Slammiversary 2014

Since it’s Memorial Day, Destination America has decided to not air a new Impact Wrestling tonight and is airing a completely out of context pay per view from eleven months ago.  As confusing as this might be, I’m not sure why this hasn’t been done before, at least in an edited version.

Slammiversary
2014
Date: June 15,
2014
Location: College Park Center, Arlington, Texas
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Time for another TNA
pay per view which at least has been good in the last few years. The
show has had some decent build, but due to a combination of injuries
and TNA’s horrific marketing skills, the World Title match has been
changed and there was no mention of the X Division Title match on
television. The show does look good on paper though and we get the
newest Hall of Fame announcement. Let’s get to it.

We open with the trio
in the back with MVP saying he’s here to make sure Dixie doesn’t
screw things up tonight. MVP can’t be out there with them though
because of his knee.
Video on the history of
TNA up to this point.
X-Division Title:
Sanada vs. Tigre Uno vs. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Crazy
Steve vs. Manik
Sanada is defending and
this is a ladder match. Also keep in mind that Destination X and
Option C are coming up soon. Manik dives through the ropes to take
out Sanada before the bell. The Wolves follow suit with stereo
suicide dives and Steve has apparently knocked Tigre Uno down. Steve
gets a ladder from under the ring and uses it to climb back to the
apron. Tigre dropkicks him down and mostly misses a corkscrew dive
to take everyone out.
Sanada and Manik fight
over a ladder in the ring with the champion taking over via a
springboard chop to the head. Tigre replaces Manik and kicks Sanada
in the back of the head but the Wolves double team him into a German
suplex onto the ladder in the corner. Edwards throws in a fresh
ladder but Manik dropkicks both of them down. Steve (very popular
tonight) comes in for the Terry Funk spinning ladder spot, taking
down everyone that comes into the ring.
Manik makes a save but
Steve shoves the ladder over, only to have Manik land on the top rope
and dive out to knock out the Wolves. Steve goes up again and
touches the belt but of course loses his hand eye coordination since
this is a ladder match, allowing Sanada to make the save. The ladder
is busted so Sanada slams Steve onto it to set up the moonsault. The
fans think this is awesome as Tigre enziguris Sanada off a better
ladder.
Tigre wedges the broken
ladder into the standing one to form a bridge, but the Wolves catch
him in a powerbomb/top rope Backstabber combo. The Wolves both go
after the belt but Sanada makes the save. Edwards Sanada clothesline
each other to the floor and Eddie crashes into the barricade, leaving
Davey on top. Manik makes the save and powerbombs Davey onto the
bridged ladder in a SCARY landing. Sanada climbs up to retain at
9:40 before someone dies.
Rating:
B-.
The match was fun but some of those spots looked too dangerous for my
taste. Richards getting powerbombed was way too scary looking and I
didn’t like how he landed. Hopefully everyone is fine, but I
question having people go through a match like this without even
giving the match hype on TV.
The announcers explain
the World Title situation. For once this is totally beyond their
control.
Here’s the trio with
MVP on crutches to insult Texas A&M and the fans for booing him.
They shouldn’t be so angry at him while he’s here against doctor’s
orders. Dixie has gone to the Board of Directors in an estrogen
filled moment of insanity, resulting in him being censored. MVP
explains the World Title situation to the live crowd and says he
won’t be involved in either qualifying match. King and Lashley
promise to win their matches, unlike Texas A&M.
Samoa Joe vs. Bobby
Lashley
Winner goes to the
title match tonight. Lashley quickly takes Joe into the corner but
gets enziguried in the other corner to give Joe control. Bobby
leapfrogs over the Samoan and clotheslines him down, only to have Joe
pound him down with strikes. The Facewash is loaded up but Bobby
rolls to the floor to get a breather. You don’t go outside on Joe
though and it’s the suicide elbow to take Lashley out again.
Joe gets cocky for a
split second and Lashley is able to send him into the steps. Back in
and Lashley fights out of the corner Rock Bottom with a swinging
neckbreaker for two. A snap suplex sets up a nerve hold on Joe and
an elbow to the face stops his comeback cold. Another nerve hold is
broken up by a kick to the head and the backsplash gets two. Now the
release Rock Bottom looks to set up the Clutch but Lashley drives him
into the corner. Joe has to stop himself from running into Earl
Hebner, allowing Bobby to nail the spear for the pin at 8:50.
Rating:
C+.
This wasn’t bad with Lashley getting one of his biggest wins since
coming back. Putting Joe in the title match didn’t make a ton of
sense after Lashley beat Eric on Thursday so this was the best option
all things considered. I’m still not wild on Lashley’s in ring work,
especially the spear due to so many people using it, but he could be
worse.
The Carters have a
party suite above the arena. Dixie thinks Ray will see Ethan’s
vicious side tonight. Dixie won’t comment on the meetings she had
this week until she’s in the middle of the ring. The only hint
she’ll give is that the karma that got to MVP is nothing compared to
what’s coming. Spud looks like the Joker.
Magnus vs. Willow
Bram and Abyss are the
seconds here. Magnus stomps away in the corner to start and avoids a
baseball slide to send Willow into the steps. Back in and a big
clothesline gets the same for the Brit. There’s a buckle bomb for
good measure and Magnus hammers away on the mask. We hit the
chinlock for a bit before Willow fights back with an atomic drop and
the legdrop between the legs for two.
The Twist is countered
but Magnus runs into two boots in the corner. A middle rope splash
gets two for Willow before Magnus avoids the Swanton. Bram tries to
interfere but Abyss is right there to hammer away. All four guys
start brawling on the floor until Willow goes up top and just jumps
backwards onto the Brits.
Now Abyss and Bram
fight in the ring with the Monster easily throwing him to the floor.
The guys in the match get back in as Bram gets his metal bar, only to
be one upped by Janice. They walk up the ramp as Magnus breaks up
the Whisper in the Wind, setting up a belly to back suplex into a
side slam for the pin on Willow at 10:00.
Rating:
C-.
This was a mess for the most part but not bad. They would have been
better off making this a tag match to get everyone in there, but that
seems to be where they’re headed anyway. The Willow gimmick isn’t
doing anything for me either as the announcement that it’s Jeff Hardy
just killed the whole point of the character.
Here’s Kurt Angle to
announce the newest Hall of Fame inductee. Angle talks about how
being in the Hall of Fame means you’ve earned respect forever from
the boys in the back and the fans. The inductee is……Team 3D in a
bit of a surprise. A loud and long WE WANT TABLES chant goes up and
we go to a wide shot of the arena for some reason.
Bully can barely get a
full sentence out as the fans are chanting WELCOME BACK. They accept
the induction because of every single one of the fans. D-Von says he
wasn’t going to come back to TNA but if he’s going out, he has to be
by Bully’s side after all their history together. Catchphrases and
poses close out the segment.
Ethan Carter cuts a
good promo about how he’s beaten all the members of the TNA Hall of
Fame so tonight he gets to beat the latest. This isn’t Von Erich
Country anymore because the Carters have taken over.
Austin Aries vs.
Kenny King
Winner goes to the cage
match tonight. Aries hits the corner dropkick less than thirty
seconds in but King escapes the brainbuster and gets to the floor.
The top rope ax handle puts King down again but King crotches him on
top to get a breather. A dropkick puts Austin on the floor and King
sends him hard into the barricade for good measure.
They head inside again
with King hammering away before putting on something like a seated
abdominal stretch. Aries fights up and smacks King’s ears to put him
on the floor, setting up a suicide dive. King is thrown back inside
so Aries can ram him over and over into the buckles, setting up a
missile dropkick for two.
King comes back with a
cradle suplex and a high kick but gets caught with his feet on the
ropes. The Last Chancery can’t get the submission so King comes back
with a springboard Blockbuster for a close two. Aries gets tired of
dealing with King and takes him into the corner for a super
brainbuster to send Austin to the cage at 10:04.
Rating:
C+.
This is the logical choice as King hasn’t really shown that he can
beat a guy of Aries’ level in a one on one match. The ending
sequence was really cool and it gives us a more intriguing main event
than Eric vs. two members of the trip. Aries is a guy that could be
brought up the ranks in TNA to fill in their lack of top faces.
JB introduces some
Dallas Cowboys to a VERY mixed reaction. After that mention is over,
JB brings out the latest Von Erichs: Ross and Marshall, accompanied
by an ancient looking Kevin. The Bro Mans interrupt and say that a
lot of things in Texas aren’t tight, including being a Von Erich.
Robbie isn’t here for reasons not specified.
Bro Mans vs. Ross
Von Erich/Marshall Von Erich
Marshall wrestles
barefoot like Kevin did. This is DJZ and Jesse for the team tonight.
Marshall cleans house on DJZ to start but can’t hook the Claw. A
powerslam puts DJZ back down and it’s off to the older Ross for some
dropkicks. Jesse breaks up something off the top rope and DJZ hits a
nice flip dive to take Ross down on the ramp.
Back in and Jesse nails
a dropkick bur Ross avoids a second one and makes the hot tag to
Marshall. Everything breaks down and Ross hits a missile dropkick to
put both guys down. Jesse brings in a chair but gets it dropkicked
into his face, setting up a series of basic double team moves from
the brothers. Not that it matters as DJZ brings in the chair for the
DQ at 5:07.
Rating:
D+.
Well that was a waste of pay per view time. The Von Erichs looked ok
at best but it’s clear that they need ring time more than anything
else. They didn’t know how to finish a match yet and it looked like
they needed to get through a bunch of spots instead of bringing the
match to a close. Not terrible, but the ending really didn’t work
for me.
Post
match Kevin comes in to put the Claw on Jesse, drawing the only big
pop from the crowd.
Angelina says she’ll
keep the title tonight. JB asks how many time Angelina has won the
title without Velvet’s help but Angelina says they’re a team.
Knockouts Title:
Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love
Angelina is defending
and Gail won a triple threat on Thursday to set this up. Gail hits a
quick running forearm to start but her top rope hurricanrana is
countered with a powerbomb. A side slam gets two on Kim and Angelina
throws her out to the floor. Velvet interference doesn’t help as Kim
sends Love knees first into the steps. Back in and Gail gets
crotched on the top, setting up an ugly looking reverse bulldog for
two.
Sky uses the hairspray
but referee Stiffler ignores it. The Botox Injection gets two and
here’s Earl Hebner to eject Sky and make himself referee. Gail
speeds things up and gets two off a neckbreaker but gets powerbombed
for two more. Kim accidentally dropkicks Earl in the back but nails
Eat Defeat. Stiffler ignores the cover to check on Earl and does the
same again when Love gets rolled up. Angelina reverses into a rollup
of her own and Stiffler counts the pin to retain the title at 6:57.
Rating:
D+.
Egads this story is getting old. Didn’t we have Stiffler in love
with the Beautiful People like five years ago? Nothing to see here
for the most part as Gail vs. Angelina has been done on PPV so many
times that they ran out of stuff to do years ago. The match was
ridiculously overbooked. Also don’t we already have a questionable
referee in Brian Hebner?
D-Von has to go back to
the hotel for dinner with his kids. Bully cuts a promo on Texas
wrestling legends and thinks Ethan is in way over his head. His
advice to Ethan: start praying. Ethan gets crucified for the sins of
his Aunt Dixie and he’ll be baptized in blood.
Bully Ray vs. Ethan
Carter III
Texas Death Match,
meaning last man standing. Ray brings out a bullrope ala Stan Hansen
for a nice tribute. Carter is thrown to the floor by the rope to
start and Ray brings out a pair of tables. They’re stacked next to
each other on the floor but Carter recovers from the coma he was in
to get in a few shots and take over. Ray fights right back and sets
up another table in the corner but the fans want cowbell.
Carter avoids the table
but gets his chest ripped off by more chops. Time for the cheese
grater to rip up Ethan’s chest (barely), which isn’t something you
often see. Carter gets in a few shots to take over and sends Ray
face first into a chair on the mat. He goes up top but gets crotched
and superplexed onto the chair to put both guys down. Ray grabs a
Dallas Cowboys trashcan from under the ring before starting to cut up
the mats to expose the wood under the canvas.
Joker Spud comes out
with a kendo stick shot to Ray’s back for no effect. Ray kicks him
low and knocks Spud silly with the stick but Carter hits a quick One
Percenter onto the exposed boards for our first count over twelve
minutes into the match. Ray is up at eight so Carter pours out the
glass in the trashcan. Carter goes up but dives into a Bubba Cutter,
sending the injured chest into the glass for a cool spot. He’s up at
eight though so Ray takes the stick outside to knock Ethan silly
again.
Ray puts him on the
tables and goes up but here’s Dixie for a distraction. Bully goes
after her and sends Ethan into Dixie to knock her out cold. Ethan
gets punched down and Ray puts Dixie on the table. He takes too long
though, allowing Spud to pull her off and Ethan knocks Ray through
the tables with a kendo stick shot for the win at 17:05.
Rating:
C.
It was a nice brawl with some nice spots but NO ONE CARES ABOUT
DIXIE. After all this, if she doesn’t go through a table in New
York, this whole story has been a huge waste of time. Also, never
accept an induction to the Hall of Fame unless you want to lose on a
last second fluke the same night. At least D-Von didn’t join forces
with Dixie.
We recap Anderson vs.
Storm. This started in a qualifying match for a World Title shot
before Anderson cheated to win a drinking contest and made fun of
cowboys. Why TNA thinks he’s going to be cheered in Texas doing this
is beyond me.
Mr. Anderson vs.
James Storm
Storm grabs a mic even
though it’s 10:22 and we’ve got another match after this. He rips on
the Cowboys because he’s a Titans fan but the booing breaks up his
catchphrase. The brawl is on before the bell with Anderson high
fiving the Cowboys and spitting beer in Storm’s face. They get in
the ring for the opening bell and James goes right for the knee. A
few shots have Anderson so banged up that he can’t run across the
ring and a Figure Four has him in even more trouble.
Anderson is quickly in
the ropes and Storm misses a charge in the corner to give Mr. a
breather. Storm gets crotched on the top and slammed down for two,
only to send Anderson face first into the middle buckle. Now it’s
Anderson going up but getting kicked in the back of the head. He’s
still able to pick Storm up for the rolling fireman’s carry off the
middle rope but Storm kicks him out to the floor. Storm spits beer
at the Cowboys so they jump the railing for a distraction, allowing
Anderson to hit the Mic Check for the pin at 5:25.
Rating:
C-.
The match was short due to time but it was still entertaining enough.
Anderson vs. Storm didn’t need the Cowboys for this to work but
since it’s a midcard match in TNA, I’m sure we’ll get 19 rematches to
keep things going way after its expiration date. The Cowboys might
get them some extra media attention if nothing else.
Austin Aries tells Eric
Young that the greatest man should win the match tonight. Eric says
they’ve flown in crazy people to the show tonight.
We recap the main
event, which is just an Eric Young video due to the last minute
changes.
TNA World Title:
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Eric Young
In a cage with Young
defending with wins by pin or submission, not escape. Lashley takes
over to start but gets double teamed down. The smaller guys do a
fast paced sequence until Lashley throws Aries into the cage. Young
gets the same as well, allowing Lashley to stand tall. Bobby throws
both guys around again but misses a charge into the post. Young and
Aries go at it again until Eric hammers on Bobby in the corner.
Aries powerbombs the
champion down but stops to go after Lashley again, only to be
suplexed into the cage for two. We get a bad looking botch as Aries
hits a running cross body in the corner but Young just lets him
bounce off of him for some reason. Young gets to show off his
freakish strength with a double Death Valley Driver but Lashley is up
at two. He puts Young on top of the cage as the fans chant please
don’t die. Aries goes up top as well to take Lashley down with a
hurricanrana, but Eric stands up on top of the cage for the huge
elbow to Bobby.
Aries punts Eric in the
head though and hits the brainbuster for a very close two. Lashley
spears Austin down for two and spinebusters the champion, only to
miss the spear and fall out of the cage. Remember that doesn’t end
the match though as escape doesn’t count. Young hits the top rope
elbow on Aries for another close near fall. The piledriver is
countered with a low dropkick to Young’s face and everyone is down.
Young and Aries slug it out but both guys miss forearms. Aries hits
some discus forearms and the corner dropkick but walks into the
piledriver to retain Eric’s title at 12:10.
Rating:
B-.
This got better near the end but Eric keeping the title made me roll
my eyes. The reign has been far better than I expected it to be but
he needs to be the focal point of the company instead of the other
guy in the major feuds. To be fair though, I’d assume MVP was
supposed to take the title tonight before the injuries.
Young helps Aries up
after the match.
Overall
Rating:
B-.
As usual, TNA puts on a good show for Slammiversary. I really wish
they could get their stuff together on TV because if this was what
they were putting out there every week, things would be so much
easier to sit through. Instead we’re usually stuck with one story
dominating a show or 19 Dixie Carter segments with her bad acting
talking about whatever war she’s having that no one cares about.
Good show but not as good as the last few years’. Nothing blew the
doors off but most of the matches were solid and nothing was bad so I
can’t complain much.
Remember to follow me
on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete Monday
Nitro Reviews Volume III at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
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NJPW 2014 almanac

Scott- Not sure if you've seen this:
https://payhip.com/b/pLRE It's an almanac for NJPW from 2014…it's pretty through and well written (a bit generous ratings wise). It's also free and a good primer on NJPW today. Check it out… More importantly, how good was that first episode of NJPW on AXS?  Mauro Renallo is a BEAST and that was exactly what people wanted out of a New Japan show on US TV, with someone to explain all the backstories and call it like a sport.  

2014 WrestleCrap Gooker Awards


Hey Scott,


Got a close race between Bella vs. Bella, and the ramifications of Vince's 'brass rings' comment for this year's Gooker Award; it's pretty well neck and neck at the moment.

Thought maybe your BOD'ers could help settle the score!


Is it too late to vote for the Reigns promo on Smackdown?

WWE RAW: December 29, 2014

Oh hi, I’m the WCW guy. Andy PG won’t be here tonight due to
a medical issue. (I don’t wish to start rumors, but I hear he got a new TV for
Christmas and when he removed the old one it BLEW UP IN HIS FACE!) As a result,
you and I are going to forge some sort of unholy alliance to get us through the
next 3 hours.
I haven’t seen any of tonight’s previews, but I heard
through the grapevine we’ll be treated to a number of matches we have seen many
times before, and will see many times again. Also, after months of teasing
separation, will Dean Ambrose’s tongue officially take on a life of its own and
start a solo push?
I’d love to speculate all night but the show is starting.

