Smackdown – April 29, 2015

Smackdown
Date: April 28, 2015
Location: iWireless
Center, Moline, Illinois
Commentators: Michael
Cole, Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re four days removed
from Extreme Rules, meaning we’re two and a half weeks from Payback.
Coming out of Raw, the big story is Rollins having to defend his
title against Randy Orton and Roman Reigns in a three way at the next
pay per view, which WWE had spoiled about a week in advance. Let’s
get to it.

This episode is
dedicated to Verne Gagne.
We open in the back
with Kane coming into Rollins’ office. Seth yells about Kane
screwing up on Monday and making decisions not best for business
because they’re not best for him. Kane tells him to cool it but Seth
accuses him of being jealous. Kane promises to make a man out of
him, so tonight it’s Rollins vs. Ambrose because it’s best for
business. Seth thinks the Kane from 20 years ago would be best for
business because this one has nothing to offer.
Opening sequence.
Here’s Roman Reigns for
a chat. First up we have a shout out to his boy Dean Ambrose for his
match tonight against their little brother Seth Rollins. That would
be the guy that ripped down everything they had built and then cost
him the World Title at Wrestlemania. Thanks to Seth, every fight
he’s had has been the biggest fight of his life, so wait until he
gets his hands on him at Payback. This brings out Kane and it’s time
for a match.
Roman
Reigns vs. Kane
Slug out to start with
Kane kicking him down into the corner before planting him with a
belly to back suplex. Roman low bridges him to the floor and sends
Kane into the post but a side slam puts Reigns on the announcers’
table. Back from a break with Kane holding Reigns in a bearhug
before just stepping on his head. Roman gets back up and wins
another slugout before suplexing Kane down. A middle rope
clothesline puts him down again and Roman follows it up with more in
the corner.
The Samoan drop looks
to set up the Superman Punch but Kane catches him by the throat for a
chokeslam for two. Reigns escapes the tombstone and hits a DDT
(because it’s just a transitional move), followed by the Superman
Punch but the threat of a spear sends Kane running away for the
countout at 9:59.
Rating:
D+. I have no idea why I’m
supposed to care about this potential Kane face turn but it’s not
working. Kane is decent
enough as a power enforcer but he’s the focus of the main event scene
instead of the champion or either of the challengers. That’s really
the best idea they have?
Renee
asks Seth about what just happened. Rollins says the difference
between himself and Kane is he finds a way to win the fight instead
of running away all the time. He
doesn’t need the help of the WWE, the Authority, or even the Stooges.
Cesaro/Kidd
vs. New Day for the titles tonight. So much for building a match up.
Damien
Sandow vs. Curtis Axel
Sandow
has new generic rock music and
mimics the ring announcer’s introduction. This has all of a few
weeks before it gets old in a hurry. Sandow
introduces Axel as the village idiot of Minneapolis and the Pigeon
Toed Disappointment. Axel
does the shirt rip and gets caught in a headlock for his efforts.
This time it’s Damien
ripping his own shirt off and throwing Curtis to the floor before
sitting down next to him. Back
in and Curtis stomps Damien down and chokes him in the corner. A
corner splash misses though and Sandow Hulks Up with three punches
and a big boot into You’re Welcome (full nelson slam) for the pin at
2:30.
Ryback thinks the eater
of worlds has bitten off more than he can chew. Tonight, he’s
dedicating his match to Bray Wyatt when he devours Bray’s former
disciple Luke Harper.
Ryback
vs. Luke Harper
They grapple around to
start with both guys grabbing headlocks. That’s not Harper’s style
though so he slugs Ryback down, only to get caught by the Thesz press
and having his head rammed into the mat. Luke comes back with a snap
suplex but Ryback one ups him with a delayed vertical suplex,
complete with a few marching steps. Davey Boy pounds on Dynamite in
the corner but gets powerbombed down as we take a break.
Back with Ryback
getting Gator Rolled until he powers Harper off, dropping him face
first onto the mat. A powerslam sets up the Warrior splash for two.
Ryback plants him with the spinebuster but the Meat Hook is countered
by a superkick. The discus lariat is blocked with a Meat Hook though
and it’s the Shell Shock for the pin at 9:39.
Rating:
C. I liked this about as much
as I thought I would as you have two big power guys beating on each
other for ten minutes. Ryback has been treated very well since his
return to form and it’s nice to see him getting a strong push.
There’s always going to be room for a guy like him with the
smashmouth style and putting him in there against Harper or Wyatt
could make for some good power brawls.
Speaking
of Bray, he appears and beats Ryback down post match.
Tag
Team Titles: New Day vs. Cesaro/Tyson Kidd
New
Day took the title with some cheating on Sunday. Fans:
“NEW DAY SUCKS!” Woods: “NO WE DON’T!” Kofi
and Kidd get things going with
Kidd grabbing a quick rollup for one, putting a big smile on his
face. Off to a chinlock
from Tyson before Cesaro
snaps off an uppercut for two. The gutwrench suplex gets the same so
Kofi tries a small package. That makes Cesaro chuckle as he powers
Kingston up into a suplex, walks him over to the corner and tags in
Kidd for a high cross body. That’s
just scary strength.
Big
E. comes in off a blind tag but walks into a German suplex to keep
the challengers in control. We
get the NEW DAY SUCKS rhythmic stomping in the corner but a Kofi
distraction lets Big E. knock Kidd off the apron to finally take
over. Kidd gets caught in
the wrong corner for some stomping from Kofi, followed by stomping
from Big E. and a dropkick from Kofi. Kingston
goes to the middle rope but dives into a dropkick. Big E. runs in to
break up the hot tag attempt and we take a break. Back with Big
E. holding Kidd in a bearhug before
planting him with a belly to belly.
The
New Day Boom Drop connects but Tyson ducks Trouble in Paradise,
finally allowing for the hot tag to Cesaro. European
uppercuts a go-go in the corner get two for Cesaro before a gorilla
press drop gets the same with Big E. making the save. Big
E. speeds things up and cleans house as everything breaks down. Kidd
dives through the ropes to take out Kofi before Cesaro’s middle rope
back elbow drops Big E., setting up the Swing into the dropkick but
Woods runs in for the DQ at 13:35.
Rating:
B. These four have awesome
chemistry and this was no exception. Now if only they could have a
match built up instead of just throwing it out there on a Smackdown
five days after the title change. Earlier this week on Austin’s
podcast, Wade Keller suggested building it up as a big time Smackdown
main event like a month out. Why not? The match would rock and WWE
clearly doesn’t care about Smackdown anyway.
Summer
Rae and Cameron are catty about Brie and Naomi. Nikki comes out to
run Summer off and stands up to Cameron for her sister’s honor. A
match is made for later.
Tough
Enough videos.
Cameron
vs. Nikki Bella
Non-title.
This is Nikki’s chance to carry a match. Naomi
gets an inset interview talking about all the good the Bellas think
they can do in the world. What good have those two ever done other
than paying for a plastic surgeon to have a new boat? Nikki
throws her down and does some jumping jacks before cranking on an
armbar.
Cameron
fights out of an armbar and ducks the spinning kick out of the
corner. A running kick to
Nikki’s back gets two and the silence as Cameron shouts at the
referee is disturbing. We
hit the chinlock on Nikki for
a bit before she fights up and hits the second attempt at the kick
out of the corner for two. The big forearm sets up the Rack Attack
for the pin on Cameron at 3:56.
Rating:
D+. So here’s the thing: Nikki
isn’t horrible in the ring. She can even have a totally passable
match more often than not. However, whether it’s “I WISH YOU DIED
IN THE WOMB!” to “of course my sister forgave me for being
horrible to her” to having to carry Cameron, she gets stuck with
some of the worst booking I’ve ever seen. I don’t think she’s ever
going to be anything special in the ring, but she’s doing what she
can with what she has.
The
Prime Time Players ask about the New Day and hear crickets. They
introduce the New Day Clap Away box, which disappears whenever you
clap enough times. You should call to put the Prime Time Players on
TV and get their shirts on WWEshop.com so they can make millions of
dollars.
Rollins and the Stooges
come in to see Ambrose and ask him to step down instead. HHH is
going to be back soon and he’ll take out his rage on anyone who was
involved with this mess, including Ambrose. Dean says that sounds
good but he means seeing Rollins get humiliated.
Long recap of Tuesday’s
King of the Ring special with Barrett coming out with the crown.
Dean
Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Non-title. Dean starts
on the armbar early on, sending Rollins outside for a breather. Back
in and Seth takes him down with a hammerlock but Dean reverses and
kicks him in the back of the head for two. A clothesline puts Seth
on the floor but Dean follows him out for a right hand to the head.
The Stooges get in some cheap shots so here’s Kane to even things
out, at least in theory.
Back from a break with
Dean kicking him in the face but getting stomped right back down.
Dean finally scores with a big clothesline followed by a barrage of
chops and punches. A bulldog out of the corner sets up the standing
elbow but Rollins kicks him out of the air, only to get dropkicked to
the floor. Dean nails a suicide dive and takes Seth back inside for
two off a faceplant. They head to the corner with Rollins pulling
Dean down into the buckle bomb for two more.
Rollins and Kane are
ready to get inside and celebrate but Kane stares at Seth on the
kicking. A surprise rollup gets two for Dean and he backdrops Seth
onto Kane. Back up and Dean dives on everyone not named Rollins, who
sends Ambrose into the barricade. Kane grabs Dean and Seth by the
throat, earning him a tongue lashing from the referee. Dean has to
save the referee but gets sent into the steps for his efforts. That
falling front DDT is enough to give Rollins the pin at 13:46.
Rating:
B-. They went a different way
than I was expecting here but it still worked. Kane vs. Rollins
isn’t an interesting feud but they seen dead set on running with it
no matter how many people fall asleep watching them. Above all else
though: Rollins’ new finisher is horrible. It looks like a
transitional move but it’s the finisher of the WWE World Champion.
There must be something
better than that.
Kane
stares Seth down post match but joins the Stooges for the big
beatdown. Cue Roman Reigns (coming down the ramp for a change) for
the save. A double spear drops the Stooges to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
B. Solid show this week
with good wrestling almost all around and two really solid matches.
They set up more of the Reigns vs. Rollins part of the title match
while leaving Orton’s part for Monday. Kane is still annoying but at
least they kept it short. Anytime I get to see Ryback trading shots
with another brute and New Day vs. Cesaro/Kidd, it’s a good night.
Solid show this week.
Results
Roman Reigns b. Kane
via countout
Damien Sandow b. Curtis
Axel – You’re Welcome
Ryback b. Luke Harper –
Shell Shock
Cesaro/Tyson Kidd b.
New Day via DQ when Xavier Woods interfered
Nikki Bella b. Cameron
– Rack Attack
Seth Rollins b. Dean
Ambrose – Falling front DDT
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

NXT – April 29, 2015

NXT
Date: April 29, 2015
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey
Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re at the start of
the new taping cycle this week, meaning it’s time to get ready for
the build to the next Takeover special. Sami Zayn made his big
return last week to go after NXT Champion Kevin Owens, which almost
has to be the next big main event. Other than that, most of the card
is pretty clear at this point. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of
the end of last week’s show with Kevin Owens beating Alex Riley
again, only to have Sami Zayn return and start a pull apart brawl
with Owens.
Here’s Kevin Owens for
a chat to get things going. He talks about having everything in hand
last week and giving Alex Riley what he deserved, but then Sami Zayn
had to play hero again. Owens wants Sami out here right now but gets
Commissioner William Regal again. The fans start chanting for one
more match but Regal says Owens won’t be using this place for his own
agendas.
That’s not good enough
for Owens who still wants Sami right now. Cue Zayn to fire the fans
up even more but Regal stops him on the steps and says this isn’t
happening. Regal looks at both of them and says this is the easiest
thing he’s had to do in weeks. Obviously these two want to fight
each other, so let’s do it on May 20 at Takeover. Owens chuckles but
says it’s a non-title match because Zayn hasn’t earned a shot in the
last month. Sami thinks Owens needs this match. It has nothing to
do with last week, but over the last twelve years, Owens hasn’t done
a thing without having Sami’s name right next to it.
Even now as NXT
Champion, the fans are only talking about what Owens did to him. You
could say that Kevin Owens has been living in Sami Zayn’s shadow.
That one gets to Owens and the fans tells him he got told. Sami
fights for a prize, and Owens is no prize. That’s enough for Kevin
to put the title on the line and the fans strike up their OLEs.
Notice how they got to this point in a totally logical way without
using the phrase “contractually obligated rematch” and in less
than ten minutes on screen. It can be done and all it takes is a
single promo.
Enzo, Cass and Carmella
are jabbering about the jewelry Blake and Murphy gave her but she
says she can handle herself. The guys leave and Blake and Murphy
come up and insult Enzo and Cass, which isn’t cool with Carmella.
They step back so Alexa Bliss comes up, only to get shoved away.
Blake and Murphy come up to Bliss but she doesn’t seem interested in
hearing from them. This was kind of an odd segment and I’m not
entirely sure what they were shooting for.
Sami signs his contract
when Alex Riley comes up and asks for one more match with Owens.
Regal snaps about giving Riley so many opportunities but Sami says
don’t let Owens get to you. Riley doesn’t want to hear that from
Sami so Zayn offers to fight Alex for a warmup.
Enzo Amore/Colin
Cassady vs. Blake/Murphy
Non-title. Before the
match, Enzo calls the champs Frosted Flake Wesley Blake and the Sugar
Cube Dude. You know there’s just one word to describe them. Blake
and Enzo get things going but the champs quickly get Amore into the
corner for some stomping. A clothesline gets two for Blake as the
fans chant LET’S GO ZO.
Enzo breaks free with a
jawbreaker and it’s a double tag to bring in Murphy and Cass. The
big man cleans house and hits a splash in the corner before Enzo
misses a high cross body. That’s so appropriate for him for some
reason. Carmella distracts Blake and it’s a big boot to the face,
followed by a Rocket Launcher for the pin on Blake at 3:18.
Rating: D+.
I’m not wild on having champions lose as you could pretty much do the
same match with any combination here. The interesting part here is
Carmella, who I’m hoping joins the champs but gets dumped by them
too, leaving her all alone since no one likes her in the first place.
Becky
Lynch talks about traveling the world to become the best in the
world. She’s here to become the best in the NXT women’s division and
won’t just be another face in the crowd.
Bayley
can’t find her gear and is freaking out. Emma is show with Bayley’s
headbands and shirt.
Video
on Baron Corbin, talking about wanting to crush the dreams of
everyone in NXT. Rules don’t apply to him and that’s not his
problem. This is yet
another example of character development and telling us more about a
character in twenty seconds than we’ve known about him in four
months.
Bayley
vs. Dana Brooke
Bayley
looks a bit off without her stuff but of course she has a huge smile
on her face. Bayley grabs a
headlock to start but Dana throws her down and flexes. The fans want
Blue Pants but get Bayley
taking Dana to the mat and rolling around on her back. Dana goes
nuts and slams Bayley’s head into the mat a few times before
doing her headstand foot choke. Wasteland
gets two for Dana and we hit a half crab with a knee in Bayley’s
back. Bayley gets up and
gets all aggressive with elbows in the corner but cue Emma in a
Bayley shirt to Bayley’s music and full entrance, allowing Dana to
hit a Whiplash for the pin at 4:16.
Rating: D+.
So yeah, Dana isn’t quite there yet but this was a match designed to
advance Emma vs. Bayley instead of Dana’s push. Right now Dana just
needs ring time and she’s got the core base figured out. Emma
stealing Bayley’s stuff, which is almost Bayley’s identity, is an
interesting idea and could work out well for a short feud. If
nothing else it means I get to hear more of Bayley’s infectious theme
song.
Regal
announces a triple threat for Takeover for the #1 contendership
between Finn Balor, Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami.
Hideo
Itami vs. Adam Rose
Itami
looks so insulted
by the Rosebuds and Adam’s entrance. This
is billed as fallout from the Andre battle royal. Rose
rolls around to start and eats a chop, followed
by a running kick to the face for two. A
quick trip lets Rose have a breather and he drops a fist for two.
Rose’s chinlock doesn’t go
anywhere so Hideo hits his array of kicks, capped off by the Shotgun
Kick for the pin at 2:52. Just
a step above a squash.
Becky
Lynch vs. Sarah Dawson
Dawson
is a pretty generic looking girl but
she gets half of a dueling chant. A
quick rollup gets two for Sarah but Becky takes her into the corner
for a good stomping. Lynch
drives her down into a Fujiwara armbar before sitting up to crank
even harder, drawing the submission at 2:12.
Rhyno
has heard what Baron Corbin is all about but Rhyno isn’t the past.
Methinks we have our power match for Takeover.
Alex
Riley vs. Sami Zayn
Owens
is in on commentary. Feeling
out process to start as Owens asks if Riley being let out of a cage
means he can’t take a shower. Riley
cranks on an armbar and gets two off a dropkick. We’re
in a chinlock less than three minutes in until Sami fights up, only
to get caught in a TKO for two. Riley
misses a charge and falls to the floor, setting up the big flip dive.
That’s enough for Owens as
he gets up and decks Sami for the DQ at 4:40.
Rating: C-.
This didn’t have time to go anywhere but they were trying to set up a
match instead of doing anything interesting here. Owens going nuts
and attacking everyone in sight is a good idea as it’s in his nature
to be insane. Riley still looks decent in the ring but it might have
gotten ugly had he tried to hang in there with Sami.
Kevin
powerbombs Riley on the apron and smiles to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+.
Yes, I’m aware that’s higher than all of the matches and you should be
aware by now that there’s a lot more to a wrestling show than just
the wrestling. Owens vs. Sami is going to blow the roof off the
place and the triple threat and Women’s Title matches should both be
great. It’s not a great show, but the energy is back after going
missing for the last month or so. That’s what NXT thrives on and
it’s still working here.
Results
Enzo Amore/Colin
Cassady vs. Blake/Murphy – Rocket Launcher to Blake
Dana Brooke b. Bayley –
Whiplash
Hideo Itami b. Adam
Rose – Shotgun Kick
Becky Lynch b. Sarah
Dawson – Armbar
Sami Zayn b. Alex Riley
via DQ when Kevin Owens interfered
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Impact Wrestling – April 24, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date: April 24, 2015
Location: Impact Zone,
Orlando, Florida
Commentator: Josh
Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is a special
episode, focusing on the Knockouts. We’ll be seeing new Knockouts
debut, a Knockouts Title match with Taryn Terrell defending against
Awesome Kong, a four way for the #1 contendership and an announcement
on Mickie James’ in ring future. In non-Knockouts news, we have
another announcement from Ethan Carter III and Kurt Angle defending
the World Title against Eric Young. Let’s get to it.

