Impact Wrestling – March 27, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
March 27, 2015
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
finally back in America after a pretty awesome UK tour and the main
story is Kurt Angle defeating Lashley to win the World Title. As for
tonight, the big story is the return of Jeff Hardy from his annual “I
can’t go to Europe” leave for a showdown inside a cage against
James Storm. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Storm shoving Hardy off the cage a few weeks ago
to put him out of action.
Here
are Storm and Khoya for a chat to get things going. Storm says
tonight is supposed to be about Hardy’s revenge but Hardy isn’t here.
A few weeks back, Storm did exactly what he said he was going to do
when he put out Jeff and then last week he did the same to Matt.
Jeff Hardy is known for diving off cages so Storm just tried to help
him. The fans chant for Hardy so Storm pulls out a watermelon and
says this is Hardy before throwing it over the cage and out to the
floor.
This
brings out Jeff who says Storm did what no one else could do and put
him out for a bit, but Jeff is still standing. He wants to start
now, but here’s Manik to get in a cheap shot and lay Hardy out.
Storm orders Manik to break his arm but Jeff hits a twisting Stunner
to put Manik down. This brings out Abyss to send Jeff into the cage
but Hardy takes the chair away from Abyss and lays him out. Jeff
asks someone to lower the roof of the cage, which happens to be full
of weapons. The match is later tonight.
We
look at Austin Aries getting his Feast or Fired briefcase back,
allowing Spud to win the X-Division Title.
The
BDC says they can’t replace someone (meaning Joe) but MVP says it’s
time for Low Ki to get the X-Division Title back tonight.
Ad
for the Sting DVD set. How long has it been since they had a DVD
release?
Storm
sends Khoya to get rid of Jeff Hardy.
X-Division
Title: Low Ki vs. Rockstar Spud
Rematch
from last week’s “match”. I’m not the biggest Low Ki fan so
hopefully this doesn’t end Spud’s hot streak. It’s a slow start
until Ki takes him down to the mat for a hard kick to the ribs.
Spud’s chops have no effect but some right hands do. That’s the
extent of his offense though as Spud gets dropped again and keeps
shaking his head. A double stomp knocks Spud silly and he has to
beat a ten count back up.
Back
up and Spud snaps off some left hands followed by a dropkick as he
tries to speed things up. He plants Ki with a running DDT and takes
off the bowtie. Cue MVP and King for distractions to break up the
Underdog, but Drew Galloway distracts them, allowing Spud to small
Low Ki for the pin at 5:11.
Rating:
D. Spud got beaten up for most
of the match here before a fluke ending. I’ve never been a fan of
booking that makes the champion look weak and that’s exactly how Spud
came off. He doesn’t have the highest stature in the first place and
this isn’t the best way for him to look stronger. Drew vs. the BDC
isn’t the most interesting feud in the world either.
Post
break the BDC is still in the ring (oh joy) to rant about Galloway
and threaten to send him to the hospital. MVP wants Drew out here
right now and that’s exactly what he gets. Drew admits that he’s
both dumb and crazy because he’s still here after King hit him with a
pipe. He wants to know who will stand up with him tonight and asks
the fans if they’re tired of the BDC.
Drew
says they have a rising going on right now but King turns it into a
Braveheart analogy. Ki wants Low Ki right now and it’s on, with two
guys (the recently released Camacho and indy wrestler Shaun Ricker)
jumping in from the crowd for a three on three brawl. The newly
named Rising clear the ring. Great. ANOTHER faction.
Video
on Kong wanting to take Taryn Terrell’s Knockout Title.
The
BDC is ready to call someone to replace Joe.
Brooke
vs. Awesome Kong
Let
the squashing begin. Brooke fires off kicks to the leg but gets run
over by a standing clothesline. A front slam drops Brooke again
before King stands on her hair. Brooke even tries to fight back from
the mat but her forearms have no effect. Kong shrugs off some
clotheslines but the Awesome Bomb is countered (Kidman!) into a
faceplant. A top rope elbow gets two on Kong but she comes back with
a chokeslam and the Implant Buster for the pin at 4:15.
Rating:
D+.
I’m glad that they’re back to having Brooke just be eye candy instead
of having her do WACKY COMEDY with Robbie E. At least this match
made Kong look dominant instead of having her lose in a triple
threat, even though that’s the calling card of the Knockouts
division.
Kong
hits another Implant Buster and gets a table from under the ring.
Taryn comes in to hammer on
Kong, eventually putting her down with a missile dropkick and low
bridging her to the floor. Kong
shrugs all that off though and powerbombs Terrell through the table.
Video
on Lashley vs. Angle from last week.
Aries
implies he’s cashing in tonight.
Jeff
Hardy is talking about the match tonight when Khoya comes in. Hardy
fights him off and finds a conveniently placed ladder to get in even
more damage. Khoya tries to get up so Jeff breaks bottles over his
face. That’s a bit excessive.
Here’s
Kurt Angle for his championship celebration. He says this is title
#14 (it’s still a huge stretch Kurt) but this one is different. Kurt
talks about having to work this much harder to get here and it’s his
proudest moment thus far. Cue Ethan Carter III (FINALLY) to talk
about how Angle has inspired everyone in the back, even him.
Angle
did the impossible last week when he beat Lashley, but it seems
impossible to go 18 months undefeated and beat every TNA Hall of
Famer (minus D-Von but who cares about him anyway). Angle doesn’t
buy it but here’s Roode to interrupt as well. He wants his rematch
for the title and Angle doesn’t seem opposed to the idea. Angle
deserves this moment but it’s just a moment.
This
brings out Eric Young (of freaking course) to say he took the title
from Bobby Roode because he’s always been better than Bobby. Young
says the title goes through him but Austin Aries comes out carrying
the briefcase. After pointing out that Carter hasn’t won the title,
he opens the briefcase and reveals a bottle of champagne. The
question is who the toast is for. Angle says he’ll fight anyone
anywhere anytime. As he goes to leave, Lashley comes out to say it’s
his rematch time. That’s fine with Angle but a huge brawl breaks out
with all the people in the ring. We’re still not done because Mr.
Anderson comes out to join in.
Austin
Aries/Mr. Anderson/Bobby Roode vs. Ethan Carter III/Eric Young/Tyrus
Joined
in progress after a break with Carter in trouble. Roode catapults
Carter into a forearm from Aries for two before it’s off to Anderson
to stay on the arm. Off to Tyrus vs. Roode with the big man
suplexing Bobby down. Off to Carter to choke on the ropes before
putting on a chinlock. Young can’t get the piledriver as Roode
counters with a backdrop and makes the hot tag to Aries.
Everything
breaks down with Tyrus nailing Aries with a clothesline but Anderson
takes out the big man. Aries forearms Carter to the floor and hits
the suicide dive but Young posts Anderson. Back in and Roode
spinebusters Young down, setting up the 450 but Aries only hits mat.
He also bangs up his knee, allowing Young to slap on a Figure Four
for the submission at 7:26.
Rating:
C-. This match was a good
example of a lot of TNA’s problems in a single match: too many people
involved in a story and stuff happening WAY too fast. Set this up
for next week’s main event instead of just throwing everything
together at once. I like the idea of everyone wanting the belt as
it’s what wrestling is built on, but let things breathe a bit and
build the anticipation.
Here’s
Bram to call Magnus a coward over and over. Magnus has been sending
his old lady out here to fight his battles, but it makes sense as
she’s more of a man than he’ll ever be. A mention of Magnus’ son is
enough to bring Magnus himself out to say this is about to become
more than anyone can handle. Bram promises to make Mickie cry, but
she says they’ll be tears of joy when Bram is beaten all around the
Impact Zone.
That’s
what Bram wanted to hear, because he thinks Mickie will have to go
back to an empty house. Don’t worry though because his door is
always open. It’s on now but a low blow puts Magnus down. Bram
grabs Mickie and tries to make her kiss his boot before just trying
to kiss her instead.
Magnus
gets back up and suplexes him down before beating Bram with that
wrench Bram carries. They go to leave but Mickie has to get in some
shots of her own. This is still an awesome story and the promos are
on fire. It also helps that it’s something relatable. Instead of a
cult leader messing with a psychedelic daredevil, it’s a man
defending his family.
Angle
says he beat Lashley once but beating him again will be tough. He
won’t be intimidated though.
James
Storm vs. Jeff Hardy
Inside
the cage with weapons and Storm blasts him with a trashcan before the
bell. Hardy quickly fights back and sends him into some buckles.
Poetry in Motion with a chair connects once but misses the second
time to give Storm control again. Back with Matthews telling us
which guy is which and recapping the events that set this up in about
ten seconds. I miss basic announcing like that and it’s so
refreshing to hear it again. Storm tells the fans to shut up and
gets taken down by a running clothesline. The Swanton hits knees
though and the Eye of the Storm gets two.
Closing
Time into a Backstabber sets up the Last Call but Storm wants the
cowbell. Hardy takes it away and hits Storm with it, setting up the
Swanton for two. Back up and Storm goes up top so Jeff grabs the top
of the cage for some dropkicks into a hurricanrana for another near
fall. They’re just going spot to spot at this point. Some trashcan
lid shots to the head and a cowbell shot look to set up the Swanton
but Jeff monkey bars across the top into a swinging Vader Bomb (minus
the pumping) for the pin at 14:55.
Rating:
C+. Fun match but there are
some issues here, starting with the weapons. A single moment a few
weeks ago really doesn’t warrant a gimmick cage match in the first
match back for Jeff. Where is this feud supposed to go? That’s one
of TNA’s long running issues: knowing how to end a feud. This is
probably going to continue for weeks after the big match happened
early on. Still though, it was a fun match, assuming you can ignore
the parts that didn’t need to be there.
After
a preview for next week, we get a nice In Memory Of graphic for Perro
Aguayo Jr. WWE didn’t do that.
Overall
Rating:
C. This show was a
great example of one of TNA’s major problems flaring up again: they
don’t know how to calm down and let things breathe. Look at earlier:
we have three stables, a gimmick cage match, a falls count anywhere
match next week, and a World Title match next week. That kind of
stuff should fill up six weeks, not two shows. Let the show take its
time instead of firing off everything at once and see how much better
the builds are. It’s a good show this week with Magnus and Bram as
the highlights, but these shows wear me out more often than not and
that’s more like Raw than anything else.
Results
Rockstar
Spud b. Low Ki – Small package
Awesome
Kong b. Brooke – Implant Buster
Eric
Young/Ethan Carter III/Tyrus vs. Bobby Roode/Austin Aries/Mr.
Anderson – Figure four to Aries
Jeff
Hardy b. James Storm – Swinging splash from the roof of the cage
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 – March 26, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
March 26, 2015
Location:
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance:
17,540
Commentators:
Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the final show before the big one and that means we’re in for a very
different kind of Smackdown. This is likely to be a studio heavy
show with a lot of video packages, but it’s not like Smackdown means
much in the first place. The main event is a big eight man tag with
most of the people in some of the bigger matches. Let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Jimmy
Uso vs. Cesaro vs. Fernando vs. Big E.
One
fall to a finish and no tags. It’s a big brawl to start with Jimmy
hitting the running Umaga attack on Cesaro but Big E. suplexes Jimmy
and Fernando down. Big E. keeps going by throwing them all into the
same corner and driving in shoulders. Fernando is left alone with
Big El and the Warrior Splash gets two. Jimmy comes back in to kick
Big E. in the head and Fernando hits a big dive to take out E. and
Cesaro. That’s not enough for Jimmy as he dives on all three for a
huge crash.
Back
in and Cesaro loads up the apron superplex on Fernando but Jimmy gets
in to help him, only to have Big E. German suplex both guys to put
all four down in something like a Tower of Doom. Cool stuff indeed.
Cesaro and Fernando gets back up with the masked man diving into the
Swing. A Backstabber breaks up the Neutralizer but Jimmy kicks Big
E. down, allowing E. to hit the Big Ending on Cesaro. Jimmy nails
the Superfly Splash on Cesaro for the pin at 4:53. Well that
was….short.
Rating:
C. Total insanity here with
nothing resembling structure. That being said, what else can you ask
for in a match like this? The fourway match on Sunday is going to be
nothing but a big spotfest so why not just have the half sized
version here? That Tower of Doom was cool stuff though and one big
spot is more than enough in a five minute match.
We
go live to Axxess with Byron
Saxton and Renee Young. After talking about all the autographs that
will be signed there, we go to a clip from ESPN on Monday where Brock
Lesnar officially announced that he re-signed with WWE.
Long
video on Reigns vs. Lesnar with Reigns saying he has to rise to the
occasion and beat his biggest test.
Another
video on the Intercontinental Title ladder match but
with a different focus, as it looks back at some classics for the
title at Wrestlemania. Some
of the other ladder matches get a focus as well.
We
look back at AJ and Paige brawling on Monday after the Bellas got
under their skin.
We
get a cool video of Rusev talking about how he’s broken Cena and
how it means he’s broken America. By
contrast, Cena promises to fight back for America and we see him
getting a lot more intense to get the rematch at Wrestlemania, only
to get laid out again on Raw.
Video
on Rollins vs. Orton which focuses on Orton being the future ten
years ago and Rollins being today’s future. Unfortunately
it also talks about Orton infiltrating the Authority and beating
Rollins down. It didn’t make sense then, it didn’t make sense when
he explained it, and it doesn’t make sense now.
Here’s
AJ for the big showdown with Paige. She says we’ve seen her as
everything from the GM to everyone’s girlfriend to the longest
reigning Divas Champion of all time. Paige and AJ both love being
Divas Champion but at Wrestlemania, AJ is going to stand up to the
Bellas and give them what they deserve. The question is whether AJ
will be doing it alone.
Cue
Paige who says AJ can’t just skip past what happened on Raw. It’s
been almost a year since Paige debuted and took the Divas Title from
AJ, which is why AJ doesn’t want her to have it back. AJ says she
gets what she wants and she knows Paige is out of her mind too. At
Wrestlemania, they can’t let the Kardashians win. They shake hands
but here are the Bellas with a rebuttal.
Nikki
calls them the compulsive liar and the backstabber but AJ’s ability
to make everyone believe her doesn’t work on the Bellas. AJ doesn’t
seem to care but Nikki says Brock Lesnar has worked more days in the
last year than AJ has. Nikki has been running the division for a
year and the two girls in the ring are just like every other girl in
the back. “Who doesn’t want to be a Bella?” Paige: “Who wants
to be a D-list celebrity and a failed actress?” Paige says they
like being the freaks and geeks and the girls that beat the Bellas at
Wrestlemania. The Bellas are ready for Sunday. Good promo, but why
isn’t the title on the line?
Video
on HHH’s rise to the top of WWE and how he’s come to dominate the
company. Sting on the other hand is the face of WCW and the one guy
that has never been in WWE, making it a huge dream match. I really
wish they had decided on the story. It seemed like a rehash of WCW
vs. WWE but the interesting story is that HHH and the Authority can’t
use their bullying tactics on Sting because he’s the one guy pure
enough and a big enough legend for it to have no effect. Sting tried
to get away from the WCW thing and even called it ridiculous, but
Stephanie decided that’s what it should be about and she runs this
place right?
The
next recap is on Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt, with Undertaker finally
coming off a loss at Wrestlemania and Bray wanting to replace him as
the new face of fear. This is a really easy story but Bryan can only
say the same thing so many times without Undertaker showing up. That
same problem has plagued this show in multiple matches.
John
Cena/Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns/Mark Henry vs. Seth Rollins/Bray
Wyatt/Big Show/Kane
Time
for the token main event to make it clear that we’re watching a
wrestling show. Isn’t Wyatt as part of the Authority kind of against
what his character stands for? Reigns shoves Rollins around to start
and explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. He adds eight
more clotheslines in the corner and a nice tilt-a-whirl slam for no
cover as Rollins is in early trouble.
Wyatt
comes in but eats a right hand as well and gets Stunned over the top
rope. Reigns brings back the Apron Kick and it’s all good guys so
far. Off to Kane, who I guess is supposed to be more intimidating.
He charges into Reigns’ boot in the corner and a middle rope
clothesline gets two so it’s off to Big Show.
Henry
wants in and gets the tag, giving us the battle of the giants. As
expected, this goes badly for Henry and the heels stomp away on the
fallen strongman. He looks like a fat turtle on the mat. Back to
Kane for more stomping and the tall men take turns chopping Henry
down. A superkick stops Mark’s comeback and we take a break.
Back
with Cena coming in to clean house but Bray does his flying body
block to put him down. The giants take turns on Cena this time as
the dueling chants start up. Wyatt gets in a cheap shot as Rollins
comes in to keep the bad guys in control. John wins a slugout with
Rollins but Seth flips out of the AA and kicks Cena down again. The
backsplash hits but a second attempt misses for Bray.
Rollins
breaks up another tag attempt with a sleeper and jumps on Cena’s back
for good measure. That’s fine with Cena as he drives Rollins into
the corner, only to get caught with a Blockbuster for two. Big Show
comes in (Big Show vs. Cena!) but misses the Vader Bomb, meaning it’s
already back to Rollins. He doesn’t have the same luck this time as
Cena backdrops him to the floor and it’s hot tag to Bryan.
Things
speed way up and Bryan hits the top rope hurricanrana, followed by
the YES Kick. He has to go after the Stooges though and Rollins gets
in a kick of his own. Time for more Big Show but Reigns comes in
with the Superman Punch. Sister Abigail is countered with a spear
and Kane gets one as well. Henry and Reigns splash Show in the
corner and the AA sets up the running knee to pin Big Show at 19:31.
Rating:
D+. This was long, dull and
completely unimportant as the only people in the same Wrestlemania
match were Kane, Big Show and Henry who aren’t even on the main show
anymore. Like I said, this
was total filler and I’m really not a fan of having a match just to
waste time. They did a decent job of making Reigns look good, but
does beating up Kane and Big Show really mean much at this point?
Overall
Rating:
C. Yeah whatever. This
is one of the shows I dread every year because it’s just a big
commercial for Sunday and much more for people who aren’t watching
the last few weeks. The wrestling here was just to remind us that it
was a wrestling show and somehow I wound up liking the Divas stuff
more than anything else, despite the match at Sunday not even being
for the title. Dull show but that’s a tradition for this episode.
Results
Jimmy
Uso b. Cesaro, Big E. and Fernando – Superfly Splash to Cesaro
John
Cena/Daniel Bryan/Mark Henry/Roman Reigns b. Kane/Big Show/Seth
Rollins/Bray Wyatt – Running knee to Big Show
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 – March 25, 2015

NXT
Date:
March 25, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Rich Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
back home in Florida tonight with the main event being Kevin Owens
defending the NXT Title against Finn Balor. This is the lower level
main event that still has the potential to tear the house down if
they’re given enough time, which NXT is usually really good about
doing. In addition to that, we have Sasha Banks defending the
Women’s Title against Alexa Bliss. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of last week’s road trip to Columbus for the first
episode out of Florida.
Opening
sequence.
Women’s
Title: Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss
Sasha
is defending after losing a non-title match via countout last week.
Bliss grabs a quick rollup for two and a crucifix gets the same.
More rollups get more near falls and Sasha is having trouble keeping
up with Sasha early on. Bliss tries to jump over her in the corner
but gets kicked in the ribs to finally slow things down. A running
slap to a seated Bliss gets two and the double knees to the ribs in
the corner get the same. Sasha shouts that Bliss isn’t in her league
but Bliss escapes the straitjacket choke into a small package for
two.
The
champ gets thrown out to the floor for a big crash. Back in and
Bliss lands a slap of her own followed by some forearms before the
Glitz Flip (moonsault into two knees to the chest) gets two more.
The fans are WAY behind Bliss now which really does show both how
good she is as a plucky face and how awesome Sasha is as a heel.
Bliss takes time going up and gets slammed down, setting up the Bank
Statement for the submission at 5:38.
Rating:
C+. I seem to be the last
person to notice it, but Sasha has gotten AWESOME in the last few
months and is looking like the next big star of the Women’s Division.
I believe Sara Del Ray is training the girls down there and it might
be time to bring her up to train the Divas, because I don’t remember
the last time these girls had a bad match. That’s unthinkable for
the main roster Divas.
Kevin
Owens says Finn Balor made his mark by dressing up like a demon.
Owens made his mark by debuting and becoming NXT Champion in two
months. Bring the demon tonight because it won’t matter. No one is
taking this title from him and his family.
Video
on Owens’ short time in NXT and his quick rise to the top.
Emma
comes up to Bayley in the back and says she told Bayley so. Bayley
has been being too nice with the hugs and then she went out and lost
to Becky Lynch. She needs to find her inner aggression because the
NXT Universe will lie to her. Bayley doesn’t but it and stands up to
Emma, so the Aussie slaps her HARD in the face. Emma
as the disenchanted main roster failure is an interesting new
character and a logical progression for her.
Tyler
Breeze doesn’t like being asked what his next move is because it’s a
stupid question. After beating “Hideous” Itami last week, he
wants to get the NXT Title and make it gorgeous. Itami comes up and
says he beat Breeze too, so he wants 2/3 falls next week.
Wrestlemania
card rundown.
Finn
Balor video, showing him taking NXT by storm.
We
look at Alex Riley getting beaten up by Owens last week.
Enzo,
Cass and Carmella are in the back when Murphy and Blake come up to
apologize to her. They bring her jewelry but the guys aren’t
impressed. Carmella wants to know why they never get her jewelry.
NXT
Title: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens
Owens
is defending and Balor isn’t in the demon paint. We’re
ready to go after some Big Match Intros and they have well over
twenty minutes for the match not
counting commercials. Kevin
bails to the floor to start before getting back into the corner.
It’s a trap though as Balor shoves him back but eats a hard shot to
the face. A headlock slows
Balor down a bit and Kevin wants to know where the demon is now.
He’s a Dale Torborg fan? Finn gets up and scores with a nice
dropkick as we take a break.
Back
with Balor holding an armbar before a basement dropkick gets two.
Owens drives him into the
corner but uses the weakened arm to drive a shoulder into the ribs,
only to further damage it. A Stunner over the top rope puts Balor
down and Owens puts his boot
on Finn’s jaw. We hit the
chinlock as this is clearly
going like a long match instead of just running through the motions.
Back up and Owens levels him
with an elbow to the face but is good enough to hold the arm after,
making it easier for Balor to kick out. Off to another chinlock as
we take a second
break.
Back
with Owens driving his boot
into Balor’s ribs before putting on another chinlock with his knee in
the back. This one doesn’t
last as long as Owens throws him to the floor and has an evil look on
his face. The powerbomb onto the apron is countered with a backdrop
and they head back inside with Owens catching him in something
resembling White Noise for two. The backsplash gets the same and we
hit the chinlock again. That’s
getting a bit repetitive which isn’t something you often see in NXT.
Owens
asks if Balor wants to stand back up and whips him hard into the
buckle. A nice overhead
belly to belly (with an even better face from Balor) gets two and
we’re back to the chinlock, earning a big ovation from the crowd.
They’re nothing if not perceptive.
Back from another break with
Finn making his comeback with forearms and a backdrop to put the
champ on the floor. He follows Kevin out with a big flip dive and
the top rope double stomp to the back for two in the ring.
The
Pele drops Kevin again but Finn can’t follow up. The
Sling Blade sets up the reverse Impaler for two more and
Balor is STUNNED. Owens
avoids the running corner dropkick and Finn comes up holding his
knee. The champ goes right after the injury with kicks and chop
blocks before ramming it
into the apron. A
backsplash on the knee sets up a half crab but
Balor crawls over for the rope. Balor
escapes a powerbomb attempt and hits the jumping double stomps to put
both guys down.
Owens
goes up but gets kicked in the head, only to counter Finn’s superplex
attempt into a spinning release
fisherman’s superplex
(freaking SWEET) for two. Kevin
can barely move so Finn kicks him in the head again, only to have the
champ chop block him again. The
Cannonball connects and Finn is almost
out of it.
Owens
wraps the bad leg around the ropes and hits a Cannonball onto the
leg, but his third attempt only hits buckle. Finn
hits a running dropkick (he really shouldn’t be able to do that) and
the Coup de Grace but his knee is too hurt to cover. That’s more
like it. Owens gets up and
hits the pop up powerbomb to retain at 30:37.
Rating:
B+. This took its time getting
going and the first half had too much chinlockery, but once they got
in a grove and had Balor messing up his leg, this was all gravy.
Owens is ready for the main roster and Balor has been ready since
before he set foot in NXT, but I’m
very glad they’re sticking around here and getting to put on awesome
matches like this one. That arena is going to come unglued when
Sami comes back to fight Owens again.
Overall
Rating:
B. Good episode this
week as we wrap up the first half of this cycle and can move on to
the next big batch of matches, perhaps with the next Takeover coming
soon. This was a really fun night though and Balor showed how ready
he is for the main roster. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the
main event at first but they made me care about it. That’s one of
the hardest things to do in wrestling and those two nailed it.
Finally, I continue to love this crowd as they acknowledged the
amount of chinlocks and applauded to let the guys know to mix it up a
bit. How awesome is that?
Results
Sasha
Banks b. Alexa Bliss – Bank Statement
Kevin
Owens b. Finn Balor – Pop up powerbomb
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Impact Wrestling – March 20, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
March 20, 2015
Location:
Wembley Arena, London, England
Attendance:
4,500
Commentators:
Taz, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This
is the last show of the European tour and they have a big main event
to cap things off: Lashley defending the World Title against Kurt
Angle. This is a match they’ve built up very well in the last few
weeks and it feels like a match worthy of closing things out.
There’s also a triple threat Ultimate X match for the Tag Team
Titles, but that’s not important enough to advertise on TV. Let’s
get to it.

Tag
Team Titles: Wolves vs. BroMans vs. Manik/Great Sanada
Ultimate
X, meaning the titles are hung above the ring where they’re suspended
from two ropes in the shape of an X. You have to climb up the
structures at the corners of the ring and crawl along the ropes to
retrieve the titles. The Wolves are defending and it’s DJZ and Jesse
Godderz this time due to Robbie being shaken up by losing to Brooke
last week. The champs get quadruple teamed to start but they easily
fight off the schmucks and lackeys to clean house.
Jesse
gets beaten down by the champs but Angelina offers a distraction to
break up a double dive. That’s fine with the Wolves as they throw
DJZ over the top onto the Revolution. Nice way to get the best of
both worlds, if you consider Angelina the best that is. The
challengers finally get things together and beat Edwards and Richards
down until Jesse holds Richards long enough to nearly allow Manik to
get the belts. Instead he dropkicks Manik down, followed by a double
backbreaker for good measure.
The
BroMans try to get the belts without climbing and actually get their
fingers on them, but the Revolution comes in to turn it into a game
of chicken. That brings the Wolves back in for stereo dropkicks and
all six guys are down. Richards powerbombs Manik into a Backstabber
for a save and DJZ gets shoved into the truss. Jesse gets some mist
to the face but Edwards crotches Sanada. A hurricanrana into the
double stomp from Edwards has Sanada out of it, leaving the Wolves to
take down the belts to retain at 9:23.
Rating:
B-. This felt like a really
good house show match: they didn’t do much besides the big stuff and
the titles were never in any real danger, but it’s entertaining stuff
and the crowd got into it. They weren’t going for some masterpiece
here and it would have been a stretch for the Wolves to have a major
problem dispatching either team. Good stuff here and exactly what it
was supposed to be.
The
announcers preview the main event.
Here’s
Austin Aries with something to say. He hasn’t been around the last
few weeks and it’s because of the Beat Down Clan. They beat him up
and stole his briefcase, so get out here right now and give it back.
Cue Samoa Joe and Low Ki with the briefcase with Low Ki saying
possession is 9/10 of the law, so Aries can’t play his games right
now.
Aries
has two points: Low Ki isn’t Austin Aries because he doesn’t cash in
that briefcase. Second, Low Ki isn’t Austin Aries because that
briefcase doesn’t have his name on it. Aries wants his X-Division
Title back too and is willing to put his briefcase up for a shot at
it. Ki agrees, but only if Aries can get through Joe. Joe nails
Aries and we go to a break.
Samoa
Joe vs. Austin Aries
Joined
in progress after a break with Aries in big trouble. His comeback is
easily broken up as Joe gets in a shot to the shoulder and throws
Aries to the floor. The arm gets sent into the steps before an
overhead belly to belly gets two back inside. We hit the chinlock
followed by a nerve hold as things slow way down. The backsplash
misses though and Aries fires off some left hands in the corner. Joe
is too big for the brainbuster though and he takes Aries down for a
Fujiwara armbar on the bad arm. Aries makes the rope and sends Joe
outside, setting up a big suicide dive, only to have Low Ki nail
Aries for the DQ at 6:55.
Rating:
C. This was just a match to set
up the angle but it still worked well enough. Aries is able to have
a good match with almost anyone in the company and I like that Low Ki
seemed scared to go after the briefcase but trusted in his numbers
advantage to take Aries down. Nice stuff here.
The
BDC goes after Aries but Low Ki nails Joe in the head with the
briefcase (great shot too) to knock him cold. Aries forearms the
briefcase into Ki’s head and leaves with the belt. Cue Rockstar Spud
with his X-Division Feast or Fired case and it’s time for a cash in!
X-Division
Title: Rockstar Spud vs. Low Ki
Underdog
gives Spud the title in seven seconds. Spud deserves something for
all the work he’s done lately.
Magnus
is beating Bram up in the back and throws him onto a cart. They come
into the arena with Bram being knocked down the aisle. Magnus erupts
on him with a chair but referees pulls him off.
Mickie James comes out and kicks Bram in the ribs. That’s
enough of an opening for Magnus to take Bram up to the stage for a
powerbomb to leave Bram laying.
The
roster is looking forward to the main event. MVP
says they’re fighting for his title.
Knockouts
Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim
Terrell
is defending. The early
double teaming of Kong gets her down but she sends Gail into Taryn to
take over. Kong lifts Taryn
up for a slam but Gail dropkicks Terrell in the back. That doesn’t
phase Kong and she drops Taryn on Gail in a cool spot. Taryn
gets clotheslined out of the air but Gail counters the Implant
Buster.
More
double teaming fails and Gail is knocked to the floor. A
middle rope dropkick staggers Kong but she shoves off the Taryn
Cutter. There go the gloves but
she misses the splash, allowing Taryn to hit the second attempt at
the cutter for two. Instead
a dropkick sends Kong to the floor where Gail nails her with a huge
dive. Back in and Gail
sunset bombs Taryn for two but
gets rolled up for the pin to retain Taryn’s title at 6:16.
Rating:
B-. I’d love to see the Divas
get a chance to do something like this. Seeing the Knockouts and NXT
Girls having matches like this one make me wonder why the Divas
aren’t given the chance to pull off something similar. The time
helped here but the whole thing wasn’t even seven minutes long,
meaning it doesn’t even take a long time to put together a classic.
James
Storm flips a coin to determine what happens to Matt Hardy. The
decision is to cause him severe pain.
Video
on Angle vs. Lashley with a theme of surviving changes in life.
Angle
says he’s ready.
James
Storm vs. Matt Hardy
No
DQ. The brawl starts in the aisle again with Matt getting the better
of it and throwing a bunch of chairs into the ring. Storm comes back
by wedging a chair in the corner before they trade trashcan shots to
the head. Matt gets crotched on the top and kicked in the head,
setting up a superplex onto two open chairs for two. Abyss throws in
some tacks but Matt knocks James’ back first onto them, followed by a
top rope elbow for two.
The
Twist of Fate connects but Abyss pulls the referee out at two. The
rest of the Revolution gets involved but are easily dispatched, only
to have Storm send him into the chair in the corner for a close two.
Another Twist of Fate drops Storm but Matt can’t cover. Instead
Abyss hands Storm the bell as Sanada mists Matt. A cowbell to the
back of the head and two Last Calls are good for the pin at 6:48.
Rating:
D+. I wasn’t feeling this one
as it felt like they were cramming way too much stuff into this. I’m
not even sure why the Revolution is going after the Hardys but it’s
better than them having nothing to do and just wasting time while
adding more people to their ranks. This one missed though and it was
due to just not letting the match build and going too hard with it.
James
says he put Jeff out of wrestling and has the Revolution hold Matt.
TNA
World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley
is defending. We get the old school long walks through the back to
the ring to really make this feel like a big deal. After the big
match intros we’re ready to go with nearly twenty five minutes for
this match. The fans are behind Angle but Lashley throws him into
the corner with ease. A big clothesline puts Angle down again as
it’s all champ so far. Kurt goes back to basics with rolling Germans
and sends Lashley to the floor, but the champ takes over again with
pure power.
Back
in and Lashley pounds him down in the corner before starting in on
the arm and shoulder. Kurt fights up and escapes, setting up a
middle rope shoulder to drop Lashley. It’s time to roll some Germans
and Lashley is in trouble. Kurt lets go but snaps off five more
Germans before taking down the straps. The ankle lock is countered
and Lashley nails the powerslam for two as we take a break.
Back
with Lashley going shoulder first into the post and getting caught in
the ankle lock again. Lashley rolls through but charges into a boot,
setting up the Angle Slam for two. Now the spear connects for two
but Lashley takes way too much time going up, allowing Angle to avoid
a splash. This time it’s Kurt going up for a high cross body but
Lashley rolls through into an ankle lock of his own. Kurt grabs the
rope and hits another Angle Slam only to get caught in a cross
armbreaker. That gets turned over into another ankle lock with the
grapevine and Lashley taps at 20:18.
Rating:
B+. It’s really good but it’s
clear that Angle just doesn’t have the same reserves he used to. I’m
ok with the title win as it feels more like one last reign for Angle
instead of making him the long term top guy again. Angle more than
deserves a reign like that and if he puts over a young star (which he
likely will), this is fine. Lashley
looks good in a loss, but the match didn’t hit the levels of epic
they were hoping for. Still though, really good stuff.
Overall
Rating:
A-. Really solid show
this week in TNA’s form of a pay per view. It’s a great way to blow
off the UK tour and it felt like a major show. The big deal next
week is the return of Jeff Hardy, and it’s going to be interesting to
see if they can keep this momentum back in Orlando. History suggests
otherwise, but this has been their best run in years. Really good
show though and it’s nice to see TNA deliver when they were supposed
to.
Results
Wolves
b. BroMans and Manik/Great Sanada – Edwards pulled down the belts
Austin
Aries b. Samoa Joe via DQ when Low Ki interfered
Rockstar
Spud b. Low Ki – Underdog
James
Storm b. Matt Hardy – Twist of Fate
Kurt
Angle b. Bobby Lashley – Ankle lock

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Smackdown – March 19, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
March 19, 2015
Location:
Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators:
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
With
ten days to go before Wrestlemania, it’s time for the hard sell to
the biggest show of the year. Given the recent trends on Smackdown,
this show is going to be built around the Intercontinental Title
match, which has gone from a huge match to everyone trying to one up
each other. Let’s get to it.

