The first Roadblock PPV was just last year in Canada, featuring eleven matches total, with the main event of Triple H vs Dean Ambrose, where Triple H retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This year, it has been rebranded as a Raw exclusive PPV and renamed Roadblock: End Of The Line. It will take place in Pittsburg, PA at the PPG Paints Arena. Let’s take a look at the match card and make some predictions.
Big Cass vs Rusev – Preshow Singles Match
This feud all started when Lana accidentally saw Enzo Amore’s twig and berries while he was locked out of the locker room. Rusev caught Enzo attempting to hit on Lana, which resulted in Lana pretending to leave Rusev so she could lure Enzo to her hotel room where her husband beat the living daylights out of him. Cass isn’t one to let things slide when it comes to his best friend and tag partner, so he now has it out for Rusev. I’m glad it was a ruse and WWE wasn’t honestly trying to make a mockery of a real life marriage, plus it eased us into an easy feud. I don’t believe either of these men belong on the preshow, but let’s hope they give us a good match.
F2H Prediction: Rusev
Rich Swann (c) vs T.J. Perkins vs Brian Kendrick – Triple Threat Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The Cruiserweight Division is still struggling to find its place on Raw, and it doesn’t help that they now have their own show after Smackdown on the Network; that’s just too much wrestling to pack into one night. T.J. Perkins was a great pick as our inaugural champion and had a good run before losing the title to Brian Kendrick. Our resident pirate then lost his title on 205 Live, exclusively on the Network, to Rich Swann. Swann is an incredibly charismatic guy and a fantastic wrestler, so he will bring a lot of prestige and interest to the Cruiserweight division.
F2H Prediction: Rich Swann
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho – Singles Match
Kevin Owens saved Jericho from a Pedigree on the go home episode of Raw, so the friendship is back on… I think? Rocky, but they definitely will have each other’s backs. This doesn’t sit well for Rollins, who has been trying his best to get back on top of the Raw brand where he belongs. Rollins wants Owens’ title, but Jericho has been blocking him at every turn, so now they have their own issues to squash before Rollins can move on. If Owens interferes, I want it to happen after we get a clean win. Owens can beat the hell out of Rollins if he wants, but not until the bell has rung.
F2H Prediction: Seth Rollins
The New Day (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro – Tag Team Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles
At the WWE Tribute To The Troops, Cesaro and Sheamus won a Fatal 4 Way match, beating Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, The Shining Stars, and The Golden Truth to earn a chance to challenge New Day for their titles. The New Day are now the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history, which is huge. At this point, their titles are fair game. They broke the record, made history, and can now give up the titles without really losing. Cesaro and Sheamus are such an odd couple, but they are both fantastic athletes and ended up teaming well together, eventually. It’ll be interesting to see if they are able to keep it together and capture those titles.
F2H Prediction: New Day
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman – Singles Match with a 10 Minute Time Limit
Braun Strowman has been crushing everybody in his path, but he did manage to make time to make James Ellsworth famous and get him a WWE contract, so he’s not all bad. Mick Foley has stopped matches between these two because Zayn is so outgunned, which is where the time limit comes into play. Granted, Strowman can probably end the match in 60 seconds, so perhaps 10 minutes is being a bit generous. Zayn is a great competitor, but I feel that WWE is still working on building Strowman into an unstoppable monster, and he needs to keep that going for a little while longer.
F2H Prediction: Braun Strowman
Sasha Banks (c) vs Charlotte – 30 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
These women are just taking it to the extreme more and more, and it’s going to get to the point that someone gets seriously injured if they aren’t careful. I’m glad they keep trying to top themselves, but I’m more worried about their health and possible long absences due to injury (miss you, Finn Balor). Their cage match left a lot to be desired, thanks to a drawn out “injury” that nearly kept Banks from competing, but they made up for it during their next match where Banks tangled Charlotte in the stadium railing to lock in the Banks Statement and force a tap. We’ve already seen Banks compete in an Iron Man match on NXT, so I’m expecting main event material here.