Oh cool, we’re getting an Edge montage reliving his
retirement from nearly 4 years ago, a stark reminder we’re all getting really
old. The good news is, he’s back tonight with Christian. The bad news is, they
now totally reek of mothballs.
There’s no point in wasting any more time, as EDGE and CHRISTIAN head down to the
ring. Believe it or not, they’re actually my favorite tag-team of all time
(please don’t tell the Faces of Fear!!!). Christian promises a Peep Show for
later tonight, but the host of the Cutting Edge takes issue with this. However,
because they’re friends this week, they settle on the Cutting Edge Peep Show,
which gets a mild reaction. Seth Rollins will be our guest, before he wrestles
Roman Reigns later tonight. Christian hypes Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler, and they’ll
both be completely naked! Ok, it turns out that last part is a lie. Edge tells
Christian nobody wants to see that (which is NOT true, I’d thoroughly enjoy
watching every sponsor simultaneously drop the WWE on account on Dolph’s new
finishing move – Flapping in the Wind.) Also, Daniel Bryan is here. We wrap
things up with a 5 Second Pose, but just as we prep for the benefit of those
with Flash Photography, BROCK LESNAR
and PAUL HEYMAN interrupt. This
probably doesn’t bode well for soon to be sacrificial lamb Christian.
Heyman asks why a couple of lads with neck and concussion
problems would come swimming alongside the shark that is Brock Lesnar. Heyman
reminds us that both guys are a step away from being in a wheelchair, so Brock
won’t be hurting either of them since their careers are already over. Instead,
he’d rather destroy the virgin neck of JOHN
CENA
, who is the wrestling equivalent of Beetlejuice; arriving immediately
on the 3rd mention of his name. Cena gives us his 2015 resolution;
to take the belt off of Brock Lesnar. I was betting on a 21-day juicing
cleanse, I’m out $20. They almost come to blows, but you aren’t paying $9.99
for this, so no fighting for you. But what of my 5 second pose?
We are LIVE from Washington, DC, as evidenced by these shots
of the White House!
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. THE
BULGARIAN FRUIT (with Katy Perry) (in a non-titles match)
The fans bust out a “USA” chant, in the hopes of sending
that pesky Bulgarian back to Mother Russia with their united racism disguised
as patriotism. Rusev beats down Ziggler, and puts him in a half nelson lock.
Ziggler escapes with a jawbreaker, and stalls the monster with a dropkick and
DDT combo that gets a quick 2. Off to commercial, lest Ziggler’s momentum
excite you.
Back live, the momentum has shifted, as has Rusev’s hair. The
post-coital Ron Jeremy is a fantastic look. Ziggler hits another jawbreaker, so
Rusev hulks up. Ziggler heads to the top rope, and leaps into the awaiting arms
of his beefy ring-mate. He escapes the fallaway slam by landing on his feet (a
fantastic metaphor for all you young wrestlers facing adversity), and nails a
missile dropkick. Rusev tries the superkick, but Ziggler ducks and hits the
Rocker Dropper for 2.  The Zig Zag is set
up, but Rusev shoves him away. Blind avalanche misses, and Ziggler quickly hits
a superkick for 2. Next Shawn Michaels my ass. The Zig Zag is blocked with the
ropes, and Rusev kicks Ziggler in the kneecaps. After a quick meeting of
shoulder and ring post, Rusev stomps away in the corner, where he’s promptly
disqualified at 10:07. So wait, we’re
disqualifying guys in 2014 for using what was essentially Steve Austin’s
opening act? Rusev applies the Steiner Recliner anyway, cuz nobody tells him
what to do. **1/2
RYBACK has seen
all he can stands, and he can stands no more, and heads right for Rusev. One
Meathook knocks the mad Bulgarian to the outside, where he grabs his flag and
calls it a night. Ryback leads the fans in a “FEED ME MORE” chant and promptly
takes 15 years off their lives.
Your hosts are MICHAEL
COLE
, JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER,
and “JOHN” BRADSHAW “LAYFIELD”.
Lawler is sporting a custom made Ugly Christmas Sweater. I’m looking forward to
the eventual reveal that Lawler died in 2003 and the last 11 years have been a Weekend
At Bernies rib that just carried on far too long, like the Anonymous GM, or Triple
H as “the prodigy”.
Back from a quick break, Ryback is still here, and he has
the STICK! He talks about his first live event when he was 12 years old. He
somehow got the gig of being the guest bell keeper, and it was at that point he
knew he wanted to be a wrestler someday. Then, he appeared as a contestant on
Tough Enough in 2004 as “The Silverback” Ryan Reeves. Here’s footage to prove
it (holy crap, he ain’t kidding!). When he was eliminated from the competition,
he fell into a depression and took a job at a BBQ place in Louisville, KY,
working 12 hours a day. Sorry, as a smoking enthusiast, that sounds all kinds
of awesome.  He spent his long lonely
nights eyeballing his Wrestlemania DVDs as a reminder of what he lost. But, on
one fateful day, he read “The Secret”, a book on positivity, and once he
changed his thinking, he got a second chance with the WWE. In 2010, he
re-arrived as Skip Sheffield, a member of the Nexus, and was on top of the
world until he broke his leg a couple of weeks later. He shows off his scar to
the cameras (which is COMPLETELY unnecessary in the HD era!). He refused to
listen to the doctors who told him he was done, and he returned as the man he
always had deep inside of himself … Bill Goldberg Ryback. That takes us
to today, where he sees all the negativity Rusev brings, and he’s going to kick
his ass and turn it into a positive. Or something. Trying to tie his life into
Rusev was a little weak, but the rest was good stuff, and the kind of
background stuff I wish we’d see more of.
NIKKI BELLA (with
Brie Bella) vs. NATTIE NEIDHART (with Tyson Kidd) (in a non-title match)
Nikki is knocked off the apron right off the bell, and we
get right into the Sportz Entertainment as she falls in the arms of Tyson Kidd
who seems to dig it. This causes some sort of distraction with Nattie, who
falls prey to the Rack Attack at 1:07.
This went about 1:08 too long. DUD
Backstage, TEAM
MIZDOW
rub their collective titles like a fine set of nipples. And,
speaking of nipples, NAOMI wanders
in to thank Miz for getting her a shot at producing music. She promises to show
how much she appreciates it, and wishes him luck in his match against the Uso
Brothers tonight. I thought we’d moved past the “Women are easily manipulated
sluts” era, but apparently the PG rating has taken us back to the stone-age.
I made the mistake of looking at the clock and I realized
only 1 hour is behind us. It’s gonna be a long night.
THE USOS vs. THE MIZ
& DAMIEN MIZDOW (for the WWE world tag-team titles)
Backstage, NAOMI
is watching this on a MONITOR! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!? Miz starts with Jimmy,
and gets his ass kicked so that Mizdow can showcase his shtick of selling
alongside his buddy. Full disclosure: I abhor this gimmick. I like some
semblance of suspension of disbelief, and this ain’t it. But alas, it’s over,
so we’re going to beat it into the ground. On queue, the fans chant for Mizdow,
who sells an atomic drop with his best method acting, and throws himself out of
the ring when Miz suffers the same. As the tag-team champions appear to be in
peril, we take a commercial break.
Upon return, Miz has regained control, and cock-teases a
Sandow tag. His decision not to turn to his buddy turns out to be a poor one,
as Jimmy does a number on Miz, and tosses Sandow to the outside when he rushes
to save his partner. Uso Crazy connects, but back in, Miz gets a quick DDT for
2. Miz goes for a Figure Four, but is shoved off and given an uppercut. Whisper
in the Wind gets 2. Miz turns things around, and gets the Figure Four applied
this time – and the fans show the requisite respect to Ric Flair; still The Man
after all these years. Jimmy makes the ropes, and ties Miz up in the Tequila
Sunrise. Sandow saves the day, but Jey hits the ring. Miz spies him, and throws
Sandow in the way to eat the Superkick. Jey delivers one to Miz anyway, and
heads up for the Superfly Splash. Miz blocks with the knees, and hits the Skull
Crushing Finale … for 2! The fans start a “THIS IS AWESOME” chant, but I haven’t
a clue why. Jimmy gets the tag, and the Usos hit duelling superkicks. How Sweet
It Is connects, and Jimmy scores the pin at 13:03 to start their second tag-team title reign. Naomi runs down
and jumps into her man’s arms in delight. ***
JERRY LAWLER hits
the ring to quickly remind us why we’re in dire need of a real backstage
interviewer. The Usos have big plans; they’re going to JR’s BBQ. Lawler
attempts a Johnny Manziel joke which falls flat. Regarding Naomi’s relationship
with the Miz: It was a SWERVE! Oh.
After a break, CESARO
has hit the ring, and is sulking in the corner with a towel over his head.
Cesaro reminds us that he won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at
Wrestlemania, which should have been the start of “his year”. Instead, he’s
being told he doesn’t connect with the audience. He agrees; because he has no
interest in connecting with anyone. He doesn’t need gimmicks, because he’s the
best wrestler in the world. He issues an open challenge for anyone to prove him
wrong.
CESARO vs. “BAD NEWS”
BARRETT
Barrett’s return comes with bad news: That Cesaro will be
connecting alright. His head, with the Bullhammer. I know what you’re thinking,
and I agree; I was hoping for Sid too. Barrett knocks Cesaro to the floor, and
follows behind. Cesaro hits a European uppercut, and rolls BNB back into the
ring, getting 2 off a top rope axehandle. Cesaro tries the rolling Germans, but
only gets 1 before Barrett wriggles loose. A boot to the head from Barrett gets
2. The pumphandle slam doesn’t work, and Cesaro catches Barrett with the Swing.
He only goes a handful of rotations, before releasing and moving to a half
crab. Lawler calls BNB “Wade”, which is probably going to cost him his
paycheque this week. Barrett gets the ropes, and a thumb to the eye sets up the
Bullhammer for the win at 3:40. Not
a good night for Cesaro, I assume it’s because he’s too Swiss. *
Elsewhere, LUKE
HARPER
bemoans the fact he’s been cast aside like trash. He reminds whoever
he’s talking to that he’s a product of “your” environment, a social pariah.
Dammit Luke, less talk, more ass kicking.
The Ascension is coming! Tonight!
JACK SWAGGER vs. LUKE
HARPER
Harper makes fun of the “We the People” nonsense, with a
series of unintelligible grunts. A throat punch staggers Swagger, and Luke then
steps on his face for good measure. The fans are SILENT here. If anyone in
attendance farts, the Universe is gonna know about it. A dropkick gets a quick
2 for Harper. Harper works a front facelock, but Swagger escapes and dumps
Harper to the floor. After a quick “We the People”, we head to commercial.
We’re back, with Swagger trapped in a chinlock. Swagger
escapes, and takes a big boot to the face for his effort, getting 2. Gator roll
goes nowhere, and Swagger starts his comeback. A boot catches Luke off guard,
and a clothesline gets 2. A 3 point stance sets up a powerslam, but Harper
kicks out at 2. Harper tries for a powerbomb, but Swagger fights it and
escapes. The Patriot Lock is blocked, and Harper nails a superkick for 2. Swagger
is able to go for the Patriot Lock a second time, but Harper makes the ropes
immediately. Swagger Bomb is blocked with a kick to the face, and the
Clothesline from Smell scores the win for Harper at 9:45. Luke is one of those guys who needs a steady stream of
jobbers fed to him. He’s not a character meant for long competitive matches,
even if he’s got the goods, because the fans just aren’t buying it. This one
died a long, painful death. *1/2
Backstage, JOHN CENA,
EDGE, and CHRISTIAN relive old times. John Cena yuks it up about the first
time Edge cashed in the MITB contract, after Cena had wrestled 45 minutes in
the Elimination Chamber. Edge chums up to his new buddy about the time Cena
tossed him in the most polluted lake in the USA. Things get a little awkward
when they start reminding each other about the times they beat each other in
their hometowns, except Christian who’s wearing a shit eating grin from ear to
ear. In fact, he brings up the time Edge went to Cena’s father’s house and
slapped him around. Sensing he might have gone too far (judging by the fact
Cena’s put the death glare on him), Christian quickly makes his exit. Cena’s
cool though, and he thanks Edge for making him a better performer, and for
being a decent human being.
ROMAN REIGNS vs. SETH
ROLLINS (with Jamie Knoble and Joey Matthews)
THE BIG SHOW
joins the commentary team, turning face, then heel, then face again, before
settling on heel, all in the span of 18 seconds. This is of course the blow-off
to Roman’s big injury; silly that it’s not happening on PPV, even if they go
with a shmoz. And, they start by wrestling your standard WWE match, with Reigns
wringing the arm and throwing Rollins into the buckle from a hammerlock
position. You’d THINK Roman would have a little more intensity considering this
guy tried to commit homicide and all. They slowly head to the floor, and don’t
really do much. Back in, Rollins punches Reigns in the back of the head to get
control, and stomps him down. Reigns comes back with a schoolboy, but he then
picks up Rollins right through the move for a chokeslam! Reigns takes this time
to scare off the Stooges, and then hits a dropkick from the floor, to Rollins’
face who is hung through the ropes. However, during the replay, Rollins does
something we aren’t privy to, and as he takes control, we take a commercial
break.
Apparently, Rollins has “completely taken over this match”,
and is working a chinlock. Roman shows a little fight, but a chop block stops
that quickly. Rollins drops a knee, and applies a rear chinlock as Roman takes
a nap. Reigns stands up eventually, and fights out, but Rollins gives him a
drop toe hold face first to the buckle. Seth starts to get cocky and stalls way
too long, letting Reigns recover and hit a tilt-a-whirl slam to even the
playing field. Both guys slowly stand and go into the Rocky and Apollo routine.
Reigns nails a backdrop suplex for 2, and seems to have the momentum now.
Rollins senses this too, and throws a couple of back elbows. A kick is blocked
by Reigns, but Rollins still manages an enzuigiri for 2! Rollins doesn’t stop,
hitting a lightning fast superkick, scoring another 2. Rollins spends a half
hour telegraphing the Curb Stomp, so Roman is able to avoid it easily. Rollins
misses a leap off the top, and walks right into the Superman Punch. The spear
is eminent, and Big Show senses it too, pulling Reigns to the outside for a DQ
at 16:14. Big Show tosses Reigns
like a garbage bag right over the Spanish announce table, and then tips the
table over on top of him, burying our hero. ***
Rollins heads backstage with the Stooges, and decides he’s
going to invite John Cena to the Cutting Edge Peep Show for a toast later
tonight.
BRAY WYATT is
sitting in the back of an ambulance. Why? Because an Ambulance match has just
been booked against Dean Ambrose, for next week. Wyatt figures the concept is
ridiculous since Ambrose is already dead, and he owns Dean’s soul.
Meanwhile, RON TRUTH
and DANIEL BRYAN are sharing a
private moment. THE USOS are
voyeuristically hanging out nearby, but Daniel’s cool like that and gives them
props.
After a quick break, DANIEL
BRYAN
makes his live return, allegedly armed with a big announcement
tonight. If you want to talk about it, you can use the hashtag yesyesyes, or
you can try talking like a regular human being. Bryan sucks up to the locals,
and thanks them for believing in a B-Plus player, allowing him to main event a
Wrestlemania. A couple days later he married his wife, and had the greatest
week of his life. From there, shit got real, because his dad passed away, and
he wasn’t there because he was wrestling. A month later, he suffered an injury,
and nobody was able to figure out what was wrong. He’s spoken with Edge, who
suffered a career ending injury, because he’s at a crossroads with his life and
career. And he’s decided that NO, it’s not over. His announcement: He’s in the
2015 Royal Rumble! The fans are lead in a loud “YES” chant.
Queue the Roman Reigns backlash in t-minus 27 days and
counting. I don’t feel that the Bryan movement is anywhere near as strong as it
was last year, but they’re in real trouble if they don’t think they’re angling
for a repeat. It’s going to take some tight booking to make the fans want to
want Roman.
Elsewhere, EDGE and CHRISTIAN have been reunited with
their Kazoos. MIZ and DAMIEN MIZDOW aren’t amused, so they
try to appease them by playing their music instead. Miz sarcastically offers to
set Christian up with his agent, and Christian offers to set him up with a
breath mint. Miz wants a rematch with the Usos tonight for the belts, but Edge
declines. He does, however, have something special planned for Miz, upcoming next.
THE MIZ and DAMIEN
MIZDOW vs. THE ASCENSION
This is my first viewing of the Ascension (don’t judge me!),
and I’m delighted to see some new faces on the show. Mizdow is double teamed
with shoulderblocks early, but manages to kick Victor in the face. A
clothesline does little, because Victor quickly gives one right back. The Fall
of Man (Total Elimination variation) finishes things fast at 1:16. They’re really going to force me
to watch NXT so I can actually see if they’re any good, aren’t they? 1/2*
EDGE and CHRISTIAN are out for the main event
Cutting Edge Peep Show. Unfortunately, their Year 2000 shtick is absolutely
lost on this group, who are sitting on their thumbs quietly, watching a couple
of old dudes who just aren’t connecting with them anymore. SETH ROLLINS, JAMIE KNOBLE,
and JOEY MERCURY come down to the
ring, armed with champagne and flutes. Rollins calls E&C a couple of his
heroes because they ushered in the era of high impact wrestling. Edge thinks
Rollins is full of it, and finds his comments condescending. Seth reflects on
his accomplishments of the year, but E&C smack him down with a number of
superstars who performed at just as high a level (including the Reverend
Slick!). Rollins ignores them, and introduces his new best friend THE BIG SHOW. Before he starts his
toast, he also wants to welcome John Cena (who promptly fails to show up). Edge
laughs at him, but Rollins doesn’t care because he’s still better than Edge.
Edge: “You couldn’t be better than me if you had a live sex celebration with
the big goiter here.” Rollins finally admits he doesn’t want to toast John
Cena, he actually has something he wants. He orders Cena to get his ass to the
ring, lest he force his hand. And with that, he smacks Christian with the
briefcase. Edge gets all up his grill, but he quickly realizes he’s surrounded
and in big trouble. Show goozles him, and forces Edge’s head to the mat,
setting him up for a Curb Stomp on the briefcase. Rollins gives Cena one last
chance to save Edge from paralysis. That’s all JOHN CENA needs, running down even without his entrance music.
Rollins orders Cena to stay put, because if he attacks, Edge is getting his
neck broken. Rollins wants the one thing Cena can give him, the one wish only
he can grant. He wants the Authority back. Cena tucks his tail, and agrees to
bring back the Authority. Rollins celebrates with a fantastic movie villain
scream, and then decides “I’m gonna kill him anyway”. Cena dives into the ring
and saves Edge now (why couldn’t he have just done that from the start?), and
winds up taking a Knockout Punch quickly. With Cena down, he eats a Curb Stomp,
but Edge is spared.
The heel contingency celebrates on their way up the ramp,
not seeing BROCK LESNAR and PAUL HEYMAN appear behind them. It’s
all good however, because it’s handshakes all around. We have one more appearance
however, as TRIPLE H and STEPHANIE MCMAHON emerge from behind
the curtain, carrying champagne and celebrating like Dusty Rhodes during a
clubberin’.
I have no idea how the regulars do this week in and week out
– but god bless ‘em.

NEXT WEEK: Chris returns to playing Sports Trivia at a
nearby bar, while Andy takes his show back.

The David Crockett Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament 2014!

Just for fun, I thought I'd generate some discussion by running another massive tag team tournament, this one featuring all the teams to ever hold a version of the WWE tag team titles from the start of the Hulkamania era until now.  That gave me a nice 128 team limit to work with.  
The bracket is as follows, and it was generated completely at random:
So we'll throw up polls every day to hopefully generate some discussion and have fun.  Rules for the tournament are that each version of a wrestler is a different person for the purposes of matchmaking (so Big Show & Undertaker can face Undertaker & Kane or Big Show & Kane), and voting criteria is whatever you want.  Pick whoever would be booked to win, whoever you like best, who would win in a real fight, whatever.  Polls will run until there's a clear majority or until I feel like it.  As a reminder, last time we ran this years ago, The Hart Foundation defeated Edge & Christian in the finals.  
Good luck to all!

NXT – December 25, 2014

NXT
Date:
December 25, 2014
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Jason Albert, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
Hosts:
Renee Young, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Back
in the 1980s, Fritz Von Erich had a great insight about Christmas:
Once you open the presents, what else is there to do? Well
apparently we can watch NXT, which is on a roll as of late. The main
story coming out of last week was Kevin Owens destroying Adrian
Neville just like he did to Sami Zayn the week before. Let’s get to
it.

Opening
sequence.
And
we have an empty arena with only Renee Young and Corey Graves in the
ring, meaning we have a Best Of show. There will however be a new
match with Charlotte defending the Women’s Title against Sasha Banks
in an R-Evolution rematch.
We
start by looking at some of the stars who came from NXT up to the
main roster, including Paige, Bo Dallas, Lana and Rusev. There’s
nothing to say here as they’re just saying the names and showing
maybe a ten second clip.
Video
on NXT: Arrival. That feels so long ago even though it was only
February.
This
leads to a package of Adrian Neville going home to Newcastle,
England. Wearing glasses, which is an odd look on a wrestler for
some reason, he goes to see his mom and talks about soccer for
awhile. His original plans were to play soccer for Newcastle United
but then he saw something called WWF and things changed. We get some
clips of his training and developing the high spots, which we then
see in NXT. He even got to wear a Newcastle jersey to his match in
the Newcastle arena for a very cool moment.
Tyler
Breeze is still off modeling but wants to tell all the Wannabreeze
that he’ll be adding gold to his ensemble in 2015.
We
see the last six or so minutes of Zayn vs. Neville, plus the entire
post match celebration and Owens’ heel turn to end the show.
Curtis
Axel comes in to see Regal and thinks he needs to recharge his
career. He wants in on this NXT thing but Regal tells him to make an
appointment.
Lucha
Dragons video. Sin Cara still hates to do the pre-match pose.
Vaudevillains
video, of course in black and white.
We
get about four minutes of the Lucha Dragons vs. Vaudevillians match
from R-Evolution. There will be a rematch due to Kalisto pinning the
wrong man.
Next
week we’ll have Finn Balor/Hideo Itami vs. Ascension II.
Itami
and Balor promise to destroy the Ascension. Itami’s English is
improving by leaps and bounds.
We
look at some NXT debuts this year, including Baron Corbin, Bull
Dempsey, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor and of course Kevin Owens.
Owens
says he’s sent the former champion and the new champion to the
hospital in the span of seven days. If he’s done that to people he
considers friends, what is he going to do to people he doesn’t care
about? He’ll fight anyone and everyone until he’s the only one
standing. “Why don’t you put that on a t-shirt?”
Time
to look at NXT people making splashes on the main roster: Paige, Bo
Dallas, Emma, Summer Rae, Adam Rose, Rusev and Lana.
Earlier
this week, Bayley was watching the HHH DVD to see how he came back
from his knee injury. It motivates her to come back bigger, better
and stronger, just like HHH. So she’s gaining 40lbs of unnecessary
muscle, slowing down and stopping everything that made her awesome in
the first place?
Women’s
Title: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
Sasha
is challenging and this is a rematch from R-Evolution. She has Becky
Lynch with her, so Charlotte comes out with her dad, Ric Flair. Ric
looks sober tonight so this should be good. He says that he has two
Hall of Fame rings (only wearing one here) but his daughter took the
torch from him. Two weeks ago Sasha and Charlotte had one of the
best matches ever (to Sasha: “Yeah I’m talking about you. You were
great.”) and tonight they’re going to do it again.
They
slug it out to start with Sasha diving at the champ, only to get
caught in something like a spinebuster. Charlotte goes after the
knee by wrapping it around the post, only to get pulled face first
into the steel. We take a break and come back with Sasha in control
and slapping Charlotte on the back. That’s not exactly the best
offense. The announcers actually mention the “internet wrestling
community” sending HHH a fruit basket as a thank you for
R-Evolution. That’s such a cool story.
Banks
drives two knees into Charlotte’s ribs and puts on Bankrupt, only to
have Charlotte fight to her feet and escape with something like a
jawbreaker. She’s really good at using her athleticism to get out of
things like that, which really isn’t something most of the other
women can do. Charlotte fires off some chops and a neckbreaker but
gets caught in a double arm neckbreaker (Regal Cutter) for two more.