We
open with clips from Brock’s sitdown interview on Raw, talking about
how he likes to hurt people and saying he’ll be WWE Champion if he
stays or not. They better have a plan if they keep the belt on him.
Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Roman Reigns to get things going. Before he can get past “Heyman
and Lesnar think they can intimidate me”, Mark Henry comes out to
interrupt. Henry came out here last week to see what Reigns had, and
that’s what Reigns did. Naturally we have a clip of what happened
because just telling us what happened would be too simple. Instead,
let’s show a minute long video of a beating. Based on that, Henry is
putting all his money on Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, because Reigns
can and will beat him.
Cue
the Authority with Kane asking when Mark Henry became the World’s
Biggest Self Help Guru. Rollins holds up the briefcase and ominously
says that anything can happen at Wrestlemania. There won’t be any
Randy Orton tonight because the best security team has locked every
door and blocked every entrance. Of course that’s just for Orton’s
protection, because why would Rollins be scared of him? As for
tonight though, Rollins thinks he needs a Wrestlemania tuneup.
Therefore, tonight it’s Reigns/Henry vs. Kane/Rollins. Kane:
“Believe in the Authority.”
Tatsumi
Fujinami is going into the Hall of Fame. I know he’s a legend, but
they’re not exactly knocking this class out of the park outside of
Savage.
Brie
Bella vs. Paige
AJ
and Nikki are on commentary because we need a five man booth. Paige
spears Brie through the ropes to start and pounds her on the
announcers’ table. AJ: “I taught her how to slap.” Back in and
Brie gets two off a middle rope missile dropkick before we hit the
chinlock forty seconds into the match.
A
clothesline gets two and we’re on the second chinlock less than
ninety seconds in. Back up and a double clothesline puts both girls
down before Brie hits the running knee against the ropes. She lays
back on Paige for the cover and gets rolled up for a pin at 2:28.
The match wasn’t two and a half minutes long and it had two
chinlocks. How can this woman be married to Daniel Bryan and not be
better than that by osmosis?
Recap
of Seth vs. Orton on Monday with Sting making the big save. That
really was an awesome moment and the best thing Sting has done since
debuting.
Noble
and Mercury tell security to keep an entrance open. They aren’t
pleased when they’re not called sir.
Gauntlet
Match
The
participants are all of Barrett’s challengers and we start with
Ambrose vs. Stardust. Dean slugs away to start and Stardust bails
out to the floor. The rebound clothesline connects but Stardust gets
two off a Disaster Kick. A release front suplex drops Dean again and
Barrett is watching from the back. Stardust tries a sunset flip but
Dean drops down on him ala British Bulldog vs. Bret for the pin at
2:18.
Stardust,
ever the nice guy, jumps Dean after the match and sends him shoulder
first into the post twice in a row. R-Truth is in third and beats up
Stardust, only to walk into Dirty Deeds for the pin at 3:02 total.
Harper is in fourth with an inset interview talking about how they
took his freedom away. Now he’s using you to set them all free.
He’s been talking to Bray again hasn’t he?
Back
from a break with Dean hammering away in the battle of undershirts
and jeans. Harper goes after the bad arm to take over and we hit the
chinlock. Notice that it’s one instead of two and we’re over five
minutes in. Dean is sent face first into the buckle and gets locked
in a crossface. Back up and Dean sends him to the floor, setting up
the running standing elbow drop.
The
discus lariat is countered into a rollup for two and it’s back to the
crossface. When all else fails, Dean bites the hand to escape and
slugs away. The running dropkick against the ropes and la majistral
get two for Dean but he eats a superkick, only to knock him into the
ropes for the rebound clothesline to drop both guys. Back up and
Dirty Deeds is countered into the discus lariat and the sitout
powerbomb is enough for the pin at 12:50 total.
Daniel
Bryan is in fifth and starts with Harper after a break. During said
break, Mercury and Noble yelling at security guards. They check
someone’s credentials and let him in for a scene that doesn’t seem to
mean anything. Back in the arena with Bryan wrapping Harper’s knee
around the post a few times before firing off the kicks. He even
gets Harper up for the full surfboard and lifts him up for a YES
chant.
More
YES Kicks have Harper in trouble so he picks Bryan up and throws him
out to the floor. Luke slows things down with a headlock but Bryan
knee crushes his way to freedom. That’s fine with Harper as he just
punches Bryan in the face to put him down. We hit the chinlock for a
bit before Bryan goes right back to the knee. A headscissors takes
Harper to the floor and there’s the Flying Goat for good measure.
Back
in again and we get more YES Kicks but the big one is countered into
the half nelson suplex for two. The discus lariat is kicked away but
the left arm version blasts Bryan for another near fall. Luke is
getting frustrated but Bryan helps him out by tripping the leg and
putting on something like a heel hook for the submission at 25:33
total.
That
only leaves Dolph Ziggler in sixth and we take another break before
the bell. They lock up to start until Bryan takes him into the
corner for more kicks. Ziggler goes a bit more conventional with
right hands to the head but misses a Stinger splash. Bryan busts out
a top rope hurricanrana but Dolph rolls through into a sunset flip
for two. Both try cross bodies and both get knocked to the mat as we
take another break.
Back
again with Bryan working on the shoulder after sending him into the
post while we were away. Daniel gets crotched on top but he counters
a superplex attempt by crotching Ziggler right back. Dolph keeps up
the countering by reversing the belly to back superplex into a cross
body for two more. Bryan responds by kicking him in the face for the
same as the fans (or at least the canned noise) are way into this.
The running knee is blocked by a superkick but he can’t follow up.
The YES Lock goes on in the middle of the ring but Ziggler rolls out,
ducks a big kick and grabs the Zig Zag for the pin at 27:36.
Rating:
B+.
It took some time to get going but the Bryan vs. Ziggler stuff was
awesome. I can see those two building a roof on Levi’s Stadium just
so they could blow it off at Wrestlemania, but instead
they’re just throwing everyone into a ladder match. Really
good and long match here, especially once they stopped with the quick
eliminations.
Post
match Barrett comes in and talks about a code, only to nail Dolph in
the face. Bryan gets up and takes the microphone to the face. Both
guys get Bull Hammers as well.
We
look at Bray’s promo from Monday.
LL
Cool J video. People still care about him right?
The
Divas give their predictions on AJ/Paige vs. the Bellas. As
expected, the decision is split. This is giving them a chance I
suppose?
Recap
of the Cena/Rusev contract signing from Monday.
Another
bit with the security.
Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd/Natalya vs. El Torito/Los Matadores
Interspecies
match. Well of course it is. Cesaro runs Diego over for two to
start but a dropkick sends him into the corner. Off to Natalya vs.
Torito for some pelvic thrusting, meaning Kidd tags himself in to
face Fernando. Kidd takes it outside and trips Fernando up to send
him face first into the apron. Back in and the hot tag brings in
Diego with a springboard shot to the head as everything breaks down.
Los Matadores dive onto the champs, leaving us with Natalya vs.
Torito for the featured part of the match. Torito armdrags her down
but gets caught in a sitout powerbomb for the pin at 3:49.
Rating:
D. We’re ten days from
Wrestlemania and this is what we’re seeing from the Tag Team
Champions. I mean……dang man. The best we can get is an unfunny
idea of woman vs. bull, because there are still people out there that
think it’s really a bull? Who could speak English? This
kind of stuff is absurd and makes me hate this show more and more
every time.
Seth
Rollins/Kane vs. Roman Reigns/Mark Henry
And
there’s no Henry as we cut
to the back and see him out cold. Rollins
brings out a bunch of security to have his back. Maybe they’re Noble
and Mercury’s students. Kane
starts for his team and Mercury offers a trip, allowing the Big Bald
to score with a boot to the face. Off
to Rollins as the fans chant for Randy. Not the #1 contender and
future main eventer mind you, but a guy not here.
Seth
whips Reigns into a side slam for two and the bad looking running DDT
gets the same. Rollins
comes back in for some slow shots to the back and something like a
downward spiral into the middle buckle. We’re just waiting for Orton
at this point and it’s showing badly. Roman
fights back with a forearm to Kane, followed by the tilt-a-whirl slam
to Rollins. The Authority regroups but Rollins dives into a Superman
Punch and the spear ends Kane at 5:07.
Rating:
D. This match summed up the
major problem with Roman Reigns: he could have been any given upper
level guy and the match would have been the exact same thing. This
was five minutes of waiting around for Orton to come out because
that’s the story we’re seeing. Can you imagine that happening to
Steve Austin or Daniel Bryan? No, because those guys commanded the
audience’s attention whenever they were on screen. Reigns is just
another guy here and it’s very clear that he isn’t someone the fans
are ready to cheer as the new top
man.
Rollins
throws a fit and here’s Orton (in wrestling gear for no logical
reason) to beat up the security.
Noble and Mercury take RKOs, allowing Rollins to escape to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. That
Reigns match really told you everything you needed to know about this
Wrestlemania season. The
main feuds have little heat and the whole show is built around
Undertaker, Sting and Lesnar barely appearing or not saying anything.
Combine that with the fans just not being interested in Reigns at
the moment (and again, a lot of that isn’t on him) and this is coming
off as a pretty weak year.
As
for the show, the Intercontinental Title match made for a good
performance but that’s not what we’re getting at Wrestlemania. The
Divas did their usual stuff, the comedy wasn’t funny, and the main
event was your standard scene with someone AMAZINGLY making it past
security to get into the building. This felt like any given Thursday
in June, not the next to last Smackdown before Wrestlemania.
Results
Paige
b. Brie Bella – Rollup
Dolph
Ziggler won a gauntlet match last eliminating Daniel Bryan
Natalya/Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd b. El Torito/Los Matadores – Powerbomb to Torito
Roman
Reigns/Mark Henry b. Kane/Seth Rollins – Spear to Kane
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http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

NXT – March 18, 2015

NXT
Date:
March 18, 2015
Location:
LC Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators:
Jason Albert, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
This
is a very interesting show as we have matches from outside the NXT
Arena for the first time. A few weeks back, NXT held some shows in
Columbus, Ohio as part of the Arnold Sports Festival and the matches
were recorded for TV. Other than that we also have Owens vs. Riley
in a showdown over Owens being a bully. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video talks about being in Columbus and previews the major
events tonight.
Opening
video.
The
arena looks similar but there are a lot more seats opposite the
Titantron. The wrestlers have to come down some steps off to the
side instead of a ramp as well. Finally the cameras are facing the
Titantron instead of having it on the right.
Kalisto
vs. Tyler Breeze
Breeze
main events one week and jerks the curtain the next? Kalisto takes
him to the mat but Breeze bails to the ropes like a heel should.
Fans: “WATCH THE FACE!” It’s a really good sign if the fans are
just as hot on the road. They trade leapfrogs until Kalisto does his
hand want into a headscissors, followed by a big flipping wrist drag.
He tries to fly a bit too much though and gets dropkicked out of the
air for a delayed two.
Breeze
rips at the mask and puts on a chinlock as we take a break. Back
with Kalisto fighting back but not being able to hit the Salida Del
Sol. Instead he dives into the Supermodel Kick for two and Breeze is
getting frustrated. Kalisto knocks him down again and nails a 450
but Breeze is right next to the ropes. Salida Del Sol is countered
again and the Beauty Shot is good for the pin at 10:07.
Rating:
C+. Breeze has been on a roll
lately and I’m digging his matches more and more every time. I
wouldn’t mind seeing him move up a bit higher on the card, but I
don’t see him fighting Owens or anything like that. Kalisto is great
as a high flier and could be something special if he’s put on the
main roster.
We
recap Owens vs. Riley, which is entirely built around Owens being a
bully and Riley wanting to stand up to him. Riley has come out of
retirement to fight Owens and proved himself against CJ Parker last
week.
Hometown
girl Alexa Bliss promises to show Sasha Banks what she’s made of.
Video
on the WWE Experience at the Arnold Sports Festival as well as their
visit to a children’s hospital and HHH being inducted into the
International Sports Hall of Fame. Also includes are clips of Hogan
and Flair appearing. Hulk Hogan showed up and thought being NXT
Champion sounded good.
Finn
Balor tells Alex Riley he’ll be watching tonight. Riley is ready for
Owens but Balor tells him not to take Owens lightly. We haven’t seen
Zayn or Neville since Owens hut them and Riley could be next.
Video
of HHH talking about what it means to expand and the potential of NXT
as a touring brand.
Colin
Cassady vs. Wesley Blake
Carmella
is with Enzo and Cass and is booed out of the building. Cass says
they’re at Arnold Sports Festival where people like to pump weights,
but Cass and Enzo like to pump fists. “As for the Australian guy,
why don’t you didgeridoo yourself a favor a skedaddle?” Cass sends
him into the corner to start and the fans declare Blake SAWFT.
Wesley runs the ropes but charges into a knee to the ribs as the fans
want Blue Pants. I can’t say I blame them.
A
springboard spinning forearm gets two for Blake and we hit the
chinlock. Colin fights up and stomps away in the corner, setting up
a side slam. Murphy gets up on the apron and Carmella gets up to
yell at him, only to have Cass boot him down. Carmella goes down at
the same time though, allowing Blake to roll Cass up and grab the
trunks for the pin at 3:55.
Rating:
D+. This was nothing special
but it advanced the stories. If nothing else it might be a step
towards getting Carmella away from the guys, which would be better
for everyone involved. There’s potential in Carmella, but not as a
face and not with Enzo and Cass. Thankfully this isn’t WWE where
they would just take her off TV and blame her for what happened.
Video
on bodybuilder Dana Brooke who has signed with NXT.
Alexa
Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
Non-title.
Sasha is nailing the
charisma at this point and is ready to be on the main show. Sasha
goes after the nose, which she broke to put Bliss on the shelf for
months. The double knees out of the corner gets two and we hit the
chinlock. Alexa fights up
and moonsaults into a double knee of her own before the Booker T.
spinning sunset flip out of the corner gets two. Sasha bails to the
floor so Alexa dives out onto her, only to be sent into the apron.
Bliss quickly posts her
though and wins by countout at 3:18.
Rating:
C-. Bliss has gotten a lot
better in a hurry and seems to be the next project of the division.
I still think Bayley is the one to take the title off of Banks (if
nothing else because I want to see the fans lose their collective
minds) but Bliss is a good choice for a lower level challenger for
now. Also, points for not jobbing her in her hometown or having the
champ get pinned.
Kevin
Owens is ready for Riley but is looking forward to facing Balor as
well.
Alexa
is happy with her win but Sasha comes in to say that wasn’t a pin.
Regal pops up and makes the title match for next week.
Alex
Riley vs. Kevin Owens
Non-title.
The fans chant for Owens to
start as they shove each other around. The
champ knocks him down and hammers Riley in the back and the fans call
Owens Mr. Wrestling. Riley nails a dropkick but gets sent hard into
the corner. There’s the
Cannonball for two before Owens puts on the chinlock. Riley
gets up though and blasts Owens with a right hand, sending him out to
the apron.
Another
right hand puts him on the floor but Owens is ticked off. Back in
and Owens misses another Cannonball, setting up a spinebuster for
two. Riley hits the ropes
on a missed crossbody, setting up three straight backsplashes.
Instead of covering though, Owens sends him back out to the floor.
Back in again and the pop up powerbomb gives Kevin the pin at 6:00.
Rating:
C+. This was exactly what it
should have been with Owens getting rocked a few times but never
being in any serious danger. Riley got to try but gets beaten up in
the end and Owens gets to look like a killer all over again. Good
stuff here and nothing great, which was pretty much exactly the idea.
Owens
goes after Riley post match but Finn Balor comes out to stare him
down. Kevin reaches for Riley again but Balor dives off the stage
(nothing that great as it’s not a high stage) take him down. They
head inside but Owens bails before Balor can hit the top rope double
stomp. The champ bails but makes sure to get in a cheap shot on
Riley because he’s a great villain.
Overall
Rating:
C+. This wasn’t a
spectacular episode, but it was a very successful experiment. The
crowd was great on their first trip outside of Florida and that’s the
best news NXT could have. As for the actual content, this was little
more than a preview for next week, but it still worked well enough.
Balor vs. Owens could be a lot of fun if they let them beat on each
other for fifteen minutes. Good show here and hopefully the first of
many road trips.
Results
Tyler
Breeze b. Kalisto – Beauty Shot
Buddy
Murphy b. Wesley Blake – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Alexa
Bliss b. Sasha Banks via countout
Kevin
Owens b. Alex Riley – Pop up powerbomb
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 – March 13, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
March 13, 2015
Location:
Wembley Arena, London, England
Attendance:
4,500
Commentators:
Taz, Josh Matthews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Tonight’s
show is about violence between rivals. There are three showdowns
tonight and blood is a real possibility in all three. We have Bobby
Roode vs. Eric Young in a last man standing match, Magnus vs. Bram
and Ethan Carter III vs. Rockstar Spud in an old fashioned hair vs.
hair match. Let’s get to it.

Eric
Young vs. Bobby Roode
Last
man standing. It’s a big brawl to start with Roode getting the
better of it and knocking Young out to the floor for three. The fans
want tables but stop to tell Young that he sold out. He also sucks
but they don’t tell him that for some reason. Young punches Bobby in
the mouth a few times, only to be backdropped on the aisle. Roode
charges up the ramp for a clothesline and the announcers keep
mentioning Roode turning his back on Young. It’s table time
(hopefully it shuts them up for a bit) but we take a break before
anyone goes through it.
Back
with Young putting Roode down with a running neckbreaker and dropping
knees to the chest. Another neckbreaker on the floor gets seven so
Young whips Bobby into the steps to put him down again. Roode
backdrops out of a piledriver on the steps and uses a cameraman to
get to his feet. Both guys get chairs and it’s time for a duel,
followed by a double clothesline to put them both on the floor.
They
make it up and back in at nine with Roode getting all fired up first.
Right hands don’t get Roode very far though as Young catches him
with a piledriver for another nine. Some chairs to the ribs have
Roode reeling but Young picks him up, only to get piledriven onto the
chair. That’s still not enough so Roode loads up the Roode Bomb,
only to have Young escape and both guys head to the apron. A Roode
Bomb through the table is enough to put Young away at 19:38.
Rating:
B. It was violent, it was
intense, and I have no idea why they’re fighting. I thought about it
for a bit and remembered it, only to realize I don’t care at this
point. TNA knows how to set up a first brawl, but it takes them
forever to get to the blowoff and by that point, the interest isn’t
there anymore. Good brawl, but this really needs to end things
between them.
JB
tries to talk Spud out of the match tonight but Spud is going through
with it because someone has to stand up to Carter. In Spud’s world,
the good guys win.
Here’s
Drew Galloway for a chat. He gets in the ring but decides that he
feels better out in the fans where he belongs. Drew came here to
give wrestling back to the fans, which means getting it away from
people like MVP. MVP thinks he can come here and take over the
company but that’s going to happen.
What
is going to happen tonight is a match between MVP and Galloway, so
here’s the BDC. MVP says he is god as far as Drew is concerned
because he holds Drew’s life in his hands. Drew doesn’t get what
he’s done but tonight he’s been chosen again. The fans don’t care
for MVP but he asks the BDC to head to the back to make this one on
one.
Drew
Galloway vs. MVP
It’s
a brawl to start with MVP getting the better of it and hammering away
with right hands to the head. Drew gets choked on the ropes as we
continue to see MVP’s offensive shortcomings. Both guys miss boots
but Drew comes back with Future Shock, only to have the BDC run in
for the DQ at 3:09.
Rating:
C-. Better match for Drew this
week but he still didn’t get to look very good. He certainly has a
presence though and the standing up for wrestling idea is a good
move. I’m not wild on the BDC though and MVP as the leader is only
going to get them so far. Not bad here but it was barely rateable.
The
beating is on post match and Joe hands Low Ki a pipe. Ki
blasts him right in the forehead with it and the announcers barely
react. Galloway is busted open.
Magnus
tells Mickie James that he’s ready. He wants her to stay away from
Bram though.
We
recap Spud vs. Carter. They used to be friends but Carter blamed
Spud for all of his problems and beat Spud up. This led to Spud
growing a backbone and fighting against Carter. Both guys have tried
to shave the other’s head tonight.
Recap
of Bram vs. Magnus, which is a personal feud with Bram not liking the
family man Magnus has become. This is the best thing Magnus has done
yet, including his World Title win.
Bram
vs. Magnus
It’s
another brawl in the aisle to start with Bram taking over by sending
Bram into the barricade. They get inside for the opening bell but
Magnus clotheslines him right back to the floor. Bram is whipped
hard into the steps but Magnus misses a charge, allowing Bram to send
him into the post. A neckbreaker stays on the banged up neck and an
Edge-O-Matic gets two. Magnus scores with a dropkick to put both
guys down but here’s Mickie to ringside. Back up and Magnus hammers
away with dropkicks and clotheslines, followed by the top rope elbow.
Not that it matters as Bram kicks him low for the DQ at 5:23.
Rating:
C. This felt like a preview for
a bigger match down the road. Bram and Magnus have both gotten a lot
better throughout this feud and they both have more places to go
after this. Mickie didn’t really mean anything here but I don’t see
her as being around long term anyway. Bram going after the neck made
sense and it’s good to see that he can wrestle a regular match
instead of just brawling.
Post
match Bram finds the cue ball he used to hurt Magnus in the first
place. He ties Magnus to the ropes but Mickie covers Magnus up.
Thankfully Mickie remembers that she’s one of the best female
wrestlers of all time and nails Bram but he grabs her by the neck.
Bram tells Magnus to kiss his boot if Magnus wants him to let her go.
She tells him don’t do it but Magnus kisses the boot anyway.
Brooke
is walking through the back for her match with Robbie E. Nothing to
this other than her walking, but this is an old Russo bit that I
can’t stand. Big
emotional moment in a well done segment…..and
oh well it’s been ten
seconds. Here’s a hot chick with a big grin on her face walking
through the back for her comedy match. At least let the commercial
break go through so we can let it sink in a bit more.
The
BDC says that’s just the beginning for Drew.
Robbie
E. vs. Brooke
DJZ
gives Robbie a full boxing style entrance and Robbie comes out with
Jesse and Angelina like he’s ready for a big fight. Robbie has a
stool in the corner and shadowboxes to start. Brooke chases him into
the corner so Robbie sits on the stool. Back up and Robbie shoves
her down and cartwheels onto the stool again.
Brooke
almost wins a test of strength and they run the ropes until she
hammers away with forearms. Now she sits on the stool but gets
distracted by Angelina, allowing Robbie to sit on the stool again.
Robbie scores with a suplex but misses a middle rope splash. Brooke
goes after Angelina though, only to duck Jesse’s dropkick and roll
Robbie up for the pin at 4:27.
Rating:
D+. If the worst thing I have
to do is look at Brooke in her outfits, I have little issue with this
show. This was a decent comedy match and there’s nothing wrong with
Brooke pinning a schnook like Robbie. Good stuff, but it felt way
out of place on a show built around violence like this.
Video
on Angle returning to the ring for one last run at the title.
Video
on Lashley’s training.
Rockstar
Spud vs. Ethan Carter III
Hair
vs. hair. Spud hammers in the corner to start and they head outside
with Spud nailing a running dropkick up against the barricade. Back
in and Carter just levels him with a clothesline to take over and we
take a break. We come back with Carter crotching himself on the
middle rope and getting dropkicked to the floor again. Spud nails
him with a big flip dive off the top and both guys are down.
Cue
Tyrus to powerbomb Spud on the floor but he somehow kicks out at two.
Anderson comes out to hammer on Tyrus and Mic Checks him in the
aisle. Carter makes the save and nails Spud in the head with the
metal brace to bust him open. Back in and Ethan goes right after the
cut to really bust Spud open, causing the blood to pour over Carter’s
chest. Carter throws him out to JB’s feet so JB hits Carter low,
allowing Spud to hit a Stunner for two.
We
get the WWE black and white editing to prevent us from seeing blood,
because if you turn blood black and white, no one knows what it is.
Carter rams him face first into the mat but Spud Hulks Up and pounds
Ethan down, setting up a running enziguri. A regular enziguri has
Carter down again but the Underdog is countered, setting up another
brace shot to the face for two. There is blood EVERYWHERE and Spud
is a mess. The 1%er finally ends Spud at 16:48.
Rating:
B. Great blade job by Spud here
and the fans got into the comeback which is all that mattered. I
don’t think people thought Spud was going to win here, but they did a
great job of making you forget that Spud had next to no chance, and
that’s all it needed to be. Good stuff here and they nailed the
whole thing as well as they could.
Carter
praises Spud post match and says maybe Spud could be a World Champion
some day. He isn’t going to shave Spud’s head after that performance
because Spud proved he was a
man. Carter offers a
handshake and holds the ropes open for Spud, but of course it’s a
ruse and the beating is on. Carter: “NOT!!!!!” Spud
gets tied in the Tree of Woe and we get the upside down haircut.
Carter says this world is
his to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
A-. That was the best
show TNA has put on in years. All of the brawls felt violent and
intense and I can live with a five minute comedy match to fill in the
time. That being said, TNA needs to find somewhere else to go after
next week because MVP as the top heel is only going to carry them so
far. The midcard is awesome right now, but they need to transition
at least some of those guys up to the top of the company instead of
getting into their old habits of letting the same guys do their same
stuff over and over again. Still though, great show this week and
worth checking out.
Results
Bobby
Roode b. Eric Young – Roode Bomb through a table
Drew
Galloway b. MVP via DQ when the BDC interfered
Magnus
b. Bram via DQ when Bram kicked him low
Brooke
b. Robbie E. – Rollup
Ethan
Carter III b. Rockstar Spud – 1%er

