The first Roadblock PPV was just last year in Canada, featuring eleven matches total, with the main event of Triple H vs Dean Ambrose, where Triple H retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This year, it has been rebranded as a Raw exclusive PPV and renamed Roadblock: End Of The Line. It will take place in Pittsburg, PA at the PPG Paints Arena. Let’s take a look at the match card and make some predictions.
Big Cass vs Rusev – Preshow Singles Match
This feud all started when Lana accidentally saw Enzo Amore’s twig and berries while he was locked out of the locker room. Rusev caught Enzo attempting to hit on Lana, which resulted in Lana pretending to leave Rusev so she could lure Enzo to her hotel room where her husband beat the living daylights out of him. Cass isn’t one to let things slide when it comes to his best friend and tag partner, so he now has it out for Rusev. I’m glad it was a ruse and WWE wasn’t honestly trying to make a mockery of a real life marriage, plus it eased us into an easy feud. I don’t believe either of these men belong on the preshow, but let’s hope they give us a good match.
F2H Prediction: Rusev
Rich Swann (c) vs T.J. Perkins vs Brian Kendrick – Triple Threat Match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The Cruiserweight Division is still struggling to find its place on Raw, and it doesn’t help that they now have their own show after Smackdown on the Network; that’s just too much wrestling to pack into one night. T.J. Perkins was a great pick as our inaugural champion and had a good run before losing the title to Brian Kendrick. Our resident pirate then lost his title on 205 Live, exclusively on the Network, to Rich Swann. Swann is an incredibly charismatic guy and a fantastic wrestler, so he will bring a lot of prestige and interest to the Cruiserweight division.
F2H Prediction: Rich Swann
Seth Rollins vs Chris Jericho – Singles Match
Kevin Owens saved Jericho from a Pedigree on the go home episode of Raw, so the friendship is back on… I think? Rocky, but they definitely will have each other’s backs. This doesn’t sit well for Rollins, who has been trying his best to get back on top of the Raw brand where he belongs. Rollins wants Owens’ title, but Jericho has been blocking him at every turn, so now they have their own issues to squash before Rollins can move on. If Owens interferes, I want it to happen after we get a clean win. Owens can beat the hell out of Rollins if he wants, but not until the bell has rung.
F2H Prediction: Seth Rollins
The New Day (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro – Tag Team Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles
At the WWE Tribute To The Troops, Cesaro and Sheamus won a Fatal 4 Way match, beating Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, The Shining Stars, and The Golden Truth to earn a chance to challenge New Day for their titles. The New Day are now the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history, which is huge. At this point, their titles are fair game. They broke the record, made history, and can now give up the titles without really losing. Cesaro and Sheamus are such an odd couple, but they are both fantastic athletes and ended up teaming well together, eventually. It’ll be interesting to see if they are able to keep it together and capture those titles.
F2H Prediction: New Day
Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman – Singles Match with a 10 Minute Time Limit
Braun Strowman has been crushing everybody in his path, but he did manage to make time to make James Ellsworth famous and get him a WWE contract, so he’s not all bad. Mick Foley has stopped matches between these two because Zayn is so outgunned, which is where the time limit comes into play. Granted, Strowman can probably end the match in 60 seconds, so perhaps 10 minutes is being a bit generous. Zayn is a great competitor, but I feel that WWE is still working on building Strowman into an unstoppable monster, and he needs to keep that going for a little while longer.
F2H Prediction: Braun Strowman
Sasha Banks (c) vs Charlotte – 30 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
These women are just taking it to the extreme more and more, and it’s going to get to the point that someone gets seriously injured if they aren’t careful. I’m glad they keep trying to top themselves, but I’m more worried about their health and possible long absences due to injury (miss you, Finn Balor). Their cage match left a lot to be desired, thanks to a drawn out “injury” that nearly kept Banks from competing, but they made up for it during their next match where Banks tangled Charlotte in the stadium railing to lock in the Banks Statement and force a tap. We’ve already seen Banks compete in an Iron Man match on NXT, so I’m expecting main event material here.
F2H Prediction: Sasha Banks
Kevin Owens (c) vs Roman Reigns – Singles Match for the WWE Universal Championship
I’m so annoyed with this match. I hate it. Why does Roman Reigns, a guy already holding a title, get a title match on this PPV? I hate it. Have I mentioned that I’m not too fond of this main event? I hope Chris Jericho interferes in every shady way possible without causing a disqualification. I hope Owens beats his ass into the mat, and then powerbombs him into the apron a few dozen times. I hope Reigns can’t walk by the end of this match. Listen, I used to be a fan of Reigns, believe it or not. I just can’t buy into this fist-cocking, show-boating nonsense he insists on doing. I don’t want another John Cena. Give me quiet, brooding Roman Reigns back and I’ll be on board.
F2H Prediction: Kevin Owens
Roadblock: End Of The Line will begin at 8pm EST, with the preshow starting at 7pm, exclusively on the WWE Network. Unfortunately for fans, Lita will not be present, as new reports have stated that she has left the company. Jerry Lawler has also been removed from on air events. Live tweet with @FaceToHeel and writers @MrNotWell and @OhhhTweener, and be on the lookout for our next giveaway!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
After watching an amazing three hours of wrestling on Sunday, courtesy of Impact’s BoundO for Glory, Monday Night Raw has a lot to live up to. We are live from Los Angeles tonight and will see Sasha Banks fight for the Women’s title, plus have an exclusive interview with Seth Rollins. Our ropes have gone white and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The night kicks off with Roman Reigns, which is frustrating. Give that title back to Rusev! He was getting cheered until he started talking. Thankfully, Lana interrupts looking lovely as always. After a “Thank you, Lana” chant from the crowd, Lana says that she is here to negotiate a rematch. She says that Rusev will destroy and embarrass him. Reigns counters by talking about Rusev’s balls, and Lana tells him to go to hell.
Cue Rusev and his balls; he runs to the ring to attack Reigns. The two trade punches outside of the ring before Rusev is thrown into the barricade. He counters by ramming Reigns into the other side, but Reigns quickly regains control, rolling Rusev into the ring. He cocks his fist, which is just the coolest move ever (heavy sarcasm), and goes for the Superman Punch, but Rusev catches him. Reigns slaps Rusev across the face, driving him from the ring, but is thrown into the steel steps, then kicked into the crowd by Rusev. Why couldn’t Rusev be like this when my husband and I were watching him live at the PPV?? Rusev grabs the United States Championship and holds it high over his head. It looks like Rusev wins the segment, walking off with the title, but Super Reigns attacks him from behind as he reaches the top of the ramp. Some idiot gives him a microphone, and Reigns says that he’ll fight Rusev in a cell at the Hell In A Cell PPV that is upcoming.
Up next, our Cruiserweight division takes the stage in the first official match of the night; champion TJ Perkins versus Brian Kendrick. Perkins starts the match strong with a back body drop followed by a springboard off the rope into a cross body. Kendrick tries to counter, but Perkins catches himself in between the ropes, then sends Kendrick flying outside the ring. He is showing off his athleticism at Kendrick’s expense until Kendrick lands a kick to Perkins’ face. He pins Perkins’ hand on the turnbuckle with his foot, then sends him out of the ring as we break for commercial. During the break, Perkins hits a beautiful hurricanrana to take Kendrick down. Kendrick counters with Sliced Bread into a pin, but Perkins kicks out. He then locks in the Captain’s Hook submission, but Perkins rolls it into a pin. Kendrick kicks free and ends up caught up on the rope, allowing Perkins to get a kick to his head. He recovers and gets the Captain’s Hook in again to force a tap. Good thing this wasn’t for the title.
Michael Cole is up next with his pretaped interview with Seth Rollins. Rollins says he is feeling better, then says that while Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion, he didn’t beat him. Owens was handed that title by Triple H and didn’t win it fairly at Clash of Champions. You make enemies on your climb to the top, and Rollins acknowledges that he’s made quite a few. Rollins says he is irreplaceable, and Owens isn’t a replacement. Owens is simply a cog in the machine. Rollins plans on tearing that machine apart, piece by piece, starting with Owens and his championship. He will prove to the entire world that he is still the man.
BRAAAAUUUUUNNNNNNN is up now! Poor Chase Silver is in the ring now to make his dreams come true. Apparently he dreamt that he beat Braun Strowman up, so here he is. Strowman invites Silver to come at him, and Silver starts throwing kicks and punches before Strowman takes him down easily with a shoulder bump. He screams “THIS IS ALL YOU COULD DO??” Silver takes advantage and hits him from behind, but Strowman immediately counters by getting him in the corner and hitting him with a splash. Silver is lying on the mat while Strowman screams for him to get up. As soon as he rises, Strowman hits another shoulder. He gets him up on his shoulders and slams him to the mat for the pin. Rest in peace, Chase Silver. Strowman then demands that Foley get him a real opponent next week or there won’t be a next week. For a guy who doesn’t get on the mic a lot, this was awesome!
Kevin Owens comes to the ring, dressed to impress, accompanied by his BFF Chris Jericho. Owens calls Rollins stupid for requesting a rematch for the Universal Championship. Owens doesn’t think he deserves a rematch; Rollins lost and he only has Owens to blame for that loss. Since Rollins blamed the referee last match for the loss, Owens thinks that their next match should feature a referee that can handle himself. He suggests Jericho, but Jericho decides that they should challenge New Day for the tag team titles instead. What? He wants to make history, but Owens says that it sounds like a lot of work.
Hold on, Team Kevin and Chris; the Power of Positivity is coming to the ring! I love that New Day can turn the entire crowd into birds as soon as they ask a question which has the answer of “WHO? WHO? WHO?” Big E calls for a champion’s huddle; Owens is invited but Jericho is not. Guess who just made the list? Owens says that New Day has compromised the health of children all over the world with their questionable cereal (too much sugar). Xavier Woods counters with a fat joke that is actually good. Jump, jump, Owens. But lucky for us, New Day grants Owens and Jericho the match!
After the commercial break, Sami Zayn makes his way into the arena to face Titus O’Neil. Poor Zayn looks so teensy next to O’Neil. This is strength versus speed, and neither one can keep the advantage. O’Neil eventually catches Zayn mid-jump and slams him into his knee, then to the mat. He catches Zayn in a bear hug and throws him across the ring before delivering a backbreaker. He loudly taunts Zayn, who catches his opponent off guard and lands a clothesline. He then suplexes O’Neil into the corner and hits the Haluma Kick for the win. Not good for O’Neil, though I have a hard time believing Zayn could win this one. No offense.
You want it? You got it; the Golden Truth. What’s Up? R-Truth and Goldust are in a tag match against The Club. Truth and Anderson start off the match with Truth in control. He and Goldust take Anderson to the mat, then Goldust hits a clotheline into an arm drag to lock Anderson in an arm bar. Anderson counters, gets to his corner to knock Goldust down and tag in Gallows. He gets Goldust in a headlock as Truth tries to hype up the crowd. Both Anderson and Truth are tagged in; Truth hits clotheslines into a dropkick to take Anderson down for a pin, but Gallows breaks it up. Anderson tags back in Gallows while Truth is distracted, and the pair hit him with the Magic Killer for the win. After the bell rings, The Club begin attacking Goldust, hitting him with the Magic Killer as well.
Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson are confronting Jericho and Owens backstage, so I am tuning out. Not even Owens and Jericho can save this. Ha; nevermind! Jericho saved it at the end. With… IT! Back in the ring, Enzo and Cass are dressed in their “More Than Pink” shirts. Susan “Certified G” Komen held a contest, and we have three winners in the ring with Enzo and Cass; three breast cancer survivors. How you doin? Enzo tries to unveil their prizes, but gets all tangled up in the pink sheet. Still, each woman is gifted with a Women’s Championship title, which is pretty darn awesome. Cass spells out SAWFT after ensuring that it does not apply to the women in the ring. These poor women look so confused! Anyway, don’t donate to Susan G Komen; they are one of the worst organizations when it comes to getting the money to where it SHOULD go.
Oh dear god… Kutcher and Masterson are on commentary, so now Corey Graves is trying even harder to be funny and it isn’t working. It’s godawful. Shut up, Corey Graves. Shut up forever. Back to the wrestling; Owens and Jericho are facing Woods and Big E. Woods does some clever dodging, but the stronger Owens gets Woods in the corner where he tags in Jericho and the two team up on him for a moment. Woods recovers and flips into Jericho to hit a clothesline into a cover. Woods tags in Big E, who hits the fresh Owens with a clothesline. The crowd starts a “New Day Rocks” chant as E spears Owens the corner. Jericho tags in, and pins Big E in the corner with his boot, then showboats to the crowd. As Jericho distracts the referee, Owens gets some cheap shots in on Big E. It’s difficult to pay attention to this match with everyone babbling on commentary about things that have nothing to do with the match. Owens gets a good laugh mocking how the guys play dead on the mat as he reaches for Big E.
Out of nowhere, Seth Rollins’ music hits! Now I’m interested! Woods hits Owens hard, thanks to the distraction, and now E and Jericho are tagged in. Big E hits a belly to belly, and it looks like Jericho might have a bloody nose. Owens jumps in to save his partner, but Big E throws him from the ring to set up Woods to take him down. E hits Jericho with an elbow, then a splash. As Jericho locks Woods into a submission, Rollins runs in to distract him. This allows Big E and Woods to hit The Midnight Hour and pin Jericho for the win! I guess they won’t be getting that title shot after all. Rollins wins the segment by hitting Jericho with a Pedigree.
More cruiserweight action is up now, with Rich Swann and Tony Nese. Swann gets control early, but Nese counters and hits Swann in the face. He hits some knees and pins Swann for a two count. Swann hits a hurricanrana to throw Nese across the ring, but he hits a kick to Swann’s head before pinning him in the corner and laying him with kicks until the referee separates the two. Nese whips Swann into the corner, but Swann hits another hurricanrana to throw him away. It’s strange how they are unable to capture the magic we saw during the Cruiserweight Classic. Swann bounces off the ropes, but Nese catches him and pins him for the win. Honestly, these guys are great, but I feel that someone is telling them to hold back.
Tag team time; Sheamus and Cesaro versus Jobber 1 and Jobber 2. Cesaro gets one jobber in his corner before Sheamus tags himself in and showboats to his tag partner. Cesaro tags himself in, saying GET OUT, and the jobber tries to hit a sunset flip. This is so dumb, it might work. Jobber 2 gets hit with an Irish Curse Backbreaker, then Cesaro dives into the ring and jumps off of Sheamus to hit Jobber 1 with a DDT. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick to jobber 2 and wins the match.
Before our main event, we get a fantastic video package featuring Charlotte and Sasha Banks’ journey from NXT to WWE to championships. Backstage, Charlotte and Dana Brooke taunt Bayley, but our resident hugger throws Brooke across the hallway and shows that she isn’t going to be pushed around. I am so happy to have the women main eventing Raw! Banks will hopefully defeat Charlotte and take back her title. Banks is thrown to the mat immediately, and Charlotte tries for the Figure 8 right away. Charlotte goes out of the ring and Banks hits a suicide dive, and then they go to ANOTHER COMMERCIAL? We were 20 seconds into that match. When we return, Charlotte has Banks’ arms pulled behind her with her knee in her back. Apparently we missed a lot of awesome out of ring action during the commercial. THANKS GUYS. Charlotte goes for the cover, but Banks is out at one. Charlotte then begins attacking Banks’ injured back. She bends Banks over her knee to put stress on her lower back, but Banks kicks away. Our champ hits another backbreaker and tries to hit Banks in the corner, but she dodges and sends Charlotte into the ringpost. Banks gets back in the match, hitting a dropkick, then driving Charlotte to the mat with her knees for a pin. Banks hits a hurricanrana, then a baseball slide to send Charlotte from the ring. Charlotte tries to throw Banks into the ring apron, but misses.
Charlotte starts hitting chops, and puts Banks up on the ropes. She tries to throw her from the top rope, but Banks blocks it. Banks jumps from the top rope and hits Charlotte with double knees for a pin, but our champ stays alive. Banks tries for a backstabber, but Charlotte grabs the ropes and sends Banks out of the ring. She goes to the top rope and does an amazing dive off the top to take Banks down. Back in the ring, Charlotte hits Natural Selection, but Banks kicks out at the last possible second. There is a kick ass DELETE DELETE DELETE sign in the audience! Ha! Nice. Banks is down and out, but she manages to lock Charlotte into the Banks Statement after Charlotte runs at her. Charlotte counters, but Banks locks it right back in and forces the tap! What a main event!! Charlotte is left in tears as Sasha Banks holds her title high.
This wasn’t the greatest Raw, but that main event was money. Those women put it all out there and gave us one hell of a main event. The best Raw main event we’ve had in a while. Tomorrow, we will be covering the go home episode of Smackdown ahead of the No Mercy PPV. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @FaceToHeel; we had our first giveaway last week and more are headed your way!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Be sure to check out our Twitter page to enter our contest for a chance to win a copy of WWE’s Greatest Stars of the 90’s on DVD! Contest runs now through midnight this Thursday. Check out our gallery at the end of this post for our live photos from last’s Clash of Champions! For more photos, check out our Instagram page. And now, our Monday Night Raw coverage.
After spending a few hours at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Clash of Champions, my voice is nearly non-existent from cheering and I’m ready for Raw to resolve some issues that weren’t put to rest last night. Raw kicks off in Cincinatti, Ohio with our new United States Champion, Roman Reigns. Right off the bat, he will be defending his title against Rusev. Rusev gets Reigns down on the mat early on, but Reigns is able to counter and get Rusev in a headlock. This crowd is definitely more behind Reigns than we were in Indianapolis. Rusev targets Reigns’ back with kicks before hitting a suplex into an unsuccessful pin. Reigns is able to get Rusev in the corner and hit chops to the chest, and Rusev counters by hitting a fallaway slam that sends Reigns out of the ring. After the break, Rusev has Reigns on his back in the ring as Lana looks on. Reigns fakes his injuries about as well as John Cena, if not somewhat worse. Reigns hits a few punches, but Rusev counters with a dropkick. As Rusev lands kicks, Reigns starts to do that mini headbang to get himself psyched up. He hits Rusev with a clothesline, then cocks his fist and goes for a Superman Punch, but Rusev catches him and both men go flying out of the ring.
They break for a second time for commercials, and we return to Rusev in control. Reigns is placed on the ropes, and Rusev tries for a suplex but Reigns is able to hit punches and knock Rusev away. He dives off the ropes and hits a clothesline, then hits a Samoan drop into a cover. I really wish Corey Graves would quit calling Reigns the “big dog.” Rusev tries pin after pin, but can’t keep Reigns down for the three count. This match started off a bit slow, but it’s really picked up the pace. Rusev calls for the Accolade, but Reigns catches him by the foot, then hits a Superman Punch into the cover, and nearly wins. Lana jumps on the apron as a distraction, allowing Rusev to roll out of the ring. Reigns follows, throwing Rusev into the steel stairs and then into the crowd. The referee counts both men out and calls the match, but the two are still fighting in the crowd. Rusev throws Reigns back into the ring area, then slams him into the barricade and ring apron. A “this is awesome” chant starts right before Reigns throws Rusev into the barricade. Rusev grabs a steel chair and takes Reigns down, nearly finishing him off, but Reigns is able to hit a spear and takes Rusev out. We’re a little over thirty minutes into Raw at this point; I’m surprised they gave these two that much time. Reigns grabs the steel chair and sits by Rusev, who is out cold, while holding his belt and talking trash. Once Rusev gets up, Reigns gets one good chair shot in before continuing his celebration. Not the match I would have booked, but they both did a good job. Compared to last night, this was a better match.
Mick Foley gets in the ring to address the Best of 7 series that concluded last night at Clash of Champions in a draw; medical staff decided that neither man was able to finish the match. This was very confusing to me as a fan who was present, as our seats didn’t allow us to see the move that “injured” the pair, and Cesaro hopped back into the ring to try and continue the fight. Foley invites Sheamus and Cesaro to the ring, and Sheamus is angry because he wants his title opportunity that Foley promised either he or Cesaro. Both men consider themselves the winner even though the series ended in a tie. Foley decides that both men get a championship opportunity, but it will be as a team for the Tag Team titles. What? This was seriously unexpected! I like it!
Speaking of our tag titles, our champions come to the ring to compete again against The Club. Kofi Kingston gets control of the match early, as Woods cheers him on via trombone. He starts using quick tags with Big E to keep Anderson down, but Gallows attacks Big E outside of the ring, then hits Kingston with a clothesline that flips him completely over. As Kingston gets back to his feet, Anderson hits him with a dropkick, then rolls him back into the ring for a cover. Gallows hits Kingston with a chokeslam after an unsuccessful attempt by Kingston to knock him down. Anderson tags in during the break and will not allow Kingston to tag in Big E. After a miss by Anderson, Big E finally tags in and hits him with a Belly to Belly. Outside the ring, Kingston takes down Gallows. Anderson dodges Big E, sending him into the ringpost hard, and trying for another pin. This is essentially the same match we were given last night. It isn’t bad, but having just seen it 24 hours ago, I could do with something different. New Day nearly win after hitting The Midnight Hour, but Gallows breaks the pin. Anderson and Gallows hit the Magic Killer on Big E and almost win it, but Kingston saves the match. He is able to get the pin on Anderson for the win, but has blood gushing out of his head! What the heck happened?
Bayley makes her way to the ring now, facing a local soccer mom named Anna Fields. Fields pins Bayley on the rope early, hits her with her forearms, pins her in the corner with her foot, and then goes for a pin. The crowd starts chanting for Bayley, who is in a headlock. She finally breaks away from Fields, slamming her head into the turnbuckle. She hits Fields in the back, then with a running clothesline. Bayley picks up a quick win after hitting the Bayley to Belly. I’m confused. It strikes me as odd to give Bayley a random squash match at this point in time. After the match, Tom Phillips asks Bayley how she feels about her match last night. She calls Charlotte and Sasha Banks the top two women in this industry, but promises that she’ll be back in the title picture soon.
Backstage, Foley accuses Stephanie McMahon of playing favorites when it comes to Kevin Owens. Because last night, Chris Jericho interfered with the match and was not disciplined and because McMahon “took her time” getting a new referee for the title match, she was helping Owens. McMahon snaps back at Foley, telling him that she was picking up his slack and he isn’t doing his job. He needs to stop letting his ego get in the way and stop accusing her of not properly doing her job. Foley admits that he was out of line, and walks away like a hurt puppy dog.
It’s Cruiserweight time! Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann versus Lince Dorado and Drew Gulak. Swann and Dorado start the match off, and both men are so acrobatic that neither can land a move. This is awesome. Dorado gets the first pin but Alexander saves his partner. Dorado sends Swann outside of the ring and into Gulak and Alexander. He then moonsaults off the top rope and takes down all three men. After the commercial break, Gulak is in the ring with Swann and has him down on the mat in a chinlock. He tags in Dorado who tries to get Swann down for the three count. Swann dodges a dropkick, sending Dorado into the ring post. Gulak and Alexander tag in, and Alexander dominates immediately. It’s amazing watching the cruiserweights fly around the ring. Alexander flies off the top rope into a pin, but Dorado breaks it up. Gulak suplexes Alexander back into his corner where he tags in Swann. He hits Gulak with a hard kick into a bridge cover for the win! These guys should hbe given the thirty minutes allotted to Sheamus and Cesaro; they are truly amazing athletes.
Cesaro and Sheamus awkwardly walk to the ring together to battle Nick Cutler and Willis Williams. Cesaro and Cutler stat things off, and Sheamus is already refusing to tag in. Cesaro gets him tagged in when he is playing to the crowd, and Sheamus proceeds to show off at the expense of Cutler. Cutler tags in partner Williams, who is immediately taken down by Sheamus. Cesaro tags himself back in and hits Williams with an uppercut. The crowd starts a “let’s go jobbers” chant, which isn’t a good sign for our new tag team. Cutler tags back in and targets Cesaro’s shoulder. Cesaro hits an uppercut to Williams, then goes for the neutralizer on Cutler. Sheamus jumps in and Brogue kicks both Williams and Cutler, allowing Cesaro to get the pin and win the match. This was… different.
TJ Perkins joins Tom Phillips backstage, saying that winning the Cruiserweight title is a dream come true, and debuting on Raw is a dream come true. He is interrupted by our resident pirate, Brian Kendrick. Kendrick is still very bitter about losing the CWC and losing his match last night at Clash of Champions. Kendrick says that Perkins owes him for his entire career. I personally am very glad that Perkins is champion over Kendrick.
Our women’s champion, Charlotte, is on now with Dana Brooke. She calls Clash of Champions “her night” thanks to her win; she is now 12-0 at PPVs when defending her title. Charlotte admits she isn’t huggable like Bayley, isn’t an internet sweetheart like Banks, but she is the face of the division. Sasha Banks interrupts, saying that last night may have gone her way, but that is still her title. Bayley was pinned, not her, and she is still owed her one-on-one rematch. Charlotte says she is “just as much better” than Banks, but admits that Banks has earned a title shot. She agrees to fight Banks next week because if she doesn’t, Banks will just whine until she gets her way. Banks delivers a hard slap across Charlotte’s face, then attacks Brooke. Charlotte gets back up and Banks throws her and Brooke from the ring. I was hoping they would have the rematch tonight, but next week works just fine.
Backstage, Seth Rollins runs into Mick Foley. Rollins is currently not medically cleared for competition, but is determined to go out to the ring during Chris Jericho’s segment with Kevin Owens. He knows McMahon is sabotaging him and wants to confront Owens instead of just let him brag. But first, TJ Perkins comes to the ring! He will be facing Tony Neese, who is a bad ass. Neese tries to lock Perkins’ wrist, but our champ flips around too much for him to lock it in. Perkins locks in a knee bar, but Neese grabs the rope. Neese lands a superkick, then dives from the ring to take Perkins down. They break for commercial only a couple of minutes into the match, which is frustrating. THIS IS HIS DEBUT RAW MATCH. As we return, Neese is in control. The crowd starts an obnoxious CM PUNK chant as Perkins goes for another pin. Perkins tries for a tornado DDT, but Neese blocks it and nearly gets the win. This crowd is filled with a bunch of dicks, chanting names of other wrestlers as these two put on a clinic. Perkins gets the tap out victory via knee bar. This was an awesome match. A shame some idiot fans have to ruin it.
Jericho’s Highlight Reel is up now, and Jericho is adding more stupid idiots to his list. Sorry, unnamed cameraman. His BFF, Kevin Owens, is his guest for this evening. Jericho says that Owens proved what excellence was last night during his match. Owens says that he proved that he is the man, he is the main event, and he is better than Seth Rollins. He then calls out Rollins for injuring John Cena, Sting, and Finn Balor. Cue Rollins! Every security guard in existence rushes out to stop Rollins before he can get down the ramp. Foley and the security team manage to get Rollins backstage, but now Enzo and Cass are here! The crowd loses it; I wish they had been at the PPV last night. This is funny, and Jericho’s threat to go sit on their lap was fantastic. YES! I have never laughed this hard at Jericho ever. Our main event is set; Enzo and Cass versus Jericho and Owens, right after the break.
Jericho and Enzo are in the ring after the break, but Owens is quickly tagged in. Owens demands “the big one,” so Cass tags in and is immediately targeted. Cass slams Owens in the corner, then tags in Enzo who dives into Owens. With Jericho and Owens outside of the ring, Cass lifts Enzo over his head and throws him on top of both opponents. Cass throws Owens back into the ring, gets a knee in his midsection, and then gets hit with chops from Jericho. Cass counters with a sidewalk slam to both opponents, then tries to hit Jericho with a kick, but Jericho grabs the ropes and sends Cass flying. After the break, Owens is thrown to the mat by Cass who then tags in Enzo. Owens tags in Jericho, and he is hit over and over by Enzo. He goes to the top rope and hits a crossbody on Jericho, then kicks Owens off the apron. Jericho tries a quick roll up but Enzo kicks out. Owens grabs Enzo by the legs, assisting Jericho in knocking Enzo out. Owens then throws Enzo into the barricade and showboats for the crowd, then does a fantastic impression of Enzo’s dance. Enzo is stuck on the top rope thanks to Jericho, but he is able to counter and knock Jericho off the ropes. He dives off, but Jericho hits a kick and knocks him out. Owens tags in and nearly gets the win on Enzo, then argues with the referee. Jericho goes for a lionsault, but Enzo gets his knees up. Owens and Cass get tagged in, and Cass starts hitting shoulder tackles. He hits a fallaway slam, then kicks Jericho right in his face as he tries to interfere. Cass hits the Empire Elbow, takes out Jericho again, and tries to finish Owens, but he ducks away. Cass manages to regain control with a well timed kick, then tags in Enzo. Jericho slams Cass across the face, so Cass gives him another kick to the head. Meanwhile, Enzo hits a DDT on Owens, but can’t win the match. This is a great main event, guys. Owens hits the Pop Up Powerbomb and wins the match.
Next Monday, Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson will be guests on Raw to confront Jericho and Owens. Brian Kendrick will get his rematch against TJ Perkins to try to win the Cruiserweight title, and Sasha Banks also gets a rematch against Charlotte for the Women’s title. Let us know what you thought of tonight’s Raw in the comments below, and give us a follow on Twitter at @facetoheel. We’ll see you tomorrow for Smackdown.
Face To Heel at CLASH OF CHAMPIONS!
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
After watching Smackdown’s Backlash PPV last night, Raw has a lot to live up to. General Manager Mick Foley starts off the night, acknowledging Becky Lynch’s victory in winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship, but insists that Raw still has the best female wrestlers in the business. He invites out Charlotte, who is accompanied by Dana Brooke. Charlotte makes it clear that she is fed up with Dana Brooke, then Sasha Banks comes out to tell Charlotte that she’s taking back the Women’s title at Clash of Champions. Bayley is out next, saying that she also deserves a title shot for beating Charlotte last week. Sasha takes off her jacket and hits Charlotte square in the face with it, which just cracked me up. Mick Foley decides that Sasha and Bayley will face off, with the winner facing Charlotte at Clash of Champions. Out of nowhere, Dana slaps Charlotte across the face, which has been a long time coming. With that, Mick adds Dana to the match, making it a Triple Threat to decide Charlotte’s next opponent.
The triple threat match starts right after the break, with Brooke looking strong right away. Banks’s lower half of her midsection is completely taped up, but she gets the upper hand on Brooke and tries for the first pinfall. Brooke throws Banks from the ring, then Bayley sneaks in to try for a pin. She quickly gets control of the match, locking Brooke in an arm bar that she is unable to break free from. She throws Brooke against the ropes, where Banks drags her out of the ring. The two team up briefly against Brooke to keep her out of the match. Brooke isn’t out for long; she targets Banks’ injured back and then sets her sights on Bayley. Banks gets back in, stacking Brooke and Bayley in the corner to hit them with her knees, but Bayley rolls away and goes to the ropes to hit a cross body. Brooke hits Bayley and Banks with a double clothesline, then tries pinning both women to win the match. Sasha hits both women with a superplex, but can’t finish this. She hits a backstabber into the Banks Statement, but Bayley breaks the submission hold. Bayley hits Brooke with a Bayley to Belly, but now it’s Sasha breaking things up. She rolls up Bayley and secures the win and her match at Clash of Champions!
Backstage, Dana Brooke tries to apologize to Charlotte, but is shut down as our champion demands Brooke grab her bags, then walks away. We move on to a dreadful Shining Stars promo. Primo and Epico are trying to sell a timeshare to R-Truth in Puerto Rico. Not even R-Truth can make these two interesting. Before Truth can waste his money and more of his time, Goldust saves him and takes him away. Enzo and Cass step in next to shut down the not-so-Shining Stars. Enzo challenges the pair to a tag match for later tonight. Next, Tom “Tyler” Phillips interviews Kevin Owens, who is fed up with both Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Owens promises to leave Clash of Champions with his Universal Title. Jericho pops in next, announcing to Tom “Felipe” Phillips that Sami Zayn will be on the Highlight Reel tonight.
Back in the arena, Bo Dallas makes his way to the ring. He says some Dr Seuss rhyme to his opponent, Brandon Scott, and to the audience about Bo-Lieving in Bo. Scott is able to drive Dallas fro the ring, but is caught in the corner, allowing Dallas to slam him to the mat. The crowd is chanting “Let’s Go Jobber” as Dallas hits a clothesline. He quickly pins Scott for the win in a fast squash match.
The Highlight Reel is up now, and Jericho is upset that Kevin Owens was not allowed to be on the reel tonight. He gets down on the mat to demonstrate how low he thinks of Sami Zayn before inviting him out. Jericho rubs in the fact that Owens and he are no longer friends, then Zayn asks why he’s even here. Jericho wants to know why Zayn ruined his friendship with Owens, but Zayn doesn’t want to talk about him anymore. He does want to talk about the Universal Championship, which he plans on winning one day. He also points out that if Jericho honestly believes that Owens is his true friend, he is the stupid idiot in this equation. Jericho gets fed up and hits Zayn with a cheap shot into a Code Breaker.
Sheamus and Cesaro are facing off in the 5th match in the Best of 7 series. This is a No Disqualification Match! Just kidding; they haven’t given us anything interesting to vary these matches whatsoever. Just regular ol’ matches, first to pinfall or submission. Sigh. Cesaro tries for a submission hold, but Sheamus slips outside of the ring. He hits some uppercuts before rolling Sheamus back into the ring for a pin attempt. Sheamus is up 3 victories to 1 right now, so Cesaro can’t lose tonight. The two go up to the top rope, but Cesaro knocks Sheamus away and starts again with the punches to the face. He hits a crossbody and goes for a pin on Sheamus. Cesaro is on his back, while Sheamus tries for the Cloverleaf. The nearfalls are starting now as Cesaro locks in the Sharpshooter, but Sheamus gets to the ropes. Cesaro is able to roll Sheamus up and use the ropes to secure the pin and get the win, moving this series to 3-2.
Backstage, Seth Rollins addresses Foley; he’s grateful for the save from suspension but unhappy with Roman Reigns getting yet another title shot. Foley says that Reigns was just as wronged as Rollins was. Rollins wants to bring Stephanie McMahon into this conversation, especially considering what Triple H did, but she’s away in Singapore. Foley gets heated when Rollins questions his integrity, and Rollins ends the conversation by calling him a fool if he continues to support McMahon.
Nia Jax faces off with Alicia Fox next, which is her first match against a regular member of the Raw roster. Jax quickly throws Fox into the corner, flinging her around like a rag doll. She fights back, but is knocked out of the ring. Jax follows her out and gets a kick to the face before Fox jumps on her back. Jax quickly regains control, throwing Fox into the barricade over and over. Jax drives Fox through the barricade, getting a brief “Holy Shit” chant for her efforts. Love it! As the referees attend to Fox, Jax stands by, glaring at her opponent before walking away to cheers from the crowd. I’m so glad to see the fans getting behind her!
The New Day come out to brighten the mood, promising us that we will NEVER have to see that godawful “Old Day” nonsense ever again. Thank you, New Day. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson come out to break up the fun, getting some cheap heat by calling the crowd stupid. They promise to win the tag titles at Clash of Champions, and head to the ring to face Woods and Kingston. Woods and Anderson start things off, with Woods delivering elbows to the rhythm of the New Day Rocks chant. Kingston tags in and goes to the top rope to deliver a boot to the face. Anderson pins Kingston in their corner, then tags in Gallows who throws Kingston from the ring, allowing Anderson to tag in and take Kingston to the mat. Gallows kicks Kingston in the face once he’s back in the ring, then hits elbows. Kingston is able to knocks Gallows off the apron, but is hit with a Spine Buster by Anderson. The Club start using quick tags to isolate Kingston and keep Woods out of this match. Woods is finally back in the match and he knocks Anderson into the ropes, takes out Gallows, and nearly wins the match. The two trade punches, with Anderson ending it with a rough uppercut. Woods is able to hit a DDT, then dives off the top rope to hit an elbow. The Club gang up on Woods, hitting the Magic Killer for the win.
Jinder Mahal, AKA “The Man Who Comes In Peace,” comes out to the ring next. Who made up that nickname? He says something in foreign, then lets us know that he has learned to let hate go and has found inner peace. I miss 3MB. Cue Jack Swagger, our representation of America, who is apparently going to beat up the evil peace-loving Mahal. Mahal immediately goes to his knees, saying he comes in peace, then hits Swagger with some forearms before pinning his neck on the ropes. Swagger regains control outside of the ring, but Mahal kills his momentum as soon as the two reenter the ring. He tries pin after pin, but Swagger won’t stay down. He hits a belly to belly suplex, followed by a kick to the face. Mahal counters the Swagger Bomb and gets the pin on Swagger! That one was a surprise. Good for him.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass come out now; the crowd goes wild when these two enter an arena. The Shining Stars come out next, and get the exact opposite reaction from the crowd. Literally no one cares. They are terrible. Enzo faces off against Epico, who lifts Enzo into a vertical suplex. He asks if he should do it again as the crowd chants for Enzo. Epico tries for a quick roll up but can’t get it done. Enzo starts landing punches, then dances around the ring before going to the top rope. Primo distracts him before he can dive off the rope, but Cass steps in and takes Primo down. Enzo dives off the top rope to take down the Shining Stars, and the referee begins the count. Enzo is about to suplex Epico, but Primo grabs his leg, allowing Epico to get the pin for the victory. What?
Backstage, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins square off. Owens confronts Rollins about his lack of momentum since returning, but Mick Foley breaks things up before it can come to blows. Foley then warns Rollins again to stay out of tonight’s main event. Back in the arena, Roman Reigns walks out to a chorus of boos as we get ready for the last match of the evening. As the bell rings, Owens immediately rolls out of the ring. Reigns goes on the chase, delivering punches and knocking Owens down. He rolls Owens back into the ring, where our champ gets Reigns down to his knees and delivers kick after kick. Owens starts in with the trash talk, allowing Reigns to get the upper hand, which earns boos from the crowd. Owens takes control back (after an obnoxious fan WOOOOS right in his face), going for a pin. He gets Reigns in a chin lock while mocking his “I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy” speech. Owens is gold. Reigns is finally able to fight out, delivering clotheslines and yelling about something while the crowd hates on him. After the commercial break, Owens has Reigns back in a chin lock, telling him he sucks and to stay down. Reigns gets to his feet, but throws himself into the ringpost thanks to quick thinking by Owens. He throws Reigns into the stairs, but Rollins runs down the ramp and begins attacking Owens, causing Owens to win via DQ. Does this mean I don’t have to see Reigns at Clash of Champions? Or is Foley about to kill Rollins’ title chances?
Foley gets in Rollins’ face and the two stat yelling at each other. Foley demands that Rollins go backstage so they can talk, then restarts the match. The bell rings and Owens immediately throws Reigns into the stairs again. Reigns starts to gain his Cena-strength and hits Owens with punches before hitting a clothesline that Owens made look awesome. He starts hitting Owens in the chest, then lifts him up and into a Samoan Drop. Please don’t let Reigns win. Owens goes full Matt Hardy and bites Reigns on his side to block a move on the ropes, but sadly Reigns gets back in position. Owens counters at the last second, but John Cena — I mean Roman Reigns, kicks out at two. He hits a frog splash but long-haired Cena kicks out at two again. Owens shoves Reigns in the back of the head, telling him to stay down. Owens hits a superkick, mocks Reigns’ battle cry, and tries for a Cannonball, but Reigns ducks away. Reigns hits a Superman Punch, but Owens thankfully kicks out. Owens hits two solid kicks to the face, then connects with the Cannonball. Twice! Reigns lifts Owens up into a powerbomb, but he kicks free. Man. I do not want a Triple Threat match, you guys. Come on. Out of nowhere, Rusev shows up! His distraction allows Owens to hit the Pop Up Powerbomb and win the match! Thank you, Rusev, for saving us from Reigns in a main event. Bless you.
Owens makes his way up the ramp, but Rusev isn’t done. He attacks Reigns, who is now lying helpless in the middle of the ring. Rusev lands punch after punch to a helpless Reigns, who is “out” according to our announce team. Lana stands at the top of the ramp, holding Rusev’s title and looking gorgeous. In the ring, Rusev locks in the Accolade, screaming as Reigns is twisted and unable to counter. Give me more Raws that end with Reigns getting his ass kicked!
I went into this Raw expecting the worst, partially because I was exhausted from grocery shopping and dealing with pharmacies and a sick kid, and partially because Backlash last night was so good. I’m glad that they surprised me tonight with a great show that had minimal lulls. The main event was fantastic, thanks to Rollins, Foley, and a surprise return by Rusev. Next week on Raw, the Cruiserweight Division will make their debuts, and I cannot wait! Be sure to follow @facetoheel on Twitter for updates throughout the week.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
If you missed last week’s RAW review, Finn Balor was injured at SummerSlam and was forced to vacate the Universal Championship less than 24 hours later. Tonight, we crown a new champ in a Fatal-4-Way.
The show kicks off with Corey Graves in the ring with the four competitors fighting for the title. Seth Rollins interrupts him early and tells everyone to thank him for injuring Finn Balor at SummerSlam. Rollins says he is feeling nice and wants to donate his talking time to Kevin Owens. Crowd starts a “Fight, Owens, Fight!” chant. He says Rollins talks big but he (Owens) delivers big. He insults Reigns and Big Cass as well. Cass then talks and actually does incredibly well. He insults Owens and Rollins, who then becomes infuriated and starts yelling at everyone. Rollins orders Graves to ask Reigns how he is going to win tonight. Reigns stands up and Owens laughs at him. Then Reigns punches him out of his chair. Rollins attacks Cass and Reigns pulls him off. Cass and Reigns square off. But before anything can happen Rollins attacks from behind. Reigns throws Cass out and then Superman Punches Rollins. Crowd vocally unhappy, booing Reigns as he eyes the Universal Championship. Nice opener for once.
Chris Jericho comes down to take on Neville. Y2J rolls out of the ring at the start of the match and yells at the crowd. Neville comes up behind him and kicks him in the gut. He rolls Jericho back in the ring, climbs the top rope and leaps off into a cross body cover. Jericho kicks out at two and then crawls to the corner and wraps his arms around the ref. Jericho rakes Neville’s eyes and clotheslines Neville to the mat. Commercial. Neville is in control when we return. Standing Shooting Star Press and Neville covers. Kick out at two. Jericho rolls out of the ring, Neville comes around and kicks him off the apron and moonsaults off the second rope, taking Jericho down. Back in the ring, Neville can’t keep Jericho down. Jericho goes for a Code Breaker, but Neville kicks him in the face. Red Arrow off the top rope. Jericho moves and catches Neville in the Walls of Jericho. Neville taps. This whole Y2J on top thing is getting old. He is beating too many young guys. This does absolutely nothing for Neville. And really does nothing for Jericho either. Neville recently returned and is getting tapped out. Didn’t like this booking at all.
Nia Jax up next. Probably another squash match so not really sure why I should even bother covering it. Shortly after typing this she wins. Yawn. Where’s Sasha Banks? Jinder Mahal and Sami Zayn have a match that nobody wants to see, honestly. The crowd chants for Slater throughout. Zayn wins. Boring match. Not sure what this does for Zayn. Just a lot of odd booking choices tonight.
Bayley and The New Day take on Dana Brooke and The Club next with Charlotte on commentary. Starting to see more of these mixed tag matches which is a big positive for WWE. This match is okay. Sort of a goofball spotfest instead of a fun wrestling match. Bayley and New Day are a little clumsy. The Club and Dana do a nice job. The big go home is Bayley to Belly on Dana for the pinfall victory. Raw has sort of lost me since the opening segment. They haven’t really set up any feuds or rivalries outside of the Universal Championship.
Sheamus comes out to fight Cesaro in a match that probably won’t pick up the momentum of the show. This is match #2 of their best of 7 series. Oh goodie. And lucky for us they let Byron Saxton interview Sheamus before the match. That’s just cringe-worthy. The match itself is decent. But what else is there for these two to do? They are just going to have seven straight up matches? That isn’t exciting at all. Cesaro lands a pretty vicious European uppercut off the ropes. Crowd not bothering to get up for this one. Can’t really blame them. This series is definitely going to 7 so we are just going to watch them go through the motions 6 times prior. In a surprise twist, Sheamus wins the second match with a submission tap out. Sheamus goes up 2-0. Mr. Fuji video package after the match. Sad. Rest in Peace to the Hall of Famer.
Big announcement after the break that the Cruiserweights are coming to Raw in 3 weeks! Finally! Stephanie McMahon comes down to the ring. Paul Heyman interrupts her. Stephanie cuts him off and tells him to get in the ring and apologize. Instead, Heyman says Raw won SummerSlam when Lesnar defeated Orton. Heyman says he is here tonight to pay Lesnar’s $500 fine. He pulls out a huge stack of bills. He starts counting to five hundred using single dollar bills. HaHaHa. At six, Stephanie slaps the money out of his hand. Heyman sweet talks Stephanie and apologizes. She accepts and walks out. Weird segment.
Titus O’Neal comes to the ring, smiling at the replay from last week. Darren Young comes out with Bob Backlund. Weirdly, this is one of the better matches of the night. The two tell a good story and put some emotion into their fight. Titus looks like a beast and although Young has yet to embody this so-called greatness Backlund claims, he looks solid tonight. Darren Young gets the pinfall victory and then tosses Titus out of the ring. He and Backlund celebrate in the ring. Titus spoils the fun, running in and attacking them both from behind. Clash of the Titus on Young. Crowd boo’s as Titus walks out and up the ramp.
Main event time. Big Cass comes out with Enzo Amore which I find an odd decision. Makes Cass look like he can’t stand on his own, something Owens alluded to earlier in the broadcast. This is a big moment for Cass, and Enzo kind of hijacked it. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Certified G, but he really has no business here. Oh well, what’s done is done. The bell rings and Owens rolls out and leans against the barricade, letting the other three beat each other up. Eventually Cass and Reigns square off alone in the ring. They trade blows, but Reigns knocks Cass down. Reigns misses with a Superman Punch. Cass off the ropes and he kicks Reigns out of the ring, as both men go tumbling out of the ring. Cass and Owens are fighting and Reigns dives out to take them both down. Commercial break.
As we come back from the break, Owens drops an elbow off the apron onto Cass. Rollins clobbers him, rolls Cass in the ring, and manages a two count. All four guys take turns running the show. It’s a well choreographed match for having four guys at once. Frog Splash by Owens and he eliminates Big Cass. Good showing for the big man. And then there were three….and another commercial break. Owens hits two cannonballs on Reigns and Rollins in separate corners. Superman Punch by Reigns, but Owens kicks out. Crowd in a frenzy. Stephanie and Mick ringside, practically drooling. Reigns hits all his moves on the outside to both guys. Triple H runs in and Pedigrees Reigns out of no where! He throws Reigns into the ring, gets Rollins up and tells him to cover him. He does and Rollins eliminates Reigns. HHH walks over to Owens and rolls him in the ring. HHH turns and hits Rollins with a Pedigree. Owens covers and wins the title! Holy shit! HHH walks out. Owens celebrates and holds the belt up. And despite the heel-ness, crowd starts a “You Deserve It!” chant. Wow. Talk about making a big impact. Everybody is going to be talking anout this all week long.
Great beginning, great ending. The rest of Raw was pretty much garbage for the most part. But if Creative burned all their juice on making Owens the champion, we have to take it. What a fantastic new direction for the company. Congrats to the NEW Universal Champion, Kevin Owens. See you tomorrow for Smackdown Live.
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Article by Jamie Curtis 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
We recently discussed the issues that WWE superstar Paige has been having in her personal and professional life. Things have unfortunately gotten worse for the young wrestler, as WWE announced on their Twitter account that Paige has been suspended for 30 days beginning August 18, 2016 for her first violation of the wellness policy.
A couple hours prior to this announcement, WWE announced that Paige’s boyfriend, Alberto Del Rio, had also been suspended for the same violation. This is the first violation for both wrestlers, and neither was scheduled to compete at SummerSlam this Sunday. The timing is unfortunate for Paige, as today is her 24th birthday.
Del Rio will likely exit the company this fall when his contract expires. He is said to be very unhappy with his direction in WWE. He isn’t getting used in the capacity he feels he should, and he is reportedly upset at being separated from Paige when all the other WWE couples were sent to their respective brands together (and it is reported that Emma and Nikki Bella will be sent to Smackdown with Zack Ryder and John Cena upon their returns). Online rumors state that Triple H was attempting to protect his young talent, Paige, by separating her from “bad influence” Del Rio.
Reports do not contain information on what substance the two tested positive for. Neither Paige nor Del Rio have acknowledged the suspensions as of the time of this writing. Paige has taken to social media only to thank fans for all their birthday wishes. Whatever the case may be, this new problem does not bode well for Paige and certainly does not help her already rocky situation.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
My husband and I recently had the privilege of attending an NXT Live event in our hometown; you can read his review and see our photos here. This is the first NXT show we’ve been to, and only the second house show. Anyone who has been to a house show knows that you can expect the good guys to always come out on top, for the kids to receive special treatment and get closer to the athletes, and for the entire atmosphere to be much more relaxed. NXT took it all to another level.
The venue we attended for NXT Live was one we’ve been to before for concerts. The room is normally cleared throughout the middle for general admission with seating upgrades on either sides featuring tables, chairs, and your own personal wait staff for drinks. For NXT, the ring sat directly in the middle of the ballroom, with chairs on the floor on three sides of the ring, and the seating upgrade sections present and filled. Towards the back was a section for standing room only where you had a somewhat obstructed view, but could still see if you positioned yourself right. We were nine rows back from the ring; there was not a bad seat in that entire place.
Every wrestler we saw that night paid extra attention to the crowd and fed off of their reactions. The heels took extra steps to make sure they got as much heat as possible, which was easy because in such a small room, we could hear just about every word they said without the help of a microphone. They yelled at fans, mocked them for taking photos, and really got us all involved. The fan favorites played up their popularity and made us cheer, laugh, and enjoy every second of every match. They paid special attention to the children in the crowd and gave a lot of people a night they will never forget.
NXT gives the fans an experience that you simply don’t get with a WWE live show. I’ve enjoyed every Raw, Smackdown, and PPV I’ve been to, as well as the one WWE Live house show, but none of it compares to the feeling of watching NXT in person. We got to see a different side of the roster; their personalities had a chance to truly shine through when not hidden behind storylines and backstage drama. They knew exactly what the fans wanted and they gave it to us and then some. The effort that went into making the show a success was immense, and something that I wish would bleed over to the main roster. Every person in the arena and backstage who had a hand in putting that night together brought their A game.
Attending the NXT Live event gives me a lot of hope for the future of WWE. Once called the developmental division, NXT is rising to a point where it’s not only equal to the main roster, but often surpasses it in quality. Go watch Breaking Ground on the WWE Network to get a better look at how hard the NXT team works to give us such a high quality product, and buy tickets immediately if they tour in a city near you. It will be a night you won’t soon forget, and will be worth every single penny. I for one can’t wait until they come back around; I may have to splurge on ringside tickets next time, but regardless of the seat choices, I guarantee I won’t miss it.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
As with all things, it takes baby steps, but by slowly pushing Bray Wyatt as the next big powerhouse, you can setup multiple angles and storylines that reverberate throughout the entire roster. First we take Bray from right where he is now and point him in the right direction.
On Monday Night Raw, The Wyatt Family came out and attacked the League of Nations. Okay, we can springboard off this. Set up a match at Payback featuring The Wyatts vs The League in an elimination Survivor Series sort of match. Trust me, this comes into play later. Now then, the other Wyatt members never tag Bray Wyatt in. He goes the whole match without wrestling. The Wyatt Family wins in the end, but he becomes the sole target of the League of Nations.
Next night on Raw, have Bray Wyatt by himself cutting one of those creepy black room promos. Sheamus, Del Rio, and Rusev run in and attack him. This leads to making matches the next few weeks of Bray Wyatt taking on each member of the League of Nations separately, with the caveat being if any of them beat him, they get to fight him at Extreme Rules. Wyatt beats down Del Rio and Rusev strong style. Sheamus takes an ass whooping to, but he finds a way to cheat and get the win, setting up a No DQ Iron Man Match at Extreme Rules. Wyatt wins that 3-2.
At Money in the Bank, we set it up so that Bray Wyatt, Sheamus, Ambrose, Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, and maybe Apollo Crews are in the ladder match. Wyatt Family runs in, League of Nations runs in, maybe even Jericho and Sami Zayn run in. Bray Wyatt pulls off the win and is the 2016 Mr. Money in the Bank. MITB is done, and next night on Monday Night Raw, Randy Orton returns to much fanfare. But Wyatt interrupts him and has the Family take him out. Bray Wyatt takes the cowardly way out and refuses to fight again and so Orton takes on Strowman and Harper in a 2-on-1 handicap match at Battleground. During that PPV, Charlotte has the title on the line with Ric Flair out there. As Ric goes to help interfere, Bray runs to the ring and assaults him, costing Charlotte the title. This serves two purposes: first, it takes Flair away from Charlotte so she can stand on her own; and second, it makes Ric Flair crawl to Triple H to ask for help. The Game of course agrees to help and he sets up Bray Wyatt versus Randy Orton at SummerSlam with The Wyatt Family barred from ringside. Orton brings back The Punt kick and decks Bray with it, but he kicks out! Wyatt wins, sorry Randy.
This leads to a promo by Wyatt the next night on Raw saying, “I laid waste to the legend killer, and my own legend grows.” Orton goes to Triple H and wants blood. Triple H sets up a new match at Night of Champions with Ric Flair as special guest referee. After interference from The Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt loses via disqualification as both Orton and Flair are assaulted. This leads to Triple H deciding to take care of it himself. Bray Wyatt vs Triple at Hell in a Cell. Wyatt goes over, but at the end of the match, Big Dave Batista returns and helps Triple H fend off The Wyatt’s. Of course you can see where this is going.
Team Evolution versus Team Wyatt Family at Surivor Series. The big sell here is that back at Extreme Rules, Bray Wyatt never entered the match. Bray doesn’t tag in until the very end, when only Ric Flair is left. Wyatt plays cat and mouse with him, toying with the old man and teasing the crowd with wanting to destroy him. I don’t want to write this, but it’s inevitable because their paths are bound to cross eventually… John Cena runs out to help Flair and cause Bray Wyatt to be eliminated. Harper is still alive though and pins Flair. The Wyatt Family wins but Bray is embarrassed.
To end the year, it’s Bray Wyatt vs John Cena in a ladder match at TLC with the MITB Briefcase on the line. After a devastating match where they beat the hell out of each other, Wyatt comes out on top, cleanly, with no interference. I know most of you probably hate that booking, but this is WWE and Vince will make the new push go through Cena at some point so better just to get it out of the way and have done with it.
Here’s where things get really interesting. We bring in The Undertaker for the Royal Rumble at #30. It would be unexpected, it would be epic, and the crowd would go wild. This all depends on WWE keeping their mouths shut about it because we all know their camp has loose lips. Even more exciting, Undertaker wins and is set to headline WrestleMania against still champion Roman Reigns. Reigns bitches to The Authority, or to Vince, or whomever (heck maybe Shane will be running things by then) and they make a stipulation that Reigns vs Undertaker will be a retirement match, whereas if Taker loses he is gone. Not from WrestleMania, not from winning a title, but gone forever.
The whole time all this is going on, Bray Wyatt is playing the most sinister mind games with Roman Reigns for the better part of a year. He’s always lurking, always creeping out hinting at a cash-in but he never does. And so, for the second time in his career, Roman Reigns loses at WrestleMania as Bray Wyatt successfully cashes-in, winning the title. Since a triple threat is No DQ, they could even have The Wyatt Family interfere. Either way, the match ends with Reigns taking the pinfall. Within kayfabe, they can say Undertaker was never pinned and therefore can comeback next year for his 500th WrestleMania match. Mania closes with Bray and The Family at the top of the ramp, fireworks, and Bray yellowing, “I AM THE EATER OF WORLDS!”
Next night on Raw, Wyatt comes out talking a real good game about being the best person to ever cash in, about having the biggest WrestleMania moment, you get the idea. Seth Rollins comes out, having taken offense to this. He wants a title shot, but hold on Reigns comes out, as does Ambrose (somehow being involved in the story as well). This gives time to hold our breaths over Bray versus Rollins as he takes on the others. Meanwhile, Kevin Owens wins Money in the Bank 2017. This comes back into play later. Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns are subject to in-fighting, never really getting along but never really going hardcore at each other. Just playing it off like they hate one another and aren’t playing well with each other.
The big setup of course being Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt for the title at SummerSlam. Wyatt Family comes out to teach Rollins a lesson. Rollins wins via disqualification but Bray still retains. As four men beat down Seth Rollins, that’s when that old familiar song hits. You know how it goes. SIERRA. HOTEL. INDIA. ECHO. LIMA. DELTA. SHIELD. Ambrose and Reigns come out through the crowd. The Shield is back! This eventually leads to Shield versus Wyatts at Survivor Series. After some help from Evolution, running in to assist their old enemies The Shield, Bray Wyatt is left all alone against all three Shield members. They beat him down really bad. For the first time since regrouping at SummerSlam, The Shield performs a triple powerbomb on Bray. Maybe a few. Match is a no contest as The Shield just walks out having done what they come there to do. But as Bray, broken and alone, stands to leave, Kevin Owens’ them hits and he comes walking down the ramp. He cashes in his briefcase and wins the title.
A few months later, Bray Wyatt wins the Royal Rumble. And WrestleMania 34 is Bray Wyatt versus Kevin Owens for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. And there you have it. The resurrection of Bray Wyatt. Shockingly, this whole plan depends on Roman Reigns keeping the title for a full year. This could be a stretch for Creative, as a big majority of the fans have already tuned him out. But with careful planning, and slowly putting wins under Bray Wyatt’s belt, WWE can take a great gimmick and turn it into an epic superstar. The best part of this scenario is that it doesn’t have to interfere with any plans WWE currently has with Roman Reigns, John Cena, or any other main roster guys. They can do business as usual with whatever they have booked and make this the growing side story for the next year. Bray Wyatt should be the top guy in the company, there’s no doubt about that. WWE just needs to swing at the pitch and aim for the fences. If you build him, they will cheer. I’ve laid down the path, all you have to do now is Follow the Buzzards.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker