Smackdown – June 25, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
June 25, 2015
Location:
Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Commentators:
Jimmy Uso, Jerry Lawler, Tom Phillips
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Well
Lesnar is back and a full on hero now, complete with a knee injury
and Kane attacking him. We’re still a few weeks away from
Battleground though and Seth Rollins needs something to do before he
has to face the Beast. Other than that we have Bray Wyatt being
creepy about Roman Reigns’ daughter. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Lesnar and Heyman promising to hurt Rollins on
Monday, followed by Rollins trying to get the Authority to help him
again. This led to the team reforming for no obvious reason and
Lesnar being beaten down to end Raw.
Here
are Rollins, Kane and Joey Mercury (Jamie Noble was injured at the
end of Raw as Brock rammed him into the barricade) to open things up.
What an odd looking trio. The band is back together and they took a
little road trip to Suplex City on Monday, but they burned it to the
ground. Good line.
Things
change in this business, such as Rollins going from a member of the
Shield to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in just about a year.
Here he is now with a genius like Joey Mercury (the grin on his face
from that line is awesome), but unfortunately they’re missing a
member of their family due to Noble having three broken ribs from
Lesnar ramming him into the barricade. Tonight’s show is dedicated
to Jamie, who would want the Authority to celebrate.
No
one in the Authority has more to celebrate than Kane, who got to beat
up both Lesnar and Dean Ambrose on Monday because he is forever the
Devil’s Favorite Demon. Off to a completely different subject, Kane
blames Ryback for Big Show not being here tonight. After a clip of
Ryback laying Big Show out, here’s Ryback himself. He defends his
actions but Rollins criticizes him for not acting as a champion is
supposed to. Ryback calls Rollins a sellout, earning himself a match
with Kane tonight. That’s some punishment.
The
music plays but Rollins says cut it. He’s sick of the lack of
respect he’s receiving as World Champion, so Kane can take care of
Ryback tonight. Rollins isn’t happy with Dean Ambrose though, as
Ambrose is still walking. Let’s remedy that tonight with a one on
one match tonight. Ambrose will learn that the Authority always
wins.
Sheamus
vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler
knocks him to the floor with an early dropkick but here comes Rusev.
He begs Lana to come back to him because he’ll “kiss her the right
way.” Lana, with her hair down in a ponytail, walks towards the
ring, as the match just stopped so Rusev could talk. A big knee puts
Ziggler on the floor and we take a break.
Back
with Ziggler in a chinlock before Sheamus takes his sweet time going
to the top, allowing Dolph to run the ropes for a faceplant. A
superkick is blocked but Ziggler is able to crawl over Sheamus into a
sunset flip for two. Back up and the superkick connects this time
(Uso: “SUPERKICK PARTY!”) for two, followed by a sleeper from
Ziggler. Sheamus shrugs it off and puts Ziggler on the top rope,
setting up the Brogue Kick for the pin at 9:26.
Rating:
C. Run of the mill match
between these two but it’s nice to see Sheamus racking up some wins
like this. They’re actually treating him as something important
instead of just letting him lose all the time so he can hold up the
briefcase and beg us to believe that he still matters.
Rusev
freaks out in the back until Summer Rae comes up and tells him that
Lana isn’t worth it.
Here’s
a clip of Rollins breaking up the Shield last year.
Alicia
Fox vs. Naomi
Fox
has the Bellas with her and
remember that Jimmy is married to Naomi. Alicia
gets kicked in the head and taken down with a nice hurricanrana,
followed by a legdrop for two. They
fall out to the floor with Naomi yelling at the Bellas, allowing
Tamina to superkick both of them. Back in and Fox hits her reverse
Fameasser for the pin at 3:10.
Rating:
D. This was just a way to set
up I’m assuming Naomi as Paige’s new partner against the Bellas,
which is about as uninteresting an idea as you could have. The match
was your standard Divas fair: no time to go anywhere and too much
other than the wrestling being packed into just a few minutes.
Recap
of Cena vs. Owens, including everything that happened on Monday.
New
Day says you can’t live a positive life if you focus on the
individual losses. They’ll overcome all of their trials and
tribulations at Battleground, but here are the Prime Time Players to
interrupt and do their version of the clap. They
laugh at the idea that New Day will be down a man at Battleground but
here’s Bo Dallas for a pretty obvious pairing. Dallas has been
allowed to join the New Day against the Players and any two other
partners. New Day likes him but Dallas can’t get the clap down.
This has potential to be funny stuff.
Kane
vs. Ryback
Non-title.
Not so fast though as Big
Show attacks Ryback during his entrance and
beats on him for a very long time. Show
chops him, kicks him, whips him into the barricade, steps on his
throat, and finally throws him in for the match against Kane.
Somehow this is totally
fine and the bell rings with
Kane quickly covering for two. Ryback tries some shoulders in the
corner but gets stomped back down with ease. Kane
is sent shoulder first into the post and the Meat Hook connects, only
to have Big Show come in for the DQ at 2:25.
Ryback
gets beaten down and chokeslammed a few times but keeps trying to
pull himself up. I like the
idea they’re going for here, but it still ends with Big Show and Kane
dominating, just like they have for over fifteen years now.
Clip
of Rollins vs. Ambrose from Elimination Chamber.
Recap
of this week’s Tough Enough.
New
Day/Bo Dallas vs. Lucha Dragons/Prime Time Players
Kofi
and Titus get things going with
O’Neil hitting some very loud chops in the corner. It’s
off to Young who doesn’t do as well, with Kofi driving him into the
corner for a tag to Dallas. I miss Jesse Ventura criticizing teams
for tagging their normal partners and praising heels for tagging
anyone on their team. Darren
headlocks Bo to the mat but the threat of a Gutcheck has the heels on
the floor as we take a break.
Back
with Kofi dancing a bit before diving into a Sin Cara dropkick for
two. Woods has some better luck by stomping away, followed by all
three of his partners getting turns. It always amuses me to see
someone get stomped about forty times total and just stagger to their
feet. Off to Big E. for his abdominal stretch before
handing it off to Kofi for a superbomb, only to be countered into a
hurricanrana. The hot tag
brings in Kalisto for his hurricanrana DDT to Woods but everything
breaks down. It’s down to
Kalisto vs. Woods again with the masked man hitting a handspring kick
to the head and a springboard 450 for the pin at 10:30.
Rating:
C. This was fine with the New
Day losing again, though I’m not sure if I want to see them get a
title shot after all these losses. That being said, you also don’t
want to have the champions lose so soon after winning the titles. In
other words, it would have made sense here to have New Day just beat
Lucha Dragons in a regular match, but why do that when you can have
something like this?
Ambrose
tells Reigns to not worry about Bray Wyatt because they can look
through every inch of this building until they find him. Dean:
“Cincinnati style!” Roman: “We’re not even in Cincinnati.”
Reigns says he’ll take care of Wyatt at Battleground and he’ll have
his back out there tonight. Dean leaves and Reigns finds a picture
of himself in his jacket with the words ANYONE BUT YOU written in
red.
After
a break, Reigns searches for Wyatt but finds Kane instead.
Kane won’t tolerate Reigns yelling at a production guy so he’s
banned from the building tonight. Reigns was far more interesting
here due to having something personal to deal with and I’m digging
this feud a lot.
Dean
Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Non-title.
Dean starts with some armdrags into an armbar, followed by a
clothesline to put Rollins on the floor. Back from a break with
Rollins starting to go after the knee. Rollins
puts on a complicated leg lock with Ambrose on his stomach but Seth
laying like he’s putting on a Figure Four. Either way Dean makes the
ropes and Rollins is way too cocky. He’s cocky enough to take
forever getting to the top, allowing
Dean to slam him down for a breather.
The
tornado DDT is countered so Dean settles for a swinging neckbreaker
instead. Dean gets all
fired up but opts for a suicide dive to take out Kane instead. Back
in and the standing elbow looks to finish but Mercury offers a
distraction to earn his
paycheck for the night. Scratch that actually as the look he gave
earlier was more than worth it.
A DDT gets two on Seth but Dean can’t follow up. The
rebound clothesline is countered into a buckle bomb which is
countered into a hurricanrana to put them both on the floor. Dean
dives on everyone but gets distracted again, allowing Rollins to
Pedigree him for the pin at 13:03.
Rating:
B-. They
accomplished the goal of showing that the reunited Authority is
capable of beating anyone on the roster, but Lesnar isn’t exactly the
same as a guy that Rollins has drawn about even with over the last
few weeks. That’s the problem here: they’ve done this match so many
times recently that they’re running the risk of taking away its
effectiveness. Reigns not being there to help Ambrose could lead
somewhere, but I really, really hope it’s not to an Ambrose heel
turn.
Overall
Rating:
C. This was a totally
fine show and the best part was it flew by. The show never dragged
like so many Smackdowns have done over the last few years, but at
least they had some decent matches and advanced a few stories, even
though we’re not likely to see those advancements until Monday.
Totally acceptable show here but as usual, it’s nothing you need to
see.
Results
Sheamus
b. Dolph Ziggler – Brogue Kick
Alicia
Fox b. Naomi – Reverse Fameasser
Ryback
b. Kane via DQ when Big Show interfered
Lucha
Dragons/Prime Time Players b. New Day/Bo Dallas – Springfield 450
to Woods
Seth
Rollins b. Dean Ambrose – Pedigree
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

ROH TV June 24th 2015

This week’s ROH was taped last month at Global wars, meaning that it reflects none of the results from this past Friday’s PPV–normally I’d mock them mercilessly for this amateur hour move but ROH was FUCKING AWESOME this week, so they get a pass.  Shinsuke Nakamura, The Bullet Club, RPG Vice, and Kazuchika Okada are our special New Japan guests this week for the final crossover episode.  There is a crazy amount of wrestling in this week’s episode so let’s get started with…

“Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong vs Shinsuke Nakamura
This is one hell of an opener.  Nigel compares the streamers Nakamura gets to…the falling of cherry blossoms.  Is that like the only thing you know about Japan Nigel and you just wanted to force the comparison?  Feeling out process to start with Roddy working the arm.  Roderick tries a snapmare but Nakamura cartwheels to land on his feet!  Strong gets a one count of a dropkick.  Strong tries to hook a Bow and Arrow but Nakamura’s limbs prove as lanky as they are charismatic and he fucks it up–he does roll right into a headlock and covers it pretty well though.  Olympic slam gets two.  Nakamura rolls to the apron and suckers Roddy in for some knees to the head.  Nakamura takes Strong and sets him up on the barricade for a running knee into the crowd as we fade to…

Comercial

Back with both guys in the ring trading STIFF forearms–Strong even gets busted open.  Nakamura gets dumped and dropped by a baseball slide.  Shinsuke ends up in the corner where he takes a jumping knee and and a running elbow.  A beautiful double knee backbreaker gets two.  Strong tries the Stronghold but can’t hold it as it is reversed into a sleeper.  Right When it looked like Roddy was going to power out of the sleeper Nakamura hit a back-stabber.  Strong dodges a Bomaye and Shinsuke goes up.  Roderick brings him back down with a jumping knee and a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle that earns a two count.  Nakamura knees out of a suplex and gets a diving knee (that I thought was a bomaye live but the announce team *really* undersold it if it was).  Nakamura can’t make the cover and both guys are down.  Nakamura rises fist but his Bomaye attempt is turned into the stronghold.  Nakamura makes the ropes to break the hold and they start trading those stiff forearms again.  Strong gets the better of the exchange and nails a Sick Kick to set up the End of Heartache which gets a near fall.  Strong hits a bunch of strikes and tries for the End of Heartache again but Nakamura slips out and rolls thorough to hit the Bomaye.  It only get one!  Roddy fires back with a Jumping knee but his Sick Kick is cut off with another Bomaye that ends his night at 17:05

Rating:**** This match was edited a little for time, but what we saw was great.  Roderick Strong continues his career year with another “Strong” performance and Nakamura is one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet.  Some of the spots were a little rough around the edges but this is just about the best wrestling one can expect to find on free TV.  telivising a loss right after Strong earned himself a title match on Friday isn’t the best way to build his credibility as a challenger, but the loss was to the King of Swagstyle himself–That shouldn’t even count!

“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs Gedo
Gedo is the head booker of New Japan and an accomplished Jr. Heavyweight. Elgin gets a hometown welcome of crushing apathy.  This guy had nuclear heat in Toronto this time last year, and now he’s got nothing.  Elgin bullies Gedo around with his power and dares New Japan’s head booker to try and shoulder tackle him.  This goes as well as you’d expect and Elgin backfists him.  Elgin plants his feet and Gedo can’t Irish whip him so he just pokes the Canadian in the eyes.  Elgin swings wild and gets poked in the eyes again.  Gedo can’t make anything of his advantage and gets Samoan dropped for two.  Elgin misses an elbow and Gedo escapes to the apron for a moment, but Elgin pulls him back in with a delayed suplex and gets a near fall.  Elgin goes up for the twisting senton he tries every match despite hitting it maybe twice in his career.  Gedo predictably prevents being turned into an Okonomiyaki by rolling out of the way while Kelly Kelly plugs the PPV that already happened.  11/10 promotion there ROH.  Some punches, a jawbreaker, and a superkick get two for Gedo.  They trade reversals until Elgin gets an O’conner Double Stomp.  Bucklebomb into the Elgin Bomb finishes at 8:58

Rating:** This was really more of an extended squash than anything and this deep into the taping no one in the audience gave a damn.  Still, it was serviceable, and Gedo must have been happy because he booked Elgin as a competitor in the G-1 tournament which starts in July.  As one of the few who still likes Elgin it makes me sad to see his Torontonian star sink faster than Rob Ford’s political career did.  I maintain hope leaving for a couple months to wrestle in Japan will do something to revitalize Elgin’s stalling career. 

“Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada and RPG Vice (Rockey Romero and Trent Barretta) vs The Bullet Club (AJ Styles and the Young Bucks)
Okada and RPG Vice are all a part of the CHAOS stable, whose members have had continuing issues with the Bullet Club.  Okada’s most recent IWGP world title reign was ended by AJ Styles and RPG Vice recently lost the IWGP Jr. Tag Titles to the Young Bucks.  We cut straight to commercial after entrances and miss the awesome moment where each guy in the ring got individual chants from the audience INCLUDING Red Shoes the referee who got the biggest pop of the whole TV taping for posing on the turnbuckle.  The constraints of an hour long program I guess.  The match opens with Aj and Okada feeling each other out.  They trade two counts off victory rolls and both the Syles Clash and the Rainmaker are both blocked. Nick Jackson and Trent are tagged in respectively. They have a crazy sequence that ends with Trent? turning a springboard DDT from Nick into a Northern Lights suplex.  Tag to Romero and RPG Vice double team Nick for a near fall.  Trent is tagged back in and he starts egging the crowd on by runngin back and forth on the apron until Matt comes across the Ring to superkick him (#superkick counter:1).  Matt gets tagged in and the Jackson brothers hit a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo that in turn sets up a springborad forearm from Styles.  I don’t know of any trio that triple teams better than these three Bullet Club members.  Matt spits on Okada who has to be restrained by the referee.  Nick is tagged in so he hits a senton before tagging in AJ.  Trent finally looks to fight back until AJ casually suplexes him into the corner.  That looked like it sucked for Trent.  I empathise with the aching in Barretta’s neck and back as we fade to…

Commercial

 We return with Trent fighting off all three Bullet Club members and driving Nick down hard into the mat with a double stomp.  He tries to make the tag but Matt Jackson pulls his partners down of the apron before he can!  Some Chaos erupts at home and I miss CHAOS getting the hot tag but Romero is a house of fire catching both Young Bucks in a double hurricanrana.  Okada is tagged in and he scores a two count against AJ following a flapjack, DDT, and basement European uppercut.  AJ tries his springborad moonsault inverted DDT but Okada counters.  AJ fires off a snapmare but Okada shows some freaky athleticism and frontflips to land on his feet.  Nick Superkicks Okada to the floor (2) and things get to fast to call again.  Ultimately it ends with RPG Vice hiting a Knee based Doomsday device on the floor to incapacitate Nick Jackson.  Syles and Okada are left alone in the ring and Styles connects with a Bloody Sunday but the Styles Clash is reversed into a tombstone Piledriver, no cover because the tombstone is just the set up for Okada’s real finish, the super deadly Rainmaker LARIATOOOOOO.  Said super deadly Rainmaker misses the mark however and Nick makes the blind tag and takes down Okada who tags in Romero.  Nick hits Romero with a springboard facebuster before sliding out to moonsault onto Okada outside.  Bucklebomb/enzugiri combo and a hangman senton set Romero up for the finish but Trent makes the blind tag in the process of the Young Bucks delivering More Bang For Your Buck, and he blocks the move by german suplexing Mat of the top rope mid move!  Okada comes in from off screen with a diving elbow drop for Matt.  Okada misses with the Rainmaker again and Styles comes flying in to take him out with a flying forearm. Rocky gets superkicked into a sunset bomb (3) but before AJ can finish with the Styles Clash Okada hits one of his famed perfect dropkicks to break up the move.  Now all six guys are in and trading shots.  The Bullet Club hits three superkicks (6), one for each opponent, which chases RPG Vice but Okada no sells and hulk’s up some fighting spirit!  Okada fights all three opponents untill they hit a triple superkick (9) to end his night.  Trent ends up being the last unlucky bastard in the ring alone with the Bullet Club.  An assissted tombstone, Meltzer Driver, Double Superkick (11), and then finally a Styles Clash kills Trent dead at 17:25

Rating: ****1/2.  This was incredible.  I never cease to be amazed by the seamless teamwork of the Young Bucks, and AJ Styles has managed to tap into their wave length every time they’ve wrestled as a trio.  Innovative offense, near perfect timing and execution, a killer finishing sequence, eleven superkicks–I don’t know what else you could ask for out of a Six man tag really.  I usually refuse to go above **** for multi-man clusterfuck matches because of their inherent preference of spots over storytelling, but you can’t argue with wrestling this crisp.

Final Verdict: Far and away the Best episode of ROH TV on Destination America thus far.  There were actually no angels or promos on this episode as it was the only way to fit in all the wrestling.  A wholly satisfying conclusion to the New Japan crossover, this episode is worth seeking out immediately.  The only minor critique is that the Elgin match was a little long for what it was, but it never got boring.  While it is frustrating that ROH couldn’t address the results of Best in the World this week, the show was of far to high quality for anyone to be seriously upset given that things will be back to normal next week.  It was announced at Best in the world that Okada, Nakamura, and Kushida will be returning to ROH in August, so it seems that New Japan talent may be appearing more often in ROH than we thought.  This can mean nothing but good things for fans of either product.

I’ll see you all next week as we find out what the Fallout will be from Best in the World.  It’s the beginning of the Jay Lethal era, and I couldn’t be more excited.
  

Impact Wrestling – June 24, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
June 24, 2015
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
Tonight
is the go home show for Slammiversary, but it’s also a special
live(ish) episode which has been built up as a big deal. However,
there’s also the major show next week with the World Title showdown
between champion Kurt Angle and the undefeated Ethan Carter III.
It’s not really clear which of these are the biggest or which is
going to take a backseat to the others. Let’s get to it.

Ethan
Carter III and Tyrus arrive and have a great idea in mind for Kurt
Angle’s surprise opponent.
We
recap last week with Full Metal Mayhem being announced for tonight.
Here’s
World Champion Kurt Angle with something to say. Carter’s road to
the title stops next week, so why doesn’t he just bring out the
mystery opponent right now. This brings out Carter and Tyrus with
the former saying Angle looks like it’s going to take an army of
10,000 men to drag him off his mountain. However, it’s going to take
one and guess who that one is going to be. Angle cuts him off and
says two things are going to happen: Carter is going to tap next week
and the mystery opponent is going to tap tonight.
Carter:
“Tap-a-roo Kurt!” Ethan lists off all the people he’s defeated
and knows he can beat anyone. “Bring forth your heroes and I will
sacrifice them on my altar of perfection.” Angle says no one can
help Carter next week because he’s tapping out next week. Carter
teases coming to the ring but instead introduces the mystery
opponent: MATT HARDY! Yeah that Matt Hardy. It really doesn’t make
it any bigger of a deal when you think about it extra.
X-Division
Title: Tigre Uno vs. Low Ki vs. Grado
Tournament
final so the title is vacant coming in. Low Ki slaps Grado in the
face to start but Grado comes back with some snap jabs, only to get
chopped back down. Tigre gets back in and is knocked down just as
fast but Grado takes too much time going up top, allowing Low Ki to
shove him down and hit Warrior’s Way for….an elimination at 2:24.
That’s the first mention of this not being one fall to a finish.
Tigre gets a quick two off a rollup but Ki kicks him down. Ki gets
crotched on top though and a Phoenix Splash gives Tigre the title at
5:11 total.
Rating:
C-. I feel sorry for the
X-Division guys because they’re stuck with these five minute matches
and no time to ever develop anything but it’s supposed to be this big
deal. Tigre Uno is just another guy holding the title for a
meaningless reign before the main eventers take over around
Destination X time next year.
Bram
takes over an interview and again
calls out any former members
of the roster. He leaves
and someone with a big glove grabs JB’s shoulder. JB: “It’s time!”
Taryn
Terrell yells at Marti and Jade for not taking care of Kong and
Brooke last week. This Sunday, it’s a 3-2 handicap match, because
why have a title match when you can have a match that belongs on any
given episode of TV?
We
run down the Slammiversary card: James Storm vs. Magnus, Jesse
Godderz vs. Robbie E., Lashley/Mr. Anderson vs. Tyrus/Ethan Carter
III. That’s all we have so far, plus the aforementioned handicap
match.
Velvet
Sky vs. Angelina Love
If
Velvet wins, she’s back on the roster full time. Sky takes her down
to start and throws Love to the floor for a whip into the post. Back
in and Angelina pulls her off the middle rope and hits Lights Out for
two, setting off a lot of screaming at the referee. A Stunner plants
Love for the pin out of nowhere at 5:24.
Rating:
D. Yay. I mean that with full
sincerity. I’m so glad that a Knockout who was nothing above average
on her best day in the ring is back to take a spot and some of the
spotlight away from the awesome Dollhouse act. Sky and Love stopped
being interesting a few years ago when it was clear that nearly every
story they were ever involved with was about the Beautiful People.
Boring match here and the ending does nothing to me.
The
Dirty Heels don’t remember learning about tables, ladders and chairs
in wrestling camp, but think the dirtier things get, the better their
chances.
Another
playtime is over vignette.
MVP
is back and rips on internet journalists. The war with the Rising is
still on. It should be noted that these backstage segments are being
shot with a really bad camera, which makes everything look like it’s
about half a second slower than it should be.
Dirty
Heels vs. Wolves
Full
Metal Mayhem, meaning TLC but with pins. If the Wolves win they’re
champions, but if the Heels win then there’s one more match. The
Heels (Austin Aries/Bobby Roode) throw the weapons out before the
Wolves (Eddie Edwards/Davey Richards) come to the ring. It’s a brawl
to start and all four get chairs, with the Wolves knocking the Heels’
chairs out of their hands to send them back to the floor. Aries and
Roode take a breather on the floor but are smart enough to raise a
ladder to stop a double suicide dive.
We
take a break and come back with the Heels in control and taking in
seat in some chairs for stereo chinlocks. The Wolves fight up and
bring in some weapons to clean house. They knock the Heels to the
floor for three straight suicide dives before a trashcan lid
shot/falcon’s arrow gets two on Roode. Davey wraps a chain around
his boot but gets caught in the Last Chancery, only to have Edwards
make a save.
Back
up and a missile dropkick/powerbomb combination puts Edwards through
a table for two. The Wolves toss into a kick (with the chain over
the boot) gets a very close two but Aries gets caught inside a
trashcan for chair shots and a double dropkick from the top. The
Wolves load up Aries, still in the trashcan, for a powerbomb but
Roode low blows Eddie to put Aries on top for the pin at 18:13.
Rating:
B. I don’t care. That’s the
problem with this series: it feels like they’re trying to copy the
awesome three way tag team series last year but the matches really
aren’t all that great. They’re just going through the motions and
having decent matches, but there’s nothing that makes me want to
watch them fight five times.
Matt
Hardy doesn’t think much of Ethan Carter III and doesn’t explain why
he agreed to fight for him tonight. Carter comes up and says if
Hardy wants a title shot, he needs to kiss the ring. Hardy asks what
happens if Carter loses next week.
And
now, here are Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett of Global Force
Wrestling. Jeff says he’s shocked that he’s here too. A week ago,
he got a message from TNA management, who asked him to come back for
a match. He almost hung up there because he doesn’t even wrestle for
his own promotion. However, they said it was his own match: the King
of the Mountain match at
Slammiversary.
It
brought back a lot of memories for him, such as Kurt Angle jumping to
TNA and Samoa Joe headbutting Angle and busting him open and a punk
kid from north Georgia named AJ Styles becoming the greatest wrestler
this company ever had. Or a team called Beer Money becoming the best
team this company ever produced and Eric Young having more TV shows
than Ryan Seacrest.
Over
the last fourteen months, Jarrett has spent all his time building up
Global Force Wrestling, but he started thinking about what his wife
would think about all this. Karen talks about all the time and
effort they’ve put into Global Force Wrestling, which is now their
life. But then Jeff started talking about all his memories and she
understood what this meant to him.
She’s
still not sure why they’re here, but she knows this is what they need
to be doing. This morning
she was on the phone with Sonjay Dutt, and it became clear to her
that her husband didn’t leave on his terms. This Sunday, Jarrett is
finishing this on his terms one last time. So
yeah, after all the hype for the hours before this show, it seems
that it’s Jarrett coming in for one match on
a nothing show and that’s it
for now. Some game changer.
Bram
vs. Vader
Yes,
that Vader, who wrestled one match for TNA back in 2003. Vader
is in workout gear and runs
Bram over to start before hitting his big clothesline. More
power offense sets up the Vader Bomb for two and Bram hits him in the
ribs with a pipe for the DQ at 3:40.
Rating:
F. Considering Vader is about
58 years old, this wasn’t bad. What is bad is the fact that they
actually had Bram hit him with a metal pipe instead of pinning him
like he should have done to a veteran like Vader. This dumb, dumb
booking is so old at this point, but at least Vader looked fine.
Post
match Matt Morgan comes out for the save and knocks Bram to the
floor.
Sgt.
Chris Melendez vs. Eric Young
This
was set up a few weeks back when Young choked Melendez with his
prosthetic leg. Young takes
over to start as the announcers act like this is the biggest show in
the history of ever. Young plants him with a DDT for two and gets
the same off a neckbreaker. We
hit a chinlock for a bit before Young tries to rip the leg off again.
Melendez fights back, ducks
his head and gets piledriven for the pin at 3:47. This was a squash.
Rating:
D. The match sucked for the
most part and I don’t like Young, but this was the only way this
booking should have gone. Young is a former World Champion and spent
the last month fighting Kurt Angle. Melendez is a rookie with a
handicap and no important wins to his name. There was no reason for
this to be a competitive match and it wasn’t in the slightest.
Back
from a break with the Rising fighting the Beat Down Clan because
THESE TWO TEAMS HAVE TO FIGHT FOREVER BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING ELSE
THEY CAN POSSIBLY EVER DO. Hernandez
returns and helps the BDC clean house.
Match
#5 in the Tag Team Title series is next week. Also next week: Taryn
defends the Knockouts Title against Brooke and Awesome Kong.
Matt
Hardy vs. Kurt Angle
Non-title.
Hardy takes over to start
as Josh (incorrectly) calls this a first time ever match. Angle
slams Matt down and grabs a chinlock. A
quick slugout sets up rolling Germans from Angle followed by an Angle
Slam for two. With both guys down, Josh announces Aries vs. Richards
for Slammiversary with the winner getting to pick the stipulations
for the fifth match next week. Matt misses the moonsault and gets
Germaned some more, only to come back with a Side Effect. The
Twist of Fate gets two but Angle countered a second attempt into the
ankle lock for the tap at 6:58.
Rating:
C. This was fine. Matt was a
weird choice for an opponent when Carter has his own personal
bodyguard walking around but almost never having a match of his own.
Still though, good enough here, even though it was just trading
finishers for a few minutes until they got to the ending.
Ethan
Carter III and Tyrus come out but Angle fights them off and makes
Carter tap to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D. This was like TNA’s
Greatest Hits in one night. Let’s see: gimmick match that didn’t
need to be a gimmick match, a bunch of returns that don’t mean much,
a table war that no one wants to see, a legend beating a young up and
comer for no logical reason and a meaningless title change.
When
the big news broke about the Jarretts being back, I had hope. I
wanted to believe that something was actually going to change around
here because I want it to change. I want TNA to be fun again, but
instead it’s the same stuff we’ve seen forever: short term thinking
with stuff like Slammiversary being treated like the least important
show since…..well since their last pay per view actually.
It’s
so frustrating watching a company that has so many good pieces
consistently screw things up. There
was so much potential over the years in TNA but they’ve spent so much
time messing up everything over the years that I can’t bring myself
to buy into them again. Now it seems like their time is measured in
months and then….they’re probably going to hang around because
Dixie can talk people into letting her get on TV and then screw up
another deal, all the while wasting all the talent and potential they
have. The show tried, but as usual they were going in the wrong
direction most of the night.
Results
Tigre
Uno b. Grado and Low Ki – Phoenix splash to Low Ki
Velvet
Sky b. Angelina Love – Stunner
Dirty
Heels b. Wolves – Low blow to Edwards
Vader
b. Bram via DQ when Bram used a pipe
Eric
Young b. Chris Melendez – Piledriver
Kurt
Angle b. Matt Hardy – Ankle lock
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NXT – June 24, 2015

NXT 
Date:
June 24, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Byron Saxton, Rich Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re
getting closer to the big July 4th
showdown for the title and that means Finn Balor needs to rack
up a few wins.
Up first we have the
second half of the big sitdown interview with Balor,
which is likely focusing on his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Other than that we might get some fallout from Joe vs. Owens from
last week. Let’s get to it.