The
Banks Statement goes on but it’s right next to the ropes. Another
thing I like about NXT: heels feel like they could win a big match by
submission. That’s what always annoyed me about heel Del Rio: he
wasn’t going to make anyone big tap and the armbreaker felt like a
waste of time. They fight up top with Banks nailing a nice superplex
(Riley: “She’s straight gangsta!”), only to get caught in the
Figure Four with the bridge to retain Charlotte’s title at 10:45.
Rating:
C+. While
it was nowhere near as good as the R-Evolution match, it was still
another solid effort from the NXT girls. Banks is impressing me in
the ring for the first time as she’s very feisty in there. She has
the attitude down and the matches are getting better every week. I
still think Lynch is the star of the team, but Banks is nailing it in
NXT.
Overall
Rating:
C+. These are always
hard to grade so I’ll just go with the same rating I gave the match.
I really liked the Neville video as it’s the kind of personalized
profile that you just do not get in WWE anymore. I would have liked
to see more Sami here as he only won the title at the end of the year
but he was still a huge part of NXT all year. The
attention to detail in this promotion blows away everything else and
it’s my favorite wrestling show to watch every week. If
next year is as good as this one was, everything will be fine.
Results
Charlotte
b. Sasha Banks – Figure Four
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Smackdown – December 26, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
December 26, 2014
Location:
Tyson Events Center, Sioux City, Iowa
Attendance:
4,000
Commentators:
John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s
the show after Christmas which means that Hulk Hogan is still in
charge tonight. All that means is he’ll make a match and say BROTHER
a lot, but that’s at least better than some of the previous bosses
this company has had. Other than that we’re still in the dull period
before they start caring about the Rumble so let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Hogan walking through the same Christmas set from Raw to open things
up. I really wish they would mix those things up a bit more often.
Anymore it’s just the same set from Raw but with blue as the main
color. Switch things up a bit and make Smackdown feel more unique.
Maybe they’ll do that when the show moves back to Thursdays.
Anyway,
Hogan has something to tell us brother (1), he’s in charge tonight
brother (2). We hear some of his fondest memories from being on
Smackdown, including winning the Tag Team Titles with Edge, who will
be hosting Raw with Christian on Monday. That’s another thing I
wouldn’t mind seeing more of: plug those announcements. It’s simple
and quick yet gets the word out there.
Hogan
is about to go on but Rollins and the Stooges cut him off. Seth
calls him a champion, a Hall of Famer and the embodiment of
Wrestlemania. He asks for and receives a handshake before saying if
Hogan keeps it up, they might start calling him the Seth Rollins of
the 80s. Hogan may have been great, but he doesn’t belong in
Rollins’ ring anymore. That’s a bit too far for our American hero,
who says he’s running Smackdown tonight. Hogan: “So if you don’t
mind brother (3)…” Rollins: “Well I do mind brother. AND
DON’T YOU BROTHER ME!”
Seth
talks about how great the Authority was for business but now they’ve
been replaced by a sideshow act like Hogan. As the future of WWE,
this is Seth’s business and he’d like Hulk to officially endorse him.
After that, Hogan can get out of this ring because it’s almost 2015.
Hulk isn’t sure Rollins is getting out of this ring alive if he
keeps talking like that. He can think of several people who could
lead this company into the future, like Dolph Ziggler for instance.
Cue
Dolph, who calls Rollins the future. If you don’t believe that, just
ask Seth because that’s all he talks about. Rollins says Ziggler
just doesn’t get it. The future isn’t just a popularity contest and
Rollins should just Curb Stomp him right in front of Hogan. How does
that sound brother? Ziggler has been curb stomped before and keeps
getting up, so what does Seth want to do about it brother?
Here’s
Big Show to say that sometime you have to just use force, so now he’s
going to come out here and knock out Hogan and Ziggler. This brings
out Reigns who tells Show not to come through those ropes unless he
wants to get hit in the mouth again, right in front of his wife and
kids. Hogan makes the tag match main event and actually doesn’t drop
a ninth brother (yes I counted) of the segment.
Kane
vs. Ryback
Jobber
entrance for Kane. We see Ryback sending Rusev running on Monday
before things get going. Ryback fires off to start but runs into a
boot to the…..shoulder I think to put him down. So Kane can’t even
sell for ten seconds now? Cole crushes several dreams by confirming
that Rose and the Bunny have split, partially due to the tombstones
from Kane. Ryback grabs a spinebuster and loads up the Meat Hook but
we’ve got Russians. He’s still able to escape the chokeslam though
and hits the Meat Hook and Shell Shock for the pin at 2:10. Now THAT
is what Kane should be used for more often than not.
Rusev
gets in the ring for a staredown but Kane comes back in to chokeslam
Ryback, setting up the Accolade. I’m still not sure who wins this
feud, even though it should be obvious. That’s always a good sign.
After
a break, Hogan runs into the Russians to tell Rusev that the US Title
is on the line tonight. Giving champions almost no notice to defend
their titles is the American way you see, BROTHER. And SISTER!
Alicia
Fox vs. Naomi
They
start fast with Naomi nipping up, only to eat a kick to the face for
two. More speedy kicks get two for Naomi as Miz is watching from the
back. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Alicia and we hit the
chinlock. That goes nowhere so Naomi heads to the apron for a kind
of Twist of Fate onto the top rope. Naomi gets tired of carrying Fox
and kicks her in the head, setting up the split legged moonsault for
the pin at 3:18. She even throws in counting the pin along with the
referee because she’s kind of awesome.
Rating:
C. I’m
so glad that Naomi is getting an actual story instead of the usual
stuff we’ve been seeing with the Divas for years. She’s an athletic
freak and, in a description I wish I had thought of, the female
Shelton Benjamin. No one in the division can keep up with her and
unfortunately it means that WWE doesn’t know what to do with her.
It’s good to see that
they’ve given her some kind of a story though, because far too often
the Divas’ stories revolve around just wanting the title or some
catty story that makes them all look ridiculous.
We
recap the matches Hogan set up on Raw.
Jimmy
and Naomi have a badly scripted conversation about Jimmy beating Miz
later tonight.
R-Truth
vs. Adam Rose
Rematch
from Monday where the Bunny was
beaten up by Rose after he lost to Truth. Therefore,
Rose comes out sans Bunny and doesn’t even do the fall, waving the
Rosebuds off instead. Rose
is much more aggressive here and takes Truth into the corner for some
mule kick stomping. A nice
snap suplex gets two on Truth and we hit the chinlock.
Phillips
tries to bring up the incident on Halloween where Truth said the
Bunny was the star of the team to set up this mini feud. Since
that’s doing his job and keeping up continuity, JBL just buries him
in response, saying how stupid the whole thing is. Back
up and Truth makes his comeback, only to be sent into the post to set
up the Party Foul for the pin at 2:07. Rose actually plays a decent
heel, but his in ring work is still average at best.
Here
are Rusev and Lana for a chat before the title defense. It’s
a short one this time, basically saying Rusev will crush anyone
before he faces. Cue his opponent.
US
Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Rusev
It’s
kind of amazing how Ambrose keeps getting these major matches despite
barely ever winning anything. They
take turns stomping each other down in the corner to start until Dean
ties him in the ropes for chops and the running dropkick. A
suicide dive drops Rusev again and Dean grabs a jackknife cover of
all things for two.
The
fans chant USA as Rusev runs Dean over and drops rapid fire elbows
ala Hulk Hogan back in the day. You would think that the Russian
imitating an AMERICAN would satiate the fans chanting USA but it
doesn’t quite work that way. A
chinlock stays on even shorter than usual but Rusev ties him in the
ropes and hits a running Vader clothesline to the back knocking him
out to the floor as we take a break.
Back
with the champ holding a nerve hold before the fall away slam gets
two. Ambrose actually
escapes the Accolade attempt and avoids a charge, sending Rusev head
first into the post. The
Rebound Clothesline sets up the standing elbow (love that move) for
two and Ambrose’s tongue is hanging out. They
head outside with the champion going into the barricade, only to have
Wyatt interfere for the DQ at 13:00.
Rating:
C+. These matches are like a
vacation: they’re fun while they last but you know you’re going to be
disappointed by the ending. There was no doubt that it was going to
end by countout or DQ because that’s how these things end in WWE.
It’s a problem with how the company books its shows anymore but
unfortunately it’s something you have to live with. As usual Dean
looks good, but when was the last time he had a fall on a show that
actually mattered? And no, Tribute to the Troops doesn’t matter.
Rusev
leaves and Bray throws Dean over the timekeeper’s area, only to have
Dean come up throwing chairs. About five are thrown into the ring
and Bray bails as well. I have no idea where they’re going with
this, but it’s modern WWE and a major gimmick match doesn’t end
anything anymore.
Miz
vs. Jimmy Uso
Cole
plugs a new app where you’re a backstage assistant in WWE and solve
problems which have nothing to do with anything happening in the
ring. Levels include identifying a spot as fatty tissue, yelling at
someone for not memorizing a script, trying to figure out what the
heck the commentators are talking about and finding stronger ear
plugs so HHH doesn’t hear the BORING chants.
Miz
kicks him down to start but we get a quick chase scene around the
ring. JBL, of course, is talking about fast food mascots. Jimmy
can’t hit the running Umaga attack but eats a right hand from Jey.
Naturally, that’s not a DQ. Back in and Miz begs off to offer more
mainstream connections. The fans aren’t really happy with the match
stopping for nearly a minute of Miz standing there with his hand out
saying “come on let’s be Usos”, so Jimmy hits two superkicks and
the Superfly Splash for the pin at 3:08.
Rating:
D. I’m liking the idea of the
Usos having some singles matches. Of course it shouldn’t lead
anywhere because splitting them up for singles runs would be a
terrible idea, but I like that they’re not just doing the same tag
match every week. Imagine that: trying something else to keep things
fresh for the bigger shows. There’s so much in WWE that is going
right but at the same time the big problems are just so wrong.
Ascension
is coming next week.
Goldust
looks at an electric orb and sees that the new year will
be……something we don’t get to hear as the ball shocks him.
Stardust comes in to say it’s going to be his year.
Seth
Rollins/Big Show vs. Roman Reigns/Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
and Rollins get things going as Cole recaps Survivor Series gets an
achievement for recapping Survivor Series for the 200th
time. A quick hiptoss has
Rollins down so it’s off to the power guys. Reigns can’t get things
moving too fast thanks to a shoulder from Big Show. Like the
masterful heel that he is, Rollins comes in when Roman is down to
stomp away. Reigns is able to get back up though due to the power of
wetter hair, allowing for the hot tag off to Ziggler.
The
Stooges get involved, and somehow don’t get caught, by tripping up
Ziggler as we take a break. Back with Dolph fighting out of a
chinlock, only to be catapulted into the corner. The fans display
their ventriloquism skills by chanting BIG SLOW without moving their
mouths….or anything else
for that matter. Reigns
smiles at Show as the chant is getting annoying in a hurry. A
few fans chant for Reigns but they’re quickly drowned out by BIG
SLOW.
Show
misses a charge and eats a Fameasser, setting up the hot tag to
Reigns. Mercury breaks up
the Superman Punch and Seth nails the low superkick for two. The
fans chant for Reigns (again with the ventriloquism) and he backdrops
out of a buckle bomb attempt. The chokeslam doesn’t work either and
Dolph levels Big Show with a superkick, setting up the spear for the
pin.
Nah
I’m kidding. You know Big Show isn’t going to get pinned when
there’s some hotshot with a future to take the fall for him. Rollins
sends both opponents to the floor and suicide dives Reigns. Back in
and Ziggler breaks up the springboard knee, setting up the spear to
Rollins for the pin at 13:13.
Rating:
C. The
match was your standard main event tag (with another bad ending but I
guess that huge fall over Show is supposed to make Reigns) but the
chants were the most interesting part. Of course they were piped in,
but I find it interesting that they seem more interested in playing
down Big Show than playing up Reigns.
They
were similar to the LET’S GO CENA/CENA SUCKS chants: yeah they’re
against Cena, but they’re not for his opponent. The chants made this
sound like it was all about Big Show with the few Reigns chants only
lasting a few seconds compared to the near minute of Show chants.
I’m not sure what to make of
that.
Overall
Rating:
C-. Yet another
worthless episode of Smackdown with
whichever main eventers we have on hand being thrown into a tag team
main event. The Ryback vs. Rusev showdown still looks good, though
I’m not sure they can stretch it out for another four weeks. Other
than that, there really isn’t much to talk about here. It’s another
basic episode of the same show they’ve done every Friday for weeks
now and I get less and less enthusiastic about it every time. Oh
wait Kane actually took a fall. He’s been getting a bit better about
that.
Results
Ryback
b. Kane – Shell Shock
Naomi
b. Alicia Fox – Split legged moonsault
Adam
Rose b. R-Truth – Party Foul
Dean
Ambrose b. Rusev via DQ when Bray Wyatt interfered
Jimmy
Uso b. The Miz – Superfly Splash
Roman
Reigns/Dolph Ziggler b. Big Show/Seth Rollins – Spear to Rollins
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Impact – December 24, 2014

Impact
Wrestling
Date: December 24, 2014
Location: Impact Zone,
Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Taz, Don West
Hosts: Christy Hemme,
Jeremy Borash
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is the final
episode of Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV before they head over to
Destination America early in the new year. It’s also the second half
of the Top Twenty Moments countdown, which hopefully is capped off by
someone who still works for this company. Let’s get to it.