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Smackdown – March 12, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
March 12, 2015
Location:
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators:
Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It
should be interesting to see if this week’s show continues
Smackdown’s recent focus on the Intercontinental Title. After all
the weeks of World Title build on Raw, it’s nice to have something a
bit different on the other show, if nothing else just to avoid the
fatigue of seeing the same things over and over again. Let’s get to
it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Daniel Bryan to get things going. He thanks the fans for their
kindness and says he’s been trying to ignore that Wrestlemania sign
since Fast Lane. It’s become clear to him that he can’t repeat what
happened last year at Wrestlemania, but when one door closes, another
door opens.
A
few weeks ago, he was surrounded by people fighting for the
Intercontinental Championship and it got him thinking about his
heroes. People like Mr. Perfect, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Shawn
Michaels and Randy Savage. When they were fighting for the
Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania, it was more exciting than
anything happening in the World Title division. Wrestlemania VIII
would disagree with you Bryan.
He’s
officially in the ladder match this year though and the fans are very
pleased. This brings out Bad News Barrett who reminds us that he’s
still the champion and will still be after Wrestlemania. Dolph
Ziggler comes out to disagree but he does say Bryan is his hero.
Barrett may be the champion but he can’t even hang onto the belt.
How could he possibly do that with six other guys throwing him off
ladders at Wrestlemania?
Cue
Harper to say he wants his Wrestlemania moment. That sounds so wrong
coming from someone like Harper. He should be more like old school
Cactus Jack who just does stuff for the sake of violence. Dean
Ambrose comes out to a very loud reaction to say every one of them
should be locked up if they think they can fight without inviting
him. He even knows a good place they can be held for observation if
need be.
Now
it’s Stardust who grabs a mic and looks under the ring for the white
stallion of the Milky Way. He wants the ivory enterprise, but
instead gets R-Truth with the burlap sack. Truth pulls out the belt
and calls it a beaut. He thinks the title has been passed around
enough so he’s going to hold it until Wrestlemania when he climbs
that ladder. Barrett cuts him off but Truth calls him sizzle chest.
A brawl finally breaks out and it’s Ziggler, Ambrose and Bryan left
standing.
Usos/New
Day vs. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro/Los Matadores
Big
E. is on the floor this time and Los Matadores confirm their heel
turn in an inset interview where they say they’ll do whatever it
takes to have their Wrestlemania moment. Not win the titles mind you
but have their moment. Kofi and Diego get things going with the
masked man stomping away in the corner. Kingston dropkicks him down
for two and it’s quickly off to Woods. The intelligence doesn’t seem
warmed up yet as Diego drags him into the corner for the tag to
Fernando.
Jimmy
tags himself in, much to Woods’ annoyance. Hey dude get over it.
You kind of suck in the ring. Diego offers a distraction to break up
the Whisper in the Wind and Jimmy gets crotched on the top. We take
a break and come back with with Diego jumping on Jimmy’s back on the
ropes and putting on a chinlock. Jerry: “What do you call a
matador with a rubber toe? Roberto!” Jimmy fights up and makes
the hot tag to Jimmy, leaving Cesaro to yell at Los Matadores.
Jey
starts cleaning house but Kofi tags himself in for a springboard
cross body for two on Kidd. Some heel miscommunication sends them to
the floor and the good guys bust out dives, only to have Woods land
on Jey. Again, he’s not that bright. Cesaro uppercuts Kofi through
the ropes and Kidd loads up the fisherman’s neckbreaker, only to have
Fernando tag himself in. Diego sneaks in with a Backstabber for the
pin on Kofi at 8:40.
Rating:
C+. This did its job and that’s
almost all you can ask for out of a match like this. I’m
assuming it’s another multi-team match at Wrestlemania, just like
last year, but I’m not sure this one is going to be as good. It also
says something that the Usos and Los Matadores are still in the
match, just like Cesaro but with a different partner. You would
think something would have changed by now. Still
though, good way to set things up here.
Video
on Sting vs. HHH.
Recap
of Rusev vs. Cena from Monday.
Miz
lists off his career accomplishments and says winning the battle
royal will be the latest entry on that list. Mizdow is worried that
Miz can’t beat Ryback tonight so Miz tells him to stay in the back,
press his pants and get him a drink that is way too complicated to
type.
Miz
vs. Ryback
Ryback
will have none of the sunglasses being taken off so he puts Miz on
the top rope. A delayed suplex brings Miz right back down but he
hammers Ryback into the ropes to take over. The fans want Mizdow as
Ryback blocks a running boot and plants Miz with a spinebuster. The
Meat Hook and Shell Shock are good for the pin at 2:59. Ryback’s
push continues to look strong.
Mizdow
chuckles in the back.
Here’s
Roman Reigns to respond to Paul Heyman’s comments from Raw. We get a
quick clip of Heyman talking about Lesnar destroying Rock, Undertaker
and Cena and promising Brock will do the same thing and worse to
Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. Reigns says Heyman thinks he knows his
family but he’s just disrespecting them. Heyman thinks Reigns is
three generations removed from cannibalism? Who thinks that? Reigns
won’t take someone disrespecting his family and telling him he can’t
when he can. He’ll win at Wrestlemania and do his family proud.
This
brings out a slightly thinner Mark Henry, who thinks Reigns is either
trying to be funny or he’s been hit in the head by one too many
coconuts. He doesn’t like anyone talking about his heritage but
Reigns needs to understand that Heyman has gotten under his skin.
Mark knows who he is, and he’s been in the ring with Lesnar. Brock
nearly killed him with the F5 on the floor and Mark doesn’t think
Roman is ready for that.
Roman
says with all due respect but Mark cuts him off and says Reigns has
to earn respect around here. That’s enough for Roman as he goes to
walk away but Mark spins him around and yells at Reigns for being a
young buck that thinks he knows it all. That earns him a Superman
Punch and a spear through the barricade.
Reigns
is tired of hearing he can’t, because he can and he will. Believe
that. The family heritage idea is better than nothing but it’s still
not much of a connection to a guy like Reigns. However, being tired
of being told he can’t do something and proving people wrong IS
something people can connect to and the idea they probably should
have gone for months ago.
We
look back at Bray Wyatt’s speech from Monday and Undertaker lighting
the chair on fire to accept the challenge.
AJ
Lee/Paige vs. Summer Rae/Cameron
Paige
is so excited for this match that she took off the white shirt under
her jacket between the walk through the back and the entrances. The
Bellas are on commentary as you would probably expect. Paige kicks
Cameron in the ribs to start and it’s off to AJ in about five
seconds. AJ goes after Summer on the apron and gets nailed from
behind by Cameron.
With
two weeks before Wrestlemania, the Bellas are bragging about the
ratings for Total Divas. Summer puts AJ in a chinlock as they
FINALLY start talking about the upcoming tag match. Paige gets the
tag and cleans house with her set of clotheslines, setting up the PTO
for the tap out from Summer at 2:25.
Paige
and AJ yell at the Bellas post match. My guess is they’re saying
“TALK ABOUT WRESTLING! YOU’RE WRESTLERS!”
We
look back at Reigns and Henry in case we have the attention span of a
goldfish.
Henry
says Reigns has made a believer out of him. He doesn’t think Reigns
will beat Lesnar, but now he believes Reigns can. It’s a shame this
wasn’t Sexual Chocolate as the old Henry would have certainly hit on
Renee in her stomach revealing top here. Very fetching indeed.
We
look at a Cricket Wireless event with Dolph Ziggler. He’s bringing
some kids to Smackdown to be ringside.
Low
and behold, the kids are here.
This
week’s sitdown interview is with Randy Orton. He looks at the
footage of Rollins curb stomping him a few months back and says that
night changed him. We see him returning at Fast Lane but that wasn’t
the best way to get his revenge. Instead he wove his way back into
the Authority to gain their trust. This is really, really not making
this horrible story make more sense.
He
used Reigns to get closer to Rollins and this past Monday was reverse
psychology. Apparently in WWE, reverse psychology is code for REALLY
STUPID STORY. Orton explained getting rid of everyone else in the
Authority, even though he had almost nothing to do with getting rid
of Big Show or Mercury. Basically all he did was punch Noble.
Then
he walked away from the tag and had fun beating Rollins up. Orton
loved every single bit of hurting Rollins this past Monday and he let
all of it out. He’s ready for the Authority’s retribution and is
ready to challenge Rollins for Wrestlemania. Good for you Randy.
You had a stupid plan in a stupid story that makes no sense when you
actually think about it, but good for you.
Daniel
Bryan/Dolph Ziggler/Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper/Bad News
Barrett/Stardust
Unfortunately
no Truth on commentary here. Ambrose headlocks Barrett to start and
runs him over with a running forearm. Off to Stardust vs. Ziggler
with the painted one taking over in the corner. Cole talks about
Stardust being like Gollum with the Intercontinental Title. To mix
things up a bit, Saxton thinks Stardust is acting like Kim
Kardashian. I’m going to move on to Bryan putting Stardust in the
surfboard instead as it’s less painful than talking about that
disturbing, hideous, nightmare inducing creature. It’s easier than
talking about Gollum too.
Stardust
gets out and hammers on Bryan in the corner but gets taken down by a
hurricanrana. The threat of a running knee sends Stardust running to
the floor and we take a break. Back with Harper Gator Rolling Bryan
before it’s off to Barrett for some forearms to the in the corner.
Bryan finally kicks Harper away and the hot tag brings in Ambrose to
clean house. An atomic drop into a faceplant gets two on Stardust
and everything breaks down.
Ambrose
cleans house and dives onto Harper and Stardust for a big crash.
Barrett breaks up Dirty Deeds on Stardust and Harper kicks Dean in
the face as we take another break. Back again with Barrett kicking
Dean in the face for two. That seems so familiar. Bad News’
chinlock doesn’t go anywhere and Stardust’s top rope superplex does
just as poorly. Instead Ambrose nails a top rope dropkick and makes
the tag to Ziggler.
Harper
comes in as well and eats a dropkick followed by the Fameasser for
two. Everything breaks down again and the good guys load up a triple
dive but Harper nails Ziggler to break up a third of it. The Batista
Bomb gets two on Dolph but he comes back with a Zig Zag, followed by
the running knee to give Bryan the pin at 17:38.
Rating:
B. Nice long tag match here to
close out the show. When a show is built around talking like this
one was, you almost have to give them something like this to affirm
that it’s really a wrestling show. Above
all though, Barrett didn’t get pinned! That’s one whole show in a
row and possibly a new record for him.
Cole
congratulates Bryan on the win but Ziggler jokes that Bryan stole the
pin from him. Last year
Bryan had luck on his side but this year Ziggler is going to be out
there with him. Dean chimes in and says Dolph stole the show, just
like everyone has been stealing the title lately. Maybe
Dolph thinks he isn’t quite as good as Bryan and it bothers him.
Dean
says the people in the locker room know the truth about Bryan: he’s,
shall we say, human waste.
Ambrose goes to leave and
Ziggler agrees with him, leaving Bryan in the ring alone. I
really, really hope they don’t turn Bryan heel but it seems to be the
only thing left for him to do at this point.
Overall
Rating:
C. We’re
definitely in the last push to Wrestlemania, which means expect
several shows like this in a row: mostly talk and hype with a token
long match for most of the wrestling content. Reigns sounded fine
and it’s good that they’re FINALLY giving him a reason to want to
fight Brock.
On
the other hand, Orton sounded like a crazy man trying to explain a
stupid story. Either bring
him back as a full on psycho or bring him back as part of the
Authority without the Fast Lane attack. What they went with makes it
seem like they were just hoping people weren’t paying attention,
though given how this build has been going, they might be onto
something.
Results
Los
Matadores/Cesaro/Tyson Kidd b. New Day/Usos – Backstabber to
Kingston
Ryback
b. Miz – Shell Shock
AJ
Lee/Paige b. Summer Rae/Cameron – PTO to Summer
Dean
Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler/Daniel Bryan b. Luke Harper/Stardust/Bad News
Barrett – Running knee to Harper
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 – March 11, 2015

NXT
Date:
March 11, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Jason Albert
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Things
are starting to pick up again in NXT as commentator Alex Riley is
coming after NXT Champion Kevin Owens for bullying him on commentary
recently. First up for Riley is CJ Parker, as Alex has to earn a
shot at the champ. Other than that we’re waiting on the return of
Sami Zayn and the Finn Balor showdown with Owens for the title. In
other words, no one likes Owens except the audience. Let’s get to
it.

Opening
sequence.
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady vs. Lucha Dragons
No
Carmella this week. Enzo thinks the Dragons are more like the Geico
Lizards. Cass: “Either save us 15% or more or get out of our way!”
When I grow up, I want to be Enzo’s beard. Enzo and Kalisto get
things going as the fans duel between “GEICO LIZARDS!” and
“FIFTEEN PERCENT!” Kalisto grabs an armbar to take Enzo down and
it’s quickly off to Cara, who slams his partner into a senton on
Amore for two. The tag brings in Big Cass who shows Cara how to
throw your partner around.
Enzo
comes back in but gets kicked away, allowing the hot tag to Kalisto
as things speed up. The Dragons take over again as this is going
longer than your average opening match on this show. Everything
breaks down with Enzo and Cass going outside. Cass shoves his buddy
away to take the double dive but is still able to break up the
swanton from Cara. He does the smart thing by dragging Enzo over for
the tag and the East River Crossing plants Kalisto, setting up a
Rocket Launcher from Amore for the pin at 5:40.
Rating:
C-. The match dragged a bit but
you have to give Amore and Cass a win or two here and there to set up
their title program down the line. Cass is big and strong enough to
make up for Amore and they have great comedic chemistry together.
Also, notice how much more into them the fans were without Carmella
at ringside. NXT gets that logical thinking thing while it’s totally
lost on WWE.
Next
week we see matches from NXT at the Arnold Sports
Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
Video
on Alex Riley.
Video
on Kevin Owens’ dominance.
Alexa
Bliss vs. Carmella
Carmella
throws her away from a headlock to start but Bliss grabs the arm to
take over. Alexa misses a charge into the corner so Carmella just
hammers her in the face. The fans aren’t exactly interested in
having Carmella out there. We hit the body scissors on Bliss before
Carmella drives her back into the corner. This really isn’t much to
see so far. Bliss comes back with some forearms and a flip splash
for two, followed by a spinning splash from the top (the Sparkle
Splash) for the pin at 5:03.
Rating:
D+. These two aren’t exactly on
Charlotte and Banks’ level. The fans flat out do not like Carmella
and it’s definitely good to keep her apart from Enzo and Cass. Bliss
isn’t great but she’s adorable and can carry herself well enough in
the ring. To be fair though, I never thought much of Sasha or
Charlotte at first and they’ve turned out great.
Alex
Riley gives a very serious speech about being stuck in a cage for two
years and constantly being told “maybe next week kid.” Owens
talks about having a wife and kids but Riley’s family is in that
arena. It’s time to fight for his family. Really good stuff from
Riley here and I’ve always been a fan of his. I always thought it
was a waste of his talents to put him behind a mic for so long but at
least he’s getting back in the ring now.
Breeze
says this didn’t have to get ugly with Itami. “Well you were
involved so maybe it did have to get ugly.”
CJ
Parker vs. Alex Riley
Riley’s
entrance cuts off Parker complaining about the world. Riley is still
in shape but his face makes him look a bit homeless. Parker’s
headlock doesn’t get him very far as Riley comes back with a nice
dropkick. The TKO is countered though and Parker lays in some left
hands. The Third Eye is countered with a backdrop and Riley nails a
hard clothesline. Something like John Morrison’s flip neckbreaker
puts Parker down again and a Blockbuster is good for the pin at 3:20.
Rating:
C-. Not terrible here but Riley
had some ring rust. That’s the point of something like developmental
but he needs to do some more before he’s ready to make it onto the
main roster. I’m hoping he uses the TKO again instead of a
Blockbuster as a few people are using that one already.
Post
match Kevin Owens comes out and calls Alex Riley the dumbest man in
NXT. Riley gave up his commentary career just so Riley can destroy
his in ring career too. Owens hasn’t forgotten
about Finn Balor either.
Tyler
Breeze vs. Hideo Itami
Rematch
from Rival. Breeze heads to
the floor to start and says this won’t be like last time. He
does it a second time and the fans keep booing. Old
style heat still works.
Back in and Breeze drives
Itami into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs but
Itami kicks him right to the floor. Itami
throws him back inside for a running knee in the corner and the
tornado DDT into a guillotine. He goes back up but gets crotched
this time, giving Tyler his first real advantage.
The
fans think Itami is gorgeous as Breeze drops a leg and puts on a
chinlock. Back from a break
with Itami punching Breeze away and hitting a top rope dropkick to
put both guys down. A leg
trip sends Breeze to the floor and
a big kick gets two. Itami
kicks him in the face but walks into the Supermodel Kick for two.
Breeze
gets pulled face first into the post while trying to crotch Itami,
setting up a top rope knee to the back of the head. Breeze
gets up again though and Itami is getting mad. The
fans call for the GTS but have to settle for a hard series of strikes
instead. Itami misses a
running dropkick in the corner though and the Beauty Shot is good for
the pin on Hideo at 11:25.
Rating:
B-. That’s
a surprising ending but I like it better than just giving Itami the
pin. The problem with Breeze was that he kept putting people over
and it stops meaning anything after so many times. This win gives
him some credibility back and makes future wins over him mean more.
In other words, it’s trading in the short term for the long term, and
that’s rarely a bad thing.
Overall
Rating:
C+.
This was solid enough for the most part and I really like that we’re
getting the short term stories instead of the major stuff every week.
Riley vs. Owens isn’t the biggest feud in the world, but it lets the
anticipation for Owens vs. Balor and eventually Owens vs. Zayn build
up instead of just blowing through them immediately. Another thing
that NXT understands better than WWE is you don’t have to get
everything in by a certain date, at least not most of the time. Take
the extra time, because as HHH said on Austin’s podcast, there’s
always next week.
Results
Enzo
Amore/Colin Cassady b. Lucha Dragons – Rocket Launcher to Kalisto
Alexa
Bliss b. Carmella – Sparkle Splash
Alex
Riley b. CJ Parker – Blockbuster
Tyler
Breeze b. Hideo Itami – Beauty Shot
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Impact Wrestling – March 6, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
March 6, 2015
Location:
Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Attendance:
3,000
Commentators:
Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Coming
out of last week, we seem to not have a #1 contender. Lashley
successfully defended the title against MVP, though the match
featured a lot of interference. Other than that we have the
continuing stories of Mr. Anderson/Spud/Mandrews vs. Tyrus/EC3, which
has gone from a comedy feud to one of the more entertaining feuds in
the company. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of last week’s main event with the Beat Down Clan
getting close to taking the World Title from Lashley but Gunner and
Drew Galloway made things even enough for Lashley to retain the belt.
Tonight
it’s Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young for the #1
contendership.
Here’s
the Beat Down Clan to get things going. Kenny King doesn’t want this
Drew Galloway situation to get any further out of control. Drew is
known as the Chosen One, but he choose to interfere in BDC business.
I thought he was known as rhythm guitarist for some band with three
guys. So now, it’s time for the BDC to choose what part of Drew
they’re going to hurt.
MVP
says this is Beat Down Clan business that was a year in the making.
He arrived just over a year ago to become the World Champion but Drew
got in the way. MVP is reasonable though and is willing to let Drew
come out here and apologize. Galloway shows up in the crowd and says
he’s at home right now. He came to the ring last week to stop MVP
from stealing the title. He’s surrounded by wrestling fans, not
sports entertainment fans.
Drew
is here to give the fans a voice and asks some fans their names.
Those are the people the BDC is screwing with and that isn’t going to
fly. King says they demand retribution and threatens Galloway’s
family if he doesn’t get in the ring tonight. Drew wants King one on
one so King agrees to send his brothers to the back.
Drew
Galloway vs. Kenny King
Both
guys are in street clothes. King enziguris him down and MVP comes in
for a few stomps. That’s not a DQ due to reasons not explained but
Galloway comes back with knees in the corner and a snap suplex. King
bails to the floor but Drew is fine with beating him up outside as
well. He drops King over the barricade but King gets in some shots
to the ribs to take over. A tilt-a-whirl slam onto the apron has
King in even more trouble as this has barely been a match so far.
Back
in and King drops him ribs first over the ropes and we hit the
chinlock. An overhead belly to belly gets two for Kenny but Drew
gets all fired up. He gets two off a top rope clothesline but King
breaks up the Future Shock (snap double arm DDT). They need to go
home already because this is getting bad. King hits a quick
springboard Blockbuster for two more and frustration is setting in.
He loads up a backslide of all things but gets countered into the
Future Shock to give Galloway the pin at 6:25.
Rating:
D. I really wasn’t feeling this
one as they were just trading spots for a few minutes with no flow or
structure to the match. Galloway is talented in the ring but having
a big guy as the hero is always kind of awkward, especially when he’s
in there against someone not very big. Not a good debut but at least
Galloway won.
The
BDC chases Drew off post
match.
Here’s
Roode to talk about the three way tonight. He promises to take out
Young and get the title shot in one match. No one can stand in his
way, but here’s Angle to disagree. He
comes down to the ring but Eric Young sneaks in to go after Roode.
Angle pulls him off and gets in a fight with Young, only to have
Roode clear the ring.
Video
on Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell for the Knockouts Title later
tonight.
James
Storm talks to Bram about joining the Revolution and asks him to take
out Matt Hardy later tonight. Bram seems intrigued.
Before
we go to a break, we get a video on the winner of tonight’s triple
threat facing Lashley for the title in two weeks. They say his name
over and over, show his picture, and show him winning the triple
threat. I’ll avoid spoilers, but my goodness TNA, cut this nonsense
out.
Video
on Kurt Angle.
Matt
Hardy vs. Bram
The
bell never rings before they start fighting in the corner. Matt
avoids a charge and hits the clothesline and running bulldog,
followed by a second clothesline to send Bram outside. The brawling
favors Bram of course and he takes over by driving Matt into the
apron. Back in and some right hands set up a chinlock. Matt fights
up and scores with a Side Effect, followed by a moonsault to the legs
for two. Bram shoves the referee away though, setting up a low blow
and the Brighter Side of Suffering (inverted DDT) for the pin at
4:15.
Rating:
D+. Just a quick brawl here but
Bram joining the Revolution could be interesting. That being said,
they need to actually do something with the team before it gets stale
by just sitting there. This wasn’t much of a match though and I’m
not wild on another DDT finisher from someone out of the UK.
Bram
gets his wrench but Magnus runs down for the save. When
Bram left him laying in an alley, Magnus had two choices: go home and
hide, or be the kind of man that his son could be proud of. It’s
personal now, and Magnus is going to make Bram’s blood stain the holy
ground of England.
Spud
promises Anderson that he’ll finish things with Ethan Carter III
tonight.
Galloway
says he’s tired of the Beat Down Clan dominating the show and he
isn’t going to stand for it. He has an army in his corner and it
begins tonight.
Recap
of Spud vs. Carter.
Here’s
Spud in a Union Jack flag to thank the fans for getting him through
all these problems. Everything has to end though, so he’d like Ethan
Carter III to come out here right now, face to face. That’s exactly
what he gets with Carter in a suit of his own. Spud wants to end
this man against man but Carter goes into his usual speech about his
accomplishments.
That’s
not what Spud wants to hear though as he tells Carter to shut up. Of
course Spud knows everything about Ethan’s career because he was
there with Carter every step of the way. If that’s so important to
him, fight Spud one on one so he can end Carter’s streak. Carter
agrees, provided that Spud puts up his hair. Spud agrees, but thinks
Carter’s hair should be on the line too.
Ethan
bends down to look Spud in the eye and says challenge accepted, but
just remember one thing: in this world, the bad guys win. Carter
goes to leave but Spud brings up all the times Carter told him he was
a lion or a gazelle. Well he isn’t any of those things, because he’s
a man. As usual, this is the best feud TNA has had in months if not
years. I can’t believe I’m saying it but my goodness it’s awesome.
Eric
Young video.
Knockouts
Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell
Taryn
is defending and goes right at Kong, only to bounce off the monster
and hit the mat. Kong keeps pounding away and slams the champ down,
only to miss a charge in the corner. Some right hands stun Kong for
a few moments but the Taryn Cutter is shrugged off. The second
attempt goes just as well but Kong shoves the referee away for the DQ
at 4:15.
Rating:
D. This was angle advancement
instead of a match and that’s fine. They were clearly setting up the
big showdown later on, but this protected Kong at the same time. The
problem with someone like Kong is you have to either give her the
title or beat her and end her credibility. It’s hard to grade this
as a match though as it was basically a squash until the storyline
ending.
Taryn
gets beaten up post match but Gail Kim runs out for the save.
Video
on Davey Richards turning down the Revolution’s offer to join,
setting up a rivalry between the teams.
Bobby
Roode video.
Tag
Team Titles: Wolves vs. Abyss/James Storm
The
Wolves are challenging but get jumped by the rest of the Revolution
during their entrance. We get the opening bell and everyone brawls
in the ring with the Wolves sending Storm into Abyss and making the
monster DDT his leader. I really, really hate that spot. Things
settle down to Abyss hammering Richards down but missing a splash.
Manik pulls Edwards down to the floor to break up the hot tag though
and it’s off to Storm.
The
Revolution tries to double team but Richards crawls between Storm’s
legs for the hot tag to Edwards. Eddie starts cleaning house but
eats a Backstabber and the Eye of the Storm for two. Cue Matt Hardy
to stare at the rest of the Revolution, allowing Eddie to grab an
O’Connor Roll for two. Storm grabs a jumping neckbreaker and tags in
Abyss, only to have him get sent to the floor.
The
Wolves hit three straight double dives to take out everyone not named
Storm but Edwards kicks him down. Manik and Sanada sneak in but
Sanada mists Manik by mistakes. Abyss tries to bring in the cowbell
but Matt comes in with a Twist of Fate, setting up the top rope
stomps from the Wolves (dubbed the Hammer of the Gods) for the pin at
8:15.
Rating:
C-. Good night this was a mess
and I was losing track of everything by the end. TNA
really needs to cut down on the mass carnage and interference in
their matches because this isn’t making things any better. The
Wolves winning is fine, but three things: who do they defend against,
what is the point of the Revolution at this point, and HOW BLIND IS
THE REFEREE??? You had all that interference, a cowbell and MIST but
he never calls a DQ? Really?
Post
break, Matt endorses the new champs.
Spud
vs. Carter in the hair vs. hair match is next week in London. Magnus
vs. Bram as well.
Eric
Young vs. Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
One
fall to a finish and the
winner gets a title shot in
two weeks. More on that later. For
the third of five matches tonight, we have a brawl before the bell
with Roode and Young beating each other up on the floor. Roode sends
Young into the aisle before coming back in for a suplex from Angle.
Eric gets back in and tries
to German suplex Roode but Bobby grabs the referee. Instead it’s a
neckbreaker to put Roode down as Angle is sent to the floor.
Young
stays in control but gets small packaged for two, only to take
Roode’s head off with a clothesline. A
superplex on Roode is turned into a Tower of Doom with Angle
powerbombing both guys down. Angle rolls a
ridiculous ten Germans on
Young but Roode counters the
Angle Slam into the crossforehead. That’s
countered into the ankle lock (probably because it wasn’t pulling
back on Angle) but Roode rolls through into a crosseyes.
Young
makes the save but takes the spinebuster from Roode, who gets Angle
Slammed for two. There go
the straps and Angle puts Young in the ankle lock but Eric makes the
ropes. Angle rolls through the Roode Bomb into another ankle lock,
only to have Roode roll through and bump the referee. Young hits
Roode in the head with a chair, only
to have Angle kick him down and hit the Slam on Roode for the title
shot at 8:41.
Rating:
C-. There were some major
issues with this match. First and foremost was Eric Young, because
he sucks. He makes things
that shouldn’t possibly suck suck. Like an air pump that blows air
into things. Eric Young could make it suck. You put Eric Young’s face
on the New England Patriots’
jerseys?
They suck.
Eric
Young is appearing at a frat house and giving away free beer? The
frat boys would go to church and drink orange juice instead because
Eric Young sucks. Eric Young sucks. He sucks on trains, he sucks on
cars, he probably sucks on orange flavored popsicles. Why would he do
that? Because orange flavored popsicles suck, just like Eric Young.
So
yeah, Eric Young sucks. Other than that though, this match needed to
go longer to live up to the hype this match had been given in the
show. It’s another short match that didn’t have the time to get
anywhere because TNA has to pack everything they can into a single
show and fit in all their promos that don’t advance anything.
There’s
one last thing that held this match back though: TNA spoiled the
ending. Yeah, earlier in the night there was a preview for the March
20 show. Here’s a paraphrased version of the audio. “KURT ANGLE
has battled back to the top of TNA (with a clip of Angle pinning
Roode) and is now the top contender to the World Title. On March 20,
Angle will challenge TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley. Don’t miss
this huge clash.”
So
all that drama that they could squeeze in to the less than nine
minutes they could give this match? Totally worthless, as they had
given away the ending already. They did this a few weeks back when
Lashley was in Lethal Lockdown. This is something they REALLY need
to work on. You could easily have switched the audio to “WHO
WON???” and the problem is solved. But it’s TNA, where the most
basic things are difficult but having an entertaining show is
becoming more common.
Lashley
comes out for a staredown to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C-. This show was the
end of the run of really good shows but it was still good. Here’s
the thing TNA still has over Raw at the moment: they set stuff up,
give it a good build, then mostly deliver on it (after spoiling it
half the time). WWE is the opposite as they have a bad build but the
payoff is usually good. They
need to slow things down though and let some of the matches stretch
out. That’s making the shows feel like Attitude Era episodes: they
go by so fast that I can’t tell if it was good or not.
The
other major issue here is the lack of a focus. So Galloway is now
feuding with the entire BDC, the Revolution is….I think feuding
with the Hardys and Wolves, Bram might be joining the Revolution and
is feuding with Magnus, and we’re getting Roode vs. Young again
because they’ve been feuding so now they keep feuding? There’s good
stuff in TNA right now, but they feel like they’re holding things
together with some strong duct tape. That’s only going to last so
long and this episode showed some cracks.
Results
Drew
Galloway b. Kenny King – Future Shock
Bram
b. Matt Hardy – Brighter Side of Suffering
Taryn
Terrell b. Awesome Kong via DQ when Kong shoved the referee
Wolves
b. Abyss/James Storm – Hammer of the Gods to Abyss
Kurt
Angle b. Bobby Roode and Eric Young – Angle Slam to Roode
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 – March 5, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
March 5, 2015
Location:
Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators:
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
With
just a few weeks to go before Wrestlemania, one of the main stories
has been the Intercontinental Title scene. We’re definitely getting
the big ladder match, but it’s not entirely clear who is going to be
in it. It’s also not clear who is going to hand over the title belt
to have it hung above the ring as everyone keeps stealing the thing.
Let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Dolph Ziggler with the Intercontinental Title. He says he never got
a rematch for the title against Bad News Barrett because he got fired
by the Authority. This is the fifth month that storyline has now
been mentioned in. Even Vince Russo didn’t let stories go that long.
Dolph officially enters the ladder match, but thinks there’s still
something missing. Last year, someone did everything he could and
never stopped fighting to become champion. The fans chant YES and
Dolph agrees, but he gets Bad News Barrett instead.
Barrett
says Ziggler has something he wants. Dolph: “Looks? Charisma? A
great Twitter account?” Bad News gets in the ring but Luke Harper
sneaks in and decks Ziggler. The champ goes for his belt but Luke
steps on it. Ziggler gets back up and everyone brawls so here’s Dean
Ambrose to get in on the fighting. The champ is knocked to the floor
because he’s just another guy in this story. Everyone brawls on the
floor again so R-Truth sneaks down in spy mode, crawling on the mat
and getting the belt before hiding under the ring.
Truth
is in the back (VERY quickly too) and says he got the title in
advance. “It’s like when I eat when I’m not hungry, so when I get
hungry I don’t have to eat.” He tries to give the belt to Renee
Young but she politely declines. “Where’s Gene Ambrose?” As
usual, Renee Young is incredibly cute. I’m convinced she could be
bald and still be adorable.
Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd vs. Los Matadores
Non-title.
Diego and Kidd start things off but both guys tag out less than
thirty seconds in. Fernando hurricanranas Cesaro down and Diego does
the same with a headscissors, only to get caught in a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker. A double stomp gets two for Cesaro and we hit the
chinlock. Everything breaks down and Cesar goes after Torito, who
kicks him in the leg. That’s not a DQ for some reason but Natalya
trips him up, allowing the Cesaro Swing into a dropkick from Kidd to
get the pin on Fernando at 2:25. This was a good squash for the
champs that we haven’t seen before.
Kane
and Big Show both say they’ll win the battle royal.
We
recap the main event from Monday with Reigns getting pinned by
Rollins but cleaning house to end the show. Yeah, the dive over the
top and big spear were cool, but it’s like a cool fireworks display
after your home team loses a ball game. It’s a fun visual, but your
heart isn’t in it.
Ryback
vs. Kane
Big
Show stares at the Andre trophy at ringside. Kane stomps him down in
the corner but runs into some spinebusters. Big Show offers a
distraction to no avail as the Meat Hook ends Kane at 2:07. Now why
did it take us this many months to get here?
Kane
makes Big Show vs. Ryback for right now.
Big
Show vs. Ryback
This
is joined in progress after a break with Big Show getting in the ring
and pounding Ryback into the corner. A clothesline puts the smaller
bald power monster down and Show follows it with a slam. Ryback
fires some shoulders in the corner but dives into a chokeslam
attempt. The KO Punch misses and Ryback hits an awkward looking
spinebuster. Kane gets dragged in for offering a distraction and
takes a second Meat Hook, allowing Big Show to KO Ryback at 2:58.
Dang that was close. We almost saw someone get one over on the Big
Balds and I just wouldn’t want to live in that world. What was this
supposed to prove anyway?
We
look at Bray Wyatt lighting the casket on fire on Raw.
Bray
Wyatt wants an answer from Undertaker. He has something Undertaker
can relate to, and he’ll unleash its spirit this Monday. Not even
Undertaker can outrun his own fate. The camera pans down and shows
the urn.
Sheamus
return video.
Video
on the Daily Show segment with Jon Stewart from Raw. That might be
the best celebrity appearance ever. If not then it’s WAY up there.
Brie
Bella vs. AJ Lee
I’m
not a fan of how Eden says “this is a Deeeeevas match”. This is
fallout from AJ returning to help Paige on Monday. Nikki brings up
the “Give Divas A Chance” line but says that doesn’t apply to AJ.
The Bellas have been giving the Divas a chance since AJ has been
gone and no one has lived up to their standard. It’s why they’re the
stars of Total Divas and they don’t care who comes at them.
The
match starts after a break with Paige now at ringside to balance
things out. AJ cranks on an armbar and elbows Brie in the face. A
high cross body gets two on Brie but she comes back with a nice
middle rope dropkick for two of her own. Back up and AJ has to stop
so Brie can clothesline her before we hit a chinlock.
That
goes nowhere so Brie dropkicks her down again, followed by a
clothesline for some two counts. A Hennig necksnap gets an even
closer two as the fans don’t seem all that interested. We hit
another chinlock before the running knee to the chest staggers AJ
again. Brie immediately goes to the corner but misses another middle
rope dropkick. Back up and AJ hammers away with kicks to the ribs to
send Brie out to the floor. We get a big staredown outside before
the Black Widow makes Brie tap at 7:42.
Rating:
C. This was better than your
usual Divas matches but a lot of that is due to it actually getting
some time. Brie seemed to almost run out of offense about halfway
through though. The Bellas are decent enough as the better than you
heels and I can live with them far more when they’re not being
treated like all time greats who just happen to be heels now. And
when they’re not dominating the show. That really drove me insane.
Daniel
Bryan thinks the Intercontinental Title picture is very interesting
right now and can’t wait to see who comes out with the belt.
I
really can’t stand the theme song for this year’s Wrestlemania and I
keep forgetting that’s what the song is for when it starts up.
New
Day vs. Miz/Damien Mizdow
Woods
is the odd man out this week. Before
the match we get a look at the commercial from Monday with Miz being
embarrassed. Miz slapped
Mizdow as a result but we still didn’t get the big face turn. Kofi
and Miz get things going by trading armdrags until Miz runs him over
for two. Some kicks give
Kofi a breather and Mizdow tags himself in and cleans house.
Cesaro/Kidd/Natalya are watching in the back as Mizdow’s figure four
attempt is broken up. Miz tags himself in and orders Mizdow to the
floor but Mizdow gets in his face. During
the argument, Big E. gets the tag and it’s the Midnight Hour for the
pin at 3:15.
Rating:
D. This was the same thing
they’ve done multiple times now but at least it was Miz taking the
pin instead of Mizdow. I really wouldn’t mind if Woods was left
outside as a permanent manager as he doesn’t add much to the team.
The match wasn’t very good though and it just reenforced the same
things we’ve established for weeks now. In other words, it’s a
Smackdown match.
We
look back at Heyman’s speech from Raw.
Brock
Lesnar video.
Reigns
says Heyman is known for running his mouth, but it’s true that Lesnar
is going to hurt him at Wrestlemania. Everyone that gets in the ring
with Lesnar gets hurt and he’ll be no different. The difference is
Reigns will get up, lock his fist and hit a Superman Punch. Then
he’ll spear Lesnar in half to win the WWE World Championship, and
then Heyman and Lesnar will believe that. As usual, this was far
better because they kept it short and simple.
Jack
Swagger vs. Rusev
Non-title
and Swagger is thrown to the floor a second after the bell. Back in
and Swagger throws Rusev to the floor as we take a break. Back with
Rusev getting two off a dropkick and we hit the chinlock. Swagger
fights up and tries the Vader Bob but has to settle for the Patriot
Lock, sending Rusev to the ropes. Back up and Rusev kicks him in the
face and Accolades him for the submission at 7:50.
Rating:
D. Egads find someone new for
Rusev to beat up. This didn’t prove anything and was the exact same
match these two have had roughly 19 times. Yeah we get it: Rusev is
big and strong and can beat up Jack Swagger. We’ve known that for
almost eight months now. FIND SOMEONE NEW.
Rusev
poses but Curtis Axel pops up on screen and says don’t change the
channel BROTHER. He’s often imitated but never duplicated DUDE.
This Monday he’s going to put Rusev down 1-2-3 and then coming for
the US Title at Wrestlemania. Whatcha gonna do when Axelmania runs
wild on YOU??? If Buddy Landel can get over by being Ric Flair,
Curtis Axel can get over by being Hulk Hogan.
Cameron
thinks it’s time someone gives her a chance. Summer Rae comes up and
says she should be getting the chance. Eva Marie thinks the two of
them have no chance. This is what I was worried about when this
thing started up. There are far more talented girls to give this
spot to, but instead it’s going to the girls on the reality show.
Bad
News Barrett/Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler/Dean Ambrose
Truth
is on commentary and doesn’t quite get the rules of the ladder match.
He also doesn’t like how heights look when you look down at them.
Harper Gator Rolls Ziggler to start but has to break up a sunset flip
attempt. The running DDT is easily countered and R-Truth thinks he’s
talking to Byron Jackson. A double tag brings in Ambrose to stomp on
Barrett in the corner before the standing top rope elbow drop gets
two. Ziggler and Ambrose clear the ring but nearly come to blows as
we take a break.
Back
with Barrett elbowing Dean in the face and handing it off to Harper
for an elbow of his own. We hit the chinlock from Harper, who Truth
accuses of not buying his shirt. Barrett comes back in and gets
caught in a tornado DDT. Truth wants the match turned into a
stepladder match and claims ladder discrimination.
The
hot tag brings in Ziggler to speed things up but the big elbow drop
gets two on Harper. Now the running DDT connects but still only gets
two. A big side slam gets the same for Harper but Barrett and
Ambrose come in to fight right next to them. Those two head back to
the floor and Ziggler superkicks Harper, setting up the Zig Zag for
the pin at 10:03.
Rating:
C-. Totally standard midcard
tag match here but it’s very nice to see that headlining the show
instead of more dull stuff. It also helps that this is a logical
part of the storyline and fits what they’ve been doing so far. Truth
continues to be funny on commentary with a bunch of “what did he
just say” lines. Oh and Barrett didn’t get pinned! Life is good.
Post
match Barrett goes for the belt but Ambrose dives on him. Truth
kicks Harper low but Daniel Bryan shows up to look at Truth holding
the title. Truth hands him the belt and starts a YES chant. Bryan
poses with the title but Stardust jumps Bryan and grabs the belt to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. The show went by
fast enough and it’s really nice to have stuff away from the main
event feud for a bit. It’s also nice to not have the Authority
making my blood pressure go through the roof but that’s a different
story. This still doesn’t feel like a major show but I like the
Intercontinental Title picture when it’s not as all over the place
and the battle royal is starting to look a lot better. This was a
nice way to cool things down and bring them back to normal after a
bad Raw, but it’s still not a great show.
Results
Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd b. Los Matadores – Cesaro Swing into a dropkick from Kidd
Ryback
b. Kane – Meat Hook
Big
Show b. Ryback – KO Punch
AJ
Lee b. Brie Bella – Black Widow
New
Day b. Miz/Damien Mizdow – Midnight Hour to Miz
Rusev
b. Jack Swagger – Accolade
Dolph
Ziggler/Dean Ambrose b. Bad News Barrett/Luke Harper – Zig Zag to
Harper
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 – March 4, 2015

NXT
Date:
March 4, 2015
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Jason Albert, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight
it’s time to get back to the serious business around NXT as Sami Zayn
is making his first appearance after losing the NXT Title to Kevin
Owens by referee’s decision. Owens is currently gearing up to defend
against #1 contender Finn Balor, but it’s clear that another showdown
with Sami is coming. Let’s get to it.

We
open with a recap of Owens saying he’ll fight anyone anywhere, which
leads to his feud with Balor. This includes Owens being insulted by
Alex Riley on commentary and beating Riley up as a result.
Riley
demanded that William Regal give him a match with Owens. However,
Regal says no because of what happened to him when he tried to be a
competitor and commentator at the same time. That’s not good enough
for Riley as he wants the match, but Regal says he has to pick.
Riley seems to be thinking about it.
Opening
sequence.
Adam
Rose vs. Tyler Breeze
The
Trust Fall works this time and Rose seems to be a good guy here. The
fans chant for Rose’s ninja turtle before he chases Breeze around the
ring. An armdrag sends Rose down and Breeze lounges across the top
rope. They pose at each other a bit more until Rose grabs an atomic
drop, giving us the Honky Tonk Man sell job.
Rose
dives into one from Breeze though and both guys are in pain. Breeze
nails him in the face a few times but Adam leans back in the ropes
and raises his feet to fend Tyler off. With a raise of the roof (as
we flash back to 1998), Rose hits a running corner clothesline, only
to walk into the Beauty Shot for the pin at 2:35. Again, who in the
world thought making Rose a heel was a good idea? He’s one of the
easiest acts to cheer for in years so they turned him heel. Main
roster brilliance personified.
Breeze
fends off the Rosebuds with the selfie stick in a funny moment.
Enzo,
Cass and Carmella don’t like what Murphy and Blake have been saying.
No one talks to Carmella like that and she thinks Cass and Amore need
to take care of them. Enzo promises to beat the bacon off their
backs and bring that bacon home. Do whatever you want with the
bacon. Just drop Carmella already.
Alexa
Bliss has been off recovering from an injury but she’s back and
better than ever. She’s coming for Sasha, whether she keeps the
title or not.
Buddy
Murphy/Wesley Blake vs. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton
Non-title.
I keep thinking the champs’ record scratch music is Solomon Crowe
hacking the feed. Dawkins and Fulton are part of a trio of amateur
wrestlers with Fulton rocking the Rick Steiner head gear. He takes
Murphy down to start and cranks on an armbar. Murphy makes a blind
tag though and a double elbow gets two.
It’s
off to Blake for a chinlock but Fulton flips him over and nails a
nice uppercut. Dawkins comes in to speed things up and hammers
Murphy down, but makes the mistake of going after Blake. Murphy gets
in a cheap shot and suplexes Dawkins down, setting up the frog splash
from Blake for the pin at 2:27. That was one heck of a leap for the
splash. The losers looked good while they were in there but they
need more ring time to get the gimmick over.
Bayley
offers Charlotte good luck on the title shot tonight but Charlotte
says Banks needs the luck. Charlotte leaves and Emma comes in and
brings up Bayley lost at Takeover. She tried being nice like Bayley
and look where it got her on Raw: right back here to NXT. Just
something to think about for Bayley.
Rhyno
return video.
Baron
Corbin vs. Tony Briggs
Briggs
says bring it on so Baron hits him in the face and plants him with
End of Days at 54 seconds. Kevin Owens was shown standing behind
Alex Riley but didn’t touch him.
Riley
turns around to look at Owens but doesn’t do anything. Owens pours
water over him and Riley snaps. Albert holds him back and reminds
Riley that he has a job. Kevin turns his back on him and leaves with
no physicality. Owens is nailing this evil bully character to
perfection.
Sami
Zayn was in Montreal earlier this week but he can’t help but feel
that the NXT landscape is changing. You have guys like Rhyno and
Kendrick back and new faces like Solomon Crowe with Kevin Owens on
top. This is filmed on March 1, 2015, meaning he’s been a wrestler
for thirteen years to the day. For the first time though, Zayn
doesn’t feel like he’s mentally ready to be in the ring. That’s why
he’s here in Montreal, where it all started for both he and Owens.
He still hasn’t watched the Takeover match, but maybe that’s what he
needs to get his mind right.
Riley
storms into Regal’s office and quits being a commentator so he can
get his hands on Owens. Regal says he’ll get Owens when he (Regal)
thinks he’s ready. CJ Parker is in the office too and laughs at the
idea of Riley fighting Owens, so Riley wants Parker next week.
Bull
Dempsey vs. Solomon Crowe
Crowe
comes into the ring with a bunch of energy and nearly slides under
the ropes upon entry. He goes right after Dempsey and gets stomped
down, setting up a stiff headbutt. All Dempsey so far and he mounts
Crowe for some right hands. Solomon fights back but can’t slam the
big man. Instead Dempsey just pounds him in the chest with forearms
for one. Solomon fights up and now the slam works. Dempsey runs him
over again but misses the top rope headbutt. A running knee and
running elbow drop Bull and a slingshot headbutt to the rips is
enough to give Solomon the pin at 3:01.
Rating:
D+. Solomon comes off as a guy
where the character is going to drive the development instead of the
in ring action. I was getting something like a Kevin Sullivan vibe
off his in ring style, as he’s much more of a scrappy brawler than a
polished wrestler. He basically just stuck around and waited for an
opening to take Bull down, but it worked well enough. I need to see
more of him though.
Women’s
Title: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
Banks
is defending in a one on one rematch from Takeover: Rival’s fourway
where Charlotte lost the title. This
gets big match intros, which is actually deserves over Nikki vs.
Paige on Monday. The fans
are split, as you would expect. Banks
hides in the corner to start so Charlotte asks if she’s here to fight
or not. Some chops have the
champ in early trouble but she bails to the floor for another
breather.
Sasha
grabs her title and says count her out but that doesn’t work for
Charlotte, who chases her down and rams the champ’s back into the
apron. Now the fans are
almost all behind Charlotte as she slaps on an early figure four.
Banks is way too close to the ropes though and bails to the floor one
more time as we take a break. Back
with Banks hitting a running
slap to a seated Charlotte before busting out La Mistica into the
crossface.
Charlotte
powers up and hits a running backpack Stunner. The
moonsault misses but Charlotte lands on her feet, only to have her
front flip hit Sasha’s knees. That’s a nice bit of psychology there
as they learn each other’s spots and build on the sequences. Sasha
chokes and WOOs in the corner as the fans argue (YES SHE IS/NO SHE’S
NOT) over Sasha’s level of ratchetness.
Double
knees to the back have Charlotte in trouble and Sasha bends her ribs
around the post to stay on the injury. The
Backstabber into the double arm choke has Charlotte in even more
trouble but she refuses to give up. That’s fine with Sasha who rolls
into the Bank Statement, only to have Charlotte right next to the
ropes for the escape. A big
spear gets two for Charlotte and she puts on a Hartbreaker (figure
four around the post). Back
in and Natural Selection off the top is countered and Sasha puts her
feet on the ropes (ala Ric Flair) for a rollup pin at 15:00.
Rating:
B-. Not quite a classic but
still a very good TV main event. The girls are so far ahead of Nikki
and Brie that it’s unreal, but they can’t afford the same plastic
surgery or whatever. This was a solid match in the same vein of
Orton vs. Christian from 2011 as they built on previously established
sequences and made logical progressions. Well done indeed.
Overall
Rating:
C+. Much better than
last week which seems to have been an aberration. It’s amazing what
happens when you do stuff that matters instead of just filler for an
hour. Sami holding off on his return is an interesting idea as it
allows them to go through Riley and Balor before we get back to the
big time feud that a lot of people really want to see. This is the
fallout period from Rival before we start building to the next
Takeover, which means we should be coming up on some big shows soon.
Results
Tyler
Breeze b. Adam Rose – Beauty Shot
Buddy
Murphy/Wesley Blake b. Angelo Dawkins/Sawyer Fulton – Frog splash
to Dawkins
Baron
Corbin b. Tony Briggs – End of Days
Solomon
Crowe b. Bull Dempsey – Slingshot headbutt
Sasha
Banks b. Charlotte – Rollup with feet on the ropes
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 March 29th, 1987

March 29, 1987


From the Ohio Center in Columbus, OH


Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

This show aired the same day as WrestleMania III

In action tonight will be Tito Santana, King Harley Race, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and “Adorable” Adrian Adonis.

Mary Hart is backstage with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan. She asks him about tossing Hulk Hogan from the ring during the SNME battle royal as he tells her to take care of her business while he will take care of his business.

Greg Valentine w/ Johnny V. & Brutus Beefcake & Dino Bravo vs. Tito Santana w/ British Bulldogs


Tito wins a slugfest to start the match. Danny Davis is shown in an insert promo speaking about how he is not afraid of Tito or the British Bulldogs as Valentine takes control of the match. He puts Tito in a chinlock after getting two with a fist drop. Tito fights out then hits Valentine with a forearm smash. They slug it out again until Valentine counters a mounted punch attack with an inverted atomic drop. He then tries an atomic drop but Tito blocks that then puts Valentine in the Figure Four as the crowd goes nuts. Johnny V. jumps up on the apron as Bravo slides in and pulls Valentine over to the ropes then starts hammering away on Tito as Johnny V. joins in but Beefcake distances himself from the duo until the Bulldogs chase them away with Matilda as the ref signals for the bell as the match is ruled a double DQ (3:58).

Thoughts: Good action between longtime rivals. The end, with Beefcake distancing himself from his allies was the story here as they continue to play up his anger from Adonis accidentally cutting his hair.






Craig DeGeorge is backstage with King Kong Bundy, who warns the midgets that they will get hurt if they try to stand in his way. DeGeorge, the dumbass that he was, then asks Bundy if he is going to be kind towards the midgets as Bundy tells him he has never been kind to anyone in his life. Generic big man promo from Bundy.

Replay of Hacksaw Jim Duggan chasing off the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick with his 2×4.

Rick Hunter vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan


Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary and says that Hunter looks like Robert Redford. Race ambushes a distracted Hunter from behind. He continues to beat the shit out of him then puts him away with the cradle suplex as JYD is shown in an insert promo talking about how he will be the king after WrestleMania III (0:38). After the match, Heenan makes Hunter bow then Race knees him in the face.

Thoughts: They actually got Race some heat at the end of this match but his feud with JYD was somewhat of a disappointment as Race was never over as a heel and JYD’s popularity was not what it was two years prior.






Gene Okerlund is backstage with Sheik, Volkoff, and Slick as they hype their WrestleMania III match against the Killer Bees. Not much of note other than Sheik referring to Okerlund as “Gene Mean” during his tangent.

Dino Bravo warns the Rougeau Brothers that at WrestleMania III the Dream Team will tear those “French Frogs” apart. Funny moment as when they cut back to the ring, Monsoon joked how Bravo “isnt exactly Irish” himself.

Rougeau Brothers vs. Dave Wagner & Rick Renslow


The Rougeaus use their speed to take control of the match. Johnny V. is shown in an insert promo denying the rumors about dissension within the Dream Team. Renslow slams Raymond but misses a splash off of the middle rope. Jacques tags and slingshots in with a sunset flip that gets broken up by Wagner. Raymond tags back in and hits a crescent kick but Wagner also breaks that up then the Rougeaus double-team both guys in a clunky sequence before putting away Renslow with the Rougeau Bomb (2:23).

Thoughts: Good action here from the Rougeaus who were just not good enough to be near the top of the tag team division due to the depth it was boasting at the time.






“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Corporal Kirchner

These two lockup as we get an insert promo from Piper cuts a promo on Adonis, who gets sent outside. Adonis re-enters the ring then beats on Kirchner in the corner until he gets the win with a splash from the top (1:42).

Thoughts: This was okay I suppose and really just another segment to hype the hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania.



Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Match is joined in progress as Funk suplexes Steamboat as Savage cuts a promo on Steamboat about how Steamboat is overmatched and that he will not lose the title. Steamboat fights back with his “martial arts” offense. He follows with a vertical suplex but ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and gets booted in the face. Steamboat skins-the-cat then backdrops Funk over the ropes as he goes out and roughs him up for a bit. Back inside, Steamboat catches Funk with a back elbow smash then climbs up and hits the flying chop for the win (2:10).

Thoughts: Really fun two-minute match. This was all action. Savage cut an awesome promo on Steamboat here too as they were really making Steamboat out as the underdog here.



Okerlund is with Hogan, who addresses all of the non-believers. He then says that there is no way, with all of the people behind him and all of the prayers and vitamins, that he will stay on top of the mountain. Really promo from Hogan, who sold this match even more here if that was possible.

Next week we will get part one of the “Ken Patera Story” as Heenan is shocked about this. Also in action will be Kamala, Honky Tonk Man, The Islanders, and Billy Jack Haynes.

Final Thoughts: This show was fine. WrestleMania III did not need anymore hyping at this point as I’m sure everyone watching was ready for the PPV. Very few shows have been built up as good as WrestleMania III.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Koko B. Ware
Friday: WrestleMania III
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/4/87
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/5/87

WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 28th, 1987

March 28, 1987

From the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH

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

In action this week are the Can-Am Connection, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the Hart Foundation.

Bob Uecker is shown with Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan. Uecker is bullied into announcing Andre as the new Heavyweight Champion over and over again.

Steve Lombardi & Johnny K-9 vs. Can-Am Connection

The crowd went ape shit for the Can-Ams entrance. Lombardi chokes out MArtel from the apron but gets accidentally hit by his partner. Martel works the arm as we get another insert promo from Bob Orton, Don Muraco, and Mr. Fuji hyping their WrestleMania III match. Back to the match as the Can-Ams remain in control as they work over K-9. Lombardi then cheapshots Martel as he was attempting a flying headscissors. He tags and collides with Lombardi then Martel makes the hot tag to Zenk, who runs wild on K-9. He catches him with a powerslam then tags Martel, who gets the win with a slingshot splash (3:16). The fans once again go out of their minds for the Can-Ams after they win.

Thoughts: Its unreal as to how over the Can-Am Connection was at this time. They had been in the company for just about four months too. Unfortunately, Zenk quit a few months after this and the team did not get the titles.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s topic is the Intercontinental Title match at WrestleMania III between Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage. We get a solid promo from Steamboat that lacked the corny “karate” phrases and was effective as a result. They have done as good of a job building up this match as humanly possible.

“The Natural” Butch Reed w/ Slick vs. Jim Powers

Match starts with a lockup that ends in a stalemate as we get an insert promo from Koko B. Ware, who tells Reed that he will be flying all over him. He sounded like a preacher here as Vince enjoyed himself on commentary. Reed then beats on Powers, who comes back with a dropkick. Reed then catches Powers with a clothesline before slamming him down then gets the win with a flying clothesline off of the middle rope (2:30).

Thoughts: Reed looked awful here as he was as slow and lumbering in the ring as could be. Just a segment for Reed to look strong heading into WrestleMania against Koko B. Ware.



Gene Okerlund is with the Rougeau Brothers, who want Dino Bravo to keep his nose out of their match against the Dream Team at WrestleMania III. The promo ends with some lame babyface stuff that did nothing to help out the Rougeaus in the loaded Tag Team division the WWF boasted at this time.

Rick Hunter & Joe Mirto vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

The heels all break huddle in the ring as Jesse and Vince argue about how Davis will fare in his match at WrestleMania III. We are then shown an insert promo of Matilda walking around as Jesse joked how it looks like Sammartino’s girlfriend. The Hart Foundation beat on Mirto, mixed in with some illegal tactics, until they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:35).

Thoughts: The Hart Foundation was firing on all cylinders here. They had swagger and were very crisp in the ring. Their heel act was perfected too as the fans fucking hated them.



Jake Roberts and Alice Cooper are shown cutting a promo on the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart. Jake was good here as Alice was passable I suppose. He didn’t seem too comfortable here.

A replay of Hacksaw Jim Duggan running off the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick last week. Then after that Slick and the Iron Sheik are shown as Slick issues a challenge to Duggan for a match next week, promising to keep Volkoff home. Duggan is then shown telling them both that he will be there, closing the interview with his thumb up yelling “tough guy.”

Moondog Spot vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Huge ovation for Jake here. Match starts with some back-and-forth action as we get an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man who promises to defeat Jake at WrestleMania III. Spot takes control of the match and gets two off of an elbow drop. Jake fights back then leapfrogs Spot before booting him in the gut then hitting the DDT for the win (1:51). After the match, Jake grabbed the snake but the referee rolled Spot to the floor.

Thoughts: Not much of note here other than this was Spot’s last match with the WWF as he went back to Memphis. He was always an underappreciated talent in his prime.



Piper’s Pit with no guests. Piper says that this is the last edition of the Pit we will ever see as the fans are showing their respect for him. Piper then stands on the table and delivers a speech about how he was a “street kid” and how wrestling saved his life. He then says that being shot at and in a plane crash did not stop him from wrestling but that his daughter grabbing his leg, begging him not to leave, is what got him to retire. He then talks about being here on a Green Card and puts over America as the crowd eats that up like candy. Piper closes by saying “daddy is coming home” as the takes his portrait and walks away.

WrestleMania III Report airs.  Jimmy Hart trying to get Mary Hart to join the Hart Foundation as she reluctantly agrees. Not a bad segment at all. Heenan then welcomes Aretha Franklin to the WWE, who tells him that he better show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Hogan. Decent for a celebrity apperance. Okerlund then runs down the rest of the card.

Uecker and Mary Hart are shown talking backstage as they do a comedy bit in which Uecker tries to pretend that he did not lose the tickets to WrestleMania III. They were both good sports.

King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jerry Allen

Race grabs a side headlock to start. He then pulls up as Allen attempted a dropkick then hits a belly-to-belly suplex as JYD is shown in an insert promo hyping their match at WrestleMania III as Race gets the win with a cradle suplex (1:01).

Thoughts: Just designed to get over the stipulations of the JYD/Race Mania match in which the lose must bow before the winner, who if JYD will be the king.



Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who talks about his match against Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III and how he does not want the kids to be deceitful like Andre the Giant.

Next week in action will be Harley Race, Jake Roberts, Demolition, and the featured bout of the Iron Sheik vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Final Thoughts: This aired the day before WrestleMania III and at this point, everyone watching regularly was ready for the PPV. This show was hyped brilliantly as every match had a backstory and they were blowing off some major feuds here as well. Not much else to say here other than that.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/29/87
Tuesday: WWF WrestleMania III
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/4/87

WWF Wrestling Challenge March 22nd, 1987

March 22, 1987

From the Ohio Center in Columbus, OH

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action tonight will be the Hart Foundation, Koko B. Ware, and the Can-Am Connection. Plus, highlights from the battle royal from “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

We are show clips from the battle royal that took place at SNME. It lasts for a few minutes.

Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis vs. Jim Powers & Paul Roma

Here are Powers & Roma are teaming before they officially became the Young Stallions. Also, the feud between Roma and Lombardi was dropped out of nowhere as that has not been mentioned on TV in a while. Roma and Powers are sporting matching trunks though. Hart slams Roma to start then grabs a headlock. Roma catches Bret with a backdrop then a dropkick before he tags out. Powers shoves Hart into the corner but stands around as Bret attacks him from behind. Bret drops him throat-first on the top rope then kicks him out of the ring where Davis lands a few kicks. The Harts use quick tags to isolate Powers before they put him away with the Hart Attack (2:37). After the match the Hart Foundation attack both guys as Davis drops an elbow on Powers after the attack then tosses him to the floor.

Thoughts: Decent action as the Hart Foundation continues to be the most impressive tag team in the WWF. They really had their act down pat in 1987.



Craig DeGeorge is with Roddy Piper. DeGeorge was such a cornball. Anyway, Piper talks about the stars he has faced then mocks Adonis for not being one of them. Not much to this segment.

Johnny K-9 vs. Koko B. Ware

Koko starts the match off on fire as he hits Johnny with a armdrags and a slam. Reed and Slick taunt Koko in an insert promo as Johnny nearly drops Koko while performing a backbreaker. Koko hits a missile dropkick after getting whipped into the corner then gets the win with the Ghostbuster (2:10).

Thoughts: The fans still loved Koko. Poor guy got no push despite that too. He was facing K-9, who is truly one of the lowest forms of life to enter the wrestling business. You can Google all of the crimes he has committed.



Okerlund tries to interview Andre the Giant as Heenan interrupts to tell him that he does the talking for Andre. Heenan then hypes up Andre as the next champion and calls Okerlund a “dummy” for trying to speak to Andre. They are hammering home the point that Heenan is the voice for Andre and that he was somehow brainwashed Andre into aligning with him

A Hacksaw Jim Duggan vignette as he is mopping a floor to show that Americans have not gone soft as he will rid the WWF of Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. These vignettes were goofy but Duggan was over quickly with the fans.

King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Mario Mancini

Johnny V. takes over for Heenan on commentary. As Bundy beats on Mancini, Hillbilly Jim is shown in an insert promo telling Bundy that he better not hurt one of his “little buddies” as Bundy finishes off Mancini with a splash (0:53). After the match, Bundy grabs the mic and warns the midgets that will happen to them if they get in his way as Mancini gets taken out on a stretcher.

Thoughts: The angle of Bundy potentially crushing a midget at least gave the WrestleMania match some sort of storyline as it has been one of the least hyped matches on the card.



Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan who says that WrestleMania III is a big deal unlike his other encounters against Andre. He then asks Gene how he would feel if a kid looked up to Andre and started to “lie, cheat, and steal” as Gene did not appear like he would

Aretha Franklin is with Okerlund, who says that the wrestlers are as big as her “hits.” Brief but Franklin did not come across as embarrassed to be here or anything.

Can-Am Connection vs. Terry Gibbs & Iron Mike Sharpe

The match breaks down off of the bat. The Can-Ams clear the ring with a double dropkick as we get an insert promo from Muraco & Orton, who tell the Can-Ams that its power and knowledge, not excitement that wins matches. They go back and forth for a bit until it breaks down again. The Can-Ams reverse a double noggin-knocker and come back with dropkicks then Zenk catches Gibbs with a powerslam and Martel puts him away with a slingshot splash (2:40).

Thoughts: Nice showcase for the Can-Am Connection as they have a lot of momentum heading into WrestleMania III



Replay of “Piper’s Pit” from the 3/21/87 edition of “Superstars of Wrestling” where Jack Tunney shows us the custom-made belt that Andre the Giant will wear should he become the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania III.

Snake Pit with guest Hulk Hogan. Roberts first runs down the Honky Tonk Man, saying that he is a bonebreaker and not a tailshaker like Honky. Hogan then talks about how he has to be beaten before Andre can wear his special belt. Roberts points out how the WWF doesn’t think he will win as they already made the belt for Andre as Hogan gets where they are coming from as Jake asks him about people questioning his routine of saying his prayers and taking his vitamins as Hogan tells the non-believers can play with Andre’s toy (as he holds up the special belt made for Andre) until WrestleMania but after that day they can put it in a box as they will not be needing it any longer.

Hercules w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jim Young

Johnny V. is back on commentary. Hercules destroys Young to start the match then we get another psychotic promo from Haynes as Hercules makes Young submit to the Full Nelson (0:41).

Thoughts: They have done all they could to hype up the Haynes/Hercules match as these two are ready to fight. And its not been a bad feud at all, in fact it was a good one, but its time for these two to fight after months of feuding.



Okerlund is with Randy Savage. He says that Steamboat is nervous as he is just hyper. Ain’t that the truth. Savage says that he will be peaking at the Silverdome and that Steamboat will be unable to take away his Intercontinental Title.

Next week in action will be Tito Santana, King Harley Race, and “Adorable” Adrian Adonis.

Final Thoughts: Not bad but the WrestleMania III card does not need to be hyped anymore. Luckily the show is just eight days after this aired as a few more weeks of build up would have been tiresome. As far as PPV builds go, WrestleMania III might have been the most impressive of all-time.

Here is my schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with D’Lo Brown
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/28/87
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge: 3/29/87
Tuesday: WWF WrestleMania III

WWF Superstars of Wrestling March 21st, 1987

March 21, 1987

From the Hara Arena in Dayton, OH

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

Tonight’s featured bout is the Iron Sheik vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Also in action will be “Adorable” Adrian Adonis, British Bulldogs & Tito Santana, and the Honky Tonk Man

Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Slick are in the ring. Before the match, Craig DeGeorge is backstage with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, who goes off on the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff then flips out and grabs his 2×4 when he hears the Russian National Anthem. Duggan chases the heels around the ring before they head backstage with his 2×4 then grabs the mic and talks about the Iran Hostage Crisis then gets the crowd going with some Pro USA stuff as he warns Volkoff that he will not be singing the Russian National Anthem in the WWF again as long as he is around. The crowd was going nuts for Duggan here. However, the match between Duggan and Sheik never took place on this show.



WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s focus is on the Billy Jack Haynes/Hercules feud. They another psychotic screaming promo from Haynes, which are my guilty pleasure. Decent piece to hype their WrestleMania III match.

DeGeorge is now backstage with Sheik, Duggan, and Slick. They are all livid as to what Duggan did to them.

Corporal Kirchner & Mario Mancini vs. Cowboy Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji

Kirchner briefly works over Orton until he eats knee on a charge. They slug it out as we get an insert promo from the Can-Am Connection who warn Orton & Muraco that at WrestleMania they will show them what teamwork is all about. Muraco knees Kirchner from the apron then tags. Mancini also tags and gets drilled with a clothesline. Kirchner runs into the ring but gets sent to the floor as we hear a poem from Lanny Poffo about WrestleMania. Orton holds Mancini up for a suplex as Muraco comes off of the top rope with a crossbody for the win. That looked awkward (1:47).

Thoughts: Sad to see Muraco and Orton as just shells of their former selves. They still had a little bit of credibility as a team due to their past but that was starting to fade away.



Gene Okerlund is backstage with the Hart Foundation, Jimmy Hart, and Danny Davis. Neidhart makes all sorts of dog jokes about the Bulldogs then proceeds to bust out a Chihuahua impression and rants about how they hang around “the corners with the greasy taco stands.”

We get a vignette of the Rougeau Brothers in action as they are performing all sorts of Winter sports set to “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. Only in the 1980’s would this have been considered a good idea.

“Adorable” Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Jim Young

Young gets in a few moves, that all looked terrible, until he runs into an elbow. Brutus Beefcake is shown in an insert promo telling Adonis that he hopes Roddy Piper cuts his hair after the match. Adonis then puts Young away with the Good Night Irene (1:48). Adonis attacks Young after the match

Thoughts: This was just as much geared towards Beefcake’s hatred of Adonis than putting over Adonis himself for his match against Piper.



Okerlund is with Mary Hart. They engage in some playful banner as Okerlund gives her the WWF Swatch, because Hart is the guest timekeeper at WrestleMania III. Quick segment to plug a celebrity appearance and showcase the WWF Swatch. That’s a two-fer!

Now, Okerlund is with the Junkyard Dog who talks about his match against Harley Race at WrestleMania III. He then leaves when he sees Randy Savage entering. Savage comes in holding a chair then tosses it down to point at his belt, saying that he will be the Intercontinental Champion when he leaves WrestleMania III.

Bob Uecker is backstage with Jimmy Hart. He asks Hart how he will counter Alice Cooper’s snake as Hart ensures that he will take care of Cooper.

Al Navarro & Steve Lombardi & Rick Renslow vs. British Bulldogs & Tito Santana

Davey catches Lombardi with a hiptoss before hitting him with a press slam. Santana tags and ducks a clothesline before firing away. Renslow tags in as Santana hits him with an atomic drop. Dynamite headbutts him from the apron as Renslow gets trapped in the opposing corner. Navarro tags and lands a few shots on Tito but he escapes and tags Davey, who hits a running powerslam. He then backdrops Navarro before tagging Tito, who gets the win with a flying forearm (2:48).

Thoughts: A quick showcase for Santana and the Bulldogs before their match at WrestleMania III. Dynamite never tagged into the match and seemed like he could barely walk to the ring.



Piper’s Pit with guest Jack Tunney. Before Tunney come out, Piper warns Adonis about their match at WrestleMania III as the fans are going mental for Piper. Tunney shows us a new World Championship Belt that would fit Andre the Giant if he won the title at WrestleMania III. Heenan and Andre then come out as Heenan says that he will win the belt as Andre complains that the belt does not fit him. Piper then asks the crowd if Andre deserves to wear the belt right now as they scream no then Andre says that in one week they will finally see a real champion. Good segment as the new belt gave doubt as to if Hogan could beat Andre.

The WrestleMania III report airs as it runs down the entire card. It lasts for about five minutes and it is nothing you haven’t seen before if you’ve been watching these shows.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart

Poffo uses his speed on Honky but ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and gets booted in the face then Honky puts him away with the Shake, Rattle, and Roll (0:38). After the match, Honky grabs the mic and thanks the fans for their support then proceeds to dance as the crowd boos until his music gets shut off then they cheer. Honky demands to know who shut off his music then Jake Roberts voice is heard as he tells Honky that both Damian and himself were watching his match.

Thoughts: Very quick match. Honky insincere act with the fans got him some heel heat.



Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan. He asks him about his match against Andre at WrestleMania III. Hogan hints that he has god watching out for him as he hypes up the match. Not much out of the ordinary here.

Next week in action will be the Can-Am Connection, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Jake Roberts, and the Hart Foundation.

Final Thoughts: This was really just an infomercial for WrestleMania III as there were barely any angle advancements. Not much else to say about this other than that but the buzz remains strong as they are a week away from the show.







WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament: March 15th, 1987

March 15, 1987


Your hosts are Jimmy Hart, Johnny V, and Gorilla Monsoon

At this time, the WWE were doing tag team tournaments at house shows with the winner getting a title shot. This was one of those shows and it was televised due to it taking place at the Maple Leaf Gardens.

There were also two other matches on this card: Sivi Afi vs. Red Demon and Hillbilly Jim vs. Dino Bravo that were not on this broadcast but featured on future episodes of Prime Time Wrestling.


Opening Round
Kamala & Sika w/Kimchee vs. Killer Bees


I think the Wizard as gone at this point, which is a relief. Brunzell grabs Sika in a side headlock to start. Sika breaks then runs him over as this match is been wrestled at a snails pace so far. Kamala is in the corner and is struggling to grasp the rules of a tag team match. Blair tags and works the arm but that doesnt last long as Sika regains control. Kamala tags and beats on Blair, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Johnny V. seems absolutely tanked on commentary as the heels are neutralizing Blair. Sika holds up Blair but he avoids a charging Kamala as the heels collide. Blair makes the tag as Sika had him in a headlock ten Brunzell dropkicks Sika for the win (7:32) 1/2*.

Thoughts: This match sucked and the ending looked awful. The Bees tried here but Sika was just a slug at this point yet worked a majority of the match.





Opening Round
“Golden Boy” Danny Spivey & Jerry Allen vs. Can-Am Connection


The crowd loves the Can-Ams. They gave Allen & Spivey a light smattering of boos. Spivey and Martel start off the match. Martel hits a crossbody for two then tags out. Spivey and Zenk trade suplexes then end in a stalemate. Zenk gets two off of a backslide as Johnny talks up Spivey on commentary. They both get into a shoving match as Spivey is showing a bit more aggression than usual and has Jimmy Hart cheering for him on commentary. Spivey takes control as he drops an elbow for two. Backbreaker gets two then he puts Zenk in a bearhug. Allen tags in and gets two off if a suplex then locks on a bearhug of his own. Zenk fights back but Spivey tags then they completely botch an abdominal stretch spot. Martel makes the save after a double-team move then the match breaks down. Spivey tries to whip Zenk into Martel but he ducks and ends up hitting Allen with a crossbody for the win as Martel trapped Spivey in the corner (10:31) *1/2.

Thoughts: A lot of the focus was on Spivey as they hinted at a heel turn with him here with Johnny V and Jimmy Hart openly cheering for him on commentary and due to him taking control of the match and acting a bit more aggressive than usual. The problem with Spivey was that he just sucked at this point in his career and was not ready for any sort of push at all. The match itself was too long.





Opening Round
Demolition w/ Johnny V. vs. British Bulldogs


Demolition attacks the Bulldog from behind to start the match. Demolition works over Dynamite with a few restholds as Dynamite still appeared to be in a tremendous amount of pain. Ax grabs a bearhug as this match is a bore. Dynamite makes the tag but the referee did not see that and orders Davey back as Smash grabs a bearhug. Dynamite breaks free after a couple of headbutts then make the tag as Davey runs wild. Davey looks great out there as he hits them both with the running powerslam. Johnny V. trips him up and that causes Jimmy Hart to laugh hysterically. Davey avoids an elbow drop then uses the chair that Dynamite slid into the ring as he takes out Demolition, causing the referee to ring the bell for the DQ as Demolition gets the win (4:50) 3/4*.

Thoughts: Davey looked great after the hot tag but due to Dynamite’s physical condition Demolition only used restholds and it made for a really boring match.






Opening Round
Don Muraco & Cowboy Bob Orton vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & King Kong Bundy


No Heenan tonight. Match starts with Orndorff and Bundy beating on Orton. Bundy sets up for the Avalanche but Orton is able to duck outside. Muraco sneaks in and rakes the eyes of Bundy, who tags Orndorff. Muraco tags and distracts the ref so Orton can choke out Orndorff. Muraco and Orton isolate Orndorff in their corner until Muraco locks on a bearhug. Orndorff breaks free and tags Bundy, who cleans house. He hits Muraco with the Avalanche but Orton punches Bundy to prevent a pin attempt. Muraco drops a few elbows then tags Orton but Bundy makes the tag as Orndorff runs wild. The match breaks down as Fuji slips Muraco the cane. He swings but Orndorff ducks and he accidentally hits his partner as Bundy takes Muraco out as Orndorff covers for the win (6:20) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Neither of these guys seemed to give a fuck out there as the match was disjointed. This is the first time they have teased any sort of tension between Muraco and Orton.






Semifinals
Can-Am Connection vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V. 


Demolition beat on Martel to start the match. That lasts for a while and it is quite boring. He tries to make the tag but the ref did not see that as Demolition double-team Martel behind the referee’s back. Martel dodges an attack and finally makes the tag as Zenk runs wild. The match then breaks down as outside of the ring, Ax rams Zenk into the post then rolls back inside just to beat the ten count as Demolition gets the win (9:21) *.

Thoughts: This was pretty bad and sleep inducing as well. Demolition is not really doing much in the ring tonight to impress. And the end was a lame way for a team to win.





Semifinals
Paul Orndorff & King Kong Bundy vs. Killer Bees


The Bees put on their masks before the match as Johnny V is screaming about that from the apron then when he rejoins the booth. Orndorff misses a charge as the Bees use quick tags to work the arm. Orndorff puts on the brakes as Brunzell tried a dropkick then tags out as Bundy knocks around Brunzell. Orndorff tags in again as Hart proclaims that Jim Neidhart throws the best dropkick in wrestling. The heels work over Brunzell in the corner as Johnny V repeatedly ask if the Bees get “stingers.” Bundy hits Brunzell with the Avalanche then taunts the crowd for the piledriver as the heels get distracted then Blair rolls himself in and plays possum as he catches Orndorff with a rollup for the win (4:22) *.

Thoughts: Messy but it was mostly action and at this point of the show that was a huge plus. Bundy was never a great worker by any means but he was putrid in this tournament.





Finals
Killer Bees vs. Demolition w/ Johnny V.


Ax and Blair go back and forth in a slugfest to start. Ax knees Blair and grabs a front facelock then tags Smash, who tosses Blair through the ropes. Johnny V. cheapshots Blair, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Ax distracts the ref is Blair makes the tag then Smash knocks him through the ropes. The Bees are on the mat as they put on their masks while out on the floor. Brunzell is in as he dropkicks Ax for two as Smash made the save. The ref orders Smash on the apron then Blair heads up top and gets a sunset flip on Ax for the win (6:21) *1/4.

Thoughts: If you think the finishers are lame today then watch this tournament. It will seem like Eddie Graham booked RAW last night by comparison. The Bees won this unimpressive tournament and get a title shot. This match was alright compared to the other garbage we have seen.





WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis vs. Killer Bees


The Bees come out with their masks as the Hart Foundation head up the ramp. They do come back when the Bees remove them as they break huddle in the ring before starting the match. Neidhart and Brunzell run into each other to start as they are both down on the mat. Brunzell has Anvil up for a slam but Bret sneaks in ehind the referee’s back and dropkicks him down but Brunzell rolls through and gets a nearfall. Bret tags and hits a backbreaker for two then slaps Blair across the face before tagging out. Bret tags back in and has a front facelock but Neidhart distracts the ref so he missed the tag. Bret then accidentally knocks Neidhart off of the apron as Brunzell makes the tag. Blair runs wild then the match breaks down as the Bees clear the ring. The Bees put the masks on as Jimmy is screaming as the Bees use stereo sleeper holds on the Hart Foundation. Davis jumps up on the apron as Blair knocks him off then the ref struggles to maintain control as Blair has Bret in a small package, Davis runs in and reverses the move then the ref finally notices and counts to three as the Hart Foundation retains (4:20) **1/2.

Thoughts: All action and good but very short. No idea why they didn’t have matches this short for the rest of the tournament. Bret was phenomenal in this match and might have been the best in-ring technician the company had at this point. He was definitely top 3.






Final Thoughts: Man, this tournament sucked. Just about everyone involved was uninspired in the ring and the matches all seemed to have the same spots and pacing. The crowd even seemed burned out by the end. While the six-man tag elimination matches were a hit on the house show circuit, the tag tournaments were the exact opposite. Strong recommendation to avoid.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot interview with Blue Meanie and Jasmin St. Claire
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/21/87
Saturday: RoH Wrath of the Racket 8/9/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/22/87
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/29/87

WWF Wrestling Challenge March 15th, 1987

March 15, 1987


From the Civic Center in Springfield, MA


Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

In action this week are Billy Jack Haynes, Ricky Steamboat, and the Junkyard Dog. Plus, another “WrestleMania III” report.

A clip of Haynes being attacked by King Kong Bundy and Hercules after his match a few weeks ago.

Billy Jack Haynes vs. Moondog Spot


Spot attacks Haynes to start. Haynes then comes back with a chop before sending him outside with a dropkick. Haynes is then shown cutting an insane promo on Hercules and Bobby Heenan. Spot rolls back inside and very shortly after that Haynes makes him submit to the full nelson (1:10).

Thoughts: Quick match to put over Haynes and his full nelson. They really did give the Hercules/Haynes feud a lot of time on TV.






Jesse Ventura is with a shirtless Bob Uecker telling him to flex as to show off all the training he has done. Fine for what it was.

A clip of Adrian Adonis accidentally cutting Brutus Beefcake’s hair is shown.

Dino Bravo & Dream Team w/ Johnny V. vs. Mike Lucca & Paul Roma & “Italian Stallion” Salvatore Bellomo


I had no idea that Bellomo’s Rocky-knockoff character even made it to TV. Beefcake is selling his accidental haircut by wearing a bandana. Match starts with Bravo and Roma going back and forth. Bellomo tags but immediately gets hit with an inverted atomic drop as we get an insert promo from the Rougeaus on Bravo. The Dream Team takes advantage of the match for a while until Roma hits Beefcake then yanks of his bandana to a slight round of cheers from the fans. Lucca tags and taunts Beefcake with the bandana but ends of getting his ass kicked until Bravo tags and gets the win with a back suplex (3:53).

Thoughts: They were portraying Beefcake as an angry lunatic since getting his accidental haircut from Adonis. It didnt really work out to well in this match though.






Gene Okerlund is with the Can-Am Connection as they talk about facing Don Muraco & Bob Orton at WrestleMania III and how they will be keeping an eye out for Mr. Fuji. Really basic promo from these two.

Another segment with Bob Uecker as he hypes up WrestleMania III. Great job by Uecker, who was quite enthusiastic here.

Junkyard Dog vs. Rick Renslow

Before the match we get an insert promo from Heenan and Harley Race as Heenan gives JYD a lesson on how to bow and put the crown onto the King’s head. Match starts with JYD roughing up Renslow then taking him down with a headbutt. He then follows that with a clothesline before getting the win with a powerslam (1:02). After the match JYD dances with a few kids in the ring.

Thoughts: The JYD/Harley feud was not really clicking. The fans popped for JYD’s entrance but were silent during the match and his deteriorating skills were not helping with that.






Okerlund is with Adonis, who is dressed in a regular polo shirt as he tells Piper he has to decide on how he will cut his hair. He leaves then Hercules and Heenan come in as they warn Haynes that his neck will get broken when he is gets locked in the full nelson. Heenan then tells us that he will be managing the World Heacyweight Champion after WrestleMania III as Okerlund teases him about making a bet on that as Heenan tells Okerlund he will end up a loser, just like Hogan. Decent interviews from both.

Demolition w/ Johnny V vs. Tommy Sharpe & Sivi Afi


Demolition toss their opponents to the floor before the match starts. They then beat the shit out of Sharpe for a bit as we get an insert promo from Aretha Franklin as the talks about performing “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania III and after that they put Sharpe away with the Decapitation (1:20).

Thoughts: Demolition looked like killers here and that was a good thing as Sheik & Volkoff were getting stale as the powerhouse heel team.






Snake Pit with guests Bobby Heenan and Andre the Giant. Jake as Andre why he turned on Hogan as Heenan tells us all that Hogan has used him. Jake asks Andre about losing respect of the fans as he just stares straight ahead as Heenan does the talking, proclaiming that Hulkamania will die at WrestleMania III. Nice segment that furthered portrayed Andre as a man who was completely turned his back on the fans.

The same “WrestleMania Report” from Superstars airs.

Pete Doherty vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat


Steamboat works the arm as we are shown an insert promo from Randy Savage telling Steamboat that having George Steele in his corner will not help him one bit. Steamboat catches Doherty with a dropkick after an Irish whip sequence then goes back to the arm. Doherty misses a pair of elbow drops as Steamboat goes back to the arm as the announcers talk about the WrestleMania III card. Steamboat then hits a delayed vertical suplex before climbing up top and getting the win with a flying chop (4:53).

Thoughts: This was way too long for a squash match. The crowd still loved Steamboat though.






Okerlund is with Roddy Piper and asks him about Hollywood and the celebrities he will be meeting like Brian Dennehy and Pee Wee Herman. Piper then says that he is in the peak of his career at 32 years old and the only man that is in his class is Hogan, who comes out and tells us that all of the Hulksters will walk tall with pride and that he can live forever through Hulkamania as well. Not as crazy as their interview from a couple of weeks ago but still a bit out there.

Next week in action will be King Kong Bundy, Hart Foundation, and Hercules. Plus, highlights from the Battle Royal at “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and more.

Final Thoughts: This show was just okay. Being the final show of the taping, the crowd was somewhat dead and nothing really memorable happened but it did a fine job of hyping WrestleMania III, which was the main purpose.

Here is my schedule for the next week:

Tuesday: WWF Frank Tunney Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament 3/15/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Blue Meanie & Jasmin St. Claire
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/21/87
Saturday: RoH Wrath of the Racket 8/9/03
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 3/22/87

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event March 14th, 1987

March 14, 1987

From the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI

Your hosts are Jesse Ventura and Vince McMahon

The hosts put over the fact that both Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan will be in the 20-Man Battle Royal.

Gene Okerlund is with Hulk Hogan, who doesn’t care how many men are in this battle royal because he is coming after Andre the Giant. Good promo from Hogan.

Recap of George Steele taking Elizabeth away during the last episode of SNME.

Okerlund is with Elizabeth and Savage, who says he is “psyched up” and will hurt Steele real bad as the camera zooms in on Elizabeth, who is worried. Per the rules of the Savage/Steele match, Elizabeth enters the match last as the winner leaves with her as their manager. Savage heads to the ring as Steele comes in and says he will win Elizabeth.

WWF Intercontinental Title Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. George “The Animal” Steele

Elizabeth comes out with security as Jesse accuses Okerlund of being a “pervert” for checking her out as she walked away. She sits on a lifeguards chair as Savage hits Steele from behind with a double axe handle then takes her to the back but Ricky Steamboat’s music hits as he comes down as Savage retreats. He goes in the ring as he looks at Steamboat but that allows Steele to attack him from behind. Steele roughs up Savage then goes over and bites open the turnbuckle but takes too long as that allows Savage to hit him with a running knee smash from behind. He slams him down and heads up top connecting with a double axe handle. Steele fights back then bites Savage on the arm before using a lifting chokehold. Steele bites open another turnbuckle and throws the stuffing into the face of Savage. Steele heads outside and helps Elizabeth off of the chair but Savage attacks him from behind then slams the chair on him and rolls back inside to get the win via countout (4:30) *. After the match, Steele comes in the ring and hits Savage with the chair before tossing him to the floor. Steele then puts the Intercontinental Title over his shoulder then opens up a poster of Elizabeth.

Thoughts: Not bad for what it was, which was a match filled with smoke and mirrors to further along the Elizabeth/Steele and the Steamboat/Savage stories heading into WrestleMania. It succeeded in doing just that.

An insert promo of Hogan pumping iron yelling out Andre’s name along with others.

20 Man Battle Royal
Hillbilly Jim, “The Outlaw” Ron Bass, Sika, The Islanders, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, Hercules, “The Natural” Butch Reed, Paul Orndorff, Billy Jack Haynes, Koko B. Ware, Nikolai Volkoff, Blackjack Mulligan, Demolition, The Honky Tonk Man, Killer Bees, Andre the Giant, and Hulk Hogan

Andre blocks Hogan from entering the ring as Hogan shows him the belt. He then finally enters as he tears off his shirt and eggs on Andre but Orndorff attacks him from behind as the match begins. Honky is out first and Hogan dumps him over the top rope. Andre then dumps Sika and fights off Mulligan and Hillbilly before tossing Haku out of the ring. He then drags Poffo by the hair as he tosses him over the top rope. Hogan is halfway out as Ax and Reed work him over. The camera shows Poffo busted open on the floor after Andre headbutted him then they take him away on a stretcher with blood all over his face. Back to the match as Hogan backdrops Bass to the floor then Andre takes out Mulligan with a hip toss as Andre and Hogan have accounted for all of the eliminations so far. Volkoff is gone courtesy of Hogan then Blair gets tossed by Andre. Hogan and Orndorff are going at it as Andre chokes out Koko with his foot. Hercules and Orndorff are now double-teaming Hogan but fail to get him out. Hogan gets whipped into Andre as they have a stare down. They then trade punches but Orndorff attacks Hogan then Demolition beats on him too. Hogan eventually fights out and dumps Orndorff but Andre hits him then headbutts him down before eliminating Hogan as Jesse is ecstatic on commentary. Andre then does a “brush away” gesture as he looks at Hogan on the floor. Several referees take Hogan to the back as we go to commercial. Back from break as Andre tosses Brunzell to the floor then everyone else besides Hercules, who failed to stop, dump Andre over the top rope. Smash then eliminates Hillbilly in sloppy fashion then Koko ducks an attack before sending Reed over the top rope with a dropkick. The final four are now set: Hercules, Billy Jack Haynes, Smash, and Koko. Haynes makes the save for Koko  but Hercules is able to dump him after that. Hercules and Smash double-team Haynes, who comes back and takes out Smash. Hercules and Haynes start brawling until Heenan jumps up onto the apron. Haynes chases im away but that allowed Hercules to eliminate him and win the Battle Royal (11:16) **.

Thoughts: This told a good story with Hogan and Andre taking turns tossing guys out in order to be in the ring alone with each other. It also left doubt that Hogan could beat Andre, who eliminated him from the match. Their confrontation was fun though and a good tease for their WrestleMania III match. As for this match, it was pretty standard as far as battle royal’s are concerned but it really died off once Andre got eliminated and understandably so as no one else in the match could follow the Andre/Hogan dynamic.



Okerlund is with Andre the Giant, who said that it took 8 wrestlers to get him out of the ring but it only takes one giant to get rid of Hogan. Heenan then comes in and gloats over the fact that Andre took out Hogan, accusing him of hiding during the match. Heenan then says that Andre will remain undefeated and become the next Heavyweight Champion.

Now, Okerlund is with Jake Roberts, who will be facing King Kong Bundy. Roberts says that both he and Damien are ready for King Kong Bundy. He leaves before saying that its time for both of them to satisfy their hunger.

A quick insert promo from the Hart Foundation and Jimmy Hart about how they are defending their titles for the first time. At least they are on television.

King Kong Bundy w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Roberts uses his quickness to elude Bundy, who is afraid of Damien. Bundy gets increasingly frustrated before taking down Roberts with a test of strength. He holds him down on the mat until Roberts fights out. Bundy beats on Roberts in the corner then grabs a front facelock as the fans are behind Roberts. Bundy ducks his head for a backdrop but gets caught with a knee lift. Roberts knocks Bundy down with a punch then Heenan runs off with the snake bag, causing Roberts to chase him. Back from break as Roberts is walking down the aisle with the bag but Bundy attacks him as he re-enters the ring. Clothesline by Bundy who then runs him over with a shoulder block a few times. Bundy charges at Roberts in the corner but misses as both men are down. Roberts gets up first and fires away then goes to grab the snake but the ref intervenes. Roberts then knees the referee, who signals for the DQ (6:14) 1/2*. Bundy tries to attack Roberts, who fights back as Vince weirdly defends Roberts for hitting the referee, saying that he should not have interfered. Bundy goes for an elbow drop but misses and after that Roberts hits the DDT as the fans go nuts. Heenan runs out as Roberts goes after him and Bundy with the snake but the ref trips up Roberts, who then chases him out with the snake as Vince is pissed because he did not get to see the snake on top of somebody.

Thoughts: Bad match. This was all about hyping Jake here as Vince was really trying to get over the snake and even defending him for attacking the referee. A year after headlining WrestleMania 2 Bundy had nothing at all going on here.



We get a goofy promo from Steamboat about how will be “breathing fire” before making some odd “karate” noise. 80’s WWF Steamboat promos were usually so bad they were funny.



WWF Tag Team Championship Match
Tito Santana & Danny Spivey vs. Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis

Match starts with Spivey getting two off of a crossbody. Neidhart works him over for a bit but Spivey catches him with an atomic drop before tagging Tito. Bret and Tito work a nice sequence then Spivey tags back and gets two off of a shoulder block as Neidhart broke up the pin. The Hart Foundation are now beating on Spivey as they neutralize him in their corner. Neidhart gets two with a slingshot splash that looked sweet then Brett chokes him out against the ropes. Spivey tries and fails to fight out of the corner then gets attacked from behind as the ref orders Tito back on the apron. Tito gets tagged behind the referee’s back but as he goes back to the apron, Spivey ducks an attack that knocks Neidhart off of the apron. Tito cleans house and even knocks Davis off of the apron. he hits Brett with the flying forearm then applies the figure four but as Spivey and Neidhart fight, Davis sneaks in and whacks Tito off of the head with the megaphone and Brett  covers for the win (5:31) *1/2.

Thoughts: Decent action. This was the end of Spivey as a tag team wrestler as he was taken off of TV then became a singles heel wrestler that never got past the opening match level at house shows. He beat the likes of Lanny Poffo and Sam Houston for a year until leaving the company in 1988.



Okerlund is with Steamboat, who claims that he is 100%. Steamboat also says that he breathes fires and it gets hotter and hotter as he knows that everyone is going after his throat. Better than the promo right before this as he got over the injured throat storyline.

Iron Sheik w/ Slick vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Savage comes out on the apron to distract Steamboat, allowing Sheik to attack him from behind. Savage then joins on commentary as Vince yells at him. Savage then tells us that Steamboat can’t even tie his shoes and that he does not have what it takes to win. Steamboat skins the cat then hits Sheik with a back suplex as Savage tells us that neither guy is in his class. Steamboat hits a shoulder block and a hiptoss before grabbing a chinlock. Sheik goes on the attack then suplexes Steamboat back into the ring for two. Sheik rakes the eyes then uses an abdominal stretch but Steamboat breaks that up with a hiptoss as Savage promises that will not happen to him. Steamboat then slams Sheik and heads up top with a flying chop for the win (3:29) *. Savage then screams about how Steamboat cannot do that to him as Steamboat waves him on but Savage grabs a chair as Steamboat attempts to hop the guardrail to get to Savage but the referee prevents him.

Thoughts: Basic action but the confrontation between Savage and Steamboat here was excellent as that feud remained red hot heading into WrestleMania III



Okerlund is with Hogan and asks him about Heenan’s comments on Andre staying undefeated. Hogan then questions Andre if he cheated to get everyone of his wins and that his whole life has been a gigantic lie. Hogan says that now the whole world knows about Andre attacking people from behind.

Roddy Piper is now with Okerlund, who introduces him before his tribute. Piper thanks the fans and the WWF before saying that he always gave 110% and will do the same as he gives Hollywood a try. The video is then shown, set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” as all of his WWF career highlights are shown. Great video. The 80’s WWF music videos were done to perfection.

Final Thoughts: As a stand-alone show this was nothing special but in the grand scheme of things it did a fine job hyping up WrestleMania III. There was not any memorable matches or anything but the battle royal was fine leading up to the Hulk/Andre confrontation and they kept the Savage/Steamboat feud really strong and that was really all they needed to do here.