This week in pro wrestling, the final stop for Super Showdown and Revolution! Will WWE and AEW provide jam pack shows? Super Showdown and it’s aftermath! Rematch between Aleister Black and Erick Rowan! Kenny Omega takes on Pac in an Iron Man match! The Queen returns back home! John Cena gives up on a WrestleMania appearance? Find out all that went down in this jam pack week!
Blind Worship leads to Controversial finish in main event
Raw came to us this week from the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and was the go-home show heading into Super Showdown.
We once again began this week’s show with “The Viper” Randy Orton as he begins to rationalize and justify his attacks on Matt Hardy and of course, Edge. We’d later find out that Beth Phoenix, the hall of famer, and the wife of Edge, would join us next week. That’s prime territory for an RKO.
Kevin Owens has had enough of listening to Orton’s attempts to justify his heinous attacks and he challenges Orton to a match. Orton says he’s on, but not until later.
Stars On The Rise
Zelina Vega and Angel Garza are backstage and are asked about their business with Humberto Carrillo and Vega says the only thing left is to take out the garbage.
Angel Garza defeats Humberto Carrillo with a modified rollup. Garza trapped Carrillo with his legs to end this after a brilliant match between two competitors who are very up to the task. Garza is a rising star and with Vega at his side, it is easy to get invested in his story. Carrillo, has all the tools to be successful, but to quote my brother G, he’s got all the charisma of a manilla envelope glued to a beige wall. It’s gotta change, because he’s talented. Garza is on the rise, and fast!
Ricochet defeats Luke Gallows with a shooting star press. The challenger for the WWE title continues his business with members of the OC this week as he disposes of the bigger Gallows after a quality interaction. Does anybody expect Ricochet to beat Lesnar? No. Do we hope it’s a competitive match? Of course, Lesnar works really well with athletes like Ricochet. I’ve also come to realize that the Riyadh shows are generally the worst shows of the year. I don’t expect this latest to be any different. Ricochet has a bright future though and can really go if given the chance.
Only Club That Matters
AJ Styles is backstage with the OC and he runs into Aleister Black after talking about how Ricochet might upset Lesnar. He reminds Black that they are the club and they work over the ominous superstar, leaving him a heap before his match with Erick Rowan. Styles and Black? I definitely can dig that. We’d find out later that it happens next week.
“The Advocate” Paul Heyman comes out with the WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar. Heyman cuts a fantastic promo, but there is no interaction with either Ricochet or Drew McIntyre and that’s just strange. I suppose that tells us what we need to know about Thursday’s title match.
Overcoming The Odds
Aleister Black defeats Erick Rowan after two black mass kicks. This one was fantastic. They not only gave it time to let it simmer before serving the stew, but Black really sold the attack from earlier and everyone thought that he might actually lose. Rowan worked hard, but until they reveal what’s in the cage, the gimmick has already soured a bit in the eyes of fans. Black comes away with this one after a grueling victory and will do business with Styles next week.
Drew McIntyre comes to the ring for a great promo about his upcoming match at ‘Mania with Brock Lesnar. McIntyre is wonderful and the crowd was thoroughly behind him. He might be the most over guy in the company at the moment and let’s hope they roll with that momentum.
R-Truth does a brief segment where he interviews Bobby Lashley and Lana before this leads to a match. Truth is hilarious and Lashley doesn’t see it as a laughing matter as he puts away Truth with a spear in a short amount of time.
Jerry “The King” Lawler hosts a contract signing segment which sees everyone involved in the chamber in the ring except Shayna Baszler. The challengers are joined by the world’s champion, Becky Lynch, and it’s a pretty great segment, because Asuka once again, makes it magic. Baszler eventually makes her way out and they have the usual pull apart segment which sees all hell break loose. Stories continue as Liv Morgan mixes it up with Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan and Natalya and Asuka interact as well. This was all about the ‘Mania match between Lynch and Baszler.
To be honest, it’s time to get the belt off Becky and to have her chase it. This hasn’t been a memorable title reign throughout the entirety of the year because of the booking and until the Asuka feud, and brief business with Sasha Banks, it was almost an afterthought. Lynch doing the chasing makes for good TV. Baszler should be the woman to take the title from her at ‘Mania.
Angelo Dawkins and Murphy ends quickly as Dawkins wins via DQ after Seth Rollins interferes. This quickly leads to the second match between Montez Ford and Seth Rollins.
I know I spoke about how over Drew McIntyre is, but how great has Seth Rollins been since the heel turn? The “Monday Night Messiah” wins a grueling match against a star in the making in Montez Ford. Ford and Dawkins has so much business to do still, including a run with the tag titles, but when Ford becomes a singles star, he’s got all the tools to take it to that next level. Rollins beat him with the signature Blackout Stomp before the teams do business for the tag titles at Super Showdown.
