WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Review

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Star Ratings + Results:

  • Randy Orton defeats Jeff Hardy inside Hell in a Cell @23:52 ***3/4
  • Becky Lynch defeats Charlotte Flair to win the SD Live Women’s Title @13:34 ***1/2
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler defeat The Shield to retain the RAW Tag Titles @22:08 ****1/2
  • AJ Styles defeats Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Title @19:00 ****
  • Miz and Maryse defeat Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella @13:00 **1/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Title @12:12 ***
  • Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman goes to a no contest @24:51 *

 

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Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton Hell in a Cell Match:

  • A WWE dream-match from 2010 that should’ve happened when both men were in their primes.
  • New painted red cell distracts from the match. 
  • Match starts fast and they start to brawl ringside sending each other into the cell, Hardy brings out a table.
  • Hardy kicks the table into the chest of Orton ringside sending him into the cell. 
  • Hardy also brings out a ladder and hits Orton with it, Orton fights back with a steel chair though.
  • Great Jumping Senton by Hardy off a steel chair ringside sends Orton into the cage.
  • Hardyiac Arrest Dropkick by Hardy for the first near fall. 
  • Great superplex by Orton, Orton deadlifted Hardy to get him higher sending Jeff down hard, near fall. 
  • Whisper in the Wind by Hardy, near fall. 
  • Hardy goes for another ladder and sets it up upside-down ringside. A front suplex by Orton sends Hardy through the ladder supports, innovative spot, near fall back in-ring.
  • Orton attacks Hardy with a steel chair, Orton grabs Hardy’s steel studded belt and whips him with it, a little kinky for WWE but okay…
  • Orton puts Hardy in between a ladder and stomps it down on him, near fall. 
  • These guys are working really slowly in this match, especially Orton. 
  • Hardy fires up and hits a sequence of dropkicks, near fall.
  • Twist of Fate countered into a Powerslam by Orton, near fall.
  • Orton pulls out tools and grabs a screwdriver, so Orton looks like he’s trying to kill Hardy and the ref is standing there like “how bout you don’t” good WWE logic. Orton puts a screwdriver through the ear lobe of Hardy and twists it, almost too brutal. Gross. Fitting for a HIAC match though.
  • Hardy attacks Orton with a chair, Hardy’s snapped and pins Orton, near fall.
  • Orton pulls Hardy off the top rope stopping the swanton bomb. From the belt whipping by Hardy to Orton Randy’s back is bloody and welted. 
  • Hangman DDT by Orton. Orton taunts for the RKO but fails hitting it, Twist of Fate by Hardy. Hardy lays a steel chair on Orton and goes for the Swanton Bomb and hits it on the chair on Orton, good near fall. 
  • The leg of Orton is busted open. This match is actually brutal but the crowd is lame as hell. 
  • Hardy sets up ladders and a table in the ring, Twist of Fate Stunner puts Orton on the table. Hardy climbs up to the tallest ladder and grabs the cell ceiling and swings off down through the table as Orton dodges. Great innovative cell spot. The referee calls for the cell to be called up and EMTs even though it’s Hell in a Cell and they didn’t do that shitty finish for Mick Foley or Triple H when they took worse spots. Randy Orton anti-climactically pins Hardy for the win. 

Winner: Randy Orton

Rating: ***3/4, this felt like an old school brutal match. These guys went for it all and this might be my favorite Randy Orton match since the Christian feud. Jeff Hardy shined in this match and took some insane spots like the screwdriver ear and the swing off the cell ceiling. The spots were really innovative too and like nothing we’ve ever seen in HIAC which it’s rare to see WWE try anything new. However, the match was worked really slow for the majority and the ending was weird. Never before have they stopped a HIAC match because someone took a hard spot, it didn’t look like Hardy landed unsafely at all so they were just trying to sell the intensity of spot and the whole point of the cell is so these guys can go crazy without any help from the ref. This match both made the cell look brutal but also made it look like just another stipulation which is honestly what it’s become in recent years. Orton vs. Hardy was a fitting feud for the cell but this match is another reason why WWE should only bring out the cell when it’s needed. Overall, this match was a breath of fresh air even if that breath was way too long. 

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Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte (c) for the SD Live Women’s Title:

  • The feud behind this match has been great and has really highlighted Becky Lynch. 
  • Early attempts by both at their submission finishers.
  • Diving Forearm off the apron by Lynch knocks Charlotte down ringside. 
  • Near fall roll up by Charlotte followed up with a Diving forearm by Lynch for another near fall.
  • Becky Lynch is doing a good job of working the arm of Lynch and keeps her in a hammerlock. Charlotte fights out and hits a chop but a lariat by Lynch goes for a near fall. 
  • Lynch misses a leg drop and Flair hits a sloppy knee stomp, Lynch hotshots Charlotte’s arm over the top rope. Lynch drops Flair shoulder first into the apron. Back in-ring near fall. 
  • Saito Suplex by Charlotte giver her much needed space. 
  • Big Boot by Charlotte knocks down Becky after a solid sequence. Charlotte follows it up with a moonsault that misses, Lynch locks in an armbar but Flair powers into a powerbomb, near fall.
  • Strikefest starts and Lynch fires it up and hits an inverted DDT landing Flair on her shoulder, near fall. 
  • Lynch flies off the top rope and neither of them do anything so Lynch just awkwardly falls and Flair locks in the Boston Crab, Lynch grabs rope.
  • Lynch pulls Charlotte’s arm into the post, in-ring roll up by Flair but Lynch locks in the Dis-Arm-Her as she kicks out, Flair escapes to ringside. 
  • Spear by Charlotte great reversal by Lynch into a shock pin and she wins the title. 

Winner: Becky Lynch New Champion!

Rating: ***1/2, this was a great match with both looking really good. The story of Lynch working the arm and at the end the story of Lynch finally getting her moment made this more than a good sprint. The pacing was much better than the last match and this match was for the most part cleanly worked. Becky Lynch deserves her moment to add a chapter to this good feud. 

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The Shield vs. Dolph Ziggler and Drew Macintyre(c) for the Raw Tag Titles:

  • Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins start the match. 
  • Early Stomp attempt by Seth sends Ziggler ringside to recuperate with Drew. 
  • Drew and Dolph square up, Ziggler distracts Dean and Mcintyre clocks Ambrose from behind. 
  • Hot tag by Seth Rollins after isolation on Dean. Suicide Dive attempt stopped by Mcintyre, Spike DDT by Ziggler out of nowhere on Seth, near fall. 
  • Drew and Dolph isolate Rollins, Ziggler locks in a sleeper on Rollins, Saito suplex by Rollins breaks Dolph off and opens tags, Mcintyre pulls Ambrose off the apron to stop the tag. 
  • Reverse Alabama Slam by Mcintyre to Rollins, near fall save by Ambrose.
  • While on the shoulders of Mcintyre, Rollins makes the tag but Ziggler distracts the ref stopping the tag from being noticed and Drew and Dolph continue to isolate Rollins.
  • Seth finally tags in Dean for the hot tag. Jacknife cover by Ambrose for a near fall, swinging neckbreaker by Dean for another near fall on Drew. 
  • Dean sends Drew into the post and Dolph into the barricade. Dean goes to the top rope and goes for an elbow drop but Drew catches him and hits an exploder suplex into the corner. 
  • Hot tag by Seth Rollins, Rollins hits a suicide dive but gets caught by Drew and Dolph. Dean Ambrose hits a suicide dive to knock everybody down.
  • Falcon Arrow by Rollins on Dolph, very near fall.
  • Fameasser by Ziggler caught into a buckle bomb by Rollins, near fall save by Drew into a great sequence. Roll up by Ziggler, near fall, Roll up by Rollins, near fall and a Zig Zag by Dolph hits for an awesome near fall.
  • Claymore stopped with a superkick by Rollins, near fall. Another superkick by Rollins into a Frog Splash to the back of Drew, awesome near fall. Commentary is doing great selling the near falls. 
  • Plancha Dive by Rollins misses Ziggler sending Seth to a hard landing. Flying Lariat by Drew to Ambrose and Mcintyre kips up showing athleticism. 
  • Dean takes Drew to ringside, Superplex by Rollins but the Falcon Arrow stops with a Claymore kick by Drew out of nowhere for the close. Great finish. 

Winners: Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler Retain! Days Held: 14+

Rating: ****1/2, while my favorite conventional main roster WWE match is still The Miz vs. Seth Rollins from BackLash this places in the top 3. Seth Rollins has been the only consistently good thing about WWE this year and he continues to prove it by using actual logic, great high spots and amazing pacing in all of his matches. The addition of Dean and Drew made the great Ziggler vs. Rollins match even better.

