This week in pro wrestling closes out 2019 and starts 2020! What does the pro wrestling world have plan? A returning star on Raw and wedding of the year? AEW returns after a week off. Did Dynamite return to The Elite? Rematch from a draw match at Fyter Fest! MJF releases his stipulation for Cody. Rewarding the stars of NXT 2019. Huge returns on SmackDown! Findout all you need to know right here!
Monday Night Raw:
The final Raw of the year brings us new alliances and top quality matches to send off the decade.
The 12/30/19 edition of Monday Night’s signature program starts us off from the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Kevin Owens wastes little time in heading to the ring and addressing recent attacks from AoP and Seth Rollins.
Rollins says the role he’s in was chosen for him and it’s fantastic. Owens addresses the fact that Rey Mysterio was attacked last week and not being at 100% is what cost him the US Title as Andrade bested him for the title at Madison Square Game to take the title for himself.
Owens doesn’t want to wait and he charges the trio, only to get laid out for his actions. He is then aided by Samoa Joe, who was attacked last week and the two are giving the heels hell when security breaks it up. Samoa Joe came off the top rope with a plancha onto everyone and after a break, both the faces and heels are asked to leave the arena by security.
Door is opened. Wedding plans. Open Challenge.
Aleister Black defeats Buddy Murphy for the second time after not one, but two Black Mass kicks. These two have an incredible chemistry in the ring and the crowd went ballistic for this match. These two put on one heck of a show and I invite you to enjoy the match on a replay when given the opportunity. 2020 can be a major opportunity for these two to shine.
Bobby Lashley and Lana are getting married as we’ve been told all week. We see Lana getting ready and Lashley is doing the same. It’ll probably occur at the end of the evening.
Charlotte Flair declares for the Royal Rumble and lists her accolades over the past decade. She then says she’s wearing her favorite robe and boots and she issues an open challenge.
Natalya accepts and after a quality match, Nattie is forced to submit after she finds herself trapped in the Figure Eight. She held out for a time, and looked good, even in defeat, but she took the loss nevertheless. During the match, R-Truth raced away from several wrestlers chomping at the bit to get at his belt and Charlotte issued a huge boot to Eric Young for disrupting her match.
The Man challenges The Empress. More Liv Morgan.
“The Man” Becky Lynch addresses her upcoming contract and how she wants to continue doing business, but she doesn’t want to do anything until she takes care of Asuka. She says when you’re the “golden goose”, you get the “golden handcuffs”, and she doesn’t want to move forward until she beats “The Empress” at the Royal Rumble in Houston.
Liv Morgan is set to return with a new gimmick as another vignette plays highlighting such.
Street Profits have a point to prove.
The OC is out and they brag about their victory over Randy Orton and the Viking Raiders in a six man tag. Gallows and Anderson talk about having victories over the champions including their victory at Crown Jewel where they got the moniker the “best tag team in the world”. Gallows says when it comes time to challenge those two goofs and before he can finish, the Street Profits interrupt them.
They work their magic on the mic, but AJ Styles shuts them down and says they should stick to their backstage promos since they’ve only had a handful of matches. Ford and Dawkins then mock the “OC” name being an old teen drama and they sing the theme song.
Raise The Red Cups
This leads to a match between the two teams and it’s great to see how far along Angelo Dawkins has come as an in-ring hand. He gotten so much better. Ford has been gifted since day one. AJ Styles was ejected from ringside mid-match after tripping Dawkins and finally, after a hard fought battle on a show chocked full of great in-ring action, we get a great win by the Profits who now find themselves in the title picture.
Gallows was tossed from the ring and Dawkins hit a spinebuster as Ford went up top for a frog splash and secured the three count. After losing to the Viking Raiders in four minutes, this was great. The OC, Street Profits and Viking Raiders should make for some great television in the new year.
Hawkins and Ryder are out for a two on one handicap match against Drew McIntyre and this goes exactly how one would expect, McIntyre wins with ease. He cuts another fantastic bro before the match and then in short order, he hits the Claymore Kick on Ryder and the Future Shock DDT on Hawkins. He stacks both men up and pins them for the victory. 2020 should be a solid year for Drew as well, hopefully with some championship gold in it.
It is announced that on the first Raw of the year next week, we’ll see Andrade defending the US Title against Rey Mysterio and a triple threat tag team title match between the Viking Raiders, the OC and the Street Profits! Wow! That’s how you start the new year!
I got a lot left in the tank!
Randy Orton comes out with crutches and his knee looks to be in a bad way. He says this isn’t ballet and that accidents can happen at anytime. It kills him that he needed help to get in the ring. He’s choked up and he references Edge having to surrender his career due to an injury. Nobody wants to see those things happen. He says he’s rambling and he moves on and says after the MRI, it’s been determined that the knee is bad and he’s going to be out a very long time and there’s a good chance he might not be able to come back. He says no matter what happens, he’ll do everything in his power to make sure someone gets RKO’d at ‘Mania.
Cue AJ Styles, you knew it was coming. He gets booed and he says that he won’t get to face him until Wrestlemania, if at all? Orton whispers that this isn’t the time or place. Styles says of course this is the place. Is the Viper gonna strike? Styles mocks Orton and asks how bad the knee is, goading him. He asks isn’t it funny that fate bit Orton before Orton could bite fate, or him? Styles dares Orton to strike, but he can’t. Styles can’t wait until he puts him in the Calf Crusher, taps him out and retires him. He kicks the crutch out from under him and leaves. He is booed unmercifully.
Randy Orton troll master.
Orton then asks AJ to come back and says Styles might be patient, but he’s not. RKO. Wow. Orton just pulled off the huge swerve and he did it all without Mark Henry’s salmon jacket. Masterful. This was done perfectly. Happy to see Orton’s knee is okay, but you might as well sell it if you can!
Ricochet vs Andrade.
“El Idolo” is out next, US Title in hand, and he’s set to compete and after the break, he does so against a local talent whom Andrade has his way with. Ricochet surges down to the ring to end the onslaught against the hand after the champ is set to deliver a DDT on the floor like he did to Humberto Carrillo.
A title match is made and once again, we have a fantastic piece of business between two top stars. Ricochet shines, as the two go back and forth, but Andrade turns the tables after exposing the concrete and backdropping Ricochet onto it. Ricochet fires off the comeback, the crowd thoroughly behind him as he nails a standing shooting star press, but in the end it’s Andrade who continues his winning ways with the Hammerlock DDT after some underhanded tactics. Zelina Vega and Andrade are definitely back on the same page. Ricochet needs to have a big 2020 in my opinion as well. He’s too good to not be in a top spot.
The wedding of the decade
Lana is shown being photographed backstage, the wedding is next.
The introductions are made and the priest sets the table for the declaration of vows as a “Rusev Day” chant breaks out. Lana tells the crowd to silence themselves. Lashley literally is wearing a vest with no shirt underneath, it’s fantastic and very eighties. Lana tells him it’s the luckiest day of his life and she looks as ravishing as ever. She calls herself the greatest woman that has ever lived. The self-serving vows continue as the boos rain down.
They play some tonsil hockey as the priest thanks Bobby for his restraint. Lana says she’s proud of Bobby and it took her forever to write his vows. Wow. He reads them aloud and it basically talks about how lucky he is to be marrying her. This all continues as some jabronie spills out of the back and says that the wedding can’t happen because he is Lana’s first husband. She then says she left him for that SOB Rusev and now Lashley.
The return of Live Morgan, for better or worse.
Lashley plants the jobber and tells the priest to move things along. They are almost through it and a woman comes out and introduces herself as Bobby’s first wife as a “Jerry” chant breaks out. Lana sends her packing, knocking her off the apron. The priest is about to make it official but then everything is interrupted by Liv Morgan!
She says the love of her life is in the ring and Lashley says he’s never seen this woman before. Liv says she’s not talking about Bobby and Lana begins to sob frantically and then she beats the holy heck out of Liv. Lana works her over and the whole crowd is having images of Shane Douglas saying, “Oh, it’s not a he, Tommy!”. Morgan makes her exit and Lana, tattered and in tears, tries to make it through the ceremony, but it’s Rusev Day now!
Closing out 2019.
Rusev attacks Lashley, coming out of the wedding cake. Lashley is left in a heap, Lana is in tears, dress tattered and all, before Rusev puts her face in the cake, and we have a wedding that would make Dawn Marie and the late Al Wilson jealous as we go off the air. That was fantastic.-Joel M.