F2H Prediction: Sasha Banks
Kevin Owens (c) vs Roman Reigns – Singles Match for the WWE Universal Championship
I’m so annoyed with this match. I hate it. Why does Roman Reigns, a guy already holding a title, get a title match on this PPV? I hate it. Have I mentioned that I’m not too fond of this main event? I hope Chris Jericho interferes in every shady way possible without causing a disqualification. I hope Owens beats his ass into the mat, and then powerbombs him into the apron a few dozen times. I hope Reigns can’t walk by the end of this match. Listen, I used to be a fan of Reigns, believe it or not. I just can’t buy into this fist-cocking, show-boating nonsense he insists on doing. I don’t want another John Cena. Give me quiet, brooding Roman Reigns back and I’ll be on board.
F2H Prediction: Kevin Owens
Roadblock: End Of The Line will begin at 8pm EST, with the preshow starting at 7pm, exclusively on the WWE Network. Unfortunately for fans, Lita will not be present, as new reports have stated that she has left the company. Jerry Lawler has also been removed from on air events. Live tweet with @FaceToHeel and writers @MrNotWell and @OhhhTweener, and be on the lookout for our next giveaway!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
As we predicted earlier, the 2016 TLC is set to be a spectacle. This is one of the premiere events of the year and the fact that it is a Smackdown Live exclusive has us excited that perhaps it will be a really powerful pay-per-view for WWE. Without further ado, let’s get into the show with our live play-by-play, match results and instant feedback.
The pre-show gave us some tag team action to get things going. American Alpha, Hype Bros and Apollo Crews took on The Vaudevillians, The Ascension and Curt Hawkins. Whole lot of silliness and antics throughout this one. Too many goofy personalities crammed into one match. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of massive tag team matches. Ten competitors outside of a Royal Rumble or a battle royale is far too many. The Alphas did pretty solid and the match wasn’t flat by any stretch of the term. All ten guys put on a great show for the crowd, who were lively and behind the match. In the end Gable and Jordan pick up the pinfall for their team. Okay match with the correct ending.
The first match as the show begins is for the Smackdown Live tag team titles. The Wyatt Family (featuring Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt) challenging Heath Slater and Rhyno. This match was a little short in my opinion. Solid action. The finish was Wyatt distracting Rhyno and Orton hit him with an RKO out of nowhere. After the match, Orton and Bray put the titles on Harper’s shoulders and then posed for the crowd. Very interesting booking here. This is the first time heels have held these titles. It will be fun to see what they do with it. Give it up for Smackdown always pushing the unexpected into our laps. With the pre-show victory, one has to assume American Alpha will be coming down the line to challenge The Wyatt Family for their new shiny belts.
Next up is a No Disqualification match between Nikki Bella and Carmella. As feuds go, this one is ice cold. It doesn’t really do anything in the grander scheme for either woman or the viewing audience. But, a No DQ match is usually a good way to keep me interested. There’s always the possibility of serious injury or death, two things I have often wished on Nikki Bella (and her boyfriend). Carmella dominates to start and eventually ties Nikki upside down in the corner. She gets a kendo stick out and hits Nikki in the stomach. Nikki turns the table when she sprays Carmella in the face with a fire extinguisher. Rack Attack 2.0 lays Carmella out and Nikki picks up the pinfall win. After the match, Carmella gets on the mic and says she didn’t attack Nikki at Survivor Series. She tells her it was Natalya. Duh, we all knew that the moment it happened.
It’s not even 9:00PM yet and the third match is about to start. That seems odd. Half their matches in the first hour? Maybe WWE is starting to end PPV’s earlier. The next bout is Dolph Ziggler challenging The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship in none other than a ladder match. Ziggler the aggressor to start the match. The fight spills out of the ring and Miz plants Ziggler on the ramp with a super kick. They stay outside the ring for quite awhile using ladders as weapons against one another. Ziggler hits an outstanding satellite DDT on a ladder and both men are down. Ziggler finally gets a large ladder into the ring. He attempts to set it up but Miz dropkicks him from behind.
The Miz mocks Daniel Bryan at one point with a YES! gesture right before dropkicking a ladder into Ziggler. Both men climb a ladder and trade blows right below the title. Ziggler knocks Miz off but before he can recover, Miz yanks him down. Miz goes to work on Ziggler’s leg, slamming it into a ladder over and over. Miz wraps Ziggler’s leg through a ladder wrung and then locks in a Figure Four leglock. Ouch. Miz then hits a Skull Crushing Finale into a ladder. Miz sets up a ladder and tries to grab the belt. Ziggler knocks the ladder away and Miz is hanging from the belt! Ziggler slams the ladder into his knee and Miz falls to the mat and rolls out of the ring. Ziggler climbs up the ladder on one leg, but before he gets to the top, Miz runs in and powerbombs him into a ladder. The pair are at the top of a ladder again and then Ziggler starts hitting Miz with headbutts. Miz falls down. Miz pops up and kicks Ziggler in the junk. Twice. Ziggler crumples to the mat as Miz climbs up and retains his IC title.
As ladder matches go, nothing groundbreaking happens. It’s hard to top some of the epic matches we’ve seen in the past. But it is entertaining throughout. Both men bring their a-game. The crowd was really behind Ziggler so the finish was booed, but it was actually really great. I enjoyed that bout. Best match so far tonight. After the match, The Miz gets on the mic and dedicates his victory to Daniel Bryan.
Next match is a chairs match between Baron Corbin and Kalisto. As you might expect, Corbin dominates to start this match, spilling the action out around the ring. He manhandles Kalisto like a paper doll. Kalisto rallies with some nice offense and the two manage to get some oh’s and ah’s from the crowd with some pretty devastating moves, ie: violence. Kalisto dives out of the ring towards Corbin, but he catches the tiny Lucha and hits a Deep Six on the floor. In the ring, Corbin covers but Kalisto kicks out. Corbin hits End of Days on a pile of chairs and that’s the ballgame. A breakout out match for both guys, really. Very nice to watch. The arena crowd was flat, but make no mistake that this was a really great match to watch.
Natalya is interviewed and asked about attacking Nikki. Instead she wishes Becky Lynch luck in her title defense. Then she calls the comments Carmella made absurd and calls her a liar. Natalya versus Nikki or Carmella is not a very promising feud. Let’s hope they skip that and move on to something else. This interview did segue nicely into the next match. Alexa Bliss challenging Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a tables match. Both ladies aggressive to start. Becky is the first to set a table up outside the ring, but Alexa stops her from utilizing it. The crowd is shit throughout this one, chanting for other things unrelated to the match. Charlotte and Sasha spoiled us on Raw this past week, but Becky and Alexa are putting on a good show. Outside the ring, Alexa powerbombs Becky through a table for the win! What!? That’s exciting! Alexa Bliss is my favorite female on both rosters so this is really great. Yes!
The main event of the night is Dean Ambrose challenging AJ Styles in a traditional TLC match for the WWE World Championship. The championship hangs high above the ring. Ambrose going right after the champ as soon as the bell rings. Ambrose clotheslines Styles outside the ring. He follows the champ out and they fight up the ramp. This spills out into the crowd. Ambrose is all over the map. He puts a trash can on Styles and hits him near the announce table with a chair. He gets in the ring and sets up a ladder, but Styles recovers enough to stop him, planting him on the mat. Styles takes control as the crowd rallies behind him, chanting his name.
Ambrose pounds Styles into a group of chairs, garnering a “Holy Shit!” chant from the crowd. Ambrose throws Styles through the metal legs of a table. Styles bounces back and suplexes Ambrose through a table. Wow, a really terrific few minutes of action. Goodness. Dirty Deeds and Phenomenal Forearm both countered, respectively, and then Ambrose throws Styles out of the ring. Ambrose puts Styles on one announce table and sets a ladder up on a second table. Ambrose off the ladder, dropping an elbow into Styles, crashing through the announce table. Mauro Ranallo screams, “Oh my god!” and then the announce team falls silent as the crowd chants, “This is awesome!”
Ambrose leaves Styles in the wreckage and gets a ladder into the ring. He climbs towards the belt. Styles gets on the apron and leaps off the top rope to hit a Phenomenal Forearm, knocking Ambrose off the ladder. They both recover and crawl up either side of the ladder. They knock each other off the ladder and then Ambrose spins Styles into the ladder. Styles sets Ambrose on a table outside the ring and does a 450 splash off the top rope, driving Ambrose through the table. Styles sets a ladder up in the ring as James Ellsworth comes down. Styles foregoes the ladder and goes after Ellsworth. Ambrose hops up and hits Dirty Deeds on the steel steps.
Ambrose scrambles into the ring and sets up a ladder under the title. Ambrose gets up two rungs before Styles joins him on the ladder. Ambrose knocks him off the ladder and out of the ring. Just as Ambrose is reaching for the title Ellsworth tips the ladder over and Ambrose goes through two tables! Ellsworth cheers on Styles has he sets up a ladder and slowly works his way to the top. Styles grabs his title and retains. What a fantastic match. Easily the best match of the night. Bravo. Once again, Smackdown Live has outdone themselves, continuing to stand out within the WWE brand split.
What did you think of tonight’s pay-per-view? Let us know in the comments below! See you all tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!
Article by Jamie Curtis 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
WWE’s Backlash will be the first PPV since the brand split and will crown the inaugural Smackdown Women’s Champion and Tag Team Champions. The Backlash PPV is not new to WWE; this is the 12th under this name. Fans of American Alpha will be disappointed, as Jason Jordan and Chad Gable will not be competing tonight due to a storyline injury to Gable. Let’s run down the match card and make some predictions.
The Miz (c) vs Dolph Ziggler – Intercontinental Championship Match
On Talking Smack, The Miz absolutely eviscerated Daniel Bryan. It was an incredible show from Miz and a great reminder why he is a fantastic champion. WWE capitalized on this by siccing Dolph Ziggler on our IC champ, which ended up making Miz look weak and cowardly. It was a frustrating move, but necessary to set up this match. Obviously Miz is not above doing something underhanded to keep his championship, and he definitely isn’t afraid to use wife Maryse to his advantage either. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this is a fair fight.
F2H Prediction – The Miz
Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Carmella vs Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Bella vs Naomi – Six Pack Challenge for the Women’s Championship
This will be an elimination challenge, where the last woman standing will win the Smackdown Women’s title for the first time. We have a couple former champions here, but the majority have yet to told a title in the WWE and are likely extra motivated to gain a victory. The returning Nikki Bella is an obvious favorite, but Natalya has been plowing through her competition lately and is finally asserting herself. Becky Lynch has had title shots in the past and could easily win tonight, but Naomi, Carmella, and Alexa Bliss all present different challenges and could be the ones to eliminate a stronger competitor. I’m excited to see this match; it looks like it will take up a large time slot and allow these women to really bring it.
F2H Prediction – Alexa Bliss
The Usos vs The Hype Bros – Tag Team Championship Qualifying Match
My theory about American Alpha being removed from this competition is that it would hurt them to be beaten by Slater and Rhyno, and it would hurt if they were to beat them. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how much the fans rallied behind Slater. The segment with his “wife” was hilarious, and the failure after failure to get a contract has been incredibly entertaining. The Usos took a dark turn on Smackdown, likely setting up a future feud between them and Alpha. Hype Bros are strong competitors and will give The Usos a run for their money; Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley are both energetic and decent in the ring, so this one could go either way.
F2H Prediction – The Usos
Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt
Randy Orton got his ass handed to him at Summerslam. It was a one-sided fight that resulted in Orton lying in a pool of blood while Brock Lesnar stood over him. Afterwards, Bray Wyatt set his sights on Orton, saying that the display at Summerslam proved that he is only a man. This would be awesome, except that Wyatt is almost never booked to win anymore, so his threats come up empty. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bray Wyatt, but it’s difficult to believe his hype when he can’t win a match. We’ll see if his luck changes Sunday night.
F2H Prediction – Bray Wyatt
Usos/Hype Bros Winner vs Heath Slater & Rhyno – Tag Team Championship Match
Heath Slater has gone from jobbing in quick matches to earning a title match on a PPV. Every time he failed to earn a contract, the fans rallied behind him more. His “kids” sitting ringside at the last Smackdown made things even better. Rhyno has easily fallen into the role of Slater’s sidekick, muscle, and comedic relief. If Slater doesn’t win tonight, he doesn’t get his contract. There is a chance that this story could get dragged out further, but I think it’s ready for the next chapter.
F2H Prediction – Heath Slater and Rhyno
Dean Ambrose (c) vs AJ Styles – WWE World Heavyweight Champion Title Match
AJ Styles took out John Cena and became the new face that runs the place. Naturally, the next step after knocking off Cena is to get yourself a championship. Dean Ambrose has been a great rival for Styles, but a lot of their interactions have felt forced. Styles’ anger at Ambrose doesn’t feel genuine, and it makes this battle feel a bit awkward. Ambrose is an unconventional champion, which is what we needed. He doesn’t care who he faces and doesn’t back down from anyone. Even with the shaky set up, this should be a fantastic title match.
F2H Prediction – AJ Styles
The Backlash preshow will begin at 7:00 PM live on the WWE Network, with the main event starting at 8:00 PM EST. Follow us on Twitter at @FaceToHeel as we will be live tweeting during the PPV and providing instant feedback afterwards if you’re unable to watch. As always, leave your own predictions in the comments section below. Which match are you looking forward to most? Who will be the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion? Tell us your thoughts below. See you on Sunday!
WWE’s Payback PPV will take place tonight in Chicago, IL at the AllState Arena. My husband and I attended Payback in 2014 and had a blast, so if you’re in the area and attending, I am jealous. This was originally scheduled to take place on May 22nd in Newark, NJ, but was rescheduled. It will be the fourth Payback PPV in history. Every title but one is on the line tonight, plus we will find out the future of Shane McMahon and his sister, Stephanie. Let’s take a look at tonight’s matches and make some predictions.
Kalisto (c) vs Ryback – United States Championship Match (Kickoff Show)
For the second PPV in a row, the US Title will be defended on the pre-show kickoff, because the WWE clearly doesn’t care about making this title matter. Kalisto’s title reign is on track to become more useless than Dean Ambrose’s reign, and that’s pretty bad. What is the point of having this title if it’s ignored or shoved to the preshow on a consistent basis? Complaints aside, I’m hoping that these two go full force and give us a match that screams Main Event. I’m also pulling for The Big Guy 100%, which is no surprise.
Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho – Singles Match
Jericho has thankfully moved on from bothering AJ Styles and calling him a rookie, and is now wrapped up in Ambrose’s antics. Ambrose shoved Jericho out of the way, replacing the Highlight Reel with the Ambrose Asylum. I thought that Jericho would be taking another break from in-ring action after his feud with Styles ended, but it looks like he’ll be sticking around for a few more months. Jericho may still “have it” if you listen to the fans, but for me, he’s best used in a part time capacity in limited matches. It’s unclear whether or not this match-up will be repeated in the future, but I hope it isn’t.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Enzo & Big Cass vs The Vaudevillains – #1 Contender Tag Team Championship Match
I initially thought that the tag titles would be defended tonight, because that would make sense, but instead we’re getting the qualifying match to see who will face The New Day for the titles. I’m disappointed not to see a Tag Title match, but incredibly excited to see Enzo and Cass compete. They are among the most over wrestlers in the company right now, and for good reason. NXT took a hit when it lost these two, but I’m happy they finally got a well-deserved call up to the main roster. I hope that New Day takes over the commentary table for this match the way they did on Smackdown recently.
WINNER: Enzo & Cass
The Miz (c) vs Cesaro – Intercontinental Championship Match
I love that The Miz keeps winning titles in underhanded, obnoxious ways. This time around, he stole the title from Zack Ryder 24 hours after he won it. I’m sadly not a fan of Maryse, Miz’s wife and new valet. She is joining the cast of Total Divas and will be on Raw and Smackdown for the foreseeable future as a way to promote her appearance on the reality series. Cesaro is back from injury with a new James Bond 007 gimmick that wasn’t necessary but not completely terrible either. I’m glad he’s back and still popular, and I’m hoping he wins tonight so he can have a decent run as champ. He’s earned it.
WINNER: The Miz
Charlotte (c) with Ric Flair vs Natalya with Bret Hart – Women’s Championship Match
Fans want Sasha Banks to be champ. I want her to be champ. WWE wants Charlotte though, and they don’t want her without her daddy in tow. Adding Bret Hart to the mix is actually an interesting move. It evens the playing field so we can hopefully finally have an honest match instead of seeing Charlotte’s victories earned by her father instead of by her. My hope is that Ric and Bret entertain each other outside of the ring so that Charlotte and Natalya can have a true one-on-one. The worry here, of course, is that Bret helps Natalya win and she becomes the same sort of champion Charlotte is now.
Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin – Singles Match
I became a serious fan of Corbin after watching Breaking Ground and I’ve been enjoying his (squash) matches on Raw and Smackdown lately. He’s a powerhouse and his character feels genuine because it’s based on his personality to the letter. Ziggler is a good guy to have Corbin go against because he can make being hit by a light breeze look like getting mowed down by a freight train. I hate to see Ziggler jobbing, but if he has to job to someone, Corbin is a good choice. And maybe Ziggler doing the job now pays off for him in the future.
WINNER: Baron Corbin
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens – Singles Match
The build to this match has been phenomenal. Owens and Zayn have one hell of a history, and have gone from best friends to mortal enemies. I imagine that both men are excited about this one. Having worked with someone for so long and then both make it to the main roster of the WWE together has got to be a great feeling. This match has had so much hype behind it, you would think it was the main event. And rightly so; it’s about damn time we recognize real talent instead of the John Cena’s and Roman Reigns’s of the world being the only ones coming out on top. Regardless of how this turns out, I’m happy. It’s going to be fantastic and will also be a nice preview of what is to come when these two men finally main event a WWE PPV together (eg: WrestleMania 32?)
WINNER: Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns (c) vs AJ Styles – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
I’m so confused about this match. I don’t know why Styles was thrown into the title picture so quickly, especially given all the “rookie” nonsense. No other male competitor has received a title shot so fast, and while Styles may deserve it, it is questionable given all the other seasoned talent on the roster. I’ve been working with the assumption that Seth Rollins will return at or around Summerslam, so I’m closely analyzing every move they make with the WHC belt. Styles makes no sense to me. As far as Reigns goes, it’s clear that we’re not going to have the strong and silent Reigns any time soon, so it’s also clear that I’m not getting on board with him. If I see him blow on his fist as if it is the barrel of a shotgun one more time, I’m going to lose it. I’m curious to see if The Authority makes an appearance during this match, especially since Triple H is due his rematch. Keep in mind the name of the show is “payback” so maybe HHH, Gallows and Anderson, or even Rollins comes out to get some.
WINNER: Roman Reigns
Article by Mrs Jamie 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
WWE’s Payback Pay Per View is nearly upon us, and my husband and I are lucky enough to have tickets in hand for what is looking like a seriously solid event. Look for us; we’ll be the ones jumping around with Wyatt Family and CM Punk signs. Unlike Extreme Rules, where I was able to guess nearly every match outcome, Payback seems nearly unpredictable. The card is overflowing with the announced matches and the rumored events that are coming on Sunday. Here’s what we can expect.
Mask vs Hair Match (Preshow): El Torito vs Hornswoggle
I initially laughed off this rivalry and was incredibly disappointed to see that a WeeLC match was booked for the Extreme Rules PPV. To my surprise, it turned out to be one of the best matches of the night. If Hornswoggle wins this Sunday, El Torito will be unmasked. If the bull pulls out a win, Hornswoggle will have his head shaved. These two set the bar high with their performance last month, so I fully expect them to deliver again.
WINNER: El Torito. On the off chance Hornswoggle wins, I expect El Torito to be unmasked only to reveal a second mask.
United States Championship Match: Sheamus vs Cesaro
Dean Ambrose held the US title for quite a while, but barely ever defended it. Once he had to, he quickly lost it to Sheamus. Pitting the Irishman against Cesaro should make for a great match, as both men are quite dominant in the ring. Having Paul Heyman at ringside always works to enhance any match and should give Cesaro a slight edge. Sheamus hasn’t been champion for long and given Cesaro’s current push, we may see his short reign come to an end at Payback.
WINNER: Cesaro. Cue speech by Heyman.
Divas Championship Match: Paige vs Alicia Fox
It’s no secret that I dislike Paige and don’t think she should be champion. AJ is rumored to return after her wedding to CM Punk next month, so this match will likely be short and uneventful. Alicia Fox would be a great victor; she’s turned into a monster of sorts, unable to control her temper after matches. Pitting the returning AJ against Alicia doesn’t make sense and leaves things unresolved between AJ and Paige. Then again, Creative seems to put the Divas dead last, so they may be unconcerned with the storyline altogether.
WINNER: Paige. Let’s hope she can lock in her submission move in under 60 seconds this time.
Rumored: Adam Rose vs Jack Swagger
No one cares. Poor Jack Swagger looked as though he was going to have a big push in 2013, but then got himself arrested for DUI. Things were looking up when he was paired with Cesaro, but Cesaro has moved on. Now the guy is stuck feuding with the lollipop enthusiast and waste of space that is Adam Rose. I hope this rumor is nothing more than that because this is the last thing the PPV needs, and I have zero desire to see this acid trip of a man live and in person.
WINNER: The audience, assuming this match never happens.
Recently Announced: Big E. vs Rusev
Rusev is a beast, but so is Big E. This has the potential to be a great match IF they allow it to progress longer than Rusev’s matches have been thus far. We need more than a few minutes of action in order to give both competitors the opportunity to showcase their abilities. Big E needs a chance to show he’s not to be forgotten just because he’s no longer champ. Rusev needs a chance to show he can do more than squash jobbers and/or men half his size. If given the time, this will be a great match.
WINNER: Rusev. Expecting to see a different finisher than we’re used to.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Bad News Barrett vs Rob Van Dam
I could not be happier to have Barrett back on the main card. He’s a fantastic heel, his entrance music kills, and he’s fun to watch both in and out of the ring. Rob Van Dam is a fun guy with moves that are hard to match, and part of me wonders if his recent return was set to come with a title run. Considering the backgrounds of both men, I fully expect a violent and brutal match. Here’s hoping they can deliver.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett. It’s too soon to kill his momentum with a title loss.
Rumored: Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn
On the May 27th episode of Main Event, Ziggler faced off with NXT’s Sami Zayn in a dark match that has been described as “unreal.” Complaints have been all over social media about the decision to not televise this amazing match. Due to the positive feedback, it’s now rumored that we may see these men compete at Payback. Being a huge fan of Ziggler, I hope there is something behind all this buzz. Cut out some of the useless John Cena promos and give us the Show Off!
WINNER: Ziggler, naturally with the Zig Zag.
No Holds Barred Elimination Match: The Shield vs Evolution
This match has been a slow build. Tensions between the Shield and Triple H rose bit by bit. The reunion of (most of) Evolution came as a serious surprise; it was the perfect way to turn tension into a solid feud and to separate Triple H from Stephanie as she deals with other matters. The problem with predicting an outcome here comes from the fact that both teams needs this win; both have the same goals and both have the same strong desire to emerge victorious.
WINNER: The Shield. I say this with very little confidence, but feel a loss for Evolution would give Batista a good opening to leave to do promotions for his movie. (And possibly pursue a skinny jeans modeling career.)
Rumored Tag Team Title Match: The Usos vs Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
This match will very likely happen, but I cannot find anything stating it has been made official. I feel that the outcome of this match is directly connected to the outcome of the Cena vs Bray match. We’ve seen far too many three-on-three brawls with these six men lately; it’s painfully obvious that we’re meant to see the Usos as Cena’s backup, the answer to the Wyatt family trio. Whatever the outcome, I hope this feud is put to rest after Sunday night.
WINNER: Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. How amazing would those freaks of nature be as our champs?
Last Man Standing Match: Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
At Extreme Rules, Bray picked up a very spooky victory over Cena by recruiting a young member of the Cenation to scare the living daylights out of everyone in the arena. Bray is the dominant man here; he’s superior on the mic, unpredictable in the ring, and clearly the right person to be the last standing. He’s proven time and again that he’s better than Cena. The WWE universe is tired of seeing Cena hop up like nothing’s wrong over and over again. He needs to go down for the ten count.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt. This will hopefully end the Cena/Wyatt feud as well with the family coming out on top.
State of WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan has been talked about quite a bit lately on FaceToHeel, and for good reason. We’re all on the edge of our seats wondering what will come next. Payback should give us our answers. Bryan is faced with the threat of his wife Brie losing her job if he fails to comply with Stephanie’s demands. It seems likely that Bryan will bend to save his wife, but that seems too simple. Perhaps he’ll issue a challenge that will take Brie out of the equation. In all honesty, I’m stumped on what will happen this Sunday. My only hope is that Bryan is able to enter and leave that arena with his head held high, smile on his face, as us fans do our best to make Stephanie’s ears ring. YES!
Elephant In The Room
Will he or won’t he? CM Punk has been out of action for months and was completely silent on Twitter until just recently. He’s been vocal about his upcoming wedding and about Blackhawks games, but has been mute when it comes to anything WWE related. Every fiber of my being wants Punk to come back at Payback. It’s such a perfect set up and no secret that the fans are eager for it to happen. If he is planning a return, it’s been beautifully kept under wraps. I can analyze the situation and come up with a list of reasons it will happen, but I can also make a list of equal size about why it won’t. This is one prediction I cannot make, but know that I’ll be wishing it into existence from this moment until the very last second of the PPV.