Race For Wrestler of the Year: July 2018

 

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Wrestler of the Month +10: Tomohiro Ishii, Ishii has been killing it in the G1 Climax field this year. He’s had absolute classics with Hirooki Goto, ZSJ, and Kota Ibushi. Especially, the Goto match as that was one of the most hard-hitting matches I’ve ever seen. While Ishii might not be a favorite to win the G1 this year he hasn’t had a bad match yet in the tourney and has given an amazing effort the entire month.

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month +8: Becky Lynch, after last month’s excitement for the women’s wrestling division and this month announcing the all women’s PPV “Evolution”, one woman has stood out at both times. Last month, Becky got her opportunity to shine in the Money in the Bank match and this month she has fought her way to a SD Live Women’s Title match in a very solid TV match against Carmella. Lynch is shining currently and it is refreshing to see her back at the top after being in the lower card of the women’s division in WWE for a while. 

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Most Improved: Juice Robinson +7, Robinson has always been great however this month he really embraced his potential. He won the IWGP Us Title from Jay White at the G1 Special in San Fran in a great match. He has also had a good G1 performance even though he started the tourney as the biggest loser. He had an amazing match against Tetsuya Naito in the G1 and I’m excited to see how he continues to be more successful. 

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The team of the Month: Moustache Mountain +8, these two won the Team of the Month through a story told in a single match. Against Undisputed ERA on NXT TV they put on one of the best single-match tag stories I’ve seen. ERA went after Trent Seven’s leg and Tyler Bate was forced to throw in the towel to save his mentor but lose the title. Moustache Mountain had a short tag title reign but it was memorable with amazing performances along the way. 

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Match of the Month +10: Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed ERA NXT TV Tag Titles, this might be an unpopular decision but I think this is one of the greatest tag matches of all time. The intense work on the leg of Trent by ERA, the high spots including the insane double spin (pictured above) by Tyler Bate and the selling of Trent Seven made this an absolute classic. The story I mentioned in the previous award section really tied all of the spots together and made it more than a meaningless spotfest. The undisputed ERA is an amazing tag unit but Moustache Mountain really shined in this match. 

Over 4-Star Matches:

  • Michael Elgin vs. EVIL G1 Climax A-Block ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki G1 Climax A-Block ****
  • Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada G1 Climax A-Block ****
  • Roman Reigns vs. Drew MacIntyre vs. Finn Balor RAW ****
  • AJ Styles vs. Rusev WWE Title Extreme Rules ****
  • Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy 205 Live NO DQ ****½
  • Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain NXT Tag Titles *****
  • The Young Bucks vs. Evil and Sanada IWGP Tag Titles G1 Special ****
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. Dragon Lee IWGP Jr Title G1 Special ****¼
  • Juice Robinson vs. Jay White IWGP US Title G1 Special ****¼
  • Kenny Omega vs. Cody IWGP Heavyweight Title G1 Special ****¼
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr G1 Climax B-Block ****½
  • Kenny Omega vs. Tetsuya Naito G1 Climax B-Block ****¾
  • Sanada vs. ZSJ G1 Climax B-Block ****
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Juice Robinson G1 Climax B-Block ****3/4
  • Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii G1 Climax B-Block ****½
  • Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns RAW #1 Contenders Match ****¼
  • ZSJ vs. Tomohiro Ishii G1 Climax B-Block ****
  • Sanada vs. Kota Ibushi G1 Climax B-Block ****¼
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii G1 Climax B-Block ****¾
  • Kenny Omega vs. Sanada G1 Climax B-Block ****¼
  • Tommaso Ciampa vs. Aleister Black NXT TV NXT Championship ****¼
  • Yoshi-HASHI vs. Michael Elgin G1 Climax A-Block ****¼
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hangman Page G1 Climax A-Block ****

Champions at the End:

WWE:

  • Universal +7: Brock Lesnar 484+ days
  • RAW Women’s: Alexa Bliss 43+ days
  • IC: Dolph Ziggler 42+ days
  • Cruiserweight: Cedric Alexander 113+ days
  • Raw Tag: The B-Team 15+ days
  • WWE: AJ Styles 265+ days
  • SD Women’s: Carmella 111+ days
  • US: Shinsuke Nakamura 15+ days
  • SD Tag: 2B 113+ days
  • NXT: Tommaso Ciampa 12+ days
  • NXT NA: Adam Cole 114+ days
  • NXT Women’s: Shayna Baszler 114+ days
  • NXT Tag: Undisputed ERA 39+ days
  • UK: Pete Dunne 436+ days

 

NJPW:

  • IWGP HVY: Kenny Omega 51+ Days
  • IWGP IC: Chris Jericho 51+ Days
  • IWGP US: Juice Robinson 23+ Days
  • NEVER Open: Hirooki Goto 43+ Days
  • IWGP HVY Tag: The Young Bucks 51+ Days
  • IWGP JR: Hiromu Takahashi 51+ Days
  • IWGP JR Tag: Desperado and Kanemaru 146+ Days
  • NEVER 6: Bucks and Scurrl 88+ Days

ROH:

  • ROH World: Jay Lethal 29+ Days
  • ROH TV: Punishment Martinez 43+ Days
  • ROH Tag: The Briscoes 142+ Days
  • ROH Six-Man: Cody and The Bucks 8+ Days
  • WOH: Sumie Sakai 113+ Days

Overall Leaderboard after July 2018:

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The Leader and Current Wrestler of the Year: Kenny Omega

  1. ↑Kenny Omega: 165 Points
  2. ↓Kazuchika Okada: 149 Points
  3. ↑Young Bucks: 134 Points
  4. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  5. Will Ospreay: 105 Points
  6. Kota Ibushi: 104 Points
  7. ↓Johnny Gargano: 96 Points
  8. ZSJ: 92 Points
  9. ↑Undisputed ERA: 85 Points 
  10. AJ Styles: 74 Points
  11. Tomasso Ciampa: 72 Points
  12. Marty Scurrl: 64 Points
  13. Hiroshi Tanahashi: 63 Points
  14. Adam Cole -Sanada: 61 Points
  15. Seth Rollins: 60 Points
  16. Alexa Bliss: 58 Points
  17. Hangman Page: 56 Points
  18. Cody -Jay White: 55 Points
  19. Andrade Almas -Dalton Castle -Hirooki Goto: 50 Points
  20. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  21. Cedric Alexander: 45 Points
  22. Kushida -Pete Dunne -Minoru Suzuki -Evil -Tetsuya Naito -Moustache Mountain         -Tomohiro Ishii 
  23. The Briscoes: 38 Points
  24. The Miz -Flip Gordon -Jay Lethal -Aleister Black: 35 Points
  25. Shinsuke Nakamura -Juice Robinson -Dragon Lee -El Desperado: 32 Points
  26. Braun Strowman -Zack Gibson -Michael Elgin -Finn Balor -Chris Jericho: 30 Points
  27. So Cal Uncensored: 25 Points
  28. Charlotte -Matt Taven: 22 Points
  29. Ronda Rousey -Jonathan Gresham -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy      -Velveteen Dream -Ricochet -Taiji Ishimori -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -Dolph Ziggler -Becky Lynch: 20 Points
  30. Burch and Lorcan -Chris Sabin: 17 Points
  31. Yoshinobu Kanemaru -Bludgeon Brothers: 16 Points
  32. Asuka -Usos -John Cena -The Bar -Firing Squad -Silas Young -Roppongi 3K -Bobby Roode -EC3: 15 Points
  33. Nia Jax -Kingdom -Carmella -Sumie Sakai -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez: 13 Points
  34. Sanity -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Matt and Bray -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Kofi Kingston -Sasha Banks -Kevin Owens -Yoshi-Hashi -Roman Reigns -Rusev: 10 Points
  35. New Day -Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Trent Baretta -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Samoa Joe -Travis Banks -Naomi -Elias -Drew Macintyre: 5 Point

Monthly Wrap Up: The month of July has had some absolute banger matches such as Tetsuya Naito vs Kenny Omega, Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto. In the end, however, this month was semi-uneventful for 2018 has been for pro wrestling so far but going into August it will be great to see how the G1 Climax finishes up. 

 

WWE Raw Review 7/30

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  • In Memory of Nikolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher. 

Roman Reigns Opens the Show:

  • Brock Lesnar is shown actually here in the arena via satellite backstage.
  • Reigns says he won’t let Lesnar enter his “Yard” and run his mouth. Paul Heyman comes down. 
  • Heyman cuts an awesome promo and calls Roman insane for trying to challenge Lesnar again. Heyman also says Lesnar will retain and go on to UFC to become a “Two-Sport Champion”
  • Reigns asks for Lesnar and Heyman says Brock is here but he will only come out when and if he feels like it.
  • Roman says if Brock shows up at Summerslam he will return him to UFC as his bitch. WWE used it’s one and only swear word this year… I love how the crowd acted like saying “bitch” was the craziest thing Reigns has ever done and in PG WWE it probably is. 
  • Backstage Segment with Heyman and Lesnar, Heyman shows Lesnar what Reigns said about him and Lesnar destroys the phone and sits back down. He really couldn’t care less. 

The Brock vs. Reigns mega-feud has reached an official level. Brock’s gimmick is that he doesn’t care anymore which in real life he doesn’t either. Roman looks like the good guy here for once and finally, WWE has made Lesnar someone the hardcore fans hate more than Roman. 

