This week in pro wrestling we had questions and answers. Paul Heyman makes a surprise announcement for his client, Brock Lesnar. Jon Moxley answered Chris Jericho’s question. Who will be gunning for Rhea Ripley’s NXT title? Big returns on Friday Night SmackDown! Let’s dive in right now!
Universal Declarations lead to intriguing possibilities in Oklahoma City.
The Chesapeake Arena in downtown Oklahoma City, OK held this week’s Monday Night Raw on 1/6/19.
It’ll be a very quick recap from me this week and I apologize in advance, but the weather has struck and it’s gotten a hold of me. Having said that, it was a great show.
I’m Number One
Paul Heyman accompanied the Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, to the ring. Heyman said that since there isn’t any worthwhile competition for the champ, he will enter the Royal Rumble and he’ll do it at number one. The title will not be on the line akin to the Reigns story line of 2016, but whoever eliminated Lesnar, will obviously be in line for a title shot I’m sure.
Confusion leads to Rey Mysterio hitting a big splash on Zelina Vega, missing Andrade, in their US Title match. Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT after the distraction and he retained the title. They teased the title change finish earlier following a Mysterio pin, but Vega put the foot on the rope. This was excellent as you’d expect it to be. The end slowed the momentum a little bit. After the match, Andrade ripped off Rey’s mask, stealing it, and he took it backstage.
I’ve Got A Guy
Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe have a partner for their main event six man tag against Seth Rollins and the AoP. Joe says to trust him because he’s got a guy. Rollins is interviewed after that and he says he’s going to take Raw to new heights since he’s been ordained the chosen one.
The Viking Raiders retain their belts in one heck of a triple threat match against the OC and the Street Profits. Montez Ford hit a somersault plancha over the top rope, taking over several of those involved in the match. This allowed Erik and Ivar to hit the powerbomb/splash combo on Karl Anderson for the three count. These three teams really showed out here. I hope there’s more to come.
Becky Lynch and Asuka have a run-in which leads to “The Man” dropping Asuka with a right hand. Asuka, fuming, rises and has words as this feud continues to get legs.
Mojo Rawley takes a peak under the sheet with Rowan’s “pet” and freaks out. Rowan then squashes a local talent, hitting a big splash and the iron claw slam.
AJ Styles defeats Akira Tozawa before his next bout with Randy Orton and he emulated “The Viper” throughout the contest. He does the top rope pose and even goes so far as to beat Tozawa after hitting the RKO. This has been great television between two storied veterans.
Lana and Bobby Lashley finally get married after the multiple interruptions last week. Rusev appears on the video wall and shows a “wedding album” filled with highlights of last week’s debacle. Rusev and Lashley will do business in the ring next week. R-Truth is supposed to be interviewed backstage after the segment, but Liv Morgan interrupts and says she’ll be in Rusev’s corner for the match.
Charlotte and Sarah Logan have a no contest after a brawl. Charlotte is taking the brutality in the ring to the next level to ready herself for the Rumble.
Drew McIntyre dominated No Way Jose, besting him with the Claymore Kick. He asks the crowd is they dare him to do another Kick and he does, stating that he didn’t even drop the mic while hitting the move. He declares for the Royal Rumble. He tossed No Way Jose into the conga line earlier in the match too, saying he hates the conga line. We’re with you Drew. It sucks out loud. No Way Jose deserves better.
Aleister Black defeats the great Shelton Benjamin with Black Mass. If ever there were a veteran to push, it’s Benjamin. He and Black had a quality outing and Benjamin even got in some offense with several rapid fire strikes. Ultimately, the devastating kick spelled the end for Shelton as Black continues to gain momentum heading into Royal Rumble season.
Buddy Murphy attacks after the match and he lays waste to Black, even going so far as to do the steel chair face/throat spot. A ref calls for help and it sets up a third and what should be “final” match between these two.
A Veteran Presence
Samoa Joe/Kevin Owens/The Big Show defeat Seth Rollins/The AoP via disqualification after Rollins uses a steel chair on Show. The savvy veteran makes his return to a raucous reaction from what was a red hot OKC crowd all night. Show still looks to be in amazing shape and kudos to him for putting the work in while he worked on other projects during his time off.
The action was fast and furious and to protect both teams, it was Rollins who ended things for his team by introducing a steel chair to the back of the veteran for the DQ. We’d find out as the show went off the air that the same two tams would be involved in the first ever “fist fight” in WWE history next week. Another week, another solid edition of Raw during the Heyman era.
AEW Dynamite haiked from Memphis, Tennessee. Home of a legendary area for pro wrestling. Legends such as Jerry Lawler and Dusty Rhodes have hailed from the area. Will Jon Moxley accept Chris Jericho’s offers? What is Cody’s response to MJF’s stipulations? Will the match between AEW Women’s Championship live up to the hype? A legend returns, for better or worse. Find out all you need to know right here! This is Dynamite!
Heel turn still looming. AEW Women’s title match. Vet vs rising star.
Kenny Omega/Adam Hangman Page vs Private Party. Omega wins via One Winged Angel pin fall.
This was a FIRE start for the show, as per usual for Dynamite. In one corner we have an awkward tag team of Omega/Page, in the other we have one the fastest fan favorite teams, Private Party. During the match the commentators told the story of why Page feels the way of being underappreciated. Now to the match..
Quen being the super athletic talent staves off Omega and Page. The creative minds of Private Party even came up with a Headscissor into a Spanish Fly combo on Hangman… insane! Adam kicks out at two and eventually get Omega the hot tag. Page took on Kassidy, while mega hits a hard Snap Dragon Suplex on Marq Quen. The story of Hangman turning heel slowly continued, as both men had miscommunication. Omega/Page rebounded however and Kenny hits a V-Trigger and One Winged Angel for the pin fall.
AEW Women’s Champion Riho vs Kris Statlander. Riho retains via roll up pin fall.
What could’ve been match of the night, surprisingly fell flat. It wasn’t all on the in ring action between the ladies, but a weird amalgamation of the whole presentation. From Brandi Rhodes on commentary to the Nightmare Collective interfering to the anti climatic ending, this was kind of a mess.
Statlander started off strong and worked over the beloved under dog. However, Riho claws her way back in. The Nightmare Collective enters as Brandi denies knowing anything about it. Mel Cruise sends Riho into the guardrail. Kris, not happy with the interference hits a Tope on Awesome Kong and Mel.
Statlander then stares down Brandi Rhodes, but Japanese Death Match legend (according to Excalibur) Dr. Luther distracts Kris. Allowing Kong to run over Kris, Riho enters the ring and takes out Luther. The two battle it out, but Kong swipes the leg of Kris Statlander allowing Riho to pick up the roll up pin fall. Over booked and a mashed up mess.
Sammy Guevara vs Christopher Daniels. Sammy wins via Big Boot pin fall.
Sigh, another potential match wasted away. This time featuring the ageless Daniels against the young scrapper, Sammy. The match between the two had to endure almost as much distractions as the Women’s title match. Sammy started in control, but The Fallen Angel hits a T-Bone Suplex on the Spanish God. Guevara fights back and hits a running knee strike and Shooting Star Press.
The SCU alum member regained control and was on a string of offense. Until Pentagon Jr enters and taunts Daniels to go for the BME (Best Moonsault Ever). The distraction costs Christopher and Sammy hits a Big Boot on the back his head for the pin fall. The Dark Order arrives to recruit Daniels, yes back to back heel faction story again.
Evil Uno implores Daniels to join them and wear the mask. The Fallen Angel thought about it for zero seconds and decline. The Dark Order then attacks Daniels, SCU and surprisingly The Young Bucks come in for the save. At the end, Daniels shows that he still has it and hits the BME on Grayson.
A family feud. Does Cody accept the stipulations? MJF not happy.
The Brotherhood (Cody/Dustin Rhodes) vs The Lucha Bros. Dustin wins via Final Reckoning pin fall.
Wow Dustin still has it! Dustin still has it in him to tell a great story in the ring, pair him up with his brother and arguably two of the best talents in the world and you get a great match. The Lucha Bros finally isolate Dustin after the Brotherhood’s hot start. Dustin finally regains control and Nightmare Family coach and Four Horsemen alum, Arn Anderson kicks away a chair from Fenix.
Cody gets a hot tag and takes it to the Lucha Bros. One complaint was Pentagon went to the tope rope way to early to take a launching Hurricanrana. Dustin gets back in, Cody hits a Cody Cutter and Dustin hits a Final Reckoning for a pin fall win. Great to see Dustin get the pin fall.
Will Cody accept MJF’s stipulation?
Immediately after the match, Tony Schiavone interviews Cody and ask if he will accept MJF’s stipulations. Arn grabs the mic before Cody could have said anything. Anderson ask who is this MJF and why does deserve a stroke? The Nightmare Coach, states that they have to think it over and will get back to Tony next week. It’s a slow build everyone, but I understand it. AEW needs fillers between PPVs. AEW just simply does not crank out monthly PPVs like WWE and they can afford the slower builds.
MFJ not happy.
MJF storms out after Cody leaves the ring and calls him out. Of course Cody doesn’t come back out, but someone else does. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE! DDP then goes on plugging his DDP Yoga and social media to MJF’s disgust. Page then insults MJF and Wardlow with “Motormouth Jackoff Friedman and WardBlow”. Catchy DDP.. catchy. MJF then brings out The Butcher, Blade and Bunny to attack DDP. DDP hits a Diamond Cutter on Butcher and Blade. However Bunny distracts DDP and MJF kicks DDP square in the.. Umm, Diamonds. QT Marshall and Dustin runs out to make the save.
Here’s my problem with all of this, MFJ is such a talented heel, just let him talk trash. DDP, we all love you, but if you can barely get back up after hitting a Diamond Cutter, maybe you shouldn’t do them anymore. Lastly, again with the horrible booking of Butcher and Blade. The team gets taken out by an AARP member, that really doesn’t bode well for them looking strong.
Friends fight a boy and his dinosaur. What is Jon Moxley’s answer to Le Champion?
Jurassic Express with Marko Stunt vs Best Friends with Orange Cassidy. Jungle Boy wins via Jackknife Powerbomb pin fall.
A really light-hearted match and it was fun. Not a all time classic, just good solid fun of a match. Chuck Taylor and Trent work over Jungle Boy during the picture in picture break. However, the boy hot tags in his dinosaur, Luchasaurus. The giant wrestling dino explodes on the heel for tonight team and comes face to face Cassidy. The ultra chill Orange does his ‘offense’, yes that slacker one. Luchasaurus downs Cassidy, but the slacker had enough and hits a no hands tope.
Later, Trent hits Stunt with a Destroyer. In what was the most guilty pleasure move for me, Luchasaurus tosses Marko Stunt at Trent and Cassidy as a weapon. It was like if the Incredible Hulk threw Wolverine at their enemies, yes that has happened. This left Jungle Boy to counter a roll up from Taylor and hit a Jackknife for the pin fall. Fun, fun, fun match.
The newest member of The Inner Circle?
Chris Jericho, along with Jake Hagar and Sammy Guevara asks for Jon Moxley’s answer. Jon states that he doesn’t want all the incentives Le Champion offered, he just wants to dominate. With that being said, HE ACCEPTS THE INVITATION! Moxely is now part of the Inner Circle. Jon ask for the bubbly to be popped and The Inner Circle celebrate to the ire of the crowd. The Memphis audience starts to chant “you sold out!”, Jericho retorts with “YES! HE SELLS OUT EVERY ARENA HE IS IN! AND THE INNER CIRCLE WILL DOMINATE 2020!”
Jon asks for the keys to now his $700,000 Dodge GT and Chris apologies that he didn’t gift them sooner. As Sammy and Jake take to the crowd outside and celebrate, Moxley wants Chris to know something. Jon tells Le Champion “Just kiddin”, that moment had me laughing so hard and Jon Moxley is one of the few who can pull off that dry humor. The Unstable One then states he is going after The Pain Maker’s AEW title and smashes a bottle over Jericho’s head. Paradigm Shift is hit on Chris and Sammy, Jake runs in. However, Moxley grabs another bottle, but it hatters in his hand, I guess that one was made with soft sugar glass. So Jon instead runs into the crowd escaping. BRILLIANT!
Well, aside from the tag matches and Jon Moxely, this week fell flat for me. It’s on par to the other weak show Dynamite had a month ago. I get the slow builds for the stories, but I do not get why does AEW have many similar factions. Same goes for the ladies division, changing heels and faces weekly. The last time Dynamite had a weak show, they bounced back strong the following week. I hope this happens again.–David G.
It’s the 1st live episode of NXT for the New Year and the agenda includes the start of the 2020 Dusty Classic as well as new championship contenders.
The show kicks off with brand new NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley in a celebratory mood. Alas, her former UK rival Toni Storm arrives to make a little challenge. After she wins back the UK Women’s Title at TakeOver Blackpool this Sunday, she wants to become Toni 2 belts by facing Ripley at Worlds Collide. Ripley accepts, but they’re then interrupted by current UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray. Next to join the party is Io Shirai, followed by Bianca Belair and Candice LeRae. In classic Teddy Long fashion, this sets up a 6 woman tag match.
NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, and Candice LeRae vs NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray, Io Shirai, and Bianca Belair
The fact that all 6 women want the two titles that are represented here made for tense alliances on each team. They wove that story well throughout an action packed match until the heel team’s egos finally got in the way one time too many. Belair got in Shirai’s way, Shirai got mad, and the faces took advantage of the situation. Ripley won for her team with a Riptide on Belair.
WWE and NXT currently feature a number of Superstars from Australia, including Ripley and Storm. The announce team took a moment following the tag match to share the Australian Red Cross website as someplace you can go to help with the devastating wildfires currently ravaging that country. Please keep the people and animals of that nation in your thoughts and help if you can at www.redcross.org.au
Dusty Classic: Round 1
Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler) vs Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel)
Last year’s runners up the Forgotten Sons were looking for a return trip to the finals, but their first test was against the dominant European faction of Imperium. I’m not sure if the Sons are improving in general or if they just had good chemistry with this opponent. Regardless, this was one of their stronger matches that I can recall. It wasn’t quite strong enough though, and the UK tandem are moving on in the tournament.
Matt Riddle has officially dubbed his tournament team with Pete Dunne the “Broserweights.”
Austin Theory vs Joaquin Wilde
Former Evolve Champion Theory impressed a lot of people when he challenged Roderick Strong for the North American Title on the Christmas episode of NXT. He continued that momentum here with another strong showing against Wilde who has been out injured ever since his loss in the NXT Breakout Tournament. Wilde may or may not have better days ahead, but Theory is a clear star in the making. His victory here should kick start a solid run for him here in NXT.
Dusty Classic: Round 1
NXT Tag Champions Undisputed Era (Fish & O’Reilly) vs NXT UK Tag Champions Gallus (Mark Coffey & Wolfgang
It seems odd to have the current champions squaring off in round one, but here we are champion vs champion. As expected from the top team of each brand, it was an excellent match. When all was said and done though, UE continues their reign of dominance by moving on to the semifinals while Gallus defends their belts this Sunday in Blackpool.
Johnny Gargano came to the ring and cut a fantastic promo on Finn Balor. Balor responded with an equally fantastic rebuttal. Though not yet official, this seemingly set up their match for TakeOver Portland next month.
Mia Yim vs Kayden Carter
While the 6 women featured at the top of the show are clearly the top focus of current storylines, the powers that be at NXT deserve a lot of credit for continually giving ring time to the remaining members of their stacked women’s roster. Even if they don’t have a significant angle at the moment, it keeps them fresh in the minds of the audience and available to move into bigger angles as needed.
Yim is the more established star in this much, but Carter is a talented competitor in her own right. She lived locally even before signing with WWE and is popular with the local crowds. They put on a nice little match complete with good sportsmanship after the bell. That final moment was interrupted by an attack from the debuting Chelsea Green and her new manager Robert Stone (fka Robbie E in Impact). Fresh off of a one week appearance on Raw, it will be interesting to see how much of an impact (no pun intended) Green can make here in NXT.
North American #1
Damian Priest vs Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic vs Cameron Grimes
This was actually a really fun 4 way match. The intense rivalry turned mutual respect of Lee and Dijakovic, the cunning of Priest, and the sheer madness of Grimes were all part of the story being told. There were plenty of really fun spots with a pace that kept the crowd hyped from start to finish. When all was said and done that crowd was basking in the glory of the man they’d been cheering all night, Keith Lee. It was unclear if he now has to wait until Portland to get his title opportunity or if it might come sooner on a regular weekly show.
2 more Round 1 matches in the Dusty Classic see the Broserweights facing former UK Tag Champs Andrews and Webster while the reunited Time Splitters take on the 1st ever UK Tag Champs the Grizzled Young Veterans. Additionally, we’ll find out who will challenge for the NXT Women’s Title in Portland when the entire women’s roster enters a #1 Contender Battle Royal. ~Jason M.
In lieu of a new episode, this week was a special preview for TakeOver:Blackpool II. The full card for that show is listed below.
Current PPV Cards:
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool 2: January 12
- UK Title Match: Walter© vs Joe Coffey
- UK Women’s 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
- NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley© vs Toni Storm
- Finn Balor vs Ilja Dragunov
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: Brock Lesnar (#1), Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Erick Rowan, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet, Drew McIntyre
Friday Night SmackDown:
Tonight on SmackDown featured a bunch of returns! A Lacey Evans vs Sasha Banks match? The Monster goes to tackle The Artist! Can cake make Mandy Rose forgive? Let’s dive in and get started!
Shaman Of Sexy returns. Rematch from last week. Cake makes everything better.
The A-lister’s Miz TV opens the show, this time with old friend and former WWE champion, John Morrison. The Miz puts together a video package of his old pal and his accomplishments. Morrison then goes somewhat heel on the crowd, expressing his disappointment for the crowd booing Miz. John states that Miz had a bad day and with all he has given to the fans, they shouldn’t boo him. New Day interrupts, The Miz and Kofi go back and forth with a verbal exchange and a rematch is set up.
This was pretty lackluster to debut John Morrison. I mean the guy has had a hell of a career after leaving WWE. Creative could have easily came up with something better.
Miz vs Kofi Kingston. The Miz wins via Skull Crushing Finale pin fall.
These two have fought each other for many years, so it is easy to see their ring chemistry. Miz grounds Kofi early, but Kofi fights back and hits a Tope to head to the break. Back from break, countered a Trouble in Paradise and works on Kofi’s knee. Kofi fights back with an SOS and Miz does the same, but with a Figure Four. In the closing minutes, Miz tuants Big E and incites him, only for John Morrison wipe Big E out. Allowing Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and score a win.
This was a very solid match. I hope Morrison will not be regulated to henchman status and WWE will let him cut loose in the ring. Morrison can go with anyone on the roster and I am hoping for some intriguing fantasy booking in the future.
Mandy Rose vs Alexa Bliss. Rose wins via Roll Up pin fall.
This was… well not really a match. It was, but wasn’t. All the match was a service to continue the Otis and Rose storyline, and I am perfectly fine with that. Maybe because we all seem to love to root for Otis to date Mandy Rose. Before the match, Otis presents Mandy an “I’m sorry” cake, for what happened to the ham Rose gave him before.
Bliss controlled the match early on, but Sonya DeVille provided distraction for Rose to regain control. Alexa then gets the upper hand until Heavy Machinery’s music hits and Otis appears. That was enough for Rose to roll up Bliss for the win. Barely a match, but served content for the Otis/Rose story line.
Lacey vs Sasha? The Monster chases a title. Family vs a King and his henchmen.
Evans wants a fight.
Lacey heads to the ring in what was supposed to be a match with Sasha Banks. The Boss never arrived and Bayley appears on the Titantron stating Sasha is too busy making a rap album in L.A. Evans storms backstage and starts a brawl with Bayley. The SmackDown champion retreats after getting some slugs from Lacey. I thought this was going to be over played, but it actually intrigued me. The heat between the true felt genuine and may be one the best feuds happening on SmackDown now.
Braun Strowman vs Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match. Strowman wins via Running Powerslam pin fall.
The Monster continues his hunt for his first title by taking on Shinsuke and pals. As usual, Strowman takes control of the match early on with brute force. The Swiss Cyborg, Cesaro quickly interferes and send Braun into a ring post. After the break, Shin takes a tactical approach and almost put away the big guy. After a huge clothesline that put Nakamura down, Cesaro and Sami Zayn tried to intervene. However The Monster staved them off and hits a Running Powerslam oon the Intercontinental Champ for the win.
Fun match, this has put Braun in the contention for the IC title. The Monster has had may ups and downs chasing a title, that this one seems likely to be his. It’s nice to see WWE actually are giving a stable of strong opponents to fight at once. Like a Monster should have.
King Corbin/Dolph Ziggler vs The Usos. King Corbin/Ziggler win via disqualification.
Roman Reigns comes out and cuts a promo about winning the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania for the fifth time. The Big Dog then brings out his cousins The Usos, only to have Corbin interrupt. The group exchange verbal barbs and we cut to break.
After the break, the heels had control over the Jey Usos. Jey eventually gets a hot tag to his brother Jimmy and he wrecks shop. The King’s Court.. aka The Revival come out to help their King regain control. Now Roman reappears (not sure why he even left) to help out his family at ringside.
After the last break of the night, chaos ensues. The action starts breaking down as the Usos gain the upper hand. The sneaky King Corbin regains his dominance, but a second as Roman unloads a Spear on to Corbin. Earning a DQ for the Usos, undeterred Roman keeps attacking the guy who has made his life hell. However, Bobby Roode returns to take out Roman! The Glorious One slams Roman with a Spinebuster and Ziggler hits an Elbow Drop, putting Roman through a table.
Wow what a action packed ending! Funny how time turns things around, if Roman made the comment about Mania last year, he probably get boo’d. The Usos look poised to wreck the tag division yet again and King Corbin’s Court looks to be getting more deadly. That’s it for this week, tell us what you thought of the week in pro wrestling!
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