#10. Impact –
February 19, 2009
Kurt Angle vs. Sting
Empty
arena match for control of the Main Event Mafia. With no one there,
of course they come out to their music. Sting throws Angle outside
to start and they hit that wall that they always hit in brawls.
Angle goes nuts with right hands and you can hear the grunting. They
go up into the empty seats as this is one of those “let’s walk
around and not really do much” matches. Angle walks him back up
into the seats and somehow the cameras can’t follow them, despite
there being no one to get around.
Sting dumps Angle over
a balcony but Kurt comes back with a metal trashcan. Kurt: “I HATE
YOU!” We see some fans watching in the concourse as I realize
there’s no reason given for this to be an empty arena match. A low
blow puts Sting down and Angle swears a bit. Sting pops up with a
chair to the back but Angle begs off a beating from a chair. He
swears that he’s sorry and says he has kids, only to change his mind
and tell Sting to hit him. Nash and Steiner finally come in to break
it up with Nash shouting to MAKE IT RIGHT. They shake hands but
start fighting again, shouting how much they hate each other.
Rating:
D-.
Again, why was this an empty arena match? It didn’t make a ton of
sense when it was Rock vs. Mankind and it really doesn’t make a ton
of sense here. As usual, it felt like Russo trying to do something
to make a splash instead of making sense, which is eventually going
to be exposed for the shock TV that it is.
#9. Impact – October
8, 2014.
Tag Team Titles:
Hardys vs. Team 3D vs. Wolves
The Wolves are
defending and this is Full Metal Mayhem, meaning TLC. Richards has a
somewhat bad leg coming into this but he seems to be fine. It’s a
big brawl to start of course with Matt hitting what looked like the
Side Effect to Eddie on the apron. Bully hammers on Jeff on the
floor as weapons are being sets up on the floor. Matt goes for a
climb but Ray comes in for a save with a Rock Bottom.
Davey breaks up Ray’s
attempt and DDTs him, only to have D-Von nail Richards a second
later. Matt gets enziguried into a German suplex onto a pair of open
chairs. Eddie throws Jeff into the air and Ray catches him in a
Cutter for a 3D. They chop it out but Matt is back up to take both
guys down. We get the Tower of Doom with Ray electric chairing Matt
who superplexes Edwards. D-Von bridges a piece of barricade between
the apron and some overturned steps but Davey headbutts him onto the
barricade.
Ray saves his partner
from a dive and powerbombs Richards down, only to miss a middle rope
backsplash. He comes right back with another powerbomb to send
Richards onto the barricade, giving Richards one of the most shocked
looks I’ve ever seen. Back with Jeff taking a ladder to the face and
D-Von cleans house with a chair.
Richards comes back
with a chair of his own but this time it’s Jeff popping up to take
over. The Whisper in the Wind and Swanton have Ray in trouble but he
pops right back up for a brawl with Jeff on the floor. The Twisting
Stunner has Ray in trouble and Jeff brings out another table. He
bridges it between the turned over steps and the apron with the legs
up. Jeff misses the legdrop though and crashes through the table,
leaving him in a huge heap on the floor.
Back in and Ray goes
up, only to have Edwards set up a ladder of his own next to it.
Bully kicks him down but Matt comes in with a ladder of his own. All
three go up and slug it out with Edwards getting slammed off the top.
Mat and Ray grab for the belts but send them swinging around before
knocking each other off with Matt flying into a ladder.
Davey and Matt slug it
out with Hardy getting the better of it and bringing in another
table. Everyone heads outside again with Matt climbing about halfway
up a huge ladder to legdrop Davey through a table. Richards has
taken one heck of a beating here. D-Von cleans house with the ladder
and brings in the big ladder to make thing even more fun. Team 3D
loads up What’s Up but Edwards shoves D-Von to the floor.
Davey goes up the big
ladder but gets shoved onto the floor and head first into the
barricade. The Hardys make another save with chairs and put Ray on
two tables. Jeff goes up top of the big ladder but Davey shoves it
over, sending Hardy into a HUGE splash onto Ray for a horrible
looking crash. Davey and Matt slug it out on top of the ladder but
Edwards makes a save and powerbombs Matt through a table, allowing
Davey to take down the belts for the win at 23:52.
Rating:
A.
I came into this show thinking this match wasn’t going to be able to
live up to its hype and they got me. This was an AWESOME match with
a ton of high spots and some insane looking bumps. The fact that
they didn’t save this for Bound For Glory shows you just how much
they don’t care about that show this year. Excellent match and one
of the best things TNA has done in years.
#8. Slammiversary 2013.
Taryn Terrell vs.
Gail Kim
Last
Knockout standing. Gail attacks in the corner to start but Taryn
comes back with clotheslines to take over. Gail puts on an octopus
hold but lets it go early and only gets a six count. Kim goes to the
floor for a chair but has it kicked out of her hands. Some hair
drags keep Gail down for a few moments but she manages to get the
chair up to block a high cross body. Gail is up first and goes after
the knee for a bit before wedging the chair between the ropes. Taryn
blocks a ram into the chair but gets caught in the Figure Four around
the post.
Terrell is up at 8 and
dodges Gail’s charge into the corner, sending her head first into the
chair in a SICK looking crash. That only gets eight so Taryn puts
her in the Figure Four around the post for eight more. Taryn misses
a charge and lands on the ramp for nine, only to be caught in a
legsweep onto the ramp for nine more. Gail tries a piledriver but
gets reversed into a bulldog off the ramp to put both girls down.
Taryn beats the count for the win at 9:18.
Rating:
B-.
This was the best Knockouts match in YEARS. The bulldog off the
stage was a bigger spot but the missed charge into the chair should
have been the finish. It looked MUCH more painful and I thought Gail
was out cold. Still though, very entertaining match and I was really
impressed with Taryn here. I’d bet on her vs. Mickie at BFG for the
title in a veteran vs. underdog title match.
#7. Impact – January
4, 2010.
It’s 9pm so here’s Hulk
in black. Brooke is of course in the front row. Hogan immediately
puts over the roster and the locker room for working as hard as they
have. Now we get the infamous line from this promo: “I’ve been in
the back all day.” Remember that this is after AN HOUR OF WATCHING
HIM DRIVE TO THE BUILDING. That line was edited out of the
rebroadcast of the show and it’s painful to hear all over again.
Hogan talks about how
many new and familiar faces there are here. As he’s talking, Hall
and Waltman try to get to the ring. Hogan says give them a mic and
let them get in the ring. Hall and Hogan do the Wolfpack sign and
Hall says the party is back. The boss tells him that’s not how it
works anymore. Waltman thinks it’s the same people so it’s the same
party, but Hogan shoots him down too. In a laughable line, Hogan
says it’s time to grow up.
Hall says everything is
changing, with or without Hogan. Wait so is everything changing or
is everything the same? Nash comes out and wants to know what’s
going on, but Hulk insists he’s not playing a role. Hogan says they
need to do this FOR REAL because it’s a different time. Hall and
Waltman are ready to fight but Eric Bischoff debuts and says they
reinvented this business. Dixie Carter is shown watching from the
crowd.
Bischoff says this is
all about communication and that has broken down recently. Everyone
has to earn their position in this company, which Nash hears loud and
clear. Nash, Hall and Waltman leave and Bischoff again claims that
they can change the business again. Hogan says they’ve shuffled the
deck as Dixie cautiously applauds. Bischoff rips up the format sheet
to show how different things are going to be. He hands the producer
a new format because they’re turning this company upside down. So
this basically boiled down to the same “this is new” promo that
every indy company starts with.
In storyline
development, Shera makes it to the top of a hill where Sotrm is
waiting with a jug of water. Storm pours it on top of him and
welcomes Shera to the Revolution.
#6. Impact – January
9, 2014.
TNA World Title: AJ
Styles vs. Magnus
No DQ and both guys are
champion coming in. Magnus immediately goes to the floor and does it
again for a second time in less than ninety seconds. No contact yet.
Magnus gets back in but here are Ethan Carter and Spud to jump AJ
before any contact is made. AJ fights them off and superkicks Magnus
in the ribs but Carter breaks up a Styles Clash attempt. Sting
finally comes out for the save but doesn’t do anything as AJ saves
himself. Magnus bails to the floor and we take a break.
Back with the two
champions still not making contact as the Bro Mans and Zema Ion come
out to jump Sting and AJ and giving us six run-ins in less than eight
minutes. Zema DDTs AJ and the Bro Down gets a delayed two on Styles.
Sting comes back in as Magnus just chills at ringside. The Brit
finally comes back in and AJ quickly loads up the Clash, only to have
Bad Influence make the save and lay him out with a
powerbomb/neckbreaker combo.
Earl Hebner refuses to
count so Dixie and Brian Hebner get us to ELEVEN people coming out
for this match. Bad Influence goes High/Low on AJ for two and Brian
gets yelled at. Sting lays out the Bro Mans with a double Death Drop
on the floor before putting Ion in the Deathlock. AJ fights back
against Bad Influence as Sting comes in to help even more. We’re
down to Magnus vs. AJ with Styles getting the Calf Killer, only to
have Kazarian take out the referee.
Kazarian monkey flips
AJ into Daniels but AJ clotheslines him down and Peles Kaz. Now the
Styles Clash takes out Magnus but there’s no referee. Earl Hebner
hobbles back out (we’ll call that #12) to count two before AJ dives
over the top to take out Bad Influence yet again. AJ goes up top but
Bobby Roode makes it #13 by shoving Styles into the ropes. Three
AA/DVDs lay AJ out for about the fifth time, giving Magnus the pin
(thanks to referee #3 and the fourteenth person added to the match)
and the undisputed title at 15:47. Sting was being held back by most
of the heels in case you were wondering.
Rating:
D.
So they spent all night hyping up the match before going full Russo
on it. That’s what we spent months and months building to? The
match was definitely energetic but we really had to spend all this
time setting up Dixie with her corporate champion? Assuming AJ
leaving isn’t a HUGE swerve, this was one of the biggest wastes of
time I can remember in years.
#5. Impact Wrestling –
January 17, 2013.
Are they kidding???
It’s wedding time. Ray
is in a tux which is weird to say the least. The groomsmen come out
with the bridesmaids (looking GOOD tonight) and here’s Brooke. Hulk
finally comes out (setting a record in getting into a tuxedo) to a
big ovation. The fans tell Hulk to shake Bully’s hand. They get
through a LONG intro from the minister and saying how much they care
about each other.
No
one objects, they both say I do, and Tazz takes the mic from the
minister. Tazz asks if Bully is sure, then says it’s too hot in
here. He takes off his jacket, and reveals an Aces and 8’s vest.
The big brawl ends the ceremony and show. Brooke gets kidnapped
again as Ray takes a pedestal to the face to end the show.
So quick recap here.
There are four moments left and we have the following to go off the
top of my head:
Kurt Angle debuts
AJ Styles wins the
World Title at No Surrender 2009
Unbreakable triple
threat
Elix Skipper walks the
cage
Angle
vs. Joe from Genesis 2006
ANYTHING from before
October 2007
Somehow they’re going
to screw up something as simple as “hey, does anyone remember any
great matches from the last twelve years?”
#4. Impact – November
3, 2011.
TNA World Title: James Storm vs.
Bobby Roode
Feeling out process to start as
they’re playing up the idea that they know each other very well. Off
to a test of strength which doesn’t last long. Neither guy has an
advantage as we go to a break. Back with Storm ramming shoulders
into Roode in the corner. They keep countering each other and Roode
can’t get much of an advantage. Storm stays ahead with a superplex
but both guys are down.
They slug it out and Storm takes
over with some running shots. Blockbuster gets two for Roode.
Backstabber gets two for the champ. Eye of the Storm is countered
into a spinebuster for two. They head to the floor and both guys
barely get back inside in time. Storm tries an Orton DDT but gets
countered into a Crossface. Storm makes a rope and Roode is
frustrated. Roode tries a superplex but Storm counters into a top
rope elbow for two.
This is getting good. Last Call
misses as Roode grabs the fisherman’s suplex. Storm counters that
and is almost sent into the referee. The referee avoids the contact
but twists his knee in the process as Roode is sent to the floor.
Roode succumbs to the demons inside and grabs the beer bottle which
he breaks over Storm’s head to BIG heat. It gives him the world
title at 17:40.
Rating:
B.
This was a very solid match that could have easily main evented a PPV
with about five minutes extra. Still though, good stuff here and
that’s what they needed to do. I’m really not sure I like the ending
but it’s TNA after all so how good can it get? The heel turn was
needed, but Roode is going to have to step up his emotions as a heel
to deserve this spot. Good match though.
#3. Unbreakable
X-Division Title:
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels is the longest
reigning champion ever at this point, AJ is a four time champion and
Joe is undefeated. This is TNA’s greatest match ever so let’s see if
it holds up. AJ and Joe team up to beat down Daniels to start which
is kind of a surprising move. Joe kicks him HARD in the back and AJ
does the same thing. It turns into a contest and I think Joe wins by
a hair. Daniels gets up but Joe kicks him in the face. Cool
sequence.
AJ grabs a fast rollup
on Joe and we’re ready to get going. They trade pinfall attempts so
fast that I can’t type them until Joe hooks a modified Rings of
Saturn. Daniels breaks it up and kicks AJ down for no cover. Joe
chops the champ and hits a standing enziguri to knock him to the
floor. AJ takes Joe down but Daniels is back in to take over on
Styles, getting two. Joe chops them both in the corner but Daniels
fires back with chops of his own.
Styles headscissors
both guys down into opposite corners and fires off kicks at Joe. Joe
is like screw that and suplexes him down overhead style. There’s the
Facewash to Styles but Daniels breaks up the running kick to the
face. Daniels hits a springboard moonsault onto Joe on the floor but
you know AJ has to top him, so he hits a springboard shooting star to
take both guys down. He rolls Joe back in for two and things slow
down a tiny bit.
Actually scratch that
as Styles hits the drop down/dropkick combo for two. Daniels comes
back in again and monkey flips AJ at Joe but AJ twists in mid air
into a rana on the fat man. Daniels O’Connor rolls Styles for two
and then launches him over the top and out to the floor. A flying
knee sends Joe into the corner and Daniels slaps him in the face.
Joe will have none of that and slaps Daniels back but Daniels rolls
him up for two.
Joe counters the rollup
into the Clutch so Styles busts out Spiral Tap to break up the hold.
That gets two on both guys and Daniels sends Styles back to the
floor. An STO puts Joe down but AJ breaks up the BME. I feel like
I’m talking to a 3 year old after that last exchange with all the
spelling. Daniels gets caught in the Tree of Woe and AJ kicks away,
but Joe splashes AJ into Daniels. A running dropkick to the face
breaks the Tree and Daniels is out.
The running big boot
that Joe does knocks AJ’s head into Tallahassee somewhere and the
backsplash gets two. Daniels comes back out of nowhere and hits the
Death Valley Driver on Joe. Everyone is down until Daniels covers
Joe for two. AJ gets sent to the floor and both he and Daniels miss
moonsaults. They slug it out so Joe hits a corkscrew plancha to take
both guys down. The fans are losing their minds over this stuff.
Back in and Daniels breaks up the MuscleBuster but Styles goes up
too. AJ and Daniels fight on the top so Joe backdrops both of them
down at the same time.
Joe gets up first and
he looks MAD. He and AJ slug it out with AJ taking over but Joe
slugs him right back and hits a big old German release suplex to take
over. There’s the MuscleBuster but Daniels comes in with the belt.
He charges at Joe but the Samoan hits a snap powerslam to cut that
off. Joe picks the belt up but Daniels kicks it into his face.
Daniels and AJ slug it out and that just feels appropriate. A blue
thunder bomb out of nowhere gets two on Styles.
Release Rock Bottom
puts AJ down and the BME gets two as Joe makes the save. Daniels
puts a Dragon Sleeper on Joe and hooks the Last Rites (rolling cutter
which he didn’t use that often) to send Joe to the floor again. AJ
bounces back up and hits the moonsault into the reverse DDT for two.
Styles goes up but Daniels hits a palm strike to stop him. Daniels
superplexes him down but he can’t cover. Joe comes in and covers
both guys for two.
Joe focuses on Daniels
and hits his powerbomb into the Boston Crab into the STF sequence so
he can call a LONG spot to Daniels. Daniels (wearing a wedding ring)
gets the rope so Joe beats up AJ a bit more. He fires off forearms
but AJ snaps off the Pele to take over again. The Rack into a
neckbreaker gets two for Styles but Daniels is back up. AJ hits a
sunset flip into the Clash but Joe makes the save at two. Daniels
ducks a charging Joe to send him tot he floor. AJ and Daniels slug
it out and Daniels tries the Angel’s Wings. AJ counters into a
bridging backdrop and stays on top for the pin and the title.
Rating:
A+.
Yeah that’s the easy answer but there’s no real other option to go
with here. This was about twenty three minutes long and the longest
they go without action is maybe 20 seconds. These three have
incredible chemistry together and it was a great example of what
smaller guys can do. It’s not the best match in TNA history by a
mile but it’s the best match by a few feet. Great match.
#2. Bound For Glory
2010.
TNA World Title:
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson
Anderson beat D’Angelo
Dinero and Hardy and Angle went to a time limit draw, forcing the
three way. Hardy debuts new music which should tell you a lot.
Anderson gets double teamed to start but Kurt is sent out to the
floor. Angle comes back in and throws Jeff to the floor so he can
kick at Anderson’s knee in the corner. A release overhead belly to
belly gets two on Mr. with Hardy making a save. Jeff gets back into
it and picks up Anderson, so Angle Germans both guys at the same
time.
Anderson goes outside
for the first time but Jeff backdrops Angle up and over the top for a
bad landing. Thankfully he’s ok enough to pull Anderson out to the
floor for a brawl, but Hardy dives over the top to put everyone down.
Back in and Kurt puts Anderson in a chinlock until Jeff makes a
save. He goes up top very slowly though, allowing Angle to run the
corner for the belly to belly. Jeff pops back up, only to miss the
Swanton on Anderson and give Kurt a near fall. Dixie Carter is
watching at ringside.
Angle loads up a
superplex but Andeson turns it into a Tower of Doom for two on both
guys. It’s Angle up first to roll some Germans on Anderson before
doing the same on Hardy. He wants to keep things together so there’s
an ankle lock to both guys at the same time. Angle goes up top but
Anderson’s ankle is fine enough for the rolling fireman’s carry for
two. Hardy breaks it up with a Swanton for two on both guys.
Back up and Anderson
goes up, only to get caught in a belly to back superplex to give Kurt
a near fall. Whisper in the Wind puts Angle down and there’s a Twist
of Fate to Anderson. The Swanton crushes Mr. but Angle grabs Jeff’s
ankle. Anderson breaks it up with the Mic Check for two on Kurt and
everyone gets two off a rollup. Kurt actually hits the moonsault for
two on Hardy, who falls out of the ring. Angle escapes the Mic Check
but accidentally clotheslines the referee. Everyone knows the big
THEY reveal is coming.
Anderson hits the Mic
Check on Angle but can’t follow up. This brings out Eric Bischoff
with a chair but Hogan comes out (I’m as shocked as you are) before
he can swing it. Hulk is on crutches and moving pretty slowly as we
have to wait even longer. Bischoff throws the chair down but takes
away a crutch. Hardy gets back in to calm things down but Hogan
hands him his crutch.
Jeff squares off with
Bischoff….and breaks the crutch over Angle’s back. Hogan smiles
and Bischoff says that was awesome. Hogan points at Hardy and hugs
Eric as they watch Hardy break the other crutch over Anderson’s back.
The Twist of Fate is enough to pin Anderson and give Hardy the
title.
Rating:
B-.
The match is good but this was ALL about the booking and big swerve
at the end. Hogan and Bischoff weren’t really surprises so it was
all down to who was going to side with the new mega heel faction.
Hardy winning the title is fine and the best option given who was in
there.
Bischoff introduces
Jeff as the new World Champion and a smiling Jeff Jarrett comes out.
Abyss follows them out and hugs Hogan. Fans throw trash in the ring
ala the NWO debut (there were rumors this was planted) as RVD comes
out to ask Jeff what he’s doing. Hardy lays him out with a belt shot
and poses with THEY to end the show.
Quick recap of the top
ten.
And now, I kid you not,
this is considered the #1 moment all time in TNA wrestling history.
#1. Impact – August
7, 2014
Here’s all of Dixie’s
team but she fires Stephens and Snitsky like the maniac she is. Cue
Team 3D and Dreamer with a table but Dixie hides behind everyone
she’s paid off. Ray promises to put Dixie through a table and
Dreamer says Dixie is everything that’s wrong with this business. Mo
nails Dreamer and the brawl is on with the ECW guys taking over.
Suddenly Dixie is alone in the ring with 3D but runs when she’s about
to take 3D.
Spud swears it’s never
going to happen but the entire locker room comes out to throw Dixie
to the wolves (Team 3D, not Richards/Edwards). D-Von loads her up
(and grabs her in a rather personal spot) and Bully powerbombs Dixie
off the middle rope through the table, in what I believe was Dixie’s
first bump ever. We even get Bully’s old euphoric look and the
announcers are WAY too happy to see this.
I’m not sure how I feel
about this. I have no problem with a heel, male or female, taking a
big bump to end a story. What I’m not wild on is how everything was
announced in advance. This is going to cause some issues in the
mainstream media given how violent it was, but that’s the nature of
pro wrestling. It felt very scripted though and that’s not a good
thing, but the ending was exactly what it should have been.
Here’s the entire top
20 in case you didn’t catch last week.
20.
Angle vs. Joe – Lockdown 2008
19. Aries vs. Roode –
Destination X 2012
18. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money –
Victory Road 2010
17. WOO Off – Impact – July 7, 2010
16.
Ultimate X – Bound For Glory 2009
15. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy –
Lockdown 2013
14. Knockouts Title Gauntlet Match – Bound For
Glory 2007
13. Karen Angle marries Jeff Jarrett – Impact –
March 3, 2011
12. Lashley vs. Roode II – October 29, 2014
11.
Sting vs. Hogan – Bound For Glory 2011
10. Sting vs. Angle –
Impact – February 19, 2009 (Empty Arena Match)
9. Impact –
October 8, 2014 – Team 3D vs. Wolves vs. Hardys (Full Metal
Mayhem)
8. Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell – Slammiversary 2013 (Last
Knockout Standing)
7. Hogan and Bischoff Debut – Impact –
January 4, 2010
6. AJ Styles vs. Magnus – Impact – January 9,
2014
5. Bully Ray marries Brooke Hogan – Impact Wrestling –
January 17, 2013
4. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode – Impact –
November 3, 2011
3. Styles vs. Joe vs. Daniels – Unbreakable
2.
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson – Bound For Glory
2010
1. Dixie Carter Goes Through A Table – Impact – August 7,
2014
Overall
Rating:
C-.
I’m just talking about the top ten this week. While last week’s had
some funny moments that felt more like honorable mentions than
anything else, this week had some incredibly bizarre picks. First
off though, let’s knock out the ones that make sense and that I have
no issue with. #9 is fine and was pretty easily one of TNA’s best
matches of the year. #8 might be the best Knockouts match ever. #7
is indeed huge for TNA. #4, #3 and #2 are all fine either for
importance, quality and hype respectfully.
Then
on the other side, what in the world is the empty arena match doing
on here? Yeah it’s Sting vs. Angle, but those two headlined Bound
For Glory together and traded the World Title. Instead though we get
probably their least memorable match ever which is only there because
it had a lame gimmick attacked. What an odd choice that sounds like
someone saw the names on a page and picked the match without looking.
#6….eh yeah it was a big moment but it didn’t lead anywhere and is
FAR too high up. #5 is a joke.
That
leaves us with #1. Yeah it’s a big moment, but the top moment in the
history of the company? Really? Not signing Kurt Angle five months
after he was defending the World Title at Wrestlemania? Not Elix
Skipper walking the cage in an outstanding match that was on every
TNA highlight reel until Hogan and Bischoff rebooted the company? On
top of that, nothing from Raven’s great run back in 2003? Abyss’
only mention is a cameo at the end of Bound For Glory 2010? He had a
great match against Styles at Lockdown 2005, but apparently only
Unbreakable happened in the first five years of TNA history.
Overall
this list feels like it was thrown together by a slightly more than
casual fan of TNA. Some of these are obvious, but for the most part
this comes off like a list from the last six years instead of the
best ever from TNA. Having stuff in there like the two weddings or
the WOO Off (funny moment, but they showed it in the package before
they aired the full thing) takes up another spot that could go to
something more important. It did hit some spots though including
most of the important ones, save for the top one that is.

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NXT – December 18, 2014

NXT
Date:
December 18, 2014
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Jason
Albert
 
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re
past R-Evolution and it was one of the best shows of the year with
some outstanding matches and a great ending. The main surprise was
Kevin Owens turning on his best friend Sami Zayn after Zayn won the
title. Owens ended the show by powerbombing the new champ on the
apron and establishing himself as the next challenger for the belt.
Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of the R-Evolution.
Here’s
Adrian Neville to open the show. He talks about losing the title
just a week ago at Takeover and the fans tell him that it was
awesome. Neville can stand here a proud man and admit that the
better man won a week ago. However, he saw someone attack Sami Zayn
to end the show and he wants Kevin Owens out here right now.
Cue
Owens to address what he did last week. Adrian immediately says
shame on Owens for what he did last week, prompting a SHAME ON YOU
chant. Owens doesn’t care what the fans or Neville think because
he’s here to get to the highest level in the world. He’s willing to
fight anyone that he has to in order to get there, and that includes
Neville.
We
look at Becky Lynch attacking Bayley last week on the pre-show.
Lynch
says her attitude hasn’t changed. Her eyes have been opened though
and it doesn’t matter if people are cheering for her when she’s
losing every week. Now the only person she can rely on besides
herself is Sasha Banks. Tonight, she’s ending Bayley’s career.
Tyler
Breeze says he’s taking some time away from NXT to do some modeling
in Europe. Don’t worry though because he’ll be keeping us informed
on where in the world he is.
Becky
Lynch vs. Bayley
Brennan
slips up by saying the pre-show was yesterday. Bayley
takes her down and hammers away to start before driving an elbow into
the back for two. Back up
and Becky kicks at the knee to take over but Bayley pops back up with
a suplex. Lynch finally goes after the knee with a hard kick before
putting on an overly complicated hold that winds up in a reverse
figure four (as in Lynch on her back and Bayley facing down but the
same positioning of the legs called the Four Leg Clover) to make
Bayley tag at 3:35.
Rating:
C-.
I liked the logic here and Bayley being very aggressive but I’m not
sold on that finisher. It’s not entirely clear if it would hurt or
not and Becky’s legs looked very loose around Bayley’s. Lynch would
seem to be the next challenger for the title, which has the potential
to be really good.
Last
week Charlotte said she proved she had a whirlwind week but she
proved she’s the best.
In
black and white, the Vaudevillains come in to show Regal a clip from
the end of their match last week. The wrong man was pinned, meaning
there’s going to be a rematch at
some point in the future. Believe it or not, the show is already
booked and there’s no room for another match.
Bull
Dempsey vs. ???
The
fans don’t count this time. It’s total dominance again with Bull
throwing the unnamed guy all over the place and ending him with the
headbutt at 1:08.
Baron
Corbin comes out during Bull’s exit.
Baron
Corbin b. ???
End
of Days in 12 seconds.
Corbin
tells Bull to bring it but Dempsey bails to the floor and backs off.
Recap
of the major events of R-Evolution.
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Ascension
Enzo
and Cass give us a bit of the 12 Days of Christmas including 7 fists
a swinging, 6 where it hurts, 5 golden rings (as sung very nicely by
Cass), 4 letter words, 3 in the Benz, 2 tough guys and 1 one beating
from the Certified G’s. Cass
and Viktor slug it out to start with Cass actually getting the better
of it. Enzo tags himself in but spends too much time looking at
Carmella, allowing Viktor to nail an STO for the pin at 1:00.
Ascension
says the war with Itami and Balor isn’t over.
Adrian
Neville vs. Kevin Owens
Owens
hides on the floor to start before walking into a jumping kick to the
face. He goes back outside for another breather before knocking
Adrian up against the ropes, only to eat a shot to the face. Adrian
tries a baseball slide but gets slammed back into the barricade to
give Owens his first real advantage. The
beating continues and we take a break.
Back
with Owens slowly stomping away and shouting that nothing he does
makes him shameful. Neville
was champion for almost a year and now look at what a joke Owens has
made him into. Fans: “KEVIN’S BETTER! NO HE’S NOT!” Owens
steps on him and gets two off a kind of reverse curb stomp. Back
up and Neville finally starts getting in some offense with a few
kicks putting Kevin down. A
springboard dropkick gets two but Adrian dives one time too many and
gets caught in a fireman’s carry gutbuster.
Owens
drops a backsplash for two and an Elevated DDT out of the corner ala
Randy Orton gets the same. The
frustration is setting in on Owens and Adrian fights back by whipping
him chest first into the ropes for a German suplex. Owens rolls
outside but gets caught with a big plancha. Adrian can’t follow up
though and Kevin sends him into the post for a double countout at
15:00.
Rating:
B.
I liked this more than I thought I would as they went in a different
direction than I was expecting. Owens didn’t destroy him here but he
did look like a killer. I really like that they didn’t have Neville
lose the title and then fade away. He held the belt for nearly a
year and lost in a classic so it’s not like he should just go away
and then never be heard from again. Good stuff here and Owens can
get away with not winning here as it’s more about punishing people
and getting to Zayn than anything else.
Owens
powerbombs Neville onto the apron like he did to Zayn last week. A
stretcher is brought out to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
B-.
This was the first part of the NXT fallout and I’m sure we’ll have
some rematches in the coming weeks. We’ve had this after every
Takeover show so far and there’s nothing wrong with it. Owens looks
like the killer heel that we haven’t had in NXT in a good while and
it’s a very nice change of pace. The show is still riding high after
last week and it’s such a breath of air after the bloated and
overbooked WWE shows.
Results
Becky
Lynch b. Bayley – Four Leg Clover
Bull
Dempsey b. ??? – Flying headbutt
Baron
Corbin b. ??? – End of Days
Ascension
b. Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady – STO to Amore
Adrian
Neville vs. Kevin Owens went to a double countout
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Impact Wrestling – December 17, 2014

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
December 17, 2014
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Don West, Taz
Hosts:
Christy Hemme, Jeremy Borash
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Since
the show is leaving Spike, this episode is the first half of a Top 20
Moments in TNA History and is airing at 11pm instead of the usual 9pm
timeslot. It gets even better next week with the show starting at
midnight on Christmas Eve night. When they bury a show they really
bury it. Let’s get to it.

As
usual I’ll be posting the full versions of any matches that are
clipped.
20.
Lockdown 2008.
TNA World
Title: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
In
a cage with Angle defending and Joe’s career on the line. They
haven’t had a PPV match in awhile so we get a recap of their whole
history. This is treated more like an MMA fight with Angle in black
shorts instead of his usual singlet and MMA fighter Frank Trigg on
commentary. Before the match, Angle has Karen thrown out from her
front row seat.
They
even start by standing in MMA stances before trading leg kicks. Joe
gets a leg bar but Angle is almost immediately in the ropes. Down to
the mat with Angle hammering away at Joe’s guard as this is getting
old fast. Joe gets the better of some mat grappling before it’s back
to the stupid MMA stances. Angle finally snaps off a suplex and puts
on a side choke until Joe makes the ropes.
Off
to a front facelock from the champion before a quick German suplex
gets two. A shot to the knee puts Joe down again and we hit the
figure four. It’s about time we got to some wrestling. Joe finally
turns it over but Angle is right next to the ropes. Angle cranks on
the leg again but Joe chops his way out of it. That’s fine with Kurt
as he slaps on a quickly broken headlock. Seriously a headlock in a
cage match?
Back
up and Joe nails a clothesline to put Kurt down but he has to shake
his knee a bit. Kurt goes to the middle rope but gets caught by the
enziguri. The MuscleBuster is countered and Angle hooks the ankle
lock. Joe rolls out and gets two out of the release Rock Bottom out
of the corner. The powerbomb into the Walls of Jericho into the STF
into the crossface has Angle screaming.
Kurt
grabs the ankle to finally escape but Joe pulls Angle back down into
the crossface in the middle of the ring. Angle finally rolls over to
get the ropes but Joe puts it right back on. Another rope is grabbed
and the Angle Slam gets two. The champion puts on the ankle lock but
he spins one too many times and gets pulled into the Clutch, only to
use the referee’s shirt to make it to the ropes. Another Angle Slam
attempt is countered and Joe sends him face first into the cage
(first time it’s been used) and the MuscleBuster FINALLY gives Joe
the title.
Rating:
B. This got much better once they
stopped the stupid MMA stuff and had a wrestling match. There was no
need to have a cage here as it was only used once towards the end,
which could have been replaced by a kick or something like that.
It’s a good match and a good moment, but at the end of the day this
was too overdone for what it needed to be.
19.
Destination X 2012.
TNA
World Title: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
Feeling
out process to start without a lot of offense either way. After
about a minute and twenty seconds they lock up and Roode grabs the
arm. Aries grabs the arm to counter but gets run over. They’re
still in slow mode and that’s fine. A rolling cradle gets two for
Aries and he hooks an STF. They hit the mat and Roode slaps him in
the back of his head a few times. Now Aries takes him down to the
mat and hits a slingshot tope for two.
Roode
hooks a headscissors on the mat which is quickly broken up and they
head outside. Aries hits a top rope ax handle to the floor but his
missile dropkick misses back inside and Roode takes over. Roode
hooks a chinlock but a knee drop misses. Aries fires off with kicks
and tries the Last Chancery but it doesn’t go on right. Roode goes
to the floor but avoids the suicide dive, sending Aries into the
barricade.
Roode
hooks a bodyscissors back in the ring followed by a hard whip into
the corner. He talks a lot of trash to the downed Aries and hits a
combination F5/Samoan Drop for two. Off to a body vice on the mat
and Aries is cut on the nose. Aries makes a comeback and fires off
forearms and chops in the corner. They slug it out and a discus
forearm puts Roode down. A clothesline puts Roode on the floor and
there’s the suicide dive which connects this time.
This
time the missile dropkick hits as well but Aries charges into a
powerslam out of the corner. Aries comes back again and tries the
Last Chancery again, but Roode is pretty bad at selling it. Roode
counters into a Crossface but Aries counters right back into the
Chancery. Aries gets in another shot to the head and goes up for the
450, but Roode moves. Aries rolls through it anyway but walks into
the spinebuster for two.
The
champion sends him shoulder first into the post and goes back to the
Crossface. That stays on for a long time but Aries makes the rope.
Roode is frustrated now so he grabs the belt, only to have it taken
away by the referee. That allows the champ to hit a low blow for
two. Roode argues with the referee and gets shoved into the corner,
allowing Aries to hit the corner dropkick.
Aries
tries the brainbuster but Roode escapes and the ref is bumped. Roode
hits a belt shot for a VERY close two. The fisherman’s suplex is
countered into a small package for two and Aries punts Roode in the
head. He grabs the brainbuster out of nowhere for the pin and the
title in a huge shocker.
Rating:
B+.
Another good match to close the show here, but the point of this was
in the surprise. This felt like a big moment and it was the right
call to pull the trigger here. This show was designed around the
X-Division and having the longest reigning champion win the world
title here was the right way to make the X Title look like it can be
something comparable to the world title. Good match too.
18.
Victory Road 2010.
Tag
Titles: Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns

Ok
so the Guns more or less have to win here. I like the Guns’ music.
Storm and Shelley start us off. They’re doing a slow build to start
us off as Taz says the Guns are the best team from their city,
including the Tigers. Uh, deep? We get a Mel Torme reference of all
things as we’re talking about tap dancing. Beer Money takes over
and after a double vertical suplex they do their thing.

Shelley
is getting beaten on. This is a good match so far so it’s hard to
make jokes. Well other than Taz and Tenay who are always jokes. Ah
there’s Sabin. I like him better than Shelley I think. We crank it
up a bit and Sabin hits a running punt on Storm while he’s on the
apron and Storm is on the floor. The crowd is getting back into it a
bit too. Eye of the Storm gets two on Sabin.

I’m sorry for
the excessive play by play here but that’s the main thing going on
here. That made less than no sense but just go with it. We’ve lost
any resemblance of a tag match here as it’s just all insanity.
Maybe Heyman is booking the company. Everything just goes insane and
this is awesome for once. The Guns dominate as Storm has a beer
bottle. The referee gets beer spit in his face as the Guns hit a
combination splash/neckbreaker on Roode for two.

There’s
another referee here now and I have a bad feeling about this. It’s
ALL Guns here as we’re going fast paced here. They hit their kick
combination and cover Roode as Storm rolls Sabin up. The referees
count a double pin and it’s Dusty Finish time. Earl, not the
original referee, says restart it. The Guns win in like a minute with
the same thing they did earlier, making the restart TOTALLY
POINTLESS. Very good match though so I can’t complain
much.
Rating:
A-. This was a VERY good match. The main thing holding it back is the
restart which was the walking definition of overbooking. What in the
world is that supposed to help? Whatever it was I certainly don’t
get it. The Guns are the champions, albeit nearly three years later.
Still though, if they’re going to win them, at least win them in a
classic I guess. Very good match all the way through. Loved it.

We
get a collection of comedy moments from over the years, including
Shark Boy waking up in a hospital bed, Curry Man rambling and meeting
Shark Boy, Eric Young winning a bikini contest, Big Fat Oily Guy, the
Aces and 8’s Funeral, Jay Lethal and Flair having a WOO Off, Robbie
E. vs. Robbie T. in a Bro Off (E.’s face at the end of T.’s routine
still cracks me up), Shark Boy getting fat, Eric Bischoff being
dumped in a portable toilet and ODB marrying Eric Young.
17.
Impact – July 7, 2010.
This
is another moment where they put the wrong date on the show as it was
actually July 8. The moment is Jay Lethal’s perfect imitation of Ric
Flair which words don’t do justice. He had the voice down and every
catchphrase, sending Flair into fits in the ring. Go find this one
online because it’s hilarious and all in the way Lethal sounds and
just typing it out would ruin the joke.
16.
Bound For Glory 2009.
X-Division
Title: Suicide vs. Daniels vs. Amazing Red vs. Homicide vs. Chris
Sabin vs. Alex Shelley
Ultimate
X with Red defending. Red is a guy that was around near the
beginning of TNA and did some very impressive flips, earning the
adulation of Don West. Don is now managing the champ and was known
to climb on the announcers’ table and cheer for him. Sabin and
Shelley won a match on the preshow to get in this match. Suicide is
a video game character who started appearing on TV, portrayed by
Daniels or Kazarian (the latter here). Homicide is part of the World
Elite stable, which is a group of international wrestlers, led by
Eric Young, who feel they haven’t been treated right.
It’s
a mad scramble to the corners to start but no one can get anywhere.
Everyone goes after everyone with Homicide getting the biggest
advantage by taking down Shelley and diving through the ropes to take
out Daniels. Suicide rolls the champion over and dives onto Homicide
but the Guns work together to set up a suicide dive on…uh Suicide
actually. Red kicks Shelley but gets dropped by Daniels, who goes
for a climb. Red isn’t done yet and hurricanranas Daniels onto
everyone else in the match.
Back
in and Sabin busts out a giant swing on Red but Shelley adds a
dropkick to the champ’s head to make it even worse. Daniels attacks
both Guns and Homicide goes for a climb, only to have Suicide
springboard up to the ropes and make a save, only to get pulled down
into a Gringo Cutter. Sabin holds Daniels and Homicide for a top
rope double stomp from Shelley.
The
Guns continue their control by working over Red but the champion
escapes a Doomsday Device with a Sliced Bread #2 instead of a
clothesline and takes Sabin down with a hurricanrana. Suicide comes
back in but Homicide suplexes him down. Homicide drops the champ and
goes up but Daniels pulls him down and nails a Death Valley Driver.
Red goes for the ropes but slowly comes back down for some reason,
only to go back towards the belt until Suicide pulls him back down.
Now
it’s Daniels and Sabin going up and kicking at each other while
hanging in the air, eventually knocking each other down for a big
crash. Sabin nails a tornado DDT on Daniels and Shelley nails a
Sliced Bread #2 on Suicide. We get the Parade of Secondary
Finishers, followed by Shelley, Red and Suicide hitting a huge Tower
of Doom out of the corner with Suicide taking the worst of it (and
kicking Daniels in the face on the way down).
Suicide
throws Daniels down but Red kicks him in the face and gets caught by
a corkscrew dive. Sabin goes nuts until Suicide kicks him off the
top rope. Suicide goes right back up and hits the Flux Capacitor on
Sabin, setting up Daniels’ Best Moonsault Ever. Daniels and Suicide
climb onto the top of the structure above the cables and Red follows
after them.
The
fans ask them not to die so Daniels and Suicide tease suplexing each
other off. They slap each other until Daniels carefully climbs down
onto the X but Suicide does the same and they both fall with Daniels
landing on his head. Tazz rightfully shouts CHECK HIM as Red slips
down through the treeses as well and grabs the title before someone
dies.
Rating:
C+. That Daniels bump had
me terrified when I saw it live and it doesn’t get any easier here.
Thankfully he was ok for the most part. I can’t emphasize how much
better this was than last year’s opener with just six men involved.
It gives the match a chance to breathe and you can keep track of
what’s going on. This was a good opener but the Daniels fall made it
hard to sit through at the end.
15.
Lockdown 2013.
TNA
World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray
In
the cage of course with Hardy defending. Tenay says Ray has a 50+
pound weigh advantage about a minute after Ray is announced at 275 to
Hardy’s 227. Feeling out process to start with Ray running Hardy
over with a hard shoulder. A quick slam gets two for Ray and the
champion bails to the corner. Hardy fights back with the Whisper in
the Wind for two but can’t escape as Ray rams Hardy’s leg into the
cage.
Ray
starts a slow and methodical offense by working over the champion’s
ribs and back. A big backdrop gets two for Ray but Jeff gets in a
shot to earn himself a breather. The Twist and the Bubba Bomb are
both countered but the second attempt at the Twist of Fate connects.
Cue Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff into the cage but Jeff and Bully
run them over. Bully lets himself be a springboard for Poetry in
Motion before throwing both bikers out.
They
slug it out in the middle of the ring with Jeff actually taking over.
A flying forearm takes Bully down and there’s a low dropkick for
two. Hardy tries to climb out but Ray makes the save and they slug
it out on the top rope. Hardy kicks Ray in the head but falls to the
mat, allowing Ray to fall off the top onto Jeff for a VERY close two.
The Twist staggers Bully but as Jeff goes up, Ray hits a HUGE sitout
powerbomb out of the corner to put both guys down.
Ray
covers for two and the fans are split. Cue the Hogans to watch the
main event from ringside to cheer on Bully. Ray gets to his feet
very slowly but here are Aces and 8’s. Ray stands up and has a chain
as the bikers come in. To the shock of not many people, Ray is
thrown a hammer by D-Von and clubs down Jeff to win the title,
revealing himself as the leader at 17:20.
Rating:
B-. That powerbomb alone was worth the whole match. The ending
isn’t really all that surprising but at least Aces and 8’s have
FINALLY done something of note. Bully Ray as world champion of a
major company in 2013 is a huge gamble to say the least, but it
appears that we’re heading to Hogan vs. Ray down the line. To call
that a gamble is an even shorter stretch but it’s what we appear to
be getting.
We
hear a quick recap from Bully Ray about how the Aces and 8’s plan
came together. This really helped tie things together after it
didn’t make a lot of sense for months on end.
In
some storyline development, we see Shera being tortured in the woods,
likely as his way of joining the Revolution.
14.
Bound For Glory 2007.
Knockouts
Title: Gauntlet Match
This
is to crown the inaugural champion. As usual, it’s over the top with
one minute intervals for the ten entrants until we get to the final
two when it becomes one fall to a finish. Miss Brooks is in at #1
and Jackie Moore is in at #2. Jackie runs Brooks over and knocks her
face first onto the mat until Shelley Martinez is in at #3. Brooks
goes after Shelley and gets dropped with a reverse DDT for her
efforts. Jackie goes after Shelley, allowing Brooks to hit a top
rope seated senton on Martinez.
Awesome
Kong is in at #4 but takes 55 seconds to get to the ring and can’t do
anything. Jackie throws out Brooks and Kong dumps Martines. ODB is
in at #5 and also takes her time getting in, allowing Kong to plant
Jackie and dump her out. We’re down to ODB vs. Kong and of course
ODB starts swinging. Angel Williams is in at #6 as Kong is hammering
away on ODB. The girls wisely double team Kong but are quickly
suplexed down.
Christy
Hemme (looking GREAT) is in at #7 and immediately gets put in a
torture rack. Kong slams her down until Gail Kim comes in at #8 with
a missile dropkick. Hemme is taken out by medics as the other three
gang up on Kong. They finally dump Kong out (and break her top at
the same time) as Talia Madison is in at #9. ODB and Gail Kim double
team Williams out Roxxi Leveaux is in at #10 so we have a final
grouping of Gail, Roxxi, ODB and Talia. Gail throws out Talia and
Roxxi dumps ODB to get us to the one on one match.
Roxxi
nails her with a forearm to the chest and plants her with a fall away
slam for two. The fans are almost entirely behind Gail, as they’ve
been since the beginning. An Octopus Hold has Roxxi in trouble but
she falls into the ropes. Gail misses a missile dropkick and they
trade rollups for two each. Back up and Kim grabs White Noise for
the pin and the first title.
Rating:
C-. These matches are hard to get into and it would have helped
quite a bit if we hadn’t had a battle royal about an hour ago. Kim
is a good choice for the first champion and has a built in challenger
in Kong, who had some great matches with Gail in the coming months.
I do like that she won the title with a pin instead of dumping
someone out though. It feels more proper.
13.
Impact – March 3, 2011.
Time
for the wedding. Eric Young is the ring bearer and Orlando Jordan is
the flower girl. Jeff comes out thankfully not to his theme music.
Tazz keeps calling Karen by the name Karen Angle. And of course
here’s Kurt and the brawl is on. Jeff almost goes into the
definitely not ten foot cake. Kurt hits a clothesline and here’s
Karen. She slaps Kurt and goes into the cake. Angle’s music plays
it out. This whole thing might have lasted two and a half minutes.
From
later in the night.
Time
for
wedding
#2. Young
it
still
wedding
bearer
and
Jordan
is
still
flower
girl.
Jeff
doesn’t
have
a
coat
on
this
time.
Kurt
walks
Karen
down
the
aisle.
He’s
smiling
and
Karen
seems
to
still
have
cake
on
her
face.
Kurt
is
all
happy
here
and
it’s
rather
amusing.
No
Bart
Scott
in
sight.
The
fans
boo
at
the
or
forever
hold
your
piece
line.
They
both
say
I
will
and
all
that
jazz.
The
minister
asks
the
fans
if
they’ll
support
the
Jarretts.
Take
a
guess
how
that
goes
over.
Now
we
get
to
hear
CUSTOM
vows.
We’ve
had
a
combined
12 minutes
of
wrestling
and
we’re
getting
custom
vows.
Wow
indeed.
Jeff
says
he’s
long
winded
and
would
be
nervous
so
he
wrote
his
out.
He
runs
down
Kurt
the
whole
time
and
Kurt
just
keeps
smiling
away.
He’s
looking
over
Jeff’s
shoulder
and
it’s
rather
creepy.
Karen
is
the
wind
beneath
his
wings.