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AJ Styles(c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title:

  • Really weird attitude era like feud behind this match.
  • Styles comes hot out of the gates. 
  • Good Dropkick by Styles knocks Joe ringside, sliding knee off the apron by Styles.
  • Styles looks really agressive in this match.
  • Baseball Slide by Styles knocks Joe into the announce table. 
  • Phenomenal Forearm attempt by Styles but Joe dodges to ringside. Plancha Dive to ringside by Styles caught with a kick by Joe. Big Boot ringside by Joe run Styles over. Joe chucks Styles into the steps.
  • Running Knee by Joe to Styles in the corner. Styles has lost most of his momentum. 
  • Step-up Enzugiri by Joe knocks Styles into the ropes, Joe kicks Styles to ringside. Amazing suicide punch dive by Joe to ringside, near fall in-ring. 
  • Running Uppercut by Joe absolutely flips Styles, near fall.
  • Superplex attempt by Joe but Styles slips under and snake eyes Joe on the top turnbuckle giving AJ some much needed space. 
  • AJ fires up the a series of strikes ending with a sliding forearm for a near fall. 
  • Moonsault Reverse DDT by Styles, near fall. Really good-looking move. 
  • Lionsault by Styles caught into the knees of Joe, Powebomb by Joe, near fall. Transition into a Boston Crab by Joe, transitioned into an STF by Joe, Styles grabs the ropes. 
  • Really impressive show of strength with a Burning Hammer Powerbomb by Styles for a near fall. 
  • Springboard 450 by Styles hits, near fall.
  • Slingshot by Joe sends Styles into the corner, hard running lariat by Joe for a good near fall. 
  • Joe looks for a Muscle Buster but Styles reverses into a failed Styles Clash, Stiff step-up enzugiri by Joe knocks Styles down, great near fall. The crowd should be a lot more into this. 
  • Pele Kick by Styles knocks Joe into the corner, Phenomenal Forearm caught into the Coquina Clutch by Joe, Styles rolls up Joe for the win. On replay it looked like Styles tapped out before the 3 count meaning Joe won but Styles gets to retain. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains! Day Count: 314

Rating: ****, for a WWE match this was really hard-hitting and some of AJ’s best work in a while. The crowd was out of it due to the live crowd for this show, frankly, just being absolute crap. These 2 were hitting big strikes and moves going off of great pacing for a while. Hopefully, they can top this match due to the finish teasing another chapter. A rare occasion where a non-finish in WWE makes me excited but it happened. 

  • Miz and Maryse defeat Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan **1/4

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Alexa Bliss vs. Ronda Rousey(c) for the Raw Women’s Title:

  • Alexa Bliss is accompanied by Alicia Fox and Mickie James and Rousey is accompanied by Natalya. 
  • Rousey launches Bliss across the ring with a beal. 
  • Rousey follows Bliss to ringside, scares her then throws her back in. 
  • Rousey side-steps Bliss sending her diving and taking out her posse. 
  • Bliss pulls Rousey’s hair over the top rope getting her on top for a second. 
  • Stiff mid-kick by Bliss to Rousey, Rousey is coming into the match with sore ribs so they’re continuing the story. 
  • Rousey goes for the Judo Throw but the ribs gave out, Double knee moonsault by Bliss for a near fall. 
  • Bliss doing a good job of working the ribs of Rousey.
  • Bliss kicks Rousey in the ribs on the tree of woe, near fall. 
  • The most offense Rousey has taken since her joining WWE. 
  • Bliss drives Rousey into the bottom turnbuckle and stretches her ribs against the post. Fox and James stretch Rousey against the post too and Natalya takes out Alicia Fox, Rousey takes out Mickie James. Double Crossbody by both women. 
  • Roll up by Rousey, near fall. Backslide by Rousey, near fall. Mid-kick by Bliss catches Rousey. 
  • Rousey fires up and Judo Throws Bliss. 
  • Judo Drop by Rousey into an armbar ending the match. 

Winner: Ronda Rousey

Rating: ***, This match was good as Rousey held her own totally and these two put on a good long match. However, Ronda looked way too weak in this match selling the rib injury and giving Bliss the majority of the offense. 

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Roman Reigns(c) vs. Braun Strowman Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match with Mick Foley as Guest Referee:

  • Strowman grabs the title and Roman comes agressive out the gates.
  • Strowman sends Reigns into the cell wall via a shoulder block on the apron. 
  • Strowman trucks Roman into the cell wall ringside.
  • Braun’s first HIAC match.
  • Drive-By by Roman saves him from a steel step shot by Braun. 
  • Chokeslam on the apron by Braun. 
  • Reigns attacks Strowman with a kendo stick shattering it. 
  • Roman attacks Braun with a steel chair, Braun catches the chair and charges at Reigns but Reigns sidesteps sending Strowman into the post. 
  • DDT on the chair by Reigns, Strowman powers out early. 
  • 2 Superman punches by Reigns, Strowman catches the 3rd one in a chokeslam and gets a 3-count by Foley but they treat it like a 2. Strowman should’ve won the match and ended it awkwardly off that botch by Foley. 
  • The 3rd Superman Punch hits for Reigns, near fall. 
  • Someone in the crowd keeps screeching, it got so bad that they had to turn off the crowd mic. 
  • Reigns runs around the ring to superman punch Braun but gets caught with a steel step shot from Strowman. 
  • Another steel step shot in-ring by Braun, near fall. 
  • Running Powerslam by Strowman, near fall.
  • Foley is a bad referee. 
  • 4th and 5th Superman Punches rock Strowman, the 1st spear sends Braun through a table set up ringside. 
  • Both are down as Dolph Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre come down, Dean and Seth come down to take out The Show. 
  • Ziggler starts climbing the cell and gets to the top, Rollins follows him and they brawl on top of the cell. Mcintyre comes up to help Ziggler and Ambrose comes up with a kendo stick to even the odds. Double lariat spot by Ambrose and Mcintyre on the top of the cell. 
  • Ziggler and Rollins brawl halfway down to the floor and both fall off half the cell through the announce table. 
  • Brock Lesnar comes down and literally kicks the door down off the hinges. Lesnar attacks Braun and Reigns with table fragments. F5 to Reigns onto Strowman by Lesnar. Heyman maces Foley so a new ref calls a no contest. 

Winner: No Contest Reigns Retains, Day Count: 28

Rating: *, so much overbooking bullshit made a bad match even worse. I’m tired of WWE putting the biggest men against each other in one-dimensional boring matches. Inside the cell it was lame but Lesnar’s return and the fact that Reigns and Strowman literally sat in the ring doing nothing for 10 minutes made this a crapshoot. I heavily dislike Braun Strowman and this continues my case that he’s no longer what he used to be, now he’s an annoying, whiny and boring big man in total contrary to what he used to be just a few months ago on raw. Reigns being bad still isn’t his fault at all. This match had nothing working for it in-ring and while it could’ve been a fun and insane spotfest WWE literally messed it all up and ended a HIAC match in a no contest. This show made the HIAC just another stipulation washed over in the system.

Show Grade: B

Last Word: The in-cell work tonight was stuff of nightmares, both matches made the HIAC look like a bitch boy palace with both matches ending in the referees deciding that the comabtants were too hurt. Just to double check, this is Hell in a Cell right?? The same stipulation that had Mick Foley’s teeth shoved out of his mouth and into his nose and he had to wrestle the rest of the match after multiple 20+ foot falls against the Undertaker?? Okay, so tell me why Brock Lesnar’s F5 is more brutal than a fall into thumbtacks or a fall through the cell. Is swinging off the cell ceiling more brutal either? No, the hell in a cell is a bitch boy palace now. Regardless, what was out of the cell on this show was stellar. The Drew and Dolph vs The Shield and Styles vs. Joe were very good while Lynch vs. Flair and Rousey vs. Bliss were both good. The show started well with the Orton vs. Hardy clash that even though ended really bad had a couple great brutal spots and the quality either got better or remained the same until the atrocious main event and ending. 

Progress Chapter 75: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends Review

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Chapter 75 Results:

  • Grizzled Young Veterans defeat Mills and Mayhew in the Thunderbastard Tag Series ***1/4
  • Millie Mackenzie defeats Chakara, Charlie Morgan, Candyfloss and Laura DiMatteo to earn a shot at the Women’s Title against Jinny at Wembley *1/2
  • Chris Brooks and Timothy Thatcher defeat Aussie Open in the Thunderbastard Tag Series ****1/4
  • Walter and Doug Williams defeat Trent Seven and Pete Dunne N/A
  • Tyler Bate defeats Mark Haskins in a 3 and In match to earn a shot at Progress Title against Walter at Wembley ****3/4
  • Will Ospreay defeats Jimmy Havoc in a NO DQ 2 out of 3 Falls Match with Paul Robinson as the Special Guest Referee *****

 

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Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) vs. Mills and Mayhew Thunderbastard Tag Series:

This was a very solid tag opener, Gibson and Drake are both established wrestlers having highlights in the WWE UK Tournament. Mills and Mayhew looked like local jobbers but honestly surprised me with talent in this match. Mills and Mayhew worked off of tension between Drake and Gibson leading to some solid spots like having M and M throw Gibson to the outside to dive on Drake. There were enough near falls to get the crowd heated up and it didn’t go too long but was fun while it lasted. ***1/4

  • Millie Mackenzie wins a sloppy 4-way to become #1 Contender *1/2

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Chris Brooks and Timothy Thatcher vs Aussie Open:

Another match in the Thunderbastard Tag Series and this match was awesome. It somehow successfully fused a comedy match and a hard-hitting technical encounter. Brooks and Thatcher were a makeshift team for Thunderbastard leading to some great comedy spots based on their difference in style and Brooks just trying to fit in with Thatcher. Mark Davis of Aussie Open really impressed me in this match. He’s a big guy but did some awesome hot tag work and worked great with Thatcher. At a point in the match, Davis and Thatcher just decide to strike the hell out of each other and they both grabbed their opponents into a Double Submission spot then continued to strike off, Davis hits a KO Punch knocking Thatcher down for a near fall, Frog Splash by Fletcher of Aussie Open breaks the pin and a Coast to Coast by Chris Brookes ends the awesome sequence. Aussie Open hits a Crucifix Bomb on the apron to Brooks ringside taking him out and hit a pop-up cutter on Thatcher for a great near fall. Aussie Open hit their signature Fidget Spinner move on Thatcher and Fletcher dives to stop Brooks from breaking the pin but Thatcher near fall kick-outs anyway. A Dual Submission spot by Brook and Thatch close the match. ****1/4

