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. 

 

 

 

Royal Rumble 2019 Review

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Asuka defeats Becky Lynch to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title @17:08 ****1/4
  • Shane Mcmahon and The Miz defeat The Bar to win the Smackdown Tag Titles @13:17 ***1/4
  • Ronda Rousey defeats Sasha Banks to retain the Raw Women’s Title @13:47 ***1/2
  • Becky Lynch wins the Women’s Royal Rumble @71:05 ****
  • Daniel Bryan defeats AJ Styles to retain the WWE Title @24:31 **3/4
  • Brock Lesnar defeats Finn Balor to retain the Universal Title @8:39 ****3/4
  • Seth Rollins wins the Men’s Royal Rumble @57:39 **1/2

Becky Lynch vs. Asuka(c) for the Smackdown Women’s Title:

  • Big fight feels.
  • Asuka asserts dominance early on and taunts but Lynch fights back and strings together some offense starting the momentum. 
  • Hip attack by Asuka sends Lynch off the apron to the floor, Asuka misses a kick off the apron and Lynch fires back with a running big boot on the apron. 
  • Asuka sends Lynch shoulder-first into the ring LED board but Lynch recovers and hits an exploder suplex into the barricade. In-ring near fall for Becky. 
  • Becky begins to dominate the match a bit and starts working the arm setting up the Disarm-Her.
  • Lynch dodges a Hip Attack sending Asuka into the ropes, Lynch capitalizes by attacking but Asuka grabs Lynch in a sleeper around the ropes. 
  • Disarm-Her by Lynch in-between the Turnbuckles in the corner but has to release it. Asuka catches Lynch in mid-air with a buzzsaw kick.
  • German Suplex followed by a Hip Attack by Asuka for a near fall.
  • Asuka misses a missile dropkick, Uranage by Lynch gets a close near fall. 
  • Asuka locks in a Cross Armbreaker, Lynch tries to pin out of it but Asuka transitions into an Asuke Lock but Lynch rolls to the ropes. 
  • Asuka attempts to German Suplex Lynch off the apron to the floor but Becky breaks free, Lynch goes for an exploder suplex but fails, Asuka hits a great Swinging Neckbreaker off the apron to the floor. Lynch gets back in at 9. Asuka capitalizes with a shining wizard kick for a great near fall. 
  • Strikefest, Asuka catches Lynch with a roundhouse for a near fall. 
  • Super Exploder suplex by Lynch for a great near fall. 
  • Diving Leg Drop by Lynch misses, Asuka locks in an Asuka Lock but Asuka transitions into a Disarmher but Lynch transitions into an Asuka lock, amazing sequence. 
  • Disarm-Her locked in by Lynch, Asuka rolls up Becky to escape. 
  • Takedown into the Asuka Lock, Asuka locks in an inverted version of it to tap out Becky. 

Winner: Asuka Retains @17:08!

Rating: ****1/4, A match that impressed the hell out of me. These women pulled out some amazing spots and great in-ring work and delivered another revelation in Women’s Wrestling. WWE has got one thing consistently right in the last year and that’s Women’s Wrestling and in my opinion, this is one of the top examples of why they’ve done it right. Asuka kicked ass and hit hard with intensity and Lynch is one of the best wrestlers going right now so they clicked really well and made something that will be hard to forget. A prime example of how far Women’s Wrestling has come. 

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

  • Shane and Sheamus start the match, Shane starts fired up. 
  • The Bar clear off an announce table and try to bomb Miz through it but Shane comes to the save. Mcmahon puts Cesaro on the announce table Sheamus saves Cesaro from the bump but Shane dives with an elbow taking out Sheamus ringside. Cesaro takes out Shane.
  • The Bar isolates The Miz in-ring with Shane outside. 
  • Hot tag by Shane, float over DDT to Sheamus gets a near fall. 
  • Coast to Coast by Shane attempted but Cesaro catches him mid-air and gets the Cesaro Swing in for a while but Mcmahon locks in a Triangle once it’s over. Flying knee drop by Sheamus to escape the hold. 
  • Double Team White Noise by The Bar for a near fall on Shane. 
  • Brogue Kick by Sheamus, Miz shoves Shane out of the way. Shane hits a Great Shooting Star Press to close the match. 

Winner: Shane Mcmahon and The Miz New Champions @13:17!

Rating: ***1/4, The Shane spots were in full effect here with an insane shooting star press and he took a lot of offense and well too. The Miz wasn’t a huge part of the match and neither was Sheamus but the match was a very solid spot fest with distinct characters and some surprisingly solid in-ring work. 

Sasha Banks vs. Ronda Rousey(c) for the Raw Women’s Title:

  • Rousey says “you say I can’t wrestle, I’ll show you how to wrestle” and hits the Tres Amigos suplexes taunting Banks and her idol Eddie Guerrero. 
  • Rousey punches Banks against the post but Banks dodges and Rousey collides with the LED post. Suicide Dive by Banks. 
  • A little bit of a halt in pace as Banks shows a little bit of dominance. 
  • Rousey rolls Banks into a Piper’s Pit attempt but Banks rolls through and torques the arm of Rousey in a Rings of Saturn hold targeting the arm that hit the LED post, Banks transitions into the Banks Statement, Banks rolls away from the ropes but Rousey escapes. 
  • Piper’s Pit hits by Rousey allowing her to heal the arm. 
  • Bodyscissors Hold over the top rope by Rousey but she has to release. 
  • Superplex by Banks for a good near fall, after the kickout Banks goes back to working the arm. Rousey powers into a judo throw for another near fall. 
  • Series of arm-oriented judo throws by Rousey but Banks gets Ronda ringside to allow Sasha time to heal, another suicide dive by Banks is caught. Rousey locks in a Cross Armbreaker ringside Banks taps but it doesn’t count. 
  • Strikefest but Rousey takes control, Rousey hits a flying knee for a near fall. 
  • Piper’s Pit by Rousey reversed mid-air by Banks as she comes down on Ronda for a near fall. Banks locks in the Banks Statement and uses her gear to torque the hold but doesn’t quite get it in. Near fall roll up by Banks into a Fujiwara Armbar Rousey rolls through and hits a Gutwrench Powerslam and follows it up with Piper’s Pit to close the match.

Winner: Ronda Rousey Retains @13:47!

