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

 

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.