WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 Review

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Star Ratings + Results:

  • Sasha Banks and Bayley win the Women’s Tag Team Titles in the Elimination Chamber ***3/4
  • The Usos defeat Shane Mcmahon and The Miz to win the SD Live Tag Titles ***1/4
  • Finn Balor defeats Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush in a Handicap Match to win the IC Title *
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Ruby Riott to retain the Raw Women’s Title N/A
  • Baron Corbin defeats Braun Strowman in a No DQ Match *

Women’s Tag Team Elimination Chamber Match to Crown Inaugural Women’s Tag Titles:

  • Sasha Banks and Bayley start with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. 
  • Mandy Rose catches her foot in the chain and Bayley hits a brutal neckbreaker sending Rose onto the Chamber floor. 
  • Riott Squad is in at #3. 
  • Logan sends Banks’ previously injured shoulder hard into a pod. 
  • Absolution and Riott Squad strike-off for a while and they run a very weird slow sequence. 
  • Huge Chain Bomb off the corner with everybody a part of it but Bayley takes the hardest fall. 
  • The IIconics at #4. 
  • Tandem offense by the IIconics on Sasha Banks almost eliminates her and Bayley.
  • IIconics press Bayley and Sasha into the chain wall and do some offense outside but still can’t put away Sasha and Bayley.
  • Naomi and Carmella at #5.
  • Carmella looks a huge bit off her game after the Corey Graves scandal.
  • Carmella huricanranas Billie Kay into the chain wall. 
  • Big move sequence from all teams goes for a while and gets pretty good. 
  • Naomi and Mandy Rose square-off, IIconics capitalize and eliminate Naomi and Carmella with a pinning combo.
  • IIconics get cornered by the rest of the teams but the entrance of Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka save them as they take everyone out. 
  • IIconics get themselves back in their pods to escape Jax and Tamina but they open the pod and take out the IIconics and whip them into the chain wall. Double Samoan Drop by Jax and Tamina eliminates the IIconics. 
  • Absolution takes Jax down with a strike sequence to get a near fall. 
  • Weird botch in the corner where Deville is supposed to be sent into Rose by Banks but Rose moves out of the way at the last second and it’s awkward. Double Stomp in the corner by Banks to Rose and Deville gets a near fall but Jax and Tamina break it up.
  • Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan dive off the chamber to take out Jax, Deville, and Rose. 
  • Samoan Drop off the second rope followed by a Splash by Tamina and Jax eliminated the Riott Squad. 
  • Jax tries to spear Bayley through the pod but Bayley dodges and Jax sends herself through the pod. Bayley hits an elbow drop to Tamina and Absolution helps them cover Snuka to eliminate Tamina and Jax. 
  • Backstabber/Bayley to Belly combo by Banks and Sasha gets a really near fall on Deville. 
  • Mandy Rose climbs the cage but Banks and Bayley meet her at the top, Deville comes up to help, Rose knocks Bayley down and Deville meets her with a spear into the pod support beam. Banks comes down to check on Bayley, Rose sends her into the pod. Rose plants Banks with God’s Gift and gets a near fall. 
  • Banks wrenches Deville in a Banks Statement with torque added using her foot to win the match. 

Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley are Inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champions!

Rating: ***3/4, One of the better “groundbreaking” matches in a while and probably since last year’s Women’s Elimination Chamber. They kept the spots interesting even though the pace wasn’t perfect. The right team won as they will use the titles to propel their feud and everyone looked pretty good and delivered some solid character moments and some decent fun. Good opener even though the future of the Women’s Tag Division looks weak. 

The Usos vs. Shane Mcmahon and The Miz(c) for the Smackdown Live Tag Titles:

  • The Miz and Jimmy Uce start the match.
  • Early Coast to Coast attempt by Shane Mcmahon is interrupted by Jey Uso. 
  • Miz and Shane show great tandem work for a forged tag team. 
  • The Usos isolating The Miz working at a slower pace than normal. Hot tag by Shane Mcmahon. Floatover DDT by Mcmahon gets a near fall.
  • Coast 2 Coast by Shane Mcmahon takes out Jimmy, Shane goes to Coast to Coast Jey in the other corner but he catches him mid-air with a superkick and follows it up with a splash, near fall save by The Miz. 
  • Springboard ax handle by The Miz, he never flies.
  • Uso misses the hip attack and Miz capitalizes with a Spike DDT for a near fall. 
  • Miz prepares the announce table, Jimmy inadvertently suicide dives out Jey, Miz puts Jey on the table and Shane flies from the top rope to hit an elbow drop through the announce table taking out Jey. Good spot. 
  • Superkick by Jimmy takes out Miz, Jimmy goes for the Splash but Miz gets his knees up and rolls up for a near fall. Skull Crushing Finale by The Miz hits but Jimmy rolls up Miz to take the title after a near fall for Miz. 

Winner: The Usos win the Smackdown Live Tag Titles!

Rating: ***1/4, While the pace was a bit slower than a Uso match normally stays at, it’s acceptable when both teams are fun to watch and Shane Mcmahon pulls out a couple of mad man spots. The Miz just announces his second baby and loses the title here so he might take some time off but the Usos are one of the best tag teams currently going so they get the strap in a fun match. Solid. 

Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley(c) and Lio Rush in a 2-on-1 handicap match for the Intercontinental Title:

  • Bobby Lashley stays dominant over Finn Balor keeping the match super boring. 
  • Finn Balor tries to dive out but Rush stops him and Bobby and Lio attack him ringside. 
  • Oh my god so boring it hurts. 
  • Bobby Lashley goes for a spear but Rush tags himself in and goes for a Frog Splash but misses.
  • Tope con hiro by Finn Balor takes both out ringside, Balor pulls Rush back in and hits a Coup De Grace to win the match. 

Winner: Finn Balor wins the Intercontinental Title!
Rating: *, The match was outstandingly boring. However, Finn Balor won the Intercontinental Title and that is very very high-quality stuff. 

Ruby Riott vs. Ronda Rousey(c) for the Raw Women’s Title:

  • Charlotte sits at ringside. 
  • Crowd chants we want Becky.
  • Rousey taps Riott out fast as hell in an armbar. 

Winner: Ronda Rousey Retains!

Rating: N/A, Squash match meant to spotlight the Mania Main Event. 

  • Rousey and Flair stare down, Becky Lynch crutches down to the ring. Lynch attacks Flair with the crutch. Becky also attacks Rousey and gets ejected by security. 

Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman No DQ:

  • Why again?
  • Corbin attacks Braun with a kendo stick. 
  • Braun trucks Corbin into the barricade ringside. 
  • Corbin also trucks Braun ringside but with steel steps, Baron mocks Corbin.
  • Corbin is getting in a solid amount of offense which is surprising. 
  • Running Powerslam through a table in the corner by Braun Strowman, Drew Mcintyre comes out with a steel chair to save Corbin, Bobby Lashley comes from behind with a chair shot to Braun. The trio starts to attack Braun with chairs. Lashley Shield Powerbombs Braun off steel steps through stacked tables allowing Corbin to win.

Winner: Baron Corbin

Rating: *, Another really boring match that could’ve just been a Raw filler match. A new trio is set up with Lashley, Mcintyre, and Corbin. Yawn. 

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Daniel Bryan(c) for the WWE Title Elimination Chamber:

  • Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe start the match after an amazing promo from Bryan during his entrance. 
  • Joe hits some hard chops sending Bryan into the chain. 
  • Powerbomb/Boston Crab combo by Joe, Joe transitions into an STF then again transitions into a Crossface but Bryan escapes. 
  • Good opening sequence between Joe and Bryan.
  • Kofi Kingston is in at #3. 
  • Frog Splash by Kofi to the back of Joe for a near fall, really innovative move. 
  • Flying knee by Bryan to Kingston draped over the top rope for a near fall. 
  • Thudding chop by Joe knocks Bryan down in the corner, Bryan climbs a pod to escape Joe and Daniel sits on the top of a pod. Kofi leaps up onto the pod, Bryan climbs the chain to the middle but Joe yanks him down, Kofi hits a great trust fall off the chain taking out Joe and Bryan. 
  • AJ Styles in at #4. 
  • Moonsault DDT by AJ to Bryan, Kofi comes in and catches a Double DDT from AJ. 
  • Bryan climbs up the chain again, Styles meets him with a springboard forearm to the back taking him down, great spot. 
  • Joe catches Kofi in the Coquina Clutch, Kofi flips into a pin but Joe turns it around and synchs in the hold, Kofi fights out and Styles catches Joe with a Phenomenal Forearm to eliminate Joe. 
  • Jeff Hardy comes in at #5.
  • Hardy and Styles fight on the top rope, AJ takes a really hard crash to the floor hitting the steel on the turnbuckles. Jeff Hardy delivers a Swanton bomb to Styles over the top rope which is an amazing spot. Daniel Bryan hits a running knee to eliminate Hardy.
  • Styles deadlifts himself out of the Tree of Woe and Super German Suplexes Bryan who was trying to superplex Kofi, great spot. 
  • Randy Orton at #6. 
  • Orton catches Styles mid-springboard with an RKO to eliminate him.
  • Top Rope Hangman DDT by Orton to Kofi, Orton taunts the RKO but Bryan comes at him, Orton adapts and hits a powerslam on Daniel. Kofi eliminates Orton with a Trouble in Paradise. The crowd goes crazy for Kofi. 
  • Strikefest between Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston. The crowd investment is the best I’ve seen from WWE in a while. 
  • S.O.S by Kofi Kingston for a great near fall.
  • Kofi catches Bryan with a standing double stomp after withstanding like 7 corner dropkicks and gets another near fall.
  • Kingston unglues and rams Bryan into the chain wall repeatedly. Bryan sends Kofi running into the pod and rolls Kofi back in. Bryan gets an amazing near fall on Kofi as the crowd goes crazy again.
  • Bryan does his signature headstomps but gets yet another near fall on Kofi who won’t quit. 
  • Kofi catches Bryan with a Trouble in Paradise for a great near fall, Bryan rolls him up for a near fall too but Daniel locks in a LaBell lock, Kofi grabs the ropes and the crowd goes crazy again. 
  • Bryan and Kofi climb up to the top of a pod, Kofi jams Bryan’s head into a plexiglass wall, Bryan turns the tables and jams Kofi into the same wall, Kofi gets the upper hand and kicks Bryan to the ring. Kofi splashes off the top of the pod but misses, Bryan hits the running knee for the win.

Winner: Daniel Bryan Retains!
Rating: ****3/4, One of the best Elimination Chamber matches I’ve ever seen. Not only were the spots unique and, in an EC match that’s really rare, but the investment into Kofi Kingston is very similar to what his opponent in the final 2 would’ve got in 2015. Kofi Kingston shined hard tonight and delivered a lifetime great performance. While the rest of the match’s timing was a bit off the closing sequences of the match were some of the best moments I’ve seen from WWE in recent years. An amazing close to a very bad PPV. 

Show Grade: C-

Last Word: This was very much a 3-match PPV. The Women’s Tag Title Chamber match was fun, Usos vs. Mcmahon and Miz was also fun, but the main event stole the show and stole WWE as a whole for a while. Balor vs. Lashley and Rush and Corbin vs. Strowman were some of the worst matches on a PPV but very average RAW squashes. Riott vs. Ronda was squash and this show really didn’t do much to get us looking towards WrestleMania. The show was eh, the main event was high quality. 

 

 

 

Progress Chapter 81: Pour Some Progress On Me Review

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Travis Banks defeats Ilja Dragunov @13:34 ****
  • Mark Haskins defeats Mark Andrews @10:01 ***1/4
  • Chris Ridgeway defeats Paul Robinson in a Chain Match @10:02 ***1/2
  • British Strong Style defeat Calamari Thatch Kings @24:07 ****3/4
  • Jordynne Grace defeats Toni Storm @10:03 ***1/2
  • Walter defeats Shigehiro Irie to retain the Progress World Title @13:43 ****
  • Aussie Open defeats LAX to retain the Progress Tag Team Titles @19:13 ****3/4

DtHjaEqXoA4mJDY-e1544139048362Travis Banks vs. Ilja Dragunov:

  • A match that has been long in waiting due to injuries and the feud being long and drawn out.
  • Stiff chops by Dragunov early on weaken Banks. 
  • Banks fires back with chops of his own, Travis is a great heel recently.
  • Chop/Senton combo by Ilja rocks Banks.
  • Innovative inverted rebound lariat by Dragunov sends Banks ringside, Ilja goes for a dive but Banks kicks out the leg of Dragunov. Banks sends Ilja into the ropes, Dragunov hit his throat against the ropes and smacked his back on the apron in a hard landing. Yikes.
  • Banks attacks Ilja ringside and throws him into chairs and striking him down. Travis is even wrestling like a great heel in the mannerisms of the way that he moves and keeps dominant. 
  • Banks hits forearms on Dragunov that fire him up as Dragunov sends chops the way of Banks but Travis drops him with a Vertical Suplex for a near fall. 
  • Banks wrenches in a headlock but Dragunov escapes by hitting an intense Saito Suplex. 
  • More chops by Dragunov into a huge rebound lariat that knocks Banks down for the first time in a while. Dragunov goes for a discus clothesline but Banks hits a German Suplex. Dragunov goes for a rebound lariat but hits the ropes hard again, Ilja decides to go for it again and succeeds in hitting the rebound lariat. 
  • Slingshot Double Stomp by Banks in the corner for a near fall. 
  • Great Low Suicide Dives by Banks take out Ilja ringside, Ilja comes back in and hits a suicide dive of his own. Dragunov sends Banks into a chair and hits a senton. Then Ilja hits a Saito suplex on the apron. 
  • Banks catches Ilja mid-air with a superkick and follows it up with a Kiwi Crusher for a great near fall. 
  • Strikefest begins as the two send vicious chops at each other. A double lariat rocks both down to their knees but they rise up together to continue to strike off. Banks ends the great strike sequence with a running Shinning Whizzer, Ilja stops the near fall by grabbing the hand of the ref which is really innovative.
  • Deadlift Death Valley Driver by Dragunov sends Banks into the corner. Dragunov hits a diving senton.
  • Banks distracts the referee then hits a low blow on Ilja and follows it up with a Disaster Kick for the win. 

Winner: Travis Banks @13:34!

Rating: ****, This was near a masterclass in British Wrestling. The speed and intensity were top notch making it an incredible opener. The crowd was hot for Dragunov which made it very exciting and Ilja sold the rope spot early on to perfection. This was very entertaining and Dragunov continues to show why he’s one of the best Professional Wrestlers in the world. The referee spot was trite and overdone but it protects Dragunov while allowing Banks to maintain his heat so, in the end, it was a smart choice. 

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Mark Haskins vs. Mark Andrews:

  • These 2 start the match looking very evenly matched doing some technical work.
  • Haskins takes Mandrews out with a Crossbody Suicide Dive to ringside.
  • Mark is dominating early on with constant strikes to keep Mandrews down. 
  • Crossface by Haskins is locked in, Haskins transitions into a Rings Of Saturn but Mandrews gets the ropes. 
  • Mandrews tries to strike back to get back in the match and succeeds by hitting an enzugiri that rocks Haskins. 
  • Great moonsault off the apron by Mandrews to Haskins off the floor. Mandrews hits a Tornado DDT back in-ring for the first near fall.
  • Roll through Double Stomp by Mandrews is dodges, Haskins attempts to roll into the Sharpshooter but can’t get it. Haskins rolls back through to hit the rolling Landslide for a near fall. 
  • Made in England attempt by Haskins gets caught with the Double Stomp but Mandrews misses a standing moonsault, Haskins locks in a Fujiwara armbar but Mandrews gets the ropes.
  • Haskins goes for Made in England but Mandrews turns it into a Stundog Millionaire, great counter.
  • Haskins rolls Mandrews into a brutal sharpshooter that taps him out. 

Winner: Mark Haskins @10:01!

Rating: ***1/4, This was a solid match that continues the downward spiral for Mandrews as Haskins continues to look strong. The match never kicked into top gear but had some good moments and kept a good pace. 

  • Do Not Resuscitate comes down to attack but Eddie Dennis saves Haskins and Mandrews but is still in conflict with Mark Andrews. 

Paul Robinson vs. Chris Ridgeway in a Chain Match:

  • A late addition to the card, which sucks because any card without a Paul Robinson match is instantly a better card. 
  • Ridgeway uses the chain to pull Robin towards him to hit a stiff buzzsaw kick.
  • Ridgeway uses the chain to lock Robin in a Bow and Arrow lock temporarily. 
  • Stiff stepover kick by Ridgeway sends Robin ringside but he can’t go anywhere because the chain wraps around the ropes.
  • Robin uses the chain from in-ring to pull Ridgeway into the ring apron.
  • Robin uses the chain to deliver a neckbreaker to Ridgeway.
  • Robin wraps the chain around his leg to kick Ridgeway but Chris shrugs it off. 
  • Robin tries to leave the ring but Ridgeway delivers a low blow with the chain. 
  • Deadlift German Suplex with the chain by Ridgeway for the first near fall.
  • Right hand with the chain by Robinson for a near fall. 
  • Curb-Stomp onto the chain by Robinson for another near fall. 
  • Roundhouse Kick/Snap German/AxeMurderer Kick by Ridgeway into an Ankle Lock with the chain that taps out Robinson.

Winner: Chris Ridgeway @10:02!

Rating: ***1/2, It’s hard to be creative with a chain match because the stipulation restricts major moves and huge spots but these guys used that to their advantage and delivered one of the best and most brutal chain matches I’ve seen which honestly still doesn’t say much, chain matches suck. It’s always great to see Robinson get beat up because the guy gets major heat. 

British Strong Style vs. CCK (Jonathan Gresham, Chris Brookes, Timothy Thatcher):

  • BSS’s entrance is one of my favorite moments in 2018 wrestling, these guys had so much fun and it’s been forever since they’ve tagged so it felt like a genuine reunion. 
  • The match is conducted under Lucha Tag Rules meaning there are no tags and everyone is legal. 
  • Pete Dunne and Jonathan Gresham start the match. Two of the best Technical Wrestlers in the world right now, in the same league as guys like Zack Sabre.
  • Pete Dunne helps Tyler Bate do a flying armdrag to Chris Brookes as the crowd chants Lucha.
  • A solid sequence between Tyler Bate and Chris Brookes ending in a near fall Victory Roll up by Bate. 
  • Tyler Bate tags in Trent Seven to go against Timothy Thatcher who is a scary, scary man. Thatcher is a possible challenger to Seven’s Atlas Title Belt. 
  • Seven chops Thatcher which is a big mistake. Seven is able to knock Thatch down with a shoulder block though. 
  • All 3 brawl in the ring as the match breaks down. Gresham hits an insane springboard huricanrana take over to Dunne. Seven hits a couple stiff chops on Thatcher but Thatcher kicks him in the stomach while he is draped on the top rope. 
  • Seven and Dunne swing Brookes into Bate who hits a deadlift German suplex on him for a near fall, great tandem spot. 
  • Bate lifts Seven up for a Back senton on Brookes for a near fall. 
  • The BSS members all have miscommunications and strike each other off the apron, Brookes hits a senton taking out Seven. Gresham comes in for a hot tag on Bate.
  • Big team sequence ensues, Thatcher hits a Belly to Belly suplex on all 3 members of BSS. Dunne breaks the fingers of Thatcher but Thatch locks in an ankle lock on Dunne, Seven hits a chop on Thatcher to break the hold but Thatcher gets mad as Seven and Thatch send hard strikes at each other. Ripcord Double Lariat by Thatcher and Seven knock both down.
  • BSS and CCK huddle up on opposite sides of the ring, Bate hits a Cannonball Suicide Dive that takes out CCK. Brookes hits a suicide dive on Seven, Dunne tries to plancha dive Thatcher but fails but Seven comes through to suicide dive on Thatcher. Gresham hits a suicide dive that takes everyone out. 
  • Tandem Sequence by CCK on Bate gets a great near fall. 
  • Figure Four by Seven on Gresham, Dunne kicks away the arm of Gresham that tries to escape. Thatcher takes Dunne out of the ring and Butterfly suplexes Bate into Seven to stop the hold. 
  • Gresham and Dunne strike off, Gresham misses a moonsault as Dunne grabs in a Triangle Lock. Brookes dives in with a double stomp to break the hold. 
  • Octopus Lock by Brookes on Seven, Octopus Lock by Gresham on Dunne, Sleeper Hold by Thatcher on Bate, Bate walks around with Thatcher on his back and punches off Brookes and hits an amazing German Suplex to Gresham with Thatcher still on his back. 
  • BSS swings Gresham into Dunne but Gresham hits a reverserana on Dunne which is a great counter. 
  • Brookes rolls Gresham into Bate to hit a cutter for a great near fall. 
  • Praying Mantis Bomb by Brookes on Bate for a near fall. 
  • Thatcher grabs in a sleeper hold on Bate, Seven saves Bate from tapping, Dunne kicks Thatcher off the hold. 
  • Twisting Piledriver by Seven on Brookes, followed by a Tyler Driver 97 and a Bitter End for an amazing near fall. 
  • Spiral Tap by Bate hits Brookes to close the match. 

Winner: British Strong Style @24:07!

Rating: ****3/4, I enjoyed this a lot more than LAX vs. CCK mostly because British Strong Style is 3 of my favorite wrestlers but regardless this was insanely fun, high impact, and the pace was incredible. Everybody in this match is at the top of their game and they took this match and made one of the best and most creative tag matches that has happened in 2018.

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Toni Storm vs. Jordynne Grace:

  • Slower paced start to the match.
  • Jordynne Grace catches Storm running with a Lateral Press that pushed Storm a couple feet back.
  • Bearhug by Grace locked in, Storm elbows her way out. 
  • Another bearhug by Grace is locked in, Grace transitions into a deadlift vertical suplex for the first near fall. 
  • Yet another Bearhug locked in for Grace as Jordynne begins to dominate a bit, Toni delivers a great counter out with a Spike DDT.
  • Bodyslam by Grace but Toni pops back up, Grace hits another one but Storm pops back up again. German Suplex by Storm followed by a headbutt for a near fall on Grace. 
  • Grace plants Storm on her neck with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. 
  • Grace catches Storm mid-air with a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. 
  • Deadlift German Suplex by Storm, great show of power. Storm hits the Strong Zero Piledriver but Grace rolls to the outside. Suicide Dive by Storm takes out Grace ringside. Back in-ring, Storm counters strikes by Grace by taking her out with a lariat. Last Falconry by Grace ends the match.

Winner: Jordynne Grace @10:03!

Rating: ***1/2, This is probably the best Progress Women’s match I’ve seen which sadly isn’t saying that much. Grace is majorly on the rise and Storm is one of the best Women’s wrestlers in the world. These two put on a good sprint style match with some big spots and clean work. 

DtmJmvtW0AECKAK-e1544139092542Walter(c) vs. Shigehiro Irie for the Progress World Championship:

  • Timothy Thatcher is back out to accompany Walter to the ring.
  • My first exposure to Shigehiro Irie who is a DDT wrestler.
  • Irie comes out of the gates how hitting Walter repeatedly with shoulder blocks but he can’t knock him down, Walter takes Irie down with a chop. 
  • Walter boots Irie off the apron from in between the ropes. Thudding chops by Walter hits Irie ringside. Saito suplex by Walter sends Irie into the apron.
  • Irie hits forearms that rattle Walter but Walter hits another intense chop to knock him down. 
  • Walter hits some scary clubs to the chest of Irie and follows it up with a sleeper hold but Irie gets the ropes fast. 
  • Irie tries to come back with more strikes but Irie gets flattened with another thudding chop. 
  • Irie hits an impressive cannonball to Walter in the corner but Walter catches him running with an even more impressive shotgun dropkick. 
  • Strikefest hits really hard to both men, Walter ends it with another thudding chop but Irie gets back up. Walter attempts a sleeper hold, Irie tries to suplex out but Walter shifts his weight and comes down directly on Irie for a near fall. 
  • Irie starts to string together successful strikes but Walter hits Irie with a Tombstone Piledriver for a great near fall. 
  • Walter shockingly heads up to the top but Irie meets him there, Irie hits an intense superplex that I’m shocked didn’t break the ring. Irie hits a cannonball to Walter in the corner for a solid near fall. 
  • Irie tries to suplex Walter but Walter fights out and hits yet another tough chop. Walter locks in a Sleeper Hold, Irie fights out and hits an impressive Saito Suplex on the bigger man. 
  • Irie climbs to the top and hits a Diving Splash for a near fall. 
  • German Suplex by Walter, Irie pops back up but is met with a stiff lariat for a good near fall.
  • Walter grabs in an STF and wrenches it in to tap out Irie. 

Winner: Walter Retains @13:43!

Rating: ****, This was a great hard-hitting and fast-paced big match wrestling showcase that is one of Walter’s strongest-looking defenses. Irie gets great exposure as he turns in an amazing performance in this match hanging with Walter which is an incredibly hard task to accomplish. I enjoyed this match a lot even though it lacked some of the drama that the near 5-star Walter title defenses have because the crowd was relatively unaware of who Shigehiro Irie was.

LAX (Santana and Ortiz) vs. Aussie Open(c) for the Progress Tag Team Championships:

  • LAX defeated CCK in an absolute banger on the last chapter to gain the opportunity to be in this match. 
  • Kyle Fletcher and Santana start the match.
  • Santana asks Fletcher to bring on the shoulder blocks after a bit of a sequence and Fletcher takes Santana down. 
  • Satana hits Fletcher with an uranage, Ortiz hits a Senton, Santana moonsaults off of Ortiz and hits Fletcher for a near fall.
  • Vertical Suplex attempt battle from Fletcher and Ortiz, Kyle shows some great strength getting Ortiz deadlifted up and succeeding the suplex.
  • Mark Davis delivers a hot tag on Ortiz. 
  • Amazing show of athleticism by the bigger Mark Davis hitting a flipping arm drag to Ortiz.
  • Arm Drag pinning combination by Ortiz on Davis for a near fall.
  • Ortiz pokes the eyes of Davis for some heel heat, Davis hits an intense high five to attack the hand of Ortiz. 
  • LAX isolate Fletcher in their corner. Fletcher hits a Michinoku Driver to Ortiz to open tags.
  • Hot tag by Mark Davis on LAX. Santana takes Davis down with a springboard crossbody.
  • Great Tope Con Hiro by Santana takes out Aussie Open, Ortiz meets Davis in-ring with a pinning combo for a near fall but Davis does a roll-up of his own for a near fall. 
  • LAX Tandem Sequence on Davis into a dead weight senton by Ortiz for a near fall. 
  • Diving Crossbody by Fletcher takes out both members of LAX.
  • Deadlift sit-out powerbomb by Fletcher on Ortiz for a near fall. 
  • Stereo suicide dives by LAX stopped by Aussie Open. Strike sequence takes all 4 out ringside, innovative spot. Both get up and continue to strikefest ringside until they realize they’ll be counted out then they continue to strikefest in-ring. Stereo lariats by Aussie Open end the awesome striking sequence.
  • Ortiz dumps Davis all the way to the floor, Tandem Sequence by LAX to Fletcher into a near fall save by Mark Davis. 
  • Alley Oop/Powerbomb combo by LAX to Fletcher. Santana uses Ortiz to springboard into Fletcher in the corner with a cannonball for a near fall. 
  • Incredible split-legged moonsault by Davis to the outside to LAX. Assisted Diving Cutter by Aussie Open to Santana into a great near fall save by Ortiz.
  • Fidget Spinner by Aussie Open to Santana, suicide dive by Davis takes out Ortiz but Santana still kicks out of the Fidget Spinner. 
  • Another Fidget Spinner that catches Santana mid-air closes the match. 

Winner: Aussie Open Retain @19:13!

Rating: ****3/4, Another amazing tag team main event for LAX with a constant amazing pace and innovative spots especially the outside to inside strikefest and the insane split legged moonsault by 250 Pound Plus Mark Davis. This was an incredible match that solidifies Aussie Open at the top of the division and LAX leaves Progress and goes back to Impact but hopefully, they will come back overseas because I still have no intention of watching Impact. Aussie Open was my #5 tag team of the year in 2018 and closing the year with a classic like this one it will be interesting to see if they move up on that list in 2019.

Grade: A

Last Word: While there isn’t a total standout match from this show unlike there have been in many other Progress Chapter, this is one of the most well-rounded shows of last year as there wasn’t a single bad match. The tag team matches were bangers, the Walter vs. Irie match was hard-hitting, Dragunov vs. Banks was a great opener, and Storm vs. Grace was great women’s division match. Progress looks to be back on track after some of the NXT UK news but Progress’s great shows like this may be limited so it will be interesting to see where 2019 takes the UK Wrestling Scene. 

 

Race For Wrestler of the Year: October 2018

 

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Wrestler of the Month: Tyler Bate, If you are a WWE-Centric wrestling fan most of what you know of Tyler Bate is that he’s a goofy but talented midcarder. However, in Progress, he is a main eventer and one of the best talents in the Professional Wrestling World and this month he solidified that claim. At Progress’ Wembley show Tyler Bate faced the Progress World Champion Walter in one of the highest quality matches I’ve seen this year. Tyler Bate played an absolutely amazing underdog babyface and looked like he was going to beat the dominant champion Walter and even though he lost he provided one of the best performances in a match that I have seen this year. 

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month: Toni Storm, Storm had an amazingly packed month in October. She started the month in a Progress Women’s Title Match which she turned in a good performance, then put on some amazing matches in the Mae Young Classic, and then went onto beat Io Shirai to win the Mae Young Classic at Evolution. Even though this month was HUGE for women’s wrestling, Toni Storm delivered by far the most memorable and diverse performance. 

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Match of the Month: Tyler Bate vs. Walter, I can’t stop talking about this match and probably won’t for the rest of the year. I absolutely loved this match and if you’ve never seen Progress I highly recommend it. The dominant heel/underdog babyface dynamic was better than it has ever been here. This match felt like a modernized version of Andre vs. Hogan but actually an amazing in-ring encounter as well. Both men turned in probably their best ever performance and the match felt HUGE. It main evented Progress’ biggest ever show and had one of the biggest fight feels of all time. This year has had some classic matches and I think this comfortably fits in the top 3. 

d2d6a-15406338742412-800Feud of the Month: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte, I guess WWE was forced to have a feud with some fire going into Evolution because they didn’t book anything else other than this match. Even though October was a very weak wrestling month outside of Progress Wembley which happened in September but aired in October, WWE Evolution was a history-making event with some great matches. Lynch vs. Flair had a lot of fire around their feud and Heel Becky Lynch is a great character. The underdog heel vs. the spoiled brat babyface is a weird dynamic but it somehow worked here to fuel a great Last Woman Standing Match. 

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Tag Team of the Month: Aussie Open, in an absolute car crash of a Thunderbastard tag match that happened at Progress Wembley Aussie Open absolutely shined. The team of Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis consistently mix high flying and big boi athletics to a tee. They came out the victors in an amazing tag match and delivered the best tag performance of the month. 

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Most Improved: Tyler Bate, I’m going to go back to talking about Walter vs Tyler Bate. As I alluded to earlier, in NXT Tyler Bate if often the goofball babyface who can deliver in great matches but not much more than just a guy who had an awesome match against Pete Dunne that one time. In Progress, he was booked like a god. He was shown as an actual threat to a dominant champion and his character and in-ring skills added dimensions to it we haven’t seen before the match against Walter. He came out of that match a different beast and one of the best professional wrestler. 

Over 4-Star Matches:

  • Walter vs. Tyler Bate Progress World Title Chapter 76 *****
  • Doug Williams vs. Trent Seven Atlas Title Progress Chapter 76 ****¼
  • Thunderbastard Tag Team Match (Points go to G.Y.V and Aussie Open) Progress Chapter 76
  • Mark Haskins vs. Matt Riddle Progress Chapter 76 ****¼
  • Paul Robinson vs. Jimmy Havoc Death Match Progress Chapter 76 ****
  • Mark Andrews vs. Eddie Dennis TLC Match Progress Chapter 76 ****½
  • Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov Progress Chapter 76 ****¾
  • Kushida vs. Marty Scurll for the IWGP Jr Title NJPW KOPW ****
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White for the G1 Briefcase NJPW KOPW ****½
  • Kenny Omega vs. Cody vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Hvy Title NJPW KOPW ****½
  • Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Title WWE SSD ****½
  • AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title WWE SSD ****½
  • Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole North American Title NX TV ****½
  • Tony Nese vs. Gran Metalik vs. Cedric Alexander vs. TJP vs. Lio Rush ****¼
  • Meiko Satomura vs. Mercedes Martinez Mae Young Classic ****
  • Toni Storm vs. Meiko Satomura Mae Young Classic ****
  • AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan WWE Title SD Live ****¼
  • Zack Gibson vs. Noam Dar NXT UK ****
  • Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai Mae Young Classic Final WWE Evolution ****
  • Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane for the NXT Womens Title WWE Evolution ****
  • Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Last Woman Standing SD Womens Title WWE Evolution ****½
  • Hideo Itami vs. Mustafa Ali NO DQ 205 Live ****¼

Champions:

WWE:

Universal Title: Vacant

Raw Women’s Title: Ronda Rousey 75+ Days

Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins 75+ Days

Raw Tag Titles: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose 11+ Days

Cruiserweight Title: Buddy Murphy 27+ Days

WWE Title: AJ Styles 360+ Days

SD Women’s: Becky Lynch 47+ Days

US Title: Shinsuke Nakamura 110+ Days

SD Tag Titles: The Bar 17+ Days

NXT Title: Tomasso Ciampa 107+ Days

NXT North American Title: Ricochet 76+ Days

NXT Womens Title: Shayna Baszler 5+ Days

NXT Tag Titles: The Undisputed Era 134+ Days

UK Title: Pete Dunne 531+ days

NXT UK Women’s: Rhea Ripley 68+ Days

NJPW:

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kenny Omega 144+ Days

IWGP IC Title: Chris Jericho 144+ Days

IWGP Us Title: Cody 31+ Days

NEVER Openweight Title: Tai-Chi 44+ Days

IWGP Tag: Guerillas of Destiny 31+ Days

IWGP Jr Title: Kushida 23+ Days

IWGP Jr Tag Titles: El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru 239+ Days

Never Openweight 6-man Titles: Firing Squad 80+ Days

ROH:

ROH World Title: Jay Lethal 123+ Days

ROH TV Title: Jeff Cobb 32+ Days

ROH  Tag Titles: So Cal Uncensored 17+ Days

ROH Six-Man Titles: Cody and the Bucks 102+ Days

WOH Title: Sumie Sakai 207+ Days

Progress:

Progress World Title: Walter 93+ Days

Tag Titles: Aussie Open 26+ Days

Atlas Title: Trent Seven 26+ Days

Womens: Jinny 159+ Days

PWG:

World Title: Jeff Cobb 9+ Days

Tag Titles: The Rascalz 189+ Days

kennyAgain Still Leader of the Leaderboard: Kenny Omega:

  1. Kenny Omega 246 Points
  2. Kazuchika Okada 221 Points
  3. The Young Bucks 170 Points
  4. Kota Ibushi 160 Points
  5. Walter 147 Points
  6. Will Ospreay 140 Points
  7. Zack Sabre Jr 132 Points
  8. Hiromu Takahashi 127 Points
  9. Hiroshi Tanahashi 117 Points
  10. Johnny Gargano 116 Points
  11. AJ Styles 110 Points
  12. Tomasso Ciampa -Undisputed ERA 107 Points
  13. Tyler Bate 102 Points
  14. Marty Scurrl 98 Points
  15. Tomohiro Ishii 95 Points
  16. Seth Rollins 93 Points
  17. Cody 86 Points
  18. Adam Cole 71 Points
  19. Trent Seven -Cedric Alexander 70 Points
  20. Pete Dunne 69 Points
  21. Sanada -Hangman Page -Hirooki Goto 66 Points
  22. Jay Lethal 64 Points
  23. Jay White 60 Points
  24. Alexa Bliss -Travis Banks -Zack Gibson 58 Points
  25. Kushida 56 Points
  26. Tetsuya Naito -Dalton Castle 55 Points
  27. Ricochet -Jeff Cobb 51 Points
  28. Andrade Almas 50 Points
  29. Matt Riddle -Brock Lesnar 49 Points
  30. Shinsuke Nakamura -Juice Robinson 47 Points
  31. Becky Lynch -Chris Jericho -Flip Gordon -Minoru Suzuki -Evil -The Briscoes 45 Points
  32. El Desperado 41 Points
  33. The Miz 40 Points
  34. Toni Storm 39 Points
  35. Charlotte 37 Points
  36. Aleister Black -Michael Elgin -So Cal Uncensored 35 Points
  37. Firing Squad 34 Points
  38. Rascalz -Dolph Ziggler 33 Points
  39. Dragon Lee -Roman Reigns 32 Points
  40. Braun Strowman -Finn Balor -Chuck Taylor -Buddy Murphy 30 Points
  41. Ronda Rousey 29 Points
  42. Aussie Open -Bandito 28 Points
  43. Doug Williams -Shayna Baszler -Kairi Sane -Mustafa Ali -Yoshinobu Kanemaru -Jonathan Gresham -Doug Williams 25 Points
  44. James Drake -The Bar  -Matt Taven -Sumie Sakai:23 Points
  45. Chris Sabin -Keith Lee -Jinny 22 Points
  46. Joey Janela -Roppongi 3k -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy -Velveteen Dream -The Bar  -David Starr 20 Points
  47. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan -Bludgeon Brothers -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez: 17 Points
  48. New Day: 16 Points
  49. Drew Gulak -Trent Baretta -Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Silas Young -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Kevin Owens -Timothy Thatcher -Jimmy Havoc -Samoa Joe: 15 Points
  50. Nia Jax -The Kingdom: 13 Points
  51. Toni Storm -Drew Mcintyre: 12 Points
  52.  Pentagon Jr -Rey Fenix -Sanity -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Bray Wyatt -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Sasha Banks -Yoshi-Hashi -Rusev -Jonah Rock -Rey Horus -Aussie Open -Kassius Ohno  -Dean Ambrose -Hideo Itami: 10 Points
  53. Nick Aldis -Rey Mysterio-Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Naomi -Elias -Daniel Bryan -Rhea Ripley -Adam Brooks -Brody King -Mark Haskins -Chris Brookes -Jordan Devlin: 5 Points

The Race for Wrestler of the Year: September 2018

njpw-kazuchika-okadaThe Wrestler of the Month: Kazuchika Okada, Okada has been on a tear the entire year but now that he doesn’t have to keep the IWGP Championship schedule he was on, he has a lot more freedom to wrestle where he wants. He had an amazing match against Marty Scurrl at All in getting a ****3/4 star rating, had a MOTY contender against Hiroshi Tanahashi at NJPW Destruction in Kobe getting a ***** star rating, and capped off his month in one of the best tag matches I’ve ever seen teaming up against Tomohiro Ishii to face the Golden Lovers grabbing another ***** star rating. Kazuchika Okada went absolutely mental this month and made 3 separate excursions into the US in a span of a month.

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Women’s Wrestler of the Month: Becky Lynch, Lynch has been on a roll for a long time and has finally been booked correctly and this month it finally came into action as she beat Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Title in a good match. The achievement of winning the title isn’t all that got her Women’s Wrestler of the month, her character as a heel who’s been out of the spotlight is very refreshing and in WWE’s current landscape a refreshing character is a great thing. 

0930_09Match of the Month: Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii vs the Golden Lovers, I’m normally someone who wants to put a great match with a storyline over a match with a better in-ring performance but that went the opposite way this month. Up until 3 days ago, when this match happened, I thought nothing could top Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada but then these 4 came along. This match absolutely ruled these 4 men couldn’t put on a bad match if they tried. It was amazing to see Okada and Omega, who had my current MOTY, in the ring again together but that wasn’t all that made this special, Kota Ibushi and Tomohiro Ishii towards the end had an amazing sequence of moves that just battered the hell out of each other. This match was 100 MPH towards the end with one of my favorite closing sequences of the year and these 4 put on one of my favorite tag matches of all time in terms of in-ring work. 

allin2Feud of the Month: Marty Scurrl vs. Kazuchika Okada, the story here was simple, nobody thought Scurrl could beat Okada and Scurrl tried to improve himself to get on the level of Okada creating a multi-layered really fun storyline. Marty Scurrl delivered a great performance in the storyline but also the match and Kazuchika Okada played the perfect legend that Scurrl had to take down. One of my favorite near falls came from this match, when the referee was down Scurrl hit Okada with the umbrella and a rainmaker finisher and got really close to 3. Scurrl improved his ability to tell a story by being in this feud and it really stood out in a busy wrestling month. 

all-in-thumbThe team of the Month: So Cal Uncensored, while I could’ve given this to the Golden Lovers and had Kenny Omega get even more points I decided that SCU had a better performance this month. These guys have been a great comedy act for a while now and this month decided to go after the ROH tag titles. They delivered a good match at All In against the Briscoes, they delivered a great match again against the Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor, and a very solid tag match against Chase Owens and Hangman Page at NJPW FSU. These guys have shown that they are the perfect mix of comedy acts and in-ring talents this month and I’m excited to see the future for these guys. 

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Most Improved: Marty Scurrl, while there wasn’t a lot of room for improvement for Scurrl as he was already one of the top tier wrestlers, he showed a new side to him this month that I loved. Scurrl is focused on joint manipulation and being a dick mostly in matches. This month, in his feud with Okada he was an underdog fighting a heavyweight and showed that he can really play any role. Not only was he a great underdog he hung with Okada in a great match and delivered a great match against Will Ospreay at NJPW FSU and a 10-Man Tag at Death Before Dishonor. 

Champions:

WWE:

  • Universal: Roman Reigns 42+ Days
  • Raw Women’s: Ronda Rousey 42+ Days
  • IC: Seth Rollins 42+ Days
  • Cruiserweight: Cedric Alexander 175+ Days
  • Raw Tag: Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler 27+ Days
  • WWE: AJ Styles 327+ Days
  • SD Women’s: Becky Lynch 14+ Days
  • US: Shinsuke Nakamura 77+ Days
  • SD Tag: New Day 40+ Days
  • NXT: Tomasso Ciampa 74+ Days
  • NXT North American: Ricochet 43+ Days
  • NXT Women’s: Kairi Sane 42+ Days
  • NXT Tag: Undisputed ERA 101+ Days
  • UK: Pete Dunne 498+ Days
  • UK Women’s: Rhea Ripley 35+ Days
  • NJPW:
  • IWGP Heavyweight: Kenny Omega 115+ Days
  • IWGP IC: Chris Jericho 115+ Days
  • IWGP US: Cody 2+ Days
  • NEVER Openweight: Tai-Chi 15+ Days
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag: Firing Squad 2+ Days
  • IWGP Jr Tag: Suzuki Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Desperado) 210+ Days
  • NEVER 6-man: Firing Squad (G.O.D and Ishimori) 51+ Days
  • ROH:
  • World: Jay Lethal 93+ Days
  • TV: Jeff Cobb 3+ Days
  • Tag: The Briscoes 206+ Days
  • 6-Man: The Young Bucks and Cody 72+ Days
  • WOH: Sumie Sakai 177+ Days
  • PWG:
  • World: Walter 164+ Days
  • Tag: The Rascalz 164+ Days
  • Progress:
  • World: Walter 69+ Days
  • Tag: Aussie Open 2+ Days
  • Atlas: Trent Seven 2+ Days
  • Women’s: Jinny 135+ Days

 