Rating: ***1/2, A really solid hard-hitting women’s match with some great working of the arm and two wrestlers at the top of their game. The match was worked at a good pace and was a smart match wrestling logic-wise. The match didn’t kick into top gear but delivered another great example of how good Women’s Wrestling has become.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match:

  • Lacey Evans at #1.
  • Evans cuts a promo, Natalya at #2. 
  • Mandy Rose at #3. 
  • Double Sharpshooter by Natalya on Evans and Rose. 
  • Liv Morgan at #4.
  • Liv Morgan is eliminated immediately after 8 seconds by Natalya.
  • Mickie James at #5.
  • Ember Moon at #6.
  • Billie Kay at #7. She doesn’t enter because she wants to wait for Peyton Royce. 
  • Nikki Cross at #8. Cross takes out Kay. And dives out taking everyone out in the ring with a crossbody.
  • Peyton Royce at #9.
  • Tamina Snuka at #10.
  • Mickie James eliminated by Tamina Snuka.
  • Xia Li at #11 from the Mae Young Classic. 
  • Sarah Logan at #12.
  • Logan strikes Ember Moon almost out of the ring but Moon hangs on by her boots. 
  • Nikki Cross eliminated by Peyton Royce. 
  • Charlotte at #13.
  • Xia Li eliminated by Charlotte. 
  • Kairi Sane at #14.
  • Tamina Snuka eliminated by Charlotte (2)
  • Kairi and Charlotte face-off which is surreal because both are amazing. 
  • Sarah Logan in eliminated by Natalya (2) and Kairi Sane. 
  • Maria Kanellis at #15. 
  • Naomi at #16.
  • Naomi and Mandy Rose go after each other igniting the feud from SD Live over Jimmy Uso, Mandy Rose is eliminated by Naomi. Rose gets Naomi out but Naomi handstands onto the barricade and walks on it and jumps to the steel steps to get back in but Rose eliminates her anyway. 
  • Lacey Evans eliminated by Charlotte (3). 
  • Candice LeRae at #17.
  • Alicia Fox at #18.
  • Maria Kanellis and Alicia Fox have a horrible feud moment that kills the match’s momentum. 
  • Maria Kanellis eliminated by Alicia Fox. 
  • Kacy Catanzaro #19. 
  • Zelina Vega at #20.
  • Vega and LeRae face-off calling back the Gargano Almas feud in January last year. 
  • Ruby Riott at #21.The rest of Riott Squad comes back down with her. 
  • Riott squad pulls Charlotte under the bottom rope and triple team attacks her. The Squad also pull a couple others out but Vega goes under the ring.
  • Alicia Fox is eliminated by Ruby Riott. 
  • Candice LeRae is eliminated by Ruby Riott (2).
  • Dana Brooke at #22.
  • Kairi Sane eliminated by Ruby Riott (3).
  • Io Shirai at #23. 
  • Shirai takes out the Riott Squad saving Sane and hits a great diving moonsault off the top to outside. 
  • Rhea Ripley at #24.
  • Kacy Catanzaro eliminated by Dana Brooke, nevermind Kacy gets a handstand in and clings to the ring post to climb back in, impressive. Kacy gets eliminated by Rhea Ripley instead. 
  • Sonya Deville at #15.
  • Dana Brooke eliminated by Rhea Ripley(2).
  • Hornswoggle comes back and gets Zelina Vega out from under the ring, Zelina Vega is eliminated by Rhea Ripley (3).
  • Alexa Bliss at #26, return from injury.
  • Sonya Deville eliminated by Alexa Bliss. 
  • Bayley at #27.
  • Ruby Riott eliminated by Bayley, Rhea Ripley eliminated by Bayley (2).
  • Lana at #28. She looks injured after the bump she took on the Pre-Show for the Rusev Nakamura match. 
  • Nia Jax at #29. Jax attacks Lana on her way down.
  • Io Shirai eliminated by Nia Jax.
  • Natalya eliminated by Nia Jax(2) after being in the match for 55 minutes.
  • Carmella at #30.
  • Becky Lynch comes down and enters the match for the injured Lana. 
  • Becky Lynch and Nia Jax stare-down for the first time since the facebreak incident. 
  • Bliss and Moon fight on the apron, Ember Moon eliminated by Alexa Bliss(2)
  • Alexa Bliss is eliminated by Carmella and Bayley(3)
  • Carmella is eliminated by Charlotte(4). 
  • Bayley is eliminated by Jax(3) and Charlotte(5).
  • Final 3 are Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Nia Jax. 
  • Nia Jax is eliminated by Becky Lynch. Lynch and Charlotte are the only ones left. Nia Jax shoves Lynch off the steps to a hard landing on her knee. Lynch fights back and gets in the ring.
  • Great ending sequence between Charlotte and Lynch with Becky being an amazing underdog and winning the match. 

Winner: Becky Lynch @71:05!

Most Eliminations: Charlotte with 5. 

Iron Man: Natalya staying in for 55 minutes

Rating: ****, It is really hard to rate Royal Rumble matches but this one was top-tier. For starters, it focused on NXT workers like Candice, Kairi, and Io instead of washed up legends like last year’s women’s rumble. It had some great drama and an amazing ending sequence with Becky Lynch winning is one of the best moments in Rumble history with a crazy pop for Lynch and her overcoming the knee injury. The match started slow but kept it interesting and is one of my favorite rumbles I’ve watched. 

Daniel Bryan(c) vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Title:

  • Great feud heading up to this match. 
  • Slow paced start. 
  • Bryan sends Styles over the corner into the post and crashing to ringside. Bryan sends Styles shoulder-first into the post from ringside. 
  • Bryan begins to dominate as he works the arm of Styles. 
  • Butterfly Suplex into an armbar by Bryan but Styles keeps his grip locked and rolls to the ropes. 
  • Strikes by Bryan bust open the nose of Styles. 
  • Roll up battle of near falls for both men, Styles gets Bryan downed with a Dragon Screw as Styles begins to work the leg. 
  • Dragon Suplex by Bryan for a near fall. 
  • Great Moonsault DDT off the barricade by Styles ringside. 
  • Springboard 450 by Styles but Bryan gets up the knees and goes for the LaBell Lock and locks it in, Styles rolls it up for a near fall. AJ locks in the Calf Crusher but Daniel grabs the ropes. 
  • Calf Crusher attempt by Styles but Bryan rolls through and hits him with a snap kick for a near fall.
  • The pace has been incredibly slow for 15 minutes. 
  • Head Stomps by Bryan but the leg is tweaked from it, Bryan goes to the top rope but Styles meets him up there, Bryan maintains control and hits a super Saito Suplex but Styles rolls through. They get back up and Styles hits a Calf Crusher Driver for a near fall but then locks in the Calf Crusher, near fall rollup by Styles but Bryan escapes off the kickout. 
  • Good Snap Brainbuster by Styles for a near fall.
  • Bryan kicks out the arm of Styles off the springboard, Styles uses one arm to springboard but Bryan kicks Styles out of mid-air. AJ fights back and hits a Pele kick knocking both out. 
  • Erik Rowan comes down and stands at ringside, okay??
  • Bryan hits the referee accidentally with an enzugiri, Styles hits a Styles Clash and Rowan comes in and hits Styles with a chokeslam Bryan covers Styles for the win.

Winner: Daniel Bryan Retains @24:31!

Rating: **3/4 This was a good technical match that didn’t really fit the parameters of a WWE stadium show. The match was getting really good even though it was most definitely a slow-paced match that took the casual fan out of it. The technical work form both men was good and the logic was solid but it missed any kind of gear and the Rowan ending was a bit cheap. Wasn’t horrible just wasn’t anything all that good either.

Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar(c) for the Universal Title:

  • Immediate shotgun dropkick by Balor as he starts offense fast. 
  • Slingblade by Balor caught into a Belly to Belly by Lesnar.
  • Belly to Belly suplex ringside by Lesnar. 
  • Powerslam attempt by Lesnar through the announce table, Balor sends Lesnar into the corner of the announce table twice and smashes his face against it but Lesnar levels Balor and sends him back in-ring, 
  • Another Belly to Belly suplex by Lesnar sends Balor across the ring. The 4th Belly to Belly by Lesnar does the same thing. 
  • Slingblade by Balor hits, shotgun dropkick attempt runs into a stiff lariat by Lesnar. 
  • Lesnar still is selling the announce table spot. 
  • F5 by Lesnar countered into a DDT by Balor for a great near fall. 
  • Tope Con Hiro by Balor takes out Balor ringside, Balor hits a second Tope Con Hiro and a third one to follow. 
  • Coup De Grace hits by Balor amazing near fall. Kimura Lock by Lesnar is locked in and taps out Balor. 

Winner: Brock Lesnar Retains @8:39!

Rating: ****3/4, The pure investment in this match was crazy. Lesnar sells his matches like nobody else on the wrestling planet right now and Balor was the perfect opponent. I like this match better than Lesnar vs. Styles and Lesnar vs Bryan. Finn Balor wrestled with intensity and the pace was incredible. What an incredible sprint with so much emotional investment making it seem like Balor was going to win but having the hope crushed out of you with the Kimura Lock. Both men sold the match like a million bucks and I have no idea how they could’ve done what they did any better. My Match of the Weekend for sure sorry Gargano vs. Ricochet. 

Men’s Royal Rumble:

  • Elias at #1.
  • Jeff Jarret at #2 interrupting fellow fake musician Elias. Elias and Jarrett promo with each other until Elias attacks Jarrett. 
  • Elias breaks his guitar over the back of Jarrett and eliminates him. 
  • Shinsuke Nakamura at #3.
  • Kurt Angle at #4.
  • Suplex Series by Angle takes out Elias and Nakamura. 
  • Big E at #5.
  • Kurt Angle eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura. 
  • Johnny Gargano at #6.
  • Jinder Mahal at #7.
  • Jinder Mahal eliminated by Johnny Gargano. 
  • Samoa Joe at #8.
  • Big E eliminated by Samoa Joe.
  • Curt Hawkins at #9.
  • Curt Hawkins goes under the ring, Vega and Hornswoggle style.
  • Seth Rollins at #10.
  • Elias is eliminated by Seth Rollins. 
  • Titus O’Neil at #11.
  • Titus calls back the slide to get Hawkins from under the ring.
  • Titus O’Neil eliminated by Curt Hawkins, Curt Hawkins by Samoa Joe(2).
  • Kofi Kingston at #12.
  • Mustafa Ali at #13.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated by Mustafa Ali. 
  • Dean Ambrose at #14. Rollins and Ambrose go at it.
  • Ambrose kicks Kofi to ringside but Kofi twists his body around the apron to get back in the match and on the steps. 
  • Johnny Gargano eliminated by Dean Ambrose. 
  • No Way Jose at #15.
  • No Way Jose eliminated by Samoa Joe(3) immediately.
  • Drew Mcintyre at #16.
  • Xavier Woods at #17.
  • Woods inverted piggybacks Kofi back to the ring steps to avoid elimination. 
  • New Day eliminated by Drew Mcintyre(2).
  • Pete Dunne at #18. He comes in with intensity. 
  • Andrade Almas at #19.
  • Apollo Crews at #20.
  • Aleister Black at #21.
  • Dean Ambrose is eliminated by Aleister Black. 
  • Shelton Benjamin at #22. 
  • Samoa Joe eliminated by Mustafa Ali(2) calling back their feud. 
  • Baron Corbin at #23.
  • Apollo Crews eliminated by Baron Corbin.
  • Jeff Hardy at #24.
  • Aleister Black eliminated by Baron Corbin(2), big boos 
  • Pete Dunne eliminated by Drew Mcintyre (3).
  • Rey Mysterio at #25.
  • Bobby Lashley at #26.
  • Bobby Lashley eliminated by Seth Rollins, Lashley attacks Rollins and chokeslams him through the announce table.
  • Braun Strowman at #27.
  • Baron Corbin eliminated by Braun Strowman.
  • Shelton Benjamin eliminated by Braun Strowman(2).
  • Dolph Ziggler at #28. 
  • Jeff Hardy eliminated by Drew Mcintyre (4).
  • Drew Mcintyre eliminated by Dolph Ziggler. 
  • Randy Orton at #29.
  • Amazing Super Chain Bomb led by Braun with Mustafa, Almas, and Mysterio on top. 
  • R-Truth at #30. Nia Jax attacks R-Truth and joins the Rumble. 
  • Mustafa Ali eliminated by Nia Jax. 
  • Nia Jax eliminated by Mysterio, Mysterio eliminated by Orton, Orton eliminated by Almas. 
  • Ziggler, Almas, and Rollins work together to take out Strowman.
  • Andrade Almas eliminated by Braun Strowman. 
  • Dolph Ziggler eliminated by Braun Strowman. 
  • Curb Stomp on the apron by Rollins eliminates Strowman and wins the Rumble. 

Winner: Seth Rollins @57:34!

Rating: **1/2, This Rumble was less inventive than the women’s one, had less great moments than last years and included Nia Jax who may be the worst wrestler in WWE. It lacked any interesting spots and high-intensity drama and the closing sequence was one of the worst in recent Rumbles but Rollins won and I guess that’s what matters and Gargano, Dunne, and Black had amazing showings. 

Grade: A

Last Word: This is one of WWE’s best PPV’s in a very long time. It included a career-making night for the greatest women’s wrestler in history Becky Lynch, an amazing women’s royal rumble, an amazing match between Balor and Lesnar, a Rollins Royal Rumble win, and the quality was very consistent. Even sleeper matches like the Men’s Royal Rumble and Bryan vs. Styles had interesting things happen that made it worthwhile. One of the first weekends ever that a WWE PPV was better than a Takeover and I stand by that opinion. All-around amazing show from the WWE starting their year off right. 

 

 

 

 

NXT Takeover UK Blackpool 2019 Review

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Grizzled Young Veterans defeat Mustache Mountain to become the First NXT UK Tag Team Champions @23:47 ****3/4
  • Finn Balor defeats Jordan Devlin @11:24 ***3/4
  • Dave Mastiff defeats Eddie Dennis in a No DQ Match @10:49 ****1/4
  • Toni Storm defeats Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women’s Title @14:49 ***1/4

 

20190109_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_moustachemtn_zachjames-d49ff78df5b843efc538cd15cbe6f70a-e1547076591879
Moustache Mountian vs. Grizzled Young Vets to Crown the First NXT UK Tag Team Champions:

  • Moustache Mountian waring tribute attire to the British Bulldogs. 
  • Really beautiful belts are unveiled. 
  • Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson start the match. 
  • “Shoes off if you hate Gibson” chants happens and delivers another reason why the UK crowd is the best regardless of in Progress or here. 
  • Great chain wrestling from Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson, Gibson tags in Drake but Bate escapes isolation. 
  • Trent Seven tags in and him and James Drake standoff.
  • Tyler Bate flips over Seven to senton onto Drake, Bate gains some momentum but Gibson pulls Drake to ringside to half the momentum. 
  • High Cross Body by Seven gets a pop because of the history of that move in Progress retiring Doug Williams, hits on Gibson for the first near fall.
  • Great low suicide dive by Seven takes out Drake ringside. Trent seems to have tweaked his elbow, Seven chases Drake but Gibson catches him with a lariat knocking Seven down.
  • Grizzled Young Vets isolate Seven and hit him with a diving sidewalk elbow ringside, Gibson rolls Seven back in and continues to isolate Seven with Drake. Drake caught Seven with a stiff discus elbow that busts him open hard way. Tyler Bate begins to look worried on the apron. Draka and Seven strikefest ringside and Seven tries to go for the tag to Bate again but Drake pulls him in with a heel hook. Seven flies over Gibson to tag in Bate. 
  • Amazing hot tag by Tyler Bate with the crowd excited as hell. 
  • Airplane Spin by Bate to Drake into an insane double airplane spin with Drake and Gibson on his shoulders. The crowd keeps the amazing intensity. 
  • Exploder Suplex by Bate off the apron to Drake sending him into Gibson ringside, Bate hits a Standing Shooting Star off the apron to the Vets and pulls in Gibson to attempt the Tyler Driver 97 but fails. 
  • Running Powerslam/Flying Headbutt combo by MM pays homage to the British Bulldogs for a great near fall. 
  • Bate dives out to Drake ringside, Seven hits a Buring Hammer to Gibson for a great near fall save by Drake. 
  • RollUp Batte between Bate and Drake gets a really near fall on Tyler. 
  • Gibson catches Tyler Bate off the rebound lariat with a Ticket to Ride codebreaker, Helter Skelter/450 Splash combo for the Vets hits and they get a great near fall with an insane crowd pop. 
  • Shankly Gates by Gibson locked in on Seven and the tweaked elbow, Drake stops Bate from getting to the save by locking in a Shankly Gates of his own on Tyler. Bate deadlifts up Drake and Death Valley Drivers him into Gibson to end the great double submission sequence. 
  • Rebound Lariat/German Suplex combo by MM on Drake for a crazy good near fall.
  • “Fight Forever” Chants. 
  • Doomsday Suicide Dive by GYV is one of the best dive spots I’ve ever seen. Trent Seven goes for a suicide dive but Drake catches him with a dropkick. 
  • Ticket to Mayhem in-ring by GYV to Seven closes the match. 

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans First Champions @23:47!

Rating: ****3/4, Peak Tag Team work from some of the best in the game right now. The match built around a great layout on the isolation of Seven building the match up until the insane hot tag by Bate which unglued the match as it diverged into chaos. Mustache Mountain did some of their normal spots but Bate included an insane double airplane spin and the heel work of GYV was amazing. Nothing was better than the Doomsday Suicide Dive from GYV in this match either as that’s probably my favorite spot of the year so far. 

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Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin:

  • A video was shown of a brawl earlier today in which Banks injured his knee. Devlin and Banks brawl before their match and Devlin brutally works Travis’ knee.
  • Jordan Devlin grabs a microphone and cuts a heel promo and calls himself the Greatest Irish Wrestler Alive. You know who is coming out right now. 

Jordan Devlin vs. Finn Balor:

  • Insane pop for Finn Balor like the pop of the year material type. 
  • The tension is in the air big time between the mentor and mentee showdown.
  • Devlin tries to leave but Balor brings him back and hits a running forearm ringside. 
  • Devlin kicks the ropes to low blow Balor to knock him off the apron.
  • Double Stomp by Devlin gets boos as he makes fun of Balor and does his signature taunt.
  • Dropkick by Devlin catches Balor on the top rope and Finn takes a rough tumble hitting the apron going to the outside, Balor gets back in at 9. 
  •  Stiff chops by Balor but Devlin fires back with some of his own, Devlin catches Balor with an uranage/standing moonsault combo for the first near fall. 
  • Strike sequence begins and a Pele Kick from Balor puts both down. 
  • Bloody Sunday Driver by Finn Balor for a near fall. 
  • Devlin catches Balor running with a superkick and follows it up with tight Saito Suplex for a near fall. 
  • Devlin keeps Balor down with kicks as he talks trash to Finn and the audience, great heel work. Balor gets him down and turns up the aggression with stomps in the corner. 
  • Running Penalty Kick off the apron by Balor follows by a Coup D’Grace attempt, Devlin runs into the top rope to take him down and rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for a great near fall. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Devlin but Balor gets his knees up. 
  • Balor hits a shotgun dropkick and follows it up with a successful Coup D’Grace for the win. 

Winner: Finn Balor @11:42!

Rating: ***3/4, A really good hard-hitting and high-flying encounter from two wrestlers with very similar looks and styles but the main thing separating them was Devlin’s great heel work selling the dynamic of being the disgraced mentee and Finn Balor being a great bold babyface who got insane crowd support. The match ran at a solid pace and momentarily kicked into top gear with some solid near falls and big moves but the star of the show was how big the match felt. Jordan Devlin really deserves to be the flagship of NXT UK however I feel like he will always be in the shadow of Balor which made me disappointed that he caught the loss in clean fashion in this match. 

20181231_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_mastiffdennis-0a4aa3c18ce6ddb119627544b75559d0-e1547076531779Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis No DQ:

  • Strikefest out of the gates between the two big guys, Mastiff catches Dennis with a high crossbody. 
  • Mastiff grabs steel steps and brings them in-ring, Dennis rolls ringside and grabs a kendo stick and hits Mastiff twice. 
  • Dennis removes the ringside padding but goes back in-ring to continue clobbering Mastiff with the kendo. 
  • Mastiff catches the kendo stick and turns the tables and hits Dennis with some hard strikes with the kendo, powerbomb by Mastiff takes down Dennis.
  • Dennis catches Mastiff running and shows incredible strength lifting up Dennis and swinging him uranage-style into the steel steps, great spot. 
  • Dennis grabs a steel chair but misses the shot, Mastiff hits him with a rolling slam. Mastiff climbs to the middle rope but Dennis deadlifts him into the Crucifix Bomb and hits it for another great show of strength for a good near fall.
  • Eddie brings in a table while the crowd comes unglued for the table but Dennis can’t do anything with it.
  • Rolling Slam/Running Senton by Mastiff to Dennis on the exposed floor from earlier 
  • Insane split legged moonsault attempt for Mastiff misses. Neck Stop Driver by Dennis hits and gets an incredibly close near fall. 
  • Dennis gets Mastiff on the middle rope and goes for the Crucifix Bomb through the table in the corner but Mastiff rolls off. They club each other with lariats but Dave catches Eddie with a German Suplex.
  • Insane running cannonball by Mastiff sends Dennis through the table and closes the match. 

Winner: Dave Mastiff @10:49!

Rating: ****1/4, These two big dudes just hit each other really hard for 10 minutes. Dennis showed some incredible strength and Mastiff worked the hardcore style really well. This was a smartly worked match with some great spots like the combo onto the exposed floor by Mastiff and the Swinging Uranage by Dennis onto the steps. Big dudes clobbering the hell out of each other on a good pace is always good but throw in two guys who match their size with athleticism and some weapons for some good measure it makes a more than worthwhile 10 minutes.

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Rhea Ripley(c) vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Title:

  • Toni Storm’s first big match back since her photo scandal. It is great to see her shrug it off and step back into the spotlight unphased. 
  • Storm chases Ripley around the ring but eventually catches her with a suicide dive.
  • Ripley begins to dominate and keeps Storm down with stomps in the corner. Ripley gets Storm back in the middle of the ring and keeps her down with a body scissors hold, Storm hits Ripley with forearms to escape but Ripley slams Storm with a stalling Vertical Suplex for the first near fall. 2 Bodyslams by Ripley for another near fall. Ripley has been dominate for 3 minutes now but Ripley goes for the Cloverleaf and Storm kicks her off into the post. 
  • Ripley takes Storm down with a dropkick for a near fall and gets back to dominating. 2 Leg Drops consecutively by Ripley for another near fall. Headbutt by Storm catches Ripley running and both are laid out. 
  • Strikefest gets fast as both send strikes at 100 MPH but it slows down then speeds up again, German Suplex by Storm but she holds on and hits the 2nd one then holds on again but Ripley fights out of a 3rd. Storm goes for Storm Zero but fails, Ripley goes for RipTide but Storm shifts her weight to come down on Rhea for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Cloverleaf by Ripley applied on the weakened lower back on Storm, Toni fights out and applies an Ankle Lock but Ripley gets to the ropes.
  • Cannonball in the corner followed by a 3rd German Suplex into a Bridge by Storm for a near fall. 
  • Storm looks desperate as she starts to strike at Ripley but Rhea slams her down and follows it up with a RipTide for a very close near fall. 
  • Arm Control Lariats by Ripley 2 hit but Storm counters it with a headbutt and hits Storm Zero successfully for a great near fall.
  • RipTide fails as Storm flies over and hits Storm Zero to close the match. 

Winner: Toni Storm New Champion @14:49!

Rating: ***1/4, While much of the match was slow and Ripley was dominating there was a very good story in Storm beating the odds and becoming champion. Storm looked amazing for her first match back from her troubles and Ripley played a great dominant heel but Storm kept fighting with some great near falls and the speed gradually increasing over time. The match was played out really well but lacked some of the drama it could’ve had and the crowd seemed the least invested for this match of any tonight but that still means the crowd played a big role because this crowd is amazing. 

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Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship:

  • In my opinion, this is Dunne’s first formidable challenger in the 600 days he has held the title. He’s kind of been a flagship champion in a company that didn’t exist for a while so now that the company exists he actually has to act like a champion. 
  • Staredown as soon as the bell rings and they start the collar and elbow tie up with aggression. 
  • Coffey absorbs a forearm strike from Dunne and they go back to the stand-off, Dunne gets Coffey down and wrenches on the fingers. Very solid technical start to the match. Dunne gets in an inverted Figure 4, Coffey escapes by grabbing in a headlock and bringing Dunne to his feet. Coffey catches Dunne running and brings him back to the mat to trade submissions. Discus Lariat by Coffey sends a warning shot to Dunne but clearly misses.
  • Dunne lays out Coffey with a side lariat and gets in the Regal Stretch on Coffey but Joe grabs the ropes. 
  • Coffey pops up Dunne but Pete comes back down and tries to get in the Bodyscissors Kimura, Coffey gets Dunne into a stalling vertical suplex but Pete rolls back into the Bodyscissors Kimura, Float Over suplex by Coffey gets Dunne off finally.
  • Coffey throws Dunne to ringside and he clips his head on the apron on the way out. Dunne flips off the steps over Coffey and hits an enzugiri ringside. Pop-up Bodyslam by Coffey slams Dunne onto the ramp. Joe lets the ref count Dunne out but Pete fights to get back in. 
  • Backbreaker/Sidewalk slam combo by Coffey for the first near fall.
  • Coffey begins to dominate and locks in a bearhug but Dunne fights out and regains the match. 
  • Belly to Belly suplex by Coffey for a near fall. 
  • Great forearm by Dunne knocks Coffey into the corner, Dunne flips off the top rope over Coffey and hits an enzugiri. German Suplex by Coffey but Dunne flips off that too and hits a snap kick to a kneeling Coffey. Amazing moonsault off the corner to the outside by Dunne takes out Coffey with precision. 
  • Stiff elbow by Coffey catches Dunne back in-ring but Dunne reverses into an Explex for a near fall and both are laid out. 
  • Dunne flips over Coffey off the top rope again but Coffey fires back with a diving crossbody, Coffey hits a powerbomb for a near fall. Dunne is starting to sell a back injury. 
  • Piledriver Bend hold by Coffey which is really innovative but he transfers it into a Boston Crab wrenching the hurt back of Dunne, Joe steps on Pete’s head and he looks to be knocked out but Coffey still has the hold in Dunne wakes back up to grab the bottom rope.
  • Dunne wrenches the fingers of Coffey but he holds on as the two tradeoff headbutts until both get knocked down great strike sequence. 
  • German Suplex by Dunne but Coffey gets back up immediately, Pete catches him with a Koji Clutch, Coffey deadlifts Dunne up for a Tombstone attempt but Pete rolls through and locks in an Ankle Lock, Coffey gets back up and drops Dunne with a German Suplex. 
  • Coffey flies at Dunne for a spear but Pete knocks him with a knee strike. Diving Crossbody attempt by Coffey caught mid-air with a forearm strike. Bitter End by Pete Dunne hits for a great near fall.
  • Coffey sends Dunne into the post on the apron and hits a Powerbomb on the apron with Coffey driving himself into the apron too, crazy spot. Both get in at the ring count of like 9 3/4.
  • Coffey sends strikes to a downed Dunne but Pete grabs his arms and strikes on his head from the ground then gets him down and continues to stomp away as the crowd becomes unglued again. Pop-up uppercut by Coffey, enzugiri by Dunne, and Coffey finally hits the Discus Lariat for an amazing near fall and both stay down as the crowd gives a standing ovation. 
  • Another Discus Lariat from Coffey is caught by Dunne as he pulls him to the ground and tries to work the fingers but Dunne gets in a triangle, Coffey pulls Dunne up and to the top rope. Dunne keeps in the triangle on the top rope but Coffey lifts him up and super swinging powerbombs him. Amazing innovative spot. 
  • Both stare down from opposite corners as the crowd erupts and they strike off in the middle of the ring, they strike each other into the ropes until they’re exhausted. 
  • Pop-up German Suplex off the corner by Coffey for a great near fall. 
  • Coffey keeps striking at a downed Dunne, Coffey went for the Bitter End but Dunne reverses with a DDT. Dunne hits a Bitter End but can’t immediately capitalize as Coffey rolls away from the one-arm pin. 
  • Discus Lariat by Coffey from the apron to Dunne in-ring. They climb to the top rope but Dunne pushes Coffey to the outside. Coffey gets back up though and hits a Discus Lariat ringside. Bitter End uranage in-ring by Coffey for another great near fall. 
  • Coffey climbs to the top rope again and they pull each other both to the outside into the barricade.
  • Ducking Discus Lariat by Dunne hits and he follows it up with another Bitter End for an amazing near fall.
  • Dunne taps out Coffey with the finger wrench to end the incredible match.

Winner: Pete Dunne New Champion @34:12!

Rating: *****, Yeah okay this wasn’t a perfect match. The botch towards the end is not as close to as bad as people are saying it is. Coffey falling off the top rope is absolutely no big deal and it looked like Dunne pushed him and they shrugged it off and continued the incredible incredible match. There’s so much to talk about, this was an all-around amazing technical, striking, and high-flying match with too many amazing spots to talk about. The crowd was incredible here too adding so much intensity and urgency to the breakneck speed these guys were going. The near falls were absolutely bloody incredible and both sold the match as it was a life or death scenario. I like this better than Dunne vs. Bate from Takeover Chicago, and all Progress matches other than Walter vs. Tyler Bate that I’ve seen so far. Also, might be a bit of a stretch but I also like this better than Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi. This was a more entertaining and electrifying match than the Wrestle Kingdom main event even though that meant much more to the wrestling landscape in 2019. Incredible work and sets the tone for NXT UK to run wrestling in 2019. Progress, the ball is in your court. 

Show Grade: A-

Last Word: As an idea, I don’t love NXT UK as a promotion. WWE doesn’t need to create more content as they are right now with the Main Roster and 205 Live and NXT US they are stretching themselves too thin. Also, NXT UK kills a promotion I love in Progress, WWE takes their main wrestlers like Walter and British Strong Style and forces Progress to almost die in silence unless they can find a new wave of talent that can have banger matches and not want WWE money just yet. However, the wrestling fan in me is willing to forgive sin if it is to be for a good wrestling future. This show made me forgive NXT UK for what they have done to the UK scene and WWE itself. Starting off, the show had one of the tightest cards I’ve seen in a while with every match delivering quality which is what we’ve come to expect from a Triple H produced show. Coffey vs. Dunne is my MOTY so far, GYV vs. Mustache Mountain is one of the peak tag matches I’ve ever seen, and the rest of the card delivered fun moments like Balor’s appearance, Dennis vs. Mastiff, and Storm winning the title coming back from adversity. Truly, an incredible show for the risks it took, however, it doesn’t rank in the top Takeovers from 2018 which is just a testament to how good NXT US is. Hopefully, NXT UK doesn’t stretch NXT US too thin and suicide both companies. 

 

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

WWE Crown Jewel Review

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev to retain the United States Title @9:27 **1/2
  • Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton to advance in the World Cup @5:14 **1/2
  • The Miz defeated Jeff Hardy to advance in the World Cup @6:54 **
  • Seth Rollins defeated Bobby Lashley to advance in the World Cup @5:24 **1/4
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Kurt Angle to advance in the World Cup @8:15 **3/4
  • The New Day defeated The Bar to retain the SD Live Tag Titles @10:28 ***
  • The Miz defeated Rey Mysterio to advance in the World Cup @11:09 ***
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz to advance in the World Cup @13:04 ***1/4
  • AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Title @11:09 ***1/2
  • Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman to win the Universal Title N/A
  • Shane Mcmahon defeated Dolph Ziggler to become the Best in the World @2:29 N/A
  • Degeneration X defeated The Brothers of Destruction @27:48 *

Shinsuke Nakamura(c) vs. Rusev for the United States Title:

  • Announced at the last minute.
  • Vertical Suplex by Rusev sends Naka into a hard landing on his shoulder. 
  • A series of kicks into an enzugiri by Naka knocks down Rusev for the first near fall. 
  • Naka gets Rusev down with a Front Facelock, Rusev powers up and launches Naka off. Interesting rest hold spot. 
  • Rusev hits a comeback series and taunts for the Machka Kick, Naka dodges. 
  • Buzzsaw Kick by Rusev connects, very near fall. 
  • Sliding Penalty Kick by Nakamura goes for a near fall. 
  • The Saudi Arabian crowd is less dead than last time but that isn’t saying much. 
  • Catching Machka Kick by Rusev, very near fall. 
  • Rusev looks for the Accolade but Nakamura instantly rolls to the ropes, Naka climbs to the top rope and hits a Flying Knee. Nakamura tries to go for a pin, is under the ropes but tries to go for the pin. Slight Botch. 
  • Machka Kick into the Accolade by Rusev, Rusev drags Naka into the middle of the ring, Naka hits a low blow but gets away with it. Kinshasa wins for Nakamura. 

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura Retains @9:27

Rating: **1/2, this was an okay starter. Some strikes landed hard and these 2 are both talented. It did look like Nakamura wasn’t on his game though with some botches and lack of energy. A Rusev win might’ve made sense if it wasn’t on the kickoff of a controversial show. 

  • Hulk Hogan comes out, this makes me legitimately so pissed off. So they have a public racist come out to start a show taking place in Saudi Arabia?? Does WWE genuinely want to drive itself into the ground and have everyone watch the indies? I have to try and watch this show for the wrestling and not the politics. 

wcbracketRey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton World Cup First Round:

  • Great catching dropkick by Orton to Mysterio off a springboard, first near fall.
  • Orton goes for the mask of Mysterio on the top rope, Diving Senton by Mysterio followed up with a springboard crossbody takes down Orton. 
  • Wheelbarrow facebuster by Mysterio, near fall. 
  • 619 by Mysterio caught into a Hangman DDT by Orton, good big move sequence. 
  • Orton taunts for the RKO, Mysterio rolls up Orton for the win!

Winner: Rey Mysterio Advances @ 5:14! 

Rating: **1/2, a fun sprint with two very talented guys. I wished it would’ve gone longer but the match went down without a hitch and Orton was protected with the finish which is a smart move. 

  • Randy Orton attacks Rey Mysterio after the match. 

Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz World Cup First Round:

  • Near fall roll up by Jeff Hardy.
  • Delete Turnbuckle Smashes by Hardy to Miz’s moneymaker. 
  • This match has started without any momentum and a silent crowd.
  • A comeback series by Hardy picks up the pace and brings in the crowd. 
  • Whisper in the Wind by Hardy hits, near fall. 
  • Figure 4 Leg Lock rolled up by Hardy, very near fall. 
  • Hardy jumps off the barricade with a crossbody to take down Miz ringside.
  • Miz rolls out of the way of a Swanton Bomb, Miz rolls up Hardy using the ropes but the official catches him, near fall rollup by Hardy.
  • Twist of Fate reversed into the Skull Crushing Finale by Miz for the win. 

Winner: The Miz advances @6:54!

Rating: **, this match lacked any momentum and relied way too heavily upon roll up moments and neither men looked good. The crowd was silent and this was an awkward match to watch. Jeff Hardy tried all that he could to get the crowd into the match with his comeback series and dive off the barricade but it just becomes the 2nd meaningless tournament match in a tournament that had a lot of potential. 

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley World Cup First Round Match:

  • Suicide Dive by Seth Rollins stopped with a chokeslam by Lashley, first near fall. 
  • Swinging neckbreaker by Lashley, near fall. 
  • Lashley has squashed the opening minutes of this match.
  • Rollins knocks Lashley ringside and hits 2 suicide dives. Rollins hits his back hard against the barricade. 
  • Roll Up into the Curb Stomp by Rollins for the win. 

Winner: Seth Rollins Advances @5:24!

Rating: **1/4, this was a very average match and the undercard on this show continues to be VERY weak. However, I’m glad that Seth Rollins won and can have good matches later on tonight, hopefully. 

Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler World Cup First Round:

  • This match has legitimate dream match potential. 
  • Belly to Belly suplex by Angle starts a series of German Suplexes. Angle attempts a german suplex off the apron, Ziggler knocks Angle to ringside with an elbow.
  • Ziggler sends Angle shoulder first into the steel steps. 
  • A sleeper hold by Ziggler weakens down Angle but is locked in for a long time. 
  • 3 Consecutive German Suplexes by Kurt Angle, near fall. 
  • Angle Slam countered by Ziggler into a spike DDT on the formerly injured neck of Angle, near fall.
  • Fameasser caught into the Angle Slam for a near fall. 
  • Fameasser by Ziggler hits, another near fall.
  • Sunset Flip by Ziggler rolled into an Ankle Lock by Angle, Ziggler rolls Angle over removing the hold.
  • Ziggler sends Angle into the post and follows it up with a Zig Zag for the win. 

Winner: Dolph Ziggler Advances @8:15!

Rating: **3/4, This match actually had a very solid layout unlike the other tournament matches so far. It was very surreal to see Kurt Angle and Dolph Ziggler in the ring together and even though age was a factor it didn’t get in the way of the match. This was a fun match and the best so far on the card. 

New Day vs. The Bar for the SD Live Tag Titles:

  • The New Day enter on a flying magic carpet platform, the coolest part of the show so far to be honest. 
  • Big E and Sheamus start the match. 
  • Great Monkey Flip by Cesaro but Kofi lands on his feet and runs back with a dropkick, first near fall. 
  • Hopscotch Springboard Crossbody by Kingston to Cesaro, near fall. 
  • Big Show accompanies the Bar at ringside and Xavier Woods accompanies New Day.
  • Stiff chops by Kofi to Sheamus as Kofi tries to make a tag but Sheamus kicks Kofi down and tags in Cesaro, the Bar are isolating Kofi. 
  • Double Team Jackhammer/Suplex by The Bar to Kofi for a near fall. 
  • Kofi sends Sheamus into the post and Big E makes a hot tag.
  • Uranage by Big E to Sheamus, near fall. 
  • V-Trigger by Sheamus to Big E in the corner. 
  • Powerbomb/Double Stomp combo by New Day gets a near fall on Sheamus. 
  • Big E launches Kofi over the top rope to take out Cesaro, Big Show KO punches Big E and Sheamus hits a brogue kick to retain.

Winners: The Bar retain @10:28!

Rating: ***, easily the best match of the card so far. It was a really fun and smart tag match which is routine for the Bar and New Day. We’ve seen this exact match SOOO many times but independently each match always delivers. The ending was flat as I still don’t understand why Big Show is with the Bar and helping them cheat to win put a bad ending to a good match. 

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz World Cup Semi-Final:

  • Fast start unlike Miz vs. Jeff.
  • Miz slides Rey to ringside, Rey lands on his feet. Rey takes Miz ringside and slides under the bottom rope to splash Miz at ringside. 
  • Alley Oop Facebuster by The Miz plants Rey. 
  • Bow and Arrow hold by Miz, Mysterio flips into a cover for a near fall. 
  • Saudi Arabians chant “CM Punk”. I’m not about that at all.
  • Miz drives Mysterio into the barricade, in-ring near fall. 
  • Abdominal Stretch by Miz works the weakend midsection of Rey. Rey turns it into a DDT to escape the hold. 
  • Slow strikefest between the two, Springboard Crossbody by Mysterio for a near fall. 
  • Mysterio goes for a facebuster but Miz sends him into the turnbuckles then hits a Skull Crushing Finale for a great near fall. 
  • It! Kicks by The Miz, Mysterio tries to go for the pinning combo that eliminated Orton but Miz kicks out.
  • 619 hits for Rey, followed up with a Frog Splash but The Miz gets his knees up and rolls up Miz for the finish. 

Winner: The Miz Advances @11:09!

Rating: ***, This is the best tournament match so far mostly because it went longer than the rest of them. The match had some great moments including a great near fall after Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale. However, I really don’t agree with the finish on a fan level I realize we could’ve seen Mysterio vs. Rollins but on an industry level, firing Mysterio from SD Live if he doesn’t have an exclusive deal and they are mad he was at the Jericho Cruise would’ve made perfect sense. The match was fun and made both men look pretty good. 

Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler World Cup Semi-Final:

  • Ziggler is immediately working the neck of Rollins injured in the Lashley match.
  • Rollins and Mcintyre stare down ringside, Ziggler catches Rollins with a Spike DDT for a near fall in-ring. 
  • Really uneventful opening.
  • Ziggler mocking Rollins with cocky kicks to the face, Rollins sends Ziggler into the turnbuckle and hits a neckbreaker. 
  • Backslide by Rollins, weird near fall. Rollins catches Ziggler’s DDT and more roll up near falls happen and it becomes a sequence of roll-ups into a deadlift powerbomb by Rollins that gets rolled up for one last near fall by Ziggler, Ripcord Knee by Rollins takes out Ziggler for a near fall. 
  • Mcintyre distracts Rollins but Rollins sends Ziggler to ringside, Suicide Dive by Rollins takes out both Ziggler and Mcintyre.
  • Springboard by Rollins misses, Ziggler hits a Fameasser for a near fall. 
  • Superplex by Rollins but the Falcon Arrow is countered into a Zig Zag by Ziggler for a great near fall.
  • Another Zig Zag attempt fails, Suicide Dive by Rollins wipes out Mcintyre, Ziggler distracts the referee, Mcintyre pushes Rollins off the top rope, Ziggler hits a superkick for the win.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler advances @13:04!

Rating: ***1/4, The match started slow and the crowd was silent. Over time they worked the crowd back into it but the match was worked surprisingly sloppy for these two guys. There were some exciting moments like the Falcon Arrow into the Zig Zag and the finish was okay but this is probably the worst Ziggler vs. Rollins match but it’s still the best match on this show so far. I don’t exactly think of Ziggler vs. Miz when I think of Best in the World though. 

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Title:

  • I don’t blame Daniel Bryan for not going to Saudi Arabia, however, the match at Super Show Down was a fantastic way to close the Joe vs. Styles feud. 
  • Fast aggressive start with Styles on top after a kick to the injured knee of Joe.
  • Awesome suicide dive by Joe launches Styles into the announce table.
  • Step-up enzugiri in the corner by Joe goes for a near fall. 
  • Okay, the assholes in Saudi Arabia are starting a wave in this match even though it’s the best match of the night already. 
  • Great hard-hitting strike fest.
  • Great Moonsault DDT by Styles for a near fall. 
  • Springboard Forearm by Styles to Joe ringside. 
  • Joe dodges Styles on the springboard and hits a snap powerslam for another near fall. 
  • Stiff lariat by Joe knocks down Styles. 
  • Calf Crusher by Styles locked in on the injured knee of Joe, Joe grabs ropes. 
  • Roll up by Styles is caught into the Coquina Clutch, Styles works the bad leg to escape the hold. 
  • Pele Kick by Styles knocks Joe down, Phenomenal Forearm ends the match. 

Winner: AJ Styles Retains @11:09!

Rating: ***1/2, I don’t think I’ve ever hated a crowd more than these guys. I hope WWE is happy with the fucking payday they made from this PPV. This was the first actually good match of the show and the crowd SHAT on it for no apparent reason releasing a wave, Cm Punk and Ole Chants. They ended this match earlier than they should’ve but while it was going it was a fun, hard-hitting match but it was hard to focus on. If it wasn’t in front of such a bad crowd on such a despicable payday glorified house show I might have given it a higher rating. 

Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Vacant Universal Title:

  • Baron Corbin attacks Strowman with the title, Lesnar hits an F5 on Strowman for a near fall.
  • A 2nd F5 hits and Strowman kicks out again. 
  • A 3rd F5 hits and the same shit happens, Strowman kicks out. 
  • A 4th F5 by Lesnar sends Strowman to the outside, near countout.
  • A 5th F5 hits for the close.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Rating: N/A, WWE is never this serious but I’m typing this review crying about how horrible this show is. After this show, WWE might never be watched by me again and I know I’m not the only one in this boat. They just put the title on the inactive, horrible champion that was champion for forever. This is probably the worst thing that’s happened in WWE for years AND it comes after Roman had to relinquish the title due to cancer. This is despicable, who in the absolute blue fuck is booking this show?!

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler World Cup Final:

  • Weird choice for the finals. 
  • The referee sends Drew Mcintyre to the back, Miz attacks a distracted Ziggler.
  • Ringside, The Miz tripped and hurt his leg. Miz looks genuinely hurt or he’s doing an amazing sell.
  • The Ring Announcer announces a forfeit, Shane Mcmahon interrupts him and says SD isn’t gonna go down like that, Shane Mcmahon takes his place. 

Shane Mcmahon vs. Dolph Ziggler:

  • So, that crappy tournament meant absolutely nothing. 
  • Baron Corbin trips Shane, the referee sends Corbin to the back. 
  • Zig Zag by Ziggler but the referee is late to the count making a near fall. 
  • Slingshot by Shane sends Ziggler into the corner, Coast 2 Coast by Shane closes the match. 

Winner: Shane Mcmahon is the Best in the World @2:29

Rating: N/A, the Best in the World tournament up to this point was absolute garbage and it was a waste of time because Shane (someone who wasn’t even in the match) won. This show has gone absolutely horribly and nothing has gone right. I love the crazy fun of Shane winning if it was a Battle Royal or something but I just watched 2 hours of this tournament for a Mcmahon blowjob moment. 

Degeneration Bald vs. The Brothers of Aging:

  • The Mayor of Knox County and the Savior of WWE start the match. (Kane and Triple H)
  • It’s great to see Shawn back in the ring however he doesn’t look too good bald. 
  • Undertaker and Michaels stand-off.
  • The Brothers send DB to ringside so the bald men can be there standing while Taker and Kane put up the fist which incidentally means White Power which Kane should’ve known that so now the mayor of a Tennesee county has been in Saudi Arabia releasing the White Power symbol, that’s great politics. 
  • This show has driven me crazy. 
  • Taker hits old school on Michaels.
  • So, Saudi Arabia is chanting This is Awesome, no it’s not. It’s absolutely not. 
  • Michaels has NXT on his tights, representing actual good wrestling is the highlight of this retirement home tag match. 
  • Elbow Drop by Michaels to Kane, only Michaels and HHH “Still got it”.
  • Sweet Chin Music blocked by Kane into a Chokeslam, Taker tags in. 
  • Sweet Chin Music by Michaels catches Undertaker when he was distracted with HHH and both lay on the ground for FOREVER. Taker sits up and takes it ringside.
  • Kane chokeslams HHH through the announce table. 
  • Apron Leg Drop by Taker to Michaels.
  • This match is very boring.
  • Moonsault by Shawn Michaels wipes out Taker and Kane ringside even though it mostly misses it was still really cool to see. 
  • Pedigree by HHH to Undertaker.
  • Undertaker locks HHH in Hells Gate, Michaels superkicks Kane into the hold breaking it. 
  • Pedigree by HHH pins Kane.

Winners: Degeneration X @ 27:48

Rating: *, THIS WAS 30 MINUTES OF OLD PEOPLE LAYING ON THE FLOOR MOANING. MICHAELS ALMOST KILLED HIMSELF WITH THE MOONSAULT AND IVE NEVER BEEN SO BORED I LITERALLY STARTED DOING HOMEWORK AROUND MINUTE 15 OF THIS MATCH.

Show Grade: F-

Last Word: I could take this space to recap the show like I normally do but I’m just not going to worry about it. This is without a shadow of a doubt the worst show I’ve ever seen and I believe it was WWE fucking with Saudi Arabia and putting over Evolution. Multiple times the announcers were literally saying the show was trash, nothing went right, it went WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too long. It will be a while until I volunteer to watch WWE again. If you feel the same way and are looking for other companies to watch I’ll be reviewing PWG BOLA 2018 and Progress Chapter 77 very soon so look out for that. 

 

 

 

 

 

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.