We
open with the roster on the stage and HHH talking about the loss of
Dusty Rhodes. Dusty was family to everyone on this stage because he
thought they were his kids. HHH, barely able to keep his voice
together, asks for a moment of silence as the bell rings ten times.
Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Hideo Itami for
his first comments since being injured. He
acknowledges that he’ll be out another 3-4 months due to his shoulder
injury but promises to come back and win the NXT Title. This brings
out Kevin Owens, who is glad Itami will be in Japan for the July 4
show, but it’s cute to hear Itami imply that Owens won’t be leaving
Japan as NXT Champion. Owens slips up on the word delusional but
makes up for it by saying he sounds like Itami trying to speak
English.
However,
there are two things Kevin wants to make clear. First of all, he
didn’t hurt Itami because if he did, there’s no chance Itami would be
standing there. The other reason is because Owens wants an apology
for Itami implying that Owens attacked him. Itami calls him a
terrible human being, so Owens thinks that if he’s going to be
accused of hurting Itami, he might as well do it. Kevin comes to the
ring but Balor comes out for the save, only to have Rhyno jump Balor
and
knock him off the stage.
Balor
vs. Rhyno later tonight.
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Jason
Jordan/Sylvester LeFort
The
entrance sounds a bit faster this week but Enzo makes up for it by
saying he sees two mushrooms from Mario’s world in the ring: they’re
about to get flattened. Cassady’s
part didn’t sound very smooth but he got the lines out well enough.
I had been wondering what happened to LeFort. Colin puts Sylvester
down to start and slams Enzo down on top of him for two, only to have
Jordan tag himself in and catch Enzo in a slam. LeFort’s
cobra clutch doesn’t get him very far so it’s quickly off to Jordan,
who gets rolled up for the pin at 2:32.
After
last week’s main event, Joe talks about hearing the people chant LET
THEM FIGHT. He got the fight he wanted but he didn’t get the fight
he wanted (not a typo) because Owens is still walking. Joe wants
Owens again.
Dana
Brooke vs. Cassie
Brooke
has Emma in her corner and Cassie
is K.C. Cassidy. A quick
rollup gets two on Brooke and a headscissors puts her down again.
That’s enough for Dana as she throws Cassie down and gets two off a
slam. Dana cranks on an arm and leg at the same time while advising
Cassie to tap. Cassie comes
back with something like a Thesz press and some clotheslines but Dana
Whiplashes her off the top for the pin at 3:36.
Rating:
D+. This wasn’t quite a squash
as Cassie got to show some spunk, which means she’ll probably be
pushed as something more serious when she gets some more ring time.
Brooke is still definitely a work in progress, but if there’s one
thing NXT has shown it can do, it’s take their girls and improve
improve them about ten fold overnight.
Charlotte
isn’t worried about Dana.
It’s
time for part two of Balor’s sitdown interview, which starts with
some clips of Sami Zayn hanging out at his house. Balor likes to put
jigsaw puzzles together (amen brother) and still plays with Legos
while watching old pay per views. Suddenly I’m digging the heck out
of this guy.
NXT
head trainer Matt Bloom (actually called that here instead of Jason
Albert) talks about meeting Fergal Devitt in Japan about eight years
ago. We get some pictures of them hanging out over the years,
including Bloom pulling Devitt’s pants down as they posed for a
picture. Bloom explains the concept of a young boy and we see some
stills and videos of Fergal’s time in new Japan. Prince
Devitt was someone obsessed with trying to master the Japanese style
and he felt more like Prince than Fergal over there.
Then
WWE came calling right around the annual Tokyo Dome show and Fergal
wasn’t sure if he could do it or not. He had to try though because
there was nothing left for him to prove in Japan so here he is, with
Sami Zayn and Mojo Rawley sitting on his couch in the background. He
calls it an incredible journey but it’s still continuing. Next week:
the NXT days.
Bull
Dempsey has been trying to get in better shape without much success.
This is shown through a series of Instagram shots of Dempsey falling
asleep while trying to train. So he’s narcoleptic instead of just
fat?
Hype
Bros vs. Sawyer
Fulton/Angelo Dawkins
That
would of course be Rawley and Zack Ryder. You know what? Why not?
It’s not like Ryder has
ANYTHING better to do. Mojo
runs Dawkins over to start and it’s off to Ryder for a nice dropkick
to Fulton. Back to Rawley
for HAMMER TIME, allowing the amateur guys to take over with the old
Benjamin jumping over Haas’ back onto Mojo’s back spot. A
backdrop ends Angelo’s offense and it’s off to Ryder for all his
usual stuff. The Broski Boot gets two and everything breaks down.
Rawley holds Dawkins up for a middle rope Rough Ryder and the pin at
4:00.
Rating:
C-. Ryder and Rawley have a
weird chemistry together and I’ve always been a fan of Zack so it’s
cool to see him do something other than losing to Rusev in 45
seconds. Fulton, Dawkins and Jordan seem like the perfect choice for
a stable along with Chad Gable but for some reason the Shoot Nation
stable was called off. They’re still fine for roles like this though
and you can easily rally them together later.
Eva
Marie wants a match but Regal needs proof that she has more than
charm.
Finn
Balor vs. Rhyno
Kevin
Owens comes out and shoves Byron away from his chair to do
commentary. Balor takes it
to Rhyno to start and slugs him down in the corner. Rhyno
gets sent out to the floor as Owens denies attacking Itami again. A
big flip dive puts Rhyno down again and gets two back inside. Owens
promises to win on July 4, even though he doesn’t know what it is.
“I’m Canadian so it doesn’t mean anything to me. Independence Day?
Will Smith? Good movie.”
Rhyno
gets in his first offense with a spinebuster and puts on a bearhug.
Owens has completely taken over commentary by ripping on Brennan,
because Kevin doesn’t believe that Brennan has talked to anyone on
the roster. “I’ve seen them running away from you.” Owens
now has his arm around Saxton and has pulled Byron’s head onto his
shoulder. We take a break and come back with Balor fighting out of a
second bearhug.
Owens
is annoyed at all the questions Brennan is asking him as Balor gets
two off a dropkick to the side of the head. That earns him a
northern lights suplex but Balor staggers him with a Pele Kick. The
Coup de Grace is loaded up but Owens comes down for a distraction,
allowing Rhyno to hit the belly to belly. The Gore is countered by a
kick to the face though and the Sling Blade sets up the Coup de Grace
for the pin at 11:40.
Rating:
C+.
This
was fine. The idea behind Rhyno is that he’s intense enough to lose
every big match he’s in, beat some jobbers, and then come back for
another loss to make someone look good. There’s awesome value in
that and it’s something you can never have enough of. Balor vs.
Owens is going to be awesome, especially if the demon shows up.
Owens
comes in and double teams Balor until Samoa Joe comes in for the
save, likely setting up a tag match next week.
Overall
Rating:
C.
Not their best show this week but they did a good job of setting up
Balor vs. Owens in less than two weeks. Other than that they have
enough feuds and stories going on to set up a big non-Takeover show
before we get to the REALLY big stuff down the line. Good effort
this week, even though it was mainly a placeholder outside of the
main story.
Results
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady b. Jason Jordan/Sylvester LeFort – Rollup to
Jordan
Dana
Brooke b. Cassie – Whiplash
Hype
Bros b. Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins – Middle rope Rough Ryder to
Dawkins
Finn
Balor b. Rhyno – Coup de Grace

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Smackdown – June 18, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
June 18, 2015
Location:
First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
ending of Monday’s show saw the return of Brock Lesnar as the
Authority’s big surprise to deal with Rollins, ignoring the history
of Lesnar hurting HHH and then Stephanie freaking out on him the
night after Wrestlemania when Lesnar destroyed everything and injured
Cole, which hasn’t been mentioned on TV yet. Let’s get to it.

In
memory of Dusty Rhodes.
Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Sheamus to get things going. Sheamus holds up the briefcase and
laughs at the fans for saying he looked stupid. He feels like a
million dollars and promises to be the next WWE Champion. I know
it’s not a popular opinion but I wouldn’t be opposed to that.
Sheamus has been making plans to get around Seth Rollins and Brock
Lesnar, which would leave everyone out of his way to make him
champion.
This
brings out Dean Ambrose to remind Sheamus that he pinned him on
Monday. Why should that matter? Money in the Bank is a shortcut
around silly things like wins and losses and just lets the company
put whomever they want in the title scene without putting in the
effort. Anyway, Ambrose says the briefcase belongs to Reigns and
Dean would have no problem getting it back to its rightful owner.
Sheamus wants to fight right now but Kane comes out to uneven the
odds. The match is on.
Kane/Sheamus
vs. Dean Ambrose
Dean
is smart enough to drop to the floor at the bell before he runs back
in to low bridge Kane outside. The top rope elbow is broken up
though and the double teaming begins. Reigns sneaks in from behind,
because somehow he knew Sheamus would be waiting in the normal spot,
for the DQ at 1:29.
After
a break, the tag team main event is announced.
Roman
wants Bray to know he never runs.
Brie
Bella vs. Paige
Paige
gets a jobber entrance but we’re lucky enough to get BRIE MODE. No
Nikki here for a change. Brie goes after her to start but Paige
drops down as you do when someone is running the ropes, only to have
Brie trip over her. Paige’s superplex is countered into a sunset
bomb (good looking one too) for two as we take a break. Back with
Brie putting on a chinlock with her knees in Paige’s back before
Paige takes her into the corner for some elbows to the jaw. Paige
goes up top but Alicia Fox runs out to shove her down, setting up the
Bella Buster for the pin and another BRIE MODE at 7:28.
Rating:
C. Considering Brie was in
there and can’t seem to handle running the ropes, this was better
than I was expecting. There’s something interesting about the Divas
going after Paige and her needing reinforcements (say from NXT?) and
at least Alicia is 14% more competent than most of the other Divas.
The
Bellas pose on the stage and Alicia is given Bella gear.
Stills
of Cena vs. Owens II and then Owens attacking Machine Gun Kelly on
Monday.
Owens
mocks Renee Young for possibly being a Machine Gun Kelly fan but
blames Kelly for putting his hands on Owens first and on Cena for not
being there to save him. Kevin doesn’t need to pander to the crowd
and likes it when people earn title shots, meaning there will be no
open challenge. This brings in Cesaro, with headphones around his
neck, who would love to get in the ring with Owens tonight. He even
puts him hands on Owens’ shoulder to make sure Owens gets the point.
Dolph
Ziggler vs. Bo Dallas
Before
the match, Dallas calls Lana a rebound girl. She’s broken Rusev’s
heart and is now with Ziggler, who definitely should have made her
swipe left (online dating thing I guess). Ziggler dropkicks him at
the bell but Bo grabs a cravate. Rusev is watching in the back as
Ziggler ducks a right hand and hits the Zig Zag for the pin at 1:12.
Rusev
freaks out over a post match kiss.
Tough
Enough stuff.
Xavier
Woods vs. Neville
Woods
takes over fast and stomps Neville about 20 times in a row. We’re
already in the cobra clutch for a bit before New Day tries to get
involved, drawing out the Prime Time Players to even the odds. Back
in and a kick to the head looks to set up the Red Arrow but Kofi
offers a distraction to break it up. Everyone on the floor gets into
it and a dropkick sets up the Red Arrow to give Neville the pin at
2:57. I’m getting into this six man feud.
Here’s
Seth Rollins with something to say. After looking at a clip of the
end of Raw, Rollins brags about being the biggest star in WWE.
However, he’s under constant scrutiny and always being disrespected
by these fans. That’s what happened this Monday on Raw, as people
are instantly thinking Lesnar will be the next WWE Champion. Rollins
was shocked when he saw Brock but at Battleground, he’s going to get
to prove that he really is the diamond and he can’t wait.
We
recap Bray’s promo on Reigns from Raw.
Ambrose
asks Reigns how long it takes Sheamus to do his hair but Reigns is
focused on Wyatt. Dean asks about Bray but Reigns doesn’t want to
talk about it. Just handle business tonight so he can get home to
his family.
Kevin
Owens vs. Cesaro
Non-title
and Owens pops Cesaro in the jaw to start. Cesaro does just the same
to knock Kevin outside for a suicide dive. Back in and Cesaro can’t
get him up for a suplex so Owens sends him face first into the post
as we take an early break from a promising power brawl. We come back
to a chinlock of course because how else do you expect to come back
from a break? Owens finds it boring as well as he jumps to the
middle rope and spins into a tornado DDT for two.
Cesaro
comes back with his reverse Angle Slam for two of his own. That
earns him snake eyes (a move that hasn’t been seen in a while) and
the Cannonball for two, shocking Owens, because he’s a good heel who
can’t believe that someone could kick out of any of his offense. A
dropkick knocks Owens off the top and both guys are down again. Is
there anything Cesaro can’t do? I’d bet he’s a world class knitter.
Owens crotches him to break up the apron superplex and the Pop Up
Powerbomb is good for the pin at 10:38.
Rating:
B. Owens continues to master
the power brawling style and hopefully this leads to a singles push
for Cesaro. The guy is incredibly talented and the multiple
languages should get WWE some international help if they let him go
to some other countries for publicity. This was a fun, hard hitting
match though as both guys got to throw each other around, which is
always entertaining.
Time
for Miz at the Movies where he talks about all the movies starring
wrestlers this year. Tonight’s movie: Vendetta, starring Dean Cain
and Big Show. Apparently Big Show was a jerk and Miz should have had
the role, as well as the Intercontinental Title. Miz rants about his
resume and wants to know why he isn’t being treated like a superstar.
Dusty
Rhodes tribute video.
Sheamus/Kane
vs. Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns
Ambrose
and Sheamus get things going with the latter stomping away in the
corner. Dean comes back with chops and punches as they’ve forgotten
the whole wrestling thing so far. Everything breaks down for a bit
and the Shield brethren clean house to take us to the early break.
Back with Dean hitting the dropkick against the ropes on Kane but
Sheamus pulls him outside to take over.
Some
knees get two for Sheamus back inside and it’s off to Kane to work on
the knee that was destroyed in the ladder match. Smart man that old
giant. Sheamus slaps on a Brock Lock for a bit before it’s back to
Kane, who gently lifts Dean throat first into the bottom rope. It’s
called a catapult but that’s being more generous than it is to call
Kane interesting. Dean gets in some right hands and the top rope
elbow, finally allowing for the hot tag despite the bad knee.
Reigns
comes in off the hot tag and cleans house with a series of
clotheslines to Kane and a Samoan drop to Sheamus. The Superman
Punch is broken up by Kane grabbing both Shield guys by the throat
but the rebound lariat breaks it up. Dean dives on Sheamus but
here’s Wyatt with the picture of Reigns and his daughter as he sings
I’m A Little Teapot. The distraction lets a Brogue Kick connect for
the pin on Reigns at 12:57.
Rating:
C. This
was fine for a long way to build up the Reigns vs. Wyatt story.
There was little chance that Wyatt wasn’t going to get involved
somewhere in here and that wasn’t the worst way in the world. I
could go for a more sinister Wyatt who gets inside your head instead
of just saying he’s scary of whatever he meant in the last few
months.
Bray
says Happy Father’s Day and the picture is next to Reigns to end the
show.
Overall
Rating:
C+.
I liked this better than I
was expecting to as they gave us a good match with Owens vs. Cesaro
(no real surprise there) and nothing bad. That’s a major key to a
good show these days, especially with so much stuff packed in:
nothing on here was really bad. Some stuff was better than others,
but everything was either quick enough to
not be bad or good enough to be acceptable. Solid show this week and
it went by fast.
Results
Kane/Sheamus
b. Dean Ambrose via DQ when Roman Reigns interfered
Brie
Bella b. Paige – Bella Buster
Dolph
Ziggler b. Bo Dallas – Zig Zag
Neville
b. Xavier Woods – Red Arrow
Kevin
Owens b. Cesaro – Pop Up Powerbomb
Kane/Sheamus
b. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose – Brogue Kick to Reigns
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ROH TV – June 17th 2015

