Date: January 7, 2020
Location: Melrose Ballroom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Don Callis
We’re back to a regular show and it’s the go home edition before Hard To Kill. The card is mostly set but there is always the chance that something could be added at the last minute. It’s kind of a weird situation as we are coming off back to back Best Of shows, meaning there isn’t much momentum for the pay per view at the moment. Maybe they can get in one last push though. Let’s get to it.
We open with Michael Elgin and Eddie Edwards having to be pulled apart at ringside. Eddie is willing to fight him right now and hits a dive.
Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin
They’re still fighting on the floor as Eddie has to hurricanrana his way out of a powerbomb attempt. They chop it out until Elgin scores with a superkick and throws it inside for the opening bell. Eddie grabs an atomic drop but an enziguri in the corner sets up a stomp to the chest for two. A German suplex attempt doesn’t work for Eddie as Elgin grabs him by the head and flips him forward with raw power.
Eddie goes technical by countering a suplex into one of his own followed by the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. A Rock Bottom/Boss Man Slam plants Eddie again and the Falcon Arrow gives Elgin two of his own. They strike it out in the corner with some chops and clotheslines before slugging it out in the middle. Elgin snaps off a German suplex but Eddie pops back up for a Boston Knee Party to the back of the head.
We take a break and come back with Eddie hitting another Boston Knee Party to put them both down. Eddie gets two off a tiger bomb and goes up, where he has to sunset bomb his way out of a super White Noise. Elgin blasts him with a clothesline for two more but can’t get a Crossface. Instead he settles for the Buckle Bomb into the Elgin Bomb for the pin at 19:43.
Rating: B. These guys beat the heck out of each other and the story made sense with Elgin using raw power while Eddie stuck and moved by getting in everything he could where he could. They didn’t waste time here and just went at it full blast for the twenty minutes and the match was very entertaining as result. As usual, the talent is strong around here and if they drop the nonsense and have good matches, it’s very entertaining stuff.
Video on the Tag Team Title match with Rich Swann and Willie Mack earning the title shot, leaving the North to try and play mind games to split them up.
Elgin vs. Edwards again on Sunday, this time with Edwards’ Call Your Shot trophy on the line. Oh yeah he has that.
Desi Hit Squad vs. Fallah Bahh/TJP/Daga
Raj kicks away at Daga to start so Daga runs the ropes and hurricanranas him to the floor. Raju comes in and gets dropkicked down for one so it’s off to Bahh and TJP for a double back elbow. TJP nips up and Bahh….well he tried at least. They run the ropes over Raju and Bahh gets rather winded, just in case you didn’t get the joke the first time around. A DDT plants Daga and it’s Shera coming in to powerbomb Raju onto Daga for two.
It’s already back to Raj for a dropkick to the head and a backsplash for two of his own. TJP comes back in for a springboard dropkick as everything breaks down. Daga’s springboard wristdrag/headscissors combination puts Shera and Singh on the floor, setting up the big dive. Bahh’s suicide dive takes them down again but Shera hits his Sky High for the pin on TJP at 7:59.
Rating: C+. The Squad did look better here but there’s no way around how uninteresting they are. Their entire characters are “we’re from India and managed by a legend” and I need a lot more than that to care about someone. The match was pretty good, but give me something else to sink my teeth into with them.
Willie Mack comes in to see Rich Swann and says he might not be healthy for the Tag Team Title match. He doesn’t want to hold Swann back from realizing his full potential but Swann wants to win the titles.
OVE is ready to take over wrestling, starting with Mad Man Fulton beating Ken Shamrock on Sunday and Sami Callihan getting rid of Tessa Blanchard once and for all.
Johnny Swinger spikes Joey Ryan’s drink when Tommy Dreamer comes in and tells him to grow up. If Swinger didn’t do anything to Ryan’s drink, he can drink it himself. I’m sure hilarity will ensue.
Video on the X-Division Title match with Ace Austin hitting on Trey’s mom in a rather creepy way.
Video on Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard with Sami finally getting the World Title and Tessa trying to make history. This includes interviews from Tessa’s family, who has worked very hard to get here. Sami on the other hand only cared about wrestling and has done everything to get here. He’ll do anything to keep the title too. Sami doesn’t like it, but sometimes dreams don’t come true and Tessa will learn that on Sunday. Very good video, though it did a little too good of a job at making me like Sami, which wasn’t exactly the point.
James Mitchell locks Susie in a locker room so she can’t interfere in Havok’s match.
Havok vs. Rosemary
Rosemary screams and slugs away to start so Havok shoves her down. That just makes Rosemary jump on her back for more right hands before avoiding a charge to low bridge Havok to the floor. Michell’s distraction fails as Havok runs him over by mistake, only to catch Rosemary with a backbreaker inside. Cue Susie, who seems messed up by all of the noise. She winds up on commentary as Havok beats up Rosemary in the corner. A missed splash lets Rosemary get in a few shots but Mitchell gets Susie away from commentary. Havok hits the Tombstone for the pin at 5:11 as Mitchell covers Susie’s eyes.
Rating: D+. This was all angle stuff and that’s fine, though this story feels like it has been going on for years now. Mitchell trying to keep Su Yung from returning is certainly a twist, but I’m almost worried about how long they’re going to drag this whole thing out. It’s not bad and does keep things somewhat interesting, but I’m not sure how much of a goal they have with the thing.
ODB/Tenille Dashwood/Jordynne Grace vs. Kiera Hogan/Madison Rayne/Taya Valkyrie
Dashwood and Rayne start things off as Callis goes into Madison’s insane resume (73 time Knockouts Champion and an honorary Hart). Tenille throws her outside and it’s Grace coming in for two off an Implant Buster. Hogan gets in a cheap shot from the apron though and Taya comes in for an elbow to the face.
A kick to Grace’s back gets two so ODB….rubs her chest. Grace runs Hogan over and dives over for the tag to ODB for a lot more chest based offense. A double Bronco Buster hits Taya and Madison and there’s a TKO to Taya as well. Grace adds a Vader Bomb but since she isn’t legal, ODB throws her outside and gets the pin at 5:16.
Rating: D+. Not much here as they were rushed and could have done this as a tag match without Dashwood and Hogan involved. ODB still feels really, really tacked on to the Knockouts Title match, meaning there is a good chance that Taya escapes before dropping the title to Grace later on.
Grace isn’t happy.
Moose interrupts Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes to make sure he can trust Rob tonight. They leave and Swinger is passed out on a couch. Joey Ryan and Petey Williams come in to draw something on him.
Hard To Kill rundown.
Moose/Rob Van Dam vs. Brian Cage/Rhino
Katie is here with Van Dam and Moose. Van Dam starts with Cage but decides that Moose can do it instead. Cage hits a superkick and spinebuster so it’s off to Rhino for a WOO. Rhino shouts to the crowd a lot and hammers away in the corner as the pace slows a good bit. A clothesline puts Moose on the floor and we take a break.
Back with Moose being sent onto the ramp but Katie breaks up the Gore so the villains can take over. Moose bites Rhino’s head and hammers away but can’t get a suplex. Rhino can hit a suplex of his own though and it’s Cage coming in for the staredown with Van Dam. A German suplex puts Van Dam down but Moose runs Cage over. Everything breaks down and Van Dam kicks Cage in the face for two.
These fans aren’t good enough to see Rolling Thunder so Van Dam is sent outside, leaving Moose to slug it out with Rhino. Cage takes Rhino’s place and hits a tornado DDT to put Moose down. Van Dam kicks Cage in the face but walks into the Gore. A missed charge puts Rhino down as well but Moose misses his own Five Star. The Gore and a discus lariat are enough to finish Moose at 12:23.
Rating: C+. They didn’t waste time here and just had four people hit each other for a somewhat lengthy match. Moose taking the pin makes more sense here and they did a nice job of setting up both matches at once. That’s something that will always work as you get to build two matches while also keeping things fresh. Nicely done here in a bit of a surprisingly good match.
Long video on Hard To Kill wraps us up.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a rather good go home show as they covered everything on Sunday, added another match, and made me want to see the pay per view more than I did coming in. Some of the stuff felt like it could have been cut (that six man and Havok vs. Rosemary could have been on any other show) but overall, it was more good than bad and the opener was rather entertaining. Nice job here, but make sure the pay per view is even better.
Michael Elgin b. Eddie Edwards – Elgin Bomb
Desi Hit Squad b. Fallah Bahh/TJP/Daga – Sky High to TJP
Havok b. Rosemary – Tombstone
ODB/Tenille Dashwood/Jordynne Grace b. Kiera Hogan/Madison Rayne/Taya Valkyrie – Vader Bomb to Rayne
Brian Cage/Rhino b. Moose/Rob Van Dam – Discus lariat to Moose
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