Follow The Leader
Randy Orton defeats Kevin Owens via a controversial fast count in the main event. WWE loves reenacting the Montreal Screwjob and tonight was no different. Orton and Owens gave each other hell and Orton went down for a simple cover and the ref went into business for himself to end this one.
Seth Rollins tosses Randy a steel chair and tells him to listen to the voices before Orton says he’s sorry and leaves, like he did with Matt Hardy. Owens strips off the zebra stripes to realize it’s a follower of Rollins, who claims he had nothing to do with it. The ref eats a stunner for his troubles and Owens gets a massive reaction at the show ends on a high note with the face standing tall.
In the go home show for AEW’s first PPV of the decade, we get a great Iron Man match. Who came out victorious, Omega or Pac? Fun six man tag team match. Ladies throw down in a four way match. A intriguing feud start up. The weigh in for the AEW Championship match, what could go wrong? Let’s get started, because this is Dynamite!
End of a feud and a start of a new one. A trio team a cut above the rest? Two teams look to move up.
Kenny Omega vs Pac in a 30 min Iron Man match, 30 second break after a pin fall. Omega wins 2 to 1 falls.
What a way to start off Dynamite! If you are a loyal watcher of Dynamite, this comes at no surprise. AEW loves to throw a main event worthy match as an opener and this did not disappoint. After many attempts from Pac to get this match, the day has come. Like I have said before, I can watch these two guys fight each other all night. However, was this their crowning achievement? Maybe, but their battle at All Out last August was the bar for they’re matches in my eyes. However, this was their best match on Dynamite and some can argue the best these two ever had against each other.
What I did not expect that the match went over 15 minutes without a fall. When the first fall happened, it was a disqualification by Pac. The Bastard came up with a game plan. Find a weapon and beat down Kenny and get pin falls. It kind of worked, after the two men mirroring each other for more than 15 minutes, Pac took control. Pac found a steel chair and beat Omega down with it, earning a loss but weakening Kenny. Shortly afterwards, Pac hits a Black Arrow for a pin fall.
Omega: 1. Pac:1
With the score being tied, the two men went to work. Slaps, chops, knees, big slams, submissions, this was almost a clinic, a violent one. At one point, Pac hit a Falcon Arrow on Omega from the apron to the floor, with a sickening thud. This led medical personal and The Young Bucks to check on Kenny. However, Pac was thinking ahead, grabbed a table and hit a beautiful Shooting Star Press on Kenny through the table! The crowd erupts and so do I.
The closing of the “match” was Pac locking in the Berserker and Omega fighting to stay alive. Without quitting and finding ways to break the hold, time expires. The official match ended in a tie. An angry Pac then knockout ref Paul Turner, with a line from the back Justin Roberts announces the match will go to sudden death.
Sudden death and aftermath.
Referee Aubrey Edwards runs down the ring to much of the fans delight. Kenny hits a V-Trigger as Aubrey arrives for a two count.Omega then hits his one of his best pals, Kota Ibushi’s finisher the Kamigoye. Afterwards with both men physically drained, Omega finally hits the One-Winged Angel for the win.
Tony Schiavone interviews Pac on the ramp, in a weird way Tony cuts a heel like interview. Basically throwing salt in the wounds of Pac. Orange Cassidy the further adds insult to injury and stares down Pac. The Bastard quickly KO’s Cassidy maybe leading to a new feud. This was a fantastic match, the draw ending to lure the crowd in disappointment then sudden death finish was brilliant. Omega consistently proves why he is one the best wrestlers in the world and Pac is climbing up to dethrone him. Great in story, great feud, great finish, did I mention this was great?
Jurassic Express vs The Inner Circle (Santana/Ortiz/Sammy Guevara). Jungle Boy wins via Snaprana pin fall.
This was a quick fun match that was needed after the breath stealing match beforehand. The baby faces quickly take off with the huge Luchasaurus using his teammates as weapons. Tossing Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy onto The Inner Circle. The match slowed down a bit for the heels. However, Jurassic Express gain control and hit some type of Power Ranger/Ninja Turtle move on Ortiz. It’s hard to explain, but it was delightful to see.
Luchasaurus clears the ring with big kicks and a Moonsault outside to the Ortiz and Santana. Sammy had the loaded sock to use on Jungle Boy, but Darby Allin arrives for the save. Jungle boy takes advantage of the ditraction and hits a Snaprana for the win. Zany action and a fun match, if AEW ever makes a Trios Tag Team title, my vote for the inaugural champs would be Jurassic Express.