Over 4-Star Matches:

  • Joey Janela vs. Hangman Page Street Fight All In ****1/2
  • Cody Rhodes vs. Nick Aldis NWA Title All In ****1/4
  • Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr All In ****3/4
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurrl All In ****3/4
  • The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi vs. Bandido, Rey Mysterio and Fenix All in ****
  • Jay Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham ROH World Title Iron Man Match ****
  • Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Will Ospreay NJPW Road to Destruction ****1/2
  • Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii IWGP Heavyweight Title Destruction in Hiroshima ****3/4
  • Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins RAW Tag Team Titles WWE Hell In a Cell ****1/2
  • AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe WWE Title Hell in a Cell ****
  • Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander Cruiserweight Title 205 Live ****1/2
  • Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne Champ vs. Champ Match NXT TV ****1/2
  • Kushida vs. Bushi IWGP JR Title Tournament NJPW Destruction in Kobe ****1/4
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada G1 Briefcase NJPW Destruction in Kobe *****
  • Bullet Club (The Young Bucks, Marty Scurrl, Hangman Page, and Cody) vs. Chaos (Best Friends, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Rocky Romero) ROH DBD ****
  • Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay ROH World Title Death Before Dishonor ****3/4
  • Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, and Flip Gordon vs Hirooki Goto and The Best Friends NJPW FSU ****
  • Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurrl IWGP Jr Title Tournament NJPW FSU ****1/2
  • The Young Bucks vs. Firing Squad IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles NJPW FSU ****1/4
  • Cody vs. Juice Robinson IWGP US Title NJPW FSU ****1/4
  • Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii NJPW FSU *****

kennyStill Leader of the Race: Kenny Omega

  1. Kenny Omega: 234 Points
  2. Kazuchika Okada: 221 Points
  3. The Young Bucks: 167 Points
  4. Kota Ibushi: 155 Points
  5. Will Ospreay: 140 Points
  6. Zack Sabre Jr: 132 Points
  7. Hiromu Takahashi: 127 Points
  8. Walter: 120 Points
  9. Johnny Gargano: 116 Points
  10. Hiroshi Tanahashi: 112 Points
  11. Undisputed ERA: 105 Points
  12. Tomasso Ciampa: 102 Points
  13. Tomohiro Ishii: 95 Points
  14. Marty Scurrl -AJ Styles: 93 Points
  15. Seth Rollins: 85 Points
  16. Cody Rhodes: 73 Points
  17. Adam Cole -Sanada -Hangman Page: 66 Points
  18. Tyler Bate -Hirooki Goto: 65 Points
  19. Trent Seven -Cedric Alexander: 60 Points
  20. Alexa Bliss: 58 Points
  21. Jay Lethal -Travis Banks: 57 Points
  22. Pete Dunne: 56 Points
  23. Jay White -Tetsuya Naito -Dalton Castle: 55 Points
  24. Andrade Almas: 50 Points
  25. Brock Lesnar: 49 Points
  26. Zack Gibson: 48 Points
  27. Juice Robinson: 47 Points
  28. Flip Gordon -Minoru Suzuki -Evil -The Briscoes -Kushida: 45 Points
  29. Matt Riddle: 44 Points
  30. Ricochet: 43 Points
  31. Shinsuke Nakamura: 42 Points
  32. The Miz -Chris Jericho: 40 Points
  33. Jeff Cobb: 39 Points
  34. El Desperado: 38 Points
  35. Aleister Black -Michael Elgin: 35 Points
  36. Dolph Ziggler: 33 Points
  37. Dragon Lee –So Cal Uncensored -Taiji Ishimori -Roman Reigns: 32 Points
  38. Braun Strowman -Finn Balor -Becky Lynch -The Rascalz: 30 Points
  39. Chuck Taylor:29 Points
  40. Firing Squad -Bandido: 28 Points
  41. Ronda Rousey: 26 Points
  42. Jonathan Gresham -Charlotte: 25 Points
  43. Matt Taven -Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 23 Points
  44. Chris Sabin -Keith Lee: 22 Points
  45. Joey Janela -Roppongi 3k -Killian Dain -Kalisto -Ember Moon -Jeff Hardy -Velveteen Dream -Mustafa Ali -Buddy Murphy -The Bar -Sumie Sakai -Kairi Sane -David Starr -Doug Williams: 20 Points
  46. Jinny: 19 Points
  47. James Drake: 18 Points
  48. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan -Bludgeon Brothers -Shayna Baszler -Punishment Martinez: 17 Points
  49. New Day: 16 Points
  50. Drew Gulak -Trent Baretta -Asuka -Usos -John Cena -Silas Young -Bobby Roode -EC3 -Kevin Owens -Timothy Thatcher: 15 Points
  51. Nia Jax -The Kingdom: 13 Points
  52. Toni Storm -Drew Mcintyre: 12 Points
  53. Samoa Joe -Pentagon Jr -Rey Fenix -Sanity -Kenny King -Dave Finlay -Lars Sullivan -Bray Wyatt -ACH -Jack Gallagher -Sasha Banks -Yoshi-Hashi -Rusev -Jonah Rock -Rey Horus -Aussie Open -Kassius Ohno -Jimmy Havoc: 10 Points
  54. Nick Aldis -Rey Mysterio -Dean Ambrose -Hideo Itami -Chase Owens -Beer City Bruiser -Shane Taylor -Togi Makabe -Sami Zayn -Baron Corbin -TJP -Akira Tozawa -Kurt Angle -HHH -Rysuke Taguchi -Naomi -Elias -Daniel Bryan -Rhea Ripley -Adam Brooks -Brody King -Mark Haskins -Chris Brookes -Jordan Devlin

 

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2018 Review: NJPW in America and Golden Lovers vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Rysuke Taguchi, Jushin Liger, and ACH defeated Roppongi 3K via pin @8:55 ***1/4
  • So Cal Uncensored (The Addiction) defeated Bullet Club (Hangman Page and Chase Owens) via pin @8:12 ***1/2
  • Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, and Flip Gordon defeated Chaos (Goto and Best Friends) via pin @12:06 ****
  • Suzuki Gun (ZSJ and Killer Elite Squad) defeated Los Ignobernables (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, and Sanada) via pin @9:22 **1/2
  • Gedo and Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida via pin @8:49 **1/2
  • Marty Scurrl defeated Will Ospreay to advance to the finals of the IWGP Jr Title Tournament via pin @16:10 ****1/2
  • Firing Squad defeated The Young Bucks to win the IWGP Tag Titles via pin @19:20 ****1/4
  • Cody defeats Juice Robinson to win the IWGP US Title via pin @16:43 ****1/4
  • The Golden Lovers defeated Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii via pin @23:05 *****

 

Roppongi 3K vs. Rysuke Taguchi, Jushin Liger, and ACH:

  • Liger and Yoh start the match.
  • A good face-off between Yoh and Liger.
  • Surfboard Lock by Liger to Yoh, ACH, and Taguchi put ankle locks on Rocky and Sho creating a triple submission spot. 
  • Taguchi coaches his team to lariat Yoh in the corner. Taguchi follows it up with a hip attack. 
  • Yoh whips Liger into Taguchi’s butt and Yoh grabs Taguchi’s ass sending him to ringside, wrestling is weird.
  • Sho inadvertently punches Romero off the apron, Liger hits a tilt a whirl backbreaker to Sho, hot tag by ACH leads to him hitting an awesome suicide crossbody. 
  • German Suplex Bridge by ACH on Sho, first near fall. 
  • Hot tag by Taguchi fails as he misses a Hip attack on Romero, Romero takes the momentum and hits 2 lariats to Taguchi in the corner. Taguchi goes on a hip attack rampage. 
  • Lungblower/Double Superkick combo by R3K on Taguchi, near fall. 
  • Great suicide dive by ACH wipes out Sho and Yoh, Dodon by Taguchi on Romero closes the match.

Winners: Liger, ACH, and Taguchi

Rating: ***1/4, a very fun tag team sprint. Taguchi played the comedy wrestler but took a lot of the offense of this match, ACH delivered some great dives, and it’s always great to see Liger. R3K is always fantastic and delivered here. A good opener to start the show. 

So Cal Uncensored vs. Chase Owens and Hangman Page:

  • SCU finally back in Southern California. 
  • Frankie Kazarian and Hangman Page start the match, a former feud in ROH. 
  • Kazarian’s head is patched up after the Briscoes match at Death Before Dishonor. 
  • Lariat sequence by Page and Kazarian leads to both men making tags. 
  • Great Dropsault combo by Page onto Kazarian, first near fall.
  • Standing Shooting Star Press by Page onto Kazarian, another near fall. 
  • Bullet Club isolating Kazarian, Kazarian finally makes the tag and Daniels does a  hot tag. 
  • Wheelbarrow Facebuster by Daniels on Owens, near fall. 
  • Buckshot Lariat by Page knocks Daniels down, Springboard Backbreaker by Owens on Daniels, another near fall. 
  • Shooting Star Shoulder Block off the apron by Page caught in mid-air by Kazarian with a codebreaker. 
  • Best Meltzer Ever by SCU closes Owens. 

Winners: So Cal Uncensored

Rating: ***1/2, another fun sprint with a hometown SCU and the very talented Hangman Page. The pacing was great, the spots were great, and Page really shined. Another good opening tag match. 

Chaos (Hirooki Goto and The Best Friends) vs. Jeff Cobb, Chris Sabin, and Flip Gordon:

  • Having Cobb with the ROH TV title kinda spoils the fact that he wins at a taping because it hasn’t been broadcasted yet. Weird move. 
  • Chuck Taylor and Chris Sabin start the match.
  • Early roll up attempts by Sabin and Taylor leads to near falls. 
  • Triple Strikefest ensues with the match participants.
  • Tandem Sequence by Team ROH leads to a near fall by Sabin on Taylor. 
  • Crucifix Cutter by Best Friends takes out Flip, Cobb teases a suicide dive on Best Friends but Goto stops it with a lariat, apron Penalty Kick by Sabin to Goto, Trent teases a suicide dive but Taylor stops him with a hug. The Best friends hit stereo tope con hiro taking everyone out. 
  • Standing Elbow Drop by Goto on Sabin, near fall. Sabin has been the only one legal for his team in the 5 minutes so far. 
  • A stiff chop by Baretta fires up Sabin inciting a chopfest but Trent wins. 
  • Sabin drop toe holds Taylor into Baretta headbutting a low blow, Tornado DDT by Sabin finally opens up tags. 
  • Amazing Hot tag by Flip Gordon, Great diving corkscrew off the top rope to the outside by Flip. Springblade by Flip gets Baretta into the drop zone for the 450. Baretta dodges and lays Flip out with a running knee. 
  • Tags made to Goto and Cobb, it’s big boi time. Double Lariat sequence, Goto knocks down Cobb first. Saito suplex by Goto, near fall. 
  • Deadlift Vertical Suplex by Cobb followed but by a standing moonsault that misses. Great mini-sequence between Cobb and Goto. 
  • The Best Friends suplex Cobb together, Cobb Saito suplexes both of them.
  • Taylor hits a great deadlift piledriver on Cobb, near fall save by Sabin. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Taylor misses, lariat by Cobb into the Wrath of the Gods.

Winners: Jeff Cobb, Flip Gordon, and Chris Sabin

Rating: ****, this was as close as perfection an NJPW opening tag match can get. Everybody performed great especially Jeff Cobb and put on a great tag match. The dynamic of comedy spots from the Best Friends, high spots from Flip Gordon, hard-hitting action from Cobb and Goto and the underdog Sabin mixed greatly to make one of the best opening tag matches I’ve ever seen in New Japan. 

Zack Sabre Jr. and Killer Elite Squad vs. Los Ignobernables:

  • Suzuki Gun attacks early. 
  • Pop-Up powerslam by K.E.S to Sanada. Davey Boy goes to attack Evil ringside.
  • Davey Boy works the leg of Sanada. Series of German suplexes by Davey Boy but Sanada flips over the 3rd one and goes for a tag but Lance Archer tries to stop it, after a huricanrana by Sanada to Archer, Naito tags in. Hot tag by Naito. 
  • Sidewalk Splash by K.E.S on Naito, near fall. 
  • Naito fights out of a Killer Bomb attempt by K.E.S and hits a Tornado DDT on Archer. Evil and ZSJ tag in. 
  • Strikefest between ZSJ and Evil. Double Wristlock by ZSJ, Evil powers into a fisherman’s buster.
  • One-Arm Plancha by Sanada knocks out K.E.S, in-ring, Evil hits Darkness Falls, near fall. 
  • Victory Roll with the middle fingers up by ZSJ closes Evil. 

Winner: Suzuki Gun

Rating: **1/2, a very mediocre Suzuki Gun match with them doing heel Suzuki Gun things. L.I.J never got in a groove and this match was heel work then it was done. 

Jay White and Gedo vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida:

  • Set up at Destruction in Kobe when Jay White attacked Okada and Tana post-match, the only G1 match that Hiroshi Tanahashi lost was to Jay too. 
  • Tanahashi went straight to attacking White having them start the match.
  • Tana popped up on the post and White pushes him to ringside, White tries to choke out Tana with his boot against the barricade. 
  • Saito Suplex by White on Tana, first near fall.
  • Tanahashi being isolated by White and Gedo, Tana looks pretty hurt. Limp Crossbody by Tana takes down Gedo, Tana finally makes the tag. 
  • Hot tag by Kushida. Jumping DDT into a Cross Armbreaker by Kushida on Gedo, White breaks the hold. 
  • Handspring Elbow by Kushida knocks White down and opens the tag to Tana.
  • Hot tag by Tanahashi on White. Blade Runner attempt countered into a Twist and Shout by Tanahashi.
  • Slingblade by Tana, near fall. 
  • White grabs Tiger Hattori to distract him, Gedo lays out Tana with Brass Knuckles. Blade Runner by White closes the match.

Winner: Jay White and Gedo

Rating: **1/2, this follows the trend of Gedo (NJPW’s secret booker) trying to turn New Japan Pro Wrestling into a better in-ring, Attitude Era WWE with the brass knuckle finish. This was a very story-based match and rightfully so not only is the whole Gedo and White vs. Okada and Tana story great it’s also the biggest story right now in NJPW. White seems to be strapped as the next golden boy of NJPW. This match, however, was too story focused to be anything other than mediocre and that’s not a complaint but it had some great talent in it and if it wanted to be great it could’ve been. I’m excited for the future of this feud. 

  • Post-match promo by Jay White, White says NJPW doesn’t want him to be in the Main Event of WrestleKingdom but he will bring on a new era. 

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Marty Scurrl vs. Will Ospreay IWGP Jr Championship Tournament:

  • These guys have my current favorite rivalry of all time in term of match quality, I gave their match at Power Struggle last year 4.75 * and their match at Sakura Genesis this year 5*. Their matches always manage to impress me a bit more than Kenny vs. Okada’s even though I like those matches better. 
  • Immediate Spanish Fly by Ospreay into a near fall.
  • Space Flying Tiger Drop into a Shooting Star Press early by Ospreay, near fall. Awesome opening sequence by Ospreay. 
  • Flying Forearm by Ospreay, Will slows his offense down.
  • Winner faces Kushida at King of Pro Wrestling for the Jr Title. 
  • Uppercuts by Scurrl knock Ospreay ringside, stiff apron superkick by Scurrl lands. 
  • Stomp on the head of Ospreay by Scurrl followed up by a sequence of stiff chops by Scurrl. Marty gains firm control.
  • Scurrl drapes Ospreay over the middle rope and stomps him over it torquing his neck.
  • Handspring Enzugiri by Ospreay gives Will much-needed space. 
  • Top Rope 619 by Ospreay followed by a failed springboard, Scurrl knocks Ospreay ringside. Scurrl chops Ospreay into the barricade. They go on the apron and strike-off. 
  • Attempt at the Spanish Fly on the apron by Ospreay, the move that crushed Will’s neck at Sakura Genesis. 
  • Amazing Sunset Bomb by Ospreay to ringside with Scurrl on the apron. Tribute to Hiromu Takahashi.
  • Great Robinson Special by Ospreay, Oscutter caught by Scurrl into a backslide rolled into a knee by Scurrl. 
  • Stormbreaker attempt by Ospreay but Scurrl gets out, mini-strikefest into a huge lariat by Ospreay. 
  • Top Rope Fighting led to Ospreay falling and low blowing himself on the top rope, awesome springboard supercanrana by Scurrl. Scurrl follows it up with a huge lariat, near fall. 
  • Stiff chops by Scurrl but Ospreay refuses to go down. Welts grow on the chest of Ospreay. Ospreay starts to strike back. Mid-air counter into the Chicken Wing by Scurrl, roll up by Ospreay near fall, roll up by Scurrl near fall. Sequence including a powerbomb near fall by Scurrl, graduation attempt by Scurrl but Ospreay hits an enzugiri putting both down.
  • Stormbreaker attempt but Scurrl carries Ospreay on his shoulders to the top rope, Ospreay fights out and hits the Cheeky Nandos kick. Scurrl takes Ospreay down off standing on the top rope, Chicken Wing attempt on the top by Scurrl transitions into an Underhook superplex by Scurrl, near fall. 
  •  Package Piledriver into the Graduation by Scurrl closes the match. 

Winner: Marty Scurrl advances!

Rating: ****1/2, this was a great sprint and a good addition to the Scurrl vs. Ospreay story. The spots were great and the starting opening offense by Ospreay got the crowd really hot. These 2 have natural chemistry and played off of it the entire match. However, it lacked the urgency that the Sakura Genesis match had. It was a great match for the IWGP Jr Tourney but is their first encounter in the past 2 years in NJPW that hasn’t been a MOTY contender. I’m not complaining though, they didn’t need to put on an absolute classic and what was here was a very high-quality Junior Heavyweight match. It was jarring to see Ospreay as a dastardly heel in Progress and ROH but be the underdog in this match. Also, Scurrl put Ospreay away with relative ease compared to what it normally takes to beat Ospreay but I’m over-thinking it. 

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The Young Bucks(c) vs. The Firing Squad IWGP Tag Titles:

  • The Elite vs OG storyline has been great so far. 
  • Big fight feel.
  • Nick Jackson and Tama Tonga start the match. 
  • Great speed showdown from Nick and Tama. Double strikefest with everyone in the match. 
  • Haku accompanies Firing Squad. 
  • Pop-up Double Dropkick by the Bucks starts a solid tandem sequence of moves by Matt and Nick. 
  • Matt’s back went out on him, this is going to play majorly into the story of the match.
  • Tonga Loa bodyslams Matt ringside targeting the back.
  • Loa tries to superplex Matt off the apron onto a table but Nick saves him. Nick hits a great suicide dive driving Loa into the barricade.
  • Great mini-sequence of offense by Nick on the OGs, Loa flattens it with a stiff lariat. Matt climbs to the top, Loa throws him off the top rope through the table ringside. Great spot, Matt will be out of the match for a while isolating Nick.
  • Diving Headbutt by Loa, Frog Splash by Tama on Nick, near fall. 
  • Long-Holding vertical suplex by Loa on Nick, very near fall.
  • Great Springboard Facebuster by Nick on Tama followed by an apron moonsault by Nick to Loa ringside.
  • Nick goes to make a tag but Matt is still on the floor, Tonga Twist by Tama on Nick, near fall. 
  • Tama Twist countered by Nick handstanding, superkick by Nicks takes both out.
  • Matt makes the hot tag successfully, Cease and Desist Sharpshooter by Matt on Tama, Loa takes a shot at the back of Matt to stop the submission. 
  • Fire up spear by Matt takes both Tama and him down, tags are made.
  • Superkick Party by the Bucks on Loa, great near fall.
  • Nick helps Matt get Loa up for the More Bang for Your Buck, Nick hits the 450 but Matt hesitates on the Moonsault, Matt finally hits the moonsault on Loa, near fall. 
  • Meltzer Driver stopped by Tama hitting an awesome Mid-air gun stun on Nick, Tombstone by Loa on Matt, awesome near fall. 
  • Matt fights out of the Magic Killer attempt by the Og’s but they get him back in on a pop-up Gun Stun closing the match. 

Winners: Firing Squad New Champions!

Rating: ****1/4, The story behind this match was great. This is the first huge match behind the Firing Squad vs. Bullet Club Elite feud. In this match, Matt Jackson brought back his back injuries which added a lot more urgency and story to an already story-packed match. The match started really hot and continued hot with some great spots. Everyone in this match contributed to something great but my only complaint is the section with Firing Squad on top was too long and got boring. The comeback for the Bucks was great and the ending sequence was pretty good. 

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Juice Robinson(c) vs. Cody for the IWGP US Title:

  • After All In as a face, Cody turns the heel on tonight.
  • Stiff chops by Cody fire up Juice and they start the momentum 3 minutes in. 
  • Dive off the top rope to ringside by Cody is caught into an overhead suplex by Juice.
  • Brandi flops after Juice barely touched her, distracting Juice into an inverted DDT by Cody ringside.
  • Brandi grabs Juice’s foot distracting him, Juice comes ringside. On his way back in, Cody hits a flatliner in between the ropes, near fall. 
  • Pulp Friction attempt by Juice, Backslide roll up by Cody, near fall. Pile roll up by Juice, near fall. 
  • Cannonball into the corner by Juice into a powerbomb attempt, Cody hits a huricanrana to Juice sending him into the corner, cheap shot by Brandi on Juice. 
  • Juice ducks a disaster kick and hits a diving crossbody to Cody, Juice hurts his ribs and is unable to make the pin. 
  • Pulp Friction attempt by Juice reversed into a Figure Four by Cody, Juice flips the hold after a while in the lock. 
  • Cody takes off the weightlifting belt, distracting Red Shoes. With Red Shoes distracted, Cody spits water at Juice and hits a Disaster Kick, near fall. 
  • Pulp Friction hits for Juice finally but Brandi pulls Cody ringside so Juice is unable to capitalize. 
  • The count starts but Juice doesn’t want to accept the win via countout.
  • Cross Rhodes ringside by Cody both back in at 19. 
  • Strikefest ensues but Cody wins with a superkick after a thumb to the eye. Cody goes for the Vertebreaker.
  • Cody hits a great Vertebreaker, great near fall. 
  • Superplex by Juice, Cody holds onto Juice in a small package getting a roll-up victory.

Winner: Cody New Champion!

Rating: ****1/4, Cody used his shenanigans again to win but that didn’t take too much away from the match. Juice is raw talent and emotion and delivered an amazing performance in this match. Cody is my favorite wrestler currently and used his great character to perfection in this match. This is my favorite NJPW Cody match since his match against Kota Ibushi at WK12. I feel like the win was unneeded for Cody and I felt bad for Juice because he’s just such a likable guy but that’s not a complaint with the match. 

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Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii vs. The Golden Lovers:

  • Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi start the match. 
  • Kenny Omega and Tomohiro Ishii face-off. These 2 strike-off for a little bit.
  • Kitaro Crusher by Omega on Ishii, near fall. 
  • Stiff strikes from Ibushi and Ishii to each other, a shoulder block by Ishii trucks over Ibushi. 
  • Neckbreaker by Okada on Ibushi, near fall.
  • Ishii and Omega brawl at each other again. Ishii takes Omega ringside and runs him into the barricades. 
  • The match has been building up to Omega’s face off with Okada. I’m excited. 
  • Hot tag by Omega to Ishii, Ishii and Omega strike off again but Omega gets the upper hand with a Tornado DDT and Omega lands awkwardly on his knee. 
  • Okada and Omega are finally both tagged in at 11 minutes in but don’t face off immediately. 
  • Cross Slash Moonsault Dives by the Golden Lovers. 
  • You Can’t Escape into Double Team Moonsaults by the GL, near fall on Okada. 
  • Great vertical suplex by Ibushi to Ishii, a powerful shotgun dropkick by Okada knocks Ibushi into the corner. Omega and Okada finally face off.
  • Omega and Okada strike-off, stiff chop by Omega, Omega dodges the dropkick by Okada. The first rainmaker fails, One Winged Angel attempt by Omega fails, Another Rainmaker attempt by Okada fails, Dragon Suplex by Omega hits. 
  • Great Dropkick by Okada to Omega.
  • Ibushi saves Omega from a Rainmaker, V-Trigger/German Suplex combo by GL, Ibushi dives down Ishii allowing Omega and Okada to face off. 
  • Tombstone/Running clothesline by Okada and Ishii, near fall save by Ishii. 
  • Rainmaker by Okada countered into a stiff uranage by Omega.
  • “This is Awesome” chants. 
  • Ibushi and Ishii strikefest again, mid kick by Ibushi takes Ishii down. Knee Drop moonsault by Ibushi, near fall. 
  • Powerbomb/German Suplex combo by GL, near fall save by Okada. 
  • Okada saves Ishii from the Golden Trigger. 
  • Dropkick by Okada into an amazing mid-air powerbomb counter by Omega, Backflip kick by Ibushi to Ishii puts all 4 down. The crowd gives a standing ovation. 
  • Ibushi and Ishii strike off yet again, Ibushi hits a huge lariat taking down Ishii, near fall. 
  • Kamegoye by Ibushi dodged by Ishii, huge lariat by Ishii flips Ibushi, very near fall. 
  • Okada Dropkick sends Ibushi into a powerbomb by Ishii, great near fall.
  • German Suplex Bridge by Ibushi to Ishii, very near fall.
  • Enzugiri/V-Trigger combo by GL takes Ishii down. Omega kicks Okada off the apron into the barricade. Golden Trigger by GL pins Ishii closing the match. 

Winners: Golden Lovers

Rating: *****, while Golden Lovers Vs. The Young Bucks was better due to the mix of storyline drama and huge spots, this comes a close second as my favorite tag match of the year and maybe all time. This match focused all on in-ring work and it was between 4 guys who couldn’t have a bad match if they tried. I absolutely loved every second of this match. The hard-hitting Ibushi and Ishii parts of the match especially towards the end was fantastic, the Omega vs. Okada part was fantastic as well and the sheer creativeness of some of the moves in this match made it something special. While the big showdown of Tanahashi vs. Okada was amazing it was something we had already seen before. This match because of the tag elements was incredibly refreshing and had some of the best in-ring work I’ve seen all year so it becomes my Match of the Month for September. 

Grade: A+

Last Word: This is easily the best wrestling show since Dominion this year and even though Dominion was better this showed a lot as well too. The flow of this show was fantastic starting with good opening tag matches and starting the second half with an electric Jr. Title match in Scurrl vs. Ospreay, The IWGP Tag Title match was really good and so was Juice vs. Cody but the Main Event Tag was amazing and one of my favorite matches of the year. I don’t think it’s quite MOTY but it’s in my top ten. NJPW delivered again and this is their best show in America yet. 

ROH Death Before Dishonor Review

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Star Ratings + Results: 

  • Kenny King defeats Jushin Liger @12:11 via pinfall ***1/2
  • The Briscoes defeat The Addiction to retain the ROH Tag Titles @17:42 via pinfall ***3/4
  • Tenille Dashwood defeats Sumie Sakai to retain the WOH Title @13:05 via submission ***1/2
  • Punishment Martinez defeats Chris Sabin to retain the TV Title @7:59 via pinfall ***
  • Bully Ray and Silas Young defeat Colt Cabana and Flip Gordon in an Elimination Tables Match @13:29 ***1/4
  • Bullet Club defeats Chaos @21:14 via submission ****1/4
  • Jay Lethal defeats Will Ospreay @22:45 via pinfall ****3/4

 

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Kenny King vs. Jushin Liger:

  • An interesting big match for Jushin Liger reminiscent of Liger vs. Tyler Breeze at NXT Takeover. 
  • Liger sends King outside and hits a cannonball off the apron.
  • Liger ducks a few great looking kicks from King on the apron but King cuts him down, great corkscrew tope by King wipes Liger out ringside.
  • King is working the back of Liger and hits a backbreaker for the first near fall.
  • Boston Crab by King focuses on the worked back of Liger, Liger grabs the ropes.
  • Shotei palm strike by Liger into a wheelbarrow kick for a near fall on King.
  • Chin Checker into a Spinning Enzugiri by King, near fall. 
  • Chops by Liger into a failed Shotei, King hits a swinging backbreaker for a near fall.
  • Superplex by Liger, Liger takes out his own back in the process. 
  • Inside Cradle by Liger, near fall. Bulldog by Liger gets King down for a Frog Splash, near fall. Liger sells the back again. 
  • Kenny King shows respect for Liger while he’s down getting his back checked by the referee. Once Liger gets up, King shows a dirty side and hits a Spinebuster for the win. 

Winner: Kenny King

Rating: ***1/2, A good technical opener and it’s always great to see Jushin Liger in the spotlight. Kenny King keeps showing a lot of potentials recently and in this match he really shined hanging with the legend. Kenny delivers a great heel ending turning on Liger out of nowhere and delivering the spinebuster FTW. 

briscoesdanielskazThe Briscoes vs. So Cal Uncensored for the ROH Tag Titles:

  • SCU cuts a surprisingly face promo and The Briscoes cut a very creepy Bray Wyatt-like segment. 
  • Rematch from All In when Kazarian and Sky beat the Briscoes.
  • Jay Briscoe and Christopher Daniels start but a brawl ensues early. 
  • Good showing of Tandem offense by The Addiction take out both Briscoes. 
  • Kazarian chases Mark with a chair, Jay wipes out Kaz with a Baseball Dropkick. Great off-the-apron blockbuster by Jay onto Daniels. 
  • Running Shotgun Dropkick ringside by Jay floors Daniels.
  • Briscoes isolate Daniels, Jay takes him ringside and throws him into the barricade, big boot by Mark takes down Daniels. 
  • Rollins DVD into a Froggy Bow attempt by Jay, Blue Thunder Bomb by Daniels looks to open up tags but Mark stops it. 
  • Kazarian finally makes the hot tag, Great Combo Stunner/DDT by Kazarian for the first near fall. 
  • Great springboard huricanrana to ringside by Kazarian, Mark takes the energy out of Kaz with another big boot. 
  • Mark sets up chairs back-to-back but Daniels saves Kazarian with a diving crossbody. 
  • Combo Blue Thunder Neckbreaker by SCU, near fall on Mark. 
  • Great Cannonball Dive over the post by Daniels isolating Mark, slingshot cutter by Kaz for a near fall on Mark. 
  • Paul Turner the ref distracted allowing for a chair shot on Kazarian. Tope by Daniels. Stiff Uranage on a set-up chair by Jay to Kaz, Kaz looks to have his head busted open. Scorpio Sky runs down to check on him. The match is now 2-on-1.
  • Brainbuster by Jay on Daniels, near fall. 
  • Crucifix Neckbreaker by The Briscoes, very near fall on Daniels. If Kazarian is actually injured it would be smart to end this soon. 
  • If Kazarian isn’t actually injured, Daniels working alone against the Briscoes is pretty good storytelling.
  • Doomsday Device rolled through by Daniels stopping the move. 
  • Uranage into the Best Moonsault Ever by Daniels, very near fall save by Mark.
  • Jay Driller ringside by Mark Briscoe, great near fall inside the ring. Daniels is showing great resiliency. 
  • Jay Driller inside the ring by Mark Briscoe closes the match. 

Winner: The Briscoes Retain the Titles! Day Count: 202+

Rating: ***3/4, This match just barely tops the ALL IN tag match and both were great. The Briscoes looked dominant in this match and delivered some great tandem offense. The match was really going and heating up into a tag classic because both are established teams that have great chemistry but Frankie Kazarian gets hurt and isolates Daniels for the rest of the match. I was worried about Kazarian’s condition instead of the in-ring work but once the in-ring work picked back up again it very much delivered with Daniels turning in a great resilient performance.

Tenille Dashwood vs. Sumie Sakai for the WOH Title:

  • The first PPV defense of the WOH title after it meant literally nothing for a few months. 
  • Great Diving Crossbody by Sakai to Dashwood ringside.
  • Tenille protecting her taped up shoulder from Sakai who’s trying to work the arm. 
  • Super Butterfly Suplex by Dashwood, near fall on Sakai.
  • Really innovative Figure Four Chancery by Dashwood, Dashwood releases the hold and curbstomps Sakai, near fall. 
  • Huricanrana into a roll-up by Sakai, near fall. 
  • Shining Whizzer by Sakai, near fall. 
  • Allstar Smash by Sakai, very near fall. Tenille blocked some of the impact but fell on her shoulder. 
  • Armbar by Sakai, Dashwood gets ropes. 
  • Butterfly suplex into the corner by Dashwood. Tenille locks in the Tarantula Lock over the ropes. 
  • Hard landing for Sakai after a sliding powerbomb to ringside by Tenille. In-ring near fall on Sakai.
  • Roll up by Sakai caught into a German suplex affected by the shoulder by Dashwood, near fall. 
  • Strikefest into a powerbomb by Dashwood, Sakai transitions into an Armbar on the shoulder of Tenille, Dashwood passes out giving Sakai the win. 

Winner: Sumie Sakai Retains! Day Count: 174+

Rating: ***1/2, after nothing has happened with this belt or Sakai in ROH for MONTHS. It was very refreshing to see for these women to be in the spotlight and deliver. The match worked really well and Dashwood locked really good however the selling of the shoulder was a little weird and I didn’t know someone could pass out from an armbar. The work in this match was great and the sliding powerbomb by Dashwood to ringside is a standout spot from this match. Hopefully, more can be seen from the WOH division on this caliber. 

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Punishment Martinez vs. Chris Sabin for the ROH TV Title:

  • Chris Sabin gets his own really long comedy introduction. The feud here is centered around the retired tag partner of Sabin, Alex Shelley. 
  • Immediate chokeslam attempt by Martinez into a near fall rollup by Sabin.
  • Great Springboard Diving Crossbody to ringside by Sabin.
  • Suicide Dive by Sabin caught into a chokeslam on the apron by Martinez.
  • Stiff Lariat by Martinez knocks Sabin down taking his energy out. 
  • Supercanrana by Sabin takes Martinez off the top rope.
  • Strikes by Sabin fire up Martinez, Martinez falls to ringside and Sabin hits a suicide crossbody and a suicide dive to Martinez ringside.
  • Diving Dropkick by Sabin to Martinez back in-ring. 
  • Martinez boots Sabin into the referee and hits a spinning enzugiri taking Sabin out. Martinez grabs a chair, Sabin hits a Diving Tornado DDT onto the chair, near fall. 
  • Psycho Driver, Silencer Stomp and Chokeslam by Martinez closes the match.

Winner: Punishment Martinez retains! Day Count: 97+ 

Rating: ***, This match started well. Sabin looked great in this match with his comedy intro and his motivation to win the title. However, about 3 minutes in Martinez took over and dominated the rest of the match. There were dimensions that should’ve been played up to in this match with Sabin picking up the win but with Cobb being the likely next TV champ it makes sense. 

  • Post-match, Martinez grabs Sabin for the curb stomp on a chair. Jeff Cobb comes down surprisingly when you think it would be Alex Shelley and stares down Martinez. Martinez goes for a chair shot but it doesn’t phase Cobb and Martinez gets thrown around by Cobb. Great surprise appearance. 

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Flip Gordon and Colt Cabana vs. Bully Ray and Silas Young in an Elimination Table Match:

  • The new age talents vs. old age talents. Bully Ray still looks like just a salty has-been though. 
  • Flip attacks Bully Ray early. 
  • Kinder Suprise Kick knocks Silas off the top rope and allows Flip to hit the WAZZUP on Bully Ray with Cabana.
  • Bully Ray moves a table saving Silas from a double suplex through it. 
  • Double Backdrop by Silas and Ray but misses the table due to the save from Cabana. 
  • Great springboard moonsault by Cabana and a diving senton by Flip on Silas. Cabana misses a plancha dive allowing Ray to get back on top. Bully attacks Cabana with a steel chair. Bully talks trash to Ian Riccaboni, Ian goes down to ringside to save his friend Cabana. Suicide Dives by Flip knock both Bully and Silas out. Ian cheers on Cabana hitting Bully with a chair. 
  • Powerbomb by Bully sends Cabana through the announce table eliminating him.
  • Chopfest by Silas and Bully on Flip, Flip ducks Young sending him into Bully. Bully Ray saves Young from being whipped through a table. Miscommunication between Young and Bully starts a brawl.
  • Flip uses the table to flip off of, awesome and Bully Ray crashes through it eliminating himself. 
  • Silas lariats Flip flipping him off the apron crashing ringside. 
  • Misery attempt by Silas knocks out the ref, third ref knockout spot of the night. Awesome 450 through the table by Flip eliminates Silas but wait no ref can make the decision. Bully Ray attacks Flip Gordon making it look like he went through the table having the ref call the end for the old guys. Bad finish.

Winners: Silas Young and Bully Ray

Rating: ***1/4, This feud has had atrocious match after atrocious match and they finally managed to make a quality encounter. Flip Gordon delivered a great performance highlighted with the 450 through a table. The storytelling was decent and seeing Colt Cabana in-ring again is always welcome. Bully Ray is one of the worst things in wrestling currently and that still bleeds through. 

  • Tenille Dashwood shown attacked backstage.

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Bullet Club vs. Chaos:

  • Nick Aldis joins commentary.
  • Hangman Page and Tomohiro Ishii start the match. 
  • Stikefest from Page and Ishii fire up both men, suplex by Ishii ends the sequence.
  • Okada tags in and then Scurrl tags in getting a huge pop. ALL IN throwback stand-off from Marty and Okada, Okada tags in Rocky Romero.
  • Best Friends and The Young Bucks have a sequence. Best Friends stand tall.
  • Best Friends stereo dives and hug ringside.
  • Cody and Okada face-off.
  • Cody dives to ringside but nobody’s home, Barretta hits a tope to Cody, Shooting Star of the apron by Page to Baretta, Apron kick by Scurrl accidentally hits Page, Dive by Nick over Matt takes out the crowd ringside. Great Cannonball Dive off the stage by Chuckie T takes everyone out. Chaos calls for Ishii to dive and he hits a cannonball senton off the top rope to ringside, great dive sequence. 
  • Low Blow by Cody to Baretta with the ref distracted.
  • Superplex by Scurrl to Baretta on the top, near fall save by Romero. 
  • Lariat by Baretta to Cody opens up tags to Romero and Page, great hot tag by Romero. 
  • 5 Stereo Superkicks by all of Bullet Club takes out Rocky Romero. 
  • Hot tag by Okada, Double DDT on the Young Bucks by Okada. Reverse neckbreaker by Okada to Nick, near fall save by Matt Jackson. 
  • Great big move sequence from both teams men. Disaster kick by Cody doesn’t phase Ishii and Ishii takes out Page. Superkicks by the Bucks take out Ishii, Dropkick by Okada to Matt. Meltzer Driver stopped by Romero, Sliced Bread off the post by Taylor, Assisted Piledriver by Taylor and Okada on Matt, near fall save by Cody. 
  • Cody saves Matt from a Rainmaker and hits a Cross Rhodes on Okada. 
  • Rainmaker by Okada on Cody hits, near fall. 
  • Ishii and Page put on another sequence, maybe highlighting a singles match at a later date. Buckshot lariat by Page hits to Ishii. Rite Of Passage attempt fails and Ishii hits a stiff lariat, near fall save by Cody. 
  • Nick Aldis announces his match against Cody at NWA 70 will be 2 of 3 falls. 
  • Strikefest from Scurrl and Romero, Powerbomb by Scurrl, near fall. Chicken Wing attempt by Scurrl fails, Inadvertent superkick by Matt hits Scurrl. Romero stops the Meltzer Driver by sending Matt into Nick. Piledriver on the apron by Baretta to Matt Jackson. 
  • Counter into the Chicken Wing by Scurrl tapping out Romero. 

Winners: Bullet Club 

Rating: ****1/4, While it played out like the Survivor Series tag match from last year’s WWE Survivor Series with much of the beginning of the match focusing on star power, unlike that WWE match it really picked up and delivered some fun spots. Like most Bullet Club matches it was a great fury of dives and high spots. Everybody turned in a great performance in this match too which is rare for 10-man tags. I also loved the interaction between Hangman Page and Tomohiro Ishii which I’d love to see in a single’s match. This was fun and MOTN so far. 

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Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay for the ROH World Title:

  • Will Ospreay has gained a lot of muscle weight and comes into this match the heel. 
  • Ospreay takes a dirty shot firing up Lethal. Early finisher attempts by both men and they stare-off.
  • A chop by Lethal takes Ospreay off the top rope, 3 suicide dives by Jay Lethal. The third one knocks Ospreay into the crowd.
  • Great mini-sequence of dodges into the cartwheel dropkick by Lethal. 
  • Handspring enzugiri by Ospreay takes Lethal down.
  • Running Corner Dropkick by Ospreay, near fall.
  • Stiff chop in the corner by Lethal, Ospreay asks for more and gets it. Ospreay squares up again and asks for more, Lethal delivers a really stiff chop and Ospreay boots Lethal down to ringside, really fast suicide dive by Ospreay sends Lethal’s head into the barricade. 
  • Chops ringside by Lethal and they get out a ladder.
  • Springboard Forearm by Ospreay, near fall. 
  • Lethal Combination hits giving Lethal needed space. 
  • Strikefest into a huricanrana by Ospreay sending Lethal over the top rope. Flying Space Tiger Drop by Ospreay dodged by Lethal. A superkick by Lethal inadvertently hits Bobby Cruise and Ospreay catches the title, the referee checks on Bobby Cruise but Ospreay still doesn’t use the title. A strikefest ensues ringside, Flatliner by Lethal into the barricade. Lethal pulls the barricade to try and set up the ladder. 
  • DDT by Lethal drops Ospreay on his head in-ring, Lethal Injection taunt reversed into a reverserana by Ospreay. Flip-over into a sit-out powerbomb by Ospreay, near fall. 
  • “This is Awesome” chants.
  • Sunset Flip by Ospreay on the apron sends Lethal into the ladder set up against the barricade.
  • Dropkick to the back of the head of Lethal by Ospreay, Great wrap around kick by Ospreay. Oscutter caught into a cutter by Lethal, Lethal Injection caught into another wrap around kick by Ospreay. 
  • Ospreay teases using the title again, hits a great series of kicks and an Oscutter, amazing near fall. 
  • Supercanrana reversed into a super powerbomb by Lethal, Lethal Injection by Lethal closes the match.

Winner: Jay Lethal Retains! Day Count: 90+

Rating: ****3/4, ROH this year has been too focused on polishing its craft and not delivering great matches. There are a few standouts but nothing I’d say would rank on a MOTY contender list. Once Lethal grabbed the title you could tell something was gonna change and it did. Lethal has taken the belt and ran with it. This match here is ROH’s best match of this year by far. Will Ospreay showed up as a heel and that’s awesome and these 2 had amazing chemistry and from minutes in until the end, the match was flying. These two striked the hell out of each other and delivered some great high-flying. This match was a big highlight of this show and ROH’s MOTY (so far)

Show Grade: B-

Last Word: While most of this show was kinda lethargic and without urgency, the highs were higher than anything so far this year in ROH. The undercard was good starting with Liger vs. King, SCU vs. The Briscoes and Sakai vs. Dashwood all good matches but Martinez vs. Sabin was a stinker, however, the Cobb appearance made up for it. The final two matches were a great way to end the show, The 10-Man tag was mindless fun and the main event of Lethal vs. Ospreay was ROH’s MOTY so far. The total show felt long and had a lame mid-card but the undercard shined and so did the final 2 matches. So far in 2018 ROH hasn’t been perfect and this continues that trend but Ospreay vs. Lethal comes to near perfection. 

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.