covers, but Lashley kicks out. Lashley explodes out of the corner with another spear. He covers, but EC3 kicks out. Lashley attempts a torture rack, but EC3 pulls him down and tries a triangle hold. But Lashley stands up and suplexes him. Goodness. EC3 tries a One Per-center, but Lashley counters into a super slam. Lashley rolls out of the ring and gets the world title. Lashley misses with the title and EC3 hits a TK3. Both men down and the ref starts a ten count.
They recover and this time EC3 hits Lashley with a spear. EC3 calls Lashley a piece of shit right before hitting TK3 on the steel steps, but Lashley falls awkwardly and unfortunately it’s a botch. EC3 gets Lashley in the ring. EC3 hits a frog splash off the top rope. He covers, but Lashley kicks out. EC3 misses with a splash in the corner and Lashley makes him pay for it with another spear. Kickout at two by EC3. Lashley gets a steel chair. He hits EC3 on the back three times. Then hits him in the gut and on the back again. Five more chair shots to the back. Lashley slams EC3 and then puts him in a headlock, but unlike last Thursday EC3 does not pass out. He fights back and hits Lashley with three suplexes. EC3 hits One Per-center and the crowd thinks it’s over, but Lashley kicks out! EC3 gets the chair and hits Lashley with it. EC3 gets Lashley up on the top rope. He chops him but Lashley knocks him off and then spears EC3 from the top rope. He covers and that’s all she wrote. Lashley retains!
That was a hell of a main event. There wasn’t a flat match on the card tonight. Although Maria was sloppy and kept screwing up moves while facing Gail Kim. But each bout held a story and each finish completed a chapter. I felt that was $50 well spent. I hope TNA doesn’t go under. Drew Galloway might have dropped a tease earlier in the night when he mentioned Billy Corgan buying the company. If that works out, we will hopefully get many more years of TNA. I look forward to this Thursday’s episode on Pop. What did you all think about tonight’s broadcast? What was your favorite match? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to checkout the King of the Mountain Podcast as I’m sure they will be doing a massive review of the pay-per-view. Thanks for reading. See you all tomorrow for Monday Night Raw.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
CM Punk quit wrestling. And although this is a wrestling blog, first and foremost we are a fighting sports household and we support all things Phil and AJ Brooks. As such, we were crazy excited to learn that CM Punk was trying his hand at UFC. Plagued by uncertainty and injuries, some doubted we would ever get to this moment. Nobody took Punk seriously. In fact, most thought Punk would be embarrassed beyond words. “Tonight’s going to be fun. You’re going to see a celebrity get beat up.” Those were the sentiments of Mickey Gall, Punk’s opponent this evening.
The stage was set for Punk to put his entire reputation on the line. Win or lose, the entire world was watching. And when the smoke cleared and the dust settled… CM Punk was not victorious. And now, a play by play of the actual match.
Mickey Gall walks out to the song “Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine” fixing his hair and looking like a frat boy who just got acquitted of his rape charges. For all the shit he talked during the last few weeks, he does not at all carry himself as a confident man. He nearly drops his mouthpiece when he fumbles to put it in. He dances to his obnoxious song. For all outward appearances, he does not seem to be taking the fight very seriously which could cost him. Then again, maybe he just doesn’t see Punk as a threat.
Meanwhile CM Punk comes out to his Cult of Personality entrance song he used in WWE. He laughs at the crowd’s reaction, then wipes the smile off his face and comes out wide eyed and looking about as anxious as a man having a debut fight on a live PPV can be. This isn’t wrestling. It isn’t pre-determined. Punches aren’t pulled here. Punk is in a whole other league. Time to sink or swim. Joe Rogan says he is excited to see this fight because he has no idea what to expect, and says to do this with no previous experience at his age means Punk has balls. When Punk takes his shirt off he looks ready. He is slimmed, muscular and ready to go. Punk enters and Gall smirks and follows him around the ring. Vegas odds are +300 for CM Punk, the clear underdog here.
Just before the ref starts the match, the crowd starts a CM Punk chant. Right out of the gate, Gall takes Punk down and lands several big shots. It is ugly and scary. Gall gets on Punk’s back and tries for a choke hold. Punk manages to block it momentarily. Choke is locked in. Punk gets out of it. A few moments later, Punk is bleeding. Gall gets the choke hold in and Punk taps the mat. The ref calls it. The crowd boos Gall and he mouths, “What did you think was going to happen?” Of course he did, immature kid. After the doctor checks on him, Punk goes over and congratulates Gall and raises his arm in victory.
Punk’s left ear and his face is bloodied and swollen in parts. He looks on the verge of tears and who can blame him? He worked his ass off for this and it was over in a matter of seconds. After watching The Evolution of CM Punk, I really wanted the guy to either win or at least go the distance. It wasn’t meant to be. Too old, too outclassed. It’s a shame. After the fight Punk tells Joe Rogan it has been the second best night of his life after marrying AJ. And he assures the crowd he will be back. Face To Heel wishes Punk all the best and hope he lives to fight another day. One loss isn’t a career. To put things in perspective, even Brock Lesnar has lost fights. And we’re pretty sure CM Punk isn’t on steroids. What did you think of the fight? Does Punk have the bones of a fighter that he can build upon and come back to win future fights? Let us know in the comments below.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
It’s not often that the F2H family gets to cover Ring of Honor. Unfortunately, our cable provider doesn’t air their regular broadcast. So we really only ever get to “stream” the pay-per-views. We do, however, cover New Japan Pro Wrestling. And tonight that world famous organization clashes with the ROH all stars to bring us one epic night from Las Vegas!
We start things off with Kamaitachi vs Jay White vs Donovan Dijak (accompanied by Prince Nana) vs Lio Rush in a four-way to determine the #1 Contender for the Ring of Honor Television Championship. Rush and White clear the ring and go after each other with lots of speedy, high-flying moves. This one is hard to follow as there is one fight going on outside the ring and another inside the ring, and at the same time it’s supposed to be a tag match. Weird booking. But the action is fun and there isn’t a dull moment. Jay White takes control of the match with European uppercuts to all his competitors. Lio Rush is fast as hell and he’s taking down guys left and right! Can barely keep up with this one. Some really amazing moves from all four guys. The crowd is in a frenzy. Dijak does a corkscrew senton off the top rope to take down all three guys outside the ring. That big man can get up! Dijak hits Feast Your Eyes finisher on Lio Rush and becomes the #1 Contender to the TV title. That was a thrilling match to kick off the show. Great job to all four guys. Wow!
“The Last Real Man,” Silas Young comes out next to take on NJPW royalty in Katsuyori Shibata. Crowd starts a Shibata chant as soon as he hits the ring. Strong grappling to start this one. Shibata gets Young against the ropes and they break apart. Slingshot over the top rope and Young takes Shibata down. Really great technical style hoss match. Big, powerful moves and skilled action. These guys came to play. Shibata is always a pleasure to watch. Moonsault by Young and he covers, the ref counts three but Shibata leans up and the ref says it was only two. Young cusses the ref out, but keeps fighting. Rear naked choke by Shibata then a Penalty Kick by Shibata into a cover for the win. Spotty finish, mostly because the ref fucked up. But overall another entertaining battle. After the match, the two slap each other and then shake hands. Crowd applauds.