Best Friends vs Blade and The Butcher. Best Friends win via Strong Zero
Having The Blade and Butcher lose to Best Friends after having a dominate showing in the BAttle royal last week is questionable booking. Alas, this what we got. I understand that the card tonight may have needed a filler match. However, The Blade and Butcher are on the short side again. Personally for me the highlight of the match was the interaction between Orange Cassidy and The Bunny. Cassidy has his glasses taken from Bunny, he then takes her bunny ears and puts them on. Yes, there are times I am easily amused and this was it. Best Friends hit the Strong Zero for the win.
Positioning for the AEW Women’s title. More build up for Omega/Page vs Young Bucks. The AEW Championship weigh-in.
Hikaru Shida vs Big Swole vs Yuka Sakazaki vs Shanna. Shida wins via Knee Strike on Swole for pin fall.
Now back onto a better match, despite obvious lack of crispness, this was another fun match. The in ring difference between the Japanese and non Japanese wrestlers was very noticeable. Yuka was the comic relief and opportunist and Shida was a striking machine. Big Swole and Shanna did their best to keep up, however Shida and Yuka are just way ahead of them in talent.
Big Swole and Shida was mostly the focus here, with Shida hitting a knee strike on Swole for the win. This was slightly confusing, as AEW had Swole confront Nyla last week. That seemed like it was Swole getting a push soon, but this week Swole ate the pin fall. This was a fun showcase of talent, but the lackluster feuds continue to be a problem with the ladies division.
Who’s side are you on?
The Young Bucks and Omega/Page have a sit down with Jim Ross. In an interesting turn of events, The Young Bucks came off as the smug ones, calling out Page bringing a drink to the interview. I mean it’s the Hangman and he does cowboy stuff! Matt was surprise that Omega and Page are even champions. Kenny then states it was kind of situational, which leads Page to question Omega in believing them being champs an accident. Matt goes on that The Elite is bigger than any title.
This is where Page had enough, Adam states that winning these titles was the biggest accomplishment in his career and The Young Bucks do not appreciate it and want to take it away. Matt retorts with they made Page a star, bringing him in to the Bullet Club and The Elite. The older Jackson then states that Page was only a jobber in Ring Of Homor until they made him a star. Ouch! Page had enough, finished his drink and walked out.
This was a superb was to build up their match. Before the lines were blurred on who were the faces and heel. Now it seems more pronounced, with the Bucks taking up the heel mantle. Sadly, I do not think this will be a heel turn for Page or a betrayal to Omega. See, over the weeks it has become clear that the one who stands to lose the most is Omega. Not only can he lose hit title, but he can lose his friends and The Elite. If there would be a heel turn, it may be Kenny Omega after losing everything. But hey, that’s just my theory.
This was like a drunken love child of a MMA and pro wrestling event. There were ring ladies, photographers, security, and a giant scale. Moxley comes out as per usual, but Le Champion comes out like the Gracie family with matching tracksuits and hands on each others shoulders. Brilliant, just brilliant. Legendary announcer Gary Micheal Cappetta hosts the weigh-in. Gary is insulted by Jericho stating he was the reason WCW went out of business. Funny stuff there, but the Painmaker wasn’t done. With the crowd attempting to hijack the segment, Jericho grabs the mic again and yells “AIR MAHOMES SUCKS!”
After teasing getting on the scale, it all breaks down with Jericho and The Inner Circle attacking Moxley. Dustin Rhodes makes a bee line to the ring and goes head hunting on Jake Hager. The fight goes out to the concession stands, which had the crowd chant “Dippin Dots!”. What gave me a big smile was that you can see this wasn’t a staged fight ala WWE. That other promo always had a big crowd waiting for the wrestlers and that spot.
There was nobody out there, the concession workers were surprised and started filming on their phones, kids in the background lost it as they saw the brawl. Ok, it was mostly seeing the young kids and their eyes light up in being so close to the action. Back to the ring Darby Alin came out again for a fight. This time Sammy got the upper hand smashed Allin’s skateboard in half over Darby’s head. After a low blow to Moxley, Jericho hits the Paradigm Shift on Jon standing tall.
This was great go home show for Revolution. The opening match may be talked about for awhile and the weigh-in, although very cheesy, seemed to work. Add up the fun tag matches, not you Best Friend vs Blade/Butcher, made an enjoyable show. Now if you excuse me, I have a hankering for Dippin Dots.-David G.
The Queen Returns, Contenders Step Up, Challenges Are Laid Down, and…uh…some other stuff happens. Let’s get right into the action at Full Sail!
The show opens with Charlotte Flair arriving at Full Sail University. She plays off the Queen gimmick very well here, as NXT GM William Regal greets her, then Charlotte nods to Regal to get her bags out of the back, which he humbly obliges. Subtle nods at how big Charlotte’s ego has gotten since her time away from NXT.
Cameron Grimes vs. Dominick Dijakovic
Great opening bout between the towering Croatian and the Southern Brawler. Grimes continues to impress me in the ring, with his mannerisms and his ability to take a beating and keep going. He’s cagey, some might even say he’s wiry. Say it with me, wiry. Wiry. Wiry. Roll your “R”S. (The Replacements, 2000. Look it up if you don’t get it. Great football flick.)
Dijakovic is still looking for his rematch against Keith Lee, after falling short of capturing the NXT North American Championship at Takeover: Portland. But he’s not alone in the pursuit of Lee’s gold. Damian Priest gets involved in the match, taking Dijakovic out at the knees with a shot from a nightstick. The interference allows Grimes to capitalize and hit the Cave In stomp to pick up the win.
Winner: Cameron Grimes
There’s a lot of familiarity here. If you go back a few months, remember who the four competitors were in the #1 Contender’s Fatal Four Way for the North American Championship that was, at the time, held by Roderick Strong? Dominick Dijakovic, Damian Priest, Cameron Grimes, and the eventual winner, Keith Lee. Following along? Seems like these four guys might be destined to collide again, as the title picture for Lee’s championship starts to come into focus.
GM William Regal announces a series of women’s contenders matches leading up to Takeover: Tampa, with the winners earning spots in the NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Ladder Match the night before Wrestlemania. Calling my shot now, I’m picking Io Shirai to win that one.
What’s Next For The Prince?
Finn Balor comes out to address his future in NXT. He runs down his list of accomplishments since coming to WWE: NXT Championship? Done it. Tag Team Championship? Done it. Intercontinental Championship? Done it. First-ever Universal Championship? Done it. It’s Wrestlemania season, and everyone’s trying to peak for Wrestlemania; Balor has been at his peak for 20 years! Finn goes on to talk about who’s going to get the next “Finn rub”. Riddle got it, Gargano got it, Dragunov got it…
Balor is interrupted by the music of the Ring General, NXT UK Champion Walter. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel are there to deliver a message to Balor, that Walter sends his regards. This leads to a brawl between Balor and the Imperium boys, with Aichner and Barthel leaving Balor in a heap on the floor.
I absolutely did not see this coming, but looking later down the road, this makes so much sense. Finn really has done it all in WWE, except for capturing the NXT UK Championship. And where is NXT UK holding their next Takeover, on April 26th? Dublin, Ireland. Finn’s neighborhood. What a perfect way to set up what is sure to be a barnburner of a match between Walter and Balor.
Xia Li vs. Mia Yim
This match happened. That’s really all that can be said about it. It wasn’t good. The timing and chemistry were way off between the two women. They really couldn’t find a good working pace in the match. But the match itself isn’t really the story here.
During the match, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez come out to talk about Mia taking Dakota’s spot at War Games. The distraction allows Xia Li to roll up Mia Yim to capture the victory.
Winner: Xia Li
Gonzalez charges into the ring to beat down Yim, but Li tries to help out, and eats a clothesline for her troubles. Yim tries jumping on Raquel, but gets shrugged off, and takes a knee to the gut before Gonzalez downs her with a powerbomb.
I, uh, don’t get the point of this. Dakota Kai is scheduled to face Tegan Nox in a cage match next week. Why is she working herself into a program with Mia Yim BEFORE the Nox feud is even over? This segment should’ve happened AFTER the cage match. Sloppy storytelling here.
Speaking of steel cages, we get a promo from Velveteen Dream, talking about facing Roderick Strong again next week. He says that after that steel cage match, go ahead and keep the cage lowered, so he and Roddy can battle it out inside the cage and settle things once and for all.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Austin Theory
After last week’s events, where Ciampa left Theory beaten and battered, Theory gets his opportunity for a modicum of revenge. It was a damn good match that started off somewhat slow, but really picked up steam towards the end. Ciampa dominated the opening minutes, but Theory persevered and managed to take it to the Sicilian Psychopath, really giving him a run for his money.
Theory get a little bit of retribution, throwing Ciampa from barricade to barricade, similar to what Ciampa did to him last week. But as Theory follows Ciampa back into the ring, Ciampa downs him with the Willow’s Bell DDT, then plants Theory with the Fairy-tale Ending, sealing the win for Ciampa.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Johnny Gargano, wearing a very out-of-character sports jacket, rushes the ring and blindsides Tommaso Ciampa, then proceeds to beat him down in the corner. Ciampa boots Gargano in the face, but is distracted by Theory, allowing Gargano to superkick Ciampa, followed by the DIY-style kick to Tommaso’s face.
Gargano looks to be channeling his inner Randy Orton, having gone to “that place”, being emotionless and stone-faced. We still don’t have an answer from Gargano as to why he’s showing this different side of himself. Obviously we’re going to get the match at Takeover: Tampa, as shown by Gargano’s actions of tossing Ciampa onto the Takeover logo at ringside. I just hope we hear from “Johnny Turncoat” soon, so we can build the story of the match before we get to Tampa.
After the commercial break, Roderick Strong is telling his Undisputed Era compatriots that he WANTS Velveteen Dream in the steel cage next week, while Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish talk about the Broserweights getting lucky in Portland. Adam Cole says that Strong will regain the NXT North American Championship, and that Fish and O’Reilly will get back the NXT Tag Team titles, and the Undisputed prophecy will be fulfilled once again. Time will tell if he’s right, but I’m betting he’s not.
Killian Dain vs. Bronson Reed
Size versus size is what’s in store for this match, as these two behemoths lock up in what turned out to be a surprising match. And when I say surprising, I don’t mean in a good way. Yes, the match had some good spots (especially seeing Thicc Boi Bronson Reed hit a beautiful suicide dive), but the outcome of the match is what has me riled up.
After battling back and forth for a while, Dain gets the upper hand, dropping Reed with a Superplex, followed by a series of Vader Bombs, before scoring the pinfall.
Winner: Killian Dain
Taking nothing away from these two competitors, I want to address how each guy has been treated in the past few months. You look at Bronson Reed, a guy who got his big break in the NXT Breakout Stars tournament last summer. His NXT career has been very stop-start so far. He’s put on some decent performances, some really awful ones, but he’s growing. He has the potential to be similar to a Keith Lee, minus the charisma and the mic skills. But he’s got that special something, and his match two weeks against Roderick Strong showed that.
Now take a look at Killian Dain. Here’s a guy who began in Sanity, had a good run with the faction in NXT as the muscle of the group, then got moved to Raw, and the gimmick absolutely died. Dain came back to NXT, and has had several opportunities at top-level competition, at one point vying for the North American Championship, and even beating Pete Dunne clean a few months back. I’ll say that again: Dain beat Dunne CLEAN. Every time you turn around, Dain is getting big opportunities; and every time, Dain comes up short. It’s almost like the anti-Roman Reigns.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Forgotten Sons
Speaking of stop-start careers, here we have the Forgotten Sons, who took Zack Gibson’s insults personally last week. They’re out to represent the “redneck, white trash, blue-collar” NXT fans, taking on the GRRRRRRRRRIZZLED Young Veterans. This was a fun tag team contest, highlighting the chemistry and talent that each team has. The smash-mouth style of offense that the Forgotten Sons utilize meshed well with the more technical style of Gibson and Drake, and it made for a fun ride.
The heel tactics draw the ire of Jaxson Ryker, who is at ringside watching his Forgotten Sons partners. Ryker gives chase to Gibson, who had just broken up a pinfall attempt by Steve Cutler. The distraction allows Drake to go for a roll-up on Cutler, who kicks out at two. After a failed moonsault attempt from Wesley Blake, GYV hit the Ticket To Mayhem on Cutler and take home the win
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans
This was the first time seeing the Forgotten Sons on TV in so long, I had literally done that: I had forgotten about them. Blake and Cutler are such an underrated team, but they can never get any momentum behind them. It’s hard to believe that this team was ever a finalist in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, because they never get anywhere once they get any steam. I’ve said this for a long time: something needs to change with the Forgotten Sons.
Tegan Nox talks about her match against Dakota Kai next week, saying that Dakota started this feud in a cage, and now Tegan is going to end it in a cage. I still don’t think this rivalry is ready to end just yet.
A perplexing vignette is shown, displaying war imagery and a ticking clock. Is the Apocalypse near? No clue as to what this means.
Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair
“You don’t go here!” chants roar throughout the Full Sail Arena as Charlotte and Bianca prepare to lock up. This match, on paper and with the story that’s been told over the past several weeks, had the makings to be a classic. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to those expectations for me, as Charlotte seemed to be going through the motions throughout the match, while Bianca was on her A-game as usual. Charlotte really seems out of shape here, as she is visually gassed by the end of the match.
Apparently, the timing of the match was way off, as well, as the ending came quite suddenly, with Belair spearing Flair, only to have Charlotte return the favor with a spear of her own to end the contest.
Winner: Charlotte Flair
Post-match, Charlotte continues her assault on Bianca, brandishing a chair and wrapping it around the leg of Belair. As Charlotte locks in the Figure Eight, Rhea Ripley’s music hits, and Rhea comes out, taking her time, and even hitting her pose at the entryway! That spot made no sense at all. Rhea had literally just said a few weeks ago, “We are NXT”, and showed solidarity with Belair in attacking Flair. Apparently that solidarity no longer exists? Who knows. Sloppy, rushed ending for NXT.
Overall, this show had some pretty bright spots. The opener with Grimes and Dijakovic delivered, showcasing Grimes’ talents and developing an intriguing story surrounding the NXT North American Championship. Imperium showing up and taking out Finn Balor was a huge surprise, setting up the rivalry between Balor and Walter. Austin Theory continues to impress in his early NXT career, being thrown in with one of the top guys on the brand and holding his own. Lots of good stuff came out of this show
But there were quite a few missteps as well. The rushed ending made no sense to me. The verbal “run-in” from Dakota Kai was out of place. Xia Li vs. Mia Yim absolutely fell flat overall, and I was not invested whatsoever. Quite a few uncharacteristic mistakes this week on NXT. -Josh L.
A-Kid tries to earn respect, Kassius Ohno is a wrestling genius, GYV go on the hunt, and someone has to say “I Quit” in tonight’s Main Event for the NXT UK Women’s Championship!
Grizzled Young Veterans vs. The Hunt
After making some disparaging comments towards The Hunt a few weeks ago, Zack Gibson and James Drake find themselves in a tag team brawl with Primate and Wild Boar. Despite the tag team aggression displayed by The Hunt, GYV were able to persevere and hit the Ticket To Mayhem finish to secure the victory.
Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans
Since Gibson and Drake have been featured so prominently on NXT in the US, I anticipate that this is the last time they appear on NXT UK television. They’re moving on to bigger, better things to establish themselves at the World’s #1 Tag Team.
Kassius Ohno vs. Jack Starz
Surprising amount of offense for the relative unknown Jack Starz, who finds himself in a technical bout with the Wrestling Genius. Starz was able to show off his tremendous speed and agility on Ohno, before ultimately succumbing to the Kassius Klutch.
Winner: Kassius Ohno
The move to the United Kingdom has reinvigorated Kassius Ohno, who has transitioned his offensive style from one that smashes you in the face to one that takes you down to the mat and keeps you there until you tap. I’m loving this new style from Ohno.
A-Kid vs. The Brian Kendrick
Last week, A-Kid approached Kendrick, trying to express his admiration for the former Cruiserweight Champion, only to have Kendrick blow it back in his face. These two locked up this week in a short but fast-paced match, with A-Kid picking up the win by escaping the Captain’s Hook and planting Kendrick in the mat with a slingshot DDT.
A-Kid continues to impress me, after his match-up against Tyler Bate recently and now this week against The Brian Kendrick. Sky’s the limit for A-Kid.
Kay Lee Ray vs. Toni Storm: I Quit Match for the NXT UK Women’s Championship
It all comes down to this for Toni Storm. She agreed to Kay Lee Ray’s stipulations, saying that she will never get another shot at the title while Ray is champion if KLR gets her to say those two magic words: I Quit.
This wasn’t a match; this was a fight. Brutality ran amok as the two combatants spent most of the match outside of the ring, foraging for plunder and assaulting one another with steel chairs and tables. In the end, Toni found herself bound by Kay Lee, who found a roll of tape and tied Storm’s hands together behind her back. Ray then proceeded with the onslaught, downing Toni with chair shots to the gut and the back of the neck.
NXT UK GM Johnny Saint and Sid Scala come to ringside, pleading for Ray to stop the brutality, but Storm won’t utter those words. Ray takes the steel chair and wraps it around Toni’s neck, stepping down and crushing the chest of the challenger. Toni’s best friend Piper Niven comes out to plead with Storm, saying it’s not worth getting injured to try and win the title. As Kay Lee ascends to the top rope, seemingly prepared to jump down on the planted chair, Toni cries out “I quit”, ending the contest.
Winner and STILL NXT UK Women’s Champion: Kay Lee Ray
Piper climbs into the ring to help her friend, who is in tears, crying out for help. KLR and Storm told a fantastic story in the ring, with Ray stepping up the viciousness and Storm refusing to quit until the very end. Great ending to another good show for NXT UK! -Josh L.
The annual show in Saudi Arabia had big surprises. Whether you agree about the WWE being there or not. One thing remains, the WWE will pull out all the shots for this show. Let’s take a quick glimpse of the outcomes.
R-Truth is a National Treasure. SmackDown tag team title match. Cousins fight again.
Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Tournament. Undertaker wins the Tuwaiq trophy.
Honestly I thought this was going to be a brush off tournament. However, this tournament showcased on why R-Truth is a national treasure. R-Truth was the total underdog, not expected to last two minutes in the tournament. Yet, Truth took out Lashley, Andreda, and Erick Rowan. Albeit, due to mostly comical fashion. Then the Phenomenal One arrives and inflicts unnecessary strikes to eventually take out Truth via Calf Crusher. The last one remains is Rey Mysterio, yet Gallows and Anderson take him out backstage.
AJ Styles demands to be crown the victor, until it is seen that Gallows and Anderson are taken out.. a pair of boots are shown. The UNDERTAKER’S MUSIC HITS! In a grand spectacle of pyros and lasers, The Deadman walks to claim his next soul. The entire match was shorter then Taker’s entrance and The Phenom wins the Trophy. I honestly wanted R-Truth to win, but hey this is Super showdown. Where the old school stars win by the Prince’s request.
John Morrison/The Miz vs The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. Miz wins via roll up ppin fall.
Well, this was almost unexpected. I would thought this would be saved for WrestleMania. Alas, WWE likes throwing swerves. This wasn’t a bad match, it was really good in fact. Morrison and Kofi have fantastic chemistry in the ring. the only bad part is that Kofi took most of the beating and lost the titles. The same Kofi that overcame a lot to be a WWE Champion.. and the same Kofi that was squashed by Brock Lesnar. Who am I kidding, WWE loves to torture Kofi and they did it again.
Angel Garza vs Humberto Carillo. Garza wins via pin fall.
What could be stated as a burner match or the dark horse for match of the night. This match was a burner match. The crowd was not invested and I don’t blame them, this a crowd that loves the old school stars and top billers. Not the possible stars of the future and it showed. The match wsa not the best between the two and it is seemingly becoming a burn out feud. Let’s hope that WWE takes a step back to let these two really go at it later on.
Raw tag team title match. Home town hero arrives. Ugly squash.
Seth Rollins/Murphy vs Street Profits. Seth retains title via Curb Stomp.
This was a a predictable outcome, yet filled with great action. At one time Montez Ford hit a Frog Splash that defied gravity. Honestly, you need to see the air Ford grabbed in that spot. The chemistry between Murphy and Ford was fantastic, with innovative offense. Eventually, Murphy took advantage and hit Dawkins with a knee and Seth follows with a Curb Stomp to retain. Good match and the right outcome.
Mansoor vs Dolph Ziggler. Mansoor wins via Moonsault pin fall.
The hometown hero arrives and wins again, are you surprise? Check that box no, because Mansoor continues his hometown streak. I’m not knocking Mansoor, I actually like him a lot. However, this is a blatant parading of a hometown hero. It was a very predictable match, the highlights were a nice Inverted Slice Bread to DDT from Mansoor. The low points were a botch grapple from Mansoor and the winning Moonsault fell short. A move that could have injured Ziggler.
Brock Lesnar vs Ricochet. Brock retains via F-5 pinfall.
When I said this was an ugly squash, it is because it was.. why? Well, mostly because WWE had the audacity to make a video package in Ricochet about having a chance in winning. We all knew Ricochet was going to lose and lose badly. However, trying to force a feel good video package was too much. Brock took Ricochet to Suplex City and a F-5 to retain, now on to Drew McIntyre.
Steel Cage match. SmackDown Women’s title match. A very controversial ending.
Roman Reigns vs King Corbin in a Steel Cage. Roman wins via Superman Punch pin fall.
*YAAAWWN*, oh this match happened? Ok, this is what you expected. Corbin yells, Roman shows cool guy side, Reigns win. This was such a paint by the numbers match, that the Steel Cage gimmick couldn’t save it. Basically Reigns brought his on chain and lock to seal in Baron. Roman hits multiple Superman Punches to take out Corbin. Hopefully for good and finally ending this feud.
Bayley vs Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s title. Byaley retains via Face Plant pin fall.
This is the second women’s match in Saudi Arabia, yet the first one for a title. This was actually very good. Evil Bayley continues to improve and Naomi is red hot after her return. Even with the crowd dead for a big part of the match, the ladies put on a good show. Bayley won by tying Naomi’s feet in her oversize t-shirt and planting Naomi’s face. In my eyes, this was a big sod off to the laws in Saudi Arabia or my just looking too hard in the finish. Either way good match.
Goldberg vs The Fiend for the Universal Championship. Goldberg wins via Jackhammer pin fall.
Yeah, you read that right, a 53yr old Goldberg won clean over one the hottest characters in WWE in a decade. The backlash is present among most fans, including myself. Not that Goldberg has the title, but the way WWE is destroying The Fiend. Bray Wyatt attempted to overcome the mystique of the Undertaker for years. This time with The Fiend, Bray was very close to being on par with Taker. Yet the WWE continues to ruin any vision that Bray has for his character. I almost called it before. I stated many spears and Jackhammers from Goldberg, but I missed out on Bill winning.. clean. There you have it, your new Universal Champion, Goldberg.-David G.
Friday Night SmackDown:
The aftermath from Super Showdown featured the next opponent for Goldberg. An announcement for The Elimination Chamber. The Boss and Southern Belle return. A championship match announced for Elimination Chamber. John Cena returns! Let’s dive in to tonight’s SmackDown!
Who’s Next? Boss and Belle return. Kofi and Roode battle.
Goldberg wants another.
With the new Universal Champion opening the show, Goldberg is met with a bunch of jeers. Not for Goldberg per say, but the booking. Bill goes on a short promo and asks “Who’s Next” and Roman’s music hits. The two men stare silently at each other in which seemed like eternity and Roman states he is next. This was the best possible outcome from a very disappointing booking in Saudi Arabia. There was no need to jabber, and having the less talk between the two is actually the better. Spear vs Spear at WrestleMania, I wish I was making this up.
Naomi/Lacey Evans vs Bayley/Sasha Banks. Naomi wins via Sunset Flip pin fall.
This was alright, what shined was Bayley making much progress in her heel promos. Yet, this will all fall away with Banks and Evans returning. Especially Banks, I don’t know what Micheal Cole would do if he couldn’t yell “BOSS TIME!”. The match basically had everyone look good and no one look strong. Namoi is getting a push, WWE doesn’t want you to forget Evans, Bayley is a champ, and Banks is Banks. So there you go.. a filler match for the night.
Bobby Roode vs Kofi Kingston. Roode wins via Roll Up pin fall.
In the best match of the night, these two veterans go at it. I am wondering why this feud hasn’t been prevalent beforehand. The two men shared great in ring chemistry. Roode took a page out of Eddie Guerrero’s book and launched himself into the steel steps, getting Big E kicked out. A distraction from Ziggler allowed Bobby to get a win. This was initially written off by me as a filler match, but these two guys were awesome! I hope they start a feud immediately and end it at WrestleMania.
Contract signing. Daniel Bryan gives air time. Usos vs The Dirt Sheets. JOHN CENA RETURNS!
Braun is monster enough for multiple men.
In a basic contract signing, The Monster let’s his thirst for carnage prevail. Sami Zayn goes on about how Strowman hurt Shinsuke. Braun in turns states that he doesn’t care if he fights Cesaro, Shin, and Sami. Because it is going to boil down to that and signs the contract. Sami then alters the contract in way that the court system would not allow. Now it will be a 3 on 1 handicap match at the Elimination Chamber! This was above par for a segment like this, Strowman showed that certain spark that what made him a fan favorite. Now if WWE can make Strowman be strong while keeping the trio looking good, I am down for this match!
Daniel Bryan vs Curtis Axel. Bryan wins via LeBelle Lock submission.
Daniel Bryan once told during an interview that he wants to get lesser used talents air time. This was one of those times. Drew Gulak sat on commentary and was a support coach for Axel. The son of Mr. Perfect did damn well in this match. This displays what Axel can do and why Daniel Bryan is a genius. Bryan made sure that Axel looked great, while defeating him clean. Also, this seem to anger Gulak. I honestly can not wait for these two guys to go at it! Both Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak are superb mat technicians and would put on a stellar show.
The Usos vs Miz/John Morrison. The Usos win via Canadian Destroyer Frog Splash combo pin fall.
In a weird way, this was mostly booked to announced that Miz and Morrison will have to defend their titles in the Elimination Chamber. The contestants are New Day, The Usos, Roode/Ziggle and Lucha House Party. Honestly, a damn fine line up and I can’t wait to see Morrison to scale the Chamber. The match was typical, the heels were in control until the faces made a comeback. the finisher is what was stellar. Jimmy Uso hits a Canadian Destroyer from the top turnbuckle, while Jey seals the win with a Frog Splash. This was an awesome tag team finisher to witness.
The Champ is back!
The pop was HUGE for the once hated face of the company. I admit, I have missed John Cena in WWE a lot. John goes on an emotional promo on how the future is key for WWE, like when it was his time. With that being said, Cena will not compete in WrestleMania (not one of us is believing this). However, due to the crowd chants and Cena’s acting.. it seemed plausible. John lays down the mic and walks up the ramp. With one last salute to the crowd, the lights cut out and The Fiend is standing behind John. Not attacking, The Fiend points to the WrestleMania sign and John Cena tips his hat.
Again, like the Roman Reigns and Goldberg promo, you don’t have to have a 10min bickering promo. With john giving thanks to the WWE Universe and The Fiend pointing, the message was conveyed. My and probably a lot of fans gripe is.. how do we take The Fiend seriously when he lost to 53yr old Goldberg? The outcome of this WrestleMania may be cemented for Cena to put over The Fiend. However, The Fiend really did not need it, like a title. The match is going to be very interesting, but could have been better with the Fiend winning at Super Showdown.-David G.
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