We are coming off of a very strong Smackdown from last week, which was followed by an episode of Talking Smack that has had people talking all week. Daniel Bryan called out The Miz for wrestling “like a coward,” and for wrestling in the soft WWE style. The Miz came back at him hard, defending his style because he has never been injured in his entire career and is dedicated and present. He went off on Bryan, and Maryse looked so uncomfortable. Renee Young tried to calm Miz down, but Bryan was so flustered that he walked off the set while Miz finished what was an amazing tirade. I have been a fan of The Miz for a while, and he owned that interview. This is HIS show. Standing ovation for The Miz.
After a recap of that amazing moment, we cut to Bryan and Shane McMahon, who were backstage rewatching the interview. McMahon says that while he agrees with Bryan, he shouldn’t have provoked The Miz and owes him an apology. Bryan says he finds his comments ironic coming from the guy who has beef with Brock Lesnar; that comment gets a good pop from the crowd.
As we move to the arena, The Miz storms out to the ring, demanding his music be cut and asking if he has our attention now. Miz defends his style as being smart and accuses the fans of not seeing the big picture. He says he can do it all, day in and day out, without injury. But we boo him because he didn’t start in the small venues like some wrestlers, didn’t fail over and over before he succeeded. If Miz is unworthy, what are we? Cowards. Dolph Ziggler interrupts, and for once, I’m not happy to see him. Ziggler says that the fans won’t ever get behind him because they can see through his act. Miz just wants to be famous, and that’s why no one believes in him.
If Miz wants to prove to everyone that he isn’t a coward, prove it now. No referee, no title match, just an honest fight. The Miz takes off the jacket, rolls up his sleeves, but isn’t giving in to Ziggler’s request. Ziggler grabs a mic and calls him a soft, safe coward. Miz starts rushing back to the ring as the crowd chants COWARD, but Maryse holds him back. I’m not exactly sure why Ziggler had to get involved here. This took a strong segment and made it into something it didn’t need to be.
Our first match of the night is a first round Tag Team Tournament Match; The Hype Bros versus The Vaudevillains. Ryder and English start off the match with Ryder in complete control. English leaves the ring for a breather, and Ryder hits Gotch with a kick, allowing English to get him with a Swinging Neckbreaker. Rawley and Ryder are looking fantastic in this match! Ryder hits a Broksi Boot and the crowd is cheering as the pair fly around the ring. The two team up to take down both men, then hit the Hype Ryder for the win! They will advance to the semi finals of the tag team tournament.
AJ Styles comes out to the ring next, again calling himself “the face that runs the place.” He promises to beat Dean Ambrose at Backlash and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Apollo Crews picks this moment to come out and stop Styles’ personal love-fest. Crews says he got permission to challenge Styles to a match that starts now. Crews is an incredible athlete and is proving it with this match, hitting Styles with a solid punch and asking Mauro Ranallo if he got a good look at it. During the commercial break, Styles regained control, but Crews is quick to take it back when we return. Crews is able to throw Styles over the top rope, then flip out of the ring to take him down again. Ranallo calls him a “flying tank,” and this tank is back in the ring hitting Styles with punches to the midsection. He takes Styles to the top rope, but Styles is able to duck away. Styles hits Crews with a cross body, but Crews catches him and hits a Samoan Drop. Amazing! Styles hits a Phenomenal Forearm and pins Crews for the win. Very energetic match, and a good showing by both men.
Heath Slater visits with Renee Young in his… trailer out back? His wife, who looks like a fan Snooki, serves cheese in a can with crackers and what looks like raw hot dogs as Renee tries to interview Slater and Rhyno. As Renee asks about Slater’s confrontation with Brock Lesnar, Rhyno draws cheese frowny faces on crackers. I want to invite Rhyno and Slater to dinner. This is hilarious! Unfortunately we can’t meet the kids; they’re out back collecting cans and bottles.
Bray Wyatt walks out to the ring next, accompanied by his fireflies, but without Erick Rowan. He calls out Randy Orton, calling him sick, but that’s what he likes about him. He’s interested in how Lesnar exploited him at Summerslam. He tells Orton to run, but his music hits instead. Orton says that the voices in his head are asking him who in the hell does Wyatt think he is. Orton says his charm comes from the fact that he’s been damaged for a long time. Wyatt has his attention. Wyatt says that Orton is no longer the predator in this situation. At Backlash, Wyatt will cut the serpent’s head off and hang it on his mantle as a trophy. The crowd is obnoxiously chanting “Husky Harris,” and Orton responds by saying he respects Wyatt in a way because they both have their demons. He agrees to the match at Backlash, but strongly says he isn’t afraid of Wyatt. The arena goes dark, and they awkwardly cut away. Abrupt ending.
Alexa Bliss and Natalya will face off with Naomi and Becky Lynch now, with Nikki Bella on commentary. Oh joy. Naomi and Natalya start things off, but I’m distracted because David Otunga insists on talking with Nikki Bella about Total Bellas, their new reality show on E! Alexa Bliss is tagged in, and the two throw Naomi to the mat, then pin her on the ropes. Otunga says “she’s trying to snatch Naomi’s edges off,” and now I’m laughing too hard to pay attention. Becky Lynch is tagged in, and she goes to the top rope to land a kick on Bliss. She tries for a cover, but Natalya breaks it up. Out of nowhere, Carmella comes out and starts attacking Nikki Bella. The distraction allows Bliss to roll up Lynch and get the win for her team. We didn’t get to see too much of this match thanks to the commercial break and Carmella’s distraction, but it definitely got interesting towards the end.
Our next match is another tag; Heath Slater and Rhyno versus The Headbangers. You can tell a lot of the crowd has no idea who these guys are. Slater and Rhyno come out to a big pop, and there is an entire section of “Heath’s Kids.” Mosh and Slater start things off, with Slater in control, but Mosh hits Slater outside of the ring, then tags in his partner. Thrasher takes Slater down easily; he and his partner are keeping Slater away from Rhyno to control this match. Poor Slater has a bloody lip, Rhyno is down thanks to an elbow from Mosh, and Slater nearly gets pinned but Rhyno saves the match. He tags himself in, floors Thrasher, and wins the match! Slater and Rhyno advance! YES! Not sure where all the blood on Rhyno’s head came from though…
Gary “The Milk Man” Millman is in the ring demanding an opponent. Who is this dude? Fireworks hit and Kane comes down to the ring! Man, I haven’t seen him in a while! Milk Man starts trying to get his pants back on, but it’s too late. Oh dear god, he’s just wearing normal underwear, not even trunks. Kane delivers a chokeslam and quickly departs.
Main event time! AJ Styles is on commentary as Baron Corbin comes to the ring to face Dean Ambrose. Kane and Corbin cross paths, briefly making eye contact and hopefully setting up something for later. Corbin takes control of the match early on, hitting Ambrose in the chest and sending him to his knees. Ambrose is able to knock Corbin off his feet, then send him over the top rope. He jumps from the apron and takes Corbin to the mat, then slams him into the announce table, sending a message to Styles. Corbin hits a lariat and then delivers kick after kick to Ambrose’s midsection. Ambrose finally breaks Corbin’s momentum with a well-timed neckbreaker. He hits a mean clothesline and pins Corbin, but he kicks out. Ambrose knocks Corbin from the ring, dives out to take him down, and then poses for a moment on the barricade. Corbin is able to hit a Deep Six back in the ring, but Ambrose kicks out. Styles gets up and in Corbin’s face, which he isn’t happy about. Ambrose takes advantage, knocks Corbin into Styles, and nearly wins the match. Styles gets up on the apron, then accidentally kicks Corbin in the face, causing the match being called due to disqualification. Ambrose leaves the ring to attack Styles, then Corbin goes after Ambrose. Our champ hits Dirty Deeds on Corbin, then trips Styles up on the ropes, sending his man bits right into the rope. The noise he’s making is hilariously awful. So of course, Ambrose responds by bouncing him up and down on the rope before shaking his hand and grabbing his title.