Bullet Club vs Chaos in a 6-man tag up next. Don’t know a lot about the six guys in this match, or even their names. But the match overall is a fun spot-fest that fires the crowd up. The turnbuckle pad is used as a weapon at one point and this whole thing breaks down into utter madness as all six men get in the ring to brawl. Chaos wins this one, but after The Bullet Club just beats the hell out of them. Hangman Page comes down and starts putting the noose on Tama Tonga’s neck. Jay Briscoe runs in to save the day. Briscoe and Page square off, a new ref comes out and this match is underway! No holds barred!
Briscoe and Page grab chairs and whack them together. Full on fist shots by Briscoe as Page is on the mat. Briscoe flies into the crowd as he topples Page into the barricade. Crowd starts a “Man Up!” chant. Briscoe suplexes Page on the ramp. Back in the ring Briscoe uses Hangman’s noose and wraps it around Page’s neck. But Page recovers and throws a steel chair in Jay’s face. Page’s turn to use the noose as he chokes Briscoe against the ropes. Ref can’t do anything here, as we have no rules! Submission hold hanging off the rope as Briscoe is being choked by the noose. Outside the ring, Page powerbombs Briscoe into a chair. He uses the noose to tie up Briscoe’s hands on the barricade. Page grabs a chair, kicks Jay in the head, and hits him with the chair. Then spits on him. Page searches under the ring, and pulls out a table. Page sets Briscoe up on the ring apron, lifts him, but fails. Briscoe blocks it and falls into the ring. Page grabs another chair. The two trade blows in the ring and Briscoe flips Page onto the chair as it lays flat on the mat. Page spits right in Briscoe’s eyes. Neckbreaker by an enraged Briscoe. He picks up the chair. He puts the chair over Page’s throat and kicks the bottom of it, then hits a spinning neckbreaker. Crowd erupts. Jay sets the chair up in the corner through the second and third ropes. He puts Page’s face against it and then wraps the noose around his neck. He ties the noose around the top rope. He runs and leaps into Page, once. Twice. And a third time as the crowd chants “One More Time!” Huge clothesline into a two count, but Page kicks out. Briscoe tries to use the table, but Page moves and nothing happens.
Page puts the noose around Briscoe’s neck and tries to hang him off the rope but Briscoe blocks it. Page drops him outside the ring. Page tries a flip off the apron but catches a big boot right to the face. Crowd explodes. He rolls Page up onto the apron and sets him up for a powerbomb into the setup table. But Page blocks it and slams Briscoe head first into the table. Page lands badly though, and gashes his knee open pretty badly. It starts running blood down his leg. Something white is sticking out of it. Briscoe’s back is bleeding. They roll into the ring and Page tries a pin but Jay barely kicks out. Page wraps the noose around his neck and tries to choke out Briscoe. His face turns red as blood oozes down his back. Crowd starts another “Man Up!” chant. Right of Passage finisher by Hangman Page. He covers and that’s all she wrote! Page defeats Briscoe. Goodness! What a match! One of the best things I’ve seen all week in the world of pro-wrestling.
Dalton Castle peacocks to the ring to take on “The Rainmaker,” Kazuchika Okada, in another NJPW and ROH square off. Let the streamers fly! Okada is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, so this is a huge match for Dalton Castle’s career. Win or lose, he’s got to bring it. Crowd is hyped for both competitors as they enter the ring. Split chant from the crowd before the bell rings. First ever matchup between these two, and both shake hands before they begin. Respect from both as the match starts slow, with both feeling out the other. Crowd continues chanting for them both. Clever back and forth at the start, setting up a good story in the ring. Okada hits a big move and Dalton’s Boys come up on the apron to fan him off, showing their own fangirl appreciation. Ha! Running knee on the apron and Castle takes over. Okada falls to the floor outside the ring. Slow grind for a few moments as Castle puts on some holds down on the ring mat. Castle did a Hurricanrana to throw Okada out of the ring. Back in the ring, Okada kicks out at two but then takes a toss by Castle, who has really taken control of this match. Castle suplexes into a bridge and pins Okada. Narrow kick out at two and a half.
The Boys get in the ring to interfere but Okada stops them. He leaps off the top rope and drops an elbow on a prone Castle. Castle pops up and spins Okada around on his shoulder, hits Bangarang and goes for a cover, but Okada rolls out of the ring. Ref starts a ten count. Castle comes out, stopping the count. He pushes Okada into the ring. Suplex on Okada, another two count. Okada hits a Tombstone Piledriver on Castle and then sets him up for the Rainmaker. One. Two. Three. And that’s the ball game. Okada wins in a really exceptional match. Dalton Castle came into his own skin and this one was just another great bout on what has been an off the charts match card so far tonight.
The Television Championship title is on the line next as Mark Briscoe challenges Bobby Fish. Grappling into ground work submission to start. Then see-saw strike trading. The pace is slow, but they are trying to do something here. The animosity is palpable. A fantastic running reverse neckbreaker by Briscoe off the arpon. Then he slams Fish back first onto the apron. Off the apron again, Briscoe drops a running elbow on Fish. Back in the ring, Fish takes control working Briscoe’s back and leg. Briscoe fights back and tries a pinfall. His back is hurting him and his offense has been hindered. Fish gets him up and down with a double knee shot. The story told throughout this one is great. It was easy to get emotionally invested. Powerbomb by Briscoe, and he takes to the tap rope. He drops a frog-splash elbow on Fish. Narrow kick out and the crowd can’t believe it. The two trade blows on the top rope and Briscoe takes a hard suplex on his neck. Fish tosses him into the corner and suplexes him down for the count. Three seconds later and Fish retains. Now that was an old school type of wrestling match. Really loved that one. No hard feelings afterward as both men shake hands in the ring. All love and respect. The crowd just got a real treat with these two.
Triple threat tag team match for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship up next. Tetsuya Naito and Evil vs Michael Eglin and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs the current champs The Addiction. Glad for this match as the introduction of all three teams is long and drawn out so I finally get a break to grab a beer and take a piss. This has been non-stop action all night. I’m exhausted! Naito and Tanahashi start the match off. But its short lived as Christopher Daniels tags himself in on Tanahashi. Naito plays mind games and then hip-tosses Daniels out of the ring. Naito tags in Evil and they double team Daniels. Eglin and Kazarian tag in. The Addiction take over the match and isolate Tanahashi in their corner. Naito tags himself in and then he and Evil double team Tanahashi. Then Naito and Evil go after The Addiction. We lose track of who the two legal men are. Kazarian and Eglin are, apparently. Eglin wallops Kazarian in the corner. Eglin double suplexes The Addiction! All hell breaks loose with people diving out of the ring and guys being thrown into the barricades. Crowd is eating it up. The action is incredible. The ref gets distracted and Daniels accidentally clocks Kazarian with the title belt. Tanahashi hits a Slingblade on Evil. Tanahashi goes for a High Fly Flow, Daniels tags himself in unbeknownst to Tanahashi, who lands on Evil. Daniels runs in and covers both, as the legal man and The Addiction retains! Clever finish! I liked that alot.
The Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship is on the line next as Adam Cole challenges Jay Lethal in a match that has been many months in the making. Lethal goes to work early, with some huge chops in the corners. Cole recovers and stomps him. Lethal ducks, as Cole goes over the top rope. Outside the ring, Lethal continues chopping. Then a dropkick to the back and Cole is down. Lethal checks under the ring but comes back empty handed. He dropkicks Cole again. He checks another side of the ring and comes out again with nothing. He walks around the ring and on the third side, he pulls out a table. Lethal props Cole against the table and climbs to the top rope. Lethal jumps but Cole moves and Lethal throws himself into the table. Lethal’s head is now busted open and bleeding. Cole throws Lethal against the ring post. The champion is reeling now. Lethal has a contusion on his lower back. Looks nasty. Both table spots tonight have been brutal with men landing badly and getting hurt.
Lethal dropkicks Cole out of the ring. He runs, bouncing off the ropes and dives out onto Cole. He does it again and again with the second and third times sending Cole into the barricade. And a fourth time. Then a fifth. Crowd is rowdy. A sixth dive and this time Cole counters, throwing Lethal into the barricade. Cole throws the champ into the ring. The two trade punches in the middle of the ring. Cole spits on Lethal and then hits a Shining Wizard. Only a two count on the champion. Cole sets up in the corner, stomping his foot for a super kick. Lethal stands, moves out of the way and clotheslines the challenger to the mat. Low blow by Cole and the ref doesn’t see it. A cover, but Lethal gets his leg on the rope at the last possible second to keep hanging on. Cole locks on a sleeper hold and Lethal starts to fade. Lethal fights back and hits the Lethal Combination. Both men down, gasping for air. Lethal covers, two count. Lethal suplexes Cole. And again. The champ climbs to the top rope. He drops an elbow and covers Cole. Two count. The two trade kicks back and forth to the crowd’s chagrin. Lethal tries his finisher, but Cole lands a super kick. Cole hits two Last Shots but Lethal kicks out! Cole screams, “The title is mine! You ain’t shit!” Then he spits on Lethal. Lethal hits the Lethal Injection but Cole kicks out. Crowd is out of their minds! “This Is Awesome!” chant. Last Shot, Shining Wizard, Last Shot by Cole and he covers Lethal to take the title! Oh my! The world title changes hands! Jay Lethal put on the fight of his life but just couldn’t over come! A fantastic sports spectacle! Now, THAT is pro-wrestling. Cole doesn’t realize that Kyle O’Riley has crept up behind him. He turns and O’Riley clobbers him to end the show.
A fantastic crowd in Las Vegas tonight, helped to feed the atmosphere and make each wrestler feel welcomed. All competitors brought their A-game and the night flew by. There wasn’t a bad match on the card, at all. There were no lulls in action, there wasn’t even time to take a breath. This one was balls to the walls from the gate. Bravo to Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling both for bringing us an epic pay-per-view. I enjoyed every moment. What did you all think? Let us know your favorites moments and matches in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Lita, Booker T, Renee Young, and Corey Graves kick off the pre-show. They discuss the nights upcoming matches. Then we join Mauro Ranallo and Byron Saxton as they commentate the pre-show matches. The Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) come down to another ridiculous rap by Truth. Then a very sunburned Tyler Breeze and Fandango come out. Prior to the match there was a big, long segment involving the two peeling each other’s skin off. Starting to think that maybe Ryback was on to something. And I imagine Goldust is wishing he left with his brother. At any rate, the match is pretty one sided as every move by Breeze and Fandango makes them scream in pain, even tagging in and out. The crowd is pretty flat and it’s not a strong one to start the action. After a cringe-worthy few minutes, Goldust and R-Truth finally defeat Breezango. Yep. They actually made Mauro Ranallo say that team name on commentary.
More tag action up next, featuring The Lucha Dragons taking on The Dudley Boyz. This match is awful to watch. Dragons are far too fast for the slow, aging, and out-of-shape Dudley’s. The action is rough going with Dragons having to slow down just to make the Dudley’s look even minutely decent. Mauro and Byron do their best to sell this one, but it’s just not that entertaining. Lucha Dragons pull off a couple of nice moves towards the end to take it home and get the pinfall on Bubba. It feels like with the Fatal-4-Way Tag Team Championship match that we have coming later tonight that both pre-show bouts were mostly a giant waste of time. Even the pre-show panel looks bored. Except Corey Graves whose face is frozen, emotionless which could be because he appears to have gotten botox recently. That’s just my viewing opinion, WWE, so please don’t sue me.
So here we go, time for the pay-per-view. This has been sold for weeks as “the greatest Money in the Bank ever” so it better not fail to live up to the hype. To be fair to WWE, since WrestleMania they have had two really nice pay-per-views and Monday Night Raw as been strong as well. I’m really hopeful for this one as well. As long as Chris Jericho doesn’t leave with the MITB Briefcase, I will be satisfied with any other match outcome.
Pretty cool Vegas promo package to start off the show. Enzo Amore and Big Cass kick off the show, as if there was any other way to do it! Enzo is wearing the most insane outfit ever and only he could pull it off. Enzo gets the crowd hyped and then The Vaudevillians enter. The Club enter third, followed by the WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day. The promos New Day and Enzo cut were both better than either pre-show match. Anderson and Kofi start the match. Enzo soon gets in and he and Kofi put on a nice few minutes of action. Big E tags in, clears the ring and the apron and gets Kofi back in. All eight men jump in the ring and all hell breaks loose. Enzo and Cass square off against Big E and Kofi. Crowd starts a “How You Doin?!” chant. Cass and Gallows sort of botched the ending but Big E and Kofi retain. Fun match that really got the crowd into it and breathed a lot of life into the pay-per-view. Now it’s up to the rest of the roster to build on the momentum. New Day retains and will probably hold the belts until SummerSlam or the Raw after. The timing was off a little bit during this one, with the ref counting to three at one point which should have made Enzo and Cass the winners, but Gallows was slow to pull Enzo off the pinfall. The ref ignored it, but the crowd can be heard distinctly counting to three along with three hand slaps by the ref. Oh well.
Backstage segment with Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, and Alberto Del Rio. Y2J is actually funny here and gets the whole crowd cracking up. I cannot wait for that match. Baron Corbin comes down to face Dolph Ziggler. This match is exciting, but I can’t tell if it’s because it is actually good or if Ziggler is just selling Corbin like mad crazy. Match ends abruptly when Baron Corbin hits his End of Days finisher. Shitty finish for what felt like a decent match. Seems like both men are stuck in limbo at the moment. And I’m assuming that limbo is somewhere inside that weird, vertical belly button of Baron Corbin.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke come down. No title on the line tonight. Just women’s tag action. The champ and her stooge are set to take on Natalya and Becky Lynch. Because if there’s one thing a pay-per-view needs, it’s women’s tag team matches. I went to the bathroom before this match started then played with my dog. Charlotte and Dana Brooke won. But I could care less about this type of match so if you really care to judge it, go put it on. After the match Natalya assaults Becky Lynch adding a least a small redemption to an otherwise flat segment.