The opening video hypes
this up as TKO: A Night of Knockouts.
Here’s Angle to call
out Eric Young for a talk. Eric comes out in his crazy attire
instead of the old version that Kurt wanted to see. Before they
fight tonight, Angle wants to know which version he’s getting. Young
talks about being called crazy all his life but one day last year,
that turned into a World Title. The crazy kept going but last week
it stopped when Angle turned his back on him to offer Eric a free
shot. Eric says he’ll fight Angle tonight, but it’s going to be the
best version of him.
They shake hands but
here’s Austin Aries, who says he’s cashing in tonight so Eric can
find something else to do. He tells Angle to go get ready because
it’s going to be one of the biggest fights of his life. Young
doesn’t look pleased and will likely be back around for later in the
night. Sidebar: what exactly is crazy about Eric Young? He’s
certainly angry and aggressive, but not crazy.
Taryn Terrell says
she’s keeping the title.
Gail
Kim vs. Angelina Love vs. Brooke vs. Madison Rayne
Madison jumps Brooke in
the aisle and it’s a big brawl before the bell. We take a very early
break and come back with Brooke and Madison fighting over a suplex
until Brooke gets sent to the apron, only to snap both Madison and
Angelina across the top rope. Gail gets back in it with a double
dropkick and a splash to Madison, only to eat Angelina’s spinwheel
kick to put her down again. Brooke gets knocked to the floor,
leaving Madison to get two off a northern lights suplex.
Gail sidesteps a
missile dropkick but Brooke intercepts her charge and hammers on
Madison in the corner. A middle rope X Factor gets two on Madison
and Love gets dropped by a flapjack. We get the big multi-submission
spot which has never gotten a fall ever, followed by Brooke dropping
a top rope elbow on Rayne. Gail dropkicks Love down before both good
girls cross body each other down. It’s time for the parade of
finishers and Brooke hits the Tesshocker on Madison for the pin at
10:40.
Rating:
C. If the Divas got time like
this, I might be able to care about them a lot more. I also like
that there aren’t many perky, happy Knockouts. It helps to have some
shades of gray in there and girls with slightly more developed
characters. Queen Bee, perky model and serious wrestler aren’t in
depth characters, but they’re miles more defined than Alicia Fox,
Layla and Natalya.
The
Rising wants a fight with the BDC tonight, one on one. I’m
still waiting on an explanation for why the Rising needs to exist.
Eric Young isn’t happy.
Micah
vs. Kenny King
Rising vs. BDC. MVP
says it’s going to be one on one but King jumps Micah in a surprise
to get things going. The Rising is quickly ejected as Micah fights
back and stomps King in the corner. King sends him to the floor for
a beating from the BDC and puts on a chinlock, only to miss a
spinning kick to the head. A Big Ending puts King down but MVP
distracts the referee, allowing Low Ki to grab Micah’s foot. King
kicks Micah in the head for two but springboards into a Samoan drop
to give Micah the pin at 5:00.
Rating:
C-. The match was fine but I
have no idea why this feud needs to exist. Both teams are pretty
generic and they would have been better off just doing MVP vs.
Galloway. Not a bad match here but it’s a story I don’t care about
because I haven’t been given a reason to care.
The
Rising runs in but gets beaten down, including some shots with a
pipe.
Post break, Galloway
wants Low Ki next week in a steel pipe on a pole.
Jade
vs. Laura Dennis
Dennis is better known
as indy wrestler Cherry Bomb while Jade is Mia Yim as one half of the
Dollhouse. She and Marti Belle skip to the ring to piano music and
dance with each other in the ring. Laura kicks her in the side of
the head to start as a Cherry Bomb chant starts up. Jade gets more
fired up and pounds Laura in the head for two. Marti hands Jade
something that looked like a jawbreaker, which seems to fire Jade up
even more as she hits Laura in the head. Marti trips Laura up and
gets ejected so she nails the referee and helps with a double team on
Laura for the DQ at 4:03.
Rating:
D+. Well
that was creepy. Dollhouse is definitely something interesting and
WAY different than the rest of the Knockouts. It’s the kind of
different we haven’t seen since Winter, but hopefully this doesn’t
turn into something really stupid. Really effective debut though and
I want to see more from this team.
Dollhouse isn’t cool
with how Christy announces the decision so they beat her up and stick
the jawbreaker in her mouth and dropkick her into the steps.
Angle tells Young that
he didn’t know Aries was going to do that. Young says history keeps
repeating itself but Angle offers him the next shot. That’s not cool
with Young, who threatens to leave. Amazingly enough, Angle doesn’t
try to stop him. Smart man that Kurt.
Magnus introduces
Mickie James for her big announcement. Mickie talks about her
history in the ring and how amazing it feels to be in action, but now
she has something more important: their son Donovan. She’s very
grateful for the fans, but as of tonight, she’s going home to be a
mom. This brings out James Storm, who says people know he loves hot
women, fast cars and cold beer. He sees a female version of himself
in Mickie and knows she loves to hear those chants.
No one wants to see her
go, but Magnus says this was too hard of a decision. James keeps
going but Mickie asks him to stop because her decision is made.
Storm understands the love she has for her son but these people love
Mickie James. He’s asking for one more match and actually talks
Mickie into it. This was more Cowboy James Storm than Revolution
James Storm, which is rather interesting indeed. Magnus looks
annoyed at the decision but forces a smile.
During the break,
Magnus says he supports the decision but still doesn’t look thrilled.
Davey Richards comes up and warns Magnus to stay away from Storm
because he’s evil. Magnus appreciates the advice.
Davey
Richards vs. Manik
In a case of bad
editing, Davey is in the ring three seconds after he was shown
walking to the ring and Manik gets an entrance. Feeling out process
to start with Davey nailing a dropkick but charging into a
hurricanrana with Manik going into a cross armbreaker. A snap suplex
into a belly to back puts Richards down for two and we hit the
chinlock. Manik puts on another armbreaker over the ropes but dives
into a kick to the chest. The double stomp misses so Davey throws
him into the air for a kick to the chest, setting up Creeping Death
for the pin at 5:40.
Rating:
C. Well, that was in fact a
wrestling match and I’m kind of struggling to come up with anything
else to say about it. The X-Division is just filler at the moment
and I actually had to think for a second to figure out who has the
title right now. Nothing to
see here but the match was fine.
Post
match the Revolution comes out to beat on Davey but the Hardys make
the save, likely setting up
a six man.
Ethan
Carter says he debuts a new campaign tonight.
Here
are Ethan and Tyrus (in a suit and hat, holding balloons) for the
announcement. Josh says we’ve been wondering about this for weeks.
I’ve been wondering about it for maybe an hour and a half as I hadn’t
heard about it until the beginning of this show. Carter
declares himself the next World Champion and brags about beating
every member of the Hall of Fame. This
brings out Mr. Anderson for some easy political jokes but Tyrus gets
in his face. Anderson gives
a good speech about the work it takes to win championships but Ethan
wants to fight. They start
brawling but Carter bails before it gets too bad.
Video
on Taryn Terrell wanting to fight Awesome Kong.
Knockouts
Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell
Terrell is defending.
Before the match, Taryn asks to make this No DQ and Kong has no
issue. Kong easily knocks her to the floor and giant swings the
champ into the barricade. It’s kendo stick time, because those were
just laying under the ring in case a No DQ match broke out. Taryn
escapes a powerbomb into the steps and avoids a splash back inside.
An ax handle puts Kong
down and it’s table time, as per the fans’ request. As she’s setting
it up though, here’s the Dollhouse. They stand at ringside as Kong
puts Taryn on the table for a splash before getting on the apron for
some very weak kendo stick shots. Taryn gets up and a triple
powerbomb puts Kong through the table for the pin at 5:12.
Rating:
D+. Angle instead of a match
here but I’m digging the idea of Taryn leading the Dollhouse. It’s
certainly an interesting idea that they haven’t tried before, and the
Knockouts division has needed some fresh blood for way too long now.
Good idea here and an interesting turn.
Taryn grabs a mic and
says everyone told her she couldn’t do it. Well now no one can beat
her because her friends don’t play nice. This is their house: the
Dollhouse. Jade and Marti dance around her before giving Kong the
jawbreaker.
Aries is coming to the
ring and runs into Young as he leaves. Austin apologizes and offers
Eric the first shot.
Magnus comes up to the
production staff and asks them to follow Mickie while he’s working.
TNA
World Title: Austin Aries vs. Kurt Angle
Angle is defending but
it’s 10:56 and Angle’s music hasn’t even started playing yet. As you
probably expect, Eric Young sneaks in and attacks Aries with the
briefcase before Kurt appears and piledrives him on the floor. A
second piledriver on the steps FINALLY brings Angle out for some
shouting. Young sends Angle into the steps to bust him open and goes
after the knee, setting up the Figure Four.
The show ends with a
preview for next week’s Hardcore Justice, which was April’s One Night
Only and includes at least one match from the show. That’s a new
idea and based on the old One Night Only shows, one of the worst
possible things they could do.
Overall
Rating:
B. Other than the Eric
Young stuff (more on that later), I really liked this show. The
Dollhouse is an interesting idea and a fresh direction for the
division and the focus on the Knockouts held up WAY better than I was
expecting. As I said earlier, just adding some character to their
matches helps it so much and gives you something to cheer for. I
also dug the idea of Storm going after the family unit for whatever
reason. Him not having the Revolution around him makes him so much
more enjoyable too.
As for Young, this was
another example of why I don’t like him in this spot. In addition to
not liking the CRAZY thing (because he isn’t acting crazy), there are
so many other people who could be in this spot. Storm, Carter, Bram,
Aries, even MVP or Galloway would be more interesting opponents for
Angle. Young comes off as a guy who is in over his head and is just
there to get beaten in the end. Why have average when you could have
really good? Anyway, really solid show tonight and a very big
surprise.
Results
Brooke b. Gail Kim,
Angelina Love and Madison Rayne – Tesshocker to Rayne
Micah b. Kenny King –
Samoan drop
Laura Dennis b. Jade
via DQ when Marti Belle interfered
Davey Richards b. Manik
– Creeping Death
Taryn Terrell b.
Awesome Kong – Powerbomb through a table
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Smackdown – April 23, 2015

Smackdown
Date: April 23, 2015
Location: Dunkin’
Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the final show
before Extreme Rules and for some reason in 2015, one of the major
stories is Kane seemingly about to turn on the Authority and becoming
a bigger deal than he is now. Of course it’s possible that it’s all
a swerve and Kane will cost Orton the title match on Sunday, making
the last few weeks a big waste of time, much like Kane in general.
Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence opens,
as is its custom.
Here are Rollins and
the Stooges to open things up. After a recap of everything that
happened on Monday with the RKO’s all around, Rollins mocks the RKO
OUTTA NOWHERE concept. It’s a good thing Orton got all those out of
his system because the RKO is banned on Sunday. Speaking of Sunday,
Rollins doesn’t need anyone’s help, including an aging former
monster’ like Kane.
Strike up the organ of
course so Kane can come out and threaten to chokeslam Rollins right
now. He can either keep the title on Rollins this Sunday or destroy
him right now. Seth laughs it off and says Kane will be fired for
crossing the Authority. HHH only gave Kane that job to make him feel
better because Kane is just a suit these days. Kane obeying the
Authority is what’s best for business.
Seth brings up Kane
laying down and says that’s what he should be doing, but Kane thinks
Seth should lay down for him right now. He’ll even make it
non-title. A referee comes down and we get a bell. Rollins says
this isn’t right but Kane says he’s the Authority tonight. The
threat of disembowelment convinces Seth to lay down but as Kane goes
to cover him, he says he’s just kidding and helps Seth up.
However, Kane isn’t
done yet as he makes Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose RIGHT NOW. Ambrose
comes running out but Luke Harper follows, setting up a big beatdown
on Dean. With things going bad, Roman Reigns comes out for the save,
chasing off Rollins and Harper with Superman Punches.
Dolph
Ziggler/Neville vs. Bad News Barrett/Sheamus
On the way to the ring,
Sheamus says it’s an insult to have underdogs like the men in the
ring compared to real men like them. He even offers to bring Ziggler
a stepladder to help Ziggler kiss up to him on Sunday. Neville
starts with Sheamus and starts kicking away at the leg, followed by a
running hurricanrana to send Sheamus outside. Barrett gets sent out
as well and Neville hits a big running flip to take them both down.
Back from a break with
Barrett holding Neville in a chinlock before Sheamus drops him with a
release suplex. Neville finally fights up and kicks Sheamus in the
head, allowing the hot tag to Ziggler. The jumping elbow and running
DDT get two each on Barrett but a Sheamus distraction lets Barrett
hit a quick Wasteland for two more. Ziggler spins around the
shoulders though, setting up a Zig Zag into the Red Arrow for the pin
on Barrett at 8:39.
Rating:
C. This was a nice way to set
things up, but again, well done on having a guy who might be winning
the Intercontinental Title in three days look bad. That being said,
it’s really nice to see Neville get yet another pin over a big name.
Even though everyone pins Barrett, it’s still the biggest fall of
Neville’s career.
We
get the Tough Enough announcement and see some of the best/worst
video submissions so far. Yeah fine. Just let me know when the
winner (other than John Morrison) means anything.
Bray
Wyatt says someone’s strength is an illusion, just like anyone else.
He sees right through this person because fear is the same for every
man. Bray will expose him as a weakling very soon. How does life
work for a butterfly with no wings?
Naomi
vs. Natalya
I
guess Natalya is a face again. Naomi slugs her down to start and
catapults Natayla throat first into the bottom rope for two. A
chinlock doesn’t last long so Naomi drops an elbow, only to miss a
legdrop. Natalya does the
stepover into the dropkick, only to walk into the Rear View for the
pin at 2:28. As usual, the week to week continuity dominates the
Divas.
The
next target for the Prime Time Players is the Tag Team Champions.
Kidd is whipped and Cesaro is interesting. Why is he interesting?
Well…..uh…..you see……he’s German! Uh I mean Swiss, but it’s
the same thing.
Ryback
vs. Rusev
Jobber entrance for
Rusev but Lana gives a speech about the strength of the Russian
chain, which has protected the greatest of Russia for years. Rusev
says the chain is his weapon and a burden to Cena, to whom no mercy
will be shown. They stare each other down to start before locking up
with Rusev shoving him into the corner. Ryback nails a running
clothesline for two and the Russian is stunned. A delayed suplex
puts Rusev down again but he rolls to the floor before Ryback can
stay on him.
Back in and Ryback
misses a charge into the post, sending us to a break. We come back
with Rusev putting on a quickly broken bearhug. Ryback fires off
some right hands and gets two off a belly to belly, only to splash
legs. The Meat Hook and jumping superkick are countered but the
second Meat Hook connects. Rusev slips out of a Shell Shock though
and heads outside, where he hits Ryback in the ribs with the chain
for the DQ at 9:57.
Rating:
C-. Take two guys and let them
beat on each other for a few minutes. It’s a strategy that has
worked for years and it worked well enough
here. This was a pretty
good way to make Rusev look like a killer again, even if it’s just a
way to set him up again to be destroyed by Cena.
Ryback
gets the Accolade with the chain around the face.
Jamie
Noble isn’t worried about Harper because it turns out they’re
cousins. Harper comes up in
his usual trance and Noble tries to get his attention, but Harper is
annoyed that they broke his concentration. He was thinking of all
the ways he can hurt people you see.
Kofi
Kingston vs. Cesaro
Before
the match, the New Day blames the lack of positivity in WWE on the
lack of clapping. Have no fear because New Day is here! Woods
says they’re like medicine: they may not taste good going down, but
they’re the right thing for you. Kofi
goes on a rant about how the WWE isn’t listening to them but soon
enough they will embrace the New Day. They’re
kind of awesome at this.
The
fans aren’t pleased and chant their version of the catchphrase. A
dropkick puts Cesaro down to start but he uppercuts Kofi into the
Swing, only to have everyone else brawl on the floor. Trouble in
Paradise hits out of nowhere for the pin at 1:30. That’s
not as bad as it’s not a tag match loss.
Big
Show has had enough of Roman Reigns and is ready to expose him for
what he is.
Roman
Reigns/Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins/Luke
Harper
Kane
is at ringside. Ambrose and Harper get things going with Dean taking
him down to the mat and ripping at Harper’s face. Off
to Reigns for a stomping in the corner before Dean gets another tag
and hits a basement clothesline. Harper
finally gets Ambrose into the corner for a tag to the champ to take
over. A headlock into a
front facelock keep Dean in trouble before Rollins throws him to the
floor for a big boot from Harper.
We
take a break and come back with Dean fighting out of a chinlock but
having to DDT Harper instead of tagging. Seth
comes back in to break up the hot tag attempt with a clothesline
before both guys try cross bodies. The
double tag brings in the power guys with
Roman cleaning house but having to Superman Punch the Stooges off the
apron. Harper takes one as
well before Dean nails Rollins with the top rope standing elbow.
Luke
partially blocks Dean’s suicide dive and sends him over the
timekeeper’s area, only to eat a clothesline from Reigns. Rollins
comes back in with the springboard knee for two and it’s the discus
lariat for two. Dean comes in off the hot tag to clean house. The
rebound clothesline puts Rollins down and Dean low bridges Harper to
the floor. Dean dives on the pile at ringside, only
to have Kane throw Rollins back inside, allowing
Reigns to hit the spear on Rollins for the pin at 16:44.
Rating:
B. This
was a much better main event tag than I was expecting. I’m not wild
on the champion getting pinned but that’s one of those things you
learn to live with in WWE. It’s also par for the course for this
title reign but that’s another story for another time. Anyway, good,
long tag match here which was better than I was expecting.
Overall
Rating:
C+. Pretty fun show
tonight with a good main event to carry things. Extreme Rules isn’t
the most interesting card in the world but a lot of that is due to
the show just being a bunch of Wrestlemania rematches. The direction
of a lot of things is still questionable but at least we had a fun
two hour show to get us to the pay per view.
Results
Dolph Ziggler/Neville
b. Bad News Barrett/Sheamus – Red Arrow to Barrett
Naomi b. Natalya –
Rear View
Ryback b. Rusev via DQ
when Rusev hit him with a chain
Kofi Kingston b. Cesaro
– Trouble in Paradise
Roman Reigns/Dean
Ambrose b. Seth Rollins/Luke Harper – Spear to Rollins
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NXT – April 22, 2015

NXT
Date: April 22, 2015
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey
Graves, Rich Brennan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We haven’t heard from
NXT Champion Kevin Owens in a good while so it’s probably time to get
him out here for more greatness. Alex Riley has called Owens out to
meet him in the ring tonight because, due to quitting his commentary
job, Riley has nowhere else to go but the ring. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Finn
Balor vs. Tye Dillinger
Balor starts with some
dropkicks as the fans want him to KILL THE JOBBER. The Pele sets up
the Sling Blade and the Coup de Grace ends Dillinger at 2:28. This
was an old school squashing and Balor looked great.
Tyler Breeze pops up on
screen to call Finn Balor the flavor of the month. See you around
Finn.
Dana Brooke says last
week was the rebirth of the women’s division in NXT because it was
the debut of the strongest Diva ever. It’s play time.
Kevin Owens is asked
his thoughts on the match with Riley tonight but first, he thinks
it’s cold. Riley gave him a good fight a few weeks back but he’s
never going to be NXT Champion. After the loss tonight, he can go
find a chair, table and headset to use because his future isn’t in
the ring. If you’ll excuse him, he’d like to go find a coat.
Charlotte
vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
#1 contenders match. Becky
gets double teamed to start and Bayley throws her to the floor,
setting up another showdown between herself and Charlotte. A chop
out goes to Charlotte (of course) and we hit the figure four headlock
with the flips to knock Bayley senseless. Becky sneaks back in with
a nice German suplex to take Charlotte down and we take a break.
Back with Becky dropping some running legs on Bayley for two.
Off to a knee hold as we get
what might be the first ever crawler advertising NXT live shows. A
limping Bayley fights out of the corner but charges into a knee.
Becky outs on a complicated leg lock but Charlotte breaks it up with
Natural Selection and no cover. The fans think that this is
wrestling and better than the Divas.
Becky pulls Charlotte off
the middle rope to break up a superplex attempt but Charlotte pulls
her away from the corner into a powerbomb with Bayley adding a middle
rope elbow to the jaw to drive Lynch down. Charlotte pulls Becky off
the cover and puts her bad leg in the Figure Eight (the official name
for the bridging version). Charlotte can’t see though and Becky
drapes her arm over Bayley for the pin at 11:32 with the hold still
on.
Rating:
B. The girls continue to steal
the show and Becky is getting better every week. Lynch vs. Banks
could be something interesting given their history and now I have a
reason to believe it could be a good match. Charlotte has nothing
left to do in NXT and is ready for the main roster and the
destruction of her career as a result. Bayley needs to find
something to do as she’s been running in still adorable circles for a
while now.
CJ
Parker vs. Hideo Itami
Dang
Parker just won’t leave. Parker
stalls to start as the fans want Hideo to kick his head off. A
headlock slows Itami down but he drives a knee into Parker’s ribs to
set up some kicks for two. CJ
punches him in the corner and gets two off a suplex. Another attempt
doesn’t work though and it’s time for the strike off. A
running delayed corner dropkick sets up the Shotgun Kick to give
Hideo the pin at 4:06.
Rating:
D+. This has to be Parker’s
last match as I can’t find anything else taped for him. Hideo looked
better here and it seems that the GTS is going to be his super
finisher when he isn’t using the Shotgun Kick. This did its job of
getting Hideo back on track after his big moment was treated like
nothing special by Big Show at Wrestlemania.
Becky
Lynch doesn’t like Sasha Banks taking credit for her career.
Rhyno
vs. ???
No
name for the jobber. Gore ends this in 27 seconds.
Blake
and Murphy sing to Carmella when Enzo and Cass come up to accuse the
two Sinatras of having Halitosis. Carmella
is wearing the jewelry they gave her and that’s not cool either.
Cass brings up getting
Carmella a job.
Alex
Riley vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title
and no sign of the coat.
Owens gets in his face in
the corner but Riley shoves him into the same corner. A nice
dropkick sends Owens outside and the champ needs a breather. The
mind games begin as Owens won’t get back inside, which eventually
draws Alex outside for a whip into the barricade.
We
come back from a break with Owens
choking on the middle rope and not seeing Riley as much of a threat.
The backsplash gets two and
we hit the chinlock. Riley
fights up and hits a running elbow in the corner, followed by a
flipping neckbreaker. He
gets crotched on top though, setting up the Cannonball and Pop Up
Powerbomb for the pin at 8:44.
Rating:
C-. I
wasn’t wild on this one as it was basically a less energized version
of their first match. Owens is a killer and looked fine while Alex
looked like he could still go in the ring, but we knew those things
after their match in Columbus. Not much to see here but Owens is
always entertaining with his explosiveness.
Post
match Owens loads up the apron powerbomb but Sami Zayn comes out for
the big brawl. Security comes out but Sami dives on the pile to send
Owens running away to end
the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. This wasn’t the best
show but it seems that this was a show taped out of order which took
away a lot of the chemistry. Sami coming out to go after Owens was a
great sign though as it’s time to pick things up all over again,
likely for the next upcoming Takeover. Not a great show but it set
up the future and gave us a good triple threat.
Results
Finn Balor b. Tye
Dillinger – Coup de Grace
Becky Lynch b.
Charlotte and Bayley – Lynch pinned Bayley while Bayley was in the
Figure Eight
Hideo Itami b. CJ
Parker – Shotgun Kick
Rhyno b. ??? – Gore
Kevin Steen b. Alex
Riley – Pop Up Powerbomb
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Impact Wrestling – April 17, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date: April 17, 2015
Location: Impact Zone,
Orlando, Florida
Commentator: Josh
Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight is a one idea
show as there will be a full Tag Team Title tournament with four
first round matches and the winners advancing to an Ultimate X match
for the championships. There may also be some more about Kurt
Angle’s World Title, with Eric Young as the next potential challenger
due to Angle not pinning him last week. Let’s get to it.