Karen
says Jeff is a real man and the princess is taken care of. Oh and
Kurt didn’t screw her enough apparently. Jeff completes her. The
minister announces them as husband and wife through the power vested
in him by the department of motor vehicles. The unintentional comedy
is helping here. They actually get through the kissing of the bride,
so Kurt busts out an ax and starts hacking the set to pieces, all
with that creepy grin on his face. That was kind of awesome.
Bischoff
sends out New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott. Yes send your
celebrity out to the CRAZY MAN WITH AN AXE! Surprisingly enough they
go at it and Kurt grabs the ankle lock and cranks on it. Didn’t
expect that. Segment went WAY too long but the ending helped it a
lot.
12.
Impact – October 29, 2014.
TNA
World Title: Lashley vs. Bobby Roode
They
have a ton of time for this, Lashley is defending and Kurt Angle is
guest referee. MVP and King are nowhere in sight. Lashley powers
Bobby into the corner to start and easily takes him down with an
amateur move. A hard shoulder to the ribs has Roode in even more
trouble but Bobby comes back with a clothesline and tells Lashley to
bring it on. The champ is all fired up but his clothesline is
countered into the Crossface, sending Lashley out to the floor.
We
take a break and come back with Lashley holding a reverse wasitlock
until Bobby fights up with forearms. A quick Blockbuster gets two
but Roode charges into a spinning spinebuster. Lashley ducks another
shot but clotheslines Angle (first time he’s meant anything in the
match) by mistake. The Roode Bomb is countered and Lashley nails the
spear with no one to count the pin. Another spear hits Angle to
knock him to the floor, allowing Roode to enziguri Lashley to the
floor.
Bobby
follows and avoids a spear, sending a ring attendant flying. A Roode
Bomb on the ramp puts both guys down but there’s still no Angle to
count anything. Instead Brian Hebner comes in to count the near fall
and Bobby is frustrated. Lashley hits Roode low and gets the belt
but Hebner says no.
That
earns him a knockout clothesline, allowing Lashley to hit Roode with
the belt. Angle comes in to count two and is finally back to his
feet. The Roode Bomb is countered and Lashley snaps Bobby’s throat
across the top rope. Another attempt is countered into a sunset flip
attempt but Roode falls on top for the pin and the title at 17:49.
Rating:
B. The match got going
near the middle but I really don’t see why Angle needed to be out
there. Any regular referee could have played his role to the same
degree but maybe they’re setting up Lashley vs. Angle down the line?
The important part though is Roode being made into a bigger deal than
he was before, but now he needs to have a very solid title reign to
make it even better. TNA is really needing a top face and if Roode
is that guy then so be it.
11.
Bound For Glory 2011.
Hulk
Hogan vs. Sting
Bischoff’s
son is referee. Sting is insane here and wears a Hulkamania shirt to
the ring. Hulk is in street clothes. The bell rings and here comes
Flair as we keep looking at Dixie Carter in the front row. Sting
grabs a headlock to start but Hogan shoves him away and Hulks Up.
That gets Hogan a crotch chop so Hulk punches him down and puts on a
chinlock. Sting gets sent outside but is quickly back inside to have
his back and eyes raked.
Hogan
throws him outside for low blows and chops from Flair before Hulk
starts biting at Sting’s forehead. The beating goes on for awhile
until they head back inside where Flair slips Hogan a foreign object.
The shots bust Sting open but Sting comes back with right hands. He
stops the beating and goes after Flair, stealing the foreign object
to cut Hogan open as well. A pair of Stinger Splashes set up the
Scorpion Deathlock and Hogan gives up, forcing referee Jackson James
to call for the bell.
Rating:
D+.
This one would fall under the category of “what else were you
expecting?” At the end of the day, TNA basically exists to make
Sting look good so this really shouldn’t be a surprise. Someone
young probably should have gotten the rub from Hogan, but Sting
clearly needed this spot instead right?
Immortal
comes out to destroy Sting with chairs as Abyss is shown watching
from behind the curtain. Jackson James takes one of them away,
turning face about an hour and fifteen minutes after he turned heel.
Bischoff hits him with a chair, starting the most unwanted face push
in the history of ever.
Sting
crawls over to Hogan and begs for help, because if there’s one thing
more important than making Sting look good, it’s making Hogan look
good. Hogan makes the big face turn and helps Sting clean house,
because two bloody guys in their 50s beating up about seven guys
armed with chairs makes perfect sense. Posing ensues and of course
the old WWF crowd eats it up. It’s a cool segment for the moment,
but this was basically all about Hogan and Sting instead of doing
anything for TNA long term.
Overall
Rating:
B. The show was
entertaining due to having some excellent wrestling, but let’s recap
that ending real fast: the big moment that you end the show on is two
guys in their 50s who currently work for WWE. They
couldn’t have swapped this with #12 so that the last thing we see is
the reigning World Champion standing tall after vanquishing an
unstoppable beast? It was really necessary that we had to show Sting
and Hogan at the end of the show?
The
show as a whole was good enough, but I would have liked to see some
stuff from the old days. There had to be some great stuff in there,
but maybe they’re saving those for next week. I really hope this
doesn’t turn into the best since the Hogan Era began, because there
are some gems from back in the day that have just been forgotten over
the years.
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Tribute to the Troops 2014

Tribute
to the Troops 2014
Date: December 17, 2014
Location: Columbus
Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
Attendance: 17,000
Commentators: John
Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s that special time
of year when WWE gets to put in very little effort and bang their
chests to brag about how amazing they are for doing something for the
troops. Ignore the fact that they no longer go across the world to
do these shows or even hold them in a military base anymore and enjoy
meaningless matches, unnecessary musical performances and recorded
cameos by celebrities who aren’t actually appearing in person. Did I
mention this show has lost its shine for me in the last few years?
Let’s get to it.

Will Ferrell, the
Osbornes, Rachel Maddow, the Muppets, Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa,
Aaron Rogers, Bruce Willis, Stephen Colbert, a bunch of wrestlers and
celebrities that I either don’t recognize or go too fast to type love
the troops.
Here’s
Hulk Hogan with an American flag, walking between some troops to open
the show. Really, is there anyone else that should be doing
something like this? He talks about how great it is to live in this
country but gets cut off by Miz and Mizdow (minus Slammys and
titles). Miz says you’re welcome to everyone here for portraying a
marine in his signature role. When you think pillar of strength of
the military, you think Miz.
This
brings out John Cena to apologize for Miz, who is either drunk or has
amnesia. When Cena thinks of toughness, he thinks of the armed
forces. When he thinks of Miz, it’s something a whole lot more
metrosexual. Like Ryan Seacrest for example. The Miz compares
himself to Bob Hope and says dying children ask people to win one for
the Miz. Cena of course doesn’t believe it and polls the fans on
whether or not Miz is a big deal.
Miz laughs it off and
says that it’s Hogan in the ring with Miz instead of him being in the
ring with Hogan. He brings up the Wrestlemania XXVII loss and says
he played a more convincing soldier than Cena ever could. The brawl
is on and Mizdow ie left alone for his team. He mimes getting beaten
up by Cena and dives over the ropes on his own in a funny bit.
This
brings out Team Authority minus Rusev but plus Big Show because even
specials need to have long opening segments. The beatdown is on but
Ryback, Rowan and Ziggler come out for the save. Team Cena and Hogan
stand tall in an actual feel good moment. Hogan has been the Real
American for over thirty years and you have to have him here for
something like this.
Angelina Jolie loves
the troops and plugs her new movie Unbroken.
Goldust/Stardust vs.
Usos
Goldust
talks trash to Jey to start and eats an uppercut for his efforts.
Off to Stardust who gets punched in the face as well before it’s off
to Jimmy for a slam. Goldust gets in a cheap shot from the apron but
Jimmy stops to dance. The Usos knock the Dusts to the floor for some
big dives as we take a break. Back with Jey being sent to the floor
for a stomping from Stardust as Cole talks about how amazing Fort
Benning is.
Stardust works on an
armbar before kicking Jey in the face for two. Goldust gets the same
off a powerslam and we hit the chinlock. Jey fights up and makes the
hot tag to his brother for some house cleaning. The Umaga attack
stuns Stardust and the enziguri sends Goldust to the floor. There’s
a big dive from Jey but Jimmy takes the Disaster Kick for two. Jimmy
pops back up with a corkscrew dive for two more. Jey superkicks
Stardust down and the double superkick sets up Superfly Splashes for
the stereo pin at 10:38.
Rating:
C.
The match was fine but it’s the same one we’ve seen half a dozen
times now. The Usos continue to have great rhythm together which you
can only find in actual brothers. The Dusts on the other hand are
still falling apart, even though they’re staying sharp in the ring.
I’d assume we’ll get to the split eventually, which I don’t hate as
much as I used to.

Lester Holt loves
the troops.
The cast of the Voice
loves the troops.
Florida Georgia Line
performs.
Tom Brokaw loves the
troops.
Divas Battle Royal
All
of the Divas are here in either Christmas themed attire or at least a
Santa hat. It’s a brawl to start with Emma quickly being eliminated.
Rosa and Summer have a dance off as the rest of the match just
stops. Thankfully they get together and eliminate the pair but
Cameron stops to check her compact. Naomi takes it away and holds it
out, making Cameron stop to look at herself again, giving Naomi the
easy elimination.
The Bellas throw Alicia
out, leaving us with the Bellas, Paige, Naomi and Natalya. Paige
busts out some mistletoe but the Bellas kick her to the floor. Naomi
tries to jump over Nikki in the corner but gets planted with an
Alabama Slam. Brie eliminates herself by missing a baseball slide,
allowing Naomi to dump the other two out for the win at 3:45.
Rating:
D+.
This is there so the girls can look good in their outfits and nothing
more. It wasn’t entertaining for the most part but thankfully they
kept this very short. This is a tradition for the show and at the
end of the day, it’s one of those things there for the fans and
nothing more.
Video of the roster
visiting the troops.
Sgt. Slaughter tells us
to stick around.
Dean Ambrose vs.
Bray Wyatt
This
is a Boot Camp match, meaning a military themed street fight. Sgt.
Slaughter does the introductions for old times’ sake. Ambrose comes
out in a camouflage hat to really suck up to the fans. It’s a brawl
to start of course with Dean hitting his dropkick against the ropes.
Bray comes back with a slam as we’re waiting on the weapons to come
into play. Dean comes back with what looked like a bulldog to send
Bray outside, setting up the suicide dive.
They head to the
camouflaged posts before Dean hits him with what looked like a tool
box. Since there aren’t enough weapons in the ring, Dean goes
underneath to find some chairs, one of which he wedges in the corner.
Bray comes back with a kendo stick shot and hammers away on Dean’s
ribs. Some right hands get two on Ambrose as the announcers debate
G.I. Joes.
We
take a break and come back with Dean fighting out of a cravate but
eating a right hand to the face. A big kendo stick shot gets two and
Bray slowly kicks away. Bray misses a big shot though and Dean takes
the stick away. Wyatt seems to like the idea but doesn’t like the
beating Ambrose gives him as much. A White Russian legsweep and
middle rope elbow with the chair get two for Dean so he starts
looking for more toys. He picks a table but takes too long setting
it up, allowing Bray to Rock Bottom Ambrose through the table for
two.
Wyatt busts out another
table but stops to get in Slaughter’s face, allowing Dean to get a
breather. Slaughter takes off his boot as Dean comes back with the
rebound clothesline. The steel toed boot comes into the ring and
goes upside Bray’s head to knock him onto the table. Dean heads up
top for the elbow through the table for the pin at 14:30.
Rating:
C+.
This was violent enough to be entertaining but the gimmick was just
there to tie things together. In other words, this was a basic
street fight with nothing special other than the last spot of the
match. Nothing much to see here, but these two have done so much
that it’s hard to find something new.
We recap the opening
segment.
Jamie Fox and Cameron
Diaz love the troops and plug their new movie Annie.
The Kardashians love
the troops.
Here
are Lana and Rusev to what should be better heat. She says the fans
are lucky to be in the presence of the greatest US Champion of all
time to make them a bit angrier. The fans shout Rusev down with the
USA chant so Lana puts up the Putin photo. She issues something like
an open challenge and here’s Daniel Bryan to interrupt and fire up
the crowd all over again.
Bryan
says the thing the Russians don’t understand about Americans is that
they never back down. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5’5 like Bryan
(that’s a bit low) or 7’2, Democrat or Republican, we fight no matter
what. If Rusev and Lana don’t like that, they should go back to
Russia. Lana laughs him off and Rusev invites Bryan out to the
floor. Daniel asks if Rusev wants to do all this right in front of
the troops. The thing about Americans is they’ll come from anywhere
to defend their freedoms. A few troops start jumping the barricade
and two repel from the ceiling to surround Rusev. Bryan gets in the
ring but Rusev bails.
The vast of the Today
Show loves the troops.
Larry the Cable Guy
loves the troops.
Florida Georgia Line
performs again.
Team Cena goes over
their game plan (an actual piece of paper labeled “game plan”).
Video on Hire Heroes.
Ryback/John
Cena/Erick Rowan/Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane/Luke Harper/Big Show/Seth
Rollins
Ryback
and Rollins get things going with Seth being powered back into the
corner. We hit the wristlock on Rollins before it’s off to Rowan for
a big (red) slam. The good guys keep their control until Seth decks
Ziggler with a right hand. Dolph is able to escape a delayed suplex
from Harper though and tags in Ryback for a delayed suplex of his
own, complete with FEED ME MORE, for two. Ziggler comes back in with
a dropkick but it’s off to Rollins to take over again. The running
DDT gets a quick two on Seth but everything breaks down with the bad
guys standing tall as we take a break.
Back
with Big Show throwing Ziggler around before it’s off to Kane. The
announcers talk about Kane attacking the Bunny with JBL talking about
how great a moment it was. Instead of letting the potential new fans
say “what are they talking about? That sounds kind of
interesting.”, Cole is right there to explain that it’s just a guy
in a bunny suit to kill the idea dead.
Rollins comes back in
and stomps away but Ziggler gets in a shot and DIVES over for the tag
to Cena. Harper comes in as well to take the finishing sequence but
Rollins breaks up the AA attempt. Kane breaks up the STF and it’s
secondary finishers a go-go. The AA plants Show and Cena AA’s Harper
onto Big show, but makes sure to shove Show out of the way so he can
pin Harper at 13:37.
Rating:
D+.
You know, they almost had me here. They had me buying into this for
just a second but then I lost the little hope I had. I can’t believe
it, but for a second I thought Big Show might actually do a job here.
Thankfully reality set in as Cena made sure to shove Big Show out of
the way after the AA and having Harper land on him so harper could
take the pin. I was getting worried there for a second.
Hogan comes out to
celebrate to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
I didn’t get as annoyed with this show as I have in the past but it’s
still not really necessary. Back in the day when the actually went
to Iraq and Afghanistan, the show felt like something special and
unique. Now it feels like a star (pre-recorded cameo) studded house
show with four matches and little effort. It also doesn’t help that
this makes eleven hours (counting Sunday’s pre-show) of WWE in four
days. If you watch all the shows like WWE implores you to do, the
burnout hit somewhere around the middle of Smackdown last night. The
show wasn’t bad, but it came and went and I won’t think of it again.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Smackdown – December 16, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
December 16, 2014
Location:
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commenators:
Tom Phillips, Michae Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Welcome
to one of the only times all year that WWE remembers this show
matters. This is a special live edition of the show airing on a
Tuesday instead of the usual taped Friday timeslot. We’re coming off
a fairly dull show last night and the only thing of note is that Bray
and Dean are both in the building tonight. Not in a match or
anythign mind you, but in the building. Let’s get to it.

Cole
says this is the 800th episode. Apparently that’s
correct, even though this is the first mention of the milestone.
Roman
Reigns vs. Fandango
We
get a quick recap of last night and the question now is how long does
this last. Feeling out process to start until Reigns easily throws
him down. Fandango actually takes him down into a chinlock as the
crowd dies a bit. Reigns fights up and responds to the canned chants
with a big running clothesline. There’s the Superman Punch and the
spear is good for the pin at 4:47.
Result:
D+. This was exactly what it
was supposed to be as Reigns just ended Fandango with that spear.
Speaking of ending Fandango, it’s about that time. His gimmick
stopped being entertaining months ago and this idea of the new and
improved version sounds more like a joke than anything else.
Quick
package on the TLC match.
Here’s
Ambrose for a chat. He talks about all the horrible things he and
Bray did to each other but then an act of God made him lose.
However, he saw a look in Bray’s eyes that showed him how crazy Dean
was. For once Wyatt was in the ring with someone just as insane as
he is. They face each other tomorrow night at Tribute to the Troops
in a Boot Camp Match.
Bray
comes up on screen to say that Ambrose is still breathing because
Bray is enjoying this game. If anyone could see the creature behind
his eyes, they would know that he is disdain and the slayer of his
calling. He won’t stop until he sees all the heroes fall and the
cities crumble. Bray is the battlefield and it will all burn.
Usos/Erick
Rowan vs. Luke Harper/Miz/Damien Mizdow
This
is Rowan’s second match tonight as he lost to Kane on Main Event
thanks to Titus O’Neil. The fans are of course behind Mizdow more
than the real version but Harper doesn’t seem to like either of them.
Luke knocks Jey down into the corner to start but Jey comes back
with an uppercut to the jaw. Off to Miz as everyone heads to the
floor, leading to a big standoff and a break.
Back
with Jimmy fighting out of a Harper chinlock but walking into a big
superkick. Miz comes back in and chokes on the ropes a lot, only to
get caught in a rollup for two. Mizdow holds out his hand but it’s
off to Harper instead. Harper puts on the Gator Roll and Mizdow
mimics him, ticking off Miz.
The
heels start arguing and nearly allow a hot tag off to Jey. Mizdow
finally tags himself in to the pop of the night, but Miz tags himself
back in when Mizdow tries the corner clothesline. The distraction
lets Jimmy make the tag off to Rowan to clean house. Everything
breaks down and the Usos knock Harper onto the announcers’ table.
Rowan busts out a top rope splash and actually gets a pin on Miz at
11:50.
Rating:
C-. Not much to see here as
it’s a standard six man tag on this show. At least Rowan finally got
a pin, even though it’s an hour removed from jobbing to Kane. I
don’t have much hope for him due to how they’ve treated him so far,
but at least he got a win here. On a show that means almost nothing.
Naomi,
who has a Divas Title shot tonight thanks to Miz, is fired up for her
match. Jimmy is excited as well and can’t wait to be at ringside.
Actually Naomi would rather do this one on her own, which Jimmy
reluctantly agrees to.
We
recap Chris Jericho and the cage match from Raw last night.
Ryback
vs. Seth Rollins
No
match actually as Rusev jumps Ryback during his entrance and knocks
him off the stage.
Rollins
says this is what happens when there’s no Authority to keep things in
line. He brags about winning his war with Cena last night and says
it’s time for a night off. Cue Dolph Ziggler in street clothes for
an interruption. He shares credit with Sting for getting rid of the
Authority and reminds Rollins that it was the night he beat him.
Ziggler throws out a challenge but Rollins doesn’t think so. Dolph
suggests that Seth is scared so Rollins says it’s just Dolph Ziggler
and accepts.
Ascension
is coming.
Divas
Title: Naomi vs. Nikki Bella
Naomi
is challenging, somehow due to Miz’s Hollywood connections. This
actually gets big match intros. Naomi knocks her out of the corner
to start and hits a kind of running double knee to the face for two.
An Alabama Slam and slingshot suplex get two each for the champ and
we hit the chinlock. That goes nowhere as Naomi fights up, only to
collide with Nikki to put both girls down. Miz comes out to cheer
for Naomi, who snaps Nikki’s throat across the top for two. Nikki
sends her outside and Miz is there for a pep talk. This brings out
Jimmy to chase him off but the distraction lets Nikki small package
Naomi to retain at 4:15.
Rating:
D+. The match was nothing
special but this was perfect for the story. You can tell they’ve
actually put something together here and have some thought to it.
They’re using real life and fictitious characters to make something
interesting and I’m interested in seeing where it’s going. Why don’t
they do this more often?
As
soon as the match ends and Naomi looks at Jimmy, Cole tells us about
a poll on the WWE App that thinks Miz is up to no good. That line
sums up one of WWE’s biggest problems right now. We
have an interesting story going on with another new development but
COle has to stop to plug a totally meaningless poll that hasn’t been
mentioned until just now and tells us something that anyone with a
brain could figure out. Stop telling us about everything else you can
think of to plug and talk about what’s going on right in front of
you.
Adam
Rose vs. Kane
The
Bunny is now in a neck brace. Kane knocks Rose down to start but
walks into a clothesline and a high cross body, but Adam stops to
dance. The big boot and chokeslam end this in 1:18.
Kane
tombstones the Bunny again.
Rollins
talks about how he’s going to go after John Cena and ruin everything
he does until the Authority comes back. If that means he has to work
with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, so be it.
Seth
Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Non-title.
Rollins, sporting bruised ribs, bails to the floor to start before
heading back inside, only to have Dolph throw him right back outside.
Back in and Seth kicks him in the ribs to take over before dropping
Dolph with some clotheslines. Ziggler tries a quick Zig Zag but gets
sent to the floor, allowing Noble to get in a cheap shot as we take a
break.
Back
with Rollins in full control and taking his sweet time hammering on
Ziggler. A hard running clothesline puts Dolph down again and
Rollins sends him out to the floor. With Noble shouting
encouragement in that country accent, Rollins goes up but gets
knocked down onto the ribs. Dolph scores with a dropkick for two,
ducks the enziguri and nails the running DDT for two more.
Now
Seth’s enziguri connects but he takes too much time going up,
allowing Dolph to run the corner for a top rope faceplant. The
Stooges offer a distraction so Dolph backdrops Rollins over the top
and down onto both of them. Fameasser gets two back inside but Noble
nails Dolph with a cheap shot. That earns the Stooges an ejection,
setting up the Zig Zag for the pin at 15:13.
Rating:
B-. I’m torn here. For one
thing, I’m glad that they give Ziggler a big win like this, but at
the same time they give Rollins a huge win last night and then have
him job here. The one time they should have had a run-in finish and
they actually have a fall. It does help that the Stooges’
distraction led to the finish, but I’d have preferred if he wasn’t
pinned in the middle of the ring.
Ziggler
escapes a beating to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This was your
standard Smackdown: some decent wrestling, some one off matches, and
nothing of note happening. There was nothing special about this one
and this week is already feeling more like a headache than something
to look forward to. Tomorrow’s special is likely to feel like a
glorified house show and Raw was nothing special either. Is it any
wonder why there’s no interest in the product at the moment? Not
only is the show dull, but there’s a ton of it at the moment. It’s
not the worst show, but there’s no reason to watch it, as usual.
Results
Roman
Reigns b. Fandango – Spear
Usos/Erick
Rowan b. Miz/Damien Mizdow/Luke Harper – Top rope splash to Miz
Nikki
Bella b. Naomi – Small package
Kane
b. Adam Rose – Chokeslam
Dolph
Ziggler b. Seth Rollins – Zig Zag
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