Sheamus comes down after a drawn out Dean Ambrose segment backstage. Apollo Crews comes down to a decent crowd pop. No loved lost between these two, going right after one another as soon as the bell rings. Both men go into beast mode and this turns into a brutal hoss match. Evenly matched throughout, this match doesn’t do anything crazy, but each man is on point. There are no missed spots. Sheamus hits a nice White Noise off the second rope, but Crews kicks out and then rolls up Sheamus for the pinfall. I enjoyed that one and I’m excited for Apollo’s future.
John Cena vs AJ Styles up next. The Phenomenal One comes out first followed by John Cena. Crowd is pretty fired up before the bell rings. This one gets off to a great start and Styles looks amazing. At one point he looks at the camera and says, “Is this all he’s got? Shiiiit.” Styles makes Cena look like a rookie. Throughout the match you can audible hear Cena calling spots as if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Styles is just too good. There is no realistic ending where Styles should lose, barring Cena turning mega-heel. Cena keeps trying to go to the second and third ropes but Styles counters each time. STF is locked in, Calf Crusher is locked in, both men get out. Cena hits an Attitude Adjustment and Styles kicks out at two. Styles Clash. Super Cena kicks out at two. Cena goes for another AA and hits the ref, then The Club comes out and takes Cena down. They throw Styles on Cena. The ref crawls into the ring and counts three. I fucking hate this ending so much. Cena had to protect his stupid ego and refused to take a pin cleanly. Get out of my face, WWE.
Time for the MITB Briefcase match. All I ask if that they don’t have The Miz run down and interfere. Let us have an excellent match without Y2J winning. That’s all I ask. Chris Jericho comes out first, followed by Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Owens (huge crowd pop), and Dean Ambrose rounds up the field. Excitement abounds to start this one. Ladder matches are always a good time. Sami Zayn is the first to attempt to grab the briefcase, but Del Rio stops him. Del Rio then takes down everybody with some devastating offense. He attempts to climb the ladder and Y2J tries to stop him, but gets beat down. Del Rio climbs up and touches the briefcase. Del Rio locks in a cross arm breaker on Cesaro on TOP of the ladder (which looks painful) but then Owens kicks Del Rio in the face. Cesaro tries to climb and gets stopped by Ambrose. Ambrose takes a Code Breaker from Y2J. Jericho climbs the ladder. Jericho almost gets it, but Zayn blocks him. They trade punches on top of the ladder and then Owens dumps the ladder over. Owens sets the ladder back up and tries to climb, but Del Rio hits him hard. Cesaro hits a swing on Del Rio, then on Y2j, throwing Jericho into a ladder. Owens nails a frog splash on Ambrose while he lays on a ladder. It all comes down to Owens and Zayn. Owens powerbombs Zayn into a ladder, scrambles up and nearly gets the briefcase, but Ambrose slams his head into the ladder multiple times, climbs and secures the briefcase. Dean Ambrose is 2016 Mr. Money in the Bank. Good stuff.
Rusev vs Titus O’Neal for the United States Championship up next. Looks like the pay-per-view is going to run long. Match starts with Rusev yelling at O’Neal’s children at ringside. Titus snaps and beats down the Bulgarian Brute. Rusev recovers and goes to work. Grueling battle throughout. Surprised WWE gave this one so much time. Maybe to let Ambrose grab a Gatorade? Rusev locks in the Accolade and Titus taps. Rusev gets on a mic and goes to address Titus’s kids. He calls their dad a loser and then screams, “Happy Father’s Day!” Classic heel work. Ha!
Time for our main event. Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins comes down to the ring first, followed by the champ. Reigns gets booed pretty heavily as he poses on in the corner. Missed the first couple of minutes of this one as our Network crapped out right as the match started. We had to switch XBOXes. When it finally came back up, Reigns is pummeling Rollins in the corner. Reigns gets Rollins outside the ring, tosses him over the Spanish announce table. Rollins throws Reigns into the steel steps. Seth counters a Superman Punch, both men down. The match drags on, going really slow and lagging at times. Not sure about the booking, this isn’t too exciting for a main event title match. It’s now 11:10. The pay-per-view should have ended twenty-five minutes ago. It’s starting to feel like WrestleMania in length. I actually got bored during this one. It was like if two 60 year old wrestlers were having a retirement match. I don’t know what I’m watching. Reigns tries to spear Rollins by the timekeeper area. Rollins moves and Reigns hits the barricade hard, and medical doctors come out. Reigns knocks down the ref, spears Rollins and covers him. Ref comes to and counts two but Rollins kicks out. Rollins counters another spear into a Pedigree, in the first exciting moment of the match. Rollins hits another Pedigree and gets the pinfall. Rollins wins! Ambrose’s music hits. He hits Rollins from behind with the briefcase, cashes in, hits Dirty Deeds and wins. Ambrose is champion. Great ending, but a real shitstorm of a match. This might be the worst main event match so far this year. Happy for Ambrose. Now all three Shield brothers have held the title. Overall grade for this pay-per-view is a C+. A couple of great matches, but it came up short where it counted. The main event was dull, the women’s match was useless, and the tag matches was poorly executed. While not as bad as Mania, this pay-per-view is a low spot, and with Battleground looming, we may not have anything worthwhile until SummerSlam.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
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 Baker
During WWE’s European tour, Seth Rollins badly injured his knee in a dark match with Kane. Immediately WWE posted an article on their website saying he was out 6-9 months and had been stripped of the title. That same week–although Smackdown had already been filmed, it had not yet been aired–WWE chose not to even mention Rollins’ injury or the subsequent vacating of the title.
Let’s rewind the clocks. Take a little journey back in time with me. The year is 2014. Daniel Bryan is the WWE’s Yes Man. He wins the title at WrestleMania 30. The next month at Extreme Rules he defeats Kane to retain his title. Rumors abound that he is injured. He doesn’t wrestle at Payback or give up the title. On June 9th, 64 days after he won the title at Mania and an astounding 36 days after his last title defense, The Authority stripped Bryan of the title. They said the people needed to have a fighting champion. They said a champion had to be able to defend his title. That’s all well and good, except that in August of that same year, Brock Lesnar won the title from Cena and only defended it one other time that year in a rematch against Cena at Night of Champions. Brock Lesnar held the title for 224 days and only defended it four times, the fourth being the night Rollins cashed in at WrestleMania. So much for that fighting champion theory, huh? Lesnar spent most of 2014 being absent not only from pay per views but most of the Raw and Smackdown programming as well. This all cultivates with the current problems with Seth Rollins and the blatant lack of respect given to the best heel champion we’ve had in awhile.
The WWE hasn’t even let Rollins come on TV and address the crowd with a great heel promo. They didn’t let him hand the title over to Triple H in the middle of the ring. No, they stripped him of the title in an internet blog and left it at that. We haven’t even seen Rollins since he last appeared on Raw two weeks ago. They didn’t even try to draw up an interesting storyline, maybe having Rollins highjack the title a month or two, being at odds with Triple H. Nope, they just take the title and come out on the next Raw and have Triple H offer Rollins’ spot to Roman Reigns. The official WWE list of champions for this particular title has the championship changing hands 120 times with only 45 different champions and a total of 11 vacated titles over the decades, including the current stripping of Seth Rollins reign. But how worthless is the current WWE championship gold? First, we have to look at this ridiculous tournament they have going on currently.
The brilliant booking strategy of WWE set up a tournament to determine the new champion, with the final match being at Survivor Series. (Gee, I wonder if it will be Reigns vs Ambrose.) On paper, this seems like a really great idea (the tournament, not Rollins vs Ambrose). Give some of the younger talent a chance at the title–although since Reigns and Ambrose are in said tournament the likelihood of some dark horse going over is nil. Unfortunately, this tournament has seen matches like Ryback vs Kalisto, a match in which Kalisto actually went over! Now it’s Kalisto vs Del Rio in the quarterfinals for what reason? We can assume merely because WWE wants to get some more Spanish viewers? Or perhaps they wanted to give us a nice segment in which we could all take a bathroom break during Monday Night Raw. The remaining quarterfinals matches are Reigns vs Cesaro, which it will be great to see just another outright burial of Cesaro, arguably one of the least utilized guys on the rosters; Kevin Owens vs Neville; and Dolph Ziggler vs Dean Ambrose. While it is cool to see so many NXT guys in this tournament, it’s predictable and the selection process made absolutely no sense.
Tyler Breeze was in the tournament. The guy just came up to the main roster and only had one match but he immediately gets to be in the world title picture? He never even won the NXT Championship. Can anyone other than Vince McMahon explain this to me? Sheamus was also in the first round of the tournament. He has the MITB briefcase. He doesn’t need a mercy-entry. “King” Barrett, the so-called King of the Ring, went out in the first round? But the Intercontinental Champion, Owens, and the United States Champion, Del Rio both not only got into the tournament but went over in the first round. Considering who their quarterfinal opponents are, we all have to assume they will be in the semi-finals with Reigns and Ambrose. Why would the US and IC champs even care about the world title, especially after they each recently won their respective titles? Congratulations, not only have you tarnished the World Heavyweight Championship with this utterly pointless tournament, but you’ve given the impression that neither the United States Championship or Intercontinental Championship are worth anything if the guys who hold it would rather get something else. And I know, I know, everybody should want to be a world champ, but the point is, every title but the tag gold is involved in this tournament and that makes little to no sense. Better booking is Del Rio and Owens both lose in the first round and then whomever beat them has a legit gripe in the future to call them out for a title shot. That’s how you tell stories. That’s how you start feuds. Alas, that’s not how WWE has chosen to do things.
But the degradation of the World Heavyweight Championship happened long before now. And Seth Rollins isn’t to blame. He has done the best work as a heel that we’ve seen in quite some time. In fact, he’s doing pretty much as well as a man can who was put in his position. And by that I mean for a world champion who has had eight title defenses that involved Dean Ambrose three times, Randy Orton twice, a 48-year-old Kane, and a 56-year-old Sting. About the two best booking ideas they have had for Rollins thus far is having him successfully cash-in at WrestleMania and winning the United States Championship in a champion vs champion, winner-takes-all match against John Cena. Aside from those two highlights, there has been very little in the way of interesting matches for Seth Rollins. Maybe the future plans for Rollins were going to be spectacular. Maybe it even topped off with Rollins vs Triple H at WrestleMania or a Shield three-way for the title. But we’ll never kno. And the argument is moot because they started Rollins as champion off badly right out of the gate. We’ve never really gotten to see Lesnar get his revenge thanks to The Undertaker interfering. It’s been lackluster booking that has been carried by Rollins. He is the scapegoat, but he isn’t the problem. No the real problem started long ago and was one of the main reasons that CM Punk left the company.
You see, wrestling fans, the World Heavyweight Championship doesn’t matter to us because it doesn’t matter to WWE. The facts speak for themselves. Since 2011 (pretty much the last time WWE strongly booked CM Punk) until right now, we have had a total of 60 pay per views. The WWE world title has only been the main event match 37 times. That means WWE only cares about their World Heavyweight Championship roughly 60% of the time. Even if we take out the 5 Royal Rumbles, giving us 55 pay per views, that’s still leaves 18 total times in less than five full years that the title has not headlined a pay-per-view event. I repeat: 18 times, folks. That’s basically a whole year and a half’s worth of pay-per-views where the champion, the one who is supposed to be “the man, the face, the future” of the company, was not the selling point of a pay-per-view. How can any champion be taken seriously by the WWE Universe when the company seems to push the title into the background? Hell, in 2012 at WrestleMania 28, the WWE title wasn’t even in the main event. WrestleMania! The spectacle of the year! The biggest pay-per-view event on WWE’s calendar! Instead CM Punk vs Jericho happened for the title–a match given about 22 minutes–and then the main event was John Cena vs The Rock, which went a little over half an hour. Can anybody honestly blame CM Punk for quitting?
Even the unification of the titles couldn’t help polish its image. Since the WWE and World Heavyweight titles were unified at TLC in 2013, we’ve had both Orton and Cena win it (the posterboys of winning titles since 2001), two periods where the title has been vacated, and an absentee title run by Brock Lesnar; all that in less than two years. Most of the main storylines the past couple years haven’t even prominently featured the title or if they have, the title and/or its champion were a secondary part of the story (ie: Seth Rollins sending Kane on vacation and buying J&J a new car having absolutely nothing to do with the title). Of Seth Rollins’ eight title defenses this year we saw a No Contest finish in his match against Lesnar and a half-assed performance from an old, injured Sting. Keep in mind, all of this article is dealing with the current landscape and going back only to 2011. If we looked back even deeper, we’d see how bad the world title had been water-downed going back at least a decade prior: WWE Champion run of The Miz to name just one glaring moment.
WWE gave the title a make-over, making it look elegant, stylish. However, they forgot to give their booking a make-over. They have all the right players for a great champion, but they need to care about their champion and their titles and, most importantly, their title runs. Seth Rollins did his best to make linguine out of dogshit, but he could only do so much. And now with his injury and having to vacate the title, the future doesn’t look bright in redeeming the quality of the world title anytime soon. The United States Championship is all but dead. The Intercontinental Championship is all but dead. (We’ll give a pass to the Tag Team Championship because hats off to The New Day for making the tag division fun again.) The WWE World Heavyweight Championship means very little if anything at all. The only way the title could be any more meaningless is if Hulk Hogan resigned with WWE, put the nWo back together and spray painted their logo across the front.
The dip in ratings can’t be blamed on Seth Rollins, on the job he’s doing as a heel or as a champion. It’s because you have your world champion in six-man tag matches to headline Raw. Or you end the show pretending Bray Wyatt is calling down lightening to set the ring on fire. Or you have your champion fighting Kane or Big Show or some relic from WCW. If you want people to stay tuned in for three or four or more hours, you have to make it matter. All of it. The champion should matter, the title should matter, the main event should matter. If you don’t care, WWE, why should we?
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Good evening, Sports Fans! It’s October, and that means the annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. You know the drill, I will live type this article as I watch giving honest, no-bullshit feedback for every match, segment, and ridiculous JBL commentary. As always, please feel free to leave your comments below on your thoughts on how good (or not)the pay-per-view was.
The preshow panel kicked off with Paul Heyman basically trying to figure out what the hell Booker T and Renee Young were talking about. Then we got MizDowTV or MizTV or StuntDoubleTV, not sure which. Sheamus interrupted and Miz threw a hissy fit. The preshow match was Mark Henry vs Bo Dallas, yes again. Total squash match, Henry won in about half a minute.
The show starts with a bang as my favorite Showoff, Dolph Ziggler defends his Intercontinental Championship against the Swiss Superman, Cesaro. This match was scheduled as a 2 Out of 3 Falls match on Smackdown. Great way to start Hell in a Cell and a good stipulation so we can see these guys compete in what is sure to be an epic matchup. This is just what you’d expect from these two under-appreciated wrestlers: fast, aggressive, beautiful to watch. These two should be up towards the top with Rollins and Ambrose in my opinion, but that’s why I’m not running WWE. Cesaro hits his big Swing, but Ziggler grabs the first pinfall shortly after. Cesaro very nearly gets the second pinfall, but Dolph holds on. The second match had several badass moves by Cesaro, sold greatly, as usual, by Dolph Ziggler. Cesaro tried the uppercut, but Ziggler kicked out. Lots and lots of false finishes in this one. Then Ziggler hits Cesaro’s bad arm, kicks him in the face, lands the Zig Zag and wins the second match! Hell yeah! Big time win for Ziggy! Excellent start to the pay-per-view.
Quick segment after with Triple H, Stephanie, and Randy Orton. He’s pissed about Seth Rollins, and who can blame him. I am hoping this is all a big setup for Orton vs Lesnar with Rollins cashing in on the winner. The Authority tells Orton to just concentrate on John Cena. Orton says okay, but if they don’t take care of Rollins, he will.
Next up, the Battle of the Bellas, Brie vs her sister, Nikki. Say it with me, homers: “BRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODE!” This match was okay. If not for Daniel Bryan, I don’t think Brie Bella would have any offensive moves. She basically has hijacked everything her husband does, albeit without as much skill or showmanship. Nikki wins the match and per the stipulation, Brie must now be her personal assistant for the next month. Now that our bladders are all empty, let’s see what match is next.
The Usos vs Goldust and Stardust for the Tag Team Championships. Now, for those of you with short term memory, this time last year Goldust and Cody Rhodes, also tag champs at that time, took on The Usos and Rollins/Reigns of The Shield in a triple threat match for the titles. THAT IS HOW MANY GODDAMN TIMES WE HAVE SEEN THE USOS VS THE RHODES BROTHERS!!! Get the fuck out of our faces, WWE. Get a decent tag division and stop doing the same shit year after year after motherfucking year. That being said, Goldust and Stardust will probably put on a spectacle and turn this steaming pile of shit into something bearable to watch. I am hoping that this match ends with Rowan and Harper returning with Bray Wyatt and laying waste to all four brothers. I tuned out most of this match. These four really aren’t going to pull out anything new at this point. Goldust gets the pinfall and the Rhodes family wins.
In a surprise move, they are bringing the cage down next for John Cena vs Randy Orton. That is fantastic. Ambrose and Rollins deserved the main event. The only thing that sucks is this promo before the match. They dared to compare Orton vs Cena with Magic vs Bird, Fraiser vs Ali and Austin vs Rock. Really? Missed the mark on that, WWE. Not even close. Cena and Orton will never be on that level for me. I would like to see Orton get the win and then go on to fight Brock Lesnar for the first time ever. Yeah, that’s right, those two have never wrestled. We’ve seen Lesnar vs Cena a million times, so Orton getting that match would be at least something new from WWE for the first time in awhile. If you watch this match with the mute turned on, it’s not that great. But with JBL and Michael Cole pimping out all sorts of colorful lingo, the folks at home probably thought this match was better than it was. I’m not impressed. I’ve watched Cena vs Orton 5,000 times. A technically sound match, but very humdrum and mundane just on the grounds of being something we’ve seen far too often. Nobody even bled. And despite my hopes and dreams, WWE booked Cena to win the match after putting Orton through a table. Cena vs Lesnar Part 3 coming up next month. Jesus fucking Christ. How many times do we have to watch this same shit over and over? What a travesty. What a joke. What an utterly pointless match.
We follow that with an equally as pointless match, Sheamus vs The Miz for the US Championship. Sheamus wins via Brogue Kick. Afterwards Sheamus gets Mizdow to do some pantomime while messing with Miz. Then we get a segment with Nikki dumping a smoothie on Brie Bella. What a worthless pay per view this has been so far. And will probably continue to be until the bitter end. Yep, as if to confirm that, here comes Rusev vs Big Show. Lana looks great in pink. Other than that, it’s USA vs Russia chapter 400. I pretty much lost all interest in this pay per view with the Cena victory. This match featured Rusev picking Big Show up, which is always impressive to see. Mark Henry comes out to cheer on Big Show. Show chokeslams Rusev, but the big Russian kicks out. Rusev kicks Big Show and then Mark Henry, screams, and then kicks Show again. And a third time. As mad as I am with everything, this has still made me laugh. Rusev goes for the Accolade and the “USA!” chants start. And the ref calls the match after Big Show “passes out.” By my estimation, we just had five straight matches that didn’t mean anything in the big picture of WWE. Why am I still watching?
Ambrose cuts a brief backstage promo. The best thing to happen in the last hour. AJ Lee vs Paige for the Divas Championship up next. Pretty match the same title match we’ve seen at every pay per view since AJ came back from her hiatus. Paige taps to the Black Widow and that’s that. Paige attacks Alicia Fox after the match and screams, “I hate you!” For those mad at Paige losing, don’t worry, she’ll probably get another title shot tomorrow night on Raw. Or Friday on Smackdown. Or at Survivor Series. Or all three, probably.
Hell in a Cell main event #2 now. Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins. Which seems exciting now, but a decade later will they be just the new Cena vs Orton? Let’s hope not. Let’s hope McMahon is out by then and Triple H does better with the main roster. Ambrose climbs the cage before Rollins even gets out there! HaHaHa! Rollins sends Jamie and Joey up to retrieve Ambrose. Rollins joins them and demands Ambrose gets thrown off the cage. Ambrose rallies. Man, once John Cena dies, Dean Ambrose is going to be a superstar of epic proportions. Ambrose and Rollins hanging off the side of the cell, fall off and take out both announce tables. Would have been impressive twenty years ago, but real wrestling fans have seen Mick Foley go off the top of the cage and then through the top of the cage. Both men get put on stretchers, but Ambrose soon jumps up and continues attacking his former Shield brethren. Ambrose throws Rollins into the cage, it gets chained shut and the match begins. Ambrose beats Rollins with a chair. This is what Cena and Orton should have been but both are in the cushioned twilight of their careers and neither is going to put effort into a high stakes match like the Cell. Ambrose and Rollins are the only saving grace to this pay per view (besides Dolph Ziggler, of course). So the very first and very last match of the night were all that really mattered in the end.
Rollins suplexed Ambrose into a pile of chairs. Ambrose set a table up against the ring apron and the cage, then put Rollins through it. Kane sprays a fire extinguisher through the cage at Ambrose. Rollins throws Ambrose into a table. Rollins gets his MITB briefcase and sets Ambrose up for a Curb Stomp. Ambrose counters, tries Dirty Deeds, misses and then hits Rollins with his own briefcase. Ambrose gets cinder blocks into the ring. He places the head of Rollins on the blocks, but the lights go out. And Bray Wyatt’s voice is heard, chanting in creepy tongues! The lights come back on. A hole is cut in the center of the ring, fog comes out with a creepy hologram apparition. A lantern is glowing. Ambrose watches and from out of no where Bray Wyatt attacks Ambrose. Rollins gets the pinfall. What the hell? What an absurd and weird ending to the pay per view. Just when the match was getting good, this strange shit happened. Bray hits Ambrose with Sister Abigail and the screen goes black.
I must say, I am about 99% disappointed with this pay per view. This is the kind of shit I can’t stand. Just repetitive matchups, unexplained moments, and mediocre action. Altogether, just a half-assed outing from WWE, which as of late should be expected. And Survivor Series probably won’t be much better as we get to see Lesnar vs Cena again. Not only that but the Rhodes family will probably face The Usos again, Paige will probably face AJ again, Sheamus will probably retain his title for the hundredth time, and Ziggler will continue to be underbooked. And now Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt is going to happen, even though the Rollins/Ambrose angle has yet to be fully released or resolved. Tonight, I seriously ask myself why in the world I keep watching this crap.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
On October 12th, Tokyo, Japan will be hosting the TNA Pay-Per-View, Bound For Glory. Since this is unfortunately not available for $9.99, my husband and I will be shelling out over fifty dollars to watch this “live” and legally. As this is taping overseas, there will be a delay in airing it to the states, so be careful on social media if you don’t want to run into any spoilers. I am an avid fan of surprises, so I’m blissfully ignorant to all TNA pre-taped shows and prefer to find out what happens only when Impact airs on Wednesdays. This is TNA’s final PPV of the year, but it is the first to feature the six-sided ring and the first to be hosted outside of North America. Bully Ray and Devon will be inducted into the TNA Hall Of Fame prior to some exciting matches between TNA talent and Wrestle-1 Superstars. Let’s look at the announced matches and take a swing at some predictions. Please note: these predictions are being made without knowing a single thing about the pre-taped episodes of Impact that will air after Bound For Glory.
Kazma Sakamoto vs MVP
Sakamoto began his professional wrestling career in 2003, but you might recognize him from his more recent work for the WWE as Lord Tensai’s loyal follower. He worked alongside Tensai as little more than a punching bag for a few months before being moved to NXT for a brief run. Sakamoto returned to Japan in mid-2013 where he was able to go back to serious competition instead of playing bitch to another wrestler. Being unfamiliar with Sakamoto’s true skill set, I have to look at MVP. He is our resident bad guy and he has Lashley and Kenny King backing him up virtually anywhere he goes. Many fans will be pulling for an MVP loss, both locally and back in the states, so this should be an interesting one to watch.
WINNER: Sakamoto, via disqualification due to outside interference. Expect Sakamoto to be the last man standing, regardless of who gets involved.
Andy Wu & El Hijo del Pantera vs Novus (Jiro Kuroshio & Yusuke Kodama) – Tag Team Match
I’ve tried and mostly failed in my attempt to dig up some good information on these four men. I did manage to find some impressive YouTube videos of various matches featuring one or both of these tag teams. The little I’ve seen leaves me unable to choose a winner, but I feel confident that this will be an exciting match.
Ethan Carter III vs Ryota Hama
Hama is a former sumo wrestler, which is something you could probably guess by looking at him. Carter is an egotistical prick with a powerful family. We recently saw Carter embarrass the hell out of poor Rockstar Spud, effectively ruining their business relationship and causing many fans to begin backing the little Brit. Carter is a hell of a heel and is one of my favorite wrestlers on both TNA’s and WWE’s rosters. Pitting him against Hama is an unfair fight, no doubt about it. He’s half the man’s size and doesn’t exactly have a long list of friends to call on for help if needed. The 452 pound Hama holds the record for being the fastest superstar to attain the Triple Crown title and just might hold the record for fastest beat down this Sunday.
WINNER: EC3. He will somehow overcome Hama’s size, Rockstar’s interference, and the chorus of boos. He will remain undefeated. Just don’t ask me how.
Velvet Sky vs Havok (c) – TNA Knockouts Championship Match
After watching Havok completely destroy Gail Kim to win the Knockouts Title, I can’t help but feel bad for poor little Velvet Sky. Havok has quickly become one of my favorite female athletes, showing no mercy to anyone standing in her way. Velvet has some great moves, but next to Havok, all I see is a prissy princess in furry boots. Clearly in a measure of strength and size, Havok comes out on top. She of course can be defeated, but it’s going to take some serious strategy and a whole lot of luck to get it done.
WINNER: Havok. I expect more of a fight than Gail Kim put up, since Angelina Love will likely be involved, but Velvet won’t have enough in her to get the win.
Team 3D (Bully Ray & Devon) vs Abyss and Tommy Dreamer – Tag Team Match
Fresh off a loss on Wednesday after failing to capture the Tag Team Titles, Team 3D will be facing Abyss and Dreamer. This out of nowhere match likely comes from the lack of tag teams that were able to travel to Japan, or maybe it was just booked to appease Japanese fans. Either way, putting four wrestlers of this caliber in a ring together is a surefire recipe for a killer match. Watching 3D face The Wolves and The Hardys for the Tag Titles was the highlight of this week’s show, even if the outcome was not what I was hoping for. Nothing against The Wolves, but I’m ready for that particular title to change hands. This Sunday’s tag match is guaranteed to be no frills, no bullshit, and no holding back.
WINNER: Team 3D. No way they get the Hall of Fame induction only to suffer a loss at this big PPV.
Manik vs Minoru Tanaka
Manik is a former X-Division champion, holding the title twice. Tanaka has held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship four times. Manik was X-Division King Of The Mountain. Tanaka was voted best technical wrestler in 2001 by Wrestling Observer. Manik has five inches and about fifty pounds on his opponent, but Tanaka has a decade of more experience in the ring. One man’s strength may prove to be the other’s weakness, or perhaps the two show they are able to excel in strikingly similar ways. I’m very interested to see how this one plays out.
WINNER: Minoru Tanaka. I expect a very even match with a lot of false finishes before Tanaka gets the pin.
Low Ki vs Kaz Hayashi vs Samoa Joe (c) – Three-way Match for TNA X-Division Championship
Loyal wrestling fans may already be aware of Kaz Hayashi from his days in WCW and WWF in the late 90s and early 00s. He’s held multiple titles and won many championships after leaving the states and returning to Japan. Low Ki and Samoa Joe are familiar faces in TNA’s X-Division, Joe being our current champion and Low Ki being a former champ. I’m glad to see another title on the line for this event, especially when the current champion only has a 33% chance of retaining. I’m betting that at some point, Low Ki and Hayashi find that working together is the only way to overcome the Samoan Submission Machine.
WINNER: Low Ki. I see Joe’s reign ending, but I can’t see him losing it to a wrestler we won’t be able to see on a weekly basis.
The Great Muta & Tajiri vs James Storm & The Great Sanada – Tag Team Match
James Storm has been somewhat of a shit starter when it comes to his new alliance with the now Great Sanada. Storm has been turning Sanada into a new kind of monster, having him turn against The Great Muta and spawning a Wrestle-1 match between the two. We’ve seen Tajiri recently on Impact and he is one hell of a competitor. Pairing him with Muta will create a powerful tag team, but the same can also be said for Sanada and Storm. This is a must win for everyone involved, and none of these men are above fighting dirty if it comes down to it. I’m excited to see Muta and Sanada face to face again to see if Muta is able to find redemption or if Sanada finally proves that he is the only one worthy of being called “great.”
WINNER: This is almost impossible to pick, but I’m leaning towards The Great Muta and Tajiri. In all honesty though, I feel that the odds are perfectly split down the middle.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
This Sunday, May 4, 2014, marks the 6th annual WWE Extreme Rules Pay Per View. Previous years have given us exciting matches like Brock Lesnar against Triple H in a steel cage, John Cena versus Batista in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship, and Jeff Hardy against CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship. As the PPV name suggests, the matches featured during this event will lean away from PG, giving us harder and messier fights with less rules holding the competitors back. We have a pretty solid lineup of matches ahead; here are my predictions for what Sunday will bring.
Pre-Show WeeLC Match: El Torito vs Hornswoggle
We haven’t received much in the way of specifics on this match, possibly because no one really cares, but the name suggests that it will be a tables, ladders and chairs match. This feud is painfully silly and I fear that this pre-show bout will feature step ladders, tray tables, and toddler chairs instead of any full-sized furnishings. The most positive thing I can say about this match is that I’m grateful they put it on the pre-show rather than in the midst of the PPV.
WINNER: El Torito, either via pinfall or by throwing Hornswoggle through a table.
Intercontinental Title Match: Bad News Barrett vs Champion Big E
The IC Tournament to determine Big E’s opponent was a great addition to Raw in the past weeks. After certainty that Cesaro would win due to his current push, then certainty that Rob Van Dam would take it as our returning hero, we have Wade Barrett coming out as the victor and ready for battle on Sunday. I am over the moon to see Barrett back in the ring in full force. The bare knuckle brawler is a very worthy opponent for the massive Big E, so we should see one hell of a fight. There is also a bit of unpredictability to this match; because we had so many Superstars competing for a chance to win the IC Title, there is a big chance we’ll see some of them making an appearance ringside.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett via pinfall, possibly assisted by interference from Cesaro.
Triple Threat Match: Rob Van Dam vs Jack Swagger vs Cesaro
This is a very interesting trio. After being a solid tag team, Cesaro and Swagger had a falling out and have gone their separate ways. Van Dam and Cesaro have also been at odds due to Van Dam knocking Cesaro out of the IC tournament with a questionable victory. The new Paul Heyman guy will have a target on his back, as his two opponents will likely team up briefly to knock him out before focusing their attention on each other. Expect to see a lot of action and interference outside of the ring, as Heyman and Zeb Colter will both likely be at ringside and have made no secret of their dislike for each other.
WINNER: Cesaro; after incapacitating Swagger with the Cesaro Swing, he will pin Van Dam for the win.
Divas Title Match: Tamina Snuka vs Champion Paige
Coming from NXT, Paige unexpectedly burst onto Raw and won the Divas title immediately in an unannounced match, sending AJ Lee packing and ending her impressive Championship reign. Paige has been on top ever since getting her hands on that belt, but her matches are sloppy and she certainly takes her time getting opponents in her submission hold. Tamina is not only a great opponent, but a perfect way to set things up for AJ’s reported return in June. I love Tamina’s work in the ring and I hope she gets the chance to fully showcase her talents.
WINNER: Tamina Snuka via pinfall after breaking loose from Paige’s submission hold.
Handicap Match: Alexander Rusev vs R-Truth and Xavier Woods
The Bulgarian Brute has been on an impressive run as of late, save for one curious match on Raw that left him looking weak by retreating. A handicap match is perfect for Rusev, as he is meant to be a monster heel, virtually unstoppable in his merciless run to the top. Putting him against two men is the ideal way to erase what happened on Raw and show the fans that he is truly a force to be reckoned with.
WINNER: Rusev via submission on R-Truth after incapacitating Woods.
Steel Cage Match: Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
Bray Wyatt has the whole Cenation in his hands, as we saw on Raw. John Cena was able to get one over on Wyatt the last time they faced off in the ring, but Wyatt still came out victorious with the WWE Universe supporting him fully. Putting these two in a steel cage is the perfect move. Sure, it keeps Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at bay, but it also confines Cena in the squared circle with the maniacal ringleader of the backwoods family. This feud is the best thing that has happened with Cena in a long time. It is breaking him down, piece by piece, and the fans could not be happier.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via pinfall, possibly assisted by distractions outside of the cage.
Six-Man Tag: The Shield vs Evolution
We all believe in The Shield, but it’s still hard to wish defeat on Evolution, especially now that Batista is out of skinny jeans. With former Evolution member Ric Flair throwing his support behind The Shield, this match is no doubt one of the most anticipated of this PPV. This match has made me interested in Randy Orton again and has even renewed some of my faith in Batista. Both teams need this victory in order to move forward with strength, but Evolution may need it more due to Triple H’s position in the company and the fact that Daniel Bryan recently got one over on him at Wrestlemania.
WINNER: The Shield; Roman Reigns via pinfall on Triple H.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kane vs Champion Daniel Bryan
I cannot think of a better opponent for Daniel Bryan than the Big Red Monster, Kane. The former tag team partners have now formed a bitter rivalry after Kane went corporate and aligned himself with Triple H, who did not want Bryan as champion. Now that Kane is back in the mask, he needs to continue his assault on Bryan in order to wipe the image of him in dress pants from our memories. Both competitors need this win, both need to come out strong, so this promises to be one hell of a title match. While it’s very difficult for me to imagine Bryan losing after all he’s been through, there is a new theme of unpredictability floating around, so I suspect we’ll all be on the edge of our seats for this one.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via disqualification after Kane gets brutal outside of the ring.