We open with a preview
of the tournament.
Here are the first
round matches:
James Storm/Khoya
Hardys
Low Ki/Kenny King
Mr. Anderson/Rockstar
Spud
Ethan Carter III/Bram
Tigre Uno/Jay Rios
BroMans
Austin Aries/Bobby
Roode
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Khoya/James Storm vs. Hardys
The Hardys attack at
the bell and it’s a brawl to start. The Revolution gets the better
of it with Khoya throwing Jeff around to take over and the fans
cheering for Matt. James and Khoya take turns beating on Matt until
Storm puts on a chinlock. Khoya gets two off a clothesline but Matt
sweeps Storm’s leg and makes the tag off to Jeff. Things speed way
up with the legdrop between the legs and basement dropkick to Storm’s
face but Jeff has to deal with an interfering Khoya. That goes badly
for the Revolution as Storm Last Calls Khoya by mistake, setting up
the Swanton for the pin at 5:40.
Rating:
C-. This was fine but I’m not
wild on either team. The Revolution stopped being interesting months
ago and the fact that the Tag Team Titles is the best they can do at
this point tells you everything you need to do know about them. They
just don’t have anything to do and they haven’t since day one. With
no direction, there’s no point to the team being around.
Storm
beats up Khoya, hopefully signaling the ending of the group.
The
Hardys say it’s time to fulfill their destiny. To be associated with
better teams and be considered great by proxy instead of doing
anything by yourselves?
Eric
Young says he should be #1 contender. We get a CRAZY closeup of his
CRAZY face to make sure that his CRAZY voice is clearly heard. He’s
CRAZY you see.
Here’s Eric Young in a
Kurt Angle shirt. He’s not happy because Angle is ducking him for a
World Title shot. Young doesn’t care how many people he has to hurt
because he wants his shot as #1 contender. This brings out Kurt, who
says if Young wants to say something to him, say it to his face.
Young sees him as
someone that can be hurt because the title belongs to him. Kurt says
the title match is next week but he wants to know why Eric is doing
all these things. Young talks about a hole in his spirit after he
lost the title. That’s fine with Angle, but he wants the old Eric
Young next week. Kurt turns his back and dares Eric to hit him, but
Young says he’ll see him next week. This has been another chapter in
“Eric Young sucks and has no business in this spot” theater.
The BDC threatens Spud
in the back but Anderson comes in for the save.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Rockstar Spud/Mr. Anderson vs.
Kenny King/Low Ki
Spud charges in a bit
too fast and gets double teamed to start with Low Ki chopping him
down. After both BDC members get in some right hands, King stomps
Spud in the back to keep him from lunging for a tag. King ducks an
enziguri and kicks Spud in the ribs to keep him in trouble but the
fans are entirely behind Spud. Ki puts on an abdominal stretch to
stay on the bad ribs for some psychology.
The BDC breaks up
another hot tag attempt so Anderson comes in with a double
clothesline and drags Spud to the corner before getting back on the
apron. That makes the hot tag a lot easier and Anderson comes in to
clean house. Anderson throws Spud into a hurricanrana to send Ki to
the floor and the Underdog plants King, only to have Ki come off the
top with the Warrior’s Way to Spud, giving King the pin at 6:50.
Rating:
C. Standard tag match here
which means it was fine for the most part. They even threw in some
basic psychology with the rib work, which is more than you get most
of the time. The BDC going in makes more sense as they have the
experience together, which is more than enough to take down a
makeshift team comprised of an overrated guy in Anderson and a plucky
underdog.
Carter
says he and Bram will win the titles tonight as a preview for his
World Title run. Bram: “I’m going to rip Tigre Uno’s mask off and
shove it down his throat!” Carter: “Good! Just make sure we win
first.”
MVP
and Homicide congratulate Ki and King on the win. Homicide is given
the special assignment (RUN! That’s what they told Taz!) of beating
up Kurt Angle.
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: Jay Rios/Tigre Uno vs. Bram/Ethan
Carter III
Rios
is a masked man who appeared as a jobber in TNA back in the Jeff
Jarrett MMA days. He’s
certainly no Essa. Carter
and Rios trade wristlocks to start before Tigre comes in for a double
dropkick. Carter bails to
the floor and Tigre makes the mistake of diving at Tyrus like a
schmuck, earning him a World’s Strongest Slam on the floor.
Bram
gets in some stomps before Carter throws on a chinlock. A
leg dive keeps Tigre from making the hot tag but Bram misses an
elbow, allowing for the lukewarm tag to Rios. Jay
flips out of a backdrop and hits a springboard into a cutter but
Carter uses the arm brace to knock Rios silly, setting up the
Brighter Side of Suffering, but Carter tags himself in for the pin at
3:50.
Rating:
D. I’m really not a fan of
matches like these as they make the show feel even longer than it
already does. It helps that they kept it so short but this show
really hasn’t done much to make me care about the main event so far.
The fact that Bram and Carter are already having issues doesn’t help
either.
Kurt
Angle says Young has gone from genius to crazy but he wants the old
Young back. As for Homicide, he better have good insurance.
Christy
Hemme brings out the Knockouts (or at least five of them)
to announcer that next week is a night of all Knockouts. Love thinks
the night should be all about her because she has the most Knockout
Titles of all time. The fans chant for Brooke as Gail goes on her
usual rant about how awesome the Knockouts are. Madison cuts her off
before the entire building falls asleep and says none of them are the
Queen Bee.
Christy
tries to calm them down with the offer of a fourway between Brooke,
Gail, Madison and Angelina for the #1 contendership. Brooke
is WAY too excited about this announcement.
There will also be new Knockouts and Taryn defending against Kong.
Taryn talks about her passion and how she’ll prove herself next
week. Kong comes out and
cleans house but Taryn dives onto everyone.
The BroMans seem to
have issues with each other but Aries and Roode come in to say
they’ll focus on Robbie, who is clearly the better BroMan. Methinks
shenanigans are afoot. Robbie leaves and Roode thinks he bought it.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries had to cause friction to beat the
BroMans? Really?
Tag
Team Title Tournament First Round: BroMans vs. Austin Aries/Bobby
Roode
For the fourth match of
the night, the good guys attack to start with Robbie getting beaten
down by both former World Champions early on. Aries sidesteps an
invading Jesse to send him into his partner, setting up the Hennig
neck snap for two on Robbie. The BroMans finally get in some offense
but get in an argument over who gets to work on Roode. Robbie hooks
a chinlock before a clothesline gets two.
Jesse demands a tag and
Robbie isn’t too keen on doing as he asks. Roode comes back with a
neckbreaker to drop both guys and the hot tag brings in Austin. He’s
quickly stopped by Godderz, but Jesse gets a bit too bossy, allowing
Roode to break up the BroDown. Aries knocks Jesse outside for a
suicide dive, setting up the spinebuster into the 450 from Aries for
the pin on Jesse at 5:20.
Rating:
C. This was fine for the most
part as Roode and Aries work really well together, but again, they
needed to put a wedge between the BroMans? Aries continues to be the
most polished guy in the company and pretty easily the best guy
around, which hopefully leads him back to the World Title scene soon.
The
BroMans fight post match with DJZ coming out to try and break it up.
Homicide is beating up
Angle in the back. The fight heads into the arena after a break with
Angle getting back into it but eating a cutter in the ring. Angle
ducks a boot shot and grabs the ankle lock, drawing in the BDC for
the group attack. They bring in a chair but the Rising comes out to
get rid of everyone but MVP. Eric Young comes out to stop MVP from
bashing Angle with the chair but picks it up himself, only to drop it
and leave (in a CRAAAAZY manner of course. Because he’s crazy you
see).
Video on Ultimate X.
Dollhouse is coming.
Preview for next week’s
Knockouts show.
Tag
Team Titles: Hardys vs. Kenny King/Low Ki vs. Ethan Carter III/Bram
vs. Austin Aries/Bobby Roode
Ultimate X. Huge brawl
to start with the Hardys and Roode/Aries throwing the other four
outside. Roode and Aries start taking over with Matthews continuing
to call them by their old name of the Dirty Heels. The Hardys are
tossed outside as well and we take a break. Back with the BDC and
Bram/Carter clearing the ring for a change with Bram and Carter
throwing the BDC to the floor. They decide to bring in a ladder but
that’s the Hardys game, allowing them to come back in and take over.
The BDC and the Hardys
go for the ropes but Tyrus shakes the structure to break it up.
Tyrus puts Carter on his shoulders but Aries dropkicks them down
before Roode hits the Blockbuster on Bram. Roode gets on Aries’
shoulders but Homicide comes in for the save. Now it’s King and Matt
on the ladder and Hardy hooking a Twist of Fate to put everyone down.
Matt climbs up again but Ki springboards onto the ladder for the
save. As they fight, Jeff climbs up above the X, kicks Ki away and
pulls down the belts, while standing on a ladder of course, to win at
12:06.
Rating:
B-. So we sat through an hour
and a half of qualifying matches to see eight and a half minutes of a
ladder match that TNA calls Ultimate X? Eh at least it’s not more
Eric Young so I can live with it. This was good enough but the
Hardys winning doesn’t do much for me. I know it’s setting up a big
match with the Wolves when they get back but this doesn’t do much to
change the opinion that the Hardys don’t do much outside of gimmick
matches.
Overall
Rating:
C. This felt like an
Impact sized version of One Night Only and if you’ve ever seen one of
those, you know how bad that is. The problem here is the title match
wasn’t good enough to validate the not very good buildup. Other than
that we had Eric Young and the BDC tormenting Angle all night, which
is about as dull of a one two punch as I’ve seen in years. It
doesn’t help that this show felt like it hit the brakes at 9:45 and
crawled all the way to the ending, making this far more dull than
bad.  One final note: Matthews was actually really good on commentary in a nice surprise.
Results
Hardys b. James
Storm/Khoya – Swanton Bomb to Khoya
Kenny King/Low Ki b.
Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud – King pinned Spud after a Warrior’s Way
from Ki
Ethan Carter III/Bram
b. Tigre Uno/Jay Rios – Brighter Side of Suffering to Rios
Austin Aries/Bobby
Roode b. BroMans – 450 to Godderz
Hardys b. Austin
Aries/Bobby Roode, Low Ki/Kenny King and Bram/Ethan Carter III –
Hardys pulled down the belts
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

Smackdown – April 16, 2015

Smackdown
Date: April 16, 2015
Location: 02 Arena,
London, England
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s time for the last
TV show of the European tour. You can see most of the Extreme Rules
card from here as a lot of the stipulations have been announced. The
main event will see Randy Orton challenging Seth Rollins inside a
cage with the RKO banned. A few things still need to be filled in on
the card though as we’ve got less than two weeks to go. Let’s get to
it.

Opening sequence.
Here’s John Cena to
open things up. Why is he always surprised that a British crowd is
booing a loud American talking about how great his country is and
bragging about being the champion of his country? After a quick look
at Rusev’s attack on Monday, Cena goes over the rules of the Russian
chain match, which is the four corners version. There’s a chance
that he won’t even be in it though because he’s issuing another open
challenge RIGHT NOW.
He gets
Cesaro/Kidd/Natalya, but they’re not here to accept the challenge.
Instead, they’re here to drop FACTS. Cena has been out here
pandering to the crowd (fact!) and saying London deserves a
Wrestlemania (fact!) but that’s a blatant lie. They think the
“please retire” chants should have been directed at Cena, which
the fans here don’t seem to agree with. Cena tells either guy to
bring it on but cue Daniel Bryan to even things up.
Bryan has heard Cesaro
and Kidd calling themselves the greatest champions in WWE today but
he’d like to ask the fans what they think. When he gets to himself
he changes it to being the most handsome man in WWE. That gets a
mixed reaction, so Bryan just asks for the tag match to get the fans
back on his side. Kidd quickly accepts so we can have the Tag Team
Champions lose twice in four days. As a consolation prize, they’ve
got something with that FACT line.
Neville vs. Sheamus
tonight. That would be the third World Champion he’s fought out of
the four opponents he’s faced.
Bray Wyatt vs.
R-Truth
Lawler calls this a
rare in ring appearance for Wyatt. That’s true as it’s been a whole
week since we last saw him wrestle on Smackdown. Truth hammers away
and actually puts Bray down. We get the pelvic thrust but Bray
spiders up and nails an uppercut. The chokeslam is countered so
Wyatt just runs him over and hits Sister Abigail for the pin at 1:38.
That’s the fifth time Bray has squashed Truth on TV in just over a
year.
We look back at the
Divas battle royal on Monday and Naomi jumping Paige post match,
sending her off to film a movie.
This week’s WWE.com
interview is with Roman Reigns, who says he’s going to get back up
every time Big Show puts him down. He’s speaking in just above a
whisper.
Here’s Miz with
something to say. Mizdow got lucky on Monday because he made Mizdow
what he is, just like he made Summer Rae and the Marine 4 into a soon
to be success. Cue Bad News Barrett who says we’re in London
tonight. The fans aren’t here to see a pretend movie star, because
they want to see the future six time Intercontinental Champion.
Miz vs. Bad News
Barrett
Miz spends 27 seconds
taking off his sunglasses and turns into the Bull Hammer for the pin
at 34 seconds. I think the fans have forgotten Monday’s loss to
Cena.
We recap Orton and
Rollins on Raw with both guys winning matches to earn a stipulation
for the title match at Extreme Rules.
Damien Mizdow and
Summer Rae are with Renee Young and celebrate the win on Monday when
Miz comes in. He isn’t cool with Mizdow using his gimmick, but
Summer says Mizdow does Miz better than Miz. Mizdow takes off his
sunglasses and starts imitating Miz again before challenging Miz to
one more match on Monday for the whole Miz character. Summer talks
Miz into taking the match, pretty much guaranteeing that she turns on
Mizdow. She slaps him for good measure.
Sheamus vs. Neville
Neville is now billed
as sensational. Before the match, Sheamus says Neville is a tiny
little man, just like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. He brags about
being from the real Ireland and his people don’t like the English.
Neville puts the mouthpiece in and is shoved into the corner for some
forearms to the back. Some front flips give Neville some room to hit
a running hurricanrana to send Sheamus outside for a twisting flip
dive.
Back in and Sheamus
rolls away before Neville can try the Red Arrow. Instead Neville
dives at Sheamus but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl slam on the floor.
Back with Neville fighting out of a chinlock but Sheamus picks him
up for a suplex and just throws him down in a big crash. The Irish
Curse plants Neville and we hit another chinlock. This one doesn’t
last as long though and Neville avoids a charge, sending Sheamus’
shoulder into the post. A running kick to the face and the standing
moonsault get two for Neville and Sheamus is staggered.
Neville breaks up the
ten forearms and ducks a Brogue Kick before hitting a missile
dropkick. A kick to the head in the corner sets up the Red Arrow but
it’s a middle rope Phoenix Splash for two more instead. Now he goes
up for the Red Arrow but gets crotched down, but Neville counters
White Noise into a sunset flip for two. Back up and Sheamus
clotheslines him out to the floor and drops him onto the announcers’
table for the DQ at 10:53.
Rating: B.
I liked this far more than I was expecting to as Neville continues to
be one of the best pushed rookies in a long time. A few months back,
the rumors came in that he was going to be Mighty Mouse and I think
people too that too literally. They saw it as something like the
Hurricane when it was really going to be more like what Superstar
Bill Dundee saw himself as: a guy who was about 5’7 but saw himself
as 6’4.
Neville
is a small guy who has been thrown out there with three World
Champions and a former Intercontinental Champion but hasn’t backed
down an inch. If they keep
this up and have him start winning some of these matches, such as
this one here, fans are going to stop seeing him as an underdog and
start seeing him as an equal. In other words, they’re going past the
period of wasting him in squash matches and throw him right into the
big time. You don’t see that too often these days but it might work
wonders for him.
The key here though was
Sheamus didn’t squash Neville and then lose on a fluke. Neville was
going move for move with Sheamus here and had some near falls. It
wasn’t like Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick and threw an unconscious
Neville over the table for the DQ. Neville came off like he could
hang with Sheamus, which is quite the accomplishment for someone
headlining NXT house shows a month ago. I’m excited about this guy
and he could be something special if this keeps up.
Sheamus throws him back
inside and drives knees into his head until Dolph Ziggler comes out
for the save. Sheamus bails but Ziggler grabs the mic and says no
one from the Germans to the Bronies to the Irish like Sheamus.
Ziggler is going to stand up to Sheamus but Sheamus tells him what he
can kiss. He means it literally though, because they’re having a
Kiss Me Arse match at Extreme Rules. To recap: Neville vs. Sheamus
and Ziggler were entertaining matches but the match between the two
stars has a comedy stipulation. I think I prefer it that way
actually.
Los Matadores vs.
New Day
Big E.’s entrance: “OH
O2! It may not be the USA but I guess it’ll do!” Diego chops Big
E. to start but gets stomped down in the corner. You can tell New
Day is officially heel now as they’re in the bottom right hand corner
of the ring and that’s where heels always stand. Off to Kofi who
walks into a jawbreaker and springboards into a shot to the ribs.
Fernando gets two off a rollup and everything breaks down. Trouble
in Paradise drops Diego as Torito armdrags Woods. The Midnight Hour
ends Fernando at 2:33.
We recap Fandango
dumping Rosa.
In the back, Fandango
reiterates that Rosa is dumped. He leaves and the Rosebuds run by in
a scene that only makes sense in wrestling or on Monty Python. Rose
says Rosa can be #1 again in a certain somebody’s life. Think about
it.
Here’s Big Show with
something to say. This past Monday proved that English people suck
because they don’t appreciate the fact that he’s the best giant of
all time. No one in the world, including Roman Reigns, can stop him.
Show doesn’t answer to anyone but the Authority because he doesn’t
see Reigns as anything but a victim of an automobile crash.
This Monday, it was the
car getting hit by Reigns and we see a clip of Show throwing him at
the car. Then he kneed Roman in the head, complete with clip. The
chokeslam on top of the car gets the same treatment to really stretch
this out. Show sits on top of the car and shows us a clip of Reigns
walking off under his own power. That’s not cool with Big Show, so
it’s a last man standing match at Extreme Rules. Man, if there’s one
thing that the least interesting feud in the world needed, it was a
six minute segment from one of the most boring talkers in years.
That’s got my money for sure.
Cameron vs. Alicia
Fox vs. Natalya
I sit through a Big
Show promo and my reward is a Cameron match??? Cameron gets double
teamed to start and knocked to the floor. Fox bails to the ropes to
avoid the Sharpshooter but Cameron comes back in with a rollup for
two on Natalya. It’s Fox taking over by running over both girls with
clotheslines, only to get taken down for Natalya’s stepover into the
basemant dropkick for two. A superkick drops Cameron for two but she
gets in a forearm to Fox’s jaw.
Cameron makes the
mistake of going up though and gets caught in the top of a Tower of
Doom to put everyone down. Fox is thrown outside, leaving Cameron to
trade rollups with Natalya for two each. Believe it or not, Cameron
doesn’t horribly botch anything! She’s improving! Natalya puts
Cameron in the Sharpshooter, then does the same to Fox, only to break
it up to throw Cameron outside. Fox kicks her in the face and nails
the ax kick but Cameron throws Fox to the floor and pins Natalya at
4:45.
Rating: D+.
The match wasn’t bad but they’re really pushing Cameron as something
now? Their idea to make us care about the Divas is to have Cameron
and the Bellas getting pushed? Oh and Paige is going on vacation and
Naomi is now a heel. Natalya is heel as well so who in the world is
left as a face? Alicia? Emma? Summer? I’m blanking on anyone
else.
Post
match Alicia throws a fit so I guess we really are down to just Emma
and Summer (I’m guessing until Monday) as face Divas. Really,
who else is there?
Fandango
vs. Adam Rose
Fandango
scores with an early dropkick and clotheslines Rose to the floor for
a slingshot dive. Rosa
comes out to yell at Fandango, allowing Rose to baseball slide him
down. Back in and Adam
looks at Rosa, setting up the rollup to give Fandango the pin at
1:24.
Bray
Wyatt asks what happens when you lose it all. Eventually
you’re going to be all alone with nothing but regret. You
should be more careful because the reaper walks in the daylight.
John
Cena/Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro
Cena
and his black eye start against Kidd with
John shoving him down. It’s
off to Cesaro for a test of strength but
Kidd gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over. He
comes back in legally for a front facelock, followed
by a spinning kick to the face for two. Cesaro
knocks Bryan off the apron to break up a hot tag attempt and gets two
off a suplex.
Cena
sends Cesaro into the corner and Kidd out to the floor but Tyson
pulls Bryan off the apron. The
STF on Cesaro is quickly broken up behind the referee’s back and
Kidd hits a low dropkick to Cena for two. Cena
hits a quick backdrop (totally different than the AA of course) and
the hot tag finally brings in Bryan.
A
series of right hands sets up the moonsault out of the corner but he
hits a running boot through the ropes instead of the Flying Goat to
Cesaro. There are the YES
Kicks in the corner followed
by a top rope hurricanrana for two. Both
Tag Team Champs get YES Kicks but Bryan has to yell at Natalya. Kidd
accidentally knocks her off the apron and into Cesaro, allowing Bryan
to YES Lock Kidd for the win at 7:49.
Rating: C.
Oh yeah they’re protecting Bryan. Other than being pulled off the
apron and a rollup by Kidd, Bryan was never hit with any offensive
moves. About 90% of his
offense was strikes and the only high spots were that hurricanrana
and the moonsault. The
match was fine, but they really had to make the champs lose clean for
the second time in a week? You can’t do a countout or something?
Bryan
and Cena celebrate to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-.
Neville vs. Sheamus was good but this was a very skippable show
otherwise. It’s so sad to
see Bryan’s neck flaring up so soon and it’s clear he can’t do much
at the moment. I thought
the worries about the neck were keeping him out of the main event and
if that’s the case, WWE seems to have been justified in not going
with him so soon.
The
rest of the show was nothing much to see, but I’m really interested
to see how they get out of this mess with the Divas. Either someone
is being called up or Paige is going to be very busy in the near
future, as I really don’t think anyone but maybe Emma is still a face
on the main roster and most of the heels were recently turned.
Nothing show here but Extreme Rules is coming up soon, meaning we can
hopefully get away from the Wrestlemania rematches.
Results
Bray Wyatt b. R-Truth –
Sister Abigail
Bad News Barrett b. Miz
– Bull Hammer
Neville b. Sheamus via
DQ when Sheamus threw him ono the announcers’ table
New Day b. Los
Matadores – Midnight Hour to Fernando
Cameron b. Alicia Fox
and Natalya – Cameron pinned Natalya after an ax kick from Fox
Fandango b. Adam Rose –
Rollup
John Cena/Daniel Bryan
b. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro – YES Lock to Kidd
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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NXT – April 15, 2015

NXT
Date: April 15, 2015
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich
Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
NXT is back home
tonight after last week’s show took us to Axxess weekend. Things are
starting to get back to normal around here and there are some
interesting stories at the moment. Kevin Owens needs a new opponent
for the NXT Title, Blake and Murphy are on a collision course with
Enzo and Cass, Dana Brooke debuts tonight and we have Sami Zayn vs.
Rhyno. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
CJ Parker vs.
Solomon Crowe
I’m pretty sure this is
Parker’s last appearance. The fans are behind Crowe as Parker
hammers on him in the corner. I love that Crowe has said he wants to
be NXT Champion. Even if that’s not a realistic option (at least not
yet), it’s what a wrestler in NXT should want to be. Crowe takes
Parker down in the corner and threatens a charge, sending Parker out
to the floor. He settles for a suicide dive and Parker is in pain on
the ramp.
Back in and Crowe
charges into a pair of boots in the corner to put him down for the
first time. A backsplash gets two for CJ and we hit the chinlock,
completely with a few LET’S GO CJ chants. Crowe fights up with some
right hands but gets turned inside out by a clothesline. A side kick
gets a near fall on Solomon but another backsplash hits feet. Crowe
goes up for a splash onto the leg, setting up an old Brock Lock
(bending Parker’s knee around his neck) for the submission at 5:09.
Rating: C-.
I’m not sold on Crowe yet but I like the idea of him using a
submission instead of a pin. He’s built a bit like Taz and it’s kind
of hard to buy him throwing punches and coming off the top as a
result. This worked well enough though as he wrestled a scrappy
style and found an opening to win. I’d like to see more development
from him though as there’s something in that hacker character. If
this is Parker’s last appearance, I’m going to miss him. You need
jobbers like him who are over with the fans no matter how many times
he loses.
Post
match, Crowe says the show is just beginning.
Baron
Corbin vs. Steve Cutler
I
had been wondering what happened to Corbin. He was one of the
hottest things on the show and then he was jobbing in a highlight
package. Cutler eats an early clothesline but gets his days ended at
25 seconds.
Sami Zayn isn’t
surprised that he still has a target on his back. Kevin Owens used
him to get to the top but Rhyno isn’t going to do the same.
Enzo Amore/Colin
Cassady vs. Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins
Carmella is back and
still loathed by the fans. Enzo says he has a spectacular vernacular
and the Michael Jordan of Jargon. Cass says they are who they say
they are and they aren’t gonna fake it. Blake and Murphy have
something they want so they’re just gonna take it. Enzo grabs a
headlock on Fulton to start and takes him down for a walk over his
back. Fulton gets hold of Enzo’s wrist though and hooks a fireman’s
carry takeover. That’s fine with Enzo who brings in Big Cass for a
beating.
It’s quickly back to
Enzo but Fulton crotches him on top. Cue Blake and Murphy with
flowers for Carmella, who seems impressed despite the NO chants from
the fans. Back inside, Fulton goes old school with an abdominal
stretch to Enzo. He’s too close to the ropes though and Amore
escapes, followed by a Downward Spiral Stunner to get a breather.
The hot tag brings in Cass to clean house with the East River
Crossing, setting up a Rocket Launcher to pin Dawkins at 3:48.
Rating: C.
This is one of the things that I love about NXT: they take a really
basic idea for a feud like this one but execute it well enough with
characters that the crowd cares about that it’s easy to get into.
There’s nothing revolutionary here but the fans love Cass and Enzo so
they’re easy underdog challengers. Carmella
turning heel seems to be the next step, but maybe the champs are just
using her and both teams dump her?
Cass
and Enzo aren’t happy with Carmella taking the flowers.
Alex
Riley says he isn’t going away that easily. Not after all those
years of fighting for every inch, because Owens has painted a
bullseye on his back for the rest of his career. He
has nowhere else to go, so he’ll be waiting for Owens in the ring
next week.
Blue
Pants vs. Dana Brooke
Blue
Pants has a recorded version of Cass’ da-da-duh
da-da entrance and is introduced from the clearance aisle. The fans
still love her too and it’s one of those things that can only work
here in NXT. Brooke is a former bodybuilder with a decent rock song
for her entrance. She
shoves Blue Pants down and hammers in some slow right hands.
The
fans don’t seem to like Dana, but it might have something to do with
her being billed as the Total Diva. Graves
sounds like he has a big crush on her for a bit of flavor. Brooke
sends Blue Pants into the corner and stands on her head to choke
Pants with her boot. Blue
Pants comes back with some jobber offense but walks into a forearm,
setting up a Whiplash for the pin at 2:04. Total squash.
Charlotte
vs. Becky Lynch vs. Bayley in a #1 contenders match next week.
Sami
Zayn vs. Rhyno
Sami
dodges a bit to start but gets caught with a right hand to the face.
A headlock works a bit
better for Zayn until Rhyno shoves him away and shoulders him out to
the floor. The fans are
split about 60/40 in Sami’s favor but the Rhyno cheers are certainly
there. Back in and Sami
grabs a headscissors to send Rhyno outside for a second. It just
seems to make Rhyno angrier though so he pounds Sami into the corner
and chokes with the boot.
A
stiff SHUT UP to the fans get the cheers more in Sami’s favor (at
least they’re obedient) and Rhyno chokes on the ropes. Sami
comes back with forearms and a dropkick but Rhyno takes his head off
with a clothesline. Back from a break with Sami fighting out of a
chinlock and bobbing and
weaving to stay in a slugout. That’s fine until Rhyno plants him
with a spinebuster for two.
Sami
can barely get to his feet as Rhyno hits him with a running shoulder
in the corner. Fans:
“BETTER THAN ROMAN!/NO
IT’S NOT!” With the
wrestling not working, Sami gets up and starts firing off right hands
before the Blue Thunder Bomb gets a close two. Rhyno
catches the high cross body and muscles Sami up into a TKO for a near
fall of his own.
Barely
on his feet, Sami slaps Rhyno in the face, earning him a bunch of
right hands to the head. Rhyno
goes up for some reason and gets punched in the jaw, knocking him
down to the floor. There’s the big flip dive from Sami but
Rhyno throws him down with a belly to belly inside. The Gore misses
though and the Helluva Kick gives Sami the come from behind win at
15:16.
Rating: B.
They had the right idea here by having Sami get a warmup for Owens by
facing someone who wrestles a very similar style and with a similar
body type. Sami is back to form here and the fans are going to be
ready for his rematch. That being said, hats off to Rhyno here, who
hasn’t been around the big leagues in a while but he put on a solid
performance here. Getting veterans here who can put over people like
Zayn while still looking good in the ring is invaluable for a place
like NXT, or any wrestling organization actually.
Overall Rating: C+.
This was back to form for NXT as they have a solid show with a good
main event and story advancement coupled with some quick matches to
help fill things out. The
key to this show is that it doesn’t do a lot of stupid things that
drag the product down. They
let the wrestling do the talking and the stories tell themselves
naturally. In other words, they don’t shove things down your throat
and beat you over the head with them. Those key differences are why
NXT work so well and I hope they don’t change anytime soon.
Results
Solomon Crowe b. CJ
Parker – Brock Lock
Baron Corbin b. Steve
Cutler – End of Days
Enzo Amore/Colin
Cassady b. Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins – Rocket Launcher to
Dawkins
Dana Brooke b. Blue
Pants – Whiplash
Sami Zayn b. Rhyno –
Helluva Kick
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Impact Wrestling – April 10, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date: April 10, 2015
Location: Impact Zone,
Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Taz, Josh
Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This is an interesting
time for TNA as they have a bunch of potential challengers for Kurt
Angle’s World Title but it seems that Lashley has the most valid
claim to a shot. Last week Angle pinned Lashley but the replay
showed that Lashley’s shoulder was up. Other than that we have Drew
Galloway’s Rising ready to deal with MVP’s Beat Down Clan. Let’s get
to it.

We open with a recap of
Galloway debuting a few weeks back to try and take back wrestling
from the Beat Down Clan. He now has his friends in the Rising to
help in his battle.
Tonight, fan Tweets
will be airing on screen. This is apparently interesting for reasons
that I don’t really understand but WWE does it so it’s a good idea
right?
Here’s Kurt Angle to
address the end of last week’s show. There’s been a lot of buzz over
the match with Lashley so he’d like Lashley out here right now. We
look at the tape of Lashley’s shoulder being up and the fans want a
rematch. Angle says he won’t back down from a title defense because
he knows he can beat Lashley again. They’re ready to fight tonight
but Eric Young comes out to crank up the suck.
Eric says he’s #1
contender and the rankings say so. He’s a main event champion and
Angle is holding his belt. The fans don’t seem to agree but Young
grabs Lashley’s face. Angle goes for Young but Lashley spears the
champ down by mistake. Oh the drama. Maybe we can see Eric Young
get in a match way over his head again but get to see him survive
because he’s Eric Young and has been around forever and for some
reason that makes him interesting. I mean, he’s not tall like Big
Show but he has been around a long time.
Post break, Angle is
still in the ring and says he’ll fight Lashley and Young tonight at
the same time.
Video on the history of
Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim.
Gail
Kim vs. Awesome Kong
#1 contenders match.
They go nose to nose until Gail gets launched across the ring by the
hair. Back up and Kin gets in a few unsold shots before being tossed
right back down. As the match goes on, I get THRILLING Tweets of
fans saying they like the match and that they’re watching the show.
You can’t buy journalism like this people. Gail fights up from a
camel clutch but runs into a hard clothesline. King rips the
turnbuckle pad off and sends Gail outside, only to get dropkicked
into the barricade.
Back in and Gail fires
off forearms to the chest before getting two off a spinning cross
body. Kong misses a charge into the exposed buckle to give Gail two
as we get a Tweet from Jim Ross about how good Gail is. See, that’s
the kind of thing we need live commentary to point out. Eat Defeat
gets another near fall but Kong just grabs her by the throat and sets
Kim on the top rope. Gail dives again and goes right into the
Awesome Bomb for the pin at 7:18.
Rating:
C. This is one of those old,
storied feuds in TNA that was indeed cool ten years ago or however
long it was, but now it’s more like “hey, I remember when they had
matches back then.” Thankfully they didn’t play that up too strong
here and it was really just a step above a Kong squash. Taryn vs.
Kong could be good if they book it right.
We
immediately cut to James Storm and Mickie James. Mickie thanks him
for the save last week but that’s just how southerners are raised.
This is more like the old Storm. She goes to leave but he asks for a
hug. Manik comes up and asks what was up with that but Storm goes
back into Revolution mode and tells Manik to never question his
motives. He orders Manik to round up the team for a fight. That
transition from Kong to Storm was way too fast and something TNA
needs to work on. It’s ok to stay on the winner more than two
seconds before you get to your next thing.
Back
from a break with the Revolution in the ring and Storm sitting in a
chair. He’s brought them out here to make things very clear: this is
about a revolution, not for him to take care of them. Each and every
one of the men in this ring failed him, which is why Sanada is gone.
Storm yells at Khoya, saying
he brought him out of that horrible country but now Khoya has failed
him.
There’s
always room for one more, but now there can always be room for one
less. He’s going to win this Tag Team Title tournament and one of
them is going to be his partner. The fans chant for Manik, but Storm
makes a three way to determine who gets the spot. A referee comes
out and Storm insists that there must be a winner.
Abyss
vs. Khoya vs. Manik
Abyss
cleans house but Manik hits him with a chair, which seems to be
legal. Khoya picks up a
stick that Storm left in the ring but Abyss knocks him into the
corner. Apparently the
title match is next week in Ultimate X. That’s rather sudden but
that’s life in TNA. Manik counters a chokeslam into a standing cross
armbreaker (Six Second Magic for you No Mercy fans out there) but
Khoya comes in for the save. A Sky High to Manik is enough to get
Khoya the spot in the tournament at 2:50.
We
go back to James Storm’s barn with the ghost hunters from last week.
The results are
inconclusive.
Here’s the Rising for a
chat. Drew really does fit in this role. He’s so awesome that he
can cut a promo and have his LIVE Tweet show up on screen at the same
time. Drew says he’d give us the shirt off his back and that’s
exactly what he does. He started the Stand Up campaign to bring
wrestling back where it belongs and the fans are part of the Rising
with them. Drew hands the microphone off for the official
introductions.
First up we have Micah,
formerly known as Camacho. The BDC is a bunch of bullies and it’s
time to punch them right in the mouth. The other member is Eli Drake
(you might know him as Shaun Ricker) and he talks about how they’re
definitely not Superstars, but professional wrestlers. Drew throws
down the gauntlet and here’s the BDC to answer. King thinks they’re
rising like a yeast infection and MVP accepts the challenge. Drew
counts down from three to one and the brawl is on in the aisle as we
go to a break. Drake and Micah are just warm bodies but they were
fine here.
Rising
vs. Beat Down Clan
This would be the
second match made by the wrestlers in the first hour. King grabs a
headlock on Drake to start but gets caught in a powerslam. It’s
quickly off to Micah vs. MVP with the BDC taking over and stomping
away in the corner. MVP comes back in and puts on a chinlock before
kicking Micah in the face for two. Micah scores with a Samoan drop
and Drew gets the hot tag to clean house. Everything breaks down
with the Rising clearing the ring, leaving Micah to dive onto all
three of them. Drew and Drake pose but a masked man in BDC gear
sneaks in with what looked like a pipe for the DQ at 6:52.
Rating:
D+.
This match was watchable but I’m
really not seeing why I should care. Rising is a bunch of newcomers
and Drew stands out, but I’m not really sure why these teams need to
fight. The BDC hasn’t actually won anything other than the X Title
once or twice. Do we really need a stable to fight against them?
The
masked man is Homicide. Oh…..great.
Angle
says he’s ready to prove himself again when Eric Young jumps him.
After a break, Angle insists
he’s fighting tonight.
DJZ
vs. Davey Richards
Feeling
out process to start with both guys flying around a bit until Davey
dropkicks him out to the floor. Davey kicks him in the face from the
apron but DJZ comes back with some shots of his own back inside.
That’s fine with Davey as he wins a slugout and sends DJZ to the
floor for a suicide dive. Back
in again and a running kick gets two for Davey but he misses the top
rope stomp. Instead he
throws DJZ up in the air for the kick to the chest, setting up a
spinning kick to the head (Creeping Death) for the pin at 5:32.
Rating:
C. Well that happened. I guess
they’re setting up the tag tournament next week but it was announced
as the X-Division match of the night. The match was entertaining
enough but having matches for the sake of having a match isn’t the
best way to get my interest up. Still though, watchable.
Homicide
says the BDC is familia. MVP
says they’re the Beat Down Clan and they do what they do because they
can. I’ve heard worse catchphrases.
We see some girls
playing with dolls. The Dollhouse is coming soon. The girls
appeared to be Marti Belle and Mia Yim.
Here are the Hardys to
celebrate beating James Storm last week. Next on their list is
winning the Tag Team Champions for the first time in TNA. This
brings out Ethan Carter III and Tyrus to remind us that Ethan is
undefeated for nineteen months, but somehow he hasn’t gotten his
title shot. He’s entering the tournament to get a Tag Team Title,
but he needs a partner. He wants someone who can hurt people and
that man is…..Bram. Now that’s interesting. Bram comes out and
says he hates everyone, but he’ll team up with Carter because he
hates him the least.
This brings out
Anderson, who asks if Carter just said he and Bram are the odds on
favorites. Carter: “Yup.” Anderson: “Huh?” “Yeah.”
“Huh?” “I do.” “Huh?” “Indeed.” This goes on for
about ten more seconds because Carter is rather entertaining on the
mic. Anderson’s partner is Spud and they have a quick argument over
Spud grabbing Anderson’s microphone. The two of them head to the
ring but Austin Aries comes out, talks about loving gold, and
announces Roode as his partner.
A preview for next week
shows that we have four qualifying matches and the winners going to
an Ultimate X match for the Tag Team Titles. It also shows the four
teams in the Ultimate X match because these previews aren’t thought
out in advance.
TNA
World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young vs. Lashley
Angle is defending and
this is one fall to a finish. Young hides on the floor to start and
lets the suplex machines fight, but they quickly get together and
beat Young back and forth. Lashley plays Bret on a Hart Attack and
Young gets beaten up on the floor as we take a break. Back with
Angle busting out the suplexes on both guys and clotheslining Lashley
to the floor. Kurt ducks his head and eats a piledriver but Lashley
makes the save and throws Eric outside.
The running powerslam
gets two on the champ and a big spear gets the same with Young making
the save. Lashley tweaks his ankle on a leapfrog but is still able
to low bridge Eric to the floor due to Eric sucking so much. Both
challengers get rolling Germans but Young breaks up the ankle lock
(it lasts about 20 seconds, which Josh timed as three minutes) and
puts Lashley in the Figure Four. Lashley makes the rope so Eric
wedges a chair in the corner, only to get caught in the delayed
vertical. The spear hits the chair though and Angle Slams both guys,
setting up the moonsault onto Lashley’s bad leg for the pin at 13:43.
Rating:
B-. So now we get Angle vs.
Young because Young will be CRAZY while saying he never got beat
right? You know, because we
absolutely, totally and completely need Eric Young in our lives and
main events. He’s been around for years you know. The match was
decent enough, as long as Young was kept reined in.
Post
match Angle leaves so Young goes after Bobby’s leg with the chair and
puts on another figure four.
Overall
Rating:
C+. Decent enough show
that set up the tournament next week, but the wrestling outside of
the main event was only so good. The stories don’t have the same
heat they did a few weeks back, but at least we’ve still got enough
good stuff to keep things going. I
would however appreciate a top heel instead of a bunch of mid level
ones running around. Angle
seems to be a transitional champion and that’s the right kind of
reign for him at the moment, hopefully with Carter rising up to the
top spot soon enough.
Results
Awesome Kong b. Gail
Kim – Awesome Bomb
Khoya b. Abyss and
Manik – Sky High to Manik
Rising b. Beat Down
Clan via DQ when Homicide interfered
Davey Richards b. DJZ –
Creeping Death
Kurt Angle b. Lashley
and Eric Young – Moonsault to Lashley
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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Smackdown – April 9, 2015

Smackdown
Date: April 9, 2015
Location: American
Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Jerry
Lawler, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
For the second week in
a row, the advertised big match is Sheamus/Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph
Ziggler/Daniel Bryan and that’s really all there is to talk about
here. Raw ended with Orton becoming #1 contender to Rollins’ title
after beating Ryback and Reigns in a triple threat. Tonight we might
see the Extreme Rules card take more shape as Smackdown gets to
announce a match every now and then. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Here’s Daniel Bryan to
open things up. He says it was one of the highlights of his career
to climb that ladder and win the Intercontinental Title at
Wrestlemania. However, the actions of the man make the title (which
says Intercontinental Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. I bet Vince is
FURIOUS at the belt over that), so Bryan wants to defend this title
against anyone who wants a shot.
That’s what he did
after Wrestlemania against Dolph Ziggler, but Sheamus come out
looking all stupid with a Brogue Kick to the face. So last week he
fought Sheamus, but somewhere in the match he saw Wade (first time
hearing that name in a while) Barrett….and now we all see Barrett
on the ramp. He says he ended Bryan’s magical week with a Bull
Hammer, and the fiendish gleam on Barrett’s face during that line is
great. This brings out Sheamus to say he followed it up with a
Brogue Kick.
Sheamus tolerates
Barrett because he isn’t a munchkin like Bryan, so the two of them
should come down there and give Bryan a beating because they can.
They get in the ring but Ziggler comes out to call Sheamus the
offspring of Captain Jack Sparrow and Carrot Top. The fight is about
to be on but here’s Big Show because ruining main events just isn’t
enough for him anymore. Big Show wants in on this beatdown but
here’s Roman Reigns to even things up. A quick fight likely makes
the tag match a six man. I’ll take that over a spontaneous match.
They’ve got something with this tag team feud with the title thrown
in.
Tyson
Kidd/Cesaro vs. New Day
Non-title with the New
Day getting booed out of the building on the entrances. It’s a good
sign that WWE has quickly caught onto the reality that no one likes
them and is already starting to turn them. There’s an idea to the
team but it’s just working as presented. Big E. wants everyone to
get up and clap along with them so that’s exactly what they do, but
with the SUCKS part added in. That makes Big E. think something has
to change and that the fans have to love them. Woods is the odd man
out here.
Kofi and Kidd get
things going with Tyson taking him into the corner for some forearms
before it’s off to Cesaro. He mocks the clapping and gets the crowd
going again as the champions are the default good guys here. Kofi
low bridges Cesaro to the floor and Big E. launches Kofi to the floor
to take out the champs as we take a break. Back with Big E.
suplexing Kidd but needing a tag. Cesaro breaks up a tag though and
rag dolls Big E. into a gutwrench suplex. That’s scary strength.
Back to Tyson for some
knees to the back as Lawler is talking more than I’ve heard him do in
months. Big E. finally shoves Cesaro off but misses a charge into
the post for two. There’s the Cesaro Swing into the dropkick from
Tyson for two more with Kofi making the save. E. knocks Cesaro out
of the air and makes the hot tag so Kofi can clean house with
dropkicks and shots to the head. The Boom Drop sets up more clapping
and sucking as everything breaks down. Kidd grabs a fisherman’s
neckbreaker for the pin on Kofi at 10:00.
Rating:
C. Not much to see here but it
could have been far worse. They need to turn New Day soon and
thankfully we seem well on the way to that point. Cesaro and Kidd
are starting to establish themselves as a really good heel team,
which is something we haven’t seen in a long time.
Recap
of Monday’s triple threat and the events that led up to it.
Free
Network month shill. Remember when you had to pay for that?
Curtis
Axel vs. Neville
In
case you didn’t get enough of it the first time ten days ago. Axel
wants to know what Neville is going to do when Axelmania runs wild on
him. Neville flips around
to start and grabs an armdrag but gets caught with a knee to the
ribs. Neville’s front flips
lead to Axel charging into a boot in the corner, followed by a
running forearm. The spinning dive over the ropes takes Axel out
again and it’s a slam followed by the Red Arrow for the pin at 2:17.
That’s the same match they had on Raw after Wrestlemania.
Natalya,
Cameron and Alicia Fox insist they didn’t try to con Kane into the
Divas battle royal on Raw. Naomi deserves the shot and all but
Cameron says she’s going to win. Alicia asks how long Cameron has
been here and it’s been THREE YEARS??? She’s this bad after THREE
YEARS??? Alicia and Natalya get in a fight.
Alicia
Fox vs. Natalya
Cameron
is guest referee so we can see her be horrible at something besides
wrestling. To her credit,
she found a referee’s cut off top and changed in the span of a
commercial. It’s a catfight to start and they trade slaps until
Cameron breaks up a fight next to the ropes. Natalya
does her step over into the dropkick spot for two but Fox hits
something like the Helluva Kick to take over. Fox’s
northern lights suplex gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Back
up and a cross body gets two for Natalya and
the Sharpshooter gets the win at 3:41.
Rating:
D+. As you may have noticed,
there was a lot of play by play here. Here’s the reason why: these
people have no characters. Cameron is close with the stuck up chick
who only cares about herself, but Alicia is just Alicia and Natalya
is just a veteran and serious wrestler. There’s nowhere to go with
those characters as there’s nothing that stands out about them. The
same is true for most of the Divas. Even Summer is just there as the
dancing stuff is gone. I’m
not saying we need to go back to the days of GLOW, but something
would be nice.
Cameron
lays both of them out with DDTs post match.
Bray Wyatt narrates a
video about Erick Rowan, who was a child in a man’s world. How could
society do what they’ve done to him? They took away Rowan’s
innocence and we’re all guilty, even though we don’t know it. Bray
has fixed him and now Rowan is free. We might have seen this video
when the Family split up last year. If nothing else it’s cool to see
a video like this to set up the matches later. What happened to the
days of promos to set stuff up? It doesn’t have to have high
production values. Just a quick promo from backstage would be fine.
Here’s Bray in the ring
for his match but first he talks about remembering the days when
Erick Rowan was lost. Society saw all of Rowan’s flaws but Bray saw
possibilities. “Yes Erick, you too can job to Big Show.” The
fans give Bray the WHAT treatment as he talks about being Rowan’s
brother. He fixed Erick like you fix a broken toy and then set him
free. Society has returned Rowan to Bray and he’s broken all over
again. Tonight Bray is going to teach Rowan one last lesson: no
matter what, trust no one because evil is inside of us all. If he’ll
destroy someone he called his brother, imagine what he’ll do to you.
Bray
Wyatt vs. Erick Rowan
Bray tells him to bring
it on to start so Erick runs over him to knock Wyatt outside. Back
in and Bray grabs him by the beard but you don’t do that to a former
genius. What you do instead is send Rowan into the post and then
knock him off the apron and into the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Rowan
fighting out of a chinlock but the backsplash hits knees. Rowan hits
some running splashes in the corner for two but Bray rolls outside
when Erick goes up top. That works better for Bray as he takes
Rowan’s head off with a clothesline and follows up with the
backsplash. The Rock Bottom doesn’t work but Wyatt takes him down
with the flying body block. Sister Abigail ends Erick at 9:34.
Rating:
D+. Just a squash here for the
most part but I like that they’re giving the Wyatts what seems to be
some closure. Either that or they’re repackaging Rowan into
something else. I was interested in the genius gimmick but that was
sacrificed on the alter of Big Show, next to Hideo Itami. Bray needs
something to do now that the Undertaker match is over. I’d love to
see him actually win a feud against a top name for a change too.
Bray
cradles Rowan’s head post match.
It’s time for a special
movie edition of MizTV. We see the trailer for Marine 4 but before
Miz can get anywhere else, his co-star Summer Rae cuts him off. They
get in an argument over who was the real star of the movie with
Summer calling him a co-star and Miz calling her a featured extra.
Summer brings up Mizdow eliminating him from the battle royal and the
fans chant his name.
Miz asks if the fans
know the backstory of Damien Sandow. He was fired twice until Miz
saved his career and gave him a purpose. Cue Mizdow but Miz cuts him
off and says Mizdow is going to go on a steep decline. These people
can’t get him on track but Miz is capable and willing to because he’s
a charitable person. He’ll do it for an apology and everything can
go back to the way it was.
All Mizdow has to do to
get everything back is shake Miz’s hand and apologize. Hey now, quit
adding things to the rules. Miz asks whose hands Mizdow wants his
career in, because the people will drop him in a heartbeat. Damien
apologizes…..for not doing this earlier and the beating is on. Miz
leaves so Mizdow kisses Summer, who seems to like it.
Video on WWE taking
over the Bay Area for Wrestlemania weekend.
Daniel
Bryan/Roman Reigns/Dolph Ziggler vs. Big Show/Sheamus/Bad News
Barrett
I guess because the
original four needed star power to carry them? Sheamus and Ziggler
get things going with the Irishman taking Dolph into the corner for a
right hand to the ribs from Big Show. A big chop puts Ziggler down
as Dolph is firmly into his standard style. Dolph dropkicks the knee
out and gets two off the running DDT, only to get chopped out of the
corner. Barrett comes in for the first time and slaps on a chinlock
but the fans are already cheering for Dolph to get out.
Winds of Change gets
two but Ziggler flips over Sheamus and dives into the tag to Bryan.
The YES Kicks have Sheamus in trouble and Daniel backdrops him to the
floor for the Flying Goat. They’re moving in this one so far. As
Bryan throws Sheamus back in, Barrett gets up and kicks Daniel in the
head as we take a break. Back with Bryan getting slammed by Big Show
and a huge elbow getting two. Barrett comes in for another chinlock
as the fans sound like they want Roman.
Show breaks up a hot
tag attempt but his chokeslam is countered into the YES Lock. This
time it’s Sheamus making the save and trying a superplex, only to get
knocked off by Bryan. Daniel’s cross body is caught but he spins
into a DDT and makes the hot tag to Reigns. Roman cleans house with
Superman Punches as everything breaks down. Ziggler and Sheamus go
to the floor and Bryan hits Show with the running knee. The spear
out of the corner gives Reigns the pin on Barrett at 15:18.
Rating:
B-. Pretty
good match here with everyone moving quickly and putting in some
efforts. It’s interesting to see that Reigns is back to his old
style and looking cool after not having the Wrestlemania main event
looming over him. I think people are going to like him better when
he’s not out there against the most popular guy in the company and
now that he’s been able to give us something to connect to. Now if
only they could get him completely away from Big Show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This
was a pretty basic but well done show with decent wrestling and some
midcard storyline development. That’s about all you can ask for from
Smackdown these days as the illusion of the move back to Thursdays
making the show matter is long gone. I do like that tag feud
revolving around the Intercontinental Title though as it’s something
that could go somewhere if they let it get interesting. Not bad this
week but nothing great.
Results
Cesaro/Tyson Kidd b.
New Day – Fisherman’s neckbreaker to Kingston
Neville b. Curtis Axel
– Red Arrow
Natalya b. Alicia Fox –
Sharpshooter
Bray Wyatt b. Erick
Rowan – Sister Abigail
Roman Reigns/Daniel
Bryan/Dolph Ziggler b. Sheamus/Big Show/Bad News Barrett – Spear to
Barrett
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
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NXT – April 8, 2015

NXT
Date: April 8, 2015
Location: San Jose
Convention Center, San Jose, California
Commentators: Rich
Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re on the road again
with some matches taped for this year’s Wrestlemania Axxess weekend.
For at least the last two years, there has been a ring set up on the
Axxess floor for live matches, including some title defenses.
Tonight we’re going to see some of those matches and maybe some from
the well received house show the same weekend. Let’s get to it.

The main story tonight
is a tournament for a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle
Royal at Wrestlemania XXXI. Here are the brackets.
Finn Balor
Baron Corbin
Bull Dempsey
Tyler Breeze
Hideo Itami
Jason Jordan
Kalisto
Adrian Neville
Video of Wrestlemania’s
impact on the area, which I believe was shown on both Raw and
Smackdown.
We get a quick recap of
the first round to give us the final four.
Balor rolled up Corbin
to advance, Breeze beat Dempsey with a Beauty Shot, Itami’s running
kick to the face knocked Jordan out and the Red Arrow advanced
Neville.
Here are the updated
brackets.
Finn Balor
Tyler Breeze
Hideo Itami
Adrian Neville
Battle
Royal Qualifying Tournament Semi-Finals: Hideo Itami vs. Adrian
Neville
Neither guy gets an
entrance. The crowd is very small, maybe about 200, as the ring is
just tucked away in a corner of the convention center. They fight
over a wristlock to start with Neville taking him down to the mat but
Itami counters into an arm crank for a near fall of his own. The
fans boo something off camera as the guys have a staredown and
Neville teases going after whoever it was.
We hit the dueling
chants as Neville grabs a headlock. That goes nowhere so Hideo hits
a running kick to the chest and clotheslines Neville out to the
floor. Neville makes it back in at nine and the fans don’t seem
thrilled with him. Some shots to the chest and a big back elbow get
two on Hideo but he comes back with his three clotheslines (of
course) and the tornado neck snap across the top rope.
The top rope
clothesline gets two and Itami follows up with a sleeper (Fans: “GO
TO SLEEP!”) before switching off to a dragon sleeper. The GTS is
countered and Neville blasts him with a superkick for two. Neville
has to bail out of a shooting star and gets caught by the running
dropkick in the corner. The Shotgun Kick sends Itami to the finals
at 11:16.
Rating:
C+. Good enough but Itami
really needs to open up the offense. First it was nothing but kicks
and now it’s primarily clotheslines. Star throwing in some more
submissions or throws or whatever, but stop using one or two moves
over and over. Neville was working heel here and it was kind of odd
to see. Not bad or anything but just a sharp change from his usual
style.
Battle
Royal Qualifying Tournament Semi-Finals: Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze
Balor
gets an entrance. Breeze
poses on the corner to start so
Balor dropkicks him in the
face and poses exactly the same. More
kicks to the chest get two on Breeze but he takes Balor down and puts
on a chinlock (Tyler: “ASK HIM PLEASE!”). Balor
quickly rolls through and hits a basement dropkick, followed
by even more kicks to the face and chest for two. We
definitely have a theme in
this match. Breeze finally
mixes it up with some forearms but charges into the Sling Blade. The
Coup de Grace ends Breeze at 5:22.
Rating:
C+. It’s very telling how much
more of a presence Balor has in half the time that Itami had. The
guy is just awesome in the ring and has the full package. Even
though the match was nothing special and Breeze was basically getting
squashed for five minutes, it felt more entertaining than the
previous match.
Dana
Brooke debuts next week and calls herself the Total Diva.
Video
package on the NXT house show from Wrestlemania weekend and
it looks like a big Ring of Honor show, just with HHH in the ring.
It really is amazing that
WWE basically has their own in house indy company. This
show looks like a blast.
Sami
Zayn vs. Rhyno next week.
Battle
Royal Qualifying Tournament Final: Hideo Itami vs. Finn Balor
We
get a wide shot of the arena to show several hundred more people on
the hard camera side. The
fans are behind Balor as the guys do a wrestling sequence, ending
with a standoff. Balor
takes him down and cranks on the arm before a dropkick gets two.
Itami comes back with some
kicks to the chest and puts on a chinlock. That
goes as far as a chinlock can take you and Finn rolls out for another
basement dropkick.
An
enziguri in the
corner knocks Hideo off the top for two but
he comes back with the top rope clothesline. The
GTS is teased again but Balor escapes into the Pele to put both guys
down again. Back up and
Hideo wins a strike off, followed by a running basement dropkick in
the corner. The Sling Blade
out of nowhere drops Itami but
he crotches Finn to break up the Coup de Grace. Yet
another GTS attempt is countered and the Shotgun Kick sends Hideo to
Wrestlemania at 8:15.
Rating:
C. I wasn’t feeling this one as
much as they built up the GTS through the match but they still didn’t
let it hit. I’m glad Hideo won though as having Balor in his spot at
Wrestlemania would have been a waste of him. All
the kicks are getting annoying too and it’s really hard to care when
it’s the same stuff all show long. Good
enough match but it didn’t have the time to get anywhere.
They
shake hands post match.
We get a cool video on
Hideo Itami, dating back to his press conference in Osaka, announcing
his signing with WWE. Then he debuted in NXT, then he beat Balor in
the match from earlier on this show. We see Itami going through the
curtain to be greeted by the contingent of HHH, Tatsumi Fujinami
and……Hillbilly Jim?
Itami introduces us to
his family and again, his English is fine. His language skills
really aren’t an excuse for his lack of promos. You can keep them
short and get the point across well enough. Also included is a clip
of Itami hitting the GTS on Breeze at the house show and how people
freaked out online. Naturally, Stephanie is RIGHT THERE to comment
on the impact on social media.
Itami is in the battle
royal. We see him warming up backstage and all his friends praising
him for making it this far this fast. He comes out to the crowd,
Cole gives him a special introduction, he knocks out Dallas, and then
Big Show treats him like any given jobber as Cole says “welcome to
the big leagues.” I’m SO glad we got to see him beaten down that
fast. It just wouldn’t have been complete without seeing Big Show
looking dominant. Hideo cries once he gets backstage and a bunch of
people congratulate him. Even Big Show says he looks forward to
working with Itami again. His kids hug him to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This is a hard one
to grade as it’s mainly a theme show with some wrestling included.
The stuff on Itami is a really cool feature (Big Show dominance
aside) and made him look like a big deal. Above all else though, I
want to focus on that house show. On the Rise and Fall of ECW, Paul
Heyman talks about wanting to make his shows into a big party where
the fans say “WOW! I want to go there! I want to buy my ticket
and be right there in the middle of all that.”
That’s
the feeling I got watching that house show. It looked like a blast
and something I’d love to get to see. It’s the feeling you don’t get
on Raw because NXT feels far more fan friendly and built on
excitement. Like I said, it’s basically an in house indy company
with very little connection to the main roster. This
is a special promotion and it’s going to keep going for a long time
at this pace.
Results
Hideo Itami b. Adrian
Neville – Shotgun Kick
Finn Balor b. Tyler
Breeze – Coup de Grace
Hideo Itami b. Finn
Balor – Shotgun Kick
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Extant’s Pull List – April 8, 2015

I went on vacation, I started a new job and now we’re back with some comics.

DC Comics kicks off its two-month Convergence event with Issue 1 of the weekly series (issue 0 came out last week) and a handful of two-issue mini-series where various timelines collide, mostly featuring Flashpoint characters this week.

In addition to the main series, I also picked up Superman, The Question (written by Greg Rucka), Batgirl, Justice League, Nightwing/Oracle (written by Gail Simone) and Harley Quinn. Also available (but not getting my money because I’m still waiting for my first paycheck) are The Atom, Batman & Robin, Titans and Speed Force.

Over on the Marvel side, the big news of the week, obviously, is the premiere of Daredevil on Netflix, coming on Friday. No new episodes of Arrow or Flash, and I gave up on Gotham a while back.

In between comics, I’ll be continuing to play MLB The Show 15 on my PS4, and then on Tuesday, out comes Mortal Kombat X.

Comics are available in comic book stores and online. What about the Blog of Doom’s comic book readers? What are you reading today and what are you looking forward to?

Impact Wrestling – April 3, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
 
Date:
April 3, 2015
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Josh
Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re
still in Orlando and the big story tonight is who gets to be the #1
contender. A large group of people want the shot at Angle but
tonight
Lashley gets the World Title shot at Kurt Angle.
As far as other
in ring action goes, tonight we have Bobby Roode vs. Eric Young in
what is being billed as their final showdown. Let’s get to it.

This
show is also billed as bell to bell, but it’s not yet clear what that
means.
On
tap for tonight, Lashley vs. Angle for the title, Gail Kim vs.
Angelina
Love,
Magnus vs. Bram in a falls count anywhere match and Young vs. Roode
in a submission match.
Eric
Young vs. Bobby Roode
Before
the match, Young says all good things must come to an end. Tonight,
he says he’s ending Roode’s career and tonight it’s the final chapter
for Roode. Matthews says
this feud has become like Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. No, no it hasn’t.
Roode says he’s already won two matches against Young but now Young
wants to be the #1 contender. Tonight, Roode is making sure that
this story ends forever. Young
promises to make Roode tap, so Roode accepts this as a submission
match, even though that was announced earlier in the show.
The
fight starts on the floor with Roode getting the better of it but
coming back inside to get
stomped down. Josh
talks about an interview with the referee earlier in the week where
he talked about this kind of a match, making the pre-match promo
sound even more out of place. They
head back outside with Young in control and raking the eyes.
Roode
can’t get the Crossface as Young makes it to the ropes, which the
announcers cover by saying the referee wasn’t going to call
submissions in the ropes despite a lack of disqualifications. Not
the best explanation but it’s better than nothing. Back
in again and Roode gets kicked in the leg but still catches Eric in
the spinebuster. We come
back from a break with Roode getting thrown out of the corner and
jarring his knee again.
Young
throws on a leg bar but Bobby is next to the ropes, which gets a
count from the referee. It’s
time for Young to get psycho again and bend the knee around the post
with something like Bret Hart’s Hartbreaker. The
referee breaks it up again and Roode gets back up for a quick
Crossface. Young has a bad
arm coming in but is able to get to the ropes for the break.
Instead
Roode puts on a Boston crab but
gets kicked to the floor on the escape.
Young sends the knee into
the steps again and we hit
the figure four inside. Bobby
turns it over and the referee is bumped, just as Roode puts on the
Crossface to make Young tap. No referee though so Young hits a leg
lariat and turns his leg brace around to make the Figure Four hurt
even worse, forcing Roode to
tap at 16:58. So we’re back
to Garvin vs. Valentine from 1990 now?
Rating:
B-. Gah of course Young wins
because WE MUST PRAISE HIS NAME for being all intense and looking
like he’s trying to scare small children. See, he’s really crazy and
we have to watch him hurt people, likely because he’s one of the only
people they know won’t leave. I’m sick of seeing Young pushed and
having him trade wins with Bobby Roode isn’t going to make me care
about him.
Here’s
Davey Richards with both tag belts. Eddie Edwards follows him out on
crutches and it looks like the titles are going to be vacated. Eddie
says he’s broken his heel in half and the titles are going to have to
be held up as the Wolves can’t defend them. JB
asks Davey about a replacement partner but Davey says the Wolves
aren’t the Wolves without Eddie so no deal. They’ll
be coming for the titles when his foot heals.
Lashley
promises to get his title back.
Angelina
Love vs. Gail Kim
Love
says she flaunts what she has but she’s also a great wrestler. She
promises to prove it tonight and blasts Gail in the face at the
opening bell. A side slam
gets two on Gail as the announcers argue over whether being a
champion means you’re the best. Josh says holding the belt means
you’re the best, which is what the belt used to mean a long time ago
before someone decided they were just props you pass around for fun.
They head outside with Gail
being sent into the apron but coming back with a Russian legsweep to
send Love into them as well.
Both
girls beat the count back in and slug it out with Gail taking over
and scoring with a missile dropkick for two. Eat
Defeat is countered so Gail goes up for a hurricanrana, only to have
Love just stand there as Gail crashes. It was supposed to be a
powerbomb counter I think but Love didn’t actually use her arms. The
Botox Injection gets two as Gail gets her foot on the ropes. Another
attempt hits the ropes though and Eat Defeat gives Kim the pin at
6:49.
Rating:
D+. I’m not a fan of either of
these girls and this didn’t make me care much more. Gail in the
title scene has been done so many times that it’s really hard to
care, but I have a feeling they’re setting up another Kong vs. Kim
match because this company LOVES to recap stuff that was cool ten
years ago.
The
cast of a ghost hunting show goes to the Revolution’s ranch. Storm
asks them to see if an old friend of his is still haunting a barn so
the cast investigates. They
think there might have been a murder. More on this later.
We
recap Bram vs. Magnus, with Magnus wanting to be a family man and
Bram wanting him to be back like his old self again. Bram has gone
insane over it and attacked Magnus over and over, eventually bringing
Magnus’ girlfriend Mickie James into it.
Magnus
vs. Bram
Falls
count anywhere. Magnus
takes it right to the floor to start and sends Bram into the
barricade. They head up to
the stage where Bram tries a powerbomb like Magnus did last week but
Magnus quickly counters out. He can’t piledrive Bram on the stage
either and gets dropped by a low blow. Back
to ringside with Bram sending him into the apron but getting caught
by a missile dropkick back inside. Magnus
can’t keep control though and they head outside with Bram sending him
into the steps. With an
evil smile on his face, Bram comes back in with some right hands but
walks into a clothesline as we take a break.
Back
with Magnus punching from the middle rope as the announcers hype a
live Twitter on next week’s show. Both
guys are down so here’s Mickie James to cheer for Magnus but
he wants her to leave. The distraction lets Bram get a chair to
blast Magnus in the back. He
sends Magnus into the post as well before laying him on the steps.
Now Mickie gets in to
distract Bram but James Storm of all people comes out to say you
don’t hit a woman.
Magnus
gets back up and stomps a charging Bram with a boot, setting up
something like a Rock Bottom for two. Magnus
can’t follow up though and gets chaired in the head for another near
fall. The Brighter Side of
Suffering onto the chair gets two more and Bram is stunned. Back
up and Magnus hits a powerbomb, followed by a second powerbomb and
the belly to back into a Rock Bottom (the
Spineshaker according to Wikipedia)
for the pin at 18:55.
Rating:
B.
I liked this more than I thought I would and I was very relieved that
Storm just stopped a single thing and then left. This continues to
be one of the best stories TNA has done in a very long time and I
didn’t want the Revolution to screw that up. Good brawl here, but
the ending kind of came out of nowhere.
Angle
says Lashley has never fought anyone like him.
Magnus
goes up to ask Storm what that was about. Storm says he was looking
out for an old friend. Magnus isn’t sure what to think of that and
we can’t see Mickie’s reaction.
We
look at Angle vs. Lashley with Kurt winning the title.
TNA
World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Lashley
Lashley
is challenging and wearing orange tonight. Angle’s
entrance takes place during the break. Feeling
out process to start with Lashley knocking him to the mat off a
shoulder. Lashley slows
things down with a headlock and Kurt heads outside for a breather.
Back in and Lashley wrestles
him to the mat but the champ fights up and nails a clothesline to
send Lashley outside. Back
in again and
Lashley drives a shoulder into the ribs and puts on a bearhug. He
switches over to a waistlock but
the fans get Kurt to fight up.
We
come back from a break with Lashley
still stomping away but getting backdropped to the floor. Lashley
gets back in but Angle can’t roll the Germans on him. A spinebuster
gets two on the champion and Lashley is getting annoyed. He
misses a big swing though and now some Germans connect but Lashley
grabs the ropes to counter the third. Kurt gets caught in a running
powerslam for two but the third attempt at rolling Germans works
better. The Angle Slam gets two and
it’s off to the ankle lock but
Lashley rolls him to the floor. A
limping Lashley follows him outside and sends Kurt into the steps.
They
get back in with Lashley smiling, then
no selling the ankle lock with a one armed delayed vertical suplex.
A good looking spear gets
two and Angle is bleeding from the back of his head. With
nothing left to do, Lashley goes up top but gets caught in a super
Angle Slam for a close two. Angle
completely misses the moonsault and now it’s Lashley putting Kurt in
the ankle lock. The champ
almost taps but rolls Lashley into the buckle for a rollup to retain
at 21:19. Lashley’s shoulder was clearly off the mat.
Rating:
B+. I
liked the match but it didn’t quite hit the mark the previous one
did. This felt like they were going for the huge match feel and it
worked to a degree, but it felt more like they were just trying
instead of achieving. Still though, really good stuff here and more
than worthy of a TV main event.
Lashley
shakes hands but the replay shows that his shoulder was indeed up.
Overall
Rating:
B.
Really solid show for the pay per view caliber show of the month.
The Knockouts weren’t great but Angelina hasn’t been a top shelf
worker for a good while now. The main event was good and Bram vs.
Magnus continues to be awesome. If they can find some way to maim
Eric Young and launch him to Mars, everything will be great in TNA
all over again. I’m still not sure what Bell to Bell meant but at
least it was still entertaining.
Results
Eric
Young b. Bobby Roode – Figure Four
Gail
Kim b. Angelina Love – Eat Defeat
Magnus
b. Bram – Spineshaker
Kurt
Angle b. Lashley – Rollup

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

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

Smackdown – April 2, 2015

Smackdown
Date: April 2, 2015
Location: Save Mart
Center, Fresno, California
Commentators: Tom
Phillips, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It was nice while it
lasted but this is the final part of the big Wrestlemania week.
Tonight is likely going to be the last major shows for now as
Smackdown will go back to being the supplemental show it’s been for
years. There isn’t much in the way of fallout tonight either as Raw
ended without a huge bang. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Here are Rollins and
company for a chat. Rollins loves it when a plan works out, like
when he cashed in Money in the Bank this past Sunday to become WWE
World Heavyweight Champion. Now he’s living a new life and doing
things like flying across the country to be on the Today Show, then
flying back across the country to face Brock Lesnar. That gave him
some serious jet lag though and it wasn’t time for Lesnar to get his
rematch. If Lesnar hadn’t lost his head, maybe he could have had
that title shot here tonight.
Cue Randy Orton, who
says he remembers everything over the last few months. He played the
Authority like a fiddle (a very stupid fiddle) before he got to rip
Rollins’ head off with an RKO at Wrestlemania. More importantly
though, he’s owed a rematch for the WWE from last year’s Wrestlemania
and doesn’t like how that belt looks around Rollins’ waist. Seth
wants to know why Randy is dwelling in the past, because he is the
future.
Only Rollins gets to
decide when the title is defended, which makes Orton insult the
Stooges, Big Show and Kane for some reason. At least Big Show won at
Wrestlemania while Kane wasn’t even there (he was in the battle
royal). What does the Director of Operations do anyway? The way
Orton sees it, Kane has gone from the big red monster to Big Red
Riding Hood. Kane makes Orton vs. Big Show and offers Orton a
potential title shot if he can win.
Big
Show vs. Randy Orton
Orton
quickly gets shouldered down but avoids an elbow drop. Show tries to
get to the apron but winds up getting pulled into the elevated DDT.
Cue the Stooges to break up an RKO attempt for the DQ at 1:19.
Everyone
comes in but Randy fights back at Rollins, only to get chokeslammed
by Kane. Ryback runs out for the save and it’s RKO’s all around.
We
recap Bryan vs. Ziggler from Raw and Sheamus returning after the
match. Who in the world thought that hair would be called anything
but stupid? I mean, they had to know that reaction was coming right?
Sheamus
vs. Bryan tonight, because they can’t keep the matches they set up on
Monday straight for twenty four hours.
Natalya
vs. Naomi
The
Bellas are on commentary. Naomi’s inset interview says she can beat
Nikki and win the title but she’ll prove herself until she gets a
shot. Feeling out process to start with both girls missing dropkicks
but nipping up at the same time. That’s rather impressive in
Natalya’s full body outfit. Natalya puts her down for the step on
the back into the basement dropkick for two as the Bellas question
Naomi’s heart. We hit an abdominal stretch for a bit before Naomi is
sent to the apron for a kick to Natalya’s head. She puts Natalya in
a headscissors but drives her head first into the mat instead of
flipping her over for the pin at 2:20.
Rollins
apologizes to Kane for the RKO but Kane likes the sound of Orton
challenging for the title at Extreme Rules. Seth tries to talk him
out of it but stops to comment on the smell of the office. He leaves
and we hear a toilet flush and Ambrose walks in. Harper vs. Ambrose
later tonight because of the use of a bathroom. Seriously.
We
get a sitdown interview with Roman Reigns, who talks about how hard
it was to step in the ring with the Beast. He proved he was willing
to take a beating and showed he could get up after a bunch of
suplexes. Reigns talks about Suplex City but he survived the wave
from Lesnar. He’s thinking about buying a condo in Suplex City
because Lesnar wasn’t ready for him. Brock didn’t have an answer for
all the Superman Punches and they changed his appearance permanently.
The
fight changed both of their lives and he’d love to do it again.
Saxton asks about Rollins cashing in and Reigns says it crushed him.
He was on top of the mountain and Rollins took it away when Reigns
was so close. Thirty more seconds and a spear would have won him the
World Title. He’s beaten Rollins before so he can, he has and he
will beat him again. I liked this more than any other interview I’ve
heard from Reigns in a long time as it makes him much easier to
relate to now that he’s been humbled a bit. Good interview.
Miz
vs. R-Truth
Truth
raps to the ring. I don’t remember him doing that for the last few
weeks. The first ten seconds are spent with Miz taking off his
sunglasses and the second ten seconds are spent on WE WANT MIZDOW
chants. Truth shoves Miz off a headlock and hits the Lie Detector.
The ax kick misses though and the Skull Crushing Finale is good for
the pin at 1:22. Welcome back to Jobber Town Truth.
Mizdow
runs out for a Skull Crushing Finale on Miz and puts on the
sunglasses.
Here’s
John Cena to one of the loudest positive reactions I’ve seen for him
in a long time (yeah I know it’s Smackdown). Cena talks about how
hard Rusev fought to stay undefeated for a year but seeing Rusev as
the US Champion made him sick. It wasn’t due to being Russian, but
because of all the things Rusev said about America. The interesting
thing is that Rusev was the American dream: he showed up and fought
to became everything he wanted to be, but then he thought America
sucked. “WELL AMERICA DOESN’T SUCK!”
From
now on, this US Title represents opportunity. Cena says bring him
your outcasts, your future stars or anyone that the Authority says is
a B+ player. He’ll fight anyone from Brock Lesnar to the
Bushwhackers (hey now, they’re Hall of Famers) because every Monday
night, there’s going to be an open challenge for the US Title. Now
THAT is the best news that has happened for the title in a long time.
Cue
Rusev and Lana, the latter of whom sounds like she’s lost a bit of
her accent. She says Cena is half the man Rusev is because this is
Rusev’s world. Rusev cuts her off by reaching out his hand for the
microphone. With a glare at Lana, he says he didn’t lose at
Wrestlemania so he’s still America’s champion.
In
Rusev’s world, people like Cena have opportunities as well: surrender
the title or be crushed at Extreme Rules. Cena thinks Rusev is drunk
but if the Russian wants a fight, Cena isn’t going anywhere. Rusev
wants to wait for Extreme Rules and calls for the flag drop but
nothing happens. Instead Cena points and the American flag drops.
I’m kind of stunned it took that long to do that. Cena agrees to the
match at Extreme Rules. The announcers keep pushing Rusev as the
Russian Tank, which isn’t a bad name for him.
We
look at Sheamus attacking Bryan again. The tag match is off due to
Ziggler being too banged up to compete. And they didn’t know that
when they announced the tag match?
Luke
Harper vs. Dean Ambrose
No
entrance for Harper. Dean goes right after him in the corner and a
middle rope elbow to the jaw. A basement clothesline gets two so
Harper just hits him in the throat to take over. It turns into a
slugout (shocking I know) until Luke catches a cross body and throws
him over the top as we take a break. Back with Dean’s suicide dive
being caught so he nails a clothesline on the floor.
The
top rope standing elbow gets two but Luke kicks his head off to take
over again. Dean escapes the powerbomb and low bridges Harper to the
floor. Luke quickly sends him into the timekeeper’s area and loads
up the table but Dean dives off the apron with a clothesline. He
can’t powerbomb Luke through the table though so Luke shows him how
it’s done. The bell doesn’t ring but I’m assuming it was a DQ win
for Dean (or a double countout) at about 8:00.
Rating:
C. Nice back and forth brawl
here with both guys hitting each other really hard. Harper is great
in the old Kane role from about 2004 as the midcard monster and
Ambrose is fine as the guy who keeps getting beaten up and coming
back for more. If nothing else it’s nice to have a match be long
enough to rate.
The
Prime Time Players make fun of the New Day, with Titus spraying
himself with water and shouting about FEELING THE POWER. Big E.
sounds like he has a possum stuck in his throat, Kofi has a weird
looking chest and Woods has bad hair. They do the New Day chant and
crickets can be heard. If nothing else, I love the Prime Time
Players shirts based on the old Prime Time Wrestling logo.
Sheamus
vs. Daniel Bryan
Non-title.
Sheamus has new music with
a slower pace and no lyrics. After
seeing the “I’m back” line for the third time tonight, the fans
tell Sheamus that he looks stupid. Sheamus encourages them and says
he doesn’t see any real men around here. All the fan favorites are
too vertically challenged and he’s going to crush all the underdogs.
So he’s Batista from last year? Barrett
is on commentary.
Sheamus
shoves him into the corner to start and shrugs off Bryan’s kick to
the ribs. Bryan has some more success with the leg but Sheamus drops
him with a clothesline. As
Sheamus fires off uppercuts, Barrett says he never lost the title and
is owed a rematch. That makes Rock, Orton, Bryan, Rusev and Barrett
who are owed automatic rematches. It’s almost like they’re
completely overusing a plot device.
Bryan
scores with some kicks to send Sheamus outside but
he comes back in for an Irish Curse to send Bryan to the floor as
well. We come back from a break with Sheamus loading up a suplex but
flipping Bryan over instead of going down with him. You might
remember that as the Crash Landing from the final month of WCW.
Sheamus: “ARE YOU NOT
ENTERTAINED???”
Bryan
tries some forearms to no avail and gets thrown hard into the corner.
Some posing allows Bryan to
get a breather though and he moonsaults over Sheamus before dropping
him with the running clothesline. A
backdrop sends Sheamus to the floor for the Flying Goat. The
missile dropkick and it’s time for the YES Kicks. As
usual the big one misses but Sheamus can’t hit White Noise.
Bryan
sends him into the buckle and kicks the ropes to knock Sheamus back,
only to get crotched on the top. The
ten forearms are broken up as Bryan grabs Sheamus’ arm. Why did no
one ever think of that before? Sheamus
knocks him to the floor and onto the announcers’ table, busting Bryan
open. Barrett hits a Bull Hammer behind the referee’s back for a
countout at 15:33.
Rating:
C+. This wasn’t as good as I
was expecting as Sheamus is still working the kinks out of his new
character. He isn’t doing much besides big power moves, but at least
he’s getting on the crowd’s nerves like he should be. Bryan was
doing his usual stuff as well, but the match just never got going
like you would expect it to.
Overall
Rating:
C-. Well it was nice
while it lasted but everything is back to normal in WWE. There
wasn’t much to see here other than the announcement of a B level pay
per view main event and another rematch from Wrestlemania. The show
wasn’t terrible, but it really falls off a cliff after the hot shows
earlier in the week.
Results
Randy
Orton b. Big Show via DQ when Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble interfered
Naomi
b. Natalya – Headscissors driver
Miz
b. R-Truth – Skull Crushing Finale
Dean
Ambrose b. Luke Harper via DQ when Harper powerbombed him through a
table
Sheamus
b. Daniel Bryan via countout
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

NXT – April 1, 2015

NXT
Date: April 1, 2015
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey
Graves, Rich Brennan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Wrestlemania has come
and gone, but that really doesn’t mean much in NXT. Last week we saw
Finn Balor come up just short in his match against Kevin Owens for
the NXT Title. That means we’re in need of a new #1 contender as we
wait on Sami Zayn to make his return to continue the war with Owens.
Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
Here’s the returning
Sami Zayn to open the show. He’s been overseas in Abu Dhabi for a
great tour but the timing was interesting as he’s had a lot of things
to think about. It should have been the time of his life but all he
can think of is Kevin Owens. The Kevin Owens that he was in the ring
with isn’t the same one he’s known for twelve years.
He’s changed as a human
being and Sami could see it when he looked into Kevin’s eyes. Sami
has had time to think and formulate a plan, and here it is: use his
rematch to get HIS NXT Title back, but the number one thing on his
list is to give Owens the beating he deserves. Once those two are in
the ring together again, it’s going to be gold.
Rhyno vs. ???
Rhyno throws him across
the ring with a belly to belly and the Gore is good for the pin at 25
seconds.
Post match Rhyno says
he’s here to make a statement by winning the NXT Title. It doesn’t
matter if it’s Sami Zayn, Finn Balor or Kevin Owens, because it all
ends with a Gore. This is the perfect way to use someone like Rhyno
and the fans are still into him, so what’s bad in this scenario?
Former bodybuilder Dana
Brooke is here in two weeks.
Last week after the
match, Kevin Owens says it only matters that he won because no one is
taking his title away.
Bayley vs. Emma
This is called a Divas
match. I really hope that’s a one time line and not a trend. Last
week Emma slapped Bayley for not turning her back on the fans. In
other words, set it up one week and pay it off in the future. Emma
still does all of her old shenanigans but pulls herself into the ring
under the bottom instead of flipping in. She tries to clown around
with Bayley before the match gets going and the first minute only
sees them trade lockups.
Bayley gets annoyed
with the slow pace and nails her with a running shoulder for two
before walking into a clothesline. Emma still doesn’t seem to want
to fight that hard so Bayley sends her into the buckle a few times
but gets caught in the Emma Lock. The Emma Sandwich (Graves: “The
what?”) gets two but Emma spends too much time posing and gets
caught in a sunset flip for the pin at 4:12.
Rating: D+.
The wrestling was nothing special here but it felt much more like a
story being told than anything else. Emma as the jaded wrestler who
has been burned by the main roster and not wanting Bayley to make the
same mistakes is an interesting story but the matches need to be a
bit better than this.
Emma
smiles as Bayley leaves.
Becky
Lynch wants to know when she gets her title shot. Could it be after
you finally win a few matches? Sasha might not be bad, but she’s
certainly not this good. “Welcome
everyone to N Becks T.” I apologize for making you read a line
that horrible.
Blake
and Murphy vs. Lucha Dragons
Non-title.
You get a rare time slip
from NXT as they talk about the Dragons being on Superstars and Main
Event but obviously they can’t know about the Raw appearance yet.
Murphy and Kalisto get
things going. Well at least I think it’s Murphy as his tights say
Murphy but the commentary says he’s Blake. Either
way both champions are sent to the floor for a big dive from Cara.
Kalisto adds a huge
moonsault and everyone is down for a few seconds.
Back
in and Blake gets some help from his partner for two on Kalisto
before we hit the chinlock. Kalisto
fights up for a rollup for two but
it’s quickly back to Murphy (the commentary matches the tights) for
another chinlock. That
doesn’t last long though and Kalisto finally rolls over for a tag to
Cara. Everything breaks
down and Cara kicks Buddy in the face, only to miss the Swanton. The
referee gets distracted and Murphy gets in a cheap shot, setting up
the suplex into a frog splash for the pin on Cara at 6:12.
Rating: C+.
Nice basic tag match here with both teams looking fine. There’s
nothing left in NXT for the Dragons though and I have no issue with
them going down in one of their last matches in NXT. Murphy and
Blake aren’t ready for the main roster yet but they’re fine for
around here. Nice little match.
Sami
Zayn is in the back but Rhyno cuts him off. He doesn’t care about
Zayn’s vendettas because the line for the NXT Title starts behind
Rhyno.
Solomon
Crowe video.
Tye
Dillinger vs. Jason Jordan
Dillinger
swings away to start but gets sent hard into the corner for a spear,
followed by some elbows for two. We
hit the chinlock early on as Jason has already taken the straps down
on his singlet. Back up and
Tye makes a comeback with some very basic offense but Jordan muscles
him into the corner and finishes with something like a t-bone suplex
at 2:58. Jordan looked
better but that’s not saying much.
We
recap Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami. They’ve split matches so far and
tonight Hideo has been granted a 2/3 falls match. It’s
a cool video but Brennan calling this historic is a pretty big
stretch.
Hideo
Itami vs. Tyler Breeze
2/3
falls. The selfie stick
gets a chant before the bell rings. The chants change to a debate
over whether Breeze is gorgeous or ratchet. Breeze
drives him into the corner to start for some shoulders to the ribs
but Hideo comes back with a running clothesline and a kick to the
chest. A running dropkick
and a running boot to the face give Itami the first fall at 2:21.
Well that was fast.
The
second fall starts after a brief break but no commercial. Breeze
sits in the corner to get a breather but it’s just a ruse so the
Beauty Shot can connect for the pin at 3:42 total to tie things up.
We take a break (with an ad
for NXT at Wrestlemania Axxess next week) and come back with the
third fall in progress with Breeze stomping away in the corner. Some
forearms to the head get two for Tyler and we hit the chinlock. The
hold stays on for a good while until
Hideo fights up and avoids a dropkick.
The
top rope misses but another kick to the face gets two for Hideo.
They botch a fisherman’s
suplex into a small package before going into a pinfall reversal
sequence. After the near falls they trade kicks to the face to start
and get two each with Breeze getting control. He fires off some more
kicks but Hideo screams at him. A running corner dropkick misses
Breeze but he can’t hit the Beauty Shot. Now the running dropkick
connects but Hideo tries the same running boot to the face that won
him the first fall, allowing Breeze to hit another Beauty Shot for
the pin at 13:24.
Rating: C.
This got better near the end but it was pretty dull stuff getting to
that point. I really liked the ending with a callback to the first
fall, but I really didn’t need to see this as a 2/3 falls match
instead of just having a long regular match. It’s also interesting
to see Breeze get the pin here as Itami got the tournament win on the
big stage. Not bad but nothing special.
Overall Rating: C.
After last week’s double title match show, this was pretty much a
filler episode instead of anything really that important. Sami
coming back is a big deal though and getting a feud with Rhyno is
fine enough for a filler while Owens is recovering from knee surgery.
Not much to this show but it was hardly a disaster.
Results
Rhyno b. ??? – Gore
Bayley b. Emma –
Sunset flip
Blake and Murphy b.
Lucha Dragons – Frog splash to Cara
Jason Jordan b. Tye
Dillinger – T-bone suplex
Tyler Breeze b. Hideo
Itami – Beauty Shot
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

WWF Wrestling Challenge April 26th, 1987

April 26, 1987

From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight’s featured bout is the rare babyface vs. babyface between the Islanders and the Rougeau Brothers. Also in action will be George Steele, Billy Jack Haynes, Can-Am Connection, and the Hart Foundation.

Steve Lombardi & Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Can-Am Connection

Martel starts off getting the best of Lombardi. He then gets backed into the opposite corner and worked over briefly until he ducks an attack from Sharpe that nails Lombardi. Zenk then tags and flies halfway across the ring with a missile dropkick that gets two as we get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji telling the Can-Ams that Kamala & Sika are coming after them. Sharpe works over Zenk in the corner until he misses a charge. Lombardi then yanks Zenk by the hair as the heels regain control of the match. Sharpe and Zenk collide then Martel gets the hot-tag as he runs wild on both guys then puts Lombardi away with a slingshot splash after a powerslam from Zenk (3:11).

Thoughts: Good action from the very popular Can-Am Connection. The main goal here was to start a program with Kamala & Sika, which would progress as the show continued.


We get a repeat of the “Wrestler’s Rebuttal” by Brutus Beefcake from this past episode of “Superstars of Wrestling” in which he promises to go after Adrian Adonis. Oddly enough, Adonis was fired the day after this show aired at a house show in London, Ontario to what Dave Meltzer described as frequent dress code violations and being a slob in general.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Lee sidesteps a crossbody then roughs up Haynes as we get an insert promo from Hercules promising to use his chain on Haynes, who is now in control of the match. He backdrops Lee, who is too lazy to take the move correctly, then hits a suplex before using the full nelson for the win (1:56).

Thoughts: The Haynes/Hercules feud continues. That is really all I have to say here.



Gene Okerlund is with Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart, who is holding the “Ban the DDT” sign as they talk about that throughout the promo as Honky tells us everyone in the WWE wants him to sing and ask his fans for support in getting the DDT banned. Honky was truly great in this role.

Hillbilly Jim and Outback Jack are talking about the different animals they are accustom to in their homelands. Look likes they were trying to make a team here but these two were pretty low on the card and unable to be saved at this point anyway so making them a team wouldn’t have been the worst idea in the world.

Nick Kiniski & Joe Mirto vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

Danny Davis is shown in an insert promo saying that he is at ringside to make sure the officials are doing there job. Kiniski gets the best of the Anvil then tags Mirto, who immediately gets slammed. Bret tags and beats on Mirto as the Hart Foundation are in full control of the match then put Mirto away with the Hart Attack (2:29). After the match, they let Danny Davis clear the ring of Kiniski and Mirto as they were already down on the mat.

Thoughts: Most of the focus here was on Davis as they further establish him as a chickenshit heel.



Okerlund is with Koko B. Ware and Frankie. Koko, wearing shades and an Adidas track suit, cuts a preacher-like promo on Danny Davis. He seemed coked out of his mind here. There feud seemingly lasted forever too and it was not good. The beginning of the end for Koko here as he became a curtain-jerker as the result of this feud.

The Islanders vs. Rougeau Brothers

Haku and Raymond start off the match with Raymond getting the upper hand. Jacques tags and grabs a headlock. Haku gets two off of a sunset flip then tags Tama, who goes to work on the arm. Jacques comes back with a monkey flip that saw Tama fly through the air as both guys tag out. Good action so far in this match by the way. Tama tags back in and works over the arm of Raymond as the Islanders are getting a bit more aggressive. Tama breaks up a sleeper by Raymond with a double axe handle then tags in as he hits a side slam. The Islanders get even more aggressive as Tama yanks Raymond down by the hair and goes for the cover but Jacques breaks it up. He then tags as he hammers away on Tama before catching him in an abdominal stretch. Haku breaks that up with a throat thrust then all four guys are inside as the action spills outside as they brawl until the match is ruled a double countout (6:10) **1/2. The teams fight until a few referees break up the melee.

Thoughts: Good match that was all action. This also planted the seed for the Islanders eventual heel turn as they wrestled aggressively and were doing heel tactics such as breaking up pins and pulling hair as well. Tama in particular looked great in this match. Oddly enough, the Rougeaus would turn heel about a year later after wrestling the Killer Bees in a babyface match on TV.



Snake Pit with guest Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Jake asks Duggan about why he came to the WWF as Duggan said he saw Sheik & Volkoff putting down America and was sick of it as they do not know what America is all about. Duggan said he does not go to “discotheques to read Zodiac signs” before saying that as long as he is alive, Volkoff will not sing the Russian National Anthem in this country again. Another well-received patriotic promo from Duggan.

Alex Knight & S.D. Jones vs. Kamala & Sika w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee

S.D. works the arm of Sika then lands a few shots until Sika rakes his eyes. Kamala tags in and destroys Knight as the Can-Am Connection issue a challenge to Kamala & Sika for a match next week as Kamala puts Knight away with a splash (1:21).

Thoughts: Quick match to make the team of Kamala & Sika look dominant in preparation for a probable match against the Can-Am Connection. Smart idea to build up a



Jesse Cortez vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Steele immediately bites the arm of Cortez then beats him down until he gets the win with a flying hammerlock (0:50). After the match, Steele takes down the referee and calls him nice before getting up and eating a turnbuckle.

Thoughts: The fans still loved Steele and quick TV matches like this were a great use of his talents.



Okerlund is with Johnny V and his snazzy new tights. The New Dream Team then come out as they call Beefcake the “weak link” of the team as the refer to him as “Fruitcake.” Bravo promises us that this is the most devastating team the WWF fans will ever see. Bravo was terrible here and in general when it came to wrestling.

Craig DeGeorge is in the locker room asking Mr. Fuji if he will accept the challenge from the Can-Am Connection and he does, saying that Kamala & Sika will rip off their faces. So our featured bout for next week is all set.

Next week’s featured bout will be Kamala & Sika vs. Can-Am Connection. Plus, Ricky Steamboat, King Harley Race, and Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff.

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Most of the focus was on the tag team division as they had a good TV match and built up next week’s featured bout well. The midcard was interesting at this time but unfortunately the top of the card as still murky post-WrestleMania III.

Schedule for the next several days:

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/2/87
Tuesday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 5/2/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/3/87


WWF Superstars of Wrestling April 25th, 1987

April 25, 1987


From the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon

Tonight’s featured match is the Islanders & Sivi Afi vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & Butch Reed. Also in action will be Demolition, Killer Bees, Honky Tonk Man, and Tito Santana. Plus, the final installment of the “Ken Patera Story” and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who Vince informs us has indeed bought a ticket to the show.

Jim Powers & Paul Roma are talking about how they will be facing Demolition tonight and give it 110%. Roma looked like he was staring at cue cards during his part of the promo and it came off terribly to be honest.

Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Paul Roma & Jim Powers


Demolition takes turns beating on Powers as we get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji and Demolition as they talk about destroying Roma & Powers. Demolition remains in control of the match until Powers kicks Smash as he ducked his head for a backdrop attempt. Roma tags in and lands a few shots but misses a dropkick attempt then Demolition hits Roma for the Decapitation for the win (2:24).

Thoughts: Very strong showing for Demolition, who were pushed as even more dangerous under the guidance of Mr. Fuji.






WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This week’s subject is Danny Davis and his work as part of the Hart Foundation. Davis is shown cutting a promo about how anyone wanting to face him can sign the dotted line. Man, Davis was great as a smug, cocky prick. Too bad he was garbage in the ring.

Tito Santana vs. Ed Dean


Jesse rags on “Chico” as Santana takes down Dean. Slick and Butch Reed are shown in an insert promo screaming at Santana for ripping off his suit at WrestleMania III as Reed promises Slick he will get revenge. Santana is using restholds on Dean, who is awful by the way, until he finally puts him away with the flying forearm (3:00).

Thoughts: The action was dull as they are still continuing Santana’s feud with Reed.






Gene Okerlund and Lord Alfred Hayes are backstage hyping the 5/2/87 Boston Garden Show. Brutus Beefcake comes out and runs down Adrian Adonis using the lamest insults (“looks like a big, walking waste disposal unit”) I have ever heard.

Johnny V. is shown telling Beefcake that he was always the weak link of the Dream Team then says anyone can beat him, including himself as he challenges Beefcake to a match.

Tommy Sharpe vs Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart


Hart comes to the ring with his “Ban the DDT” sign. Sharpe manages a rollup for a nearfall then hits Honky with an atomic drop. Sharpe tries a backdrop but Honky elbows him in the back of the head. Honky then roughs up Sharpe before tossing him outside. Honky taunts the fans in the ring then goes to work on Sharpe as he is shown in an insert promo talking about his fan support regarding the “Ban the DDT” movement. Honky roughs up Sharpe a bit more before putting him away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (3:07). After the match Honky grabs the mic and tells the fans he will give them what they want, dancing and singing. Honky starts moving around on the mat with his guitar and that makes me laugh.

Thoughts: Honky was generating a lot of heel heat here as the “Ban the DDT” stuff was also working well too. Honky was really hitting his stride as a heel.






Okerlund and Hayes are backstage again talking about the next Boston Garden show. We then get a promo from Hulk Hogan who talks about hanging out with the Junkyard Dog in order to prepare for his match against King Harley Race. He also talked about destroying Heenan and his family as he referred to Orndorff as “old news.”

Killer Bees vs. Steve Lombardi & Iron Mike Sharpe


The Bees work over Lombardi as Vince talks about Lombardi & Sharpe having words for Roma & Powers that came in an insert promo later on in which they told them they “stunk” before declaring that they were the up-and-coming team. Sharpe cheapshots Brunzell as the heels take control briefly until Brunzell ducks an attack from Sharpe that accidentally his Lombardi. Blair tags as the match breaks down Brunzell puts away Sharpe with a dropkick (3:25).

Thoughts: The main focus here was to start a feud between jobber teams, not on the Bees, who are really just another team at this point.






And now it is the final installment in the “Ken Patera Story.” Okerlund meets Patera in front of the prison as he gets released. We then are shown clips of Patera working out as he blames Heenan for selling him down the river and will be coming back stronger than ever. We get the corny 80’s montage complete with a smiling Patera flexing in front of the mirror about how he wants to “make it right.” This was pretty bad as Patera in the babyface role was as far from a natural fit as you could get. Plus the blaming Heenan for him being in prison was a stretch even for kids.

Okerlund is with Bobby Heenan, who talks about Patera being nothing until he was his manager then accepting Okerlund’s idea for the two of them to debate next week. That is certainly an intriguing idea even if the Patera story segments have been underwhelming.

Rick Renslow & Dave Wagner vs. Blackjack Mulligan & Billy Jack Haynes


Wagner tries and fails to attack Mulligan before the bell. Mulligan fights off both guys then we get an insert promo from Ron Bass about wanting to see Mulligan’s woman that he keeps talking about. The faces then beat on Wagner briefly until Mulligan puts him away with a jumping back elbow smash (1:52).

Thoughts: The face team was an odd pairing to say the least. Mulligan was the focus here as Haynes was treated as an afterthought. They sure spent a lot of time on this Mulligan/Bass feud and it would last through a whole other set of TV tapings (This was the last of the current bunch) before Mulligan was gone.






The camera shows Hacksaw Jim Duggan sitting in the front row before the featured match.

Sivi Afi & The Islanders vs. “The Natural” Butch Reed & Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/ Slick


Volkoff sings the Russian National Anthem before the match until Duggan chases him and his partners off with his 2×4. Duggan then leads the crowd into a loud “U-S-A” chant then goes back to his seat. The match starts with Haku and the Sheik going back and forth in a brief sequence. Volkoff tags as Haku beats on him then tags Tama. Afi tags and works the arm until Volkoff rakes his eyes. The heels beat on Afi as the fans chant “U-S-A.” Tama tags in and does not fare well as he gets beaten down until he slides beneath Reed and makes the tag to Haku, who runs wild on everyone. Afi tags but gets booted in the face by Sheik then Reed tags in and gets the win with a gorilla press slam (2:55). After the match the heels continue their assault until Duggan chases them off with a 2×4.

Thoughts: Duggan was the focus here as he remains set on making sure Volkoff never sings the Russian Naitonal Anthem ever again.






Okerlund & Hayes are backstage again as they run down the entire card for the 5/2/87 Boston Garden show. The Hart Foundation along with Jimmy Hart and Danny Davis come out as they proclaim that no matter what the Hart Foundation will roll on as Neidhart calls Okerlund “stupid” after he said the British Bulldogs are more powerful than ever. Funny stuff from the Hart Foundation.

Next week’s featured match will be Brutus Beefcake vs. Johnny V. Also in action will be the Can-Am Connection and Adrian Adonis. Plus, the debate between Ken Patera and Bobby Heenan.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show but some of the new characters and feuds are not really clicking. Having Hogan go up against the Heenan Family is not all that exciting seeing as he already ran through Orndorff and Andre. And the Patera stuff never amounted to much either. The Duggan push remains strong as that is actually working.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Larry Zbyszko, Disc One
Friday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Larry Zbyszko, Disc Two
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/26/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/2/87
Tuesday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 5/2/87



















WWF Wrestling Challenge April 19th, 1987

April 19, 1987

From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week will be Koko B. Ware, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Honky Tonk Man, and Jake Roberts. Plus, comments from Randy Savage regarding his loss to Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III and more.

Bill Howard vs. Koko B. Ware

Koko takes Howard down with a hip toss as Danny Davis is shown in an insert promo promising to shut Koko up and even shove Frankie down his throat as Heenan laughs on commentary. The action is at a snails pace as Howard lands a few shots but ducks his head and gets punched in the face. Koko takes control and hits a back elbow smash. He dodges a charging attack from Howard and hits a missile dropkick before getting the win with the Ghostbuster (2:34).

Thoughts: Looks like they are starting the Koko/Davis feud now. Sucks to be Koko.



Jim Powers & Paul Roma vs. The New Dream Team w/ Johnny V.

Powers & Roma have matching tights but are not yet referred as the Young Stallions. However, they are shown in an insert promo stating that they will give 100% and are ready for any team in the WWF. Sleep-inducing mic work from those two. They work over the arm of Bravo until he hits Roma with an inverted atomic drop. Roma comes back with a reverse rollup but Valentine tagged himself in and takes control. Bravo misses an elbow drop then Roma tags out as Powers cleans house until Valentine knees him from the apron then Bravo hits a side slam. Roma breaks that up then get tossed outside by Bravo as Valentine slaps Powers in the figure-four and gets the win by submission (2:38).

Thoughts: This is the first time they have established Roma & Powers as a team. They were on offense most of the time and looked solid but its tough to look that good with a slug like Bravo in the ring. And they now have a feud for Roma & Powers too.



Gene Okerlund is with the British Bulldogs, who do not care who they have to face in order to get the belts back from the Hart Foundation. This was the best I have ever seen Dynamite on the mic. Davey was pretty bad here. The end focused on Matilda as the camera zooms in with Okerlund asking goofy questions about the dog.

Terry Gibbs vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Duggan runs into the ring with his 2×4 like a house of fire. He knocks down Gibbs a few times as we get an insert promo from Duggan, Sheik, and Slick, who calls Duggan “monkey head” as he warns Duggan that he will not stop Volkoff from signing the Russian National Anthem. Heenan is hilarious as he rags on Duggan by the way. Duggan hits a suplex as the fans are chanting along with him. He works a chinlock for a bit until he catches Gibbs with a powerslam before putting him away with a running clothesline (3:00).

Thoughts: The crowd was into Duggan’s antics big-time. I wonder what would have happened had not he got busted with the Iron Sheik because he was getting a mega-push here.



Okerlund is with Demolition and Mr. Fuji. This is the first televised promo from them with Mr. Fuji. Ax promises they will play “Demolition Derby” in the ring as Mr. Fuji will guide them to the titles. A solid job from Ax.

Jerry Allen vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart

Allen reverses an Irish whip then catches him with a shot to the gut. He hits a poor excuse of a dropkick before Honky decks him then takes control of the match. Jimmy Hart is shown in an insert promo stating that Honky is not afraid of the DDT but the move should be banned because it is dangerous. Honky Drops Allen throat-first on top of the guardrail then taunts the fans in the ring. Allen is back in as Honky knocks him down and roughs him up for a bit until he hits the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (2:31).

Thoughts: Total domination of Honky as this furthered along the “Ban the DDT” angle.



They replayed the interview segments between Elizabeth, Randy Savage, and the Bonnie & Ricky Steamboat announcement of the upcoming birth of their child. The gist of this is Savage has gone completely off the deep end since losing to Steamboat.

Blackjack Mulligan cuts a promo on Ron Bass saying that he has never ran from anyone except for the time his wife got drunk and chased him around with a meat cleaver.

Dusty Wolfe vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Jake knocks down Wolfe before hitting a back suplex. He slams him down then tosses him through the ropes a few times where he slams Wolfe on the floor. Wolfe hits a few shots that Jake no-sells then we see Jake in an insert promo pissed about the “Ban the DDT” movement. Jake fires away and roughs him up until he puts him away with the DDT (4:00). The fans popped huge for the DDT. After the match Jake dumps Damien on Wolfe then wraps it around his neck.

Thoughts: Jake destroyed Wolfe in this match. The crowd went mental over the DDT and the snake too as they have successfully promoted the “Ban the DDT” angle throughout the show.



Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Tommy Sharpe

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Hercules beat the shit out of Wolfe as Billy Jack Haynes is shown in an insert promo begging Hercules to bring his chain with him in the ring. Man, Haynes cut some intense promos. Hercules drops an elbow as Johnny V. calls Monsoon “Monsignor.” He seems tanked tonight as he is just rambling. Sharpe gets tossed to the floor as Hercules suplexes him back inside. He drops a knee then locks on the full nelson for the win (2:43).

Thoughts: Dominant performance by Hercules as his feud with Billy Jack continues.



Okerlund is with Jimmy Hart, Danny Davis, and the Hart Foundation. The Hart Foundation let us know that they have made Davis as part of the Foundation because he was unjustly fired as a referee. The Harts laugh at the list of teams Gene names off as Bret demands that Gene call them the best in the world. Funny stuff from the Hart Foundation, especially Neidhart.

Next week we will have an “unusual” matchup between the Islanders and the Rougeau Brothers. Plus, George “The Animal” Steele, Hart Foundation, Can-Am Connection, and Billy Jack Haynes.

Final Thoughts: Good show this week as they furthered along and created some potential new feuds as well. Really not much more to say other than that.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer), Disc One
Friday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer), Disc Two
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/25/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/26/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/2/87

WWF Superstars of Wrestling April 18th, 1987

April 18th, 1987

From the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV. Fun fact: The “Missy’s Manor” segments were first filmed at this taping. For those unaware, it was a talk-show hosted by Missy Hyatt but they never made it to air.

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and Vince McMahon.

In action tonight are the Can-Am Connection, King Harley Race, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kamala & Sika, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Dusty Wolfe & Barry O. vs. Can-Am Connection

Wolfe attacks Zenk before the bell. The heels briefly take the advantage until Martel comes in to catch Zenk after a suplex then picks up Zenk, who kicks down both men. Zenk hits a German suplex for two as the Can-Ams are shown in an insert promo talking about going after the Tag Team Titles. Martel takes Barry down with a headscissors then uses his speed to frustrate Barry as the crowd applauds. Barry stunguns Martel then hits him with a suplex for a nearfall. Martel comes back with a dropkick then makes the tag to Zenk, who runs wild. Wolfe stops him briefly but Zenk whips him into Barry, who flies off of the apron. Zenk then catches Wolfe with a powerslam before sling-shotting Martel in for the splash as they get the win (3:59).

Thoughts: Good showcase for the Can-Ams as they were being tossed into the hat as potential challengers for the Hart Foundation. The crowd was going nuts for them and their in-ring work was fast-paced. Martel was excellent here.



WWF Update with Craig DeGeorge. This week’s topic is Brutus Beefcake as he is shown cutting a promo on Johnny V. and the New Dream Team as he challenges them all. Not a very good promo from Beefcake at all.

Outback Jack tells Hillbilly Jim about how much he is joining the United States then they compare their countries cuisine.

Alex Knight vs. “The Outlaw” Ron Bass

Bass destroys Knight to start as we get an insert promo from him talking about Blackjack Mulligan hiding from him as Jesse agrees. Bass chokes out then stomps Knight for a bit. He gets two with an elbow drop then challenges Knight to hit him and he does with his crappy punches but Bass knocks him right down then puts him away with a jumping back elbow smash (1:59).

Thoughts: The crowd couldnt have cared less about this match. Poor Bass was being built up for a feud that never happened.



Gene Okerlund is with the British Bulldogs, who will be facing the Hart Foundation on at the May 2nd Boston Garden Show. Danny Davis is “barred” from the building that night. They then cut a promo on the Hart Foundation that is as bad as you would think. Matilda barking would have been better than having listen to the Dynamite Kid speak.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Tiger Chung Lee

Duggan catches Lee with a clothesline then gets two off of a knee drop as we get an insert promo from the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick, who declares that no one will stop Volkoff from singing the Russian National Anthem. Duggan misses a corner charge but comes back quickly with a slam before putting him away with a running clothesline (2:40).

Thoughts: The Duggan super-push continues as the fans are buying into his blue-collar and patriotic act.



Hogan cuts a promo on Bobby Heenan and all of his men, including his opponent in Boston, Harley Race. Solid work from Hogan to hype his house show matches against Race.

Mr. Fuji is with Sika, Kamala, and Kimchee. He hands Sika a raw fish and he devours it as Kamala tries to go after it. A wacky 80’s segment.

Jesse Cortez & Jerry Allen vs. Kamala & Sika w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee

Allen tries to get in some offense but Sika stops that with an eye rake. Kamala tags and leapfrogs Allen before hitting him with a thrust kick in an impressive spot. Cortez tags in and gets brutalized until Kamal puts him away with a splash (2:05).

Thoughts: This did a fine job establishing the team as killers.



Craig DeGeorge is with Blackjack Mulligan at his ranch. He asks him about the comments Bass was making about him as he runs him down. Not much to see here.

Joe Mirto vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Roberts knocks down Mirto as we get an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man pleading with the fans to get behind him as he tries to ban the DDT. Roberts works the arm as Vince plugs a six-man for next week featuring Sheik & Volkoff & Butch Reed vs. Sivi Afi & The Islanders. The fans go nuts just for Mirto being near the snake bag. Roberts hits his short-arm clothesline before putting him away with the DDT (4:25). Roberts then gets the snake as the fans go nuts and puts it on Mirto as we get a funny line by Jesse aimed at Vince: “You used to hate it but now you love it.”

Thoughts: This went on forever as the focus was on the ban the DDT gimmick from Hart and Honky.



The addressed to vote in the “Ban the DDT” movement is shown on-screen.

And now it’s Part Three of the “Ken Patera Story.” Okerlund tells us that Ken Patera was just looking for a burger at a fast food restaurant then when denied service allegedly threw an object, along with someone else, through a glass window and then when police arrived at the motel a melee took place. After being tried, Patera was sentenced to two years in prison as Okerlund notes some think a person who represented the U.S. in the Olympics should get a lesser sentence. We are then shown Patera in a cell as he accepts all responsibility for what happened, unlike Bobby Heenan who creates problems and walks away from them. Patera then said he will be back in the WWF to rid it of people like Heenan. This was pretty bad as they glossed over the actions that put Patera in jail in order to blame Heenan as why it happened so they could bring him back as a face. And they wondered why this push for Patera failed. Well, it would have failed anyway, but still.

Billy Anderson vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Race catches Anderson with a knee as we get an insert promo from Heenan, who addresses Patera about blaming him for his actions that got him in jail and how he was the not the punk who did the crime, calling him garbage. Heenan yells at Race to pick up his opponent after a suplex as Race softens up Anderson a bit before putting him away with the cradle suplex (1:54).

Thoughts: A dominant squash match for Race to prepare him for Hogan.



Okerlund is with Jake Roberts and asks him about the Honky Tonk Man. Roberts cuts a solid promo against him but nothing memorable or anything.

Next week will be the featured six-man tag bout. Plus, Jim Duggan will be here in the front row as he apparently bought a ticket to the show. Also in action will be Tito Santana, Honky Tonk Man, Killer Bees and Demolition.

Final Thoughts: A decent show. Some of the stuff pushed like the Patera Story and the Bass/Mulligan feud was a waste but the Honky/Jake feud is solid and they are trying to push Beefcake as a face, which is something new at least. And the tag team division is starting to be pushed as ultra-competitive, which is a good thing. The letdown after WrestleMania was expected though and you can see it in the shows.

Here is my schedule for the next few days.

Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/19/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer)
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/25/87
Saturday: RoH Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies 8/16/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/26/87

WWF Wrestling Challenge April 12th, 1987

April 12, 1987

From the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, AZ

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight are Demolition, Killer Bees, Butch Reed, and the British Bulldogs & Tito Santana. Plus, highlights from last week’s last from “Superstars of Wrestling” between Iron Sheik vs. Jim Duggan.

The Gladiator & Jimmy Jack Funk & Barry O. vs. Tito Santana & British Bulldogs

Before the match we get an insert promo from Danny Davis stating that he is not impressed by Tito or the Bulldogs. Match starts with the faces making quick tags as they beat on Barry. Dynamite is only able to do chops and headbutts as he can still barely move. Funk tags in as he now gets beat down by the faces. Davey is looking really impressive tonight by the way, displaying speed and power. Funk drops Tito throat-first across the top rope then tags the Gladiator but Tito fights him off and tags Davey, who is now beating on all three guys. He then tags Tito, who puts the Gladiator away with the flying forearm (3:58).

Thoughts: Looks like they are still keeping the feud going between the guys in the WrestleMania III six–man tag match. Davey looked awesome



Craig DeGeorge is with Brutus Beefcake, who is holding a bag that contains the hair of Adrian Adonis. Beefcake also said that it was his pleasure to cut his hair in front of the world.

“The Natural” Butch Reed vs. Sivi Afi

Afi gets the best of Reed to start as we get an insert promo from Slick warning Tito Santana that Reed will make him pay for destroying his suit at WrestleMania III. Reed now takes advantage with his methodical offense. Christ, Reed is blown up out there. Afi dodges an attack in the corner then lands a few kicks and a headbutt then ducks his head as Reed smashes him then drops Afi with a press slam while covering him with his foot for the win (3:02).

Thoughts: Reed looked horrendous in the ring. Looks like he is also gearing up for a feud with Santana, who is busy with midcard feuds at the moment.



Gene Okerlund is with the Rougeau Brothers, asking them about the New Dream Team. Jacques runs down Bravo for not doing things the right away and for ditching Brutus Beefcake. Raymond tells us that they have their eyes on him. Lame stuff here from the Rougeaus.

Brutus Beefcake is no shown telling Adrian Adonis that he will do everything in his power to make sure that he is bald then tells the Dream Team he will turn them into a nightmare. They are really putting over Beefcake as a babyface now. Gorilla even prefaced this promo by saying how Beefcake has changed his ways.

Rick Renslow & Dave Wagner vs. Killer Bees

The Bees are wearing the masks here. Blair works over the arm of Renslow to start. Brunzell then slams Wagner on top of his partner as the jobber team take a breather outside as we get a replay. Blair is now beating on Wagner then hits him with the Bee Sting but Renslow breaks up the pin. Brunzell tags in then hits Wagner with a dropkick for the win (2:35).

Thoughts: The Bees get a win to stay in the Tag Team Title hunt. Gorilla referred to them as a “Top 5” tag team as well so they will be in the mix of teams to contend with the Hart Foundation.



Okerlund is with Steve Lombardi, who talks about Paul Roma and warns him that the best thing he can do is to not show up. Lombardi tells Gene he does not need a manager and that Roma lacks the talent to belong in the ring. Okerlund then asks him about Danny Davis as Lombardi said he was unfairly fired from his job and that he has Jimmy Hart behind him so he can succeed in the ring. After a few month layoff they are rekindling the Roma/Lombardi feud. For all I know this interview was shot a few months before this aired.

Replay of Part Two of the “Ken Patera Story.”

King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jim Young

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Race catches Young with a clothesline and follows that with a suplex. He hits a bunch of elbow drops as we get an insert promo from Outback Jack who tells Race he looks more like a queen as Race puts Young away with a cradle suplex (1:28). Johnny V. then tells us that he has an important announcement coming in a few weeks.

Thoughts: A win for Race to keep him looking strong for his house show run against Hogan.



Snake Pit with guest “The Outlaw” Ron Bass. Roberts asks Bass why they call him the Outlaw as Bass tells us that he was not given the name but rather earned the name from every opponent is faced in the ring. Roberts cuts off his tangent to ask him about Blackjack Mulligan and how he is the biggest and baddest man to come out of Texas as that gets Bass pissed off then he runs down Mulligan’s family until the segment ends. Mulligan was already gone from the company by the time this aired.

Highlights from last week’s match on “Superstars of Wrestling” between Jim Duggan and Iron Sheik and Duggan coming out with his head bandaged and bloodied running off Sheik and Volkoff during Volkoff’s match. This really was an excellent show-long angle to get Duggan over.

Johnny V. tells us that he sold the contracts of Demolition to focus on The New Dream Team. With decision making like that he could be the GM of the Cleveland Browns.

Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo & Billy Anderson

Ax beats down Anderson as we get an insert promo from Mr. Fuji, wearing facepaint, telling us that he will make Demolition torture their opponents. Smash tosses Anderson around then Poffo tags but gets tossed around himself. Ax tags and slams Poffo down as he crawls back over to Anderson. Smash destroys Anderson for a bit until Demolition puts him away with the Decapitation (2:42).

Thoughts: Demolition looked so awesome here and the fans appeared to be in awe of them as despite being heels they were not getting booed.

In action next week will be Koko B. Ware, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Honky Tonk Man, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

Final Thoughts: Solid show. Where as “Superstars of Wrestling” put over Duggan strong as a face all show long, this show did a similar thing with Beefcake. Other than that, they kept plugged some other midcard feuds as the action was fine as a whole.

Schedule for next several days:

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/18/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/19/87
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/25/87