-Sorry for those who were expecting this last night. I had
tickets to see Rush and my bus being obscenely late wiped out the time I had
leaving me in something of a “Rush”. 
Regularly scheduled Wednesday reviews to follow next week, also, Tomorrow
I’ll be posting a preview for the Best in the World Pay Per View.
-This week of ROH TV is highlighted by a huge main event
contract signing and The ROH TV debut of Hiroshi Tanahashi.
-ROH fires straight into our opening contest this week

The Decade (BJ
Whitmer and Adam Page) vs War Machine (Raymond Rowe and Hanson)
Before we get started however BJ has something to say.  Crowd wants Whitmer to shut up before he’s
even said anything.  BJ reminds Toronto
that his mic is louder than they are and presses onward.  He takes this time to remind us that 2 weeks
ago Colby came “within an inch of defeating that big goofy bastard Moose”
(LOL).  He doesn’t think Colby’s daddy
gets it yet however, Colby needs to step up, and take BJ’s place in this
match!  Colby Agrees and our NEW opening
contest is…


The Decade (Colby
Corino and Adam Page) vs War Machine (Raymond Rowe and Hanson)
-Ray Rowe and Corino start. 
War Machine are basically ROH’s legion of Doom, but instead of driving
motorcycles they’re Vikings. Ray doesn’t want to fight Corino and tells him
he’s not ready.  Corino responds to this
offer of mercy with a slap to the face. The announcers inform us that Rowe has
known Colby since he was a 10-year old kid and doesn’t want to hurt him as he
tags in Hanson, who has fewer reservations and knocks Colby loopy with a
sidewinder slam.  Rowe comes back in and
yells at BJ to get in the ring while COMPLETELY no-selling a series of
strikes.  Enough is finally enough and
Rowe hits a backbreaker, spins Colby around over his head into a gut buster,
then spins him around into a powerbomb—all without releasing the hold.  Absolutely brutal.  Corino slowly crawls to make the tag and Rowe
seems content to let him…but Page jumps down of the apron and leaves Corino to
fend for himself.  War Machine is
disgusted, but they hit a back suplex/diving legdrop combo to put this one away
anyway. 
-Rating *1/2 BJ Whitmer is interesting.  I’m as shocked as you are.   His trolling of the audience was excellent
yet again and Corino getting murdered was almost as much fun as the first time
two weeks ago.  War Machine is slowly
winning over the crowds with they’re offense and will likely end up with tag
gold before the end of the year.

-After the match Corino and Whitmer start jaw-jacking and
they tease a brawl but Kelly talks Corino out of it.  Crowd was really hot for Steve here.
Commercial

Back with Cedric Alexander in the ring and a live mic.  Cedric talks about winning the “Break out
star of 2014 “ match this time last year but having nothing to show for it.  He’s been on a losing streak and right now
its “do or die for Cedric Alexander”.  He
has to start winning so he can prove to his family this pro-wrestling dream
isn’t a waste of time—and to get things started, he’s challenging the
undefeated Moose.
 

Moose W/Veda Scott
and Ernesto Osiris vs Cedric Alexander

-Alexander starts things off with a relatively ineffective
dropkick.  Moose manages a bodyslam but
misses a splash and gets kicked in the back of the head for a one count.  They fight out onto the floor where Cedric
escapes a powerslam attempt and shoves Moose HARD into the ringpost.  Cedric attempts a flying nothing that is
tragically caught by Moose.  Alexander
elbows free and goes back up top but Moose cuts him off and Dropkicks him all
the way down to the floor as we fade to…
-Commercial
-Back with Moose missing a corner clothesline and eating a
springboard crossbody.  Moose tries to
roll out to the floor to create some space but Alexander follows him out with a
Tope.  Kevin Kelly chimes in and reminds us
the ROH Codeline is still retarted. 
Moose misses wildly with a clothesline and Alexander gets two of a
springboard tornado DDT.  Best I can tell
this is the first time Moose hasn’t been in total control of a match.  Alexander has had 80% of the offense
here.  Cedric can’t get Moose up for a
Lumbar-check and ends up running into a vicious pop-up clothesline.  Well so much for Alexander being in control,
both guys are down and the crowd starts dueling chants.  They start trading shots and the announcers remark
that this is the longest match of Moose’s career.  Moose gets the upper hand and signals for his
top rope springboard crossbody but Alexander cuts him off.  Alexander gets SIX corner dropkicks and Moose
looks to be fading further with each dropkick, but lucky dropkick attempt
number 7 runs into a spear.  Both guys
are down and Veda Scott passes Moose a wrench while Osiris distracts the
Referee.  Moose shakes his head refusing
to win that way, but then Alexander takes the wrench and drills Moose with it
behind the Refs back for the three count! 
Fans chant “all your fault” at Veda Scott.
 

-Rating **3/4 The best match of Moose’s young career.  Alexander carried Moose to a competitive match
mostly by himself and looks to finally be fulfilling some of that promise we’ve
been hearing about for years.  Alexander
has been teasing a heel turn since at least the 13th Anniversary
show when he refused the code of honor after a loss to Sydal and it was still
shocking to see him complete the turn in such triumphant fashion. 

-Inside ROH recaps the reDRagon vs Addiction feud to hype
their NO DQ title match this Friday.
-Adam Cole crashes inside ROH!  It’s an “important person’s” time to
speak!  The Bullet Club requested a
rematch with the Kingdom because they were unsatisfied with Cole’s “underhanded
tactics” in Philadelphia—Which Cole shrugs off and instead calls out AJ and the
Bucks for superkicking “The Queen of the Kingdom” Maria.  Adam Cole tells us that at Best in the world
we’ll get the true answer to the true question: What Faction is number one in
the world.  According to Cole, “it’s the Kingdom, Bay-Bee!”

ACH and Matt Sydal
VS Hiroshi  Tanahashi and “Stardust
Genius” Tetsuya Naito
-ACH is celebrating the Japan cross over by dressing up as
Luffy D. Monkey of One Piece fame. 
Tanahashi’s entrance video alerts the crowd to the arrival of “The Man
of Talent; All the World Ace 100%”. 
Gotta love that Engrish.  Naito
doesn’t get a separate entrance.  Sydal
and Tanahashi start with some chain wrestling that Sydal gets the better
of.  Sydal picks the pace up with a
series of backflips and arm drags. 
Tanahashi misses a dropkick and is punished with a standing shooting
star press for two.   Having accomplished
absolutely nothing 100% Tanahashi gets visibly frustrated and decides to let
Naito have a go, Sydal tags ACH in.  They
trade arm wrenches and strikes until Naito puts Corino’s second favourite Hardy
down with a dropkick.  We get some really
fast reversal stud that culminates in ACH rolling under a clothesline and
hitting a dropkick.  ACH pauses to mock
Naito’s signature pose for a pop.  ACH
runs the ropes but Tanahashi pulls him outside illegally!  For shame Japenese Cena, AMERICAN Cena would
never stoop to such cheating!  Clearly
this Tanahashi fellow is a hack! 
Tanahashi throws ACH into the barricade as we fade to…
Comercial
 

-Back with Tanahashi now mocking ACH’s taunt.  High Fly Flow misses so Tanahashi
makes the tag to Naito who enters with a sideslam.  ACH powers out of a chinlock but gets shut
down by an Enzugiri and slingshot dropkick. 
Superplex is blocked and ACH hits a GREAT double stomp and gets the hot
tag.  Diving Bronco Buster and and a
huricanrana to Naito brings in Tanahashi who gets dropped with a wheel
kick.  Naito ends up on the top rope and
Sydal brings him down with a Mayonara. 
Sydal calls for the standing shooting star press but he jumps right into
a German from Tanahashi!  That was seamless.  Tanahashi is officially tagged in but he gets
shut down by a guillotine legdrop from Sydal. 
ACH is tagged in and he gets two off a flurry of kicks and a
clothesline.  Tana swings wide and now he’s
outright throwing a bit of a tantrum in the ring because this isn’t going as
well as he thought it would.  ACH eggs
him on by playing some air guitar. 
Tanahashi gets the Dragon Screw and locks in a clover leaf while Sydal
brawls with Naito on the outside.  Sydal
gets free Naito and breaks the hold with a knee to the face.  Tanahashi rolls to the outside and Naito gets
dumped.  Sydal’s dive is blocked but ACH
takes out both NJPW talents with Air Jordan. 
ACH throws Tanahashi in and hits him with a Get over Here to set up
Sydal’s shooting star press.  Naito just
barely makes the save at 2.9.  Naito pants
Sydal with a DDT before ACH drops him with a kick.  ACH goes up but his 450 gets Tanahshi’s knees.
 Slingblade and High Fly Flow gets the
three count.
Rating ***1/2 Great tag match where ACH and Sydal got to
look great even in defeat.  Not much else
to add, it was really just an exhibition for the New Japan talent to make an appearance
in the states.  Worth watching if you’re
a fan of any of the guys involved in this one.
 
-Nigel McGuiness is out for the main event contract
signing.   It’s been over 400 days since
Jay Lethal won the TV title, and almost three years since world champion Jay
Briscoe was last pinned or made to submit. 
The audience starts a cute “Sign up” chant while Lethal and Briscoe sign
the dotted line.  Both titles will be on
the line in a one fall match with a 60 minute time limit.  Nigel calls this the biggest match in ROH
history (an exaggeration for sure, but the main event *does* feel huge enough
that it’s forgivable.  He asks if the men
have any last words before this Friday.

-Lethal goes first. 
The only reason he doesn’t destroy Jay Briscoe right now is because he
needs Jay at his best on Friday.  He has
to prove that he is the best.  At the end
of Best in the World Briscoe will have no reason to be here—signing that
contract was the biggest mistake of his life, just like it was papa and Mama
Briscoe’s biggest mistake of their lives 31 years ago when they sired Jay
Briscoe!
-Jay Briscoe says he’ll keep this short and sweet.  When he’s done with Jay Lethal, he’ll have no
choice but to leave and become “Black Machismo again”.  This incenses Lethal who flips the table.  They stare down and hold up their belts as we
fade off the air.  It’s here that Jay
Lethal gets the money line.
-“Your belt means nothing, mine means everything—I made this
belt, that belt made you, I MADE THIS, THAT MADE YOU.”  Actual chills.  Everything about this feud is so good.
-Final Verdict: The Best episode of ROH on Destination America yet, with a
main event angle that sets the stage for Friday’s clash perfectly and
great wrestling as well.  If the show maintains this quality then ROH
should have nothing to worry about.

-See you all Next week for CHAOS vs the Bullet Club and
Roderick Strong vs Shinsuke Nakamura, and Tommorow for my BitW preview.        

Impact Wrestling – June 17, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
June 17, 2015
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’ve
got two weeks to go before Slammiversary and it’s time to start
building towards the main event of the TV show two weeks from
tonight. Yeah the Carter vs. Angle World Title match is going to be
held on Impact instead of at the pay per view due to some scheduling
issues. That is of course TOTALLY different than TNA being a poorly
run company who couldn’t figure out that having a pay per view the
day after a TV taping was really, really stupid. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a tribute to Dusty Rhodes, who used to be the authority
figure here back in the early days.
It’s
time for Angle and Carter to sign the contract. In an interesting
case, this is coming just after a contract signing closed Ring of
Honor. Carter gets to talk first by talking about Angle beating
Heartbreak Kids, Texas Rattlesnakes, Dead Men, Immortals,
Electrifying Men, Rated R Superstars and some people you can’t even
see. He’s also beaten submission machines, phenomenal ones, icons
and charismatic enigmas (the first person mentioned actually still
with this company. And shouldn’t those all be singular since Angle
only beat one each?) but the World Title reigns ends with Carter.
Angle
praises Carter, but thinks he’s a disrespectful punk. This time
around, Kurt is healthy and ready because he’s been here before.
Once Carter loses, it’s going to haunt him for the rest of his life.
Both guys sign, but they also get to pick an opponent for each other.
Angle gets to go first, and he picks Lashley to face Carter. Not a
bad choice. Carter gets to pick next week on a live show.
The
X-Division Title will be decided next week. Man just scrap
Slammiversary and put on a Barney Miller marathon.
We
recap the Tag Team Title series to this point, with the Wolves
currently up 2-1.
Here
are the Wolves with Davey talking about how they’ve fought around the
world to be the best tag team in the world, and that’s what those
belts mean. They’ve beaten the BroMans, the Hardys and Team 3D
already and now it’s time for the Dirty Heels. Last time the Heels
cheated to win, but the Wolves won’t get fooled again. Good line but
points off for a WOLVES NATION shirt. Stop just putting a word in
front of nation and thinking it sounds good.
Edwards
wants to do match four right now, so here’s Roode sans Aries. Austin
isn’t here tonight because he’s healing up after last week, so
there’s no match. Eddie thinks a singles match is in order and Roode
doesn’t think so, but he’ll do it if the winner gets to pick the
stipulation for next week. The Wolves are fine and it’s time to go.
Bobby
Roode vs. Eddie Edwards
Roode
hammers away to start but Eddie kicks him outside for a big suicide
dive. Back in and a clothesline gets two for Eddie but he runs into
an elbow to the jaw. A Hennig necksnap puts Eddie down again as
Roode is a heel this week. It’s good to know as it varies so often.
Roode’s chinlock doesn’t go anywhere as Edwards comes back with a leg
lariat.
The
announcers call last week’s Aries vs. Angle match five stars. At
least this time they’re waiting until after the match happened to
praise it. There’s a backpack Stunner for two on Roode but he comes
back with a spinebuster for the same. Roode tries to bring in a
chair but Richards gets on the apron for some reason, earning him a
swing from Bobby. The distraction lets Eddie get a rollup pin at
8:22.
Rating:
C. This brings up the problem
with the entire series: the matches are just ok. They’re not bad or
anything, but I barely remember them a few minutes after they
happened because they’re just coming and going as we wait for the big
match to come for the titles to exist again. The ending made no
sense either as the Wolves wound up cheating instead of the Dirty
Heel. This story hasn’t been great since it started and it’s losing
steam every week.
Davey
makes match #4 Full Metal Mayhem. So what’s #5 going to be? Another
regular match?
Joseph
Park is back, minus his law firm, money or teeth. He’ll face Bram
tonight and get to be the guy on top for the first time. So we’re
just forgetting that he knows he’s Abyss I guess? Does that mean
we’re done with the Revolution too?
We
get a ten second video of Drew Galloway talking about how much he
loves wrestling.
Bram
vs. Joseph Park
Park
tries to lecture Bram before the match and gets punched in the face.
Bram slugs away but misses a chair shot, allowing Park to get in some
shots of his own. Now it’s table and kendo stick time as I guess
this is a hardcore match. It was never announced as one but sure why
not. Park comes back with some kendo stick shots and a chokeslam for
two. Back up and Park misses a spear through the table, allowing
Bram to get the pin at 3:53.
Rating:
F. A guy as talented as Bram is
stuck in the hardcore story because there’s nothing else for him to
do right now because they’ve killed off the singles titles other than
the World Title and now we’re sitting here watching him against
Joseph Park. Bad match here and Bram doesn’t even get to hit his
finisher to win? Horrible stuff.
Taryn
has a deal for Brooke
and Awesome Kong: if they beat the Dolls tonight, they both get a
title shot. If they lose, neither can ever have a shot again.
The
world is ready to burn and playtime is over. No idea what that is
for.
Marti
Bell/Jade vs. Brooke/Awesome Kong
Brooke
gets jumped in the aisle but here’s Kong for the save. The bell
rings and Kong runs Jade over before it’s off to Brooke, who doesn’t
have the same luck. Brooke
fights off some double teaming but gets thrown right back into the
corner as the announcers debate their taste in women. Brooke
avoids a charge and spears Jade down, allowing for the tag to Kong.
A chokeslam plants Marti and Brooke climbs onto her shoulders for a
big elbow and the pin at 6:24.
Rating:
D. This wasn’t the worst in the
world but good grief Josh is getting on my nerves. Between talking
about the number of days the champions have held their titles and
calling Dinero the heel commentator, he becomes more of a combination
of Cole and Striker every week. Nothing match here as the finish was
obvious, though the story wasn’t bad.
We
recap the hardcore war which ended with Eric Young choking out Chris
Melendez with Chris’ prosthetic leg.
Chris
Melendez wants to fight Eric Young right now. This brings Young out
to praise Melendez for being an American hero, but Young just doesn’t
care. He cares about no one but himself because there’s no reason
for Melendez to be in the same ring as Eric Young. Does Chris really
want to be here all alone next week? Chris says he’s ready. Young
was just a jerk here and not crazy, making him FAR more effective as
a heel. Melendez is nothing though.
DJZ
vs. Jesse Godderz
Godderz
laid DJZ out last week so DJZ charges right at him to start and nails
a jawbreaker and middle rope back elbow (love that move). Back up
and Jesse slams him down by the arm, setting up a Boston crab for the
submission at 1:43.
Post
match Godderz cuts a really, REALLY good promo about how he was the
BroMans because he was the only one training while Robbie was on a
reality TV show and DJZ was in some bar making funny noises. He
rants about how Robbie was nothing until he joined the team and now
DJZ is nothing either. Jesse gorilla presses him up but Robbie makes
his big return and shows more fire than ever before. I’m actually
digging this.
We
look back at James Storm possibly murdering Mickie James a few weeks
back.
Here’s
a livid Magnus, two weeks after Mickie was attacked. He isn’t
letting this show continue until he gets James Storm out here one on
one. Here’s Storm to call Magnus the crazy jealous one for having
Mickie followed by cameras. “What do you think was happening when
those cameras weren’t there?” Magnus is held back by security but
Storm brings out a baby stroller, presumably carrying Mickie and
Magnus’ son.
James
calls it his insurance policy but walks down the aisle without it.
He says Mickie is a sorry excuse for a woman and Magnus is a sorry
excuse for a man, which is finally enough to get Magnus past
security. Storm kicks the baby stroller off the stage and of course
it’s just a doll.
Video
on Ethan Carter III.
Ethan
Carter III vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley
throws him down to start and nails a hard clothesline before just
running Carter over. Tyrus finally grabs Lashley’s boot to stop his
boss’ pain but Lashley easily suplexes Carter over. Another Tyrus
distraction lets Carter get in a dropkick off the apron to take over.
The match isn’t bad so far but I can’t take much more of Josh
talking about the number of days Carter has been undefeated. Carter
slows him down with a chinlock for a bit before having to escape a
torture rack.
Lashley
scores with a powerslam for two but Tyrus puts a chair in the corner.
The spear hits the chair (Earl Hebner has zero issue with this) and
Carter gets two off a DDT. The 1%er is countered and the referee
goes down (like it matters), right before the spear connects. Cue
another referee but Tyrus takes him out and gives Lashley a Big
Ending, setting up the third referee to count two, earning him a shot
from Tyrus. Lashley spears Tyrus but gets speared down, only to get
nailed in the back with a chair, setting up the 1%er to give Carter
the pin at 9:26.
Rating:
D+. This was straight out of
the Russo playbook with two chairs, three ref bumps and interference
in less than ten minutes. Angle was nowhere in sight to help even
the odds because the script didn’t say he was supposed to and the
whole thing was just way too much. It didn’t help that Josh was
driving me up the wall with his counting the days of Carter being
undefeated. We get it: you’re Michael Cole and Carter is Miz. Pick
a better role model.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This show is on the
verge of flying off the rails and you can see a lot of it coming from
here. The problem right now is they’re building to three different
shows instead of any one in particular. You have next week’s live
show with Full Metal Mayhem and the X-Division Title match,
Slammiversary (which I don’t think has anything official yet) and
then the bell to bell show in two weeks with the World Title match.
It doesn’t help that a lot of the midcard just feels like a big waste
of time when they could be doing anything else. The show wasn’t
horrible but they need to focus on something quick.
Results
Eddie
Edwards b. Bobby Roode – Rollup
Bram
b. Joseph Park – Pin after a missed spear through a table
Brooke/Awesome
Kong b. Jade/Marti Bell – Elbow drop to Bell
Jesse
Godderz b. DJZ – Boston crab
Ethan
Carter III b. Bobby Lashley – 1%er
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

NXT – June 17, 2015

NXT
Date:
June 17, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Rich Brennan

It’s
a big week here in NXT as last week saw Samoa Joe challenging Kevin
Owens to a title shot but getting turned down because he hasn’t
racked up enough wins yet. Fair point said Commissioner William
Regal, so it’s a non-title match tonight instead. This is probably
just filler until we get to July 4 in Japan but NXT filler is still
good stuff. Let’s get to it.

As
you would expect, this show is dedicated to the American Dream Dusty
Rhodes.
We
open with the Dusty tribute video, which is still awesome stuff.
Opening
sequence.
Blake/Murphy/Alexa
Bliss vs. Carmella/Enzo Amore/Colin Cassady
Enzo’s
speech this week is about Star Wars but he keeps it short. Carmella
wants a piece of Alexa Bliss, and Cass is nice enough to spell out
the one word that describes Blake, Murphy and Bliss. There’s a new
ring announcer who sounds like he has no idea who any of these people
are. He has a good, deep voice though. The fans think Blake and
Murphy look stupid but switch to BONAFIDE STUD/CERTIFIED G.
Blake
and his headlock slow Enzo down to start before a shoulder puts him
on the mat. With nothing else working, Enzo opts to dance and hits a
very unique cross body where he doesn’t actually jump but takes Blake
down anyway. Everything breaks down and the Long Island guys (and
Carmella) clean house.
Back
from a break with Enzo slugging Blake down but getting dropped from
behind by Murphy. We hit the headlock on the mat for a good while
before Cass gets dropped off the apron. Enzo avoids a charge in the
corner though and makes the tag off to Carmella, meaning Alexa has to
come in. Carmella dominates in a hurry as everything breaks down
again. Cass plants Blake with the side slam, setting up the Rocket
Launcher for the pin at 10:22.
Rating:
C-. This was fine, but there’s
a major point that caught my eye here. Since turning heel, Alexa has
been wearing more revealing attire and Carmella was wearing even less
than usual tonight. However, other than Enzo calling Carmella hot
during the entrance, their looks or attire are never addressed. The
lack of comments from Lawler or the girls ripping on each other for
their appearances and just fighting because they hate each other. I
love that about NXT and it continues to show how lame and behind the
times the Divas division really is.
Stills
of Cena vs. Owens II and the aftermath.
Joe
is here to deal with Kevin Owens but more than that he’s here because
he wants to wrestle in places that are cutting edge. That explains
the departure from TNA as I doubt they could even cut paper. As for
Owens, his running away last week told Joe that he didn’t want to
fight. Tonight though, the NXT World Champion (that’s a new one) is
getting what he deserves.
We
get the first part of a look at Finn Balor, mainly due to a sitdown
interview. First question: who is Fergal Devitt? Balor talks about
growing up in Ireland and how his dad built his way up from a cleaner
to a train engineer in a cool story. One day a show called
Superstars came on his TV and he was instantly hooked. We get some
really cool clips of him in some tiny independents as well as Insane
Championship Wrestling (Scotland) and Revolution Pro Wrestling UK.
Becky
Lynch cries talking about how Fergal (her word) opened a wrestling
school in Ireland and got her into the business as a result. She
lied about her age to get into the school and so that Fergal might
ask her out, which apparently he did. There are some really cool
pictures of the two of them going through school and starting their
careers, including stuff like being in the ring or just listening to
music together so you could tell they were close.
There
are clips from Insane Championship Wrestling with him in the demon
paint where the announcers praise him for being amazing. Next up was
New Japan but he said he’s be back to Ireland. This was about eight
minutes long and totally awesome as it made me care about Balor more
than I even have before. Part two is next week.
Charlotte
vs. K.C. Cassidy
A
headscissors takes Cassidy down to start but she comes back with a
quick rollup for two. That goes nowhere as Charlotte kicks her in
the face and chokes with the boot when asking the referee about the
speed of the count. Charlotte’s cravate doesn’t work very well as
K.C. comes back with a cross body for two, only to have her eat a
spear (good selling too). The Figure Eight makes Cassidy tap at
3:50.
Rating:
D+. Just a squash here to
remind us that Charlotte is awesome before she gets back into it with
Barrett and Emma for the big feud. That spear looked good and could
be a good power finisher for her as Charlotte is tall and strong
enough to make it work well. Cassidy has potential but is clearly
not that experienced.
Dana
Brooke says she’s misunderstood because she’s a current fitness
competitor who isn’t scared one of Charlotte. She’s replacing
Charlotte because she’s the total diva and not using her family name
to get into NXT. I have no idea what Carmella was looking at that
was just a foot or so off camera but it made her look really weird.
She makes up for it just a bit by coming back to pat Devon on the
head.
Kevin
Owens vs. Samoa Joe
Non-title.
The crowd going silent when
Joe’s music changes tells you all you need to know about how horrible
it really is. Owens bails
to the floor to start but Joe goes right after him and gets in the
champ’s face. Back in and the fans already think this is awesome.
Not so fast kids. Owens:
“THE CHAMP IS HERE!” That earns him a right hand to the face and
a big chop to the head as Joe gets in the first offense.
A
back elbow drops Kevin again as the fans are quieter than you would
expect. The corner enziguri sets up the Facewash and the big running
boot to the face to send Owens outside for a break. Back with Joe
missing a charge in the corner, allowing Owens to hit a Cannonball,
almost out of desperation. A chinlock keeps Joe in trouble and the
second version slows things down even more. Fans: “HEADLOCK
CITY!” It’s a chinlock
but points for creativity.
The
hold is finally broken and Joe drops his own backsplash for two.
Something like a running enziguri gets the same on the champ but
he fights out of the Muscle Buster. They fight to the floor but
Owens can’t powerbomb the baron of the buffet. The referee gets
shoved down and that’s a DQ at 14:39.
Rating:
C-. This was more of an angle
than a match but that chinlock in the middle killed everything they
had going. I have a feeling they’ll move on to Balor vs. Owens for
now before Joe gets his big title match, or maybe just a non-title
match against Owens instead. Fun power brawl while it lasted, but
that chinlock went on way too long. It was much more of a preview
than a showdown.
They
do the big brawl with security not being able to hold them back post
match. Owens shouts that the champ is here to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. It was another of
those setting the future shows, which are often some of the best
episodes NXT puts out. The Tag Team Title rematch is set, Charlotte
looked dominant and Brooke is ready to fight her, there’s a reason
for Joe vs. Owens II and you top it off with the really awesome Balor
video. That’s quite an impressive use of 53 minutes as you have four
stories set up, which could cover a month of upcoming TV. It’s back
to efficient for NXT and that’s what they do best.
Results
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady/Carmella b. Blake/Murphy/Alexa Bliss – Rocket
Launcher to Blake
Charlotte
b. K.C. Cassidy – Figure Eight
Kevin
Owens vs. Samoa Joe went to a double DQ when they both shoved the
referee
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Smackdown – June 11, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
June 11, 2015
Location:
CajunDome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators:
Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the last show before we get to Money in the Bank, meaning it’s the
last time we have to cram an entire pay per view build into two weeks
for a very long time. The big story coming out of Monday is Ambrose
using Instagram (just go with it) to warn Rollins that he was coming,
only to lay Seth out again to end the show. Let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Ambrose, wearing a ton of Mardi Gras beads, coming through the crowd
to open things up. He holds up the title and says let the good times
roll because he’s been having a good time on Bourbon Street. Ambrose
takes us through the Instagram pictures from Monday, thankfully
pointing out that the ticket wasn’t real and that Reigns just saved
him a seat. After a clip of the main event from Raw, Ambrose
promises to drop Seth on his head with Dirty Deeds and take the World
Title for real this Sunday.
Cue
Rollins who says Ambrose is just like all the other scum in this
arena: not in his league. Rollins wants the title back and Dean
drops it right in the middle of the ring. The champ picks it up but
realizes it’s just a replica because the title is somewhere between
here and New Orleans. Dean: “It’s been a blurry few days. It
still feels like Tuesday to me.” Kane comes out and brings up
Mercury and Noble beating Rollins on Monday when he was all alone.
Tonight he gets to be alone all over again against Dolph Ziggler. As
usual, Ambrose and Rollins have a great promo when people just leave
them alone.
Ryback
vs. Miz
Non-title.
Miz bails to the floor to take off the sunglasses and has his sunset
flip attempt countered by having his head slammed into the mat. A
ridiculous 26 seconds vertical suplex sends Miz outside again but he
throws Ryback over the announcers’ table as we take a break. Back
with Ryback fighting out of a chinlock and hitting a backpack
Stunner. A powerslam gets two for the champ but Miz kicks him in the
head to set up the Figure Four.
That
goes nowhere (just like always because it’s a horrible move for Miz
to use) as Ryback powers out, only to take a short DDT for two more.
The threat of a Meat Hook sends Miz to the floor but Ryback runs him
down out there just as easily. Back in and Shell Shock is countered
into the Skull Crushing Finale for two and Miz is stunned. Ever the
genius, Miz tries a Meat Hook of his own but takes the real thing,
setting up Shell Shock to give the champion the pin at 7:44.
Rating:
C. This was fine for what it
was and served the purpose of giving Ryback a nice win. Miz is
settling into this midcard role as he loses his matches but is able
to talk himself right back into being hated all over again due to
pure delusion. Ryback vs. Big Show isn’t going to be anything great
but at least the Shell Shock at the end will be good. Assuming of
course WWE doesn’t feel the need to feed someone else to Big Show for
reasons I’ll never fathom.
Post
match here’s Big Show who says he doesn’t impress easily with over
twenty years of experience (not quite as he debuted in October 1995).
The Shell Shock was fine on Monday but this Sunday ends with one of
these right hands. He’s holding up his left hand but close enough.
Ryback says he’ll have the
fans in his corner on Sunday so bring it right now, little man.
As expected, Show turns him down.
Tough
Enough finalists, including
former OVW TV Champion Michael Hayes (not that Michael Hayes. This
one only has one leg).
Jack
Swagger vs. King Barrett
R-Truth
is on commentary before his pre-show match with Barrett on Sunday and
has decided that he should be King after beating Barrett recently.
He
also thinks he’s
in the ladder match on Sunday. Barrett
stomps Jack down in the corner to start as Truth puts on the robe.
The distraction breaks up
the Bullhammer and Jack nails a big clothesline on the floor followed
by a Vader Bomb for two. The
Patriot Lock is broken up and the Bullhammer gives Barrett the pin at
2:23.
Truth
has disappeared.
More
Tough Enough finalists.
We
recap the Bellas’ Twin Magic from a few weeks back and Paige being
sick of the whole thing.
Alicia
Fox yells at Paige and there’s going to be a match later. I really
wish WWE would mix up this kind of thing. We’re long past the
suspension of disbelief that a package on the Divas would air then
there just happened to be a camera on Paige when Fox came up to
challenge her. All you need
is to say this happened earlier in the day.
This
week’s sitdown interview is with Lana, who says she and Dolph read
books together and talk about things. Rusev
comes in again and says don’t ruin this. Ziggler
has been with a bunch of other women but Rusev has only been with
her. Lana says it’s over and leaves so Rusev scares Cole away.
Dolph
Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins
Non-title
and Seth is on his own.
The champ takes it to the
mat with a headlock but Ziggler counters into an armbar to send Seth
to the ropes. Back to the
headlock on Dolph for a bit
before the threat of a superkick sends Rollins out to the floor.
They’re still in first gear here as Rollins takes a breather. Back
in and Dolph hammers away in the corner, only to get caught in an
electric chair for two. The
standard chinlock kills some time as the fans want Lana. Speak
for yourselves. I don’t want her and Ziggler anywhere near each
other.
Dolph
fights up and a Cactus Clothesline puts both guys outside, where
Rollins catapults him over the barricade as we take a break. We
come back with Ziggler slugging away until Rollins
drops him with a Sling Blade for two. Well
at least it wasn’t another chinlock. Ziggler
comes back with a backdrop to put Rollins on the floor, followed by
the running DDT for two. The
Buckle Bomb is countered into a rollup for two and the Fameasser gets
the same. Dolph keeps
speeding things up and goes to the top for a high cross body but
Rollins rolls through and grabs the trunks for the pin at 13:53.
Rating:
B-. Nice main event style match
here with Rollins getting the kind of a win he should be getting.
Ziggler doesn’t lose anything either and everyone comes out looking
fine. It’s very nice to see them breaking from the same pattern that
they’ve been having for months for Rollins as it was getting
repetitive.
Remember
the two times we’ve seen Tough Enough finalists already? Make it
three.
Paige
vs. Alicia Fox
Paige
takes her down to start and cranks on a reverse chinlock for
a bit before Fox takes her down and puts on a chinlock. They aren’t
exactly dishing out the creativity. At
least Fox adds in some knees to the head to mix things up. A big
boot to the face gets two on Paige but she snaps Fox’s throat across
the ropes. This is her house, which makes me wonder how much a Diva
makes since Paige must have 40 houses around the country. The
PTO makes Fox tap at 4:46.
Rating:
D. They did a good enough job
of making Paige look good going into Sunday but I don’t buy her as
having a chance at taking the title because All Hail the Bellas. It
didn’t help that the match was nearly half chinlock. You really
shouldn’t need two of those in a match that doesn’t last five
minutes.
Long
recap of Owens vs. Cena to set up the rematch on Sunday. The
first match was great and I really hope Owens just walks out on the
second because he has nothing to gain.
The
Prime Time Players say they’re like butter because they’re on a roll.
Whole wheat and gluten free that is. They
incorporate the clap into the Millions of Dollars dance and even
Renee joins in.
Final
batch of Tough Enough finalists, including
the Big O.
Roman
Reigns/Randy Orton/Neville vs. Sheamus/Kane/Kofi Kingston
Those
are quite the interesting teams. Reigns
decks Kofi to start before
Neville comes in and eats a right hand to the face. Neville
flips over Sheamus and tags in Orton, because we haven’t seen Orton
vs. Sheamus enough lately. The
good guy keeps control for a bit until a Kane distraction lets
Sheamus nail a tilt-a-whirl powerslam to take over. Back from a
break with Orton fighting out of Sheamus’ chinlock.
The
lukewarm tag brings in Neville to clean house with his variety of
kicks but Kane breaks up the Red Arrow. Kane
comes back in for some weak stomping and a big side slam for two as
this isn’t exactly inspiring stuff so far. Kofi
comes back in to fire the New Day up again with Woods declaring him
the greatest of all time. A
dropkick gets two and Woods says he’s getting annihilated right now.
Sheamus gets two of his own off the Irish Curse and it’s off to the
chinlock.
Neville
avoids a charge into the post though and it’s a hot tag to Reigns,
who runs Kofi over in a hurry. The
New Day is easily dispatched but Kane counters a Superman Punch with
a chokeslam, which earns Kane an RKO, followed by a Brogue Kick,
followed by a dropkick from Neville, followed by Trouble in Paradise.
Reigns is back up though and the Superman Punch connects to Kofi,
only to have the New Day come in for the DQ at 13:25.
Rating:
C-. This was boring. That’s
the best word I can come up with for it. We were sitting around and
waiting on the big parade of finishers to close things out and it
eventually came and went. It’s not a terrible match or even bad but
I never came close to being interested in what was going on.
Reigns
takes a Midnight Hour and it’s ladder time. Cue Dolph with a ladder
of his own but Neville climbs the ladder and dives onto everyone who
was nice enough to brawl right beneath him. Neville pulls down the
briefcase to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. Totally average show
here as they talked up the pay per view a bit but didn’t do much to
make me care about what I was seeing. Money in the Bank is a show
that sells itself with the big ladder match and it gets very
difficult to build towards it as the singles matches and tags don’t
change anything. As for the rest, it was just a standard Smackdown:
watchable wrestling, nothing important, two hours gone.
Results
Ryback
b. Miz – Shell Shock
King
Barrett b. Jack Swagger – Bullhammer
Seth
Rollins b. Dolph Ziggler – Rollins rolled through a cross body and
held Ziggler’s trunks
Paige
b. Alicia Fox – PTO
Roman
Reigns/Randy Orton/Neville b. Sheamus/Kane/Kofi Kingston via DQ when
New Day interfered
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Impact Wrestling – June 10, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
June 10, 2015
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
closing in on Slammiversary and the big story is the announcement of
the World Title match between champion Kurt Angle and new #1
contender Ethan Carter III. However, tonight is Destination X,
meaning Rockstar Spud is getting the World Title shot against Angle.
Other than that, we have the continuation of the best of five series
for the Tag Team Titles between the Dirty Heels (who are finally
acting like heels) and the Wolves. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a video on the X-Division as a whole before focusing on
Spud cashing in. However, Austin Aries is cashing in his Feast or
Fired briefcase on the winner. There will also be three triple
threats with the winners fighting in another triple threat for the
title at a future date.
It’s
time for the World Title match but Ethan Carter III and Tyrus cut
Christy off. Ethan is livid that he isn’t getting the shot tonight
so he’s staging an old fashioned sit-in. He dares anyone to come get
him out of here so Kurt Angle comes to the ring. Angle gets all
serious and threatens ankle pain to get Carter out of the ring.
TNA
World Title: Rockstar Spud vs. Kurt Angle
Kurt
is defending and takes Spud down to the mat with ease for a headlock.
Back up and Spud is able to send Angle outside, only to eat a belly
to belly on the floor for a huge crash. Angle takes it back inside
and nails another suplex to set up a chinlock. An Angle Slam attempt
is countered and Spud scores with an enziguri.
Spud
slugs away and tosses Kurt to the floor, setting up a huge flip dive
off the top. A superplex plants Spud back inside but he’s still able
to escape the Angle Slam. There’s a running forearm to Kurt but he
grabs an ankle lock, only to have Spud roll away into an Underdog
attempt. Kurt charges into the post and eats the Underdog for a VERY
close two, which shocks Spud. There’s the ankle lock with the
grapevine and Spud taps at 8:35.
Rating:
C+. Fun match but not enough to
be anything really great. They did about as much as they could do in
under nine minutes, but at the end of the day this was just a few
steps above a workout for Angle. The Underdog was a nice near fall
but this really was too short to work as well as they were hoping.
Here’s
the Dollhouse to call out Awesome Kong. Taryn is willing to bare all
to see who the toughest Knockout is, meaning Kong has to compete for
the title in a lingerie pillow fight. They have the lingerie ready
for her and it’s the only way she gets a shot.
Manik
vs. Low Ki vs. Crazzy Steve
Winner
advances to the X-Division Title match at a later date. Manik goes
after Steve to start but Ki breaks up Manik’s suicide dive. Back in
and Manik uppercuts both guys until Steve jumps into his arms, only
to have Ki hit a springboard spinning kick to the face. Something
like a Codebreaker gets two on Ki with Steve making the save. Steve
misses a high cross body and gets kicked into Manik in the corner,
setting up the Warrior’s Way to Manik to give Ki the pin at 3:28.
Rating:
C-. It’s going to be a long
night. Much like the other multi-man X-Division matches of late,
this was just a few guys doing moves to each other and one of them
getting a pin. What is there to say here? Ki makes sense as the
winner but Manik would have been fine as well. The time hurt this,
and I have a feeling that’s going to be the case with all three of
them.
Grado
is warming up for his triple threat later but he needs to lose weight
to become X-Division. He teases some Parkour but doesn’t quite make
it work. This is the guy that was supposed to be the most awesome
thing ever? Not bad but really?
Recap
of James Storm possibly murdering Mickie James last week. Apparently
she wasn’t physically hurt.
Tigre
Uno vs. DJZ vs. Mandrews
We
start with the triple headlock with Tigre speeding things up to take
over. DJZ dropkicks him down though, only to have Mandrews slingshot
in for a hurricanrana. A standing moonsault gets two on DJZ but
Tigre comes in with a missile dropkick. Tigre slams DJZ down for two
but Mandrews comes back in with a tornado DDT to put everyone down.
DJZ is up first for a running flip dive to the floor to take out both
guys again. Back in and Tigre shoves DJZ off the top and hits a
Phoenix Splash (read as a spinning knee to the face) to pin Mandrews
at 5:27.
Rating:
C. Total spot fest here with no
story or flow to the thing. That’s probably the best idea for these
guys but there’s nothing that makes any of these triple threats stand
out because there’s no reason to care about any of these guys.
They’re just thrown out there to do these matches and that’s the last
we see of them until it’s time for another big X-Division mess.
Post
match Jesse Godderz comes down to destroy DJZ.
Grado
continues to try to lose weight. He
asks Tigre for some tips but there’s a language barrier. Grado
leaves and Tigre calls him a jackass.
Knockouts
Title: Taryn Terrell vs. Awesome Kong
Taryn
is defending and this is a lingerie pillow fight. There’s
a bed in the ring for the Dollhouse and Taryn laughs at the idea of
Kong having to wear the lingerie. Kong
comes out in her regular gear, much to Taryn’s annoyance. Marti
and Jade are pulled to the floor for a beating so Taryn says the fans
don’t get to see her in lingerie. “What a tease I am!”
Cue
Brooke to say Taryn promised a title defense tonight and she’s ready
anytime. Brooke shoves her
down and the catfight is on as Kong is off making Jade and Marti into
toothpicks. Taryn is disrobed and runs off. No match of course.
The
Dirty Heels are ready for their tag match later, but Roode wants the
first World Title shot.
Grado
weighs in but strips off his singlet first. JB tells him there’s no
weight limit so he’s good to go. I’ve seen worse.
Grado
vs. Kenny King vs. Cruz
It’s
a big brawl to start with Cruz being thrown to the floor and Grado
getting kicked in the face. Cruz eats two running boots in the
corner but Grado pounds on King’s back. We hit a chinlock on Grado
for a bit before Cruz fails at lifting him up for a suplex. King
kicks Grado in the face, leaving Cruz to cross body Kenny for two.
There’s a Royal Flush to Cruz but Grado slugs away on Kenny, only to
eat a chop to the chest. The Royal Flush doesn’t work on Grado, who
sends Kenny outside and nails a Cannonball on Cruz for the pin at
5:18. Josh: “What a win and what a company!”
Rating:
C. Another fun enough match
with Grado having a ton of charisma, which I can finally see instead
of constantly being told about how awesome he is. King not being in
the title match is a nice change of pace, even though it’s pretty
clear Low Ki is the major favorite to get the belt. Again.
Bram
takes over a camera and says he’s going to the ring to make history.
After
a break, here’s Bram to run down the X-Division and issue an open
challenge to anyone who wants to fight in a six sided ring.
Bram
vs. Crimson
Uh….sure.
Crimson not being around for the better part of a few years is
treated like getting a free coffee from a Shell station. Bram slugs
him to the floor but Crimson takes over back inside. That sends Bram
outside for a stroll, where he sends Crimson into the barricade.
Back in and Bram scores with a kind of t-bone suplex, followed by a
Rings of Saturn with a neck crank. Bram makes the ropes and hits the
Brighter Side of Suffering for the pin at 4:38.
Rating:
D. Well that happened. I’m
glad Bram won but there isn’t much else to say here. Crimson coming
back got zero reaction so it was nice to see him lose this quickly.
I have no idea what this has to do with the X-Division, but then
again TNA stopped caring about that thing like six years ago so I
shouldn’t be surprised.
Kurt
Angle says he’ll win.
Ethan
Carter III says when he throws the first punch, Angle isn’t getting
up.
TNA
World Title: Austin Aries vs. Kurt Angle
Aries
is cashing in his Feast or Fired briefcase to get the title shot.
Feeling out process to start
until Aries clotheslines him down for two and nails a right hand in
the corner. Aries flips out
of a German and nails a low dropkick as we take a break. Back
with Angle rolling Germans but
the Angle Slam is countered into a DDT for two. There’s the Last
Chancery but Angle escapes
and grabs an ankle lock, only to have Aries make the ropes.
The
discus elbow is countered into an Angle Slam for two. Angle
misses the moonsault and gets caught in another Last Chancery, which
really doesn’t look as good as they’re hoping for. The 450 is broken
up by Angle running the ropes but Aries shoves him off for the 450
and a very near fall. Another
Angle Slam is countered with two discus forearms but the brainbuster
only gets two with Kurt putting a foot on the ropes.
There’s
an ankle lock on the champion but he counters into one of his own.
Aries rolls Kurt to the floor for a suicide dive, which goes right
into the barricade. Austin is out cold and it’s another Angle Slam,
only to have Aries counter into a rollup for two. Now the ankle lock
with the grapevine makes Austin tap at 18:00.
Rating:
B. Good main event match here
but Angle is long past the point where you can call his spots in the
big matches. How many times has someone put Kurt in the ankle lock,
only to get countered into the same hold? Aries is his usual awesome
self, but he needs something more than just being in a tag team that
he’s already been in.
Ethan
Carter III comes in and lays Angle out to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. It gets really
tiring seeing TNA pay lip service to the X-Division and then abandon
it for the next ten and a half months every single year. Notice that
the Feast or Fired cash-in, which could happen at any show of the
year, got WAY more attention than the X-Division cash-in, which was
treated as an afterthought. This show is a waste of time on a
division that stopped meaning anything years ago.
The
show itself was really nothing to see other than a few spot fests and
the usual good main event. Other than that though, this could have
been any regular episode of Impact and no one would have noticed the
X-Division as really standing out. I’d be fine if they just dropped
the thing already because it’s clear that it doesn’t mean anything.
Decent enough show but it never once felt special.
Results
Kurt
Angle b. Rockstar Spud – Ankle lock
Low
Ki b. Manik and Crazzy Steve – Warrior’s Way to Manik
Tigre
Uno b. DJZ and Mandrews – Phoenix Splash to Mandrews
Grado
b. Kenny King and Cruz – Cannonball to Cruz
Bram
b. Crimson – Brighter Side of Suffering
Kurt
Angle b. Austin Aries – Ankle lock
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NXT – June 10, 2015

NXT
Date:
June 10, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
big story tonight is the in ring debut of Samoa Joe, who debuted a
few weeks back and has had some intense staredowns with NXT Champion
Kevin Owens. It should be interesting to see who Joe’s first victim
is, because it’s fairly clear that he’s coming for Owens and the
title. Right now though, Finn Balor is the #1 contender and will be
facing Owens for the title in Tokyo on July 4. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video is all about Joe debuting in NXT and setting his sights
on the title.
Opening
sequence.
Zack
Ryder/Mojo Rawley vs. Mike Rallis/Elias Samson
Ryder
is WAY over here and the fans even seem happy to see Rawley. Mojo
shoves Rallis down, slams Samson, but then stop, HAMMER TIME. Ryder
comes in and takes some shoulders in the ribs, only to raise his
knees in the corner to stop a charge. The middle rope dropkick sets
up the Broski Boot but Samson offers a distraction to take over.
We
hit the chinlock but a GET HYPED chant brings Ryder to his feet for
the hot tag to Rawley. Mojo cleans house with some very fast paced
offense, including a big running punch and capped off by a middle
rope Hart Attack with the Rough Ryder instead of the clothesline for
the pin on Samson at 3:55.
Rating:
C. I’ve always liked Ryder and
this was a good sign for him. A lot of guys could use a recharge
down in NXT and Ryder is probably at the top of that list. He
clearly still has a following as the fans were all over him. Rawley
was doing exactly what he should have done all along here: cleaned
house and never looked back. One of his biggest problems was getting
beaten up until the last 45 seconds of the match for a big comeback.
Guys like him should hardly ever be on defense and the reaction was a
lot better as a result.
Finn
Balor promo with his voice talking about how everyone has two sides.
Shots of the demon paint keep appearing until “FINN BALOR ARRIVES –
July 4 in Tokyo” comes on screen. Oh that’s going to be amazing.
Dana
Brooke video. She’s the Total Diva.
Emma
vs. Blue Pants
SHE’S
BAAAAACK! Big Cass’ Price Is Right entrance music got one of the
loudest reactions in recent weeks. The fans are smart enough to know
that it’s Blue Pants’ birthday. Emma jumps her to start, making her
the most hated woman in the promotion. A dropkick gets two and we
hit the bow and arrow on Blue Pants. Fans: “BLUE PANTS ROCKS!”
Blue Pants gets some rollups for two but it’s back to the chinlock.
Emma drops an elbow to the back of the head for two more but Blue
Pants comes back with some kicks to the head. Blue Pants gets going
but Emma trips her down and the Emma Lock gets the submission at
4:40.
Rating:
D+. Here’s the key thing about
Blue Pants: she isn’t used that often. They could bring her in more
often for some loud reactions, but they would eventually die down
because Blue Pants is so beloved due to being a special attraction.
If this were the main roster, she would be in five segments a night
and people would get sick of her in two weeks. This common sense
stuff is addictive.
Enzo,
Cass and Carmella say that Blake/Murphy/Bliss wouldn’t last one week
in the Hunger Games and if they grew up where they’re from, it would
be time to go live with Uncle Phil. Six person tag next week.
Tyler
Breeze vs. Bull Dempsey
Dempsey
knees him in the head to start and we’re quickly in a chinlock.
Fans: “BULL IS GORGEOUS/NO HE’S NOT!” Back up and the standing
splash sets up the top rope headbutt but Breeze rolls away before the
jump. Breeze gets him in a chance around the ring and Bull keeps
getting winded. Fans: “CARDIO! CARDIO!” Breeze laps Bull,
throws him inside and gives him a Beauty Shot for the pin at 2:49.
Tyler is basically a face now due to all of his hard work and string
of good matches.
We
look back at Becky Lynch’s standing ovation after losing to Sasha
Banks. Brennan’s nickname for her: The Lass Kicker. As much as I
hate myself for this, I kind of dig that name.
Becky
Lynch vs. Jesse McKay
Becky
has a very high energy entrance now, complete with smoke along the
entrance. The fans are responding to it and it’s easy to sey why.
McKay used to wrestle in Shimmer under the same name. Jesse gets in
a kick to the ribs to start, followed by another to the face. An
armbar has Becky in some trouble but she comes back with a hammerlock
suplex and some legdrops. “BETTER THAN HOGAN!” Let’s not get
crazy here. Something like a torture rack Samoan drop sets up the
armbar (Rich: “The Disgoosted Armbar!” Graves: “The WHAT?”)
for the submission at 4:16.
Rating:
D+. I really wasn’t feeling
this one as Jesse got in way too much offense in what should have
been a Becky showcase match. McKay was good enough in there though
and could be something interesting if she’s allowed to develop like
the rest of the girls down here have done. This was too much like an
old Mojo Rawley match though: awesome entrance, next to no offense
until the very end.
Regal
announces that Owens will be on commentary for Joe’s match but Bull
Dempsey comes in eating a bag of Doritos. He blames his loss on a
lack of sleep. Regal gets serious and tells Dempsey to get his act
together. The boss leaves so Dempsey pulls an open Snickers out of
his singlet. Well they had to do something new with Dempsey so this
works well enough.
Jason
Jordan says he has another partner when Chad Gable comes in, saying
it should be him. “I’m ready, willing and Gable. See what I did
there?” Jason says no but Gable adds his name to Jordan’s locker.
Baron
Corbin vs. Angelo Dawkins
Corbin
throws him around to start and walks him around the ring before a
slam. A bulldog attempt is countered by a huge clothesline and End
of Days gives Baron the pin at 2:29.
Samoa
Joe vs. Scott Dawson
Owens
is on commentary and Joe’s music still sucks. He does however look a
bit more toned. Fans: “PLEASE DON’T DIE!” How nice of them to
be worried about Joe’s safety. They trade armbars to start until Joe
takes it up a notch with a back elbow to the face. Owens: “Wow a
back elbow! I’ve got a mean back elbow.” The release Rock Bottom
out of the corner sets up the Muscle Buster for the pin on Dawson at
3:45.
Rating:
C. Total squash here and it did
exactly what it was supposed to do. Owens is great on commentary as
the guy trying to cut into Joe’s hype and this was a very fun use of
about five minutes. Joe’s physique looked about as good as you can
fairly expect. The guy is never going to look like John Cena and
it’s unfair to expect him to, but he looked fine here.
During
the replays, Kevin offers to get Brennan a Joe shirt from the
merchandise table. Owens goes to leave but Joe calls him to the
ring. Kevin won’t get in because he’s a good man who won’t drop Joe
after his first match. Joe is a rookie here in NXT and one win isn’t
enough for an NXT Title match. Cue
Regal who agrees with Owens. Joe hasn’t earned a title shot, but
he’s earned the right to a non-title fight against Owens next week.
Overall
Rating:
B-. Matches made for
the future, six matches, some amusing promos, two in ring debuts and
a new character for Dempsey. How in the world can they get all that
inside an hour and have almost no filler? This was the efficient NXT
that flies by every week because it’s very well put together. Couple
that with an energetic crowd and you have one heck of a fun show.
Results
Zack
Ryder/Mojo Rawley b. Elias Samson/Mike Rallis – Middle rope Rough
Ryder to Samson
Emma
b. Blue Pants – Emma Lock
Tyler
Breeze b. Bull Dempsey – Beauty Shot
Becky
Lynch b. Jesse McKay – Disgoosted Armbar
Baron
Corbin b. Angelo Dawkins – End of Days
Samoa
Joe b. Scott Dawson – Muscle Buster
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Smackdown – June 4, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
June 4, 2015
Location:
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
In
something I could get used to, the big story tonight continues to be
Kevin Owens, who will be issuing an NXT Title Open Challenge in the
same vein as John Cena’s US Title Open Challenges. Owens has only
had one match on the main roster so far so it’s going to be
interesting to see how they treat him here. Let’s get to it.

We
open with stills of Sunday’s main event with Ambrose winning via DQ
but leaving with the title anyway.
Here’s
Rollins to get things going, of course without the title but carrying
a chair. A year ago to the day, he took a chair to Ambrose and
Reigns to dismantle the Shield. Rollins sits down in the chair and
talks about being asked “why” so many times over the last year.
Why did he do what he did and destroy what he created? From the day
he arrived, he said his goal was to be the very best in this
industry.
After
all the time in the Shield, he got tired of sharing the glory with
two chumps beneath him. That led him to the Authority, who groomed
him to be the future of the WWE. Then he won the Money in the Bank
ladder match all by himself. Around the time of the Royal Rumble, he
had a vision to defeat Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at the same
time. To execute a plan like that took a genius (So people like Kane
and Jack Swagger are geniuses?) because now the Beast is off licking
his wounds and Reigns is living in Seth’s shadow.
Rollins
stands here as the greatest champion of all time but with no title
around his waist. That brings him to Dean Ambrose, who wants all of
the fans to think that stealing a title makes you a champion. Well
allegedly it made him the Intercontinental Champion so why not try it
with the big belt too? Rollins can take care of Ambrose without any
member of the Authority, including Stephanie or HHH. Cue Ambrose on
the screen, standing under a ladder, to say Rollins either has a bad
memory or is a liar.
The
fans saw Ambrose pin him on Sunday and now he knows the Authority is
going to send everyone that they can to keep this title from slipping
through their fingers. At Elimination Chamber, Ambrose climbed to
the top of the mountain and at Money in the Bank, he’ll climb to the
top of the ladder and claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
that rightfully belongs to him or he’ll die trying.
This
right here was a great example of why the Authority really isn’t
needed most of the time. Yeah they helped set up the story, but this
was one of the better promos these two have ever had, which happens
to come off the heels of another of their best promos ever last week.
The Authority bogs so much stuff down with HHH taking twice as long
as any human to speak and Stephanie has to get in her buzz words
because saying “WWE World Heavyweight Championship” and “Money
in the Bank pay per view” is how you sell a show instead of letting
the wrestlers who hate each other talk the fans into the building.
Prime
Time Players vs. Ascension vs. Lucha Dragons
#1
contenders match. Darren and Sin get things going with Cara being
taken down to the mat but nipping up to his feet. Off to Kalisto who
eats a clothesline for two as the fans are just silent here. Viktor
tags himself in to stay on Kalisto as New Day is watching in the
back. Kalisto kicks Konnor out to the floor and sends Viktor out to
the floor as well, setting up a nice double suicide dive to get the
fans into things a bit.
We
take a break and come back with Ascension working over Kalisto,
including Viktor dropping an elbow for two. Kalisto finally gets a
boot up in the corner and takes Viktor down with a middle rope ankle
scissors. Saxton: “Kalisto is like a real life Sonic the
Hedgehog.” No Byron, he isn’t.
Ascension
breaks up a hot tag attempt but Kalisto knees out of a delayed
vertical suplex, allowing Titus to tag himself in and clean house.
Everything breaks down with Titus kicking Konnor in the face and
throwing Kalisto at him to put both guys on the floor. The
pumphandle powerslam from Titus is enough to pin Viktor at 9:29.
Rating:
C. Fun triple threat match
here though the continued depush of Ascension makes my head hurt.
They’re a good power team and we even got a nice little tease of that
on Sunday, so it’s time for them to get pinned again here. To say
they were in trouble coming out of the gates is an understatement,
but WWE hasn’t done them any favors.
Renee
Young asks New Day about their future now that they know their #1
contenders. Woods continues to be amazing with a line of “Renee,
our future is as bright as a morning sun…….rising over a new
day.” Their plan for the
Prime Time Players: dispose of the Prime Time Players and their
greed, clap and then watch Kofi Kingston win Money in the Bank. Kane
comes in and makes Kofi vs. Neville for tonight.
Sonic
auditions.
Ryback
vs. Stardust
Non-title.
Ryback throws him into the
corner to start but runs into a boot to the face. A reverse DDT gets
two for Stardust and a running knee to the face gets the same. Off
to the chinlock for a bit before it’s the Meat Hook and Shell Shock
to give Ryback the pin at 2:11. Nothing to see here.
We
recap the Bellas using Twin Magic on Raw, which is still a horrible
idea.
Renee
Young brings Paige out for a chat. Paige
says it feels like things are never going to change around here
because the Twin Magic has been done for years. The Bellas come out
here every week and talk about giving Divas a chance but they know
it’s all about them and they make sure to hold the rest of the Divas
back. Their lives are all about being celebrities but Paige’s life
is consumed with what happens in that ring. She’ll never buy into
the idea of if you can’t beat em, join em. Instead, it’s up to her
to change the world she’s in. Good stuff here but it’s the same
story AJ did before the Bellas took over the division.
Harper
and Rowan say they’re different because they’re family.
Stills
of Owens vs. Cena on Sunday.
Here’s
Kevin Owens for the NXT Title Open Challenge. Before
the match, Owens talks about everyone knowing him after what he did
this past Sunday. He’s the
man who defeated John Cena in his first match in WWE. However,
Owens’ son is still a John Cena fan because he’s seven years old and
doesn’t know any better. On Monday, Owens heard the emotion in
Cena’s voice and learned something: John Cena is completely
delusional.
Cena
actually believes all the nonsense he spews
out. Cena stood out here and said Owens isn’t a real man, so there
is no way Kevin can let his son be influenced like this anymore. The
fairy tales that Cena force feeds kids around the world have to stop
and Owens is glad to be the one to step up and do just that at Money
in the Bank. That brings
him to tonight and the NXT Title Open Challenge starts right…..well
he isn’t wearing a watch so just get out here.
NXT
Title: Kevin Owens vs. Zack Ryder
We
even get big match intros. Owens is all over him to start but a
single forearm sends him out to the floor. Ryder is right back on
him but Owens knocks Zack into the barricade. Back in and Ryder
scores with a middle rope dropkick but the Pop Up Powerbomb ends this
in 1:12.
Owens
gives him the Cannonball and another powerbomb post match.
Sheamus
enjoyed giving Orton a beating on Monday and he’s going to do it to
everyone in the Money in the Bank ladder match in ten days before
going on to become WWE Champion. Simple yet effective again.
Tough
Enough videos.
Neville
vs. Kofi Kingston
This
has potential. Kofi kicks him down to start but Neville flips
forward into the cross body out of the corner. Lawler: “Neville
has so many moves that when I try to call his matches, I’m more
confused than a chameleon in a bag of Skittles.” That’s Lawler’s
one clever line all year. Kofi sends him to the floor for some cheap
shots from the New Day and we take a break.
Back
with Kofi getting two off a reverse suplex but Neville kicks him
right back. A standing shooting star gets two on Kofi and Neville
plants him with a tornado DDT. Big E. pulls Kofi away before the Red
Arrow can launch, but Neville just dives on both of them with a big
moonsault. Back in and Neville counters a rollup into one of his own
for the surprise pin at 8:04.
Rating:
C+. Neville continues to
impress and it’s cool to see him fight off all three guys and pick up
a win with something other than the Red Arrow. You don’t want to
overuse the big spots and risk burning the fans out on them, because
there comes a point where even Neville can’t top himself with the
high spots.
It’s
time for MizTV with special guest Lana, who has her own Titantron
video. We look back at the breakup and Rusev being all devastated as
a result. Lana says Rusev didn’t respect him so he doesn’t deserve
her. This gets a standing ovation from Miz, who describes Lana as
good. He calls it a good business decision, but Lana, with the
accent melting word by word, says that it was purely personal. If
Miz keeps suggesting otherwise, she’ll either leave or Miz will get
slapped.
That
brings out the second guest: Rusev, who slowly limps to the ring.
Rusev is here as a broken man and blames it on his upbringing. He
didn’t know what he had until it was gone and he knows Lana loves
that song. Rusev asks for one more chance and would like her to be
his crutch while he can’t walk. Lana tells him where he can stick
his crutch so Rusev erupts all over again and calls her stupid. Cue
Ziggler to get Lana out before things get bad. Rusev as the crushed
ex-boyfriend is perhaps the worst usage of someone with potential
that WWE has had in years and it’s just sad at this point.
Roman
Reigns vs. Sheamus
This
could be good. Sheamus goes right to the ribs to start and knees
Reigns to the floor, only to eat a big clothesline. Sheamus keeps
the power game going by driving him into the apron and throwing him
over the announcers’ table as we take a break. Back with Sheamus
driving knees into the ribs and slapping on a chinlock. The Regal
Roll gets two but Roman fights out of the ten forearms. Roman misses
the apron kick (has he ever done that before?) and Sheamus takes over
again, only to miss a charge into the post.
Back
up and Roman fires off some clotheslines in the middle of the ring
and in the corner but the Samoan drop is countered. They head
outside again and this time the apron kick connects with Sheamus
standing on the floor. Back in and here are Kane and the Stooges for
a distraction, setting up the Irish Curse for two. The Brogue Kick
misses and Reigns hits the Superman Punch, only to have Kane come in
for the DQ at 10:40.
Rating:
B-. I liked this as much as I
expected to with both guys hitting each other over and over until we
got to the obvious ending. It’s getting really tiring to see Kane
and the Stooges come in for the DQ or interference, especially when
they barely have anything to do with the match in the first place.
Fun power match here though.
Kane
chokeslams Sheamus to shock the Stooges. He announces himself as the
final entrant in the Money in the Bank ladder match and chokeslams
Reigns to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This
show was one of the more entertaining episodes they’ve had in a good
while as they let the stories progress naturally instead of forcing
everything in. The
wrestling was decent enough and the two hours went by very quickly.
I can live with Smackdown like this, especially with such a good
opening promo instead of the Authority droning on and on.
Results
Prime
Time Players b. Ascension and Lucha Dragons – Pumphandle powerslam
to Viktor
Ryback
b. Stardust – Shell Shock
Kevin
Owens b. Zack Ryder – Pop Up Powerbomb
Neville
b. Kofi Kingston – Rollup
Roman
Reigns b. Sheamus via DQ when Kane interfered
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Impact Wrestling – June 3, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
June 3, 2015
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
finally getting to the build to Slammiversary, which is less than a
month away. Impact is now on Wednesdays as the company’s issues with
Destination America continues. There is no reason that this show
shouldn’t start getting us towards Ethan Carter III vs. Kurt Angle
for the World Title. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video is about Carter’s rise to the top of TNA.
A
barbershop quintet sings Carter’s theme song because he is FINALLY #1
in the Impact rankings. Quintet: “For he’s the #1 contender, for
he’s the #1 contender, for he’s the #1 contender, which nobody can
deny!” We even get balloons falling to make this feel special.
After denying us a Tyrus dance, Carter says there is only one thing
left for him and that is to become World Champion.
This
brings out Angle, who says Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne would be rolling
over in their graves if they saw this. However, there’s someone else
in line before Carter can get his shot and that’s X-Division Champion
Rockstar Spud, who can cash in his title for a shot at the World
Title next week. Carter isn’t cool with that and says he’s got an
offer for Spud. Tyrus and Carter leave and Angle Slams one of the
singers. Carter was awesome here and I can’t wait to see him finally
get the title, assuming TNA doesn’t screw that up too.
Lashley
vs. Eric Young
Lashley
runs him over to start and hits a nice delayed vertical suplex to
knock some of the sanity back into Young. Eric is able to send him
to the apron though for a middle rope kick to the back of the head to
get a breather. Back in and Eric starts working on the neck and we
hit the chinlock. Pope’s great insight on commentary here: if Young
wins he’ll move up in the rankings but if Lashley wins, he’ll move up
in the rankings. Eric goes up top but dives into a backdrop followed
by some elbows to the jaw. A spinebuster gets two for Lashley and
after easily fighting off the piledriver, the spear pins Young at
5:29.
Rating:
C. It’s amazing how much more
tolerable that CRAZY man is when he isn’t in the World Title picture
anymore. I’m fine with Young if he’s in the right spot on the card
and this is a much better fit for him. I still don’t like the
character because it’s not what they say he is, but at least they’re
getting the booking a bit better.
Chris
Melendez comes after Young post match but Eric escapes. This
is even more like it for Young, though Melendez isn’t anything
interesting.
The
Dollhouse giggles about keeping Taryn’s title last week and Taryn
offers Kong a shot next week.
Melendez
wants to fight Young. I was thinking he wanted him over for
afternoon tea so thanks for the clarification.
Austin
Aries suggests that Spud doesn’t cash in the title for Option C.
Jade
vs. Brooke
Jade
goes right after her before the bell but gets rolled up for two. A
Marti Bell distraction lets Jade take over and Brooke gets kicked in
the face for two. Jade powerslams her down but misses a moonsault,
allowing Brooke to hit a facebuster for two. Marti tries to come in
and eats Jade’s boot by mistake, setting up the Tesshocker for the
pin at 3:38.
Rating:
C-. Not bad here as it’s nice
to see the Knockouts having a bench to go with the title scene. I’m
not sure why you have Brooke win here but it’s hardly a horrible
idea. You don’t want the Dollhouse looking inept though as they
looked more like weak heels instead of the sinister group they’ve
been so far.
Carter
is about to talk about Spud but gets a phone call.
Rebel
and Brooke celebrate the win. Brooke
leaves and the Dollhouse beats Rebel down.
Rising
vs. BDC
Drake
and MVP get things going with a slugout as Josh recaps the feud. It
helps a bit but I still don’t get why this feud needs to exist. MVP
wins a slugout and takes Drake down so King can come in with a quick
chinlock. Off to Low Ki for a dropkick to the back of the head and
the fast tags continue with all three members getting their shots in.
Drew finally comes in off
the hot tag and nails a running boot to Ki’s face as everything
breaks down. Galloway gets
caught in the Tree of Woe but is able to sit up and counter the
Warrior’s Way with a belly to belly superplex. A Doomsday Device of
all things is enough to pin Ki at 5:42.
Rating:
C. The match was fine but this
feud just keeps going. I get the idea they’re shooting for here but
it’s so uninteresting that it’s hard to care. The Rising doesn’t
need to exist because the BDC is a midcard stable who isn’t taking
anything over. Hopefully both teams split soon enough.
Mickie
James is in Nashville for her meetings but only James Storm is there.
This story continues to be one of the best things going on in TNA.
Rockstar
Spud can’t make his decision yet but there’s no more time. With no
decision coming, here’s Kurt Angle to coax him a bit. This is his
thirteenth World Title and he trained harder for this one than the
other twelve combined so there is no way he’s losing it. Cue Carter
and Tyrus to say Spud should stay right where he is.
Ethan
just got off the pone with Dixie Carter, who is willing to offer Spud
a lifetime contract as Chief of Staff if he doesn’t cash in Option C.
Spud talks about the Carters taking him in when he had nowhere to
go. They were like brothers, but then Ethan slapped him in the face
and shaved his head. This is always about Ethan, because he’s had
everything handed to him. Spud has given everything to get here and
he wants no part of the offer. He cashes in for next week
(SHOCKING!) and gets decked in the face. Angle wants a tag match
tonight.
Aries
gives Bobby Roode a shirt for their match.
Back
to Nashville where Mickie wants to know what’s going on. Storm says
the big stars are just fashionably late and says he can give her so
much more. The music will always be there, but he wants to talk
about something even bigger: joining him on his journey. He wants
Mickie and her son Donovan to join the Revolution. Mickie
appreciates the offer but turns him down. Storm laughs it off and
Mickie hugs him before they leave. Storm: “There’s a lot of
crazies out there.”
Dirty
Heels vs. Wolves
Match
#3 in a best of five series for the Tag Team Titles with the Wolves
up 2-0. Aries takes Davey down with a Last Chancery early on but
it’s quickly off to Roode to crank on the arm. The Wolves get in
some double teaming to take over on Roode and then backdrop the legal
Aries into their corner. Roode breaks up a double dive and Aries
takes out the Wolves’ knees as we go to a break.
Back
with Davey breaking up a catapult into Aries and diving over for the
tag, only to have Aries pull Eddie to the floor. The hot tag works a
few seconds later and it’s Edwards coming in to clean house. Some
rapid fire chops have Roode in trouble and the heels (who aren’t
heels) are backdropped to the floor for a double suicide dive into
the barricade. An enziguri into the German suplex into the jackknife
cover gets two on Roode.
Aries
pulls Davey to the floor, leaving Edwards to take the catapult into
the forearm, followed by the slingshot elbow from Roode for a very
close two. Something like Chasing the Dragon (Michinoku Driver
instead of a brainbuster) gets two on Roode but Aries comes back in
with a 450 to Edwards for two more. Aries dives onto Edwards and
it’s time for a chair. Roode doesn’t want to use it but he’ll hit
Eddie low behind the referee’s back. A chair shot on top of that is
enough to pin Edwards at 13:13.
Rating:
B-. Well at least they’re heels
now. I’m not a fan of the matches where it’s all a huge mess after
about five minutes in and the tagging is completely forgotten. It’s
fine for a bit but having the majority of the match be a wild brawl
gets annoying after a bit. At least the match was fun though and the
ending gave us some heels in the feud.
Storm
and Mickie walk along the side of a train until James knocks her down
what looked to be a flight of stairs.
Here’s
Madison Rayne to complain about not getting any attention around here
because she isn’t putting candy in someone’s mouth or isn’t Gail Kim.
She calls Velvet Sky to the ring because people who don’t work here
can come through the crowd and get in the ring. Madison slaps her in
the face and eats a Stunner, so here’s Angelina with security to take
Velvet out. Angelina slaps Velvet before the security takes her
away…..and here are more security guards to arrest Love for
slapping a fan. Well played actually.
Taryn
lays on her bed and promises to take care of Kong next week.
Ethan
Carter III/Tyrus vs. Kurt Angle/Rockstar Spud
Spud
stomps Carter down at the bell and chops away in the corner. A kick
to the head drops Ethan but Spud would rather hit some running
forearms instead of tagging, which allows Tyrus to grab Spud by the
face. Some backbreakers have Spud in trouble and Carter makes it
worse with a belly to belly. He opts to pose instead of cover though
and the hot tag brings in Angle. Tyrus breaks up the ankle lock and
eats the Angle Slam, allowing Spud to dive in for the pin at 6:48.
Rating:
C-. Just a quick match to set
up the showdown next week. Angle vs. Carter is clearly the big prize
here but we need to get Option C out of the way because where would
we be without that? There wasn’t much here but they didn’t have the
time to get anything done. The fact that it’s for a short term title
shot didn’t help things either.
Aries
comes out and says he’s cashing in next week to
face the winner of Angle vs. Spud.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This was one of
their better shows in a decent while but there are still some issues.
For one thing, there are way too many cash ins going on at the same
time when it’s clear they’re just killing time until we get to
Carter. Well either that or they’re going to do the dumbest thing
they could and go with anything other than Carter getting the belt at
Destination America. Good show, but too much being packed into too
little time.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6