  • Thatcher and Brooks show respect for each other after a great match. 

progress-walter-vs-dunne-696x392-e1535123672611Doug Williams and Walter vs. Pete Dunne and Trent Seven: 

This was set-up as a preview match for Trent Seven vs. Doug Williams for the Atlas Title at Wembley. Pete Dunne played a great cocky heel in this match but it started off slow. Walter and Trent Seven do a shoulder block sequence where Seven tries to knock Walter down but Walter boots Seven down. Walter starts to hit the stiff chops on Seven, Dunne mocks throwing in the towel calling back the Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era match on NXT TV. After Williams and Walter isolated Seven he makes a hot tag to Dunne. Dunne hits an Explex on Seven sending him onto Walter for a near fall. Williams goes for his Signature Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex on Dunne but lands bad suffering a stinger to the neck. The concern for UK wrestling legend Doug Williams set over the match and the guys try to wrap it up as soon as possible and the injury, unfortunately, put a dark cloud over the match. Thankfully, Williams will be good for his match against Seven at Wembley. N/A due to injury

  • Pete Dunne and Trent Seven help Williams out but WxW booker Christian Michael Jakobi comes down, Dunne attacks him but Pete’s opponent at Wembley, German Wrestling legend Ilja Dragunov attacks Dunne and stands tall.

dlt7jbrxoaaahq4-e1535123709205Mark Haskins vs. Tyler Bate winner faces Walter for the Progress Title at Wembley: 

The match starts very technically making it feel even. They start fighting ringside and Haskins sets up Bate on a chair, Haskins runs to hit a Yakuza Kick to Bate off the chair. Fighting on the apron leads to Haskins drops Bate on his knees. Haskins begins to wonderfully work the leg of Bate which was some of the best working of the leg I’ve ever seen, it added a lot to the story and Bate sold it incredibly well. Haskins locks in an STF to torque the leg of Bate but Bate gets rope break. Haskins locks in a Deathlock but gets tired of the hold and DDTs Bate for the first near fall. Bate hits a Suicide Dive and rushed back in for a standing shooting star for a near fall. Haskins hits a great Landslide for a near fall. A great strike-fest gets stereo and ends with a double head kick sending both men down. Bate hits a great one-legged German Suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Bate strikes Haskins into a corner but Haskins fires up and hits an awesome Canadian Destroyer, Suicide Dive and Diving Double Stomp for a near fall closing a great burst of offense by Haskins. Haskins locks in an armbar into his signature Made In England for a great near fall. Haskins goes for another Diving Double Stomp but Bate catches him and does an awesome one-legged airplane spin. Haskins locks in a Sharpshooter, Bate fights into a Tyler Driver 97 qualifying himself for a Progress Title Shot, This was an AMAZING match with the ending being some of the best work I’ve seen from either man and especially Tyler Bate was on fire here. The selling of the leg was tremendous and these two tore the house down and then Havoc and Ospreay wrote the blueprints for the next construction in blood. This show had one of the greatest Co-Main Event and Main Event sequences I’ve ever watched. I was contemplating whether I liked Bate and Haskins more than Bate vs. Dunne from Takeover Chicago but decided to just give this match 4 and 3/4 rating. ****3/4

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Will Ospreay vs. Jimmy Havoc No DQ 2 out of 3 Falls Match, Special Referee Paul Robinson and if Havoc wins he gets a spot in the main event of Wembley:

This absolute spectacle started with the best video package I’ve ever seen and it highlighted perfectly this brutal feud. Ospreay played an amazing heel that snapped unlike the babyface he plays in New Japan and Havoc plays an awesome death-defying face. These two literally want to kill each other and the feud feels real. Ospreay comes out with an army of people dressed in his entrance attire and they set up 5 tables around the ring. Before the match even starts it feels like I’m witnessing history with the crowd yelling “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Fucking Havoc”. The crowd was amazing in this match too making the match that much more special. This is the 5th match between them and Havoc leads 3-1.

Ringside, the match starts to heat up and Ospreay dives between the turnbuckles but Havoc throws a chair at him stopping the dive. Havoc duct tapes Will’s hands together and Ospreay gets pretty busted open. Havoc sets up Will in a tree of woe over the ropes on the outside and hits him with a chair a few times but follows it up with literally stapling paper to the chest of Ospreay. Havoc goes for the ear of Ospreay with scissors but Robinson takes them away and cuts Will free from the duct tape. Ospreay acts like Robinson is on his side and asks him to curb stomp Havoc, from behind Havoc hits an Acid Rainmaker on Ospreay for the first fall. Ospreay hits an awesome sunset bomb as a call to Hiromu Takahashi through a table set up ringside. Ospreay staples the head of Havoc busting him open. Fighting into the crowd allows Ospreay to set up 2 Back to Back tables. Havoc brings in a guitar to hit Will but Will hits a cheeky Nandos kick and busts the guitar over the head of Havoc. Ospreay brings a mystery bag in that is unsurprisingly thumbtacks. Havoc double stomps Ospreay into the tacks. Ospreay goes for an Oscutter but Havoc catches him and hits a Death Valley Driver onto a setup chair giving Ospreay a brutal landing. Explex by Ospreay sends Havoc into back to back set up chairs. Superplex onto a pile of chairs by Havoc. Acid Rainmaker attempt by Havoc gets reversed into a backslide by Ospreay using all of his weight to pin Havoc and tie up the falls. “Ospreay, go and fuck yourself” song by the crowd.

Ospreay is a fantastic heel in this match. They fight further into the crowd and Ospreay sets up Havoc on the tables set up in the crowd. Ospreay climbs a pile of speakers and hits an awesome elbow through the tables. Ospreay asks Robinson to countout Havoc and Havoc gets back in at 9 but Ospreay hits 2 back to back shooting star presses immediately for an awesome near fall. They fight back out and climb the balcony back over 2 back-to-back tables. They fight on the balcony until Ospreay hits a Spanish Fly off the Balcony down to the tables but they both bounce but don’t break leading to probably a harder fall for both men in one of the spots of the year. Robinson starts to count both out and both get back in at 9.

Ospreay ducks an Acid Rainmaker and hits an Oscutter for a very near fall, Will wants it to be over and attacks Paul Robinson but Robinson chases Ospreay around the ring. Havoc throws a chair at Ospreay but Ospreay ducks sending the chair into Robinson and sending him through a chair. Havoc hits the Acid Rainmaker and a new ref comes down for another great near fall, Havoc Death Valley Drivers that ref through a table in the corner. Ospreay hits a Diving Oscutter, another new ref and another awesome near fall but Ospreay crucifix bombs that ref through a table. The Progress mouthpiece Jim Smallman becomes the referee and Ospreay hits an Acid Rainmaker and Smallman counts to a near fall. Havoc hits a Diving Oscutter and Smallman counts another near fall. “Fight Forever” chants. An Acid Rainmaker by Havoc is reversed into an Essex Destroyer by Ospreay and follows it up with a 630 senton, Paul Robinson comes back to pull out Smallman from counting 3. Paul Robinson grabs the ax from the Ospreay and Havoc promos and looks both men down and puts it in the middle and both dive for it but Havoc hits a Death Vallet Driver on the tacks for another near fall. They keep wrist control and lariat the hell out of each other Havoc grabs the ax cuts Will’s leg and hits a final Acid Rainmaker but Paul Robinson attacks Havoc. “Robin, you’re a cunt” song by the crowd and Ospreay hits a Stormbreaker for the close. *****

This is one of my favorite matches of the year for the fact that it was an amazing story that was executed in match to perfection. Both played amazing characters and the ending with the ref destruction was insanely great. The spot of the year so far happened in this match with the Spanish Fly off the balcony through the unbreakable table by Ospreay. The crowd and atmosphere made this match something absolutely special and if you’ve never watched Progress before, go for the subscription to watch this instant classic. 

Show Grade: A

Last Word: This was the first Progress show I’ve ever seen and I got brought in because of the hype surrounding Ospreay vs. Havoc. The show had an amazing crowd in the Electric Ball Room and this show had a plethora of great matches. GYV vs. M and M was a good underdog vs cocky heel opening tag, Aussie Open vs. Brookes and Thatcher somehow was both a comedy match and a great technical match. Bate vs. Haskins was an amazing technical but exciting match with a great performance by both men. The highlight was definitely Ospreay vs. Havoc though. The package of this show was amazing and some of the best wrestling I’ve seen since NJPW Dominion. 

 

 

 

 

All In 2018 Review, 2018’s Best PPV?

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All In Match Results:

  • So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) Defeat The Briscoes via pinfall @12:35 ***1/2
  • Flip Gordon won the Over Budget Battle Royale @17:15 ***
  • Matt Cross defeats MJF via pinfall @ 10:05 ***
  • Christopher Daniels defeats Stephen Amell via pinfall @11:58 ***3/4
  • Tessa Blanchard defeats Chelsea Green, Britt Baker, and Madison Rayne via pinfall @12:59 ***
  • Cody defeats Nick Aldis to win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title via pinfall @22:29 ****1/4
  • Hangman Page defeats Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight via pinfall @20:10 ****1/2
  • Jay Lethal defeats Flip Gordon to retain the ROH World Title @15:11 via pinfall ***1/2
  • Kenny Omega defeats Penta El Zero via pinfall @17:49 ****3/4
  • Kazuchika Okada defeats Marty Scurrl via pinfall @26:12 ****3/4
  • The Golden Elite defeats Fenix, Bandido, and Rey Mysterio via pinfall @11:52 ****

We are finally here, after months of build the all-Bullet Club show has arrived. The stage set-up is awesome and I was there live. I had HUGE expectations for this show. IMG_0169

Zero Hour: 

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The Briscoes vs. So Cal Uncensored:

SCU is over as hell in Chicago. The Briscoes, however, were not, they got little to no reaction and whenever people were reacting it was just bored boos. Even though the reason that I don’t like the Briscoes has to do with their alt-right past, the super prestigious ROH tag champs have lost their heat and should lose the titles soon. Regardless, this match was pretty good. Scorpio Sky delivered some awesome aerial work and the ending was pretty great with the Doomsday Device by The Briscoes being reversed into a Spanish Fly by Kazarian for the pinfall. In the end, the match did exactly what it was supposed to do and got the crowd hot for a long night of awesome wrestling. ***1/2

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Over Budget Battle Royal, Winner faces Jay Lethal for the ROH Title later tonight:

This was such a fun match and one of the best non-Royal Rumble Battle Royals I’ve seen. Everyone was booked well too, Brian Cage and Punishment Martinez looked like monsters, Colt Cabana did some great work and got some great hometown love, Marko Stunt was flying around the ring and doing some great little guy comedy and Bully Ray continued to look like a dastardly heel. In the beginning, a random luchador was dragged out by Bully and put through a table. Colt and Bully looked to be the final two and Bully eliminated Colt getting some heat but the random luchador hopped back into the ring and unmasked to be revealed as… FLIP Gordon?? Huge pop for Flip Gordon as he eliminated the annoying Bully Ray. Flip goes onto face Jay Lethal later tonight. ***

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  • Matt Cross defeated MJF to start the main show, Matt Cross got to hit his flippy shit and MJF looked like a great comedy heel. They worked at a slower pace than desirable but Cross picked up the win with a Shooting Star Press in a solid match ***

dj8axmkuwaamy5qChristopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell:

For Amell’s first One-on-One encounter he did amazing. Stephen Amell has been in and out of the wrestling world having a match at SummerSlam 2015 with Neville facing Stardust and Wade Barrett. Then later, popping up in ROH and getting an honorary spot in Bullet Club and now we are here. This match had some really good build on BTE, Daniels being the cocky veteran and Amell being the celebrity upstart. These two started the match slowly but Amell was able to hang early on having some good exchanges with Daniels. Christopher has been wrestling for a decade plus so he was calling the shots in this match and carrying most of it. Out of nowhere, Stephen goes for a Coast to Coast and hits it without any issue, that was surprising as hell. Stephen Amell also goes for an elbow drop on a table to Daniels but Daniels moves out of the way sending Amell down to a table bump. The match had an unexplained special guest referee of former ECW star Jerry Lynn and in the end, Daniels had an exchange with him which got overbooked and it looked like that would’ve caused him to lose but Daniels picked up the victory with the Best Moonsault Ever. Amell shocked me here on how well he did and it will be interesting to see how he continues his wrestling career. ***1/2

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  • Tessa Blanchard defeats Chelsea Green, Madison Rayne, and Britt Baker in a solid match regaining the crowd’s attention. The match ended sloppily with a near break up by Green that looked like she got it but ended with a 3 count. Blanchard looked good in this match and Tully was ringside. ***

codyaldisallinCody vs. Nick Aldis(c) for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship:

I’ve rewatched this match twice since I saw it live and every time I watch it the more I appreciate it. These 2 worked an old school match throughout and had many callbacks to old school wrestling like the running powerslam on the outside by Aldis, the blade job by Cody mid-match in homage to his dad and the roll-up finish out of old NWA Title matches and British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart from Summerslam 2018. From the start, the crowd was hot for Cody and Cody came out with Brandi, Pharoah, DDP, Konnan, and Tommy Dreamer. They both had MMA-style entrances filming them walking in from backstage. This match had a big fight feel and made the NWA title come from out of obscurity completely. The match started with a great staredown that the crowd went insane for and then went into some solid work and a great suicide dive by Cody. The match picks up into a plancha dive by Cody but Aldis elbows him down. The special guest referee Earl Hebner throws up the X signifying that Cody was knocked out. The match takes an intermission and DDP comes down to check on Cody, Daivari Aldis’ crew member comes down and shoves DDP. DDP delivers a Diamond Cutter to Daivari to a huge pop. Cody ducks under the table and blades and starts to bleed. The rest of the match was fantastically worked and felt like a modern twist on an old-school classic. Aldis got Cody in the Cloverleaf and Cody fought out after a while. Aldis delivered an elbow drop but Brandi saved Cody and took the bump. Cody definitely played the babyface in this match which is a weird transition because he was one of the best heels in wrestling a few months ago Cody got an old-school rollup finish. ****1/4

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Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page Chicago Street Fight:

This match was an awesome spotfest centered around Page killing Joey Ryan. The match was also awesome exposure for Joey Janela who took some rough bumps. The match started fast and Page hit an awesome moonsault off the top rope to ringside. Page unveiled a Cracker Barrel that Janela jumped off of to swanton Page over the barricade. Janela chases Page down with the Barrel and Page Super Mario jumps over it and buckshot lariats Janela from over the barricade. Janela set up a ladder between the Barrel and the ring apron. Page delivers a burning hammer onto the ladder that gives Janela a rough bump.  The match kept insane and moved towards the stage. Janela hit a running lariat on the stage and then set up two side-by-side tables on the ramp. Page powerbombs Janela through one of the tables sending Janela to clip his head against the other table and the concrete floor. Page heads back to the ring and pulls out two trash bags. Penelope Ford comes into the ring and does some awesome dodging of Page’s lariats matrix-style. Ford opens one of the trash bags to reveal Page’s haunted boots. Page freaks out and Janela delivers a superkick to a distracted Page for a great near fall. A table and a ladder get set up in the ring and Janela climbs the ladder. In the other trash bag Page had the phone that he killed Joey Ryan with on Being The Elite. Page attacks Janela with the phone and delivers a Rite Of Passage off the ladder through the table below which is one of the best spots I’ve ever seen. Page covers Janela FTW. This match was crazy and mixed some intense spots with good work rate and comedy storytelling. Definitely match of the night so far. ****1/2

  • After the match, Inflatable Dicks come out like Undertaker’s Druids. Joey Ryans’s music hits and he is resurrected. Joey comes down and Dick Flips Page and throws a dick lollipop in his face. Page is carried away by the Inflatable Dicks to “Rest In Penis” chants. 

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Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon for the ROH World Title:

This match was given the dead spot after Janela vs. Page and Joey Ryan’s resurrection wowed the crowd. Flip was finally booked for all in after sneaking in earlier and he was accompanied by Brandi. The match started really slow but as always Flip started to get the pace high. Jay Lethal was playing up the Black Machismo character and Lanny Poffo was ringside and he came out to The Macho Man’s theme song. Jay lifted up Brandi as Mrs.Elizabeth too. Flip got into his flippy mode and put on some really good sequences at the end. In the end, the match got great after a Super Cutter by Lethal followed by a Lethal Injection put away Flip. ***1/2

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Pentagon Jr. vs. Kenny Omega:

This match was the best Japanese Wrestling has to offer versus the best Mexican Wrestling had to offer. These two put on a show too. I loved this match even though I felt like it could’ve been better. The match was a hard-hitting, fast-paced and surreal encounter getting “Holy Shit” chants before the match even started. Pentagon is obviously less of a star than Omega but he put on an amazing performance. Penta was over with the Zero Miedo chants which played amazingly into the match. Whenever Penta was getting striked down he would yell Zero Miedo and fire back up. Pentagon was very much able to hang with the Best in the World. Penta delivered an awesome Package Piledriver on the apron to Kenny that looked brutal. Penta also delivered an awesome Armbreaker/Piledriver sequence for an amazingly close near fall on Omega. Omega delivered a Package Piledriver of his own for another great near fall. The crowd was hot for this match getting “All In” and “This is awesome” chants. However, I think the match missed some length as Omega ended it with a One-Winged Angel before the 20-minute mark. If this match went any longer it could’ve gone the 5-stars. My opinion for MOTN changes frequently but this definitely the match of the show so far. I think it could be close to a MOTY contender as a stand-alone match though. ****3/4

  • Post-match, the lights go off and in-ring Penta is still lying down. Penta attacks Omega but unmasks to be Chris Jericho. Jericho challenges Omega to a match on the Jericho cruise. 

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dhx6yfcu8aackb8-e1530828478682Marty Scurrl vs. Kazuchika Okada:

I loved Marty Scurrl in this match, he always had to convince Okada and the crowd that he was a heavyweight. This match was the most storyline driven of all of the all in matches. Scurrl was fighting against the chances and Okada stayed at the legendary status of his NJPW title run. Both of these men left this match looking great. The match started slow but during the beginning, some of the logic and technical work was top notch. Scurrl led most of the match fighting into hitting his brainbuster. These 2 also had a great dynamic and chemistry for people who hadn’t faced before. This match was a story in itself and built on itself to a great finish. The match was long which would affect the show later but as a standalone match, this is an absolute classic in storytelling an in-ring work. There was also one of the best near falls I’ve seen. The special referee Tiger Hattori got knocked down and Scurrl opened his umbrella to Okada fending him off revealing the All In logo. Scurrl ducks a Rainmaker and hits Okada with the umbrella and knocks him down with a Rainmaker of his own, Tiger Hattori gets back up and you start to believe that Scurrl cheated to win against the living legend but the count gets close to 3 and Okada kicks out. After that, a “This Is Awesome” chant explodes. Scurrl tries hard to tap Okada with the Chicken Wing and fends off the Rainmaker finisher. Scurrl gets close to passing out Okada but Kazuchika rises up and gets frustrated and knocks Okada down with 2 Rainmakers. This is my favorite match of the night by a very little over Penta vs. Omega but this match’s storytelling was fantastic and built out like a saga. ****3/4

pjimage-3-696x392The Golden Elite vs. Rey Mysterio, Fenix, and Bandido:

There is a lot I have to say about this match that has nothing to do with the actual in-ring work. One, this shouldn’t have main evented especially with the way it ended. The show could’ve gone off air with Cody grabbing the NWA Title but instead ended with The Bucks winning a meaningless match. Two, this match would’ve been perfect to open the show and get the crowd hot but that didn’t happen and three, Fuck Fite TV. Their time slot made this match get absolutely neutered. What would Fite TV need to have on the 11:00 PM Saturday Time slot that ended this show which I guarantee was a huge payday for them. You can see how Ian Riccaboni was carrying the show and Nick Jackson yelling “It’s time to go home!” to close the show-off. Fite TV took this match from being a classic and ended The Buck’s hard worked show with an awkward finish. Because I was live, I was able to see the aftermath and The Bucks talk about ending the match which did give me some closure but I’d be pretty mad if I was Matt or Nick and the show had to end like that. Now to the match, it was a really fun encounter. It was great seeing Mysterio back in full flippy force and Bandido turned in an awesome performance. it was just pure flippy nonsense for 10 minutes which was really fun but honestly nothing special. It was some of the finest flippy shit I’ve seen for about 5 minutes but the match was unable to end or carry out like they probably had intended. It was also awesome to see Kota and Mysterio face off. It should’ve been a match for the ages but got cut early and is instead a match for the moment. ****

 

Grade: A-

Last Words: The Bullet Club show went over awesome. They totally succeeded in making it a quality show. Matches like Omega vs. Penta, Okada vs. Scurrl and Cody vs. Aldis made this an incredibly well-rounded show. Even though, none of the matches were historically awesome there were a lot of great matches and no “bad” matches. I was incredibly surprised by Stephen Amell too and his performance was a highlight of the night. Some of the spots from Janela and Page I will never forget and the resurrection of Joey Ryan was awesome. The show had some of the best moments in 2018 and was indy WrestleMania for sure. 

Ranking the Matches: 

  1.  Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurrl
  2. Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr. 
  3. Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page Street Fight
  4. Cody vs. Nick Aldis NWA Title
  5. The Golden Elite vs. Bandido, Fenix, and Mysterio
  6. Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell
  7. Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon ROH Title
  8. SCU vs. Briscoes
  9. Women’s Fatal 4-Way
  10. Over Budget Battle Royale
  11. MJF vs. Matt Cross

 

Race For Wrestler of the Year: August 2018

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Wrestler of the Month +10: Hiroshi Tanahashi, The NJPW legend picks up more accolades this year as he wins the G1 Climax. The G1 is the most prestigious wrestling tournament every year and the winner is always presented as an almost unbeatable threat. Tanahashi had an amazing finals match against Kota Ibushi and a great time-limit draw with Kazuchika Okada. The legend continues to be on a tear this year and as he gets closer to his title shot at Wrestle Kingdom it will be interesting to see what else he has in store. X

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month +8: Kairi Sane, Sane had an amazing match against Shayna Baszler at Takeover which is one of my favorites Women’s Matches of all time. Sane played an amazing underdog babyface in that match and pulled out the victory she deserved. Sane showed her talent incredibly well this month and it will be great to see how she does as champion. 

roman-reigns-14Most Improved +7: Roman Reigns, WWE finally did it. They finally got me to like Roman Reigns. It might’ve been the fact that he was lesser of two evils against Brock Lesnar but I really think he delivered a good performance this month. He started it with some great character work in his feud against Lesnar, he won the title in a very mediocre match and is currently having another captivating feud with Strowman. I still don’t get why people hate Roman so much but I guess he is the Big Dog and has been shoved down our throats for a while. Hopefully, smarks can begin to realize that Reigns in NOT THAT BAD. X

3645a-1534636184-800The team of the Month +8: Undisputed ERA, this is the 3rd time that ERA has won team of the month. The ERA has an amazing character in their cocky heel personas and follows it up with amazing matches including this month’s absolute banger against Mustache Mountain. They always do a great job of mixing high spots and technical wrestling and Roddy and Kyle work so well together. As of right now, ERA might cross over The Young Bucks soon for the team of the year. Next Month is War Games and they will definitely pick up some points then. X

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Match of the Month +10: Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Title Last Man Standing Takeover Brooklyn 4, these guys did it again. I still can’t decide which is my favorite match of their 3 Takeover encounters. This match was BRUTAL and had some amazing spots including the ending with Gargano taking himself out of the match in order to hurt Ciampa and the back-to-back Table spot. This match also had the added dimension of Gargano getting aggressive and becoming an anti-hero instead of a super-face. This is my favorite Last Man Standing match of all time and I thought they used the stipulation to make an amazing match that sets itself out as unique from their other matches. XX

Champions at the End of the Month:

WWE:

  • Universal +7: Roman Reigns 12+ Days
  • Raw Women’s +3: Ronda Rousey 12+ Days
  • IC +5: Seth Rollins 12+ Days
  • Cruiserweight +4: Cedric Alexander 145+ Days
  • Raw Tag +3: B-Team 47+ Days
  • WWE +7: AJ Styles 297+ Days
  • SD Women’s +3: Charlotte 12+ Days
  • US +5: Shinsuke Nakamura 47+ Days
  • SD Tag+3: The New Day 10+ Days
  • NXT +5: Tomasso Ciampa 44+ Days
  • NXT NA +3: Ricochet 13+ Days
  • NXT Women’s +3: Kairi Sane 13+ Days
  • NXT Tag +3: Undisputed ERA 71+ Days
  • UK +5: Pete Dunne 468+ Days
  • UK Women’s Rhea Ripley 5+ Days

NJPW:

  • IWGP HVY +7: Kenny Omega 81+ Days
  • IWGP IC +5: Chris Jericho 81+ Days
  • IWGP US +5: Juice Robinson 53+ Days
  • NEVER Openweight +5: Hirooki Goto 73+ Days
  • IWGP Tag +5: The Young Bucks 81+ Days
  • IWGP JR Tag +3: Suzuki Gun 176+ Days
  • NEVER 6-man: Firing Squad 17+ Days

ROH:

  • World +7: Jay Lethal 60+ Days
  • TV +5: Punishment Martinez 74+ Days
  • Tag +3: Briscoes 173+ Days
  • WOH +3: Sumie Sakai 144+ Days
  • 6-Man +3: Young Bucks and Cody 38+ Days

Over 4-Star Matches: (5 Points for a 4-star Match, 10 Points for a 5-star)

  • New Day vs. The Bar SD Tag Tournament SD Live ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Michael Elgin G1 Climax NJPW ****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi NJPW G1 Climax Final *****
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki G1 Climax ****
  • Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz WWE Summerslam ****1/4
  • Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins IC Title Summerslam ****1/4
  • Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano NXT Title Last Man Standing Takeover Brooklyn *****
  • Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler NXT Women’s Title Takeover Brooklyn ****1/2
  • Ricochet vs. Adam Cole NXT North American Title Takeover Brooklyn ****1/4
  • Undisputed ERA vs. Mustache Mountain NXT Tag Titles Takeover Brooklyn ****3/4
  • Kenny Omega vs. Zack Sabre Jr NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Hirooki Goto NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega NJPW G1 Climax ****3/4
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito NJPW G1 Climax ****1/4
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Juice Robinson NJPW G1 Climax ****
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega NJPW G1 Climax *****
  • ZSJ vs. Tetsuya Naito G1 Climax ****1/4
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs. Sanada G1 Climax ****1/2
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi G1 Climax ****3/4
  • Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins IC Title RAW ****1/4

August Leaderboard: 

njpw-g1-28-3-kenny-omega-645x370Leader: Kenny Omega

  1. Kenny Omega 192 Points
  2. Kazuchika Okada 164 Points
  3. Young Bucks: 142 Points
  4. Kota Ibushi: 134 Points
  5. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  6. Johnny Gargano: 116 Points
  7. Will Ospreay: 105 Points
  8. Zack Sabre Jr -Undisputed ERA -Hiroshi Tanahashi: 102 Points
  9. Tomasso Ciampa: 97 Points
  10. AJ Styles: 81 Points
  11. Seth Rollins: 75 Points
  12. Adam Cole -Sanada: 66 Points
  13. Marty Scurrl: 64 Points
  14. Hirooki Goto -Tomohiro Ishii: 60 Points
  15. Alexa Bliss -Cody: 58 Points
  16. Hangman Page: 56 Points
  17. Jay White -Tetsuya Naito: 55 Points
  18. Andrade Almas -Dalton Castle -Cedric Alexander -Mustache Mountain: 50 Points
  19. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  20. Minoru Suzuki -Evil: 45 Points
  21. Pete Dunne: 43 Points
  22. Juice Robinson: 42 Points
  23. The Briscoes: 41 Points
  24. The Miz -Jay Lethal -Kushida: 40 Points
  25. Shinsuke Nakamura: 37 Points
  26. Flip Gordon -Aleister Black -El Desperado -Michael Elgin -Chris Jericho: 35 Points
  27. Dragon Lee: 32 Points
  28. Braun Strowman -Zack Gibson -Finn Balor -Ricochet: 30 Points
  29. So Cal Uncensored -Charlotte -Dolph Ziggler -Roman Reigns: 25 Points
  30. Matt Taven -Ronda Rousey -Taiji Ishimori: 23 Points
  31. Jonathan Gresham -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy -Velveteen Dream -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -Becky Lynch -Kanemaru -The Bar: 20 Points
  32. Burch and Lorcan -Chris Sabin -Bludgeon Brothers -Firing Squad -Sumie Sakai -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez -Kairi Sane: 17 Points
  33. Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Silas Young -Roppongi 3K -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Kevin Owens: 15 Points
  34. Nia Jax -The Kingdom -New Day: 13 Points
  35. Sanity -Drew Gulak -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Bray Wyatt -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Sasha Banks -Yoshi-HASHI -Rusev: 10 Points
  36. 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 -Daniel Bryan
  37. Rhea Ripley: 3 Points

 

WWE SummerSlam Review 2018

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SummerSlam 2018 Results:

  • Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose defeats Dolph Ziggler w/Drew Mcintyre to win the Intercontinental Title via pinfall @22:17 ****1/4
  • New Day defeated The Bludgeon Brothers via DQ so 2B retains the SD Live Tag Titles @9:37 ***1/2
  • Braun Strowman defeats Kevin Owens to retain the Money in the Bank Briefcase via pinfall @1:55 N/A
  • Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella to win the SD Live Women’s Title via pinfall @14:45 ***
  • Samoa Joe defeats AJ Styles via DQ so Styles retains the WWE Title @23:20 ***3/4
  • The Miz defeats Daniel Bryan via pinfall @23:25 ****1/4
  • The “Demon” Finn Balor defeats Baron Corbin via pinfall @1:30 N/A
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy to retain the US Title via pinfall @10:14 **3/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss via submission to win the RAW Women’s Title @4:41 N/A
  • Roman Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar via pinfall to win the Universal Title @6:11 **1/2

Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler(c) w/ Drew Mcintyre for the IC Title:

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These two have 2 bangers already under their belts and they continue it here. Drew Ambrose returning added a much-needed dimension to this match that set it out differently from other Rollins V Ziggler encounters. This was also a very solid decision to open the show and brought a lot of heat to the show early on. I loved this feud and think it ends here. 

Rollins comes down in an awesome Thanos-themed attire. The match starts slow but picks up gradually. Very early on, Ambrose squares up to Drew making sure that this is a fair one-on-one match. Ziggler begins to work the knee of Rollins as always. Ziggler whips Rollins into the corner and Seth takes a hard bump to the outside. Then the match slows down as Ziggler holds a rest hold for a few minutes but then follows it up with a backdrop to ringside giving Seth another hard bump. A crossbody by Ziggler is reversed into a very sloppy suplex to ringside by Seth. Rollins looked off his game in the first half of this match taking rough bumps and lacking the follow through on some of his moves. Rollins gets on fire with a sequence of big moves, suicide dive to ringside followed up by a springboard clothesline and a Ripcord Knee back in-ring for a great near fall. Ziggler hits a great looking Spike DDT on the apron to Seth, Rollins gets back in the ring at a nine count. Rollins hit a superkick/frog splash combo but the splash is rolled up by Ziggler for a near fall. Rollins hits an amazing inverted super falcon arrow for another great near fall. “This is Awesome” chants. Drew takes out Ambrose ringside, Zig Zag hits for a very near fall. Roll up sequence into a buckle bomb by Rollins. Dirty Deeds by Ambrose hits to Drew ringside and Rollins hits the Stomp for the win. 

Rating: ****1/4, Even though it’s close I don’t think this is the best one-on-one main roster WWE match of the year. That still goes to the Miz vs. Seth Rollins at BackLash. However, disregarding the slow and sloppy start, the closing to this match was FANTASTIC. The amazing inverted Falcon Arrow, the great near falls and the Spike DDT on the apron made the crowd hot and the match awesome. This match did exactly what it set out to do and that was fire up the live crowd for what was going to be a LONG show. The added dimensions of Drew and Dolph ringside made this match special and probably the best of their encounters. 

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Bludgeon Brothers(c) vs. The New Day for the SD Live Tag Titles:

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After a hot match to follow, these two teams were ready to lock horns again. Big E and Xavier Woods were the members of New Day to try and take down the undefeated Tag Champs. New Day won the #1 contender tag tournament on SD Live defeating the Bar for the right to face 2B at this show. 

Xavier and Rowan start the match. Early on, a big splash by Rowan gets the first near fall in on Woods. Ringside, a powerbomb on the steps attempt by Rowan to Woods fails and Woods goes for a huricanrana but ends up falling hard on the ringside floor. Big E gets himself in for a hot tag. A great Tope Con Hiro by Woods lays out Rowan, A ringside Deep Six by Harper wipes out Woods, A spear off the apron by E wipes out Harper and a crossbody off the apron by Rowan knocks down Big E to close a great sequence. In-ring Crucifix Bomb by 2B on Big E goes for a near fall save by Woods. Sit-out powerbomb by Harper to Woods for a near fall. Backdrop by Rowan to Kofi but E gets revenge with a Big Ending to Rowan. New Day hits the great uranage/backstabber combo off the apron to Rowan. Woods hits an awesome elbow drop to ringside and takes out Harper. New Day goes for the Midnight Hour to Harper but Rowan attacks with the hammer for a DQ. 

Rating: ***1/2, This is undoubtedly the best 2B match since the repackage and makes Summerslam 2-2 on the banger ratio. The match was just a rush of insane moves headlined by the amazing elbow drop to ringside by Xavier Woods. The ending didn’t make me too mad as it made sense. New Day pushed 2B to their limits for the first time as a team and they had to escape with a DQ to retain the titles. The Bludgeons are weakened now and might lose the titles to New Day at HIAC. 

  • Braun Strowman SQUASHES Kevin Owens. This made me so mad. This match had a lot of good story elements to work on with the briefcase on the line and the champion’s advantage for Strowman being taken away. However, Strowman won in a minute and a half. Strowman is honestly no longer interesting AT ALL. 

Carmella(c) vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch for the SD Women’s Title:

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Carmella has been an infuriatingly bad champion and Charlotte was just inserted into this match at the last minute. Lynch is the only one going into this match that deserves the title and that plays out in the match. 

The match starts out slow as Carmella works on driving a wedge in between the friendship of Carmella and Charlotte. Carmella spends way too much time early on talking and taunting. The match starts to fire up when Carmella hits a top rope huricanrana for the first near fall. Spear/STO spot led by Charlotte goes for a near fall on both Lynch and Mella. Middle rope drop by Charlotte in a Boston Crab on Carmella, transition into the Figure 4 by Flair, Lynch breaks it up with a flying leg drop for a near fall on Charlotte. A great suicide dive by Carmella takes out Becky but an even better Corkscrew Moonsault by Charlotte pretty much misses Carmella and Lynch but still takes them out. Dis-arm-her in the ring by Becky on Flair, Mella breaks it up. Lynch saves a few near falls and hits a Bexploder/Dis-arm-her combo on Mella, Charlotte breaks it up with a Natural Selection on Lynch for the win. 

Rating: ***, The beginning of the match was almost intolerable but it picked up one Carmella stopped taunting. The dynamic of the three women worked well together and Lynch looked really good in this match too. Carmella delivered one of her better performances while Flair took a backseat a majority of the match. Lynch’s heel turn after the match was very justified and was one of the highlights of the show. 

 

AJ Styles(c) vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title: 

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This feud has revolved around AJ’s family adding a lot of heat to the match. Joe continues to be amazing on the mic and feels incredibly fresh and different from WWE’s writing mold. AJ’s reign is finally starting to pick up too after nearly a year. 

Samoa Joe grabs the mic pre-match and calls out Style’s wife. The match starts with stiff strikes by both men and AJ going for the leg of Joe. Joe kicks Styles down off the apron for a hard landing and the first near fall. Amazing Suicide Dive by Joe sends Styles into the announce table. In-ring a stiff lariat by Joe flips Styles and goes for another near fall. Styles rocks Joe with a stiff right hand and plancha dives to ringside. Back in-ring, Styles hits a Moonsault Inverted DDT for a near fall. Joe goes to the top rope for a flying leg lariat for a near fall. Amazing show of strength by Styles hitting the ushigoroshi but hurting his knee in the process. Phenomenal forearm attempt by Styles is dodged into an intense snap powerslam by Joe for a near fall. AJ powers into a Styles Clash which doesn’t hit all the way but still goes for a near fall. A stiff strike-fest ensues and ends with an uranage by Joe putting both down. Styles locks in the Calf Crusher but Joe smashes AJ’s head into the mat to get out. Joe locks in the coquina clutch but Styles grabs the ropes. Joe signals bringing back the Muscle Buster finisher that ended a few careers including Tyson Kidd but Styles fights back. Joe step-up enzugiris Styles to ringside off the top rope. Joe sends Styles into the steps busting open AJ. Joe grabs a mic and stands on the announce table to call out Styles’ family again. Styles snaps and spears Joe off the announce table through the barricade and attacks Joe with a chair for a DQ finish. 

Rating: ***3/4, I was really close to giving this match a 4-star rating but the finish made the match weaker. The entire match was awesome, starting with stiff strikes and living at a fast pace. Joe looked awesome in this match and Styles got in the zone again. This tried less hard than AJ vs. Nakamura but was better early on. The match also was wrestled at a more strong style attitude which made it feel surreal that we are watching it in WWE. The end of the in-ring worked played out really well too with multiple near falls and the solid submission sequences. Joe hit an awesome step-up enzugiri to knock Styles ringside and before the DQ finish the work on the outside was awesome. Styles was busted open and therefore looked a lot more intense when he snapped. Joe looked like a devious heel and Styles’ family looked genuinely concerned. The camera cuts were great adding to the story here. However, because the match never had a decisive finish I couldn’t give it a 4-star+ rating. This match makes me really excited for the future of this feud though. 

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz:482b83b04467cf02882a8f4b466ba02063195f83r1-620-349v2_hq

It’s almost surreal that this match is finally happening. These two have been having an amazing feud since 2012 almost and they had some of the best encounters in 2017 on Talking Smack of the year. The rumors started circling that these two were gonna face off and we are finally here. Let me say, I was not disappointed at all by the outcome. 

An amazing video package starts the hype for this match. Miz hits Bryan’s strike sequence in the corner but Bryan fires up and hits his own strikes. Miz goes for Bryan’s Surfboard Lock but Bryan turns the tables again. The Miz is being an awesome heel and using Bryan’s moves against him. Clothesline off the top rope by Miz sends Bryan to a hard fall. Superhuricanrana by Bryan for the first near fall. Crossbody by Bryan off the top rope to ringside takes out Miz. Yes! kicks to Miz in the tree of woe by Bryan. Super Belly-to-Back suplex by Bryan off the top rope for another near fall. Yes! Kicks by Bryan get caught into a Snap DDT by Miz for a great near fall. Miz’s chest gets completely red due to Bryan’s chops. It! Kicks by Miz, Bryan squares up and delivers stiff ass slaps to the Miz. Running Knee attempt by Bryan caught into a slingshot by Miz sending Bryan into the corner, Skull Crushing Finale by Miz hits for a great near fall. Miz goes for the Running Knee but Bryan catches it with a Buzzsaw Kick for another near fall. Miz dodges Bryan’s kick sending his leg into the post, in-ring Figure 4 by the Miz, Bryan flips it over and the Miz grabs the ropes. Skull Crushing Finale attempt by Miz rolled up by Bryan for a near fall. Crucifix roll up by Bryan for another near fall. Bryan locks in the Yes! Lock but Miz grabs the ropes. Jumping Knee off the apron by Bryan sends Miz into the barricade near Maryse. Maryse gives Miz brass knuckles. Bryan goes for a suicide dive but is stopped with a Brass Knuckle punch, Miz gets the pin for the win. 

Rating: ****1/4, I loved this match. These two have insane chemistry and brought a surreal match into reality in the greatest way. The layout of this match was awesome too, the beginning of the match saw Miz try to defeat Bryan with his own moves. The middle of the match had some great showdowns between the two and the end had some awesome near falls but again the ending tarnished the match a little. The Miz cheating to win just means that the feud isn’t over but it also seems like WWE forgot it was Summerslam and is just using this show to progress feuds and not have it be the showdown like it should be. This is the 3rd match of the night without a clear finish and it’s starting to get insanely annoying. Watching the match on its own though shows that it is an absolutely great match with a smart layout and an amazing heel/face dynamic. 

  • Finn Balor brings back The Demon to squash Baron Corbin. 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jeff Hardy in a very mediocre match, Hardy takes a hard bump off a failed Swanton Bomb to the apron. Randy Orton comes down for a second but turns back around and goes backstage. **3/4
  • Ronda Rousey squashes Alexa Bliss but the celebration with Natalya and the Bella Twins was a great moment. Ronda deserved the title and hopefully, Bliss is out of the scene for a while. 

Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal Title:

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I’m not going to lie, the build-up to this match succeeded in making me like Roman Reigns. WWE subliminally made us hate Brock Lesnar by never having him show up and so you look for Reigns to take the title and save the day. While I think they could’ve done something else with the main event like a Fatal 4-Way again or Lesnar vs. Balor it’s going to be great to see someone else with the big jam belt.

Braun Strowman comes down before the match making everyone think that he’ll cash in and make it a Triple Threat. But, he decides to just watch the match from ringside. The match starts and immediately Reigns hits 3 Superman Punches and 2 Spears, the 3rd Spear is reversed into a Guillotine Choke by Lesnar, Reigns powers into a spinebuster to get out. Lesnar re-applies the Guillotine Choke and Reigns powers out again. Lesnar hits 3 German Suplexes. The First F5 attempt is reversed but Lesnar side steps a spear sending Reigns diving into Braun ringside. F5 hits to Braun Strowman taking him out. Lesnar attacks Braun with the briefcase and launches it to backstage. A Spear that catches a distracted Lesnar in-ring wins the match for Reigns and the Reign of terror is OVER!

Rating: **1/2, this was a fun sprint with not much in-ring action but Braun ringside took much of the attention away from that. Lesnar is finally defeated and there was a definite pop when Reigns won. WWE has succeeded after 3 YEARS in making Reigns a solidified champion. It feels like he deserves the title and honestly he does. I’m going to be the first to say this, Reigns is good and gets an unneeded bad reputation. 

Show Grade: B+

Pros:

  • Demon Return
  • Bryan vs. Miz
  • 2B vs. New Day
  • Rollins vs. Ziggler
  • Lynch heel turn
  • Rousey title win
  • Styles vs. Joe
  • Reigns title win

Cons: 

  • Owens vs. Braun
  • Crappy endings to good matches

Last Word: The name of the game for Summerslam 2018 was to have a classic WWE match but end it with over-booking. Bryan vs. Miz, Styles vs. Joe and 2B vs. New Day all were great matches and all ended with cheating or confusion. The only straight up, no complaints good match was Ziggler vs. Rollins. It seemed like WWE forgot that Summerslam was a big show and just spent it to build new feuds instead of end good feuds. However, the highs in this show are more positive than anything in WWE lately like Rousey winning the title, the Demon returning, Reigns winning the title and the overall match quality. This show absolutely defeats BackLash and Extreme Rules but maybe 2nd or 3rd best PPV of the year against Royal Rumble and MITB. I was much more surprised at the quality of this show against NXT because I went into the weekend believing that NXT would completely overshadow Summerslam and Summerslam would be a bad show. This show was incredibly long and if you don’t have time to watch everything catch Dolph vs. Seth, Styles vs. Joe, Rousey winning and Bryan vs. Miz. 

 

 

 

NXT Takeover Brooklyn 4 Review

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NXT Takeover Brooklyn 4 Results:

  • Undisputed ERA defeats Mustache Mountain to retain the NXT Tag Titles via pin @18:05 ****3/4
  • Velveteen Dream defeats EC3 via pin @15:05 ***3/4
  • Ricochet defeats Adam Cole to win the NXT North American Title @15:22 ****1/4
  • Kairi Sane defeats Shayna Baszler to win the NXT Women’s Title @ 13:35 ****1/2
  • Tomasso Ciampa defeats Johnny Gargano to retain the NXT Title in a Last Man Standing Match *****

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Undisputed ERA(c) vs. Mustache Mountain for the NXT Tag Titles:

This match is a rematch from the UK Tournament and the absolute classic they had last month on NXT TV. This match played out very similarly to the previous clashes but that isn’t a complaint. These two teams do an amazing job of mixing technical wrestling and high spots.

Roderick Strong and Trent Seven started this match and early in the match ERA returns to the pack mentality by isolating Seven. Tyler Bate hits a hot tag in and does another amazing Double-Spin spot, callback spot to the previous encounters, with Roddy on his shoulders and Kyle O’Reilly in the swing position. Tyler Bate looked incredibly strong in this match. ERA begins to regain the pack mentality and begins to go for isolating the leg of Bate. They play through an awesome desperation tag sequence with Bate going through hell to get the tag to Seven with ERA clinging to Bate to stop the hot tag. Seven makes the hot tag and hits an amazing suicide dive for a man of that size. Series of big moves by ERA on Seven to begin the match’s near falls. Seven looks resilient and Strong locks in the Strong Hold on Seven and Kyle locks in a triangle on Bate. Tyler Bate powers up and powerbombs KOR into Strong to stop the double submission spot which is another callback to previous encounters. Tyler Bate hits an amazing sequence of moves outside with a great over-the-ropes suicide dive taking out Kyle and a rebound lariat ringside to Strong. Bate speeds Roddy back into the ring and hits the Tyler Driver 97 for an awesome near fall. While Bate is on the top rope, Kyle smashes the previously worked leg of Bate into the post and follows it up with a heel hook in-ring on Bate. Strong stops Bate from getting to the ropes and Trent Seven teases throwing in the towel, a callback to their NXT TV match where Tyler Bate threw in the towel for Seven. Bate fights his way out to tag Seven and Seven hits a Seven Star lariat on O’Reilly for another great near fall. Tandem Burning Hammer for a near fall by Mustache Mountain. “Fight Forever” chants start and almost by queue, ERA hits the Axe and Smash Strike sequence for the win. 

Rating: ****3/4, These two teams put on an AMAZING trilogy of tag matches and even though their NXT TV match was better this match was a high spot for the show and an amazing opener. This match might’ve been a perfect 5-stars if the spots were new and not just callbacks to awesome spots that we have seen before. The match had gone into another gear in terms of awesome near falls and great moments over their previous encounters but the NXT TV match had a far superior story. It’ll be interesting to see where Mustache Mountain goes from here, I’m guessing they headline the NXT UK tag division. 

  • After the match, War Raiders attack ERA and establish themselves as the next challengers. 

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EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream:

The match is a total clash of character and another match that highlights Velveteen Dream as possibly the best NXT talent ever. EC3 has yet to prove himself in NXT even though his character is awesome. 

Velveteen Dream breaks the 4th wall again and on his tights, it says “Call Me Up Vince” even though I really hope Vince doesn’t listen and Dream continues to thrive in NXT. The match starts off really slow and lethargic until Velveteen hits a Twisting DDT on the metal ramp. Velveteen throws 3 into the announce table and throws water at him. Dream pretty much carries this match. There is a sequence of big moves and near fall as the match crawls to close, EC3 hits a huge superplex for a good near fall. Dream works the neck of EC3 over the match and that plays in when 3 hits a German suplex and can’t successfully bridge due to the neck. Dream hits the first Rolling DVD for a near fall. The ending sequence in this match was amazing and saved this match from mediocrity, Dream hits a Rolling DVD on the apron and hits the Purple Rainmaker on the apron for the pin. 

Rating: ***3/4, This match is the worst Velveteen Dream Takeover match since versus Kassius Ohno. However, Velveteen has been on absolute FIRE recently and has had amazing sequences of Takeover matches. This match was slow at the beginning but picked up towards the end and had some very solid spots and an amazing closing sequence. Hopefully, this isn’t Dream’s last Takeover match but it might be. The main roster may be very near for VD. 

  • Matt Riddle debuts on camera ringside. 

Adam Cole(c) vs. Ricochet for the NXT North American Title:

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The feud revolved around becoming a “special” talent in NXT. Adam Cole has been telling Ricochet he isn’t special for the last few weeks. These two undoubtedly will put on a banger. 

The match starts with a staredown and a collar and elbow sequence making it look evenly matched. Ricochet gradually went into the flippy shit showing that he can wrestle in the early stages of this match. Rico hits the first crazy move off of a dropkick knocking Cole ringside for an amazing corkscrew dive. Rico hits a Standing Shooting Star/Pheonix Splash combo for a near fall. Cole hits an amazing catching backstabber for a near fall. Cole goes for a catching superkick but Rico blocks it, Rico goes for a lionsault and is absolutely blasted with a catching superkick by Cole. Adam hits a reverse neck breaker afterward for a very near fall. An amazing strike-fest ends with Cole falling on top for another awesome near fall. Rico hits a huricanrana off the apron setting Cole up for a closing 630 senton by Rico. 

Rating: ****1/4, These two put on the absolute banger I expected. Amazing spots, near falls and intense speed mixed to make magic. The amazing lionsault catching superkick by Cole is the spot of the night so far and Ricochet absolutely deserved the win and will have an amazing title run. 

Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Kairi Sane for the NXT Women’s Title:655a7f55475ef594286211ec0dda3c34f79fbefcr1-1470-827v2_hq

I will preface this review section by saying WWE needs to take a lesson from their own developmental system on how to book the women for going into Evolution. The feud revolved around the Mae Young Classic last year and Shayna looked like an absolute beast. The match also is my favorite women’s match since Asuka vs. Ember Moon from Takeover Brooklyn 3. 

The 4 horsewomen of UFC are shown ringside. Shayna hits a dropkick to the leg of Sane giving Kairi a hard fall. It also begins the intense working of the leg of Sane. Baszler drops Sane’s leg over the middle rope and torques the knee in-ring. Baszler hits a brutal stomp over the foot of Sane. Shayna Baszler looked absolutely intense in this match and mixed amazing technicals with fun match styles. Hard strikes by Baszler fire up Sane to start fighting back on her own. Sane powers into a Sliding Knee in the corner but doesn’t fire it up with the in-Sane elbow due to the leg injury so just gets a near fall. Shayna hits an awesome Gutwrench Superplex. Jumping Knee strike by Baszler for a near fall. Sane goes crazy after hitting a Running Spear, she goes for an in-Sane elbow to the back of Baszler, then a suicide crossbody to ringside, she follows it up with another in-Sane elbow for a very near fall closing an awesome sequence. This match marks the first time anyone in NXT has kicked out of the In-Sane elbow. Heel Hook by Baszler locked in on the injured leg of Sane, Sane reverses into her Anchor Hold but Baszler grabs the ropes. Sane uses the ropes and re-applies the Anchor Hold for more torque. A final In-Sane elbow attempt goes into a Coquina Clutch by Baszler but Sane rolls it up for a near fall win. 

Rating: ****1/2, this match was amazing and tied in technical intensity with the high spots from Kairi Sane. I never really bought in on Kairi Sane until this match but now I’m really excited for her title reign. I’ve been on the Baszler train much longer than anyone else but she showed everyone tonight that she can really go. There was a great Underdog/Dominant Heel dynamic and a great sense of urgency and desperation making this match something special. 

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Tomasso Ciampa(c) vs. Johnny Gargano in a Last Man Standing Match:

Even though the feud is less red hot now these guys have put an amazing trilogy of matches including this one. It depends on your preferred wrestling style which is your favorite match of theirs. My personal favorite match was the Takeover Chicago match but this one was an absolute classic too. Due to an injury on Aleister Black, the triple threat was canceled and replaced with the third chapter of the DIY break up. Johnny Gargano teased being darker in this match. 

Johnny attacks before the bell and shows a lot more aggression. Gargano exposes the ring concrete early on. Ciampa hits an awesome Air Raid Crash through an announce table. Ciampa hits a stiff sequence of running knees but Gargano fights back with intense chair shots. A long headlock sequence that would be boring in any other match was made logical and exciting here, Ciampa had tried to genuinely make Johnny go to sleep and got him down for a 6 count, Gargano fights into hitting a Lawn Dart on a chair set up in the corner. Gargano sets up back-to-back stacked tables over the exposed concrete. Ciampa hits a series of his Ciampa Project finisher and sits down to watch Gargano get counted out but Johnny rises with fire and superkicks the hell out of Ciampa. They gradually start to strike-off but double lariat each other down. After one count they return to striking and fall back down closing the awesome sequence. Ciampa hits a brutal Butterfly Piledriver on the steel steps. Ciampa again grabs bolt cutters and exposes the wood under the ring. Gargano blinds Ciampa with a crutch and attacks him with the crutch calling back the first match. Gargano hits an awesome Leaping DDT on the exposed ring to get Ciampa down for a 9 count. A superkick by Gargano misses and decks a member of the ring crew. Ciampa hits a chair-assisted running knee strike through the barricade and piles ring stuff on Gargano including the knocked out crew member, Gargano gets up at 9. Back in-ring, Gargano superkicks Ciampa through the Double Table onto the concrete. Brutal spot and Ciampa is back up at 9. Fight Forever Chants come. They walk up the stage and Gargano turns the tables and throws Ciampa into the stage for the callback spot. Gargano Escape taps out Ciampa but it doesn’t matter. Gargano handcuffs Ciampa into the stage and superkicks the hell out of him and smashes his face into the metal stage. Ciampa apologizes but it’s too late and Gargano exposes his knee and launches himself at Ciampa. Gargano flies brutally into stage foliage while Ciampa gets up at 9 winning the match.

Rating: *****, These men did it, they completed a golden trilogy of 5-star matches. I believe the match at Takeover was the best Last Man Standing Match of all time. The spots were genius and probably some of the best of the whole series. Including, the exposed ring DDT by Gargano, the knee through the barricade by Ciampa and the intense ending. However, in my opinion, it lacked the hot story that both New Orleans and Chicago had and the match had felt like we had seen it before while Takeover NOLA was the first encounter and Takeover Chi was a new spin on the match. This match combined both together and while it felt less fresh it was probably one of the most exciting of their encounters combat-wise. The ending was perfect though, Gargano had gone too far and made Ciampa apologize and ended up screwing himself out of the match and possibly injuring himself. The end solidified this as a 5-star match. 

Show Grade: A-, While I very much prefer Takeover NOLA, Takeover Brooklyn 4 is the 2nd best installment in the Takeover shows this year. Unlike, Takeover Chicago none of the matches were stinkers and felt like a very well rounded show. None of the matches, however, were as good as Gargano vs. Ciampa at Takeover Chicago or the North American Ladder match at NOLA. Takeovers continue to impress and I loved every minute of this show. 

 

 

 

 

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.