Just when you think the rumors are over about WWE purchasing TNA, they start up all over again. Prior to Bound for Glory on October 2nd, there was a large group of people who assumed that if WWE didn’t bite the bullet and buy out TNA, the BFG PPV would have to be cancelled. Obviously, neither of those things ended up happening. Now, the rumor is that WWE is looking to buy out TNA’s video library. It’s said that it may be about to happen or has already happened and simply hasn’t been announced yet.
It’s no secret that Impact Wrestling has seen quite a few ups and downs over the years. It seems that the threat of running out of money and, to quote Matt Hardy, becoming obsolete is always hanging over their heads. It doesn’t help that Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe are a big part of NXT right now, involved in major storylines. Eric Young will be debuting soon, Austin Aries has been having stellar matches for months, and AJ Styles is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Those were five big names in TNA who are now wrestling with the enemy.
On the flipside of that, you could argue that TNA has been able to pick up some of WWE’s talent as well, which wouldn’t happen if they were truly circling the drain. WWE’s Brodus Clay made the jump to TNA after his release, debuting as Tyrus and being featured alongside Ethan Carter III as a bodyguard. He’s now solo and in a new gimmick as The Fixer. Damien Sandow was released after creating comedy gold as The Miz’s stunt double. He debuted on TNA as Aron Rex and is now the current and inaugural Impact Grand Champion. Cody Rhodes requested his release from WWE after growing tired of the Stardust gimmick, and his wife Brandi Rhodes (ring announcer Eden Stiles) followed suit. Now known as simply “Cody,” he made his TNA debut at Bound For Glory alongside his wife by confronting Mike Bennett and wife Maria to begin a feud between the couples.
TNA also currently has one of the most successful factions and greatest stories currently going on in any company. Jeff Hardy threw his brother Matt from a staircase in the Impact Zone and “broke” him. Matt returned as Broken Matt Hardy, a blond streak in his now frizzy hair, an insane accent, and aspirations to DELETE DELETE DELETE! We got The Final Deletion, Delete or Decay, and The Great War; three battles that are beyond epic, overly dramatic, and definite masterpieces. WWE has tried to capitalize on the success of the Broken Hardys by enlisting Bray Wyatt and company. They tried to recreate their version of The Final Deletion by pitting The Wyatt Family against The New Day in an outdoor brawl. Now they have Bray Wyatt torturing Randy Orton, who he is calling “damaged.” Try as they might, they can’t match the broken brilliance of the Hardys.
One thing that hurts TNA is their need to tape multiple shows within a very short period of time, then show those tapings over weeks or months. TNA reportedly has already finished filming enough to carry them to the end of the year. Thanks to the internet, I already know about a major title change, and I wasn’t even searching for anything related to that. There are us fans who avoid spoilers like the plague, and then there are those fans who adore being the first to know and try to share their “knowledge” with anyone who will listen. I’m still going to be tuning in every week, but I can understand how a casual fan would just say to hell with watching after finding out about this title change.
2017 could be TNA’s year though. With Billy Corgan edging out Dixie Carter as TNA President, big changes are in store. If WWE does buy out the library, that would give Corgan more money to use for improvements; new talent, more live tapings, and more opportunity to travel and play to different cities. There is also the idea of Corgan changing the company’s name, rebranding and starting fresh. No more TNA, no more Impact Zone. A name is just a name, but because “TNA” carries so much negativity to so many people (not to mention makes people think “tits and ass” instead of wrestling), a name change brings about a new beginning.
Even if you’re not a fan of TNA wrestling, preferring the company of others, its existence is important. WWE is top dog, but it doesn’t thrive without TNA, NJPW, ROH, AAA, the companies that were left in the past and those that will come in the future. Your favorite wrestlers don’t get to where they are now without the independent circuits, trials and failures in other companies, and competition. TNA needs these other companies, but they also need TNA. All rumors aside, I am cheering for TNA to succeed, and if you’re a true wrestling fan, then you should be too.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
— We kicked off the week shooting around some scenarios with John Cena’s future as a part-timer, retiring The Undertaker, and moving the WWE into a younger generation. We learned that Shelton Benjamin was injured and his WWE future is questionable at this particular point in time. He will most likely need surgery and may be on the injured list for several months.
— Monday Night Raw gave us the go home show leading up to tonight’s pay-per-view. We saw a women’s tag match, Rusev taking on Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns versus Kevin Owens in a steel cage! Plus, the introduction of the Cruiserweights. All this and more in our full review of RAW.
— Smackdown Live came at us on Tuesday and featured The Usos can full dark side, American Alpha’s return, The Miz forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship, and The Viper, Randy Orton, in action. The main event was John Cena against Dean Ambrose in singles competition. Read all about it HERE.
— Taped from Full Sail, NXT arrived on the WWE Network on Wednesday. Samoa Joe gave William Regal a very stern ultimatum about Shinsuke Nakamura and the rest of the locker room. Cruiserweight Classic Tournament competitor, Cedric Alexander, made his NXT in-ring debut. And Austin Aries called out Hideo Itami. Read all about the latest taping right HERE.
— Dixie Carter won the week with yet another fantastic episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling. The stage is slowly being set for Bound For Glory. We saw the Grand Championship tournament finals lock in their last two, Maria Kanellis-Bennett public training, an X-Division Championship match, and a four-man tag team match for the main event featuring Lashley, EC3, Moose, and The Miracle. Read about the entire stellar broadcast HERE.
— The last NJPW before Wrestle Kingdom came to us from AXSTV on Friday, featuring a CMLL World Welterweight Championship title defense, and a tag match between four warring competitors. The main event was Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata taking on Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii, and boy did they go to war. Read the full play-by-play HERE.
— And of course, tonight is WWE’s Clash of Champions PPV live from Indianapolis, IN. Face To Heel will be live from the arena! We will try to Tweet, get lots of photos, and soak in every wonderful moment. Read all about our full match predictions HERE and be sure to follow our site and our writers on twitter: @FaceToHeel, @OhhhTweener, @MrNotWell. Enjoy the show everybody and we’ll see you tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
If you missed last week’s episode, check out our full review featuring Shinsuke Nakamura being carried out on a stretcher and a GLORIOUS match from Bobby Roode. This article is being posted a day late because the WWE Network in the Face to Heel household was not working at all last night.
The show starts with a recap of Samoa Joe taking out Shinsuke Nakamura. After the video, Joe comes down to the ring. Joe somehow has a copy of Shinsuke’s medical report. He has contusions in his lower lumbar, a clavicle separation, and shoulder and elbow injuries. His injuries will not require surgery, but he will need rest for 6-12 weeks. Crowd boos. I have already lost interest in this segment. Even if I bought into kayfabe, pretty sure reading someone’s medical report on live television is something close to a felony. So it just wouldn’t happen. But whatever, the Full Sail crowd is buying it hook, line and sinker. Joe calls out William Regal and demands the title be stripped and given back to Joe.
He comes out and confirms Shinsuke is seriously hurt. He says he will take care of the problems Joe cause. Crowd chants his name. Joe leaves the ring and goes for Regal. He gets in his face and says Regal either makes the situation right or the entire NXT roster will be hurt like Shinsuke. At least the segment ended exciting. I look forward to Samoa Joe hurting a bunch of people. That’s always fun.
Cedric Alexander interviewed backstage. He is set to have his NXT in-ring debut tonight against Cien. He asked Regal for the best and got what he asked for, he says. Liv Morgan is interviewed, says she came to NXT to leap hurtles. She says she wants to do whatever she needs to in order to prepare to take the NXT Women’s Championship. Asuka interrupts. She says lets find out if she has what it takes.
Oney Lorcan comes to the ring, set to take on Austin Aries. Grappling to start, which Aries takes control of. Oney recovers with a couple of headlocks. Aries escapes, but Oney locks it back on. He rides Aries down to the mat, not removing the headlock. Crowd at Full Sail is pretty quiet tonight. Aries slaps Oney in the face in the corner. Oney shoves him to the mat, locks in a headlock, but Aries dumps him outside the ring. Back in the ring, Aries drops an elbow and tries a cover. Oney kicks out at two. Oney takes control with some strikes and throwing himself into Aries in the corner. Aries again spills him out of the ring, hits the top rope and jumps off with an elbow. Aries rolls Oney back into the ring, who turns and hits Aries with two uppercuts. He covers, but Aries barely kicks out. Rolling elbow and running dropkick by Aries. On the mat Oney meets the Last Chancery up close and personal and has no choice but to tap. Austin Aries wins via submission. Not my favorite match. Pretty standard, run-of-the-mill, and I personally feel like Oney Lorcan needs a lot of work on the NXT stage.
After the match, Austin Aries gets on the mic and calls Hideo Itmai a “big coward.” Hideo’s music hits and he comes out. He gets in the ring and Austin Aries turns and rolls out of the ring. He jogs up the ramp with his arms raised and leaves. Crowd boos. Hideo stands in the ring angry. Man, that surgery scar on his arm is ugly as hell. Dan Matha promo package after. He is set to debut in two weeks.
Aliyah and Billie Kay wrestling next for some NXT women’s action. Aliyah is really impressive the first couple of minutes, utilizing the ropes and puling out some nice moves. Crowd is still flat for this one, too. I hate a quiet audience. Billie turns the tables and stomps Aliyah in the corner. Neckbreaker by Aliyah leads to a cover, but Billie kicks out. Billie hits a big boot to the face and covers for the pinfall. Just not enough time given to these ladies. They are good, but just when you get into a match they wrap it up. I really like Aliyah. She is a great worker.
Mandy Rose backstage interviewed about Ember Moon. She says she looks like The Hunger Games. When she gets in the ring with her, she will make sure she is, “totally eclipsed.” Okay. That was terrible.
Cruiserweight Cedric Alexander is coming down to take on Andrade “Cien” Almas. On a sidenote, can we just pick one name for the guy? The roster refers to him as Andrade, Cien, or Almas. Just call him Andrade and lose the rest, or call him Cien and lose the rest. He is billed as a name with a nickname. Grappling to start. The crowd finally wakes up, cheering for Cedric. A flurry of offense from Cien gets the crowd fired up. Cien dumps Cedric out of the ring and then corkscrew flips off the top rope to knock him down. Back in the ring, Cedric and Cien trade chops. Cedric off the ropes connects with a vicious kick and Cien rolls out of the ring. Cedric off the ropes again and this time he goes flying over the top rope to take down Cien. This one is evenly matched in the final moments. Both men score great offense but neither can keep the other down for a full three count. Huge backbreaker out of the corner by Cedric and he wins his NXT debut! Wow. That was great of Cien to put him over. Fun match to watch. Cedric will have a great future with WWE.
After the match the pair shake hands and hug. An alright episode. The Samoa Joe ultimatum at the start of the show seems anti-climatic now that he didn’t come back out again the rest of the show. The addition of some of the Cruiserweights from the CWC tournament is going to help the dwindling lack of talent in NXT. The problem with main roster call-ups is that it sometimes leaves giant holes.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
I’m excited to be back among the living on Wednesday nights and able to watch NXT live. With Shinsuke Nakamura as our champion and Bayley off on Raw, the entire landscape has changed. Tonight, we’ll get an interview with Asuka, but first, we have a tag match with Shane Thorne and Nick Miller of TM61 and Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari of the Cruiserweight Classic. Thorne and Nese start things off, with Nese effortlessly flying around the ring to out-maneuver Thorne. Daivari and Miller are tagged in, Miller gets pinned in the wrong corner as our CWC competitors dominate TM61.
Nese makes an amazing dive out of the ring, but not to be shown up, Thorne takes a dive of his own and shows that TM61 can fly with the best of them. With the distraction by Daivari, Nese takes a cheap shot on Thorne. Nese lifts Thorne high, throws him on the ropes, then hits a high knee into a pin. Miller is desperate for a pin, but Nese and Daivari won’t allow it. Daivari taunts Miller, allowing Thorne to sneak in an uppercut. Nese and Miller are tagged in, and Miller starts delivering slaps to the face, then a forearm into an unsuccessful pin. TM61 is getting their footing back, nearly getting the win but Daivari breaks it up. Daivari hits a frogsplash into a pin, but can’t get it done. TM61 tag team Daivari with Thunder Valley, allowing Miller to get the pin and win the match. An absolutely phenomenal showing by all four athletes.
Tom Phillips shows us his interview with Asuka from earlier today. Asuka says she was excited by the Brooklyn crowd during her title match with Bayley. She calls Bayley the heart of NXT and says she fought hard, but Asuka fought harder. Our current champion is still undefeated, and Phillips goes through the list of competitors she has destroyed. Asuka says she cleared out the women’s division; the women who went to Raw and Smackdown got saved because they don’t have to fight her anymore. The championship is of the utmost importance to Asuka. She defends it for herself and for her country, then addresses her fans in Japan in her foreign . Finally, Asuka says that no one is ready for her. She will be hard to dethrone.
Ember Moon is set to compete next against Leah Von, who to her credit, isn’t looking intimidated in the least. Von is able to get Moon into a headlock, but Moon launches herself off the ropes and into a crossbody on Von. Moon is struggling a bit to get her footing, as Von launches her into a corner, then shows off with a cartwheel. Moon gets Von into the corner and flips into a clothesline. She goes to the top rope as the crowd cheers, and grabs Von’s head to deliver a stunner and pin her for the victory. Moon is a serious competitor and I’m glad she’s a part of the NXT roster.
Backstage, No Way Jose addresses the disrespect he received from Bobby Roode. He promises to make sure that Roode finds out that no one messes with No Way Jose. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are also backstage discussing injuries. They will get a chance to compete next week at the Cruiserweight Classic to prove that they are back at 100% and able to take on The Revival.
Our next match is Andrade “Cien” Almas versus Austin Aries. Cien gets Aries to his knees quickly with a wrist lock, but Aries is able to counter with an arm bar. Aries goes into a handstand and then hits a dropkick before taking a break and lounging on the ropes. After Cien gets a few good hits in and tries for a pin, Aries takes a break outside of the ring. He tries to throw Cien from the ring, but he catches himself on the ropes and then throws Aries towards the barricade. Cien goes to the top rope, then Aries shoves him off, sending him head first into the ramp.
After the short commercial break, both men are back in the ring with Aries in control. Half the crowd is chanting for Aries, the other half thinks he sucks. Hugn up on the ropes, Cien manages to get a kick in to get Aries down. He is trying to get the crowd behind him, but Aries sneaks in a dropkick into a pin. Both men are on the ropes, with Cien able to elbow Aries off of him. He flips off and gets Aries down for a near pinfall. The two begin trading punches, then Aries delivers a deafening chop. Cien tries for a hurricanrana, but Aries counters it into a powerbomb to a Last Chancery, and gets the win via tap out. The crowd wasn’t as into this match as they should have been; it was a killer match.
Our main event is Shinsuke Nakamura versus Steve Cutler, with Samoa Joe on commentary. Nakamura’s entrance gets me every single time; I’m never getting sick of this. I love the crowd participation in his song, I love his charisma; he has that special something that only comes around once in a blue. Samoa Joe doesn’t seem as impressed, but he does say that Nakamura was the better man in Brooklyn and he deserves that championship. The crowd starts chanting “Shinsuke’s gonna kill you” as the bell rings and the two men approach each other.
Cutler tries to get close, but Nakamura won’t allow it, with well times kicks. They eventually lock up, and Nakamura sneaks in a kick to his head. The crowd is chanting for Cutler to take the count out, as Nakamura hits him with a hard knee before pinning him in the corner. He charges Cutler, who is able to counter and throw Nakamura into the corner and deliver some hard hits. He pins the champ, but Nakamura is out quick. Cutler tries for a Suplex, but Nakamura hits him with a knee and then gives us a clinic on why he is King of Strong Style. He throws Cutler over his head, then hits the Kinshasa for the win! Man, that title looks good on Nakamura. We close out the show with our champion holding his title high.
Next week, No Way Jose will face off with Bobby Roode, which I’m anxious to see. This was an absolutely amazing episode of NXT; if you missed it tonight, get on the network now and watch! It was much better than last week’s episode. What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
Last week gave us a pretty dull episode of NXT, post-Takeover. But the card was on fire in Brooklyn and we now have Shinsuke Nakamura as our champion. Let’s see what the WWE Network has in store for us tonight.
Segment from earlier in the day with Samoa Joe and physical trainer. The doctor tells William Regal that Joe is not cleared for tonight and won’t be anytime soon. Not good. The injuries within WWE have been staggering lately. The Perfect 10, Tye Dillinger, comes out first as the crowd cheers. He is set to take on Buddy Murphy. Slow going to start. Murphy tries to play some mind games and Dillinger takes him down to the mat. Crowd is dead silent just a few seconds in. Dillinger manages to get the audience to chant ten. Big elbow by Murphy ends that. Dillinger slams his head against the turnbuckle. Murphy leaps the ropes and slams Dillinger down. Forearm to the face and Murphy covers. Dillinger kicks out at one, garnering a one chant from the crowd. Couple of chops from Dillinger. He bounces off the ropes but Murphy tosses him over the top rope to the outside. Back in the ring, Murphy hits two knees to the face off the top rope. Dillinger barely kicks out at two. So far this one has been really standard, albeit boring. Couple of sloppy clotheslines by Dillinger. He then stomps Murphy in the corner multiple times. Dillinger removes his knee pad and hits the Tye Breaker for the pinfall and win. That one was just empty and flat. No substance, no life. Just two guys going through the motions. That shit right there won’t get you called up to the main roster, I can promise you that.
Tommaso Ciampa is interviewed backstage. He starts cutting a promo on The Revival, but they come up from behind and jump him. They beat him through the back, through the curtain, and then into the ring. Scott Dawson gets on the mic and says everybody’s a tough guy until they get their ass kicked. They hit Shatter Machine on Ciampa, as the crowd boo’s, then leave.
Steve Cutler comes to the ring; crowd could care less. His opponent, Kenneth Crawford, comes out; crowd may care even less for the second entrance. On a side note, Crawford has a really weird looking chest. He has little teabag nipples that hang off his deflated pecs. Super weird. The match starts with some minor grappling. Both these guys look like generic create-a-characters in WWE2K. Even their ring gear is basic. Steve Cutler wins this one by pinfall. Just not into this match at all. Another dud. Disappointing night so far from NXT. There’s another one of those Sanity vignettes after the match, which we are assuming might be for the soon returning Eric Young?
No Way Jose comes out and the crowd gets all fired up. I do a little dance on my couch. Fun stuff. Glad people are finally starting to come around to him. He was burned on his debut as some people didn’t like his demeanor. But he’s really awesome if you ask me. Angelo Dawkins comes down. Interesting. This should be a really great matchup. This broadcast definitely needs a pick-me-up. Fun, fast-paced start to this one. Crowd with dueling chants for both guys. When we saw Dawkins at a live show a few months ago he was really entertaining as a heel and put on a great show. Dawkins hits some strong attacks and Jose keeps the crowd invested. He is always entertaining. He ends this one with a full Nelson slam for the pinfall. Crowd sings and dances along as they play his song out. That match was just the right length. Get in, put in work, get gone. I dug it. No Way Jose jumps the barricade and heads out into the crowd, dancing with everybody.
Liv Morgan comes down to the ring next. I guess she’s cool. She just seems like a Carmella knock-off to me so I haven’t really given her a chance. Her opponent, Aliyah, skips down to the ring. Sloppy start with some soft or missed moves. Aliyah takes control and dominates with some decent offense. Both these girls are green, but the shell is there and they have potential to get better. Submission hold by Aliyah. She uses her leg to hammer the back of Morgan’s head. Cover, but kick out at two. Dropkick from Morgan followed by a pair of clotheslines. Then a running bulldog. She backs up to the corner and when Aliyah stands up, Morgan hits her with a really weird kick that doesn’t look like it even lands. Morgan covers for the pinfall victory. Wishy-washy match. But practice makes perfect, and the more matches they get, the better they’ll be come.
The new NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, makes a grand entrance to the excitement of the crowd. And damn don’t that title just look so good on his waist? Before he can speak, crowd starts chanting his name which then bleeds into “You Deserve It!” Nakamura says he’s accomplished everything he could. He wanted to face the best competition in the world and the only place he could do that was NXT. Crowd starts an NXT chant. “I wanted to challenge myself to see how good I was,” he says. He names off beating Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and Samoa Joe. Nakamura says he has worn championship belts before but the NXT title means the most. He says he has respect for Samoa Joe, but that his era is over. “Now is the era of Strong Style! YEAHOH!”
The end really put a nice bow on a crappy present. Not the best NXT episode. But at least Nakamura saved it at the end. For such a language barrier he really did well on his own. You have to pay attention when he speaks, but I knew every word he was saying. Who do you think his first title defense should be against? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
We recently brought you news on the rumored Wellness Violation that hung over Sasha Banks’ head. Fans will be happy to know that there was no truth to that rumor, but unfortunately our former women’s champion is dealing with a back injury. Banks is scheduled for an evaluation with doctors due to the pain she is dealing with in the lower lumbar area of her back. The official word is still out, but we hear that she will not require surgery and should be back in action within the next few weeks.
Not so lucky is our first Universal Champion, Finn Balor. His shoulder was injured during his Summerslam match against Seth Rollins when Balor absorbed a running power bomb to the barricade. His shoulder dislocated, and Balor popped it right back in and continued the match. The MRI that followed showed a possible labrum tear, which will require surgery and have Balor out of action for 4 to 6 months. This truly could not have come at a worse time for Balor, who was really taking off on the main roster.
Speaking of Summerslam, Brock Lesnar treated us to an ending worthy of the octagon, as he wailed on Randy Orton, hitting him with hard punches and elbows that resulted in Orton being left in a puddle of his own blood. Orton required ten staples to close the laceration on his forehead. There is a lot of speculation on whether or not Lesnar went too far with his attack, but we’ll leave that to you to decide.
NXT’s Samoa Joe suffered a dislocated jaw during his title match with our new NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Joe was hit with two Kinshasa knee strikes, causing the dislocation of his mandible. Joe tweeted out that his jaw was dislocated, relocated, and he looks forward to being cleared soon. The severity of the injury is still unknown, so we’re not sure when we’ll see him back in action.
Also still out of action is Luke Harper, who suffered a knee injury and underwent successful surgery, Sting, who suffered a neck injury, Emma, who underwent back surgery, and Tyson Kidd who suffered a neck injury and underwent successful surgery. There is no timetable for any of their returns. Paige is also suffering neck and back injuries that she is personally working to strengthen. She is currently suspended due to a Wellness Policy Violation, so we may or may not see her back in the ring when the suspension lifts. We wish everyone a speedy recovery and will bring you updates as they become available.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Eric Young was with TNA Impact Wrestling for twelve years and held multiple championships during that time. He left the company in March of 2016, which immediately started the rumors of Young making the move to NXT. His former coworkers Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Bobby Roode have all made the move from TNA to WWE and have been successful since changing companies. Young did make a one-time appearance on the May 4th edition of NXT, when he confronted Samoa Joe, but he was not committed to the company at this point.
Young reportedly left TNA on bad terms, as did Bobby Roode. The two are allegedly owed a combined six figures by TNA, who already has a bad reputation when it comes to paying their employees on time. Whether or not this is true is not for me to say; many of TNA’s employees will tell you that there is no issue whatsoever with getting paid on time, and any word otherwise is simply lies and/or someone being bitter. At this point it’s all speculation.
According to CBS’s Jamey Eisenberg, Eric Young told him personally that he has already signed with NXT and his return is pending, but will likely occur within the next few weeks. The video package that was shown at NXT Takeover with the word “Sanity” is rumored to be connected to Young, but there are a handful of other newly signed talents that this could also be alluding to. Let us know your thoughts on Young making NXT his new home, and follow us on Twitter at @facetoheel for future updates.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker