Impact Wrestling – January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
is the final taped show in a long series of them as we’re closing in
on Genesis next week. The main story tonight is the World Title
unification match between AJ Styles and Magnus which has had a full
week’s worth of hype. On top of that, Kurt Angle has an open
challenge to anyone willing to step inside of a cage with him. Let’s
get to it.

the opening recap, here’s Dixie in a sweater and skirt that belongs
on a 22 year old. She doesn’t want to put up with this nonsense
tonight so AJ needs to get out here and sign this contract. AJ comes
out but Dixie goes into a long rant about how the contract is for one
night only and the match tonight is going to be No DQ. She wants
Magnus to leave AJ bloodied and broken and carried out on a stretcher
tonight so he’ll be out of her life forever.
says she must have a lot of confidence in her champion, just like she
did at Bound For Glory when she bet against AJ and lost. Before
signing, AJ says there are boys in the back that hate Dixie just as
much as he does and they don’t mind coming out here to help him
tonight. Dixie says those people weren’t there for him over the last
11 years like she was when she was feeding his wife and kids.
owns those people and will be the one to break AJ Styles. AJ says
Dixie doesn’t get wrestling because it’s supposed to be about two
wrestlers but Dixie keeps screwing it up. The belt got respect when
AJ won it while the paper champion was hiding under Dixie’s skirt, so
here’s Magnus to keep this segment going.
asks Dixie to leave the ring and gets in AJ’s face for calling him a
paper champion. The last image anyone had of AJ is him running away,
just like he’ll be doing after Magnus gets done with him tonight.
Magnus leaves and AJ talks about how it took eleven years to get him
to the title, which is the kind of hard work Magnus doesn’t
break Dixie tells Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa to make sure they take care
of something.
Young/Joseph Park vs. Bro Mans
Dixie is shown in the back telling the Bro Mans how serious this is.
I have a bad feeling about a running theme tonight. Eric starts
fast with Robbie and tries to do a Flair strut after being sent into
the corner but instead slides through his legs for a sunset flip. A
belly to belly puts Jessie down and Eric loads up the top rope elbow
but we see Gail and Tapa beating up ODB in the back.
runs off to help, leaving Joseph to get double teamed. Park gets
beaten down into the corner but runs both champions over with
shoulder blocks and slams. Robbie’s cross body just bounces off Park
so he chop blocks Park down instead. The Bro Down (Hart Attack) is
good for the pin at 3:27.
D+. This was more about the
story than the match as it seems Dixie has recruited the Bro Mans and
Gail Kim and Tapa. It’s probably better that was as we haven’t had a
heel stable in all of six weeks around here. The match was nothing
to see and the less Eric Young I have to see, the better.
match the Bro Mans remove a piece of the barricade and put it in the
ring, setting up a Bro Down on Park onto the steel.
goes into Dixie’s office (fourth appearance in 25 minutes) and says
he’ll have AJ’s back tonight. Dixie says Joe has a match with Ethan
Carter III tonight, but Joe says Ethan’s blood is on Dixie’s hands
carries ODB to an ambulance, sending Sting off to find Dixie.
Storm is in the ring and wants to talk to Gunner right now. Gunner
comes to the ring and Storm talks about being part of some of the
best tag teams ever in wrestling history. You have to check your ego
if you’re going to be part of a team, but if loving the fans chanting
Cowboy means you have a big ego, he has the biggest ego of all time.
The world title has split up Beer Money, America’s Most Wanted and
now the two of them.
says Storm can keep his ego because he has the case. Storm knew the
risk he was taking in Feast or Fired and Gunner played by the rules.
James says let’s hang the case up one more time because Gunner can’t
do it again in another match. They shake on it and I think we have
either a briefcase on a pole or a ladder match, presumably for next
Carter jumps Joe in the back.
come back with Ethan and Joe slugging it out on the stage before Joe
punches Ethan down the ramp.
Carter III vs. Samoa Joe
ight into the ring and we get a bell with Joe taking over with his
usual stuff. The backsplash gets two and Carter is knocked into the
corner for the enziguri, only to have Carter come out with a dropkick
to the knee. Ethan goes after the knee as the fans tell Carter he
can’t wrestle. Joe breaks up something off the top and goes for the
MuscleBuster, only to have Spud grab Joe’s leg. The distraction lets
Carter get in a shot to the knee for a… contest at 2:50?
Shouldn’t it be a DQ?
hits Joe’s knee with a wrench to really put him out.
promises to wreck anyone who gets in a cage with him tonight because
he’ll be seeing Bobby Roode.
recap all the injures tonight.
refuses to be taken to the hospital but is forced to go.
Storm and Gunner have been attacked by whiskey bottles. Sting sees
them and goes through the door to find Dixie (5th
appearance) for a good yelling about the events tonight. She says
this is a dangerous business but Sting says she can be turned back.
He asks what happened to her but Dixie yells at him for trying to be
Dr. Phil. Sting has a match tonight with an unnamed opponent.
Angle vs. ???
a cage with an open challenge. Angle waits and gets…..Bobby Roode?
He doesn’t come to the cage though because he’s got a mic. In seven
days Angle is going to lose inside the cage and his Hall of Fame
induction will be gone forever. Roode says Angle can get him in the
cage next week, but for tonight it’s two on one.
Angle vs. Bad Influence
goes through the door as Kaz tries to climb the cage. Angle puts
Christopher down and goes after Kaz, only to get crotched on the top.
Daniels sends Angle into the cage as Kaz comes in with a top rope ax
handle to give Christopher two. Angle is rammed back first into the
cage as Bad Influence keeps up their double teaming. He grabs a
small package on Daniels but Kaz grabs the referee to prevent a
spinning springboard legdrop gets two on Angle but he pops up with
the suplexes for everyone. We get Germans, belly to bellys and more
Germans before Kaz breaks up the Angle Slam on Daniels. Kaz tries to
leave but gets superplexed down, landing on Daniels in the process.
Angle sends Daniels hard into the cage before the Angle Slam pins Kaz
at 6:11.
C+. Kurt Angle just knows how
to have a good cage match. The good thing here is that Bad Influence
can lose over and over again but keep coming back through their
hilarious antics. The match with Roode next week is going to be
great as those two have the chemistry to have an awesome match every
time they’re out there.
appearance) says leave the cage up. Bobby Roode comes in and is told
he has a cage match tonight. Roode assumes it’s with Angle but it’s
against Sting. Bobby freaks out as you would expect him to. Dixie
promises to have him covered.
is having pictures taken with some fans when Al Snow comes up in a
car, saying Angle has to get to the airport for an emergency.
Roode vs. Sting
a cage as well. I didn’t hear a bell but Sting takes him into the
corner, only to be taken down by a shoulder block. Sting blocks
being rammed into the cage but Roode does the same. A Stinger Splash
hits Roode’s feet and Roode gets two off a clothesline. Sting won’t
let Bobby go through the door and stops a charging Roode with a boot
and elbow to the jaw.
comes back with a spinebuster for two but Sting breaks up another
escape attempt. Sting slams him off the top in classic fashion
before ramming Roode into the cage a few times. A pair of Stinger
Splashes sets up the Death Drop and Deathlock but here are Ethan and
Spud to interfere. Spud distracts the referee, allowing Spud to send
in a baton so Roode can lay Sting out and escape at 7:10.
C-. This was mainly just
killing time until the interfering ending but it wasn’t that bad for
the most part. Tonight is a one story show and it got old about half
an hour ago. Sting works best in quick bursts like this and the
match wasn’t bad due to how short it was. Still though, two cage
matches not combining to go fifteen minutes isn’t something I can get
today, Mr. Anderson entered a funeral home to finish this with Ray.
recap Ray trying to set Joseph park on fire last week.
is in the funeral home where Aces and 8’s were laid to rest. Ray is
sitting in the corner with his sunglasses on and Anderson says let’s
finish this. Bully says if he wanted to finish this, he would have
done it last week with the lighter. That’s too forgiving of him
though because he wants this to last. He says there’s something in
his other hand that doesn’t smell as nice (lighter fluid?) before
talking about Anderson taking everything from him.
wants his loneliness to encompass Anderson’s life. Next week is
Genesis, or the beginning, but it means the end for Anderson. He
talks about Anderson throwing the Aces and 8’s colors in the coffin
and tells Anderson to go look at what’s in there now. Anderson goes
to look and gets ad before turning back to see Ray gone. We see what
appears to be baby clothes in Anderson’s hands.
recap the attacks tonight.
comes into Dixie’s office (7th appearance tonight) and
says it takes more than that to put him down. Dixie says it’s
contract season and implies that she’ll pay Sting to side with her.
recap the AJ vs. Dixie situation and hype the main event.
run down the stacked Genesis card.
World Title: AJ Styles vs. Magnus
DQ and both guys are champion coming in. Magnus immediately goes to
the floor and does it again for a second time in less than ninety
seconds. No contact yet. Magnus gets back in but here are Ethan
Carter and Spud to jump AJ before any contact is made. AJ fights
them off and superkicks Magnus in the ribs but Carter breaks up a
Styles Clash attempt. Sting finally comes out for the save but
doesn’t do anything as AJ saves himself. Magnus bails to the floor
and we take a break.
with the two champions still not making contact as the Bro Mans and
Zema Ion come out to jump Sting and AJ and giving us six run-ins in
less than eight minutes. Zema DDTs AJ and the Bro Down gets a
delayed two on Styles. Sting comes back in as Magnus just chills at
ringside. The Brit finally comes back in and AJ quickly loads up the
Clash, only to have Bad Influence make the save and lay him out with
a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo.
Hebner refuses to count so Dixie and Brian Hebner get us to ELEVEN
people coming out for this match. Bad Influence goes High/Low on AJ
for two and Brian gets yelled at. Sting lays out the Bro Mans with a
double Death Drop on the floor before putting Ion in the Deathlock.
AJ fights back against Bad Influence as Sting comes in to help even
more. We’re down to Magnus vs. AJ with Styles getting the Calf
Killer, only to have Kazarian take out the referee.
monkey flips AJ into Daniels but AJ clotheslines him down and Peles
Kaz. Now the Styles Clash takes out Magnus but there’s no referee.
Earl Hebner hobbles back out (we’ll call that #12) to count two
before AJ dives over the top to take out Bad Influence yet again. AJ
goes up top but Bobby Roode makes it #13 by shoving Styles into the
ropes. Three AA/DVDs lay AJ out for about the fifth time, giving
Magnus the pin (thanks to referee #3 and the fourteenth person added
to the match) and the undisputed title at 15:47. Sting was being
held back by most of the heels in case you were wondering.
D. So they spent all night
hyping up the match before going full Russo on it. That’s what we
spent months and months building to? The match was definitely
energetic but we really had to spend all this time setting up Dixie
with her corporate champion? Assuming AJ leaving isn’t a HUGE
swerve, this was one of the biggest wastes of time I can remember in
and Magnus pose to end the show.
D+. The Angle and
Ray/Anderson stuff was good but WOW the rest of it got on my nerves
in a hurry. This was one of TNA’s biggest problems flaring up all
over again: putting everything on one idea and going full blast with
it until the fans are sick of the story. Genesis looks stacked but
man alive this show got annoying fast. Dixie just doesn’t do it for
me as the top heel and the lack of planning with AJ basically makes
everything since the summer a waste of time.
Mans b. Joseph Park/Eric Young – Bro Down to Park
Carter III vs. Samoa Joe went to a no contest
Angle b. Bad Influence – Angle Slam to Kazarian
Roode b. Sting – Roode escaped the cage
b. AJ Styles – Magnus pinned Styles after a Death Valley Driver
from Bobby Roode
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NXT – January 8, 2014

January 8, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
main story coming into tonight is the Tag Team Title match with
Hunico and Camacho finally getting to challenge Ascension for the
belts. It continues to amaze me how NXT can take any match and make
it feel like it’s a big deal whereas every other promotion has one or
two stories on top and that’s it. Let’s get to it.

Rae vs. Bayley
fight is over Summer snapping Bayley’s headband a few weeks ago.
Bayley has Natalya to counter Sasha Banks. Summer offers Bayley a
hug but Bayley rips off Summer’s tiara and gets two off a sunset
flip. Bayley sends Summer crawling into the corner, only to have
Bayley get rammed face first into the buckle.
spinning face plant gets two for Summer before she chokes Bayley
across the ropes and stretches at the same time. We hit a cross arm
choke on Bayley but she fights up and hits a jumping back elbow to
the jaw for two. The same move from the middle rope gets two more on
Summer before the Belly to Bayley is enough to pin Rae at 3:54.
C-. The match was pretty decent
by NXT standards and Bayley continues to be too adorable for words.
Every single week this promotion proves that characters can get over
if they’re given the time and Bayley is a good example of that. Her
character is a super fan obsessed with hugs yet she’s over. Think
about that for a minute.
Woods is here and doesn’t mind that Kane is looking for him.
Cassady vs. Aiden English
goes right at English in the corner with knees, followed by forearms
to the back while spelling S-A-W-F-T. English avoids a charge in the
corner and follows up with forearms to the chest and a chinlock. Big
Cass fights up and backdrops English to speed things up. A SAWFT
elbow drop gets two but English gets in a kick to the knee to slow
Cass down, followed by the Director’s Cut for the pin at 2:33.
Energetic while it lasted.
Neville gets a phone call from Tyler Breeze who is standing two feet
away. Tyler says this way he can talk to Adrian and not have his
eyeballs melt out of his face because of Adrian’s ugly face. They
get in an argument over Breeze costing Neville the NXT Title match
against Bo Dallas before Tyler implies he wants the title. A match
is made for next week.
Woods vs. ???
comes out to bring up Woods’ petition to bring Big Show back to WWE.
That’s still a thing? Tonight it’s time to Woods to be punished by
his opponent, Alexander Rusev. Woods tries some forearms to start
but runs into a Samoan drop for two. Rusev puts on a nerve hold
before dropping elbow after elbow for two. Kane walks around
ringside in his suit and glasses, making him look even more creepy
than usual. Woods fights back with forearms and a dropkick but Rusev
shrugs off the Honor Roll and runs over Woods, setting up the
Accolade for the win at 1:55.
Kingston wants more of Alexander Rusev.
Kidd vs. Baron Corbin
much bigger Corbin runs Kidd over to start before forearming him in
the face for two. He throws Kidd into the corner and takes him down
with another shoulder block for two. A knee staggers Kidd again but
he sends Corbin into the middle buckle and slows him down with a
dropkick. Another dropkick gets two and a slingshot legdrop to the
back of the head sets up a Blockbuster for the pin at 3:09.
C. This was basically a Corbin
squash until the last 45 seconds though. I like the Blockbuster for
Kidd as a finisher as it’s something that could take down bigger guys
while also being something he could make look convincing despite his
size. Corbin came off looking good here too and has a good look to
back it up.
Titles: Hunico/Camacho vs. Ascension
is defending and this is a tornado match, meaning there are no tags,
countouts or disqualifications. It’s a brawl to start as it should
be with the challengers taking over in the corner. Hunico chops
Viktor as the fans want tables. Konnor fights back against Camacho
and stomps him down into the corner but Hunico trips up Viktor,
allowing Camacho to drop a leg for two.
take a break and come back with Camacho ramming Konnor face first
into the bicycles Hunico and Camacho rode in on. Back inside with
Hunico and Camacho raining down right hands in the corner, only to
have the champions come out with stereo powerbombs for two each.
Hunico is rammed into the bicycle again before Konnor gets two on
Camacho with the flapjack. The champions stomp away and Viktor gets
two on Hunico via a suplex.
backdrops Hunico to the apron so Hunico can come in with a cross body
to take the champions down and things kick up a notch. Two dropkicks
put Ascension down again and a Hunico moonsault gets two on both
champions. The Swanton gets two on Konnor but Viktor makes a quick
save. Camacho tries a suicide dive to take out Viktor but dives into
a forearm. Konnor jumps Hunico from behind and the Fall of Man
retains the titles at 8:38 shown of 12:08.
B. I liked this more than I
thought I would with Camacho and Hunico complimenting each other very
well. This was in the vein of Demolition against the Hart Foundation
with the pure power vs. power and speed. It’s going to be a shame
when Ascension gets to the main roster and JBL and Cole spend their
entire matches making fun of them.
C+. This was a show to
hold the place for NXT before we get to the new taping cycle and a
fresh batch of matches. Thankfully that didn’t make this a boring
show as the matches worked for the most part and we have some stuff
set up for next week. This show also makes me want to see the Royal
Rumble to see which NXT guys can get a cameo in the big match.
b. Summer Rae – Belly to Bayley
English b. Colin Cassady – Director’s Cut
Rusev b. Xavier Woods – Accolade
Kidd b. Baron Corbin – Blockbuster
b. Hunico/Camacho – Fall of Man to Hunico
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Smackdown – January 3, 2014

January 3, 2014
Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

coming up on the Rumble and there are two major stories coming out of
Monday: the return of Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan joining the
Wyatts. The main reaction seems to be that Bryan joining is a slap
in the fans’ face and I’m not sure where this idea is coming from.
The first thing I thought when he agreed to join was that it was a
plan by Bryan to infiltrate the Family and take them apart from the
inside. I can’t imagine this doesn’t end with anything other than
Bryan doing something to cost the Wyatts big, setting up a showdown
between Bray and Daniel, perhaps in the Rumble? Let’s get to it.

open with a recap of the end of Raw with Bryan turning his back on
the fans and joining the Family.
the Shield in the ring to open the show. Ambrose says they’ve heard
all the stories about the Shield crumbling from within and that some
egos (with an arm around Reigns) are out of control. All of those
rumors are dead wrong and if CM Punk thinks he can take down the
Shield he’s in for a surprise. Reigns thinks the weak link in the
team is obvious (with a look over at Ambrose): there isn’t a weak
link. Rollins says the setbacks are temporary because the Shield
will come together and dominate WWE.
vs. Usos
is the odd man out and sits in on commentary. Reigns gets things
going with Jimmy and headbutts him in the corner. Jimmy gets taken
down to the mat and stomped by Roman before it’s off to Seth who
walks into a clothesline. Off to Jey for the first time and a back
elbow to the jaw for two. The Usos get two more off a double elbow
drop as Ambrose talks about taking over the WWE and closing down
every bar and saloon from Dallas to Singapore. I miss wrestlers
implying that they associate with each other off television.
gets two off a backdrop before it’s back to Jey for an armdrag into
an armbar. An uppercut stops Seth’s comeback and a clothesline puts
him on the floor. The Usos hit stereo kicks to Reigns’ ribs to send
him outside before backdropping Rollins on top of him. We take a
break and come back with Jey holding Rollins in a chickenwing before
Seth takes him into the corner for a tag to Reigns.
takes Jey down with an elbow to the jaw as Shield takes over. Seth
comes back in off the top with a right hand to the ribs. The
announcers actually talk about unifying the midcard titles, meaning
it might be a real possibility at the moment. Cole asks Ambrose if
he’d like to face Langston. Ambrose, partially in song no less, says
no and asks Cole to stop bullying him and “BE A STAR.” Can we
just get Punk and Ambrose to do commentary on random matches? I’d
buy the Network for that alone.
to a cobra clutch by Rollins before Reigns comes back in to bend
Jey’s arm around the rope. Ambrose keeps spinning around in his
chair at commentary. Reigns misses a charge and falls out to the
floor. Seth can’t make a diving save so Jey makes the hot tag off to
Jimmy. Everything breaks down and Rollins gets Samoan dropped but
rolls to the floor before the Umaga attack can connect. Reigns is
sent outside as well but Ambrose runs in for the DQ at 9:03 shown of
C+. These teams are reaching
the point where they could have good matches in their sleep. The
Usos are becoming the Kofi Kingstons of the tag division as you’re
guaranteed a good match but they’re never going to go anywhere beyond
where they are now. Hopefully they can break that mold and
eventually get the titles that they’re long overdue to win.
Shield can get far in their triple team, CM Punk comes out for the
the night we’re going to get New Year’s Resolutions from Superstars.
Up first are the Prime Time Players who want to use their talents to
do more good and…..get a macaroni recipe?
six man tag, etc.
vs. R-Truth
gets in on commentary as Fandango pounds Truth into the corner.
Truth does his backflip to the middle of the ring and hiptosses
Fandango down. Woods brags about getting a PHD and being the only
man in history to be a doctor and work for WWE. JBL: “What about
Dr. Jerry Graham and Dr. Tom Pritchard?”
sums up the connection between he and Truth: they’re friends and
Truth got him into wrestling. Works for me. Fandango comes back
with a quick spinwheel kick to the jaw for two and we hit the reverse
chinlock. Truth fires off right hands but runs into a boot. Woods
calls out the Funkadactyls and gets on the table (wearing JBL’s hat)
to dance. The distraction lets Truth hit Little Jimmy for the pin at
2:52. Have we reached the point where the distraction is someone’s
official set up move? Also shouldn’t that be considered a heel move?
on Tribute to the Troops.
E. Langston talks about Brock destroying his friend on Monday and
says he wouldn’t want to be Brock Lesnar right now. Curtis Axel
comes in and says he’s sorry for what happened to Mark but he’ll be
laughing all the way to the bank after beating Langston tonight. Big
E. says no one will be laughing after the match.
on Bryan joining the Wyatts on Monday.
Titles: Goldust/Cody Rhodes vs. Wyatt Family
and Goldust are defending but there’s no Bray and/or Bryan. Goldust
and Harper get things going with Luke driving him into the corner.
The crowd is very quiet tonight for some reason. Harper is taken
into the corner and a double suplex gets a one count for Luke. Back
to Goldust who gets fingers in his eyes before it’s off to Rowan.
The monsters make some quick tags to take over on Goldust but he
comes back with right hands in the corner.
is knocked to the apron but Luke clotheslines Goldust down and puts
on a chinlock. Goldust fights up and gets a quick two off a sunset
flip. The hot tag (kind of as the crowd is still barely responding
at all) brings in Cody for a knee lift and the Disaster Kick to send
Harper to the floor. Cody follows him out but gets sent into the
barricade and steps as we take a break.
with Rowan firing off more right hands put Cody down as we look at
the empty rocking chair. Back to Harper for a running elbow in the
corner to knock Cody down again. There’s the Gator Roll followed by
another chinlock but Harper lets go of the hold to knock Goldust off
the apron.
comes back in but gets sent to the floor, only to have Harper knock
Goldust down again. A BIG sitout powerbomb gets two on Cody as
Goldust makes the save. Everything breaks down and Harper kicks Cody
in the face to knock him silly. Cody breaks up what looks like a
belly to back superplex and hits the moonsault to a standing Harper.
Goldust makes a blind tag and grabs an O’Connor roll for the pin on
Rowan at 12:25.
B. I’m more and more impressed
by Goldust and Cody every time they go out there. There’s that
natural chemistry that you get with brothers that you just can’t
teach and it’s taking these guys to another level. The Wyatts get
better in the ring with every match they have as well with Rowan more
than holding up his end of the team.
resolution is to be awesome.
Bella vs. Aksana
is fallout from Aksana pinning Nikki on Monday in the ten Diva tag.
They shove each other to start until Nikki hiptosses her down and
drives shoulders in the corner. Aksana rolls outside and grabs
Nikki’s arm to slam it into the post. The announcers are comparing
Aksana to Hannibal Lecter for some reason as she gets two off a side
slam. Off to an arm lock on Nikki but she fights back with
clotheslines and dropkicks. Aksana comes back with a kick to the
ribs and forearms in the corner, only to get Racked. Nikki drops to
her knees (that move HAS to be a rib somehow) into a backbreaker for
the pin at 4:00.
D. The girls both look good in
tight outfits but they have no business in the ring. If nothing else
this makes Brie look that much better as she’s miles ahead of Nikki
as far as wrestling skills go. Aksana is there as eye candy, which
makes me wonder why they had get the pin on Monday.
get the video package on Orton’s career from Raw.
E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Axel gets in some right hands to start but gets his head taken off
by a clothesline. Big E. charges into a boot in the corner but
knocks Axel out of the air with a shoulder block for two. Curtis
comes back with some right hands and knee drops before hooking an
armbar. Langston pops up and hits a quick belly to belly followed by
the Warrior Splash. Axel escapes the Big Ending and snaps Langston’s
throat across the top rope but walks into the Big Ending for the pin
at 3:55.
D+. This was just a step above
a squash for Langston and there’s nothing wrong with that. He needs
to keep racking up wins like this to make him feel like an
unstoppable force before someone knocks him off for the title so Big
E. can move to the main event. It worked for Warrior and it can work
for Langston.
Raw ReBound looks at Lesnar destroying Mark Henry.
get a sitdown interview with Heyman who says Brock is back because
there’s one WWE Champion. Brock wants to be the one and only
champion and it doesn’t matter who comes out of the Rumble with the
title. Heyman says Brock is looking to do something Old School next
week, meaning he’ll be on Raw.
for Bad News Barrett with his nifty rising podium. The bad news
tonight: no one is going to keep their new year’s resolutions so this
time next year, everyone will be just as fat, unhealthy and
unproductive as they are now.
Punk/Usos vs. Shield
and Punk get us going with CM being driven into the corner, only to
have Punk whip him over to the other Shield members. Off to Rollins
who grabs a hammerlock but Punk counters into a headlock so he can
loudly shout spots in Rollins’ ear. A neckbreaker puts Seth down for
two and it’s off to Jey for a running headbutt. He puts Seth in a
Boston crab as the now legal Jimmy drops a leg on the back of Seth’s
leg lariat puts Seth down and it’s back to Jey for a superkick to the
chest. Ambrose is sent to the floor but Reigns blocks a big dive
from Jey as we take a break. Back with Reigns driving a headbutt
into Jimmy’s chest and getting two off the Superman Punch. Rollins
comes in with a backsplash for two and we hit the neck crank. Seth
goes up but gets crotched down, only to have Ambrose come in to break
up the hot tag attempt.
breaks a chinlock with a jawbreaker and elbows his way out of a belly
to back superplex attempt. Reigns comes in with Jimmy still on the
top and gets taken down by a top rope cross body. Rollins knocks Jey
off the apron but can’t stop the tag to Punk. CM comes in with a
springboard clothesline and the running knee in the corner. Ambrose
distracts Punk from dropping the Macho Elbow and Rollins crotches him
on the top.
rolls through a crossbody to put Rollins in the Anaconda Vice but
Reigns makes the save. Another Superman Punch puts Jey down and we
get down to the legal Punk vs. Rollins. Seth crawls over and tags in
Dean who hits a butterfly superplex on Punk for two. Punk comes back
with a GTS attempt but drops him before Reigns can launch the spear.
A double superkick drops Roman and Seth gets backdropped to the
floor. The twins hit stereo dives and the GTS ends Ambrose at 12:42.
B-. Good stuff here as you
would expect, even with Ambrose taking the fall again. I’m assuming
they’re building up to Reigns calling Ambrose out for all of the
losses but get the title off of him if that’s where they’re going.
If nothing else Shield hasn’t turned into a joke and they’re
potentially splitting while still having awesome matches.
video from Bray Wyatt talking about Bryan needing the Family to be
his home ends the show.
C. They focused on the
tag stuff again tonight but the taping schedule messed a few things
up. It’s annoying that we have to wait for Monday for anything on
Bryan but it’s better to do it on a big Raw than on a regular
Smackdown anyway. This is another show that you didn’t need to see
but it was a fine enough way to spend two hours.
b. Shield via DQ when Dean Ambrose interfered
b. Fandango – Little Jimmy
Rhodes b. Wyatt Family – O’Connor roll to Rowan
Bella b. Aksana – Torture rack backbreaker
E. Langston b. Curtis Axel – Big Ending
Punk/Usos b. Shield – GTS to Ambrose
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The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–01.01.2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 01.01.2014 Welcome to 2014! And what better way than with the best wrestling show on TV? Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are…hold on a sec. TYLER BREEZE HAS JUST ENTERED THE BUILDING. Your hosts are Tom Phillips, William Regal and Alex Riley. Alexander Rusev v. Kofi Kingston Rusev quickly stomps him down in the corner and throws knees, and Regal declares that he was beaten last week “by a man 10 times the man I’ve ever been.” But…but…where’s the poopy jokes where he laughs off the loss and calls his opponent a geek? Rusev with a backbreaker for two, but Kofi fights back with chops and a dropkick to set up the boomdrop. Springboard bodypress gets two. Rusev runs him back into the corner, but Kofi goes up, only to get slammed off after yelling at Lana. And Rusev finishes him with the camel clutch at 3:48! Oh man, they must have HUGE hope for Rusev. **1/2 Meanwhile, Sylvester Lefort is auditioning people to replace Scott Dawson, but Mason Ryan isn’t interested in being purchased. Emma v. Natalya Winner of this is the #1 contender to the NXT title. (Note: At this point my internet connection breaks for the better part of the day, and it’s now 12 hours later) The ladies trade headlocks as the crowd is torn on who they like, and Emma rolls Nattie up for two. Natalya doesn’t appreciate Emma’s sense of humor and pounds her in the corner with knees, but gets caught in the Dilemma as a result. She escapes and hits a clothesline for two, and into the abdominal stretch as Regal gets the line of the show by reminding the announcers that Nattie might have learned from her “Uncle Smith”. Now that’s some dry humor. Nattie gets a wacky submission hold and the Sharpshooter, but Emma escapes and taps her clean with the Emma-Lock at 4:40. Nattie is a good sport, however, and even dances with her. Emma’s yet another one who should have been on the main roster weeks ago. **1/2 The SING-OFF! Aiden English gives us some Italian opera, and then Colin Casady (in a suit, no less) knocks it out of the PARK with “Danny Boy”, complete with “You tried to sing and sounded like you coughed / You are S-A-W-F-T, sawft!” Gotta give the win to Colin there. Aiden, despite clearly getting owned there, demands another round. So Colin beats him again with an ode to how much Aiden sucks, prompting a sneak attack. Artists sure are touchy. This was actually pulled off brilliantly, because if Colin hadn’t been awesome the crowd would have turned on it and cheered English, but both guys pulled it off perfectly. Tyler Breeze v. Mason Ryan I notice Mason is getting bigger again, although still not to the ridiculous levels he used to be. Breeze attacks while Sylvester Lefort joins us at ringside, but Ryan casually shrugs Breeze off and goes to beat on Lefort. Back in, Ryan stupidly walks into the leg lariat and gets pinned at 1:23. It’s time to move Breeze up to the next level, which it looks like they’re doing by programming him with Adrian Neville. DUD TYLER BREEZE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. 2/3 Falls: Sami Zayn v. Leo Kruger Kruger attacks and tosses Sami to start, and back in for two. They fight on the floor and Kruger gets two. Back to the floor for another beating from Kruger, which gets two. Kruger charges and Zayn catches him with an exploder into the corner, followed by the running kicking for the first fall at 3:00. Back with the guys fighting on the top, which results in Zayn taking a crazy bump to the floor. Kruger works on the now-injured arm, but Zayn makes the comeback with clotheslines and a powerbomb for two. He goes up, but Kruger brings him down with a draping neckbreaker for two. Sami keeps fighting and goes up again, and this time fights off a superplex attempt before missing a crossbody. Kruger pounces with a top armbar and Zayn is forced to make the ropes. Kruger pounds away and hits a spinebuster, but Zayn counters the lariat into a Downward Spiral and Koji Klutch to finish in two straight falls at 12:52. If the rumors about Kruger getting repackaged into debauched rock god Alex Rose are true, that’s probably it for the Leo Kruger character. Which is fine because it was a dull gimmick anyway. *** The Pulse God I love this show. Young stars going over established sports entertainers clean by submission? Singing competitions where both guys are good and it’s not just a giant rib on everyone involved? Keep it coming, NXT!

Impact Wrestling – January 2, 2014

January 2, 2014
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
main story tonight is the coronation of Magnus as the new world
champion, which screams AJ Styles return. It’s clear that they’re
setting up a unification match in the near future which should be
interesting, even if the result has been spoiled by the latest news
with Styles. Other than that we could see more of whatever Bully Ray
was talking about last week when he promised to be more evil than
ever. Let’s get to it.

vs. Sabin for the X Title tonight.
Angle to open things up. He talks about 2013 being the worst year of
his career which is why he declined the Hall of Fame induction.
Angle promises to make up for it in 2014 but here’s Bobby Roode to
interrupt. Bobby thinks Angle is going to announce his retirement
because he knows he can’t beat Bobby Roode. If that’s the case,
Roode wants Angle to admit that Roode is the better man face to face.

says he’s here to make it clear that he’ll dominate 2014. That’s why
he wants one more match with Bobby, which sends Roode into fits of
shouting WHAT. He turns Angle down because he has nothing left to
prove to either Angle or the fans. Roode finally agrees to the match
at Genesis, but if Angle loses, he can never go into the Hall of
Fame. Angle agrees as long as the match can be in a steel cage.
Roode shouts a lot more and says it’s on. They brawl again until
referees and Spud come out to break it up. Spud gets shoved down so
he says both guys can find a partner for a tag match tonight.
says she’s spent eleven years trying to find the perfect champion and
she’ll find it tonight. She walks through a door and is given a note
saying See You Tonight.
a break, Spud is tasked with finding out who sent the note.
Kim vs. Madison Rayne
is part of the Open Challenge. Madison poses on the middle rope but
dives off with a cross body to get us going. Gail gets stomped down
in the corner but comes back with some mounted right hands. Madison
armdrags her down but Tapa pulls Rayne out to the floor. Back in and
Gail puts on a surfboard with a dragon sleeper to bend Madison in
some very impressive directions.
lets go of the hold and it’s a double clothesline to put both girls
down. Eat Defeat is countered into a backslide for two before
Madison goes to the middle rope, only to be slammed face first into
the mat. Another Eat Defeat attempt is countered into a side roll by
Madison for the pin at 5:08.
C-. The match was fine from a
technical standpoint but there’s no emotion or interest in this
division anymore. It’s just insert challenger here facing off with
whoever the champion is that month with no significant story at all.
Madison is a nice breath of air but it’s nothing that’s going to make
things better long term.
Sabin shushes Velvet Sky and threatens to leave her if she doesn’t do
what he says tonight.
gets Gunner to be his partner tonight when Storm comes up to say
that’s interesting.
title: Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries
is defending. Sabin hides in the corner to start until Aries takes
over with a running dropkick. The Last Chancery has Sabin in early
trouble but Aries lets go of the hold. Chris goes to the floor to
yell at Velvet who says it’s not her match. Back in and Aries gets
two off an elbow before busting out a stump puller of all things. A
slingshot splash and Lionsault get two each for Aries but Sabin comes
back with a belly to back suplex.
gets caught in the Tree of Woe but does a situp to grab Sabin by the
face and pull him down with a Diamond Cutter. Nice counter. Sabin
bails to the floor and gets taken down with a double ax handle. Back
in and Sabin tells Velvet to get on the apron as a distraction,
allowing Chris to low blow Aries and grab a small package for the pin
and the title at 5:45.
C+. This was fun while it
lasted but it makes Aries’ title reign seem completely worthless.
TNA is usually better about not changing titles back and forth at the
drop of a hat so hopefully this doesn’t become a trend. I could
however go for more of Velvet Sky in tight blue dresses.
keeps looking for information about the note when he gets a call. No
one is on the phone and Spud says he’s gotten four calls from that
number. It’s a 678 area code, which Google says is the area code for
Gainesville, Georgia.
Shaw vs. Norv Fernum
is in dress pants and a long sleeve shirt with black gloves. He
escorts Christy to the floor and looks almost bored. A powerslam and
Orton backbreaker have Fernum in trouble and a standing choke
(imagine the start of a Rock Bottom but Shaw clasps his hands and
chokes) gets the win for Shaw at 1:38.
storm is going to show Angle why he made a mistake in picking Gunner.
He opens a door and sees someone he’s been looking for.
break and of course Storm was talking to Roode. Storm says he hates
Roode but needs to be his partner tonight to send a message. Roode
says that’s not his problem and he doesn’t need Storm, just like
always. Storm says he’ll be out there tonight one way or another.
on Magnus getting to the title.
Storm/Bobby Roode vs. Gunner/Kurt Angle
and Angle get things going with Kurt elbowing James in the face. Off
to Roode vs. Gunner with Gunner going face first into the buckle.
That seems to just make Gunner mad as he comes back with a slingshot
suplex for two on Roode. Bobby comes back with a spinebuster but
Storm tags himself in for some two counts and right hands to the
Money hits the double suplex for a flashback as the old team starts
getting their game together. Kurt has enough of standing on the
apron and comes in to clean house with rolling Germans on Roode.
There’s an overhead belly to belly on Storm followed by the ankle
lock until Roode makes the save. Gunner picks Roode up in the Gun
Rack but Storm Last Calls Gunner, allowing Roode to hit the Death
Valley Driver for the pin at 6:40.
C+. Beer Money continues to
have chemistry but I’m hoping this is a one off thing. Storm has
been ready for a singles run for years now but they keep putting him
into tag teams because that’s what he’s done before. The Gunner team
was a step back for him and Beer Money would be an even bigger one.
Both singles matches should rock though.
accuses Sting of sending the note but Sting blows him off.
EC3 to brag about getting rid of Jeff Hardy. Even though Jeff is
gone to write songs about the Creatures, EC3 tells Christy to
introduce Jeff for a match. Naturally there’s no Jeff so Carter
“wins” by forfeit. Carter counts to ten (“One, two, EC3”)
but here’s Sting to interrupt. Sting calls Carter a dog who can’t do
anything without his Aunt Dixie there to save him. Carter is just
Dixie’s lap dog but Sting wants him to get off the leash and prove
he’s a man. Ethan bails so Sting calls him a lap dog again. The
fans agree with Sting’s nickname so Carter agrees to fight Sting at
Park doesn’t remember turning into Abyss so it can’t be real. Eric
Young has put him in a match with Bully Ray because Abyss wrestled
Ray two years ago this week. Eric leaves and Ray comes up to say
Park will be all alone tonight, just like Ray is now. Ray threatens
to set Park on fire.
Park vs. Bully Ray
stands in the corner in a hoodie, jeans and sunglasses. He looks up
at Park and kicks him low for the DQ at 57 seconds. That was the
only move of the match.
match Ray pulls out a bottle of lighter fluid and covers Park before
pulling out a lighter. Mr. Anderson runs out for the save but Ray
sprays him with fluid as well. There’s the lighter again but Ray
turns it off and walks away.
time for the coronation with Spud and Ethan in the ring in front of a
throne, ferns and the Union Jack. Spud calls this bigger than the
royal wedding and says Dixieland is a place where dreams come true.
Ethan, the Master of Ceremonies, brags about how awesome he is and
talks about how Magnus rules the world. He finally brings out Dixie
who is booed out of the building. She talks about being on a plane
to England and seeing a magazine article on AJ Styles. Then she saw
a piece on Magnus who was a huge star in the United Kingdom and was
all that (her words).
the champion in a nice suit with the title over his shoulder.
Magnus: “This is your champion speaking. Please return your women
to their full and upright positions.” Before Magnus goes anywhere
he has to thank Dixie for everything she’s done for him over the
years. Magnus knows that the fans expected Roode, Angle or even
Hardy here but he proved everyone wrong. It wasn’t him that turned
his back on the fans but rather the fans who turned on him. He’ll be
world champion for a VERY long time but here’s Gunner with the
briefcase as we go to our last break.
with Gunner saying he’s cashing in right now. Dixie says this isn’t
happening but Gunner cleans house anyway. Magnus is the only one
left standing but Spud gets in a cheap shot to take him down. Magnus
loads up a belt shot but AJ Styles runs in through the crowd for the
showdown. They hold up their belts and AJ lays his on the mat like a
line in the sand. Magnus bails with Dixie and AJ says come get your
intellectual property.
isn’t here because Dixie wants him here but rather because Dixie
screwed the people. He needed to come back here because Magnus is a
farce. Magnus will never be a world champion until he beats THE
world champion. If Magnus wants to be what he says he is, he’ll have
to accept the challenge. The fans chant YOU’RE A PUPPET, taking away
a lot of the intensity they’re going for here.
Magnus doesn’t accept, he’ll always doubt himself as the champion.
However, if AJ walks out those doors again, his offer goes with him.
Magnus agrees to fight next week (instead of at Genesis for some
reason) and tells Dixie if he doesn’t fight, he’s leaving too. Dixie
says over her dead body but Magnus says give AJ a one night only
contract. They shake hands and the match is official.
B-. This wasn’t a
perfect show tonight but they did a good job with what they had. The
Bully Ray stuff has me intrigued and the AJ return can get them on to
something new. Tonight was about the storytelling instead of the
matches and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re headed towards
Genesis which has a stacked card that should be one of their better
PPV shows in awhile. Good effort tonight, though I have very little
faith that they can keep it up.
Rayne b. Gail Kim – Side roll
Sabin b. Austin Aries – Small package
Storm/Bobby Roode b. Kurt Angle/Gunner – Last Call to Gunner
Park b. Bully Ray via DQ when Ray kicked Park low
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NXT – January 1, 2014

January 1, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
William Regal, Tom Phillips, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
New Year everyone. I’m not sure if it’s a new year in NXT or not
because this show was probably taped back in November or so. We have
a main event already set for tonight with Leo Kruger vs. Sami Zayn in
a 2/3 falls match which is becoming the signature main event of the
promotion. Let’s get to it.

Saxton is in the middle of the ring to let us know that Tyler Breeze
is in the building.
introduces Alexander Rusev and is given the WHAT treatment.
Rusev vs. Kofi Kingston
pounds Kofi into the corner as Regal chides Phillips about not being
able to talk to Rusev. “If he could talk to you, he wouldn’t need
a translator. Fine money spent on your college education.” Kofi
is lifted into the air so Rusev can drive knees into his ribs. A
Samoan drop gets two on Kofi and a hard shoulder block gets the same.

misses a running splash and gets dropkicked down. The Boom Drop
connects but Rusev heads to the corner so Kofi can’t try Trouble in
Paradise. Instead he hits a cross body off the top (good one too
despite Kofi slipping on the ropes) for two but a Lana distraction
lets Rusev slam Kofi off the top. The Accolade gets the big upset
submission from Kofi at 3:52.
C. Rusev didn’t look great in
there but he got a win over a legitimate main roster guy. There’s
definitely a future for this guy in the big leagues and he could be
something special in the vein of Umaga. Kingston continues to be the
same guy he’s been for years and there’s nothing wrong with that.
LeFort is holding open auditions to replace the injured Scott Dawson.
Bull Dempsey comes up but is told he’s too fat. LeFort says he
needs someone bigger than life when Mason Ryan pops up behind him.
Ryan hasn’t heard about an audition but LeFort promises him lots of
money and holds up a one dollar bill. Mason grabs him by the beard
and shoves it in LeFort’s mouth.
vs. Emma
contenders match. Emma takes her down with a headscissors but
Natalya reverses into a headlock. Off to an armbar by Nattie and a
fireman’s carry slam gets two. Emma gets two on a rollup and strikes
a pose, only to be rammed into the corner. She counters into a quick
Dilemma (Tarantula) but after the break Natalya takes her head off
with a discus lariat for two. Emma gets caught in an abdominal
stretch complete with her leg being lifted off the mat.
an awesome hold, Natalya gets Emma face down on the mat, ties their
legs together and grabs her arms. They turn over and Natalya lays on
her back while raising her legs up to put Emma in something like a
Tree of Woe on the mat. That looks awesome but Emma gets her arms
free. Emma counters the Sharpshooter into a small package for two
before putting on the Emma Lock (Indian Deathlock with a bridge into
a crossface) for the win at 4:35.
C+. Again, it saddens me that
Emma is stuck down here while we have to watch Divas like Aksana, the
Bellas, Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes on Raw for the simple reason of
they were either there first or some attempted cross promotion with a
reality show. This was solid wrestling with good looking women which
could work if actually presented on Raw.
raises Emma’s hand because she got beat fairly.
time for a sing off between Aiden English and Colin Cassidy.
Apparently Regal and English had a cup of tea together with a dwarf
named Peter who loves baking flatbread, and it’s so adorable
listening to the pitter patter of tiny Pete. Thankfully Big Cass
comes out before anything else can be said. Aiden starts by singing
some Italian opera and is good as always. Colin sings about Aiden’s
voice: “You sound like you coughed, but you’re just S-A-W-F-T”.
Audience: “SAWFT!”
has a surprisingly nice voice and wins in a landslide but Aiden wants
another round. Aiden sings about how he can’t stand Cassidy and
Colin sings about how much English sucks to the tune of My Girl,
complete with the BEST AUDIENCE EVER doing the backing vocals.
English of course snaps and takes out Colin’s knee. This was very
entertaining and didn’t beat you over the head with the joke like
they do on Raw. That’s such a huge difference and it makes these
segments so much easier to sit through.
Breeze vs. Mason Ryan
fans go nuts for Breeze’s entrance. Tyler is now the Prince of
Pretty because he’s just that awesome. LeFort comes to ringside to
distract Ryan, allowing Tyler to get an early advantage. Mason
slides to the floor and blasts LeFort, only to go back in for the
Beauty Shot and the pin at 1:18.
vs. Ascension in a tornado match next week.
Breeze has left the building.
Zayn vs. Leo Kruger
falls. Sami signs an autograph on the way to the ring which is a
really easy way to get over with a crowd but no one does it. Kruger
throws him to the floor to start and pounds on Zayn’s back before
throwing him back inside. A European uppercut sends Zayn right back
to the floor and Kruger rams him back first into the apron. Back in
and some more European uppercuts have Sami on shaky knees. That’s
fine with Zayn though as he hits a quick exploder suplex into the
corner before connecting with the running boot in the corner for the
pin at 2:53.
take a break and come back with Leo breaking up a superplex attempt
and shoving Sami out to the floor for a nine count. Zayn is just so
good at building sympathy by holding his ribs and looking like he’s
fighting for every step. Back in and Kruger snaps off a DDT for a
close two. Leo fires off right hands but Sami gets all fired up,
only to be uppercutted right back down. Sami comes back with a
clothesline and leg lariat to set up the Blue Thunder Bomb for two.
Zayn goes to the apron but gets draped over the top ropes to injure
the ribs again. Somehow that’s only good for two so Kruger loads up
a superplex.
shoves him off and tries a cross body but lands on the ribs again.
With Zayn in agony and holding his ribs, Kruger grabs his arm for the
GC3. Since his arm is fine, Sami fights to the ropes and doesn’t tap
out. Sami tries to beat some psychology into him but walks into a
big spinebuster for no cover. Instead he tries the Slice but gets
caught in a downward spiral followed by a Koji Clutch of all things
to give Sami the second fall and the win at 10:28 shown of 13:58.
C+. If you want an example of
something that ticks me off in wrestling, this is it. Kruger’s
finishing moves may be the clothesline and the arm lock but they make
no sense here. Sami spent over twelve minutes setting up that rib
injury and Leo just ignores it because that’s not what his offense
focuses on. Leo looked fine other than that and the moves he used
were all done well, but that lack of common sense hurt him. This was
also a pretty resounding defeat and makes it clear why he was
repackaged. It’s also nice to see Sami get a big win and look
dominant in the process.
B. This was the fun
show that I’ve grown accustomed to. The matches were all at least
good, the singing bit was funny and we have a big match next week.
This show is a very tightly run ship and you never have to ask what
they’re thinking with their booking. I’m so used to being surprised
when WWE or TNA gets something right and it’s the complete opposite
here. Another fun show with a great crowd.
Rusev b. Kofi Kingston – Accolade
b. Natalya – Emma Lock
Breeze b. Mason Ryan – Beauty Shot
Zayn b. Leo Kruger – Koji Clutch

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