offical wwe thread

Arcademan

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October 7, 2022 – AEW CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan announced that AEW World Champion Jon Moxley has signed a five-year contract extension. This ensures that one of professional wrestling’s top stars will remain in All Elite Wrestling through 2027, while expanding his responsibilities to include mentoring and coaching talent. Moving forward, Moxley will work exclusively for AEW and its international partners, including New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he is a two-time IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
 

Arcademan

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Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory PPV Results: 10-7-22

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com

(1) “SPEEDBALL” MIKE BAILEY (c) vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN — Impact Wrestling X Division Title Match

During Bailey’s ring entrance, two men held wooden boards that he broke (I’m not sure if one of them actually broke though). Kaz went for the chicken wing early, but Bailey made it to the ropes to escape. Fans chanted “Both these guys”. Bailey nailed Kaz with a dropkick, but Kaz came back with one of his own. Bailey fought out of another chicken wing. Kaz missed a leg drop and Bailey came back with a moonsault to the outside.

Back in the ring, Kaz knocked Bailey off the top rope to the floor. Kaz threw Bailey back in and gave him a flying leg drop for a two count. Kaz cut off Bailey and tied him up in a submission on the mat. Bailey repeatedly kicked Kaz to get out of it. Bailey rolled up Kaz for a two count, followed by a single-leg dropkick. Bailey gave Kaz a series of rapid fire kicks. Bailey gave Kaz a twisting shooting star press for a two count.

Kaz gave Bailey the Back to the Future for a two count. They exchanged kicks, then Kaz clotheslined Bailey. Fans chanted “This is awesome”. Kaz slammed Bailey and missed a dropkick. Bailey gave Kaz a kick and the double knees. Bailey gave Kaz a spinning kick, followed by Ultima Weapon, but Kaz kicked out at two. Kaz finally locked in the chicken wing.

Both wrestlers rolled through the ropes to the floor. Bailey hit a spectacular moonsault to the outside. Kaz caught Bailey with a cutter coming back in the ring, but only got a two count. Fans chanted “Fight Forever”. They went to the top rope and Kaz hit the Flex Capacitor for a two count. Bailey tied up Kaz for a two count. Bailey did a reverse rana on Kaz. Bailey dove off the top rope, but Kaz caught him with a cutter for a near fall. Kaz put on the chicken wing again. Bailey tapped for the surprise win and title change.

WINNER: Frankie Kazarian in 13:00 to win the X Division Title.

(D.L.’s Take: A heck of an opener. Great start to the show. Bailey had his usual high-flying fast paced match and Kazarian hung right with him. Fans were into the action the entire way through. They told a good story with Kazarian trying to go for the chicken wing and finally getting it for the tap out win. The last few minutes had great intensity.)

(2) MICKIE JAMES vs. MIA YIM

According to the ongoing storyline, if Mickie loses, she will retire. They locked up at the start. Mia arm dragged Mickie. Mickie put Mia in a headlock. Mickie missed a dropkick and Mia rolled her up for a one count. Mickie kicked out of another pin attempt. Mickie hurt her knee attempting a bulldog. Mia went after the knee. Mickie gave Mia a neckbreaker. They exchanged punches. Mia kicked the knee again but Mickie came back with a Thesz Press.

Mickie clotheslined Mia and gave her a flapjack. She did a kip up despite the damaged knee. Mia came back with punches. Mia gave Mickie a buckle bomb, followed by a cannonball. Mia got a two count. They fought on the top rope and Mickie kissed Mia on the lips. Mickie got a Thesz Press from the top rope for a two count. Mickie missed the Mick Kick. Mia kicked Mickie in the head.

Mia gave Mickie a German Suplex for a two count. Fans chanted for Mickie and really got into the match. Mia said she was sorry then went for the Eat Defeat. Mia went for the pin, but Mickie reached the ropes to break the count. Mia went for Eat Defeat again, but Mickie came back with a kick to the head. Mia missed a cannonball. Mickie hit the jumping DDT and got the pin. They hugged at the end.

WINNER: Mickie James in 11:00.

( A good match that really picked up in the end. I had a good feeling that Mickie was going to win, but they wrestled the match very well to sow the seeds of doubt.)