The SmarK Rant for WWE TLC(S) 2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE Tables Ladders Chairs and Stairs 2014 And the Slammy for stupidest PPV name of the year goes to…this show! Live from Cleveland, OH Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Intercontinental title: Luke Harper v. Dolph Ziggler Dolph is introduced from Cleveland tonight instead of his usual Hollywood Florida, which doesn’t necessarily mean good things for him. I am curious if they can book a DQ finish in a ladder match given Harper’s record leading up to this. Harper tosses Dolph into some ladders at ringside and makes the first climb, but Dolph saves. Back to the floor and Harper puts him down with a Bossman slam out there, but he is again unable to climb. Here’s what I don’t get: What was the storyline advantage to splitting up the Wyatt Family if they’re all basically doing the same thing, but apart? No one got repackaged in any significant way and Harper could have just as easily won the title in his previous position. Harper beats on Ziggler with a ladder in the corner, and dropkicks him to the floor to block a comeback attempt, then throws a ladder at his face on the floor. Well, Dolph’s deal is selling, that’s for sure. Harper tries a suicide dive, but accidentally launches himself into a ladder in a nasty spot, and that probably hurt. Back in, Dolph climbs but gets shoved off, and Harper tries a powerbomb onto the ladder before Dolph escapes. He tries the fameasser, but Harper gets that powerbomb on the ladder to block. A goofy catapult spot on the ropes results in Dolph getting busted open hardway, so we stop the match for medical attention while Harper climbs. Dolph slugs him off and they take an awkward bump, but Dolph reverses a powerbomb to come back. Harper puts a ladder on his head for some reason and gets superkicked and then knocked off the apron, landing on a conveniently placed ladder at ringside. Dolph makes another climb and gets knocked off. They’re really having trouble telling any kind of story here, although the crowd chants “This is awesome.” I can’t really agree with that assessment. They fight up the ladder again and Dolph superkicks him off and wins the title back at 16:40. This didn’t really play very well to Harper’s strengths as a brawler and had way too much downtime with ladders getting set up and such. *** WWE tag titles: The Miz & Damien Mizdow v. The Usos Mizdow carrying around a replica Slammy is another funny touch. Miz and Jey trade rollups and the crowd already wants Mizdow. Jimmy comes in and slugs away on Miz, and we get a delayed suplex spot so that Mizdow can do his headstand in the corner. The Mizzes hit the floor and Jey dives on them, but Miz gets a DDT for two in the ring. Miz teases a tag to Mizdow and then goes to a chinlock while the announcers have a typically inane conversation, basically equating John Cena’s acting career with the Rock’s. Uh, OK then. Jimmy comes in with the butt splash on Miz in the corner, but Miz boots him down for two. Miz tries a figure-four and Jimmy rolls through into a half-crab, but Miz makes the ropes. Jimmy superkicks him and tries for the splash, but the champs decide to walk and Miz hits an Uso with the Slammy for the DQ at 7:30 for good measure. Jesus, they managed to pack TWO shitty finishes into the same match? This was kind of a mess with no heat segment and Miz just basically working the whole match. *1/2 I also love that they were selling this show on being “WWE’s version of a demolition derby” and the second match ends with some guy getting DQ’d for using a lame weapon. Stairs match: Big Show v. Erick Rowan Cole notes that in fact many are calling him “The Big Traitor”. Who exactly is calling him that? So I guess that stairs are legal here? They fight to the floor and Show tosses Rowan around, but takes stairs to the head. So then Rowan stops to pile up some stairs into a wall for some reason, but can’t use it. They continue their thrilling battle on the floor with Rowan bumping all over, and back in for more abuse from Big Show. The crowd is really bored but at least they don’t turn on the match completely yet. Rowan comes back with a slam on the stairs, but misses his attempt to crush Show’s skull between two sets of stairs. Yeah, having his head get spattered would have made for a hell of a finish, sure, but the cleanup would have taken forever. So they go to the floor and now we get the payoff for that wall of stairs, as Show spears Rowan through it in a spot that I must apologize if my description sounded in any way interesting or cool. Not my intention to mislead there. Back in, Show chokeslams him on the stairs and knocks him out at 11:12 to really heat up that babyface push. Yes, it’s a match filled with about 20 sets of steel stairs as weapons, and the finish was Show punching him in the head. -* Rowan was basically squashed here. Tables match: John Cena v. Seth Rollins Weird to have this placed way down the card, as I thought it would main event. Seth chokes him down in the corner, but Cena comes out with a clothesline and tries for a table. Sadly, Noble and Mercury prevent that from happening, but Cena fights them off on a second attempt, only to have them run in and break up a powerbomb. Rollins sets up a table as Cole notes “It would be sort of ironic if Seth went through a table that he set up.” Yes. Yes it would, Captain Obvious. Cena comes back with the usual as the male half of the crowd is just chanting for Rollins outright now. J&J comes in for the beatdown, but Cena fights off all three guys and they head up to the entrance where Cena suplexes Rollins on a railing, but the 3-on-1 battle commences at ringside again. Cena of course fights off the forces of evil, but Rollins sends him into the railing and sets up more tables at ringside. Back in, Rollins gets his sliced bread move, but Cena dumps him to the floor. So Rollins uses his briefcase for a beatdown, because SOMEONE might as well get some use out of it, but Cena comes back and the ref is bumped. Cena with the FU through the table, but there’s no ref to see it and J&J come back in for another beatdown and clear out the broken table. So Cena fights back AGAIN and puts the stooges through a different table, and then both go through a table on the floor at the same time at 18:25 while the ref revives. Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME? Who is booking this shit tonight? So the match MUST CONTINUE. And then Cena immediately FU’s Rollins onto the announce table, which fails to break. And now, hey, another run-in, with Big Show coming out to beat on Cena. However, Roman Reigns returns to wake up the crowd and spears Show through a table, allowing Cena to finish Rollins at 23:32. Match was OK, but it was just horribly overbooked with no real chance for Rollins to shine. **1/2 Divas title: Nikki Bella v. AJ Lee AJ fights off both Bellas, but walks into a spinebuster. The pre-match interview with the Bellas reveals that the reasoning behind their reconciliation is a Russo favorite: Blood is thicker than water. That one’s right up there with “You didn’t read the fine print” and “I don’t owe you people an explanation.” Nikki wraps AJ around the post and goes to a surfboard, and a slam gets two. Chinlock time! AJ comes back with a rollup for two and they clothesline each other and AJ makes the comeback. Neckbreaker gets two. Tornado DDT gets two. Nikki comes back with an enzuigiri for two, but AJ gets a bulldog for two. Shining Wizard gets two, but Nikki maces AJ and finishes with the Rack Attack at 7:35. This was seriously a finish they paid someone to come up with? We’ve already had a parade of bad finishes tonight. *1/2 Chairs match: Kane v. Ryback Oh god, I totally forgot this turd was still upcoming. Usually painful diarrhea gives you cramps as a warning first. Ryback whips him into a chair in the corner and pounds away on the mat, then follows with a splash from the middle rope, not once, not twice, but THRICE. He pounds away with a chair as I have no idea why they even dislike each other, much less why they need to hit each other with chairs to settle it. And they don’t even do a video package to remind us. And isn’t Kane supposed to be selling merchandise in the stands or something? Kane drops Ryback on a chair in the corner and they fight over a suplex, which leads to Kane getting a DDT on the chair for two. And now the crowd has no problem turning on the match, loudly so. Kane boots Ryback down for two and then beats him down with the chair as this feels like the third hour of RAW, but on PPV. Kane tosses a bunch of chairs in, but Ryback uses one of them to hit Kane a bunch of times. How ironic. Kane blocks the clothesline by hitting him with a chair, and the chokeslam gets two. That was ridiculous because they had to shoot the camera angle tight to Ryback’s face the whole time so as not to give away Kane standing there with a chair! Ryback escapes the tombstone and thankfully finishes this crap with the Shellshock at 10:00. WHO BOOKED RYBACK TO GO TEN MINUTES!? -** US title: Rusev v. Jack Swagger Swagger attacks and goes after the leg right away, but misses the pump splash. Rusev’s superkick is reversed into the anklelock and Rusev reverses that into the Accolade, but Swagger makes the ropes. A second try works, however, and Swagger powers out while the crowd gets distracted by a fight or something. Swagger reverses to the anklelock, but walks into a superkick and gets Accoladed at 4:47. What the fuck was the point of THAT? So they cycled Swagger into a second time and then squashed him again? *1/2 Royal Rumble: It’s the EPIC FINAL BATTLE between Brock and Cena! Who can even write copy like that with a straight face? TLC match: Dean Ambrose v. Bray Wyatt So I guess this is the main event? From what I can piece together in the video package, the issue is that Dean is mad because Wyatt holographically projected himself into a match, and Ambrose broke Wyatt’s favorite rocking chair in retaliation. So, you know, TLC follows. They immediately brawl on the floor and into the crowd, and Dean gains control with some chairshots at ringside. Into the ring as Ambrose grabs a kendo stick and beats on Bray with that, then follows with a flying chair off the middle rope. He goes up, but gets knocked through a table on the floor. Back in Wyatt runs Dean into a kendo stick and tries to impale him via eyeball, but luckily that misses. Boy would THAT have been embarrassing! Bray with a senton on the ladder for two. Bray runs him into ladders in the corner a couple of times, but Ambrose goes up with the flying elbow press for two. Dean with a legdrop onto the chair for two. Wyatt catches him with a lariat and they head to the floor again, where Ambrose drops an elbow off a ladder and puts Wyatt through a table. And then he goes up a bigger ladder and puts him through another table. But they head back in and Wyatt suddenly catches him with Sister Abigail for two. Really? He just got put through two tables in succession and he just pops up like a horror movie villain? Ambrose comes back with Dirty Deeds for two. So he grabs a TV from under the ring, which somehow inspires him to grab an even bigger ladder and put Wyatt through the Spanish announce table. However, he grabs the TV for the big finish, only to miscalculate the length of the power cord and have it explode in his face. Sister Abigail finishes at 26:30. Remind me not to buy a TV from the manufacturer of that one. So they do a 27 minute match as the main event of the show, and the finish is the babyface slipping on a banana peel like a moron and getting pinned? This right here was an abject lesson in how to get absolutely no one over. ***1/2 for the stunt show stuff, but really it was all meaningless anyway. Why even have ladders if you win by pinfall? The Pulse I think we can comfortably call this one the worst PPV of the year for WWE and a total embarrassment given that everyone was supposedly so motivated to show up the NXT guys. It wasn’t even bad enough to offend, it was just boring and burned me out on all the dumb weapons shots three matches in. Big thumbs down.

Matt’s Recap: TLC (and Stairs and things) 2014

Here we are, at a Pay Per View that should be
exciting…but has to be one of the most boring cards I’ve ever seen.
It stinks of uninteresting feuds, both new and old with no real velocity
or energy behind them.


Obviously, WWE can’t
wheel out Sting again and Brock Lesnar isn’t gonna be around until the
Royal Rumble next year…so what are we gonna see tonight that’s of any
interest?

Let’s find out…
We begin with gritty footage of WWE superstars inter-cut with footage from a Demolition Derby.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Cleveland, Ohio!!!
JBL,
Cole, and King are the guys at the desk. Marcelo Rodriguez and Carlos
Cabrera are manning the Spanish Desk of Eventual Destruction.
MATCH #1: Dolph Ziggler (challenger) vs. Luke Harper (champion) in a Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph
gets a NICE ovation from his hometown crowd. Dolph misses a couple of
Superkicks to start, then both men bolt outside and put some ladders
into the ring. Harper walks around the ring and just tosses Ziggler into
one of the standing ladders outside, then into the Timekeeper’s area.
Harper sets up a tall ladder and begins to climb but Ziggler manages to
run in and knock the ladder over. Harper lands on his feet and boots
Ziggler’s head off his shoulders. Ziggler rolls out and Harper follows
him, attempting a powerbomb into a ladder outside. Ziggler evades this
and rushes at Harper who just slams him into the cement. Harper rolls
back into the ring and sets up another ladder but Ziggler pulls him off
again. Harper just tosses him across the ring and drops a ladder on his
face. He picks Ziggler up and puts him in the corner, then just slams
him with a ladder. Ziggler manages to get up to the top turnbuckle with a
ladder on a comeback but Harper just uses the ladder to knock him
ouside. Then he press slams a ladder at Ziggler’s face. Harper tries a
Suicide Dive but collides with a ladder that Ziggler has set up. Ziggler
rushes inside and sets up a tall ladder. He gets his hands on the belt
but Harper grabs him, Ziggler kicks him away and NEARLY grabs the belt
but Harper gets up and knocks the ladder over, sending Ziggler into the
buckle.
Ziggler
gets to his feet. Harper goes for a Powerbomb but Ziggler counters it,
only to get Powerbombed into a ladder anyhow. Harper slingshots Ziggler
into a rope, smashing his body against a ladder and the abuse continues.
Ziggler is busted open as he rolls outside and doctors check on him.
Inside the ring, Harper sets up another ladder and climbs. Ziggler
suddenly gets up and rushes to Harper, managing to knock the ladder off.
The two men fall but Ziggler gets the worst of it. Harper gets another
ladder. Ziggler grabs it so Harper goes for a Powerbomb. Ziggler
counters with a Facebuster and climbs. Harper pulls him off and Ziggler
falls, hitting a DDT on the way down. Harper gets to his feet and grabs a
ladder and clocks Ziggler in the face. He swings at Ziggler again but
Dolph ducks and hits a Superkick, then knocks Harper off the mat to the
outside area. Ziggler gets to his feet and climbs the ladder. Harper
gets up and shoves the ladder. Ziggler takes a NASTY fall, landing on
his shoulder. The fans chant “THIS IS AWESOME” as Harper sets up the
ladder again. Ziggler gets to his feet and swings across the ring with a
ladder, knocking Harper down and grabbing the ladder. He climbs…but
Harper grabs him. He kicks Harper away. Harper sets up a ladder next to
Ziggler — but Ziggler Superkicks Harper off his ladder! He grabs the
belt! Ziggler’s the new champ!
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Dolph Ziggler
RATING: ***1/4. This was pretty good stuff.
We get an ad for Florida Georgia Line at WWE Salute to the Troops, both of which we must all enjoy or the terrorists win.
MATCH
#2: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (challengers) vs. The Miz & Damien
Miz-dow (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Jey
starts with Miz and there’s about 72 counter spots until Jey hits an
armdrag. Jimmy tags in but Miz escapes. After re-entering the ring,
Jimmy is all over Miz, punching at him after a press and chopping at
him. Tag to Jey. They hit a Double Suplex and Miz-dow imitates that.
Then he imitates getting tosses from the ring like The Miz. Naomi
watches from the back as the action goes back into the ring. Miz hits a
DDT as the crowd chants for Miz-dow. Jey pulls Miz into a roll-up pin as
Miz and Miz-dow argue about who should be in the ring. Two count. Miz
puts Jey into a headlock but Jey escapes and hits an Enzuguri. Hot tag
to Jimmy who clotheslines Miz, hits a kick and Samoan Drop. Miz-dow
continues to imitate Miz. Jimmy hits a Rikishi on Miz and goes for one
on Miz-dow who escapes. Miz comes out of the corner and boots Jimmy to
the mat. Jimmy counters and nearly gets a pin but Miz-dow finally
interferes. All hell breaks loose with Jimmy going for a Superfly Splash
which doesn’t happen because Miz escapes the ring, grabs his titles and
starts to leave. Jimmy hits Uso Crazy on Miz-dow, but Miz clocks Jimmy
after that. 
WINNERS: The Usos via DQ.
STILL CHAMPIONS: The Miz’s
RATING:
DUD. Shit from top to bottom. A played-out gimmick, sloppy wrestling,
clunky coreography…this was bad. Miz-dow doesn’t even wrestle anymore.
This is really pathetic.
Byron
has Rollins backstage with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. He says that
the Authority isn’t around because of “The Vigilante Known as Sting”
which is his name now, I guess. He says that, tonight, he’s gonna end
all of Cena’s dreams.
Cole
gives us an “Anatomy of the Stairs” analysis which includes interesting
facts like, “The steps are 275 pounds” and “they can withstand 2200 lbs
of pressure” which totally matters in a match like this.
MATCH #3: Big Show vs. Erick Rowan in a Stairs Match
Rowan
is all over Show, splashing him in the corner and hitting a nice high
spinning kick. Show exits the ring. Rowan follows and gets kneed in the
stomach and slammed. He whips Rowan in the stairs and, yay. Stairs. He
rolls Rowan back into the ring, grabs some steel stairs and climbs to
the mat. Rowan dropkicks the stairs into Show’s face and clocks him
after exiting the ring. Rowan starts throwing stairs everywhere and
kicks Show in the ribs. He picks up some stairs and stacks them
vertically, aligning them like a wall. Show grabs him and tosses him
into the ringpost. He puts Rowan on the mat and slaps his chest, then
tosses him into the timekeeper’s pit. Show picks up some steel steps and
tosses it on the announce desk much to Cole’s surprise. Rowan gets up
and starts slugging away but Show knocks him down and uses some stairs
to nail him in the stomach. Show puts more stairs in the ring and then
rolls Rowan in.
Once
in the ring, Show just nails Rowan in the back with some steps and sets
up the steps underneath the top buckle, throwing Rowan into them. He
does it even harder the second time, then clotheslines Rowan for good
measure. He goes for a Chokeslam but Rowan fights out. Rowan lifts Show
up and slams him on the stairs. Rowan goes for the top portion of the
stairs and goes to the second buckle and just misses Show. Rowan rolls
out of the ring. Show follows and knocks him through the wall of stairs
Rowan set up earlier. Back in the ring, Show lifts up some stairs but
Rowan boots them into Show’s face. Rowan rushes at Show who counters and
Chokeslams him into the stairs, then hits the KO Punch and pins Rowan
under the curve of the stairs.
WINNER: Big Show
RATING: **. Big and clunky with a pointless weapon. And why can’t Big Show job to put the new guy over?
We get a commercial for the return of Total Divas.
We get the build-up for Cena/Rollins.
Paul Heyman comes down to the ring so you know this finish isn’t gonna be clean.
MATCH
#4: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. John Cena in a
Tables Match (If John Cena loses, he is no longer the #1 Contender for
the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Brawl
to start, culminating in a bulldog by Cena. Security distracts Cena and
Rollins takes over, stomping at Cena in the corner. Cena comes back
with a clothesline. He goes under the mat for a table as Rollins’
security force looks on. Mercury and Noble pull the table away from Cena
once he gets back into the ring. Rollins beats up on Cena and goes for a
table under the ring but Cena nails him. The table ends up in the ring.
Security goes to get it but Cena pushes them into the crowd wall using
the table. Rollins attacks Cena and sets the table on the top buckle.
Noble and Mercury come in and pull the table off which makes no sense,
but we move on. Rollins attacks Cena and hits a DDT. Rollins goes for a
table under the ring and it doesn’t get stolen, so I guess that’s
progress. Rollins stomps Cena in the corner. He sets the table up in the
corner and tries to whip Cena into it. Cena baseball slides and hits
Moves 1 through 4. He goes for the AA but Security comes in and it’s a
3-on-1 mudhole stomp. Ref does nothing. They set Cena up for a Table
Bomb but Cena kicks Rollins and fights off Security, then just beats the
hell out of Noble. He grabs a crowd gate and knocks down all three men
near the entrance ramp.
Cena
suplexes Noble on the crowd gate and Rollins immediately attacks.
Mercury takes over, punching at Cena, tossing his head into some chairs,
then tossing him into the ringpost. They go to smash Cena with a table
but Cena moves. Cena grabs Mercury and tosses him into the Timekeeper’s
Pit with an AA. Rollins goes after Cena and whips him into the crowd
barrier. He puts a table up outside and then grabs another table,
propping it next to the one he just set up. Cena is inside the ring.
Rollins goes for a Suplex to the outside but Cena reverses it. The two
exchange shots and both exchange counters until Rollins hits a Reverse
Inverted Suplex. Rollins tries to toss Cena into the corner table but
Cena whips Rollins up and over the top rope to the outside. He slides a
table into the ring and goes after Rollins who clocks Cena with the
briefcase. Cena rolls into the ring and Rollins just clocks him again
and again.
Rollins
raises the case in victory, then tosses it aside. Rollins sets up
another table and he tells Cena “Your time is up, my time is now.” Cena
gets up and grabs him for an AA. Rollins blocks it and the ref takes a
bump. Rollins ends up clocking Cena, who falls, face-first on the table.
Rollins sets up for the Curb Stomp but Cena gets up and AA’s Rollins
through the table…but the ref is still out. Suddenly, Noble and
Mercury miraculously wake up and the same time and run into the ring,
attack Cena, get rid of the broken table for some reason, and then try
to help Rollins win the match with another Table Bomb. Cena fights out,
knocks Rollins out of the ring and AA’s the Security through the table.
Rollins comes in and attacks and both men end up going through the
tables outside. The bell rings and two other refs who were absent during the first ref bump
fly into the ring to confer. One of the refs calls Cena the winner while the other ref somehow
calls Rollins the winner, which should make no sense to anybody, sober, crazy, drunk or high. Chiota restarts the match and Cena AA’s Rollins
into the Announce Table. It doesn’t break. Cena gets into the ring and
here comes Big Show who nails Cena and calls for a Chokeslam…but Roman
Reigns’ music hits and he comes out of the crowd, hits the Superman
Punch on Show, Spears him through the table, Superman Punches Rollins
and Cena finishes it by AA’ing Rollins through a table.
WINNER: John Cena
RATING:
***3/4. Overbooking killed a lot of it. Big Show really has nothing to do
with any of this anymore and Reigns should have been the only one making
an appearance.
We get an ad for the Royal Rumble on January 25th.
AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE: Cena faces Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
ON THE KICK-OFF SHOW: New Day beat The Dusts.
Renee and her lisp is back at the WWE News Desk.
Byron
has the Bella Bewbz backstage. Nikki’s sick of talking about AJ. Brie
says that they’ve had their problems…but blood is thicker than water.
Here comes the face turn…
MATCH #5: AJ Lee (challenger) vs. Nikki Bella (champion) (w/ Brie Bella) for the WWE Divas Championship
AJ
hits a Hurricarana, whipping Nikki out of the ring. AJ attacks. Brie
tries to help but AJ ducks and attacks Nikki, sending her into the ring.
AJ corners Nikki who comes back, slamming AJ to the mat and hitting a
backbreaker. Two count. Nikki hits a quick suplex and then chokes AJ
against the ringpost. She puts a Surfboard on AJ, who fights out. Nikki
just whips her to the mat. She locks AJ’s chin but AJ gets to her feet
again. Nikki tries a whip but AJ counters into an Octopus and attempts
the Widow. Nikki rams her into the corner buckle to break it. Both Divas
rush at one another and clothesline each other. AJ gets to her feet and
splashes Nikki in the corner. She hits a Tornado DDT off the buckle as
Brie yells “C’MON NIKKI” until she’s blue in the face. Nikki hits a
dropkick off the buckle and gets two. Nikki sets up for a falling
facebreaker but AJ counters with a standing bulldog for two. AJ hits the
Shining Wizard and gets two because Brie puts Nikki’s foot on the rope.
The ref ejects Brie from ringside. On the distraction, Nikki sprays
something in AJ’s eyes and hits the Rack Attack and we’re done.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: **. What was the point of tossing Brie?
Todd
Phillips has Roman Reigns backstage. He says he’d be back and he’d make
an impact. He took out Big Show and punched Seth Rollins in the mouth.
At the Royal Rumble: he’ll do damage this year.
MATCH #6: Kane vs. Ryback in a Chairs Match
Kane
and Ryback grab a chair each and smack them together. Both chairs fall
and it’s a quick brawl. Kane grabs a chair and whacks Ryback with it. He
props a chair between the buckles but ends up taking the hit on a
reversal on the whip. Ryback hits a forearm and press, then hits a
Splash. He hits a Bulldog Powerslam and goes to the second buckle,
hitting three consecutive body splashes. He grabs a chair and just
destroys Kane with it. He puts a chair on top of Kane and goes for
another splash but Kane lifts the chair up and Ryback hits that instead.
Kane whacks Ryback with the chair and sets it on the top buckle, then
nails him with Snake Eyes. Kane picks up another chair and just whacks
Ryback with it again. Kane goes for a suplex. Ryback reverses but Kane
blocks it. Kane hits a running DDT into the chair for two. Kane goes to
nail Ryback with a chair but Ryback kicks the chair into Kane’s face. He
goes for an axehandle off the buckle but Kane uppercuts him. Two count.
Kane sets up a chair but Ryback fights back. Kane uppercuts him and
then boots Ryback into the chair, which falls over. Kane splashes Ryback
in the corner, then tries again but Ryback hits a belly to belly.
Ryback grabs a chair but Kane just kicks the chair into Ryback’s face.
He takes the chair and hits a half dozen chair shots, then goes outside
and tosses six chairs into the ring. He sets the chairs up the way he
wants and goes for a Chokeslam. Ryback counters and hits a Spinebuster
into the chairs which just doesn’t look as painful as it was intended
because Ryback botched the landing. Ryback hits about 6 or 7 chair shots
and goes for the Meat Hook Clothesline but Kane just throws a 97 MPH
fastball of a chair into Ryback’s face. He hits a Chokeslam from Hell
and NEARLY gets a fall. He calls for a Tombstone but Ryback counters
with a Meathook. He goes for Shellshock and hits it for the win.
WINNER: Ryback via Shellshock
RATING: **. Just by-the-numbers. The use of chairs and stairs is really superfluous.
WWE Week starts tomorrow on USA.
JBL’s excited about WWE Week and says that Y2J will be the host of RAW tomorrow, calling him “Y2-Jizzle”. (DANIELLE: “Oh…are you sure you wanna use that now or ever again?”)
MATCH #7: Rusev (challenger) (w/ Lana) vs. Jack Swagger (champion) for the WWE United States Championship 
Quick
brawl and Swagger barely slams Rusev. Rusev’s ankle is bad and he won’t
let Swagger near it. Swagger chases him into the ring, splashes him,
boots him, then celebrates. He goes for the Swagger Bomb but misses.
Rusev goes for a Superkick but Swagger grabs it and hits the Patriot
Lock. Rusev counters it and hits an Accolade. Swagger breaks it the
first time but Rusev locks it again and we’re do–…wait. Swagger gets
to his knees and fights out of it. He gets to his feet, then counters
into the Patriot Lock. Rusev screams, then kicks Swagger in the face. He
rolls out of the ring, to the floor. Swagger chases and Rusev hits a
Superkick. Rusev gets into the ring. Swagger beats the count at nine,
then enters the ring and gets a Superkick and another Accolade. 
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: #RUSEVWINSLOL
RATING:
DUD. Really? A month of build-up for a second Swagger run and another glorified squash is all we get?
How many more matches is Rusev the Overrated gonna win?
We get the Rollins/Wyatt build-up…this match is going to be about 25 minutes if the 7:45 stop time holds.
MATCH #8: Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match
The
lights come back on, Wyatt sets his lantern down — and Ambrose just
throws a ladder at him, knocking him down. It’s a brawl to the entrance
ramp. Ambrose throws his head into the table and then chases him to the
announce table, hitting a Suicide Dive from the ring mat. Wyatt ends up
in the time keeper’s pit. Ambrose runs across the table and hits a
forearm. They fight into the crowd all the way to Lisp Central where
Alex Riley is sitting. They brawl to the ring again and Ambrose grabs a
chair, whacking Wyatt in the back. He tosses more chairs into the ring
and starts headbutting Wyatt. He sets up a table outside, then grabs
some Kendo Sticks. Wyatt is on his hands and knees, staring at Ambrose.
He tells Ambrose to hit him — then goes for a chair but Ambrose just
nails him in the head and back. He picks up a chair and hits a Flying
Chair Splash on Wyatt. He sets up another chair, then grabs Wyatt,
choking him with the Kendo Stick, then grinds it into his neck. Ambrose
goes top rope but Wyatt gets up and knocks him off the top, into the
table outside.
Wyatt
tosses him into the ring and hits him with a Kendo Stick, then tosses
him, face first, into another Kendo Stick. He beats on Ambrose some
more, then goes outside and gets a ladder. He comes back into the ring,
nails Ambrose with a chair, hits an uppercut and Ambrose lands on the
ladder. Wyatt hits the Reverse Senton and starts trying to choke Ambrose
with the Kendo again. Ambrose gets up so Wyatt clocks him and sends him
flying into the ladder. He tells Ambrose that he asked for this. He
tries another ladder splash but Ambrose moves out of the way. The two
trade punches and Ambrose sends Wyatt into the ladder and splashes him,
then hits a Bulldog. Ambrose props a ladder on the top rope and goes up
top, nailing Wyatt from above and getting two.
Wyatt
leaves the ring but Ambrose grabs a chair, hits him in the stomach and
dropkicks him. Wyatt is left hanging on the second rope and hits a
legdrop, putting Wyatt’s head into the chair for two. Both men get to
their feet. Wyatt tries Sister Abigail but Ambrose counters and runs
into the ropes. Wyatt hits a HUGE clothesline and NEARLY gets a fall.
Wyatt rolls out of the ring. Ambrose follows. Wyatt tosses Ambrose back
in. Ambrose rolls right back out and hits the Comeback Clothesline. It’s
another brawl as Ambrose grabs a couple of chairs, tossing them to the
floor. He sets up a table as the two men brawl. Ambrose places Wyatt on
the table and climbs a ladder, dropping an elbow on Wyatt, breaking the
table. The crowd nearest to them chants “HOLY SHIT”. The rest of crowd
is kinda apathetic. Ambrose grabs Bray again and grabs another table,
setting it up and placing Bray on it. He climbs another ladder, hitting
another elbow smash through the table.
The
crowd chants, “ONE MORE TIME” as Ambrose gets to his feet. He lifts
Bray up and drags him to the ring. Ambrose grabs a rib and goes into the
ring…and runs right into a #SisterAbigailOutofNowhere. Bray nearly
gets a fall. Bray does the Hanging Spider and goes for Sister Abigail
which Ambrose counters with a roll-up. Bray kicks out and rushes Ambrose
who side-steps, sending Bray, head-first, into a chair. Ambrose hits
Dirty Deeds but Wyatt kicks out! Wyatt rolls outside and Ambrose
follows, laughing crazily and grabbing more chairs. Then he pulls out an
LED monitor that is fully functioning. Ambrose laughs his ass off and
goes to the aisle to grab an extra tall ladder. Bray is still
unconscious as Ambrose lugs the ladder and sets it up near the announce
table. He tells Marcelo and Carlos to leave the table so they don’t get
heard and starts taking their table apart.
Ambrose
goes for Bray who gets up and whacks Ambrose with a chair. He headbutts
Ambrose and sets the chair up under his chin but Ambrose blocks and
reverses and sends Wyatt into the chair with the stairs instead. He puts
Wyatt on the table, climbs the tall ladder and hits a HUGE Flying Elbow
into the announce table. Crowd chants “THIS IS AWESOME”. He pushes Bray
back into the ring after getting to his feet. He picks up the monitor
but the TV won’t reach across the ring due to the power cable being too short. He pulls on the TV even harder and it sparks and
explodes in his face like a product from the ACME Company. Ambrose is
blinded, can’t see and walks right into Sister Abigail. Wyatt wins.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING:
**1/2. Needlessly long and mostly dull, save for the big elbow shot
near the end. The TV exploding was completely silly. I can’t decide
which one is worse: the exploding TV or the Wyatt Hologram.
Bray celebrates as we go off the air.
OVERALL:
**. This was a mixture of pointless weapons matches. The only one that
worked had the benefit of good storytelling and surprises.

Er, that’s it.

Andy PG will rant on RAW tomorrow, I’m back Tuesday with Main Event, Bayless and Scott have the retro programming as well as NXT and Tommy Hall will bring you WCW Thunder and Smackdown on Friday.

We are at We Hate Your Gimmick (http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com) so be sure to visit us!

Smackdown – December 12, 2014

Smackdown
Date:
December 12, 2014
Location:
Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the go home show for TLC and I’m actually looking forward to the
show. Granted it’s nowhere near as much as I was looking forward to
Takeover last night but that’s not a fair comparison. I’m sure the
main event will be yet another tag match with people from the
Survivor Series main event involved because Heaven forbid we ask the
writers to come up with ANYTHING else. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of the end of Raw with the latest huge brawl.
These things are really running together. Also do the recaps really
need to go on for three minutes?
Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Cena to open things up but Rollins interrupts him after just a few
seconds. Rollins
says Cena is in this spot because he’s done exactly what he’s
promised to do over the last ten years. That all ends on Sunday
though because Rollins will set the new standard of doing everything
he says he’ll do. The future may have to go through Cena, but there
is no future without Seth Rollins. You
might even say that Cena’s
time is up and Rollins’ time is now.
Cena
says this is the day that Rollins has become a man, because he
doesn’t see the Shield or Authority around him. Instead Cena sees a
proud man standing on his own for the first time. That’s exactly
what Cena want too, because Monday morning, Seth is going to have to
look in the mirror and say he isn’t ready. The future isn’t Sunday,
next week or next year. The future is now because John Cena is here.

Seth
says Cena keeps talking about the future like it’s some far off
concept, but it’s been here since Rollins set foot in WWE and
everything leads to this Sunday. At TLC, Seth isn’t just taking away
Cena’s chance at being champion again. Sunday is the beginning of
the end of John Cena. A Cena chant starts up but Seth shouts it
down, saying Cena becomes a memory after TLC with the rise of the new
standard bearer, Seth Rollins.
Cena
calls Rollins a fool but if Rollins wants to talk like a man, he
needs to listen up. This is Cena’s life and if Seth thinks he’s
getting rid of Cena, he can line up with all the other people that
have said those same things. Rollins can stand with Rene Dupree,
HHH, Orlando Jordan and the Rock, because Cena has survived them all.
REALLY good exchange here, but I don’t buy Rollins having a chance
on Sunday because we have to get to Lesnar vs. Cena III, even though
the interest doesn’t seem to be there.
The
main event is Rowan/Ryback/Ziggler vs. Harper/Show/Kane. Of course
it is.
The
Ascension is coming. It’s about time.
Usos
vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd
Miz/Mizdow
are on commentary and
Mizdow has a mini-Slammy. Before
the match, Kidd and Cesaro say they’re ready to grab the brass ring
like Vince told them to. That line is sounding more and more like a
plot device every week. Jimmy
and Kidd get things going as Naomi is watching in the back. Off to
Jey for a top rope elbow to the arm but Tyson drives him into the
corner for some shoulders from Cesaro.
Jey
loses his shirt but drives Cesaro into the corner for a tag off to
his brother. That’s
fine with Cesaro who slams Jimmy down for two and slaps on the
chinlock. Back
up and a dropkick puts Cesaro on the floor, setting up the big dive
from Jimmy. Kidd
gets in a kick from the apron as Miz gets a call from his agent.
Apparently
it’s about Naomi so Miz leaves to talk to her. We
take a break and come back with Jimmy fighting out of a chinlock,
only to get caught in an overhead belly to belly for two.
Kidd
comes in for a chinlock of his own but he misses a legdrop on the
apron. It’s
still not enough for a hot tag though as Cesaro kicks Jey to
the floor. There’s the Swing but Kidd dropkicks Jimmy out of the air
in a painful looking spot. Cesaro
misses a charge into the post though and an enziguri finally allows
the tag to Jey. House
is cleaned with the Samoan drop and running Umaga attack but
everything breaks down. Jey superkicks Cesaro’s head off and the
Superfly Splash is enough for the pin at 11:53.
Rating:
C+.
This was better than I was expecting with Kidd and Cesaro working
well enough together. The division is in need of some fresh teams so
why not have two guys that are ready to move up to the next level?
If nothing else that swing into the dropkick is a great spot and
could be a solid finisher.
Miz/Mizdow
are in the back with Naomi and suggest that she split time between
Hollywood and WWE. Naomi gives a badly scripted response about how
she knows what Miz is up to, but Miz says his agent wants to keep
this going. He talked the agent off the ledge but the agent doesn’t
want to work with someone with such a jealous husband. Naomi
needs to sort Jimmy out and soon.
After
a break, Naomi runs into the Usos and goes off on Jimmy for not
having her back. She leaves and Jey says let her cool off. Jimmy
knew this was going to happen and
yells about how Miz is messing with them. Jey says Jimmy has two
days to get his head right because this is exactly what Miz wants.
Video
on Cena vs. Lesnar which transitions into Cena vs. Rollins.
Bray
Wyatt says he offered Ambrose a path to salvation but Dean turned him
down. This is no longer about what could have been but now it’s
about what will be. In two thousand years, people will still be
talking about the things Wyatt will do to Dean this Sunday. Run.
Alicia
Fox vs. Nikki Bella
Non-title
and
AJ is on commentary with her Slammy in her arms like a baby. Fox
nails a quick dropkick to start and works on an armbar. JBL
and Cole debate the differences between the Women’s Title and Divas
Title as Fox charges into a knee in the corner. Back
in and AJ says Nikki is like the head cheerleader from an 80s movie.
A
hammerlock slam gets two for Nikki and she cranks on both arms with a
knee in the back. Fox
fights up again but misses a boot in the corner, earning her a
forearm to the jaw. The Rack Attack is good for the pin at 4:16.
Rating:
C-.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but the current Divas story is
growing on me. It’s amazing how much easier these things are to sit
through when I don’t have to listen to the Bellas talking about how
hard they’ve worked and had to fight to get here. Nikki is actually
getting better in the ring and can have a passable match and the idea
of AJ fighting the Bellas is a good enough story. Well assuming you
ignore Brie just siding with her sister again after all those months
of fighting.
Nikki
Racks Fox again while talking trash to AJ.
We
recap the Slammy winners from Monday.
Big
E. vs. Goldust
Goldust
takes over to start with a powerslam and DDT for two each. Big E.
comes back with a clothesline and belly to belly, only to charge into
a spinebuster for another near fall. The Big Ending is escaped and
Big E. charges into a knee. Not that it matters as Big E. pops up
and hits the Big Ending for the pin at 2:15.
We
look at Reigns winning Superstar of the Year.
Jack
Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil
Swagger
drives him into the corner to start and knocks Titus outside, only to
be sent shoulder first into the post for two. Titus hammers away and
kicks Jack’s head off before choking on the ropes. A
slam doesn’t work though as Jack rolls over into the Patriot Lock for
the submission at 2:24.
Rusev
and Lana interrupt We The People and pose with the title.
Video
on Ambrose vs. Wyatt’s TLC match. I really hope they go insane with
it to give this the blowoff it deserves.
Dean
is sitting under a ladder in the back. He’s heard Bray Wyatt talk
about them like they’re viking warriors but Dean is just a gutter rat
or a dog that loves to fight. The two of them weren’t meant to rule
together but to beat each other to pieces forever. This Sunday, when
Dean has Bray’s whole world in his hands, he’s going to crush it.
Big
Show/Kane/Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler/Erick Rowan/Ryback
All
the weapons are set up around the ring of course. Kane
and Ziggler get things going with a dropkick and cross body putting
the big man down. Off to Rowan for a big slam as we take an early
break. Back
with Rowan hammering Show down against the ropes and out to the
floor. Erick
misses a charge into the post though and Show stands on his back.
Kane comes in and hammers away again before it’s off to Harper for a
chinlock.
That
goes nowhere so Kane comes in for a double clothesline to put both
guys down. The
hot tag brings in Ziggler to clean house, including countering Kane’s
powerbomb into a faceplant for two. Kane
never liked Kidman though so he kicks Dolph’s head off for two as we
take another break. Back again with Ziggler fighting back on Harper
but getting catapulted into the middle rope for two.
The
canned chants want Ryback as Kane charges into a boot in the corner
but Big Show breaks up the tag. Ziggler dropkicks the big man’s knee
out and counters the chokeslam into a sleeper instead
of, you know, tagging. Show
easily escapes and hits the chokeslam for two. The KO Punch misses
and Ziggler hits a Zig Zag out of nowhere. Dolph
finally tags Ryback to clean house as everything breaks down. Show
runs over Rowan on the floor and Ryback Meathooks Luke. There’s the
Shell Shock for the pin at 17:08.
Rating:
C.
OF COURSE THEY HAD HARPER TAKE THE PIN! Of
course they did. I mean, we can’t have Big Show and Kane, who are
almost NINETY YEARS OLD combined job to Ryback so let’s just have the
Intercontinental Champion do it instead. I know I harp on this every
week but I really want an answer. Why in the world are Big Show and
Kane immune from taking a fall?
Harper
may be the current Intercontinental Champion and he has a bright
future in front of him. On the other hand we have two former World
Champions who have been around for about thirty five years combined
ans neither of them can job to Ryback? This happens week to week
with all the young guys taking falls because we have to protect these
two? I really do want an answer to this because it’s one of the most
maddening things going on in WWE right now.
Post
match the weapons are brought in and Dolph dives off the ladder to
knock down all three giants on the floor to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-.
Standard issue Smackdown here although with a good exchange from
Rollins and Cena. That being said, I have no reason to believe Seth
has a chance on Sunday which kind of defeats the purpose. That’s the
problem with some of their long term stuff: they’ve locked in Lesnar
vs. Cena and nothing that happens between now and then matters.
The
rest of the show was your usual stuff, but man alive I’m sick of
these same people fighting. We’ve seen it for over a month now and
hopefully it ends after Sunday. These writers come up with one idea
every few months and then ride it out until there’s nothing left to
get out of it. This whole company needs a shakeup and something
fresh, which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.
Results
Usos
b. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd – Superfly Splash to Cesaro
Nikki
Bella b. Alicia Fox – Rack Attack
Big
E. b. Goldust – Big Ending
Jack
Swagger b. Titus O’Neil – Patriot Lock
Ryback/Dolph
Ziggler/Erick Rowan b. Big Show/Kane/Luke Harper – Shell Shock to
Harper
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