We’re a little over a week away from Backlash, our first brand exclusive PPV since the draft. Ambrose will face off with Styles for the title, and we’ll crown our first Smackdown tag champions and our first Smackdown Women’s champ. This was another solid Smackdown; two weeks in a row! We’ll bring you our Backlash predictions after next week’s Smackdown airs. Let us know your thoughts below, and follow us on Twitter at @facetoheel.
Article by Mrs Jamie 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
Sheamus and Cesaro are currently in the beginning of a Best of 7 series, with Sheamus ahead thanks to his victory at Summerslam on Sunday. Prior to this match series being created, the two men faced off in a few matches with Cesaro earning a United States title shot against Rusev. Cesaro ultimately lost this match thanks to interference by Sheamus. Raw General Manager Mick Foley decided to put this matter to rest by creating the Best of 7 series, which both men seemed to be happy about.
The winner of this series will likely earn another title shot, either for the United States title again, or for the Universal Title. This has the potential to end early, but chances are that it will drag out to the full seven matches. The Summerslam match was a good one, but I fear that this series is going to get really stale before it comes to an end. I have nothing against Sheamus or Cesaro at all, but I’m also not excited about seeing the same match six more times when we’ve already seen it three times (counting the two matches immediately prior to the series).
What this series needs is a variety of stipulations to keep things fresh and interesting. Make match two a Falls Count Anywhere match. Start things off in the ring, and then have the two go off backstage. We can check on them periodically throughout the evening as we have other matches and segments, and finally conclude the match in or near the ring with a clear winner.
Match three can be a Tables Match, so we get the bonus of seeing someone smashed through a table. Match four should involve ladders. Put something above the ring to symbolize the win, and have it be something that the winner can carry around and use as bragging rights. Match five moves on to an Iron Man match, so we get multiple pinfalls/submissions before the clock runs out.
For match six, we make it a street fight. Simple and easy way to involve whatever weapons they wish and to have the action move wherever they choose to take it. Similar to Falls Count Anywhere, but it will allow them to destroy some things backstage, maybe break an announce table, and get creative. For the final match, we make it a Lumberjack match. It makes sense to end the series with the entire locker room in attendance; it will make it even more of a hit for the loser to have everyone there to witness the loss. Plus, lumberjack matches are always a blast.
As of the time of this writing, there are no plans in place to do anything other than straight singles matches to be won by pinfall or submission. I hope that this changes before match two rolls around. Fans get bored far too easily, and they sure as hell don’t keep quiet about it, so allowing this to go stale can be dangerous for both men. We’ll continue to cover these matches in our Raw reviews. Please leave your thoughts below on how you would change up this Best of Seven series to make it better, and follow us on @facetoheel for updates.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
I’m in desperate need of a pick me up tonight after yesterday’s depressing situation with Finn Balor, who relinquished the Universal Title due to injury. Nikki Bella is set to make her official Smackdown debut this evening, coming after her surprise return at Summerslam. On the Smackdown Live preshow, it was announced that Stephanie McMahon fined Brock Lesnar only $500 for his attack on her brother, Shane, so it’ll be interesting to see if that is addressed tonight.
Smackdown begins in the locker room where AJ Styles names himself as The New Face That Runs The Place, thanks to his victory over John Cena at Summerslam. He puts on Cena’s “Never Give Up” armband that Cena left in the ring on Sunday, then calls out Dolph Ziggler for being a loser. After a brief brawl, Styles leaves the locker room. New feud?
The two new titles are in the ring as we begin; the new tag titles are the same design as the originals, but are colored silver on a blue leather belt. The new women’s title is also an exact replica of the original, but with a blue background behind the “W.” Before you start bitching, they could have gone off the wall with all of this, but they kept it simple. Let’s not let it ruin the entire show, okay? Daniel Bryan tells the six women of Smackdown that any one of them could potentially be champion, and the crowd start chanting for Nattie. The new Smackdown women’s champion will be crowned at Backlash, the first Smackdown exclusive PPV, and the contenders will be decided with a Six Pack Challenge. This will also be where the Smackdown tag team champions will be crowned, with a Tag Team Title Tournament that will start tonight and crown a winner at Backlash.
Slater’s Gonna Slate! Heath Slater interrupts regarding his lack of contract. Slater proposes to Bryan and McMahon that they allow him to compete for the tag titles. Slater is hilarious; I love this. Bryan says that if Slater can find a partner by the end of the night, they will turn this into an eight team tournament. But Slater will only get a contract if he wins the ENTIRE tournament. Poor Heath Slater and his fifteen children.
AJ Styles picks this time to come out, tells Slater to get lost, and says that they need to talk about The New Face That Runs The Place! It seems like Styles is letting this new title (that he has given himself) go to his head. Out of nowhere, Ziggler comes out and clocks Styles in the back of the head! Bryan and McMahon send the entire tag division out of the ring to break it up! Damn, this was a great start to the night. Kudos.
Our first match will be Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss, with Naomi and Natalya ringside at commentary. The match is pretty back and forth in the beginning, with Lynch looking for the Disarmer and Bliss able to block every attempt. Bliss is the smallest on the Smackdown roster, but quite possibly the most vicious. Bliss gets Lynch caught up on the ropes and is able to get a pin attempt, but Lynch counters with clotheslines that takes Bliss down. Bliss slams Lynch to the mat into a pin via flip from the middle rope, but Lynch kicks out at two. Lynch is able to lock in the Disarmer and Bliss has no choice but to tap. Natalya is on commentary with an attitude, going back and forth with Naomi in an awkward exchange as Lynch celebrates her win.
Backstage, Slater approaches The Miz and asks if he will be his Tag Team partner. Slater thinks that Miz is agreeing to do it, but it turns out that Miz is on his bluetooth talking a movie deal and didn’t hear a single word that Slater said. Poor Heath Slater and his twenty-five hungry children.
Our next match is a first round Tag Team Tournament Match; The Ascension versus The Usos. The Ascension attack The Usos as soon as the bell rings, taking them down and going for an early pin. Using quick tags, they are keeping their opponent isolated and unable to tag in his brother. The crowd starts a small Uso chant, but it fades quickly as Konnor goes for another pin attempt. Uso finally tags in his brother and hits a Cross Body, then a super kick on Viktor. He hits a Samoan Drop and goes for the finish, but Konnor jumps in to save his partner. Jimmy hits a splash and gets the pin for the win. JBL keeps telling us that The Usos are the favorites for this tournament, but I’m not buying it.
The New Face That Runs The Place is going to try to make his entrance uninterrupted; AJ Styles comes to the ring, still holding Cena’s arm band. Styles says he sees lots of angry faces in the crowd (not to mention jealous faces in the locker room) because of his win at Summerslam. Styles wants the Cena fans to convert over to Styles fans so they don’t have to cry into their cereal. As Styles is yelling, Ziggler comes out again to go on the attack, but security and Bryan stop it from happening. Bryan says that Styles does indeed deserve to be the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but since Ziggler and Styles want to fight so bad, they will have a match tonight. If Styles wins, he gets a title match at Backlash. If Ziggler wins, he gets added to the match and it becomes a Triple Threat. Second option please!!
Up now, Carmella will be facing the returning Nikki Bella. Before the match, Renee Young enters the ring to interview Nikki. Carmella isn’t having any of it though and attacks Nikki mid-sentence. She lays Nikki out and the crowd cheers! Eventually, another referee jumps in to break it up, but Carmella is yelling insults and refusing to back off. She leaves the ring, only to jump back in and attack Nikki once more as she cradles her neck. I’ve gotta say, I like this side of Carmella. It was also nice not to see the predictable Bella win upon her return.
At the top of the second hour, Randy Orton comes out, obviously not dressed to compete give the ten staples in his skull. He gets a great welcome from the crowd, and admits that he was in one hell of a fight against Brock Lesnar. Orton says he is unhappy with the match being called as a TKO. Suddenly, Bray Wyatt’s music hits! The man steps out alone, slowly walking to the ring with his lantern in hand. He sits in his rocker, asking Orton how his head is feeling. Wyatt saw Orton’s eyes go blank after Lesnar busted him open, and says it is a reminder that Orton is just a man. A man who hurts, suffers, and dies. But Wyatt is not just a man, he is a God. (Sidenote: this only works if you guys start booking him better!!) He promises that Orton will find out more “in time.” And just like that, he vanishes.
Backstage, Slater asks Arn Anderson if he will be his tag team partner. He tells Anderson that he is his last and final hope! He’s running out of time. Anderson declines, but Rhyno steps in and volunteers himself to be Heath’s partner! I’m so glad that Slater’s thirty-seven children won’t have to go hungry!
Our next Tag Team Tournament Match is American Alpha versus Breezango. Gable and Fandango start things off, with Fandango immediately going to the ropes for a break. Breeze and Jordan tag in, and American Alpha take out both of their opponents before the legal men get back in the ring. Jordan and Gable are so good, but the main roster audience still isn’t behind them as they should be. A USA chant gets going, which means… what exactly in this match? Gable gets Breeze locked in an arm bar in the middle of the ring, targeting the shoulder. Alpha is using quick tags to keep Breeze isolated, but he is able to shove Gable into Fandango and nearly win the match.
During the commercial, Breeze and Fandango have controlled the match, but when we return, Jordan comes in and dominates both Breeze and Fandango, delivering fantastic suplexes before tagging in Gable. Jordan attacks Fandango outside of the ring to keep him from interfering, then tags himself in. The near falls are starting now, and things are getting tense. This is a fantastic match! These four are bringing their best tonight, and it’s a shame they both can’t advance. Breeze and Jordan are going back and forth with pins, and both looks frustrated beyond belief. Jordan hits a suplex into a spear, then tags in Gable who pins Breeze for the win! This was awesome, but I’m glad my boys won. And I’m glad they didn’t awkwardly caress the tag titles like The Usos did.
After a relaxing night of gambling, Dean Ambrose comes out to join the commentary team to watch our main event from ringside. Ziggler and Styles will battle, and hopefully we don’t see John Cena. I’m probably asking for too much. The crowd is split on who to support, and Styles is quick to leave the ring to get a breather. To remind you, a Styles victory guarantees him a match at Backlash against Ambrose, but a Ziggler victory makes that match a Triple Threat. As we return from commercial, Styles is in control and Ziggler is stuck in the corner, but he’s able to dodge and get some relief. Ziggler is thrown hard against the turnbuckle, then hit with a backbreaker into a pin. Ziggler tries for a very sloppy, and obviously unsuccessful roll up before Styles retaliates and knocks him to the mat once again. Ziggler is finally able to land a few punches, but Styles catches him on the ropes with a neckbreaker.
Styles is not holding anything back in this, throwing Ziggler into the stairs and all but ignoring the referee’s instructions. Ziggler finally hits a beautiful dropkick on Styles! Both men are briefly down, then Ziggler tries for a pin after an elbow drop. Ziggler hits the Famouser but Styles kicks out just barely in time. I want a Triple Threat; come on! Near fall after near fall, and neither man will give up. Ziggler hits an amazing DDT, but damn it, Styles kicks out. I’m stressed out at this point. Just make it a Triple Threat because you know it’ll be awesome. Styles hits Ziggler with a cheap shot while he is hung up on the ropes, then hits the Styles Clash for the win. Damn it.
After the victory, Styles gets in Ambrose’s face and snatches off his headset. I always forget how tall Ambrose is until we have moments like this. Styles backs off with a smile on his face, and we end our broadcast. This was a fantastic Smackdown! After a couple of weeks thinking that the brand split wasn’t agreeing with WWE anymore, we get a much needed night like this. Let us know what you think in the comments below, and we’ll see you all tomorrow for NXT and CWC coverage!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
After Seth Rollins and Finn Balor fought it out at Summerslam to become the first ever Universal Champion, Rollins tweeted out “More important than a title’s appearance is what it represents for the men fighting over it. You really let me down tonight, Brooklyn.” This was in response to the Brooklyn crowd booing the belt during their match and chanting things like “Hey… we want a new belt,” and “that looks stupid” among other things.
Mick Foley also put in his two cents on Facebook. He titled his statement “WHEN SMART FANS TURN DUMB” and said that Balor and Rollins had a great match; a match he was honored to watch from ringside, but “instead of that element of magic necessary to turn that great match into a classic, what Finn and Seth got instead was the stench of self-congratulatory snarkiness from a very vocal minority.” He tore apart the “couple thousand self-important fans who cared more about the cleverness of their own chants” and how distracting they are to the rest of the fans who wanted to watch a brilliant match.
Wrestling fans can make or break an experience. When the crowd isn’t into a match, you feel it. When they try to make the show about them and ignore what is going on in the ring, it hurts. These are athletes who are giving their all thanks to years of training and hard work, and here us fans are doing the wave or chanting for Michael Cole in order to be funny. I don’t care if the Universal Title was held together by duct tape and spray painted by kindergarteners; there was no reason for the Brooklyn audience to ruin an amazing match with their nonsense.
The Universal title design may not be what you wanted, but it doesn’t matter because you’re not the one who gets to carry it. It makes sense for Stephanie McMahon to want a design that is equal to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the Women’s Championship; picking the same overall design makes them all equal across the board. Having the title be predominantly red also makes sense, as the primary color for Raw is red. Hell, they even changed the color of the ropes.
No one is watching wrestling or going to events to see the fans. We’re going for the wrestlers and for the experience. Fans definitely need to get involved; bring signs, dress up, chant and cheer, and be a part of the show. Fans do not need to hijack the show. Don’t bounce around a beach ball, don’t hold up some nonsense sign for an hour straight just so you can get on TV for two seconds, don’t chant for people who aren’t there, and don’t be an asshole. It’s easy to have a blast at a live event while still being respectful to the talent, those around you, and the audience at home (for taped events). Do everyone, including yourselves a favor, and have some decency and some tact.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
This article is going to be a long one. So much happened in pro-wrestling this week! We’ll start with the rumors and news first. TNA Impact Wrestling original, The Cowboy, James Storm reportedly is unhappy with his place in the company. He’s been seemingly agitated because all his friends are leaving for greener pastures and he’s stuck dealing with Dixie Carter and company. We reported earlier this week that he might be leaving TNA in the very near future.
–WWE saw the suspension of three of its Superstars during this past week. All Red Everything, Eva Marie, was suspended after reportedly testing positive for Adderall, a controlled susbtance used for the treatment of ADHD. WWE also suspended Alberto Del Rio and Paige for both testing positive for different substances after a night of partying. Our article on that suspension can be read HERE.
–Monday Night Raw kicked off the week, with their go-home programming. It was uneventful to say the least and really didn’t help garner excitement for SummerSlam. Most notably, it completely burned Finn Balor’s Demon King entrance on a free show instead of waiting for Sunday. Brock Lesnar got an interesting opponent, but otherwise, rough night. Check out our full review HERE.
–Tuesday’s Smackdown Live didn’t go much better. Featuring 12-man tag match that would happen again at SummerSlam. Eva Marie failed to wrestle, again. And John Cena takes on Alberto Del Rio for about the 500th time. Check out the full review HERE.
–As usual, business really picked up on Wednesday as NXT set the stage for Takeover: Brooklyn 2. Hideo Itami was in action, as well as six women in tag action. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura sat down backstage in an interview with William Regal. Our article about the episode can be read HERE.
–The second round of the Cruiserweight Classic continued afterwards with another set of amazing matches. Japan’s Akira Tozawa took on England’s Jack Gallagher in one of the best bouts of the tournament so far. Later, Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese (both from the United States) put on an absolute clinic wrestling match. It had it all; brutality, story-telling, cheating, heel work, high-fly moves, and everything in between. Read all about it HERE.
–Dixe Carter gave us yet another excellent TNA Impact Wrestling broadcast on Thursday. We saw an Ascension to Hell tag team ladder match. Moose and Eddie Edwards went one on one. Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway got a surprise guest ref. And Billy Corgan suspended somebody! Check out all the action right over HERE.