AEW Dynamite kicks off 2020 with a PPV like show in their hometown of Jacksonville,FL. A rematch between Cody and Darby Allin from Fyter Fest. Riho defends her AWE Women’s title against three ladies. MJF releases his stipulations for his match against Cody. The Elite vs Pac and The Lucha Bros! Find out how AEW kicked off 2020, This is Dynamite!
Rematch time! Riho defends her title. Another big match for Trent.
Cody vs Darby Allin. Cody wins via roll up on fall.
What a rematch! The last time these two faced off was at Fyter Fest and it was a draw. Nit this time, as a definite winner was crowned. Darby Allin continues to gain the reach of a niche and younger crowd with his video package. Cody leans towards an old family friend and is accompanied by Arn Anderson. A surprising result for me was Darby wrestling a technical match, showing that he isn’t a one trick pony. The result almost cost Cody the win, as Darby kicked out of the Cody Cutter AND the Cross Roads. The only thing that saved Cody was Arn coaching Cody to get his knees up during a second Coffin Drop. This led to a roll up pin fall for Cody, as both men look strong in the match.
Riho vs Nyla Rose vs Britt Baker vs Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Title. Riho retains via roll up pin fall.
A re-booked match had these ladies duke it instead of Kris Statlander. Everyone favorite alien had prior commitments prior to the match and Kris will face the winner of this match next week. So let’s start, Rose starts off dominating all the ladies as usual. Riho attempts to knock down Rose, but hit Shida with a flying press instead. After the commercial break, Rose is still in charge. Riho finally mounts a defense, and Britt Baker tries to take advantage.
The Dr is fought off by the plucky champion, as Rose takes out Shida and Riho but misses with a Senton. Shida then hits a Falcon Arrow on Rose, this takes out Rose. Now a roll up counter fest between Riho, Shida and Baker ensues. Riho ends up with the win, but celebration is cut short as Rose sends Riho through a table.
This was the right call for now, but AEW needs to cement heels on faces. Nyla Rose is the only true heel here, while Britt and Shida skirt on the line of face or heel.
Jon Moxley vs Trent from Best Friends. Moxley wins via Paradigm Shift pin fall.
Trent has been getting a strong push as of late, now takes on a top talent in the singles bracket. This actually went 50/50 in terms of the men getting a spotlight. Every time Moxley wiped the floor with Trent, the breakout star rebounded and gain separation. When fighting Jon Moxely, that will not be enough, you need to pummel the guy to near death to win and Trent didn’t do that. After Trent hits a big Knee Strike and Stuffed Powerdriver, Mox kicks out and hits the Paradigm Shift for the win.
After the hard fought battle, Sammy Guevara comes out to wish Moxley a happy New Year. Then Sammy introduces Jericho on the giant video screen. Le Champion states that many faction want Jon Moxely. However, only the Inner Circle can provide opportunities that they can’t. Like 49% ownership of The Inner Circle and a brand new custom Ford GT, which can cost up to $500,000. Moxley said in respect, he will give Jericho his answer in person next week. Me thinks it’s Jon’s way to beat up Jericho, we shall see though.
Young vs Seasoned. MJF gives his stipulation. The Elite attempt to start off 2020 on top.
Sammy Guevara vs Dustin Rhodes. Sammy wins via Low Blow pin fall.
Even though fans have been clamoring for a Dustin vs Jake Hagar ever since Jake broke Dustin’s arm, we get this. Not to say it’s a bad match, but something that may not favor Sammy. The Spanish God seemed not to fully display his move set, but was a bumping dummy for Dustin. Jake Hagar interrupted when he needed to and not helping Sammy’s legitimacy in ring. Alas, after Dustin worked over Guevara and hit a Canadian Destroyer. Hagar, distracted Dustin long enough for Guevara to hit a low blow and pin fall.
MJF… perfect heel.
MJF stated that Cody will get his match at the PPV Revolution. But wait.. there’s more! Cody can not attack or lay a finger on MJF beforehand or the match is off. Then hurdle number 2 is to defeat Wardlow in a Steele Cage match. Lastly, the most absurd stipulation.. Cody will have to get on all fours in the ring and let MJF whip him 10 consecutive times, like the dog he is. This could’ve benefited in a longer build and not quickly rattled off in a single promo. However, MJF still pulls it off, with insulting the crowd, insulting Cody and just being an A-Hole. Classic heel stuff there.
The Elite (Kenny Omega/The Young Bucks) vs Pac/The Lucha Bros. The Elite win via One Winged Angel pin fall.
This was the only way to close this show out. Before Dynamite began, a video package was aired on how The Elite, had a rough start in AEW. No longer at the top of the mountain, The Elite found their way clawing and scratching back to what they once were. Sorta Elite member, Adam Hangman Page was downing beers and watched at the commentary table.
So it begins.. Neither team had total dominance over each other. That should be the way, since these six men are considered to be the top level talents in AEW. The Young Bucks rattled of a few Destroyers to take control of the match. Omega and Pac faced off next with Kenny hitting a Snap Dragon and Sit-Down Powerbomb. Pentagon broke up the count and later on Pac hits a Black Arrow on Omega. Now Pac locks on the Brutalizer on Kenny, only to have Matt Jackson break up the hold in the last second. Fenix then launches off the top rope and does an insane twisty looking martial arts kick that would make a young Jet Li proud. Kenny interrupts the move with a V-Trigger and an One Winged Angel for the win.
The Elite celebrate in the ring and wave Adam Page to come down and celebrate with them. Hangman, drinking his beer declines. Giving a motion that he didn’t do anything and it’s their win. Hangman then leaves, leaving Cody and The Elite to close the show. Great match, greater ending. The subtle and somewhat awkward way Hangman decline to celebrate gave broad storytelling. It is only a matter of time Hangman turns on them and will be fantastic. What a way to kick off 2020!-David G.
The New Years Day edition of NXT was a studio show during which they announced their end of year awards. They also sprinkled in the top 3 matches of the year. Here are the results of fan voting on Twitter throughout the month of December:
NXT Match of the Year:
#3- The 4 way Tag Title Ladder Match from TakeOver 25
#2- The Women’s Wargames Match from Wargames
#1- The 2 out of 3 falls NXT Title match between Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole from TakeOver New York
Tag Team of the Year: Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)
Male Competitor of the Year: Adam Cole
Female Competitor of the Year: Shayna Baszler
Rivalry of the Year: Gargano vs Cole
NXT Future Star: Dakota Kai
TakeOver of the Year: Wargames
NXT Breakout Star of the Year: Keith Lee
Overall Competitor of the Year: Adam Cole
2020 Dusty Classic
Also announced on January 1st were the 8 teams competing in this year’s Dusty Classic Tag Team Tournament. They’re sticking with the NXT vs NXT UK theme by including 4 teams from each brand. Presumably, the finals of the tournament will take place at the Worlds Collide event the night before Royal Rumble.
Representing NXT are Undisputed Era, Forgotten Sons, Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne, Kushida & a mystery partner
Representing NXT UK are Grizzled Young Veterans, Gallus, Imperium, Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster ~Jason M.
Current PPV Cards:
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool 2: January 12
- UK Title Match: Walter© vs Joe Coffey
- Women’s UK Title: Kay Lee Ray© vs Piper Niven vs Toni Storm
- UK Tag Titles: 4 Way Ladder Match: Gallus© vs Imperium vs Grizzled Young Veterans vs Andrews & Webster
- Tyler Bate vs Jordan Devlin
- Trent Seven vs Eddie Dennis
NXT and NXT UK Worlds Collide: January 25
- Undisputed Era vs Imperium
WWE Royal Rumble: January 26
- Universal Title Match: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt© vs Daniel Bryan
- Raw Women’s Title Match: Becky Lynch© vs Asuka
- Women’s Royal Rumble: Charlotte Flair
- Men’s Royal Rumble: ?
Friday Night SmackDown:
WWE’s first live show of 2020 had big surprises! Triple tag team action from the ladies. Shorty G proves himself and is the A-Lister returning to heel? The Monster vs The Swiss Superman! Otis enters singles competition. Let’s dive into the first WWE live show of 2020!
Recap and concern. Women’s Triple Tag Team match! Gable is tall.
In the start of the show, a recap of Daniel Bryan becoming the number one contender to face Bray Wyatt the Fiend for his WWE title. The Miz walks in to Bryan taping his wrists and asks for Danel to beat The Fiend at Royal Rumble. The frenemies discuss how The Fiend invaded The Miz’s home and got to Miz’s daughter. The Miz has one thing to ask of Daniel Bryan… defeat The Fiend.
Lacey Evans/Dana Brookes vs Bayley/Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross. Lacey/Dana win via Senton pin fall.
This was a match on paper that sounded great, but just became a match. Don’t get me wrong, all the ladies had a chance to somewhat shine. But to quote The Goddes, Alexa Bliss… “Why are we even fighting here?”. Bless you Bliss, you actually asked the question from the fans. What was as service match for the fans of these ladies ended with Lacey Evans hitting the Women’s Right on on Sasha Banks. Leading to Dana Brooke to hit a top rope flipping Senton for the pin fall. An OK, finish… but a match with little story for all six ladies. Yeah, I get the push for Evans as a babyface mom, but this fell flat to me.
Chad Shirty G Gable vs Dash Wilder from The Revival. Shorty G wins via Ankle Lock submission.
Another match that should have been planned out better, we get Dash vs Chad.. due to another short joke. This could’ve been an instant classic match, but it fell into squash/comedy scenery. Shorty G got the win via Ankle Lock, afterwards Sheamus arrives. The Celtic Warrior makes The Revival tuck tail. However, Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick on Chad Gable, while the crowd cheers Sheamus. Bad news for Chad Gable… again.
Is the A-Lister diving in to heel? Big return! Otis squashes. The Monster vs Swiss Superman and Friends.
Kofi Kingston vs The Miz. Kofi wins via via roll up pin fall,
Was this an awful match? Not really, but was it a match that we didn’t need? Again, not really. Aside from the duo putting on a fairly good match, the aftermath was more important. Beforehand, the frustrated Miz slapped pancakes out of Kofi’s hands. A no-no for New Day, so we get this impromptu match.
It was nothing really special, unless you count two baby faces fighting each other. The A-Lister had Kofi on the ropes, but The New People’s Champ refused to give up and roll up Miz for the win. The A-Lister then attacks Kofi after the match and Big E dives in to make the save. Interesting fallout for The Miz, he was a face for a month or so. However, frustration seems to be setting in. Almost like a certain wrestling show that is not WWE.
Big return and Otis squashes.
After the match, Cathy Kelly attempted to get some answers from The Miz. However, it is the one and only John Morrison that answer’s Miz’s door. HELL YEAH! Afterwards, Drew Gulak dares to make fun of Otis’s physique and his attempt to date Mandy Rose. This lead to a quick squash (pun intended) of The Power Point Presenter in about 120 seconds. I actually didn’t count, but it felt like that or less. The Vaderbomb pin fall was fantastic.
Braun Strowman vs Cesaro. Braun wins via Powerslam pin fall.
In a perfect world, like NXT or some promo that got air time and an audience, this may have been a dream match! However, in WWE land… we get this. The Monster give Cesaro a defeat, despite Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn at ringside. Yes this was practically a three on one match, but Braun stood tall after a Powerslam. It was a shame, considering Cesaro and Strowman had so much potential. After the win from The Monster, Shinsuke hits a Kinshasa on Braun. Somewhat continuing the somewhat feud between them.
Main event and family rescue.
Roman Reigns/Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler/King Corbin. No contest.
In a match that featured three awesome workers and a King, this fell flat in many ways. We get the Roman beat down, with hot tag to Daniel Bryan. However, The Fiend arrives and Bryan attacks The Fiend. Only to get locked in the Mandible Claw and drove into a barricade. Roman goes to check on Bryan and is attacked by Dolph and Corbin. The heel duo handcuff Roman and threaten to pour dog food over Roman again. Alas, Roman’s family.. The Usos make a triumphant return! Delivering a a Super Kick Prty to both Corbin and Dolph! The Usos get a key to unlick Roman and the show ends on a baby face “win”
This was pretty solid for Smackdown. The only thing was it seemed to try a tad too hard. The triple threat women’s match had barely any story progression. So did Shorty G’s match. The Strowman vs Cesaro match felt rushed. So did the main event. Despite the great returns, I would have to rate this show average.-David G
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