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

  • This feud is bad for both men and it continues again this week. 
  • Missile Dropkick by Balor sends Corbin ringside, Finn hits a flying forearm ringside. 
  • Apron Clothesline by Corbin knocks Balor down for a hard landing.
  • Long Rest Hold led by Corbin takes out the match’s minimal momentum it had built up. 
  • Sliding around-the-post clothesline by Corbin gives the match the first fall. 
  • Pop-up Dropkick by Balor sends Corbin ringside and gives Balor some space.
  • Corbin punches Balor while he’s leaning over the ropes, Corbin follows it up with a Back Drop on the apron. 
  • Enzugiri on the top rope by Balor again knocks Corbin to ringside, awesome Tope Con Hiro dive by Balor wipes out Corbin. 
  • Another Long Rest hold by Corbin takes more momentum out. 
  • Chokeslam by Corbin rolled up for a near fall by Balor. 
  • Chokeslam Backbreaker is successful by Corbin for a near fall. 
  • End Of Days attempt reversed into a DDT by Balor getting Finn back on top. 
  • Coup De Grace attempt fails, Balor stays standing but Corbin catches Balor in the Deep Six for another near fall. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick ringside by Balor drives Corbin into the barricade. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick in-ring but the Coup De Grace fails, End of Days by Corbin closes. 

Winner: Baron Corbin

Rating: ***1/2, This match showed what I knew all along, Baron Corbin can absolutely put on a great match given the time. Corbin put on a 3 star+ match while in a suit which I don’t think I’ve seen done before. Finn Balor is still amazing and they have great chemistry after all the matches they’ve had recently. 

  • Baron Corbin comes back again to attack Finn Balor more. 
  • Kurt Angle confronts Paul Heyman saying Brock Lesnar needs to be in front of a live audience of Heyman’s contract is terminated. 
  • WWE Evolution video package transitions into Natalya vs. Alicia Fox.

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox

  • Alicia Fox’s first match back from injury on RAW.
  • Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss are ringside. 
  • Rest-hold-mania for a while. 
  • Alicia taunts Ronda allowing for Bliss to KO punch Natalya allowing Fox to pick up the win. 

Winner: Alicia Fox

Rating: N/A, Another throwaway match just so Bliss and Rousey can be the focal point again. Before Evolution WWE needs to learn how to book their women better. 

  • Alexa Bliss and Ronda Rousey chase each other around for a bit.
  • Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman backstage segment and Heyman asks Lesnar to come out to the ring. Brock says nope and asks Heyman to leave the room. 
  • Kurt Angle, Natalya, and Ronda Rousey backstage segment. Angle announces Rousey’s first RAW match against Alicia Fox next week
  • Elias concert interrupted by Bobby Lashley, Lashley sings for a bit but Elias attacks. 
  • Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin backstage segment, Owens brings up the idea that Braun Strowman could cash in tonight before he can win the contract at SummerSlam. 

Braun Strowman vs. Jinder Mahal

  • Jinder Mahal is still continuing the annoying self-renewal gimmick. 
  • Jinder distracts Strowman while Owens sneaks up and grabs the MITB contract. 
  • Strowman chases Owens, Owens gives the briefcase to Singh and Singh gets trucked by Braun. Braun chases Owens backstage for a count-out. Referring to the match at SummerSlam where if Braun gets Counted out or DQ’d he loses. 

Winner: Jinder Mahal via Countout

Rating: N/A, Even though it wasn’t a great match and nothing much happened in-ring there was some great wrestling logic. The countout loss refers to the match at SummerSlam and Owens is a smart heel again. 

  • Jobbers meet up backstage for a segment with Mojo Rawley, the most talented jobber on RAW Bobby Roode confronts Mojo and attacks him. A pretty lame pull-apart brawl ensues. 

Apollo Crews vs. Akam

  • Apollo hits a series of kicks to weaken Akam and finally gets him down with a flying forearm, Standing Moonsault by Crews gets a near fall. 
  • Roll up win by Apollo Crews. 

Winner: Apollo Crews

Rating: N/A, While I’m excited that the very talented Apollo Crews put on a show it came at the cost of making AOP look weak. I’m predicting AOP is another NXT transitioned turned sour, unfortunately. Without Paul Ellering, the Authors of Pain are majorly lacking any character. 

Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre

  • Great Deadlift Suplex by Drew.
  • Suicide Dive by Rollins is caught, Drew blasts Seth into the barricade. 
  • Slingshot under the ring to the exposed steel ring frame by Drew, a really unique spot sold really well by Seth Rollins. 
  • The Suicide Dive finally works for Rollins so he follows it up with a 2nd Suicide Dive.
  • Rollins whips MacIntyre into the exposed steel ring frame.
  • Amazing Tilt-A-Whirl Falcon Arrow by Rollins for a near fall. 
  • Stomp Attempt by Rollins caught in a Spinebuster by Drew for another near fall.
  • Great sequence of superkicks by Rollins knocking Drew down after Macintyre asked for more.
  • Amazing Super Air Raid Crash by Drewy Mac for another near fall. 
  • Rollins rolls up the inverted Alabama Slam by Drew for a near fall. 
  • Stomp by Rollins hits and Ziggler attacks for a DQ. 

Winner: Seth Rollins via DQ.

Rating: ***1/4, What a match until Ziggler got involved. The very unique ring frame spots matched with the typical big move into near fall flow by Rollins. They put on a banger that had a unique flavor to it and if it had finished clean and went on longer could’ve been one of the better WWE Matches of The Year. WWE does have to save the match quality for SummerSlam to make it feel more special. 

  • Kurt Angle and Roman Reigns backstage segment, Angle says to have Lesnar out in the ring they need to get Reigns out of the building. Police come to escort Reigns out. Reigns sucker punches Baron Corbin down and leaves. 
  • B-Team in-ring interview interrupted by the Deleters of Worlds and they cut the typical weird promo. The Revival come down and stake their claim for the titles. Brawl breaks out between Deleters and Revival but Matt and Bray stand tall. 

Revival vs. Matt and Bray

  • B-Team on commentary.
  • Side Effect by Matt Hardy on Scott Dawson allows tags, hot tag by Bray Wyatt.
  • The crowd is SILENT. 
  • Miami smarks chanting “CM Punk” and “Rusev Day”. People complain the Revival are misused but crap on their matches. 
  • Shatter Machine gives Revival the pin over Bray Wyatt.

Winners: The Revival

Rating: *1/2, the crowd really ruined this one. The Revival finally gets a break from jobbing and the Miami crowd craps on this match. All things considered, the match itself had nothing interesting going on and lacked momentum. 

  • Seth Rollins interview with Renee Young. Drew and Dolph attack Seth. 

Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley

  • AGAIN??
  • Sarah Logan and Bayley start the match. 
  • The Bayley and Sasha frenemy feud is the worst thing on RAW currently. Do something with the feud or drop it already WWE. 
  • Hot tag by Bayley on Liv Morgan. 
  • Diving Meteora by Banks on Morgan goes for a near fall but Logan saves the match. 
  • Cool Backstabber/Bayley to Belly combo gives Bayley the pin over Liv.

Winner: Banks and Bayley

Rating; **, The feud is crazy repetitive and a snoozefest at this point especially this late into RAW. The only good thing was the Double Team Backstabber/Bayley to Belly finish. Stop with the feud already WWE. 

  • Backstage segment with Heyman and Lesnar and Heyman finally tells Brock about Angle’s ultimatum. Brock squares up with Heyman. 

Brock Lesnar Segment

  • Kurt Angle comes down with Baron Corbin and asks for Lesnar or Heyman is fired. 
  • Paul Heyman comes down in a somber tone. The crowd sings “Goodbye”.  Paul Heyman says Lesnar is not coming down here tonight. 
  • Kurt Angle gets fired up and talks down on Lesnar calling him “The Worst Universal Champion of All Time!” Paul Heyman agrees and says he’s tried to mold Brock in Angle’s image. Heyman says to take Angle’s punishment out on Lesnar. 
  • Kurt Angle fires Paul Heyman and Heyman clings onto Angle. 
  • Brock Lesnar comes down and Paul Heyman’s face immediately turns into a sadistic smile. Heyman is the best. 
  • Brock immediately squares up with Angle and Corbin, Lesnar delivers an F5 to Kurt Angle but Baron Corbin ducks out. 
  • Brock Lesnar chokes Heyman down. 
  • Crowd chants “We Want Strowman”. They don’t get that and Lesnar leaves. 

A great closing segment with great performances by Paul Heyman and Kurt Angle. Brock Lesnar is still an actual dick though, in character and in real life. Horrible, horrible champion. 

Show Grade: D+

Last Word: Man, what a disappointment this show was. RAW continues to march towards SummerSlam looking like crap. Brock Lesnar did nothing here other than continue to be an actual heel and make people like Roman in comparison to Brock. Paul Heyman carried all of the segments with Lesnar. There were two solid matches in Corbin vs. Finn and Drew vs. Seth but the rest of the show lacked severely and was just filter.

SD Live Review 7/24/2018

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  • The show opens with a Limo Shot and Miz, Maryse and Monroe Sky come out of the limo. Miz and Mrs. premiere party later tonight. 

Randy Orton Promo

  • Orton says he busted his ass for 16 years and the only constant in WWE. (Which is true) But he also says he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. 
  • Randy Orton says he’s not some “Indy Darling” and doesn’t perform in bingo halls or do stupid hand gestures. Stop hating the indies because they’re doing better than you Randy. 
  • Randy says the crowd is the “Legend Killer” now because they are no longer respecting him. He also says he will end Hardy’s career.

As much as I hate Randy, he’s actually doing something interesting with his character now. None of what he said in this promo wasn’t true, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves compared to the likes of Cena, Batista, and HHH who were in his same era. He is acting sadistic and vicious like he always should be. WWE turned him around for the better after his return from injury. 

Andrade Almas vs. Rusev

  • No Aiden English ringside due to the interference he has at Extreme Rules costing Rusev the match. 
  • Rusev throws Almas into the ropes and Almas and Vega hit the Tranquilo pose. 
  • Almas dodges Rusev sending him into the post and locks in a cross arm breaker over the top rope. 
  • Inverted Tornado DDT by Almas into the first near fall.
  • Hard series of Buzzsaw kicks by Rusev fires him up into hitting a huge spin kick to get the advantage again. 
  • Brutal Thrust Kick by Rusev for a near fall.
  • Hard chop by Almas but Rusev isn’t phased, Rusev hits some elbows in return, Spinning Back Elbow by Almas finally rocks Rusev.
  • Double Knees by Almas caught into the Machka Kick by Rusev. 
  • Lana and Vega argue Zelina Vega slaps Lana and Lana brawls. Aiden English tries to break it up but Zelina pushes English into Lana taking her down. Rusev is distracted and Almas slides in to hit the Hammerlock DDT on Rusev for the win. 

Winner: Andrade Almas

Rating: ***, A great back and forth match. The ending took a bit away from it with the Vega/Lana and English mix-up. However, Almas continues to shine and gets a huge win here. Some great strikes made this match so entertaining. A longer match between the two should tear the house down later down the line. 

  • Lana and Aiden English bicker backstage but Rusev says “Maybe None of you are good enough for Rusev Day.” This is a pretty great story so far.

Samoa Joe vs. R-Truth

  • Truth’s first match since Wrestlemania 34’s Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
  • Truth comes hot out of the gates. 
  • Coquina Clutch closes the match.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Rating: N/A, While it was decent to see Truth back in the ring, he got squashed quickly. 

  • Asuka gets interviewed about the Evolution PPV and says “Billie Kay isn’t ready for Asuka” transitioning into the next match.

Asuka vs. Billie Kay

  • Annoying Selfie Promo from the IIConics before the match.
  • Sliding Knee by Asuke for the match’s first near fall. 
  • Asuka tries to go for an ankle lock but Kay holds onto Peyton Royce ringside. 
  • A great series of kicks by Asuka closes the match. 

Winner: Asuka

Rating: N/A, Another squash match but this time Asuka looks better than Joe did in the previous segment. Asuka hit a great series of kicks to close the match while the IIConics continue to be annoying as hell. 

Paige announces AJ Style’s SummerSlam Opponent:

  • Paige congratulates the women of WWE then, now and forever on WWE “Evolution”
  • AJ Styles also talks about “Evolution” and how it relates to him being proud of his company and how his daughter can do whatever she wants when she grows up. 
  • Paige announces Styles’ opponent almost but James Ellsworth’s music hits and he comes down. James claims his case for the WWE title but Paige calls him a joke and Ellsworth unfunnily roasts Paige. Get him off my TV, please. 
  • Paige decides to fire James Ellsworth and security carries him off. 
  • Cutting back into the ring, Samoa Joe attacks AJ Styles. Joe signs the contract for his match at SummerSlam versus Styles. 

This segment was great but a little bit sloppily booked. Paige decided to fire Ellsworth after he annoyingly got in the way of the SummerSlam announcement. After the firing, the awesome part started. The introduction of Joe as Styles’ challenger was done well. He came up from behind to attack Styles which is rare to see in these challenger pickings. 

  • Backstage segment with Paige and Joe confirms that Joe was Paige’s choice. Carmella argues with Paige about firing Ellsworth.

Carmella vs. Becky Lynch, if Becky wins she gets to face Carmella at SummerSlam for the Title

  • Diving Punch by Lynch off the apron wipes Carmella out ringside.
  • Carmella whips Becky into the barricade and Lynch takes a hard fall.
  • Huricanrana by Carmella sends Becky into the corner, Becky fights back but Carmella brings Becky hard to the ground.
  • Carmella talks trash but is hit with a Dropkick by Becky Lynch.
  • Becky fires up and goes for the Bexplex but fails, Flatliner by Carmella for the first near fall. 
  • Tornado DDT by Carmella stopped into a Bexploder by Lynch. 
  • Spider Supercanrana by Carmella for a near fall. 
  • Roll up using the ropes by Carmella for a very near fall. 
  • Rebound Enzugiri by Lynch allows Becky to get some space. 
  • Diving Leg Drop by Lynch dodges, superkick by Carmella for a near fall.
  • Dis-arm-her by Lynch taps out Carmella. 

Winner: Becky Lynch

Rating: ***1/4, Lynch just helped Carmella put on one of her best one-on-one WWE matches in recent memory. Becky Lynch finally gets her shot again and Carmella delivered a great match. There was some great near fall especially Carmella’s rope-full roll up. Carmella did a great job here delivering one of her best performances ever even though that is saying too much. 

The New Day vs. sAnitY in a Tag Team Tournament Match to face Bludgeon Brother at SummerSlam for the Titles

  • Woods and Big E from New Day and Wolfe and Dain from Sanity are the chosen competitors. 
  • The Usos on commentary. 
  • Xavier Woods and Alexander Wolfe start the match.
  • Poor Dain, Vince is making him wear a shirt on the main roster even though he was shirtless his entire career in NXT. I don’t mind it too much though, that boi hairy.
  • Huge Senton by Dain onto Woods. 
  • Great Missile Dropkick by Woods wipes out Dain and opens up tags, hot tag to Big E.
  • Eric Young hops up to distract Big E, A Cannonball dive by Woods takes out Killian Dain, Eric Young gets up on the top rope but Kofi takes him out, Midnight Hour closes the match on Wolfe. 
  • The Bar return to provoke the Usos and build to their match next week. 

Winner: The New Day Advance

Rating: **1/2, While this match is crazy short it was a great dash. It played out like you think it would with Eric Young getting involved and Xavier doing a big dive and getting the win. It was fun but not anything special. 

Miz and Mrs. premier party:

  • Maryse congratulates “Evolution” but says she started the evolution first. 
  • Miz says Monroe Sky has accompanied more in her short life than Daniel Bryan ever has. 
  • Miz says the mention of Daniel Bryan has put Monroe Sky to sleep.
  • Miz plays the highlight show of Miz and Mrs but it plays out like a blooper reel of Miz’s career. 
  • Daniel Bryan pops up on the big screen and says he will come to apologize to Miz in person for having the blooper reel played. 
  • Security stops Daniel from entering the ring but Bryan wipes them out. 
  • Miz throws his baby which turns out to be a doll and attacks Daniel Bryan. 
  • Miz says Monroe was never here and brought an actor to the show because he would never bring his daughter to *Insert Town Name Here*

This was a pretty fun segment but a weird close to the show. A good promotion for Miz’s new show that I probably won’t ever watch but the Miz leaves looking like a dastardly heel and the feud on Miz vs. Bryan continues. 

Show Grade: B

Last Word: While nothing on the show was as good as MacIntyre and Ziggler vs. Rollins and Balor or Lashley vs. Reigns from RAW last night, this was a much better build up show to Summerslam. The show was overall more entertaining too as there weren’t any negatives to this show. Almas vs. Rusev, Miz and Mrs. premiere party and Carmella vs. Lynch were all big highlights. RAW was a tad bit better but not by much and, in the long run, this show did so much more good for building up the “Biggest Party of the Summer” 

Raw vs. Smackdown this week: RAW

 

 

 

 

WWE Raw Review 7/23/2018

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  • The show opens with the roster on the stage and Vince Mcmahon in the ring. Vince calls for Stephanie to come down.

Stephanie Mcmahon’s Historic Announcement

  • Triple H congratulates the roster for making WWE historic lately with NXT, 205 Live, SD Live, Raw and NXT UK. Then mentions the strong bond the roster has formed with each other. Nikki Cross is officially on the main roster making a slight appearance on the stage. 
  • Triple H asks all the women to come forward and says the WWE Universe and Men’s Locker Room supports them like crazy. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon turns face for a change and thanks the crowd for opening up the doors for women to become strong lately. 
  • Stephanie Mcmahon announces an event called “Evolution” on October 28th which is going to be an all Woman WWE PPV. That is awesome!

This was a great opening segment that felt insanely important with Stephanie, HHH, and Vince all here to make the announcement. An all Women’s PPV is a great idea which has been rare from WWE lately. An actual “historic” opening to RAW and I’m excited to see where the Women’s PPV goes from here. 

The “B” Team(c) vs. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the RAW Tag Titles

  • Backstage “B” Team promo highlights how far they’ve come from the jobber life. 
  • An Elias concert is interrupted by Matt and Hardy entering. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • The Rotunda Brothers face off again but Wyatt knocks Dallas down with a stiff crossbody.
  • Revival shown looking on. 
  • A Lariat by Wyatt to Dallas opens up a hot tag by Hardy on Axel. 
  • Side Effect by Hardy on Axel for a near fall. 
  • Twist of Fate by Hardy onto Axel, near fall but Dallas, saves the match, Wyatt comes to take out Bo but Dallas trips Wyatt into Hardy, Axel gets a roll up win for a B-Team retain. Confusing finish but a rightful winner. 

Winners: The B-Team Retain (8 Day Reign) 

Rating: **1/4, the same match from these two teams we’ve seen before but this round has an added urgency because it looked like the “B” Team could lose the titles. It played out like a normal tag match until the end which had Dallas take out Wyatt who took out Hardy inadvertently so Axel can get the win. Even though the ending was fast and convoluted, The B Team needed to retain, they’ve been entertaining as hell lately. 

  • After the match, Bray and Hardy attack Axel and Dallas. 
  • Backstage segment with Gable and Finn sees Finn move into his own locker room which turns out to be a kid’s sized house. Another WWE “HA, He’s so small joke.” Constable Corbin puts Finn Balor in a match tonight against Drew MacIntyre.
  • Interview with Sasha Banks and Bayley confirm they are again STILL friends. 
  • In a tag team match, Banks and Bayley beat locals and actually look like a good tag unit. 

I know WWE is trying to annoy us with the constant Love/Hate relationship between Bayley and Sasha Banks but that is almost working too well. These both are really talented and need to either move on or put on a great match like they totally could. Especially, with the all WWE Women’s PPV coming soon they need to book their women a bit better. 