–Friday night was jam packed with NJPW action. AXSTV gave us a new episode which you can read about right HERE. That same night, Ring of Honor presented Death Before Dishonor XIV, featuring their own roster taking on NJPW legends in what was an epic start to the weekend. Jay Lethal put his title on the line against Adam Cole, Dalton Castle went toe-to-toe with Kazuchika Okada, and The Briscoes each gave us an epic battle in singles competition. It was one for the record books and was a wonderful show. Read all about it HERE.
–The WWE Network gave us NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II on Saturday night, and the atmosphere was electrified. No Way Jose took on Austin Aries, the mysterious Ember Moon had her long-awaited debut, Bobby Roode took on Andrade “Cien” Almas, Bayley tried to become the first 2-time NXT Women’s Champion, and Samoa Joe put his gold on the line against Shinsuke Nakamura in an epic slugfest. This one had it all, and if you missed it, that’s a shame. Read the full results and our review HERE.
–SummerSlam rounded out the week of programming, it what was billed as a six hour event. The preshow started at five and that had three matches before the actual pay-per-view even got started. Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton went to war, as did John Cena and AJ Styles. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor battled to be the first WWE Universal Champion. And Dean Ambrose defended his belt against Dolph Ziggler. We also saw several tag matches, and Sasha Banks taking on Charlotte. Unfortunately, for my $9.99 it just wasn’t enough and the whole program felt flat. Read ever match results as well as feedback for the entire show HERE.
That’s it for last week. Tune in tonight as we live tweet Monday Night Raw and post our feedback for that as well. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite show, match, and moment of the past week was in the comments below. Have a good day, wrestling fans!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Brace yourself, sports fans. This one might go as long as this year’s WrestleMania. It’s supposed to be a stacked matchcard with virtually every Superstar in action tonight. Vince McMahon really has his work cut out for him tonight because NXT tore the roof off the Barclay Center last night. So without further ado, let’s dissect this pay-per-view.
The preshow kicks off with a 12-man tag match, which is a ridiculous thing to have on a pay-per-view. The Vaudevillians team with The Ascension and Breezango to take on The Hype Bros, The Usos, and American Alpha. Chad Gable and Tyler Breeze start the match and Gable shows off a little bit, looking solid. Jay Uso tags in and the crowd boo’s. It’s hard to get excited about this one. We have twelve guys, all fighting for essentially nothing. There is no tag title on Smackdown. Why was American Alpha even drafted there? For that matter, why are there even tag teams on Smackdown? It’s an odd thing, and just another example of why the brand split isn’t the best idea. It’s a shame because Chad and Gable deserve better. Everyone in this match puts on a good show. But the attendance is full of empty seats, and not even Mauro Ranallo can get anything going.
Zack Ryder continues to do a good job and it’s no wonder they gave him a push earlier this year. Jimmy Uso and Tyler Breeze are the last men standing, as Jimmy Samoan Drops him to the mat. Konnor tries to block him but Jimmy kicks him. Jordan tags in and suplexes both Fandango and Breeze. Suplex on Gotch, but English breaks up the pinfall. Powerbomb by English on Gable. Hats off to these guys for avoiding the doomed “spot-fest” that many of these matches become. Everyone gets their stuff in, but it feels organic; going with the flow of the match. Breeze and Viktor get slammed by Mojo Rawley. The action is quick and exciting. Crowd gets a little more lively as things progress. Gable and Jordan drop Viktor and Jay Uso steals the win for the tagfall. Baron Corbin interrupts the pre-show panel to cut a quick promo on Kalisto who was injured and couldn’t compete in their match tonight.
The Dudley Boyz come out to take on Neville and Sami Zayn. Neville and Devon kick things off. Neville and Zayn work well together as a team. Dudleys are still as good as ever. This one is pretty fun. Crowd into it. Some near falls throughout. A miscommunication by Devon and Bubba Ray allows Neville to hit the Red Arrow for the pinfall. Good match, not too long and not too short. It will be interesting to see if this Neville and Zayn team continues and whether a rift will start to grow between The Dudley Boyz.
The final match of the preshow is Sheamus taking on Cesaro in the first match of their Best of 7 Series. This one is brutal from the start, with both men using a bit of stiff, strong style. Sheamus takes control as we head into a little commercial break. Sheamus puts some strong moves on Cesaro, and gets a couple of near falls. Cesaro Swing on Sheamus into a figure four leglock. Sheamus breaks it up. Cesaro tries again, gets blocked and Sheamus Brogue Kicks him into a pinfall victory. Sheamus is up 1-0. A mostly entertaining trio of matches to kick off the preshow, but I find myself scratching my head trying to determine if there was a point to any of them. A 12-man tag? The Dudley Boyz in 2016? Sheamus and Cesaro six more times after this? Eek.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass kick off the show, crowd sets the roof on fire. Brilliant way to start the show and get the crowd into it. Enzo does his usual thing, ripping up the mic and getting everybody up on their feet. He calls New York the greatest city in the world. Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho come down. The match starts and Owens and Y2J knock Cass off the apron and double team Enzo. Enzo and Jericho are the official legal men, and Jericho goes to work chopping the smaller guy. Enzo is as good a seller as Dolph Ziggler and he always makes his opponents shine. Enzo takes a beating for awhile, including a hard frog-splash by Kevin Owens. Big Cass gets the hot tag and takes down both Owens and Jericho. He drops an Empire Elbow on Y2J. Followed by a big boot as Jericho leaps off the top rope. Owens saves the match, attacking Enzo and Cass both. Owens throws Enzo to Jericho, who hits a Code Breaker and he covers for the pinfall win. The hometown boys lose, and the crowd is unhappy about it. Good match to kick things off. After the match, Owens and Jericho walk up the ramp screaming “I Love You!” at each other. Backstage segment with Jon Stewart and The New Day, adding really nothing to the show.
Sasha Banks defends her WWE Women’s Championship next against Charlotte. It seems a really bizarre booking choice to do this match so early, and also doing it prior to this shit-storm 6-woman tag match that is happening later. Both ladies came to play, and they trade physical attacks to start. Charlotte botches several moves in a row and looks like an amateur out there. She may have legit injured Sasha with a terrible fail off the top rope. Charlotte tries a Figure Four leglock, but Sasha kicks her off. Moments later, Sasha is thrown into the corner. Sasha counters a Razor’s Edge off the top rope and both women hit the mat hard. This is brutal to watch. Sasha locks in a nice Boston Crab using the ropes as leverage, but she has to break it as the ref counts to five. A double knee slam into Charlotte’s back, leaves both ladies holding their lower backs and grimacing. Sasha jumps off the apron and drops both knees on Charlotte’s face, dropping her down to the ground outside. Ref starts a ten count. Charlotte goes for Natural Selection, but Sasha counters into the Bank Statement. Charlotte worms her way out of it. Neck breaker by Charlotte, then hits Natural Selection. Sasha kicks out at two. Charlotte tries a tilt-a-whirl but Sasha reverses it into another Bank Statement. Charlotte rolls her over onto her shoulders and three seconds later, Charlotte regains the Women’s Championship. This seems like a terrible finish and should definitely lead into something. They cleaned it up towards the end, but that one got off to a rocky start. Not the best outing these two have had against each other. Backstage segment with The Club, AJ Styles, and Finn Balor teasing the Bullet Club.
The Miz comes down, accompanied by Maryse. Apollo Crews is challenging for the Intercontinental Championship. Miz attacks in the corner early, and Crews is reeling. Things slow way down, and the match hits a lull. Crews hits him with a boot and both men are down. Standing moonsault by Crews is the highlight so far, but he fails to cover. Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale for the win. Another mediocre match that just comes across as a waste of air time. So far the show has just been okay. Still waiting for a big wow moment.
Up next AJ Styles looks to beat up John Cena. Crowd starts a very vocal John Cena Sucks sing-along. It’s a decent match to start, but the problem with this matchup is Styles is way more talented than Cena, and Cena just goes through his usual run-of-the-mill Five Moves of Doom. Styles hits the Styles Clash and Cena kicks out. Attitude Adjustment by Cena, but Styles kicks out. The pair do their best, but what else is there to milk out of this rivalry? They burned this one months ago. Now we are just going through all the familiar motions. Attitude Adjustment by Styles this time, but Cena kicks out. Styles attempts a springboard 450 splash, but Cena moves out of the way. Styles locks in the Calf Crusher submission. Cena gets out and climbs the top rope. Leg drop on Styles, hitting him in the back of the head. Kick out at two. Some exciting false finishes in this one, but again nothing really new. John Cena looks stunned that Styles just keeps kicking out. Styles Clash again on Cena, but no cover. Phenomenal Forearm off the top rope and Styles covers Cena for the win. This one didn’t really have a pay-per-view feel. Mauro Ranallo really helped to make that match more than it was, so hats off to him.
BREAKING: News just came through the wire that Sasha Banks dropped the title because she violated the wellness policy. Official suspension coming tomorrow. Damn, if that rumor is true what a shame! We’ll cover it more later this week when more official word comes out from the WWE camp.
Jon Stewart comes out, making me wonder what is on TV right now that I might be able to watch to curb my boredom. He sports a New Day t-shirt and unicorn horn and brings the group out, sans Big E Langston. They are set to defend their Tag Team Championship titles against The Club. Xavier Woods does a great job throughout this one, especially for someone we don’t really get to see go very often. Gallows and Anderson are such a great tag team. They hit Magic Killer on Xavier and then Jon Stewart distracts. The Club goes to put Stewart crotch first on the ring post. Crowd starts a YES! chant. Before they can hurt him, Big E runs in and attacks Gallows and Anderson. Ref calls for the bell. Big E slams Anderson into the barricade. Match ends in DQ finish, which is weird because Big E is a member of New Day. But it’s whatever. Fun segment and New Day will have the tag titles going into tomorrow.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon are in the ring as Dolph Ziggler comes out to challenge Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Fast start to this as it spills out of the ring. Spinning neckbreaker by Ziggler after slamming Ambrose into the barricade. Ambrose pounds Ziggler’s head on the steel steps twice before they get back in the ring. Ziggler pulls out all the stops, by Ambrose manages to kick out every time. Elbow off the top rope by Dean but Ziggler kicks out. Simple back and forth here, letting both guys trade momentum. Ambrose kicks out of a Zig Zag. Is it just me or were finishers just completely burned all night tonight? Been a long time since WWE protected finishers. Sleeper hold by Ziggler. Ambrose gets out of it and blocks a Super Kick. Huge clothesline sends Ziggler to the match. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose to retain. Exciting match. Might be my favorite so far tonight. But again, nothing spectacular has happened. This is supposed to be the big event of the summer and it is falling short of delivering in my opinion.
Tag action up next with six women going at it. I have not been looking forward to this at all. Let’s get it over with. Naomi comes out first, looking like a forensic crime scene under a black light. But her entrance is definitely memorable. She is tagging with Carmella and Becky Lynch, two of my favorites. Their opponents are Alexa Bliss, Natalya, and Nikki Bella. Lynch and Bliss start the match. Another match that honestly means nothing. Why? Because these are six women that can never compete for the Women’s Championship because it’s on Raw and they are Smackdown competitors. Putting this on the actual pay-per-view card and not the preshow is questionable. Also, let’s just put this out there: Nikki Bella is not a good wrestler. There, I said it. An okay outing from these ladies. Carmella and Bliss have one of their best matches so far since coming up to the main roster. Nikki Bella gets the win by pinning Carmella. Eh. Still have yet to be blown away by anything tonight. So far, HHH has won the weekend.
They show the Universal Championship and it’s terrible. Looks just like the world title only red. It looks like it was designed by Eva Marie. What a piece of trash, both the name and the physical belt. Shame. Seth Rollins comes out, with Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley ringside. The Demon King, Finn Balor, makes an incredible entrance. Crowd. Goes. Ape. Shit. The bell rings and Balor doesn’t hesitate. He dropkicks Rollins. Balor goes to work aggressively attacking Rollins left leg. Outside the ring, Rollins tosses Balor into the timekeeper’s area. Rollins very methodical for this match, being aggressive and not letting up on Balor. Running kick off the apron for Balor to regain control. He hits a Slingblade on Rollins in the ring. Rollins recovers and tries a Pedigree but it gets blocked and Balor kicks him. Both men down. 1916 by Balor, but Rollins kicks out. The match is pretty exciting, but the crowd is giving a shit response, trying to hijack it with chants unrelated to the match. Foot stomp off the corner and Finn Balor is the first WWE Universal Champion. How cool is that? First WWE wrestler to win a title on their first pay-per-view match as well. The future is bright with these two in the driver’s seat. Nice match, but again, same complaint as all night: nothing amazing has happened yet. And with Orton and Lesnar as the go home, I think SummerSlam came up short on its goals for the evening.
Rusev versus Roman Reigns for the United States Championship up next. As it’s 10:30 already, I don’t see this one going very long. Reigns throws Rusev into the timekeeper area. Same spot as the last match. SMH. They are brawling and a bunch of refs try to break them up. Match hasn’t even officially started yet. Reigns goes after Rusev with a steel chair. Reigns continues to beat him down a few more minutes and then walks out. Crowd boos him heavily. Rusev struggles to get up as crowd starts chanting, “We Want Slater!” and then a “CM Punk!” chant. Ringside doctor says Rusev is unable to compete tonight. Reigns comes back down the ramp and Spears him. Reigns seemingly ruins the whole segment by pumping his arms at the crowd and then smiling at the top of the ramp. Empty segment for my money.
Main event time. Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton, a match that really isn’t going to do much to pep up this pay-per-view. And ultimately another match on the card that means little to nothing, a label that has been woven into every fiber of this show so far tonight. The bell rings and we’re off. Lesnar slams Orton in the corner and tries for a suplex. But Orton dropkicks him. Orton tries an RKO and Lesnar shoves him off and slams him down to the mat. German suplex by Lesnar. And a second. Orton scrambling. A third German suplex as Paul Heyman laughs at ringside. Beatdown in the corner, then another suplex. Orton hasn’t been on his feet for a few minutes. A sixth suplex and this one is getting out of control. Outside of the ring, Orton tries to fight back but Lesnar picks him up and slams him on the announce table. The table doesn’t break, but Lesnar fixes that. He tosses Orton off the barricade into the table and it smashes apart. Lesnar picks apart a second announce table and puts Orton on it. Orton pops up and hits an RKO on the table. It doesn’t break. As they get back in the ring, Orton DDT’s Lesnar off the second rope. As Lesnar gets up, Orton hits an RKO. Lesnar kicks out at two. Orton goes for his old school punt kick, but Lesnar pops up and F5’s him. Orton kicks out at two. Lesnar punches Orton over and over again and the ref separates them and calls for a doctor as Orton is busted wide open, bleeding all over the ring. Lesnar pushes the doctor aside and keeps punching Orton’s head. The ref calls for the bell and this is over. Lesnar wins by TKO. Lesnar goes after Orton again. Shane McMahon runs in to check on Orton and Lesnar cuts him off. Lesnar F5’s Shane. Heyman starts screaming, “What did you do!?” And that’s the end of the show. I love seeing Lesnar destroy someone, so this was fun.
The theme of tonight will be “At least it wasn’t WrestleMania.” It wasn’t terrible, but it just didn’t have a SummerSlam feel to it. If this had been Battleground or Payback, it would be been great. But I don’t think any segment tonight really came across as successful. Everything missed the mark and was off by just a little bit. The booking leading into the show was rushed, there were too many matches, and the order of the matches themselves was confusing. Whether or not this is just the final hiccup of the brand split before the new pay-per-views take off remains to be seen. Judging this right out of the gate, though, it just wasn’t all that it could have been. At the end of the day, what did any of it mean or accomplish? The honest answer is not a whole lot. We are right back in the same rut we were in prior to the brand split. What did you all think about WWE’s 2016 SummerSlam? Let us know in the comments below. See you tomorrow for Monday Night Raw.
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Our Women’s Championship match came in the first hour of Summerslam, where champion Sasha Banks lost her title to challenger Charlotte. She was able to roll Banks onto her shoulders, turning the Banks Statement into a pin. After the match, Sasha Banks was removed from upcoming live event listings and house shows. The rumor is that a 30 day suspension will be handed down to Banks tomorrow. As of the time of this writing, no suspension has been made official.
Banks is rumored to have failed the wellness test for a currently unknown substance. She will join fellow wrestlers Alberto Del Rio and girlfriend Paige, and Eva Marie who were all suspended for wellness policy violations. Eva Marie’s failure was due to Adderall, which she plans to appeal with proof of a prescription. Del Rio and Paige’s reason for failure is unknown, but it is said that they failed for different substances.
Sasha Banks was on a serious roll in her career. Her victory on Raw over Charlotte to begin her first Women’s Title run was a match to remember. She proved that she was a confident champion in her interviews afterwards, and was able to beat Dana Brooke to ensure her Summerslam match would be one-on-one. It is very disappointing to learn of this violation, and we wish Banks the best and look forward to her return. If this is just a rumor, than we still question the decision to have her drop the title after less than a month. Some say it’s because she wants time off for a honeymoon with her recent husband, but that still isn’t a reason for any of this. We’ll provide more coverage as the official word comes out.
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Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Summerslam weekend officially begins with NXT Takeover in Brooklyn. We have a very highly anticipated title match, a chance at redemption, two in-ring debuts, and some good old fashioned revenge on tonight’s horizon. The preshow kicks off at the Barclays Center with Renee Young, Mauro Ranallo, and Lita. We get a look at Shinsuke Nakamura’s arrival, which he makes alone, and then go to Samoa Joe who is flanked by security due to his out of control temper. Afterwards, Bayley takes us back to look at her journey through NXT leading up to this rematch against Asuka.
Discussing the match between No Way Jose and Austin Aries, Ranallo believes that both men need to win tonight. We then move backstage to see Bobby Roode’s arrival; he calls Brooklyn the “armpit of New York” and says that tonight, he will take NXT to the next level and will make it glorious! Billie Kay gets interviewed afterwards, promising to make Ember Moon suffer a loss during her debut. After a look at the growing crowd, we get a look at The Revival and their opponents for the titles tonight; Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. Finally, we get a fantastic look at Nakamura and Joe; I cannot WAIT for this match!
NXT Takeover officially begins with the competitors for tonight conducting separate interviews about where they were one year ago and what they hope to accomplish tonight. It’s an incredibly cool video package. Tom Phillips and Corey Graves are on commentary for a sold out crowd, of course. Over 15,000 fans are in attendance tonight for what is sure to be a fantastic evening.
First off, it’s party time! No Way Jose comes out and the crowd is screaming his name! Jose circles the ring with a conga line of lucky fans following behind. Austin Aries gets a fantastic pop himself as he enters the arena. This match has been two months in the making, and Aries looks confident and cocky as hell. Aries gets Jose down on the mat quick, angering Jose who better control his temper if he’s going to win. The crowd is chanting Aries’ name as Jose slaps him across the face. He slams him to the mat and hits Aries across the back, then delivers chops to the chest. Aries uses his ring awareness to avoid more attacks, exiting the ring and baiting Jose in to deliver a serious kick. Aries waves off the match and tries to retreat up the ramp, but Jose won’t allow it. He tries to go into the crowd, but Jose drags him back.
Aries regains control and smashes Jose’s throat into the ropes before hitting him with some hard knees. Aries tries for a cover, but Jose isn’t ready to give up. The rowdy crowd is cheering for Jose, who regains his footing and sends Aries over the top rope. Aries locks in the Last Chancery in the middle of the ring, and the crowd loses it, but Jose makes it to the bottom rope to break the submission hold. Aries dives from the ring to knock Jose into the barricade, then throws him back into the ring, using the ropes to hurt Jose even more. Jose is getting fired up, but Aries is determined to break him down. He locks in the Last Chancery one last time, and it’s enough to make Jose tap. This was a great match and one hell of a way to kick off our evening!
Aries has won the match but he isn’t done with Jose yet. He locks in the Last Chancery yet again, adding insult to injury. As he’s torturing Jose, Hideo Itami’s music hits! This is awesome! Itami goes to the ring, and Aries hits him with a cheap shot. Itami isn’t having it, he hits Aries with some fast flying hits and takes Aries down with ease. A great match just got even better with this ending it. Itami is fantastic!
Billie Kay heads to the ring now, followed by the debuting Ember Moon! She walks out shrouded in darkness, then rips off her hood and mask and becomes a ball of energy! I like her already, and I love the red contacts! Moon has got some amazing moves, but Kay is holding her own. Kay hits Moon hard in the chest and goes for a cover, but Moon kicks free. Moon hits a flying crossbody into a cover, but Kay kicks out at two. Kay gets moon on her shoulder to lock her in a submission hold that doesn’t look comfortable for either woman. Moon regains control, doing a flip to hit Kay in the corner. She goes to the top rope and hits a spinning stunner to pin Kay for the win! A couple speedbumps in this match, but overall a very solid debut for Moon. I’m eager to see what else she has in her arsenal.
Andrade “Cien” Almas is undefeated, and Roode is just now making his on-screen debut, so this is a must win for both men. Roode’s music hits and the crowd loses it! He is on top of a giant pillar of awesomeness, arms outstretched, slowly lowering him to the ground as he looks up at the lights. His entrance is GLORIOUS! Almas sadly does not get the warm welcome that Roode received. The match begins as the crowd starts a “This is GLORIOUS” chant for Roode. Brooklyn is all about Bobby Roode tonight. Roode tries to throw Cien from the ring, but he catches himself in the ropes and poses, then hits a serious chop followed by a dropkick. Still, very little fan support for our high flier. He finally fakes out Roode and gets a good reaction from the audience. Roode knocks Cien from the ropes, then the two men begin trading chops.
Roode lifts Cien straight up in the air, then hits a vertical suplex into a cover. He gets Cien in a chinlock in the center of the ring, but Cien breaks free, kicks Roode from the ring, and delivers a springboard corkscrew onto Roode. He then hits a crossbody for the win, but Roode kicks out. Cien tries to build momentum but Roode hits a rough clothesline and tries for a pin. Roode tries for a suplex, but Cien counters and rolls him into a pin. A lot of close calls during this match. Roode hits a spinebuster and looks ready to end this match. He hits the Glorious Bomb and pins Cien for the win. Questionable finisher, but great match for both men. It was, dare I say… GLORIOUS!
Time for some tag team action; Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are challenging The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships. The Brooklyn crowd is very much behind Gargano and Ciampa, so we’ll see if luck will be on their side or if the fans are in for a letdown. Dawson and Ciampa start things off, with Dawson rolling out of the ring to break Ciampa’s momentum. Dawson is nearly counted out, getting back in the ring at the last second. Gargano is tagged in and the two team up against Dawson, with Gargano going for a pin. The “Johnny Wrestling” chants begin as Gargano tries to keep control and Wilder tries to drag his partner back to his corner. Wilder tags in and Gargano is able to get him into an arm bar, but Wilder lifts him and slams him into the mat, tagging Dawson back in. The Revival try to double team Gargano, but he sees it coming a mile away, slides to safety, but then all four get in the ring and start fighting. The Revival quickly move out of the ring, but Gargano dives out to take down Wilder, and his tag partner follows to destroy Dawson. The Revival soon begin using quick tags to keep their opponent down and isolated in the wrong corner of the ring.
The Revival try and steal a victory, but Ciampa isn’t done fighting. He tries tagging in Gargano, but Wilder won’t let him reach. To Ciampa’s credit, he is kicking out of everything they throw his way. Wilder fakes a fall into the ring, distracting the ref. Ciampa tags in Gargano, but the referee didn’t see it and throws Gargano back out to the apron. Dawson knocks Gargano off of the apron and tries to attack Ciampa, but he dodges. Gargano finally gets the legal tag in and hits a kick to the side of Dawson’s face, but he kicks out! He pins him AGAIN for another nearfall, and this is intense at this point. They have got to be trying to give us heart attacks with all these hear falls. Ciampa locks Dawson in a painful looking submission, but Wilder is able to break it up. Ciampa and Dawson look ANGRY at this point, and begin trading punches. Wilder and Gargano and legal; Ciampa and Gargano hit a double kick to Wilder’s face and he is pinned, but he gets his foot on the rope. HOLY SHIT, GUYS. Dawson is attacking Ciampa outside of the ring, then Wilder hits Gargano’s knee hard; he looks injured. Dawson locks in a submission, targeting Gargano’s injured knee, and he finally taps. I’ve gotta say, I’m let down at a tap out victory after such an epic tag team match. Even with a shaky finish, this was incredible. What a show. Gargano and Ciampa receive a standing ovation from the crowd after the champs leave the arena.
It’s time to see if Bayley can recapture the NXT Women’s title! She comes out first to a huge pop; everyone loves Bayley! I love the addition of the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Men at ringside. Asuka is out next, and she’s added a bit to the face paint; she looks intimidating as hell and ready for a fight. The “Asuka’s gonna kill you” chants start as Referee Eyebrows holds the title above his head. This is a different Bayley we’re seeing tonight; she knows what to expect now from Asuka and she is better prepared. Asuka hits Bayley hard in the nose with her knee, and Bayley looks legitimately hurt as Asuka laughs. Bayley isn’t giving up; she gets back in the ring and Asuka continues her assault. She slams Bayley in the corner, pounding her into the ringpost. Bayley tries to get a hit in, but Asuka dodges and gets Bayley caught up on the ropes. She lands a vicious kick to Bayley’s head, then tries for a cover. Bayley finally gets control, slamming Asuka’s face into the ringpost and hitting a suplex to take her down. She hits a knee to Asuka’s face as she lays on the mat and goes for a pin. Asuka gets herself caught in the ropes, and Bayley takes advantage to land some punches. She hits a crossbody into a pin, but Asuka kicks out.
The “Bayley’s gonna hug you” chant starts as she goes to the top rope, but Asuka dodges the effort and retaliates with a Shining Wizard. The two women are on the top rope, Asuka trying for a superplex, but Bayley slips away. She hits Asuka with an elbow drop, but can’t get her down for the three count. Asuka gets Bayley in an ankle lock, then starts hitting her with kicks to the chest. Bayley finally catches her leg, but Asuka starts punching her in the face. Bayley tries for a backslide into a pin, but it doesn’t work. Asuka tries for the Asuka Lock, finally getting it in; Bayley is in trouble. She yells, flipping herself over and managing to get to her feet to fight the champ off. She hits a Bayley to Belly into a pin, but Asuka kicks out. Bayley gets caught in the Asuka Lock yet again, but Bayley breaks loose and pins the champ, but she kicks free. She slaps Asuka across the face, angering the champ who kicks her in the face. As Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch look on, Asuka pins Bayley in the middle of the ring for the win. This was an excellent match, and I’m glad Bayley has Banks and Lynch there for support. Bayley is looking broken in the middle of the ring. Asuka learn down and pulls Bayley up, and the two embrace in the middle of the ring. It’s really nice to see the match end in this way; a show of mutual respect. As the crowd chants “Thank You Bayley,” she exits the ring and goes to hug Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and some of her adoring fans. Thank you, Bayley.
It’s time for our main event! Samoa Joe leaves the locker room flanked by security while Shinsuke Nakamura sits alone in his locker room to prepare quietly. I probably won’t cover this match in too much detail because I want to watch as much as possible. HOLY SHIT THEY HAVE SOMEONE PLAYING VIOLIN LIVE FOR SHINSUKE! This entrance!!!! Fifteen thousand people singing Nakamura’s theme as he walks to the ring. Magical, is the only word to describe it. Samoa Joe comes out without all the bells and whistles, but the crowd is still chanting his name. Joe shows Nakamura no respect, shoving him as soon as he gets into the ring. The bell rings as Brooklyn sings Nakamura’s entrance song. This is epic. The two go down to the mat, and neither is able to gain the advantage.
Joe locks Nakamura’s wrist and takes him to his knees, but Nakamura breaks out. Joe gets his arms around Nakamura’s head; the two go to the corner and Nakamura starts taunting his opponent before laying in some hard knees to Joe’s midsection. The two move outside of the ring and just barely beat the count back into the ring. Joe hits an insugiri but doesn’t even bother going for a cover. Nakamura gains control back and hits a knee on Joe’s face, but Joe quickly counters and sends Nakamura to the mat outside of the ring. Joe dives from the ring to take his challenger down, then rolls him back into the ring for a cover. Joe has the clear strength advantage here, but Nakamura refuses to lay down. He gets Nakamura’s arm locked behind his body, but he gets to the bottom rope to break Joe’s hold. Every time Nakamura gets the edge, Joe knocks him down. Nakamura lifts Joe to the top rope and delivers a knee to the midsection. Is this match going to go until 11pm? Because it should. It should go on forever.
The King of Strong Style is in control, but Joe is able to hit a counter; not full strength but enough to stop his momentum for the moment. Joe hits Nakamura HARD and send him spinning. Nakamura tries for a cross armbreaker, but Joe has his hands locked in and won’t allow it. Joe locks in a Cloverleaf to try and get Nakamura to tap, but he makes it to the bottom rope. I lied when I said I wouldn’t cover in detail; there is too much going on to skip over anything! Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch, but Nakamura gets his foot on the bottom rope. Nakamura hits a German Suplex to send Joe flying! The crowd is losing it! But Joe hits a powerslam and pins Nakamura, nearly getting the victory. The nearfalls are coming now; this is getting tense. I am now cussing in my living room. Nakamura hits two kinshasas and HE WINS THE TITLE! More f-bombs are dropped; I can’t believe it! What an amazing moment! This is quite honestly the best ending to a PPV. I love Nakamura and I am so happy right now, there are no words. Nakamura goes undefeated still, taking down the beast that is Samoa Joe. Top this, Summerslam. I dare you.
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Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
The Barclays center in New York City will be hosting this year’s Summerslam, starting at 7pm with a two hour preshow beginning at 5pm. Former Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, will be the special celebrity guest and will likely provide comic relief and at least one awkward run-in with Seth Rollins. This is the first PPV since the brand split, but the matches are nearly all Raw vs Raw or Smackdown vs Smackdown. Every title is on the line, and we will finally get to see the brand new Universal Title. Let’s take a look at the massive card and make some predictions.
Cesaro vs Sheamus – First Match in the Best of Seven Series (Preshow Kickoff)
On the go-home Raw on Monday, Mick Foley announced that these two enemies would have a best of seven series to finally bury their beef. I still have yet to decide how I feel about this series. Seven matches ahead, when we have already seen two, will have the potential to get real stale really fast. I hope that we get stipulated matches in the future, as the Summerslam match is a straight singles match. The first win in a series will give the victor bragging rights and a slight edge on their competitor, which both men obviously will be battling for. Cesaro and Sheamus are both extremely talented, so I hope they are on their A game.
F2H Prediction – Sheamus
Sami Zayn and Neville vs The Dudley Boyz – Tag Team Match (Preshow Kickoff)
Since returning to action after an injury, Neville has yet to find himself in a decent storyline or feud. Sami Zayn is done with Kevin Owens, at least for now, and is looking to move on. The Dudley Boyz are veteran wrestlers who have no problem taking a backseat to the younger talent in order to give them a push or help them along in a current storyline. They have lost more matches than they’ve won since their heel turn, and their once sure thing for the tag titles has become a very distant memory. This match will be all about Zayn and Neville, and I hope they take full advantage.
F2H Prediction – Sami Zayn and Neville
American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable), The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder), The Usos vs Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) – 12 Man Tag Team Match (Preshow Kickoff)
We already saw this match on Smackdown, which makes this addition a little disappointing. We’re throwing too many tag teams together into one mess of a match, where certain people will struggle for the spotlight and others will be forgotten in the background. WWE has not done its job in introducing American Alpha and The Hype Bros to the main roster audience. Those who don’t watch NXT are missing out on knowing Jason Jordan and Chad Gable, and don’t fully appreciate the pairing of Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder. It’s a shame, but I hope they rectify it.
F2H Prediction – American Alpha, The Hype Bros, The Usos
Carmella, Becky Lynch, Naomi vs Natalya, Alexa Bliss – Six Woman Tag Match
This match was put together on the go home episode of Smackdown. Eva Marie was meant to compete with Natalya and Bliss, but was suspended for 30 days on August 18th after violating the WWE’s wellness policy. This is a great opportunity for Alexa Bliss and Carmella to introduce themselves to the large chunk of the audience who isn’t familiar with NXT and don’t know their characters. Bliss and Carmella went back to their roots on Wednesday to complete in another six woman tag on NXT, which I hope the main roster audience had a chance to see. We have five incredible athletes (and a sixth still unnamed as of the time of this writing) that are capable of doing a lot more than we’ve had the chance to see on the main roster. I hope tonight is their night.
F2H Prediction – Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Naomi
The Miz (c) vs Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship Match
I absolutely love The Miz as champ. He’s shady, underhanded, and conceited. He weasels his way into victories and isn’t bothered at all if he isn’t winning clean. Apollo Crews is the exact opposite of his opponent. He is honest, positive, and a team player through and through. Maryse will no doubt be ringside, giving Miz the edge, as Crews will be going it solo. I don’t expect a fair fight whatsoever. You simply don’t get that with The Miz, so Crews is going to have to play it safe and keep his eyes open. He will have to watch Maryse while also fighting his opponent, and he’ll have to ensure Miz doesn’t try to cause a DQ by throwing him into the ref or placing a weapon in his vicinity. Apollo Crews will shine, regardless of the outcome; he definitely earned and deserves this title shot.
F2H Prediction – The Miz
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens – Tag Team Match
I’m not a fan of Chris Jericho (go easy on me, hardcore fans) but I appreciate the person he is and the work that he does. That said, I am really enjoying him when paired with Kevin Owens. Owens and Enzo are two of the best trash talkers on the roster, so a war of words between the two is gold no matter what. Jericho and Owens have adjusted their style to act slightly more comedic, making them a better match for Enzo and Cass. This feud has been entertaining since the moment it started and will make for a fantastic tag match tonight. I hope we eventually get to see Enzo and Cass put into the Tag Title picture where they belong. How you doin?
F2H Prediction – Enzo and Big Cass
The New Day (c) vs The Club – Tag Team Championship Match
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods will be fighting Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows without Big E, as he is nursing an injury to his man bits. I do hope that Big E will be present, but he has only been with us via Twitter lately. Anderson and Gallows have been utilizing a brilliant doctor gimmick, complete with every testicle pun you can possibly think of. They have Big E’s manhood in a jar, and have two smaller jars ready for Kingston and Woods. The New Day are the longest reigning WWE Tag Team champions as of July 20th and show no signs of giving up the titles. Their biggest competition on Raw, other than The Club, would be Enzo and Cass or Jeri-KO (if their tag team stays together). Golden Truth are more comic relief than anything else, and The Shining Stars are yet another failed gimmick for Primo and Epico. I am worried about New Day’s situation without Big E, and eager to see what this means for their title match.
F2H Prediction – The Club
John Cena vs AJ Styles – Singles Match
My favorite thing is to watch Styles BEAT UP JOHN CENA! It’s nice to see Cena out of the title picture and involved with someone who is a serious veteran in the business instead of a new talent who is still trying to find their footing. This absolutely must be a clean match for Styles with no assistance whatsoever from The Club. Win or lose, he needs to ensure he keeps this one-on-one. John Cena is one of my least favorite people; I get that he does a lot of good in the world and kids love him, but he’s just not my cup of tea, guys. I’m beyond ready to see “the face that runs the place” go part time and let someone else take the reins. I don’t know if Styles is that guy or not, but it’s a good place to start.
F2H Prediction – AJ Styles
Sasha Banks (c) vs Charlotte – Women’s Championship Match
Finally, The Boss holds the gold! Sasha Banks has had one hell of a journey from NXT to the main roster to finally becoming WWE Women’s Champion. Even Charlotte had to briefly break character on Raw and smile when she saw her friend holding the title high above her head. Dana Brooke is banned from ringside tonight, so Charlotte won’t have her lackey to go to for help in winning back the title. Unless she has some other tricks in mind or another person waiting in the wings, she is going to have to win or lose this match all on her own. These two women are huge talents and deserve every bit of success. They will ensure that you don’t use this match as the “beer run/bathroom break;” this will be a must see.
F2H Prediction – Sasha Banks
Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton – Singles Match
Lesnar and Orton were the first to overstep their boundaries and show up on the shows that they were not drafted to. Orton snuck onto Raw to deliver an RKO to the beast, and Lesnar invaded Smackdown to seek his revenge. I wish they had saved that for much later, but what’s done is done. This is Viperville versus Suplex City, a match fifteen years in the making. The promos leading up to this match have been fantastic and portray both men as unstoppable forces. I’m always excited to see Lesnar fight, and very happy that Orton is finally back from injury. I would like to see Lesnar turn an RKO attempt into an F5, and for Orton to get creative with his RKOs outta nowhere. This should be a brutal match; I hope both men bring it.
F2H Prediction – Brock Lesnar
Rusev (c) vs Roman Reigns – United States Championship Match
Roman Reigns failed a drug test, got himself suspended for 30 days, became the butt of Seth Rollins’ jokes during his suspension, and got himself removed from the WWE Heavyweight title picture. His push isn’t completely in the can though, since he has a chance to win the United States title off of Rusev. Our current champion recently married the lovely Lana in a ceremony that was filmed for Total Divas. They will have a separate ceremony overseas next month. Rusev has been an unstoppable champion, but unfortunately, most of his feuds devolve into USA vs Russia when they have the potential to be so much more. I’m not big on Reigns as he is right now; I miss the strong and silent, less showy wrestler he was with The Shield. Whatever happens during this match, I hope Lana avoids being caught in the crossfire.
F2H Prediction – Rusev
Dean Ambrose (c) vs Dolph Ziggler – WWE World Championship Match
I can’t believe that Dolph Ziggler is actually in this match! He once held the World Heavyweight title after one of the greatest Money In The Bank cash-ins in history, but fell down quite a few notches thanks to his criticism of the company and disapproval from the powers that be. Ziggler delivered an amazing promo on the go home episode of Raw; it was the best he has sounded in quite some time. Dean Ambrose is a very unconventional champion, but you can’t help but like the guy. He’s unpredictable, but has been getting more in touch with his serious side ever since winning the gold. I’m a big fan of both of these men, so this is a win-win situation for me; regardless of the outcome, I’m happy with the champion.
F2H Prediction – Dolph Ziggler
Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins – WWE Universal Championship Match
I am fangirling all over the place over this match! A lot of people are upset that the Demon King reveal was “wasted” on Raw, but we’ve already seen how unfamiliar the main roster audience is with most of the NXT roster and gimmicks, so this was a way of introducing everyone to him and getting them hyped for what is to come at Summerslam. Yes, it would have been better to save the reveal, but I see the logic behind the decision. Seth Rollins is a fantastic champ, but so is Finn Balor. This is another win-win for me because I love both guys and would enjoy seeing either as champion. It’s so exciting to see Balor on the main roster, plus in the title picture so soon, plus facing Rollins! This match alone is worth you signing up for the Network immediately. I’m so happy for Balor for his call up to the main roster and am thrilled to see him battle such a great competitor in Rollins.
F2H Prediction – Finn Balor
Be sure to follow us on Twitter, as we will be providing live coverage and will be posting instant feedback immediately following the PPV. F2H writers, @MrNotWell and myself will also be live tweeting during the show. Weigh in with your own predictions for this massive event, and let us know your thoughts on the yet to be revealed Universal Championship. And, if you’d be so kind, check out our Go Fund Me page.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker