Date: December 17, 2019
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
We’re about a month away from Hard To Kill and the top of the card is already set. I’m not sure how interested I am in Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan again but the Tag Team Title match sounds good. What matters most is that they have something to shoot for and that is more important than a lot of things. Like Acey Romero vs. Joey Ryan as Ryan’s Wrestler’s Court punishment. Let’s get to it.
Jordynne Grace vs. Tenille Dashwood
Dashwood still works here? She takes Grace down with a headscissors and then switches to a quickly broken armbar. They trade some standing switches until Dashwood’s crossbody is caught and muscled up into a suplex for two. Grace is sent to the apron and Dashwood gets in a kick to the face, plus a neckbreaker over the ropes for two.
The Tarantula goes on, setting up a reverse DDT for two more on Grace. That’s enough for Grace who busts the heck out of Dashwood’s spine for her own two, plus two more just in case. Dashwood fights out of the Grace Driver so Grace blasts her with a clothesline. Somehow Dashwood is right back up with the Taste of Tenille and a butterfly suplex for two more. Dashwood tries la majistral but Grace drops down onto her for the pin at 7:50.
Rating: C. They did some back and forth stuff here but I’m not sure how much Grace should be going up before the big title shot. Then again I’m not sure how much ODB needs to be in that title match and she’s there anyway. Dashwood has just stopped mattering over the last few months and I don’t see that getting much better.
Post match they shake hands but here’s Taya Valkyrie to jump Grace. Dashwood makes the save though and Taya is sent bailing.
Moose runs into Rhino and tells him that he could have given him some pointers against Rob Van Dam. Rhino decks him, likely setting up a match later tonight.
The North comes up to Willie Mack and actually doesn’t want a fight. Since Mack is hurt, they should let Rich Swann go off and be a singles star. Swann comes up to say tell them to get out of here before a fight breaks out.
The announcers preview the card.
TJP vs. Daga
Fallah Bahh is here with TJP and we get an early handshake. They go to the mat for an early standoff until it’s back to the mat for some grappling. TJP dropkicks him into the corner and we stop for some staring. Back up and Daga armdrags him into an armbar and then does it again for good measure. TJP is right back with his headscissors to spin Daga over but Daga spins out of another attempt and pulls TJP down by the arm.
They trade some flips to maintain arm control, trade rollup for two each, and miss stereo dropkicks as we take a break. Back with Daga hitting some shots in the corner but getting sent out to the floor in a hurry. The springboard slingshot dropkick rocks Daga again and the slingshot hilo gets two back inside. Daga’s headscissors sends TJP into the corner for a change and there’s a forearm to the back.
Daga runs down the ramp for a sunset flip into a double stomp to the chest for two and that means frustration time. TJP spins out of a tiger bomb but his bridging rollup is countered into a superkick. That’s fine with TJP, who hits a jumping spin kick to the face for another double knockdown.
They slug it out until TJP snaps off a hurricanrana into a cross armbreaker but Daga stacks him up for two. A double clothesline puts them both down again and the real frustration is setting in. Daga knocks him down and goes up, earning himself a superplex back down into the Detonation Kick. The kneebar sends Daga to the rope so TJP switches to an STF to make Daga tap at 16:39.
Rating: B-. This got some time and was quite the technical display. TJP can go with anyone and has put in one nice performance after another. I could go for either of them getting a nice push but for some reason I don’t exactly buy that as being the most likely case. At least we got a good match out of the whole thing though.
Post match the Desi Hit Squad runs in to beat down TJP and Bahh. Daga makes the save but Shera comes in to plant him with a chokeslam. Good thing we got to push the important guys.
Brian Cage runs into the very combined forces of Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes. Rob isn’t worried about their match at Hard To Kill because he knows how to counter his own moves.
Here are Van Dam and Forbes for a chat. Katie introduces him and more kissing ensues. Rob isn’t sure why he’s getting so much attention as of late but he’ll take it while he gets it. After more Katie time, Rob says he’s taking a stand against everyone trying to steal all of his awesome moves. Cage is the biggest Van Dam mark of them all, so here he is in person. The fight is on with Cage getting the better of things until Katie gets in a low blow. Rob plants him with a middle rope Fameasser but won’t give the fans the Van Terminator. Instead he dropkicks the chair into Cage’s head and has some more of Katie.
Flashback Moment of the Week: Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me from Final Resolution 2010.
Susie runs into Rosemary, who warns him about James Mitchell, who comes in and gets Susie away from her. Havok comes in to choke Rosemary. The lights go all colorful and Rosemary disappears as Susie seems…..pleased?
Taya interrupts Madison Rayne and Kiera Hogan, who don’t seem pleased. They’re not friends because Taya is rather rude but she needs help. She asks them to help a Knockout in need but they don’t buy it. Maybe if they get a title shot after Hard To Kill? Taya thinks about it.
Ethan Page vs. Rich Swann
Page headlocks him to start so Swann shoves his way out and hits a good dropkick. Swann slugs away but Josh Alexander grabs his foot, allowing Page to get in a thumb to the eye. Page slugs away until Swann grabs a small package for two. That means a change of pace with some stomping in the corner instead of slugging, because Page is that versatile. A kick to the face keeps Swann down but he rolls forward into a clothesline to Page.
Swann gets two off a cartwheel splash but Alexander’s distraction breaks up the 450. Page’s Neutralizer gets two, only to have Swann come right back with some kicks to the head for his own two. Swann has to bail out of the 450 so Page hits a middle rope slam. The Swanton gives Page two but Swann is back with a kick to the face. He dives onto Alexander though, leaving Page to go after Mack. You don’t do that to Willie though and he chases Page back in and decks him for the DQ at 10:02.
Rating: C+. This was all about the mind games at the end and there is nothing wrong with that. Swann and Mack feel like almost guaranteed title winners so going with some doubt is a good idea. I could go for them winning the titles but I could also go with them fighting each other for months in a great feud.
Post match Swann isn’t happy with Willie.
Rhino and Moose get in another fight in the back.
Joey Ryan vs. Acey Romero
Johnny Swinger is on commentary and Joey starts fast with the baby oil down the trunks. Acey won’t touch it but does hurt his knee on an atomic drop. As the announcers talk about Joey killing territories, Acey crushes him with a crossbody and gets two off a spinebuster. They hit heads and Acey falls face first onto Ryan’s crotch, which brings Ryan back to life.
The lollipop goes into the referee’s mouth by mistake (I’m surprised it doesn’t give him superpowers) and it’s time for Acey to grab it. Swinger makes the save and has Acey grab his fanny pack, which has no such powers. Joey is right back up with the Flip and Sweet Tooth Music finishes Acey at 3:54.
Rating: F. Something about me not having fun or not getting wrestling. I think I’m to the point where I don’t need to rant about Joey anymore. He really does seem like a nice guy (including being nice to me on Twitter before) but this isn’t for me and that’s ok. I could go with not seeing it but I know there’s an audience for it. I’m just not part of it.
Tessa Blanchard isn’t worried about Sami Callihan exposing her. She’s going to take the title from the most vile champion the company has ever seen.
Michael Elgin takes Eddie Edwards’ trophy.
Ace Austin vs. Petey Williams
Non-title. Petey elbows him in the face to start and ducks a springboard kick to the face. A headscissors sends Ace into the corner, setting up the slingshot Codebreaker. The Sharpshooter attempt doesn’t work so Petey hits the slingshot hurricanrana to the floor. Ace is right back with a superkick from the apron and we take a break.
Back with Ace hitting a spinning kick to the head for two and then stopping to stare at the crowd. Ace can’t get the paper cut with the card so Petey snaps off a release German suplex. There’s the Russian legsweep but Ace’s Bang-a-Rama gets two. The Canadian Destroyer is blocked but so is Ace’s superplex. Petey powerbombs him instead but the Canadian Destroyer still can’t connect. Ace is right back with the Fold for the pin at 9:40.
Rating: C. That was one of Petey’s better matches in awhile and it was a good bit better than I was expecting. Ace winning wasn’t in doubt but they were both working and got a nice match out of it. I’m liking the Fold more each time I see it and while Ace’s character has changed a lot, I still like what I see out of him.
Post match, Ace dedicates the win to Trey Miguel’s mom. He even blows her a kiss.
Post break Trey Miguel gets in Ace’s face and one more line about Trey’s mom starts the fight. Reno Scum breaks it up.
Hard To Kill rundown.
Here’s Sami Callihan to “expose” Tessa. She’s a fake and a phony, just like everyone sitting here today. People are saying this is something about gender but Sami should be looked at as a hero for spitting in her face, just like he’d do to any man in the back. The fans cheer for Tessa but they have more in common with him. Tessa is the daughter of Tully Blanchard and was raised by Magnum TA.
Sami earned everything he has and became the face of the company by winning the World Title. His dad never got him a tryout so here’s a livid Tessa. Mad Man Fulton jumps her from behind though, meaning the beatdown is on. Ken Shamrock makes the save but Fulton goes after his bad ribs. Sami and Tessa fight to the back where they brawl in front of some fans. Sami punches one of them by mistake before sending Tessa face first into the production truck.
Tessa shrugs that off and they brawl on the sidewalk. Another ram into the truck rocks Tessa and Sami chokes her with some caution tape. Tessa gets in another shot though and they brawl down the sidewalk with Tessa diving out of the back of a truck. Sami chokes her down and Tessa goes after him until referees FINALLY break it up to end the show. This didn’t do much to make Tessa seem like she could hang in a fight with Sami, but the smoke and mirrors will help a lot at the pay per view.
Overall Rating: C+. They were all working hard here and we got a nice show as a result. As usual, it helps a lot to have a goal to move towards and they have that here. It makes things that much easier and you could see the show improving now that a lot of the card is either set or ready to be set. I’m digging most of the show, though there are a few elements I’d like dropped for good. That isn’t going to happen, but you can only hope. Anyway, good show this week and a positive sign as we head towards the pay per view.
Jordynne Grace b. Tenille Dashwood – Rollup
TJP b. Daga – STF
Ethan Page b. Rich Swann via DQ when Willie Mack interfered
Joey Ryan b. Acey Romeo – Sweet Tooth Music
Ace Austin b. Petey Williams – Fold
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