  • Elias tries to talk about his new album again and gets interrupted by Braun Strowman. 

Monster in the Bank/Braun Strowman Segment:

  • Strowman congratulates the women on getting their own PPV but especially Alexa Bliss. 
  • Braun talks about Lashley vs. Reigns later on tonight and says it doesn’t matter who’s champion he says sooner or later he will cash in his briefcase. 
  • Strowman plays the crowd up but Kevin Owens interrupts. 
  • Kevin Owens says he tried to befriend Strowman for the sake of his son being Braun’s fan, Owens also says that Strowman crushed his son’s dream like he crushed his spine at Extreme Rules. Kevin Owens is definitely the face in this feud. 
  • Kevin Owens says Braun’s problem has barely started, Baron Corbin’s theme hits and, under the “power” of Stephanie, Corbin sends Jinder Mahal out to “control” Braun’s temper with his self-renewal bullshit. 
  • Braun hits Running Powerslams to Mahal and Singh.

This segment was pretty bad, the stereotypical treatment of Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens continuing to be an empathetic face even though WWE is booking him heel and Braun Strowman doing the same thing he does every week. It’s surely time for a refresh in all of their gimmicks and it feels like I’ve seen this exact segment every week on RAW.

Natalya vs. Mickie James

  • Again with this match/feud??
  • Electric Chair Drop by Natalya lays both women out, surprisingly high spot. 
  • James kicks Natalya from in-ring out to ringside, awkward sell by Nattie, Bliss gets involved but Natalya wipes out Bliss. 
  • James hits a superkick for the win. 

Winner: Natalya

Rating: N/A

  • Interview with Roman Reigns, he says “tonight is a night of firsts and I’ll beat Lashley for the first time tonight.” 
  • Elias tries to promote his album again but AOP interrupts this time. 

Authors of Pain Segment:

  • AOP says they need a challenge and they’re done with Titus Worldwide. I guess not as Titus Worldwide comes down.
  • I feel so bad for Apollo Crews, he has too much talent for Titus Worldwide. I guess, Titus does too. Just leave Dana Brooke and call it Dana Worldwide. 
  • AOP says Titus should just retire which starts a brawl, they somehow stand tall even though AOP would legitimately crush them if this was NXT. 

Another Raw Cliche segment. I feel like 4/5 people in this segment are too talented to be in this spot. AOP was shown as weak which was bogus after they looked like monsters in NXT for YEARS.

  • Stephanie, Angle, Corbin, and Owens backstage segment. Kevin Owens asks for a match against Braun Strowman at SummerSlam. If Owens wins (by Countout and DQ) included he gets the Money in the Bank briefcase. 

Even though seeing Braun vs. Owens again might be too repetitive, I’m looking forward to it. The stipulation should make it fun with Owens going for the MITB Briefcase and Stephanie Mcmahon being on the side of Owens might add extra importance to the storyline. Another solid looking SummerSlam match made. 

  • Mojo Rawley squashed Tyler Breeze (who deserves better) while Bobby Roode (who also deserves better) cuts a promo on a pop-up screen.
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler cut a selfie promo. 
  • Elias gets interrupted AGAIN by Finn Balor’s entrance. 

Finn Balor vs. Drew MacIntyre:

  • Dropkick by Finn Balor sends Drew ringside, an awesome Tope Con Hiro Dive follows.
  • Deadlift Vertical Suplex by Drew for a near fall, great show of power from Macintyre. 
  • Great Tornado DDT by Finn Balor finally gets MacIntyre down after Finn fails to get him down after a series of forearms. 
  • MacIntyre dodges the Coup De Grace attempt but Finn hits a follow-up slingblade and a shotgun dropkick. Off a second, Coup de Grace attempt Ziggler interferes for the DQ. Seth Rollins comes down to stop the attack on Balor and even the odds.
  • Kurt Angle restarts the match as a tag team match. 

Finn Balor and Seth Rollins vs. Drew MacIntyre and Dolph Ziggler:

  • Rollins and Balor work together to take out Drew before the bell even rings. 
  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Plancha Dive by Seth Rollins takes out Ziggler ringside. 
  • After Drew and Dolph settle into the tag match, they start to dominate and isolate Balor. 
  • Drew Macintyre Gorilla Presses Balor over the barricade. 
  • Pele Kick by Finn Balor lays him and Ziggler down opening up tags, Drewy Mac makes it before Balor though and stops him from making the tag. 
  • Seth finally tags in for a hot tag and Suicide Dives Mac and Ziggler down. 
  • Diving Blockbuster by Rollins to Macintyre for a near fall. 
  • Superkick by Rollins to Macintyre leads to a very near fall but Ziggler makes the save.
  • Stomp attempt by Rollins to Ziggler but Macintyre stops Seth in his path. Alabama Slamma by Macintyre for a very near fall. 
  • “This Is Awesome” chants!
  • Rollins huricanranas McIntyre ringside and hits a Stomp on Ziggler for the win. 

Winners: Seth Rollins and Finn Balor

Rating: ***3/4, The match was an amazing showcase for Drew Macintyre having another very strong performance on the main roster. Seth, like normal, carried a lot of the match and Balor took less of the heat after a solid match against Macintyre earlier. The whole half-hour segment here was very good and focused on wrestling instead of crappy gimmick stuff like the rest of the show has been. Ziggler is finally where he should be, high-mid card and everyone leaves this match looking great. The match had some amazing near falls and tag moments. Seth Rollins is amazing!

Liv Morgan vs. Ember Moon

  • Moon immediately hits a single-leg dropkick after the bell rings.
  • Springboard Crossbody by Moon misses Dropkick by Liv for a near fall. 
  • Liv is working a little bit sloppy. 
  • The crowd is dead silent. 
  • Inverted STO by Moon for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Superplex by Ember Moon followed by an Eclipse for the win. 

Winner: Ember Moon

Rating: N/A

  • Backstage Interview with Seth Rollins, Rollins announces him vs. Ziggler for the IC Title at Summerslam. So no Brock vs. Rollins after all. 
  • Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley video package plays. 
  • Elias comes out for another try at promoting his album, succeeds for longer than before but Kurt Angle interrupts. Kurt finally gives him the chance for a concert. Elias shouts out the band O.A.R who are ringside. After a little bit of playing with the crowd, Elias actually starts his performance. Elias stops the song to trash the town which happens to be Cincinnati tonight and Bobby Lashley interrupts. 

Bobby Lashley vs Roman Reigns for the chance to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title at SummerSlam:

  • Brock Lesnar will be on RAW next Monday. 
  • Drive-By attempt by Reigns caught into an overhead suplex ringside by Bobby Lashley.
  • Spinebuster by Bobby Lashley for a near fall. 
  • Huge Double Lariat lays both men out.
  • Strikefest leads to a great looking leapfrog lariat by Lashley. 
  • From the apron, Lashley knocks a running Reigns down with another lariat. 
  • Reigns dodges a charging Lashley, Lashley gets back in the ring and Reigns hits a very sloppy leg drop for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch attempt caught into a Full Nelson by Lashley, Reigns fights out. 
  • STO into an Anaconda Vice by Lashley, pin attempt for a near fall by Reigns getting out of the hold.
  • Huge Powerslam by Lashley for a very near fall.
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a leg lariat by Reigns for a near fall. 
  • Superman Punch by Reigns finally hits for another near fall.
  • Lashley throws Reigns from ringside back into the ring, hard fall on Reigns’ neck taken. Spear by Lashley for an awesome very near fall.
  • Another Spear attempt by Lashley gets caught with a superman punch. 
  • Spear attempt by Reigns gets countered but Reigns bounces back off the ropes and finally hits the spear to win the match. 

Winner: Roman Reigns

Rating: ****1/4, WHAT A MAIN EVENT! This is a contender for my favorite Reigns match and definetely one of the best Lashley matches. These two tore the house down. Constant amazing near falls added to the evenly match atmosphere that these two thrived in. There were a few sloppily worked moments like Reigns’ leg drop over the middle rope or Lashley throwing Reigns into the ring and having Reigns land on his neck but in the end, the near falls and the crowd participation made something special. These two battled for a great main event and even though Lashley should’ve won and looked amazing in this match, I’m not even mad about Reigns vs. Lesnar 4. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: This is one of the best episodes of RAW recently even though it was far from perfect. Reigns and Lashley was a fantastic main event, Rollins, and Balor vs. MacIntyre and Ziggler was a great TV mid-card tag match. However, the shine of these two matches just barely overshadows stuff like AOP and Titus Worldwide feuding AGAIN, The Strowman segment and Bayley vs. Banks hate/love thing again. This is without mentioning the amazing opening segment though, as WWE used tonight to announce the all Women’s WWE PPV “Evolution”. This episode of RAW will actually be remembered and for good reasons, not like the Lashley’s Sisters episode of RAW. 

 

 

 

NJPW G1 Climax July 22nd/Night 7 A-Block Review

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G1 Climax Standings Before Show: 

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Michael Elgin-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Togi Makabe-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Evil-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hangman Page-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 0 Points (0-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega-6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Sanada-4 Points (2-1-0) 
  • Kota Ibushi- 4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Tama Tonga- 2 Points (1-2-0) 
  • ZSJ- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-3-0)

G1 Climax Night 7 A-Block Results

  • Yoshi-Hashi defeats Michael Elgin via pinfall @ 14:23 ****1/4
  • Evil defeats Bad Luck Fale via DQ @ 12:22 **1/2
  • Minoru Suzuki defeats Jay White via pinfall @ 10:37 ***1/4
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Hangman Page via pinfall @ 12:07 ****
  • Kazuchika Okada defeats Togi Makabe via pinfall @ 15:10 **1/2

 

 

Yoshi-Hashi (0 Points) vs. Michael Elgin (4 Points)

  • The story here is, Yoshi has been the biggest loser of the G1 so far and has to go for broke to get some points. 
  • Crossbody to ringside by Yoshi is caught by Elgin but Yoshi brakes free. After some fight, Yoshi hits a ringside suplex. 
  • Elgin hits a lariat to Yoshi draped over the top rope for the first near fall.
  • Strikes into a DDT by Yoshi-Hashi allows Yoshi to get some space.
  • Yoshi hits a huricanrana to send Elgin ringside and follows up with an awesome Tope Con Hiro Dive. 
  • Blockbuster by Yoshi for a near fall. 
  • Spinebuster by Elgin for a near fall.
  • Super Gory Bomb by Elgin reversed with a reverserana by Yoshi for a near fall. Great high spot.
  • Chopfest fires up Yoshi to hit a German Suplex on Elgin to get some space. 
  • Powerbomb off the middle rope by Yoshi for a near fall, a sequence of big moves by Yoshi leads to the Swanton Bomb by Yoshi for a very near fall. Great firing up sequence by Hashi. 
  • Swinging Spinebuster by Elgin lays both down. 
  • Superplex by Elgin for a very near fall. Great show of heart by Yoshi. 
  • Buckle Bomb by Elgin but Yoshi fires back with a jackknife rollup for a near fall. 
  • Strikefest leads to a huge lariat by Elgin for another very near fall.
  • Splash Mountain Gory Bomb hit by Elgin for another very near fall, Yoshi is going for broke here. 
  • Burning Hammer attempt by Elgin, Yoshi flies over and hits a superkick. Fisherman Buster by Yoshi for a near fall. 
  • Karma by Yoshi for the win. 

Winner: Yoshi-Hashi via pinfall @ 14:23

Record: Yoshi-Hashi 2 Points (1-3-0), Michael Elgin 4 Points (2-2-0)

Rating: ****1/4, An incredible show of heart by Yoshi Hashi. Yoshi knew he had to go for broke and he just kept kicking out. The story was fantastic even though the pacing was a bit off. The ending was awesome, with Elgin hitting big move after big move with Hashi kicking out each time. There were also some pretty great high spots including the Super Gory Bomb by Elgin reversed into a huricanrana bomb by Yoshi. Yoshi had some amazing firing up sequences and deserved the win. 

Evil (4 Points) vs. Bad Luck Fale (2 Points)

  • Evil wastes no time and goes straight for Fale when focused on Tanga Loa.
  • Evil tries to bait Loa into hitting him for the DQ win. 
  • Fale grabs a chair distracting the referee while Tonga Loa attacks Evil. 
  • In the crowd, Fale throws Evil into chairs and throws barricades at him. Evil gets back in the ring at 17.
  • Big Splash by Fale for the first near fall.
  • Fale working the right arm of Evil.
  • Evil lariats Fale over the top rope to ringside and shoves him into the barricade. 
  • Evil wraps a chair around Fale’s head and throws Fale into the ring post.
  • Senton in the corner by Evil for a near fall. 
  • Another Big Splash by Fale for another near fall. 
  • Vertical Suplex attempt by Evil fails but he turns it into a DDT dropping Fale on his head.
  • Huge Lariat by Fale for a near fall. Fale looks more desperate for the win than usual. 
  • Bad Luck Fall attempt by Fale fails Evil fights into hitting a lariat for a near fall. 
  • Fale sends Evil into the ref, knocking out the ref and allowing Tonga Loa to attack. Bushi comes down to even the odds but Tama Tonga comes down to neutralize Bushi, Tetsuya Naito comes down to attack Tonga. STO by Evil to Fale but the referee is out and count.
  • Gun Stun to Evil calls for the DQ win. 

Winner: Evil via DQ @ 12:22

Records: Evil 6 Points (3-1-0), Bad Luck Fale 2 Points (1-3-0) 

Rating: **1/2, More of the Firing Squad G1 Overbooking. This time it’s a faction war with LIJ. This match had more momentum and given more solo time than Tama vs. Omega but this match was two slow guys battering each other which could’ve been better without all the faction war. I do like the Firing Squad character though ambushing the G1.

Minoru Suzuki (2 Points) vs. Jay White (6 Points) 

  • Youngest in the G1 versus the Oldest in the G1 facing off here. 
  • Ringside brawl leads to Jay White standing tall.
  • Jay White is getting cocky. 
  • Triangle Hold over the top rope by Suzuki. 
  • Hard strikes by Suzuki to Jay, Jay yells “Come on Suzuki” and hits a cheap shot followed by a DDT getting White back on top. 
  • Jay tries to choke out Suzuki with the ring apron, that’s unique. 
  • Suzuki brutally torquing the fingers of Jay to get out of Jay’s Cattle Mutilation lock.
  • A series of 3 PKs by Suzuki for a near fall. 
  • Wrist Lock by Suzuki, Jay White gets the ropes. 
  • Suzuki working the left arm of Jay White. 
  • Suplex into the corner by White gets him some much-needed space. 
  • Vertical Brainbuster by Jay White for a near fall.
  • Blade Runner attempt by White fails, Suzuki goes for the Rear Naked Choke and locks it in. Jay fights out and tries to low blow Suzuki, Suzuki blocks it and knocks Jay with a punch and hits the Gotch Neutralizer for the win ending White’s undefeated run.

Winner: Minoru Suzuki via pinfall @ 10:37

Records: Minoru Suzuki 4 Points (2-2-0), Jay White 6 Points (3-1-0)

Rating: ***1/4, the contrast of the cocky, young newcomer vs. the old, brutal veteran worked really well here in theory. However, the match never really kicked into another gear and lacked any huge spots. Suzuki got the win to end White’s undefeated reign in the G1 so far.

Hiroshi Tanahashi (4 Points) vs. Hangman Page (2 Points)

  • “Battle of the handsome” 
  • Technical Wrestling start where Page keeps up with Tana.
  • Hangman “breaks” the air guitar that Tana plays after his winning matches.
  • Deadlift Pumphandle Suplex by Page for the first near fall.
  • Page working the knee of Tanahashi early on. 
  • Crossbody by Tana rolled through into the Stretch Buckler hold by Page, Tana gets ropes.
  • Both hold on to each other’s legs after a kick sequence, both release at the same time but Tana gets the Dragon Screw on Page.
  • Swanton Bomb by Tanahashi for a near fall. 
  • Shooting Star Press to ringside by Page takes out Tanahashi. 
  • Top Rope Neckbreaker by Page, near fall, Page keeps ahold of the leg and locks in the Figure Four, Tanahashi turns over reversing the pressure. 
  • Dragon Screw leg whip by Tanahashi to Page over the middle rope, Page fights back and hits the Buckshot Lariat.
  • Rite of Passage attempt by Page fails and Tanahashi hits the Dragon Screw leg whip again. 
  • Page is heavily selling the leg from the multiple leg whips. 
  • Strikefest leads to a slingblade by Tana for a near fall. 
  • Hi-Fly Flo by Tana to a standing Page, a 2nd Hi Fly Flo hits to a downed Page for the win. 

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi via pinfall @ 12:07

Records: Hiroshi Tanahashi 6 Points (3-1-0), Hangman Page 2 Points (1-3-0)

Rating: ****, Hangman Page did an awesome job of keeping up with Tanahashi and making this match look even. Page really shined here and hit most of his signature moves. There were some awesome high spots like Page’s Shooting Star Press and the Top Rope Neckbreaker. The match had a good technical vibe too with Page working the leg of Tana early and the Dragon Screws by Tana weakening Page. The finish was pretty great too as Page started to gradually get weaker after the Dragon Screw leg whips and Tanahashi finally putting Page away after 2 Hi-Fly Flows. Great even and work rated match. 

Togi Makabe (4 Points) vs Kazuchika Okada (2 Points)

  • The “Broken” Okada shows more of a heel side here than normal. 
  • The brawling of Makabe is heavily in focus here. 
  • Ringside DDT by Okada, a hard landing for Makabe. 
  • Powerslam by Makabe gets him some needed space, Okada has been on top the majority of the match.
  • Lariat by Makabe for the match’s first near fall.
  • These two look really tired from all the G1 action so far. 
  • High Crossbody by Okada, sad near fall.
  • Shotgun Dropkick by Okada fires Makabe into the corner, Reverse Neckbreaker by Okada for another slow near fall. 
  • Okada taunts and strikes at Makabe, Makabe fires up leading to a slow strikefest.
  • Tombstone by Okada follows up with a failed Rainmaker, Death Valley Driver by Makabe takes them both out. 
  • Hard Powerbomb by Makabe for a near fall.
  • Super Overhead Suplex by Makabe, Makabe dives but Okada catches him mid-air with a dropkick. 
  • Rainmaker by Okada fails again, Makabe hits a stiff lariat. Okada gets up and hits a discus lariat.
  • Rainmaker by Okada finally hits for the win. 

Winner: Kazuchika Okada via pinfall @ 15:10

Record: Kazuchika Okada 4 Points (2-2-0), Togi Makabe 4 Points (2-2-0)

Rating: **1/2, These two men looked very tired from the constant G1 action. This match had a definite slump and even Okada with the amazing conditioning he’s shown looked exhausted. The match was mostly them laying around but towards the end, it picked up into a normal Okada finish with the dramatic attempts for the Rainmaker and with one final hit of the Rainmaker the slow match closed. 

G1 Standings after the show:

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-6 Points (3-1-0)
  • Evil- 6 Points (3-1-0)
  • Michael Elgin- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Togi Makabe- 4 Points (2-2-0)
  • Hangman Page- 2 Points (1-3-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale- 2 Points (1-3-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 2 Points (1-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega-6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Sanada-4 Points (2-1-0) 
  • Kota Ibushi- 4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Tama Tonga- 2 Points (1-2-0) 
  • ZSJ- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-3-0)

Show Grade: C 

 

 

 

 

 

NJPW G1 Climax 28 B-Block Night 6/July 21st Review

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Current G1 Standings Before Show (2 points per win)

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Michael Elgin-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Togi Makabe-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Evil-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hangman Page-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 0 Points (0-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega(c)-4 Points (2-0-0)
  • Kota Ibushi-4 Points (2-0-0)
  • Tama Tonga-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-2 points (1-1-0)
  • Zack Sabre Jr-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Sanada-2 Points (1-1-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 0 Points (0-2-0)

G1 Climax Night 6 (B-Block) Results

 

Kota Ibushi(4 Points) vs. Toru Yano(0 Points)

  • Rocky Romero on commentary tonight.
  • The story going in here is Yano has to cheat to be able to win matches in the G1 and Yano has been cleaner lately.
  • Series of near fall roll-ups very early on by Toru Yano. 
  • Great looking plancha dive by Ibushi takes out Yano on the outside. 
  • Toru Yano removes the turnbuckle pads from 2 different turnbuckles but on the 3rd turnbuckle, Ibushi dives with an amazing corkscrew moonsault taking out Yano. 
  • Yano sends Ibushi face first into the exposed turnbuckle. After a little bit of fight back from Ibushi, Yano Irish whips Ibushi into the exposed buckle 3 times. 
  • Ibushi dodges the Standing Moonsault and Yano hits Ibushi with the loose turnbuckle pad. 
  • Yano tapes Ibushi’s hands together but Ibushi manages to dropkick Yano down, hit a series of kicks and a Standing Moonsault for a near fall.
  • Yano tries to low blow Ibushi but inadvertently takes out the referee. Yano low blows Ibushi and rolls him up for the upset win. 

Winner: Toru Yano via pinfall @ 8:26

Records: Toru Yano 2 Points (1-2-0), Kota Ibushi 4 Points (2-1-0)

Rating: ***, this was a very fun character clash with Ibushi being as athletically amazing as ever and Toru Yano being his goofy cheating self. While the match lacked the work rate of other NJPW matches it made up in the comedy and character aspects. Yano gets his first win and even though he’s not a favorite to win he will continue to provide a good comedy break from the serious work rate tournament matches. 

Zack Sabre Jr (2 Points) vs. Sanada (2 Points) 

  • Rematch from the NJPW Cup earlier this year. In that match, ZSJ won. 
  • Amazing counter to the snapmare by Sanada just floating out and over back into a standing position. Sanada is so athletic. 
  • Sanada is holding his own in the submission game keeping a lock on the Full Nelson hold while ZSJ keeps trying to fight out. 
  • Amazing Roll Up sequence from both, into a near fall rollup by Sanada. What a match early on!
  • Great submission sequence with Sanada again holding his own in a Straight Jacket Rest Hold Choke. Sanada looks great in this match.
  • Backslide Battle won by Sanada but ZSJ locks Sanada into a Kimura Lock, Sanada fights into a Skull End Attempt but ZSJ grabs him into a Spider Lock, Sanada fights into another near fall rollup battle. ZSJ ends the sequence with a Penalty Kick straight to Sanada’s chest.
  • European Leg Clutch Roll Up for a very near fall by ZSJ. 
  • Skull End Attempt by Sanada, ZSJ fights out, European Leg Clutch rollup by Sanada for the win. 

Winner: Sanada via pinfall @ 10:46

Records: Sanada 4 Points (2-1-0), ZSJ 2 Points (1-2-0)

Rating: ****1/4, What a technical wrestling match! It was amazing to see Sanada be able to hold his own with submissions against ZSJ. ZSJ is the king of modern technical wrestling and Sanada was able to believably hang with him at a technical standpoint. Early on, there were so many amazing sequences including Sanada keeping the Full Nelson on ZSJ no matter what, the very near fall fast roll-up sequence and even a rest hold submission sequence. There were no boring points in this match and Sanada got a shock win by turning the tables on ZSJ and using his own roll up to win. 

Juice Robinson (0 Points) vs. Tetsuya Naito (2 points)

  • Two NJPW fan favorites facing off. 
  • Juice has been more seriously since the start of this tournament, taking defeats heavily and being less flamboyant in his character lately. 
  • Tetsuya Naito working the broken hand of Juice.
  • The slingshot dropkick of Naito hits the hand of Juice, great selling of the hand by Juice even though he might actually be hurting. Adds a lot more empathy for Juice in this match.
  • Working the hand makes Naito look like a dastardly heel.
  • Juice starts to fire up by Naito spits at Juice starting a sequence into a spinebuster by Juice.
  • Sliding Dropkick to the hand of Juice by Naito, Naito locks in a submission stretch on the hand but Naito gets the ropes. 
  • Supercanrana by Naito, Juice rolls the supercanrana into a very near fall roll up.
  • Swinging DDT by Naito stopped and powered into a Jackhammer by Juice, Juice can’t capitalize though. 
  • Super Fallaway Slam by Juice sends Naito into the opposite corner, Cannonball followed by a powerbomb by Juice for a near fall. 
  • Amazing Leg Lariat by Juice flips Naito, Juice goes for the Electric Chair Drop but Naito reverses it with a reverserana.
  • Destino stopped by Juice and turned into a Pulp Friction attempt but Naito reverses it into a German suplex. Flying Forearm by Naito. Another Destino attempt fails and Juice fires back with a lariat. 
  • Another Pulp Friction Attempt reversed into a failed Destino attempt. A Juicebox attempt by Juice reverses into a successful Destino by Naito for a very near fall.
  • A final Destino wins the match for Tetsuya Naito.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito via pinfall @ 16:43

Record: Tetsuya Naito 4 Points (2-1-0), Juice Robinson 0 Points (0-3-0)

Rating: ****3/4, The story here was amazing. Juice Robinson was the underdog and had been in a slump so far this tournament. Naito was a dastardly heel working the broken hand of Juice but by the end, Juice Robinson had awakened and fought valiantly. Juice had fought like hell and looked like he was going to win. There was a mix of high spots, near falls and story in this match to perfection. Naito is killing it in match quality so far this G1. The end played out awesomely with the constant finisher attempts and near fall battle from both men that played out to a great finish. Naito hit a Destino but Juice barely kicked out showing a crazy amount of heart. Tetsuya has to immediately hit another Destino to defeat Juice. I’ll bet this is the breaking point tournament match for Juice Robinson and from now on he’ll be successful.

Tama Tonga (2 Points) vs. Kenny Omega (4 Points)

  • Before the bell, Firing Squad attacks Kenny Omega. Chase Owens and Hangman Page come out to even the attack. 
  • The rise of the Terminator by Omega wipes out the brawl outside. 
  • Tama sneaks in from behind to hit a spear to get the upper hand. 
  • While Tonga attacks Omega, Tama yells at Kenny stuff like “You Divided Us!” “It’s Your Fault”
  • Tornado DDT by Omega for the first near fall. 
  • You Can’t Escape by Kenny but Tama gets his knees up to the Moonsault. 
  • Gun Stun by Tama reversed into the first V-Trigger. 
  • Alabama Slamma by Tama Tonga hits Kenny hard for a near fall. 
  • V-Trigger by Kenny to Tama on the ropes, Omega tries to hit the snapdragon on the apron but Tama grabs on to Red Shoes as Tonga Loa attacks Omega. Omega hits a huricanrana to take out Loa. 
  • Tonga Loa comes back to distract Omega, Tama accidentally hits Loa off the apron, Loa managed to throw a chair at Omega, near fall rollup by Tama. 
  • Styles Clash attempt by Tama on the chair but Red Shoes kicks the chair away, Tama Gun Stuns Red Shoes for the DQ finish. 

Winner: Kenny Omega via DQ @ 10:12 

Records: Kenny Omega 6 Points (3-0-0), Tama Tonga 2 Points (1-2-0)

Rating: **, The overbooking here was at an all-time high. The faction war feud is awesome but the match here was taken the momentum out of because of the ongoing Firing Squad vs Bullet Club feud. Kenny Omega is still undefeated in G1 28.

  • Kota Ibushi, Chase Owens, and Hangman Page save Kenny Omega from a post-match attack. 

Tomohiro Ishii (2 Points) vs. Hirooki Goto (2 Points)

  • Shoulder Block Battle Sequence into a strikefest, very stereotypical of an Ishii match. The sequence is won by Goto.
  • Ishii yells “What is the Champion going to do!” at Goto firing him up to hit a sequence of moves into a side suplex for a near fall.
  • Hard kicks by Goto fire up Ishii into knocking Goto down with a hard punch. 
  • German Suplex by Ishii but Goto no sells and fires up into chopping Ishii down with a kick to the mid-section. 
  • Lariat battle takes a lot out of both men and the selling is incredible with both refusing to go down but Goto gets Ishii down first but the lariats don’t stop as they double lariat each other until they both collapse. Amazing strong style sequence. 
  • Headbutt by Ishii collapses Goto into the corner, Super Brainbuster by Ishii for a near fall. 
  • GTR by Goto attempt reversed by Ishii into a side suplex taking both men down
  • Another strike-fest ends in an insane lariat by Ishii flipping Goto, near fall by Ishii.  
  • Shoto Kai by Goto plants Ishii for a near fall. 
  • GTR attempt fails again, headbutts and enzugiri by Ishii, sliding lariat by Ishii for a very near fall. 
  • Vertical Drop Brainbuster by Ishii closes. 

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall @ 18:19

Records: Tomohiro Ishii 4 points (2-1-0), Hirooki Goto 2 points (1-2-0)

Rating: ****1/2, While this match did lack any story it made up for it by miles with in-ring work. WHAT A HARD-HITTING MATCH! For near 20 minutes these two strikes the hell out of each other with intense lariats and shoulder blocks. The only match this reminds me of is Ishii vs. Elgin in the NJPW Cup. The match here lacked a few near falls and high spots that the Ishii vs. Elgin match had but this match wasn’t about the theatrics. It was about seeing who can strike who unconscious first. 

Show Grade: B+

Last Word: This show hosted some amazing tournament matches in ZSJ vs. Sanada, Ishii vs. Goto and Juice vs. Naito. Even though, Omega vs. Tama was overbooked it was entertaining as it continued the feud warfare. Each match on this card offered something different and it continued this year’s amazing G1. 

G1 Standings After Show: 

A-Block:

  • Jay White- 6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Michael Elgin-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Togi Makabe-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Evil-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hangman Page-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Bad Luck Fale-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Kazuchika Okada-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Minoru Suzuki-2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Yoshi-Hashi- 0 Points (0-3-0)

B-Block:

  • Kenny Omega-6 Points (3-0-0)
  • Tomohiro Ishii-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Tetsuya Naito-4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Sanada-4 Points (2-1-0) 
  • Kota Ibushi- 4 Points (2-1-0)
  • Hirooki Goto- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Tama Tonga- 2 Points (1-2-0) 
  • ZSJ- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Toru Yano- 2 Points (1-2-0)
  • Juice Robinson- 0 Points (0-3-0) 

 

 

 

 

 

Extreme Rules 2018 Review

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Extreme Rules 2018 Results:

  • The B-Team defeats Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt to win the RAW Tag Titles **1/2
  • Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin ***
  • Carmella defeats Asuka to retain the SD Live Women’s Championship with James Ellsworth in a shark cage *
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to win the US Title: N/A
  • Kevin Owens defeats Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage Match ***
  • Bludgeon Brothers defeat Team Hell No to retain the SD Live Tag Titles ***1/4
  • Bobby Lashley defeats Roman Reigns ***3/4
  • Alexa Bliss defeats Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules match to retain the RAW Women’s Title *1/2
  • AJ Styles defeats Rusev to retain the WWE Championship ****
  • Dolph Ziggler defeats Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match to retain the IC Title ***1/2

 

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Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt(c) vs. Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas for the RAW Tag Team Titles

  • The crowd is hot for the “Delete” Chant. In my opinion, Bray and Matt haven’t been that hot as an act lately. 
  • Ronda Rousey and Zach Browne (her UFC fighter husband) are shown ringside. 
  • Matt Hardy and Bo Dallas start the match. 
  • Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas stare off, the Rotunda Brothers look like they are playing off of each other in this match. 
  • Elbow Drop by Hardy to Axel for the first near fall. 
  • Cheap shot by Bo to Hardy gets the B-Team back in charge. 
  • DDT by Axel to Hardy gets a near fall.
  • Side Effect by Matt to Axel opens up tags, Hot tag by Bray Wyatt against his bro. 
  • Neckbreaker off the top rope to Hardy by Bo gets the shock tag title win for the B-Team. 

Winners: The B-Team New RAW Tag Team Champions.

Rating: **1/2, While this was a very run of the mill tag match the ending made it memorable. Matt and Bray were getting stale and B-Team are a rare for WWE hot act right now and even though they don’t look incredibly strong I think they will have a solid short reign with the tag belts. 

  • Kurt Angle gives Brock Lesnar an ultimatum, if he doesn’t show up to RAW tomorrow to accept his duty as Universal Champion he will be striped of the title. 

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Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

  • This match is pointless and both of these men have talent and deserve better. 
  • Cool silver attire on Finn Balor
  • Corbin is wrestling in the suit which is annoying as hell. 
  • Brutal catching punch by Corbin to Balor off the springboard for the first near fall. 
  • Corbin pulls Balor off the top rope Coup De Grace attempt for a backbreaker clothesline into a near fall. 
  • Deep Six by Corbin for a very near fall. 
  • Shotgun Dropkick by Balor but the Coup De Grace attempt was stopped by Corbin. 
  • End of Days attempt rolled up by Finn for the win. 

Winner: Finn Balor

Rating: ***, The match wasn’t that long and didn’t have any good spots but it was a good even sprint. Corbin and Balor end up looking good and there was some good near falls in this match which helped add to the evenly matched vibe of this match. 

  • The Bludgeon Brothers attack Team Hell No backstage. Kane is injured so this angle saves him from having to wrestle tonight. 

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Carmella (c) vs. Asuka for the SD Live Women’s Title with James Ellsworth in a Shark Cage

  • Ellsworth does get locked in and raised in the shark cage. 
  • Ellsworth passes Carmella a chain but Asuka grabs it and gets rid of it. 
  • James passes Carmella the spray bottle but again Asuka stops Carmella from using it. 
  • There is too much reliance on Ellsworth in this match leaving horrible momentum when there is just Asuka and Carmella in focus. 
  • Asuka Lock gets in but Carmella reaches the ropes.
  • James Ellsworth picks the lock and gets himself free but James gets caught by his leg and Asuka attacks.
  • Asuka attacks the security trying to put James back in the steel cage and continues to kick the hell out of Ellsworth. 
  • From behind, Carmella sneaks up and shoves Asuka into the Shark Cage and pins her for the win. 

Winner: Carmella Retains

Rating: *, last year the worst match of the year was Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss in the kendo stick on a pole match at Extreme Rules. This match right here is the worst I’ve seen this year so far. Ellsworth being the prime focus took all the momentum out of Carmella and Asuka. Asuka continues to look like shit and Carmella continues to be annoying. Whenever Asuka and Carmella were the focus I felt bad, both of these women had worked there entire lives to have their current career overshadowed by a chinless rodent-person. What a waste of time WWE can make itself!

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Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the US Championship

  • Jeff Hardy has some awesome Black and White facepaint on. 
  • The Hardy vs. Nakamura match has been actually interesting so far.
  • Low Blow immediately by Nakamura, the referee didn’t see it. 
  • Kinshasa after the bell rings for the win.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura New Champion!

Rating: N/A, The immediate Shinsuke win was a bad decision especially when no match so far has been any good and this could’ve been. However, I think Nakamura is the perfect person to be US Champion. He fits in the upper middle card well and can carry the title through good matches and couldn’t win the WWE Title because AJ is a strong champ. I’m excited to see Nakamura’s reign. 

  • Randy Orton returns (goddamnit) and kicks Hardy in the nuts. 

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Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage Match

  • The feud has been abhorrent so far, Owens being dumped off the stage in the porta-potty was horrible and Strowman looks like such a bully that he is the heel in this match and Owens is the face even though according to WWE the roles are switched. Who is writing WWE storylines?
  • Owens keeps trying to escape early on but fails. 
  • Strowman charges at Owens but Owens dodges sending Braun into the steel, Superkick, Cannonball and Frog Splash combo by Owens for just a near fall. First actual sense of urgency in a match so far tonight.
  • Strowman sends Owens into the steel cage, Crowd chants “One More Time”  so Strowman does it twice more. 
  • Snake Eyes into the steel cage by Strowman sending Owens face first. 
  • The Crowd in Pittsburgh is annoying, being silent but  occasionally chanting crappy taglines like “Get These Hands” or “One More Time” 
  • Stunner by Owens to Strowman opens an opportunity to escape but Strowman grabs him and closes the door on the face of Owens. 
  • Owens handcuffs Strowman to the top rope, great strategy, but instead of escaping attacks Strowman to get revenge. One-Handed Chokeslam by Strowman, Strowman tries to break free. So, Braun can flip a truck, dump a piece of the stage on Lesnar and Kane but can’t easily escape handcuffs?
  • Strowman breaks free of the handcuffs.
  • On top of the cage, Braun sends Owens through the announce table ringside. Great spot but Strowman just made himself lose. “Holy Shit” Chants. The only great spot of the show so far. 

Winner: Kevin Owens via escape

Rating: ***, this is the only match so far that feels like it fits on an Extreme Rules card and not on a C-Grade PPV. However, like a lot of steel cage matches the constant escape attempts ruin the momentum of the match. Strowman spends a lot of the match in charge but when Owens is in charge there is a good sense of urgency to the match. The end of the match was dumb but a good spot while the Chokeslam off the cage was a good spot it ended up with Owens winning and Braun saying “Screw it, I lost” and leaving. If I was booking WWE I might make matches seem like they mean something this match looked like it didn’t mean anything. 

  • Jeff Hardy requests his rematch for the US Title for Tuesday’s Smackdown. 

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(C) Bludgeon Brothers vs. Daniel Bryan (Kane out due to attack earlier) 

  • Daniel Bryan and Rowan start the match.
  • Another good underdog moment for Bryan. 
  • Supercanrana by Bryan to Harper. 
  • Yes! Lock on Harper but Rowan drags out Bryan and stops the hold. 
  • Ringside, Rowan bodyslams Harper onto Bryan. Good strong tag team spot.
  • Crowd chanting “We Want Kane” 
  • Suicide Dive by Bryan caught by Rowan, Harper suicide dives but Bryan dodges so Harper takes out Rowan. 
  • Kane comes down with a foot cast kinds weakening his character as a demon. 
  • Slow Hot Tag by Kane, Chokeslam to Rowan and Harper.
  • Kane attempts a Tombstone on Harper, Harper escapes and kicks out the leg of Kane. 
  • Hot Tag by Daniel Bryan. 
  • Rowan makes a blind tag and stops the Running Knee by Bryan, Double Powerbomb by 2B closed. 

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers Retain

Rating: ***1/4, The best match of the night so far but not by far. Also saying it’s MOTN is not saying all that much. The underdog 2-1 beginning was good and Bryan continues to be amazing. 2B looked great too and continued their solid tag title reign. When Kane comes down the match slowed down but didn’t take away the momentum. 

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Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley

  • Slow starting pace.
  • Drive-By by Reigns gets the first near fall.
  • Lashley is dazed by an early match elbow by Reigns. 
  • “Rusev Day” Chants start the series of chants, “CM Punk” follows right after. 
  • Reigns tries to hit Lashley with the steps but Lashley blocks starting a tug of war for the steps won by Lashley. 
  • Powerslam by Lashley for another near fall. 
  • Sloppy Crossbody by Lashley takes down them both, Lashley heads to the top rope to hit a double ax handle. 
  • Reigns throws Lashley over the top rope ringside, great spot and hard landing by Lashley, Lashley gets in at 8, Reigns leg drops Lashley over the middle rope for a near fall.
  • Vertical Suplex by Lashley to Reigns for a very near fall. 
  • Spear attempt by Lashley caught with a Superman Punch by Reigns for another very near fall.
  • Reigns charges at Lashley ringside but Lashley catches Reigns with an Overhead Suplex onto the announce table.
  • Reigns Superman Punches Lashley off the top rope.
  • Spear attempt by Reigns caught with a spear by Lashley for the win. 

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Rating: ***3/4, Wow, this match was great for these two guys. Everyone who said either of these guys can’t wrestle just got proven wrong. I did not expect this match to be as good as it was but I knew Reigns and Lashley could find an okay match. The match had great near falls, good wrestling logic and great spots. Lashley looked great in a match for the first time since his return and the match is the new MOTN, even though again that isn’t saying much.

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Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules for the RAW Women’s Title 

  • Mickie James accompanies Bliss and Natalya accompanies Jax. Ronda Rousey is shown ringside.
  • The commentary is burying the extreme rules stipulation.
  • Jax awkwardly throws Bliss onto a chair.
  • Jax delivers a good gorilla press to Bliss onto a trash can, Rousey is shown in approval.
  • Bliss attacks with a trash can lid to finally gets her back in charge. 
  • Crappy dropkick by Bliss gets the match’s first near fall. 
  • Commentary putting over Bliss’ cheating strategy being allowed in this match but Alexa doesn’t even address that in the match. 
  • Bliss side-steps Jax sending her into a chair in the corner. James gives Bliss a trash can lid but Natalya takes James out, Bliss takes out Natalya but Rousey hops over the barricade to literally destroy Mickie James. Rousey chases Bliss but James comes back to attack Rousey with a kendo stick. Overbooking at its finest!
  • Jax catches Bliss but James attacks Jax with a steel chair giving Bliss the upper hand to hit the DDT on the chair for the win. 

Winner: Alexa Bliss Retains!

Rating: *1/2, while Bliss did look good in this match, this was overbooking at it’s finest. 5 Women were in the focus in this match which was a one-on-one women’s title match. Rousey is continuing to look better in the WWE too but there were too many shenanigans in this match to set up Bliss vs. Rousey at SummerSlam. Also, the in-ring work was sloppy and, like many other matches on the show, had the momentum taken away because of other people in the match.

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AJ Styles (C) vs. Rusev for the WWE Championship

  • A good pre-match video package makes Rusev look disliked by the crowd which is very wrong.
  • AJ working the leg of Rusev. Rusev is doing a good job selling it. 
  • Slow start especially for an AJ Styles match. 
  • Styles kicks Rusev’s leg on the top rope sending him to ringside, Springboard Forearm dive by Styles takes Rusev out ringside. 
  • Reverse DDT by Styles gets the match’s first near fall.
  • Styles goes for the calf crusher by Rusev powers through and punches AJ and sends him to ringside, Suicide Dive attempt by Rusev caught with a Forearm by Styles. 
  • Calf Crusher attempt rolled into the Accolade but AJ fights out, forearm by AJ caught with a boot by Rusev. These two are doing a really good job looking evenly matched.
  • Calf Crusher by Styles finally in, Aiden English pushed the ropes to get Rusev rope break. Styles chases English, Rusev catches Styles with a ringside belly to belly suplex. In-ring, Machka Kick by Rusev for a very near fall. Awesome sequence. 
  • Another Machka Kick attempt dodged and Styles hits a rebound Pele Kick, Atomic Drop/Superkick combo by Rusev for a near fall. 
  • Rusev goes for the Accolade but can’t because of the leg injury, great wrestling logic actually used in WWE, Rusev gets the hold with one leg but Styles grabs the ropes. 
  • English exposes the top turnbuckle behind the refs back, Rusev charges at Styles but Styles side-steps sending Rusev into the steel. Springboard 450 by Styles for an amazing near fall. Another great sequence. 
  • Styles dropkicks English down and out, Phenomenal Forearm closes. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains!

Rating: ****, Easily MOTN and one of WWE’s best world championship matches this year. The challenger, Rusev, was elevated to a whole other level hanging with Styles honestly better than Nakamura could. The Aiden English interference sequences led to fantastic near falls. As always, AJ Styles is fantastic. I can now confidently say Rusev has a great future in WWE. The selling of the leg from Rusev was great wrestling logic which is rare in WWE. A good example of showing WWE is able to book good matches with actual logic. I’m super happy with this match. The slow start keeps it at 4-stars but it elevated into something special by the end. 

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Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match for the IC Title

  • A very fitting stipulation for these two men. Also, the IC Title is in the main event! Rollins has elevated the title to the SKY. 
  • Why is there still a record scratch on Ziggler’s theme song? 
  • Drew Mcintyre accompanies Ziggler to the ring because Mcintyre beat Rollins last week on RAW. 
  • Slow start but it’s a long match so the pace should escalate soon. 
  • Buckle Bomb into a roll-up by Seth Rollins gets the first fall 5 minutes in. Crappy first fall. 
  • Diving Plancha by Rollins wipes out Ziggler ringside. McIntyre and Rollins face-off. 
  • The crowd is counting down the seconds like a Royal Rumble and making the buzzer sounds, most interesting the Pittsburgh crowd has been all night. 
  • Fameasser attempt by Ziggler follows into a roll-up sequence, Rollins powers into a powerbomb but Ziggler fights out, Rollins fires back with a Curb Stomp for the second fall 8 minutes in. 
  • Rollins calls for a 2nd Stomp but Drew McIntyre attacks Seth getting Rollins the 3rd fall via DQ also 8 minutes in. McIntyre throws Rollins against the apron and the barricade, Referee kicks out Drew but Drew leaves after hitting the Claymore kick on Seth, Ziggler goes for the pin and gets his first fall 10 minutes and 30 seconds in. 
  • Superkick by Ziggler for his second fall, 11 minutes later. 
  • The match has WAY too many falls so far, takes the piss out of the stipulation. 
  • Ziggler sends Rollins into the post and hits the Zig Zag for his third fall 12 minutes in. JEEZ STOP WITH THE FALLS.
  • Suicide Dive attempt by Rollins stopped with a forearm by Ziggler, Dolph rolls Rollins up using the ropes for ANOTHER FREAKING FALL STOP IT. Dolph goes 4-3. 16 minutes in. 
  • Ziggler gets a Sleeper Hold in deep on Rollins, they spend about 2 minutes in the hold until Rollins fights out.
  • Suicide Dive by Seth finally hits but Ziggler rolls ringside again so Rollins hits another Suicide Dive immediately afterward too. Springboard Forearm to get back in the ring by Rollins gets a near fall and shockingly not another fall. 
  • Blockbuster by Rollins for another near fall, the crowd goes ballistic for whatever reason. 
  • Ziggler drops Rollins off the top rope with a dropkick sending Seth ringside, Rollins gets back in at 9.
  • Ripcord Knee by Rollins hits for another near fall.
  • Frog Splash by Rollins for another good near fall. 
  • Awesome Falcon Arrow by Rollins for another believable near fall. 
  • Stomp by Rollins dodges and rolled up by Ziggler for a near fall, Rollins slingshots Ziggler into the corner and rolls him up to tie 4-4, 27 minutes in.
  • Sharpshooter by Rollins, shoutout to the iron man match with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at WM 12, Rollins transitions into a Cross Face, Rollins releases and goes for a Stomp but Ziggler rolls out and tries to escape ringside. Rollins gets Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler fires back with a Fameasser for an amazing believable near fall. 
  • Ziggler tunes up the band but Rollins catches Ziggler with a Superkick of his own and follows it up with a Stomp, Rollins goes for the pin but the time runs out. So due to the tie, Dolph Ziggler retains. 
  • Kurt Angle comes down and gets some cheap pops and announces a Sudden Death Overtime. 
  • Drew McIntyre comes back to distract Rollins and Ziggler hits a Zig Zag for the win.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler Retains!

Rating: ***1/2, These two successfully put on a good match while at the same time burying the Iron Man stipulation. The first 15 minutes of the match sucked with a fall a minute but as soon as Drew McIntyre left the match turned on. After getting used to the constant falls, the match delivered some amazing near falls especially with the fameasser towards the end. The near falls really built to Rollins’ desperation with the closing seconds of the match being fantastic with Rollins hitting his sequence of moves and hitting the stomp towards the end but the time running out. Overtime was useless because Ziggler retained either way but overtime just made the end confusing and screwing over Rollins with the final McIntyre interference makes the feud have to continue. The match was a tale of two halves. Good choice for the main event though regardless. 

Show Grade: C-

Last Word: The show played out like the main event did, the first half sucked with Orton’s return, Asuka vs. Carmella and Jax vs Bliss making a near nightmare PPV for any wrestling fan. As soon as Bobby Lashley vs. Reigns surprised with the good match they had and Jax vs. Bliss ended the show got solid. Styles vs. Rusev was MOTN and a very good WWE Title match and the Iron Man main event was a good match even though it wrecked the importance of the stipulation. The show looked good on paper and wasn’t explicitly horrible but didn’t live up to the expectation it had built.