(3) VXT (Deonna Purrazzo & Chelsea Green)(c) vs. DEATH DOLLZ (Taya Valkyrie & Jessicka w/Rosemary) — Impact Wrestling Knockouts Tag Team Title Match

Jessicka and Chelsea started the match. Jessicka threw Chelsea in the corner and clotheslined her. The Dollz double teamed Chelsea. Taya and Deonna faced off. Deonna hit Jessicka. Taya got the upper hand on Deonna. Taya chopped Deonna. VXT double teamed Taya.

Taya tried to fight out of the corner, but Chelsea held on to her foot so Deonna could attack. Jessicka made the tag, but the referee didn’t see it. Taya suplexed both members of VXT. Chelsea knocked Jessicka down on the apron. Taya fought through the double team and finally made the tag to Jessicka, who cleaned house. Jessicka splashed VXT and scored a two count.

Deonna gave Jessicka a flatliner and Chelsea followed with a stomp, but Jessicka kicked out of the pin. Taya gave Deonna a spear. Taya kicked Chelsea, then Jessicka gave Chelsea the Sick Driver and got the pin.

WINNERS: Taya Valkyrie & Jessicka in 8:00 to win the Knockouts Tag Team Titles.

(A fun match with a crowd-pleasing conclusion. Good wrestling and it didn’t overstay its welcome.)

(4) THE KINGDOM (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett w/Maria Kanellis)(c) vs. THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) — Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Title Match

Taven attacked Shelley at the bell. Bennett tagged in and went after Sabin. Sabin caught Bennett with a crossbody block. Sabin regained the upper hand with an arm drag. The Guns double teamed Taven and worked his arm. The Guns used Maria’s distraction to their advantage to double team Taven. Bennett interfered to turn the tide. Bennett attacked Shelley on the outside.

Taven dove on Shelley on the outside. Bennett put Shelley in an armlock but Shelley reached the ropes to break it. Taven and Bennett both kicked Shelley. The Kingdom continued to double team Shelley. Shelley finally got the tag to Sabin. Sabin took on both members of the Kingdom. Sabin kicked Bennett and gave Taven a DDT. The Kingdom was sent to the outside and Sabin wiped them out with a dive.

Sabin dropkicked Taven in the back and got a two count. All four wrestlers fought in the ring. Taven gave Sabin the Just the Tip running knee for a two count. Fans chanted “This is awesome”. Shelley got sent to the outside. The Kingdom gave Sabin a stuff piledriver for a two count. Sabin gave Bennett a cutter. The Guns double teamed Taven and got a two count.

The Guns booted Taven. Maria held on to Shelley’s foot. Bennett and Sabin exchanged chops. Taven was hung up in the ropes. Shelley threw Bennett into Taven. Sabin dropkicked Taven. Maria and Sabin argued. Bennett accidentally super kicked Maria off the apron. Taven rolled up Sabin and put his feet on the ropes and got the pin. Taven celebrated in the crowd then he and Bennett checked on Maria.

WINNERS: Matt Taven & Mike Bennett in 17:00.

(Both of these teams are really good and got the fans super invested in the match. An excellent tag team match. I was surprised that The Guns didn’t win, but this feud can certainly continue.)
 

Arcademan

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Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory PPV Results: 10-7-22

(5) CALL YOUR SHOT GAUNTLET MATCH


Hannifan and Rehwoldt showed the cup that goes to the winner and said that the winner of the match could get a title match at any time. The first wrestler to enter was Eric Young. Joe Hendry was second. Fans waved their arms to his theme song. Eric immediately attacked Hendry. Hendry fought back. Fans chanted “We believe”. Hendry suplexed Eric. Steve Maclin joined the match next. He went after Hendry.

Maclin and Eric squared off. Rich Swann entered next. He hit a double cutter and Maclin and Eric. Swann did Phoenix Splashes on Eric and Maclin. PCO came out next. He went after Maclin and Eric. Hendry and PCO fought. Savannah Evans was in the match next. She faced off with PCO. They grabbed each other’s throats, then Maclin attacked them from behind. Fans chanted for PCO.

Zicky Dice pushed Johnny Swinger to the ring on the small WrestleMania mini-cart. Swinger slammed Evans. Tasha Steelz entered the match. I’m pretty sure there is less than two minutes between entrances. Tasha went after Maclin. Tasha and Evans kicked and punched Swinger. Killer Kelly was next. Kelly went after Tasha, Hendry, Eric, and Maclin. Evans hit Kelly from behind.

Kelly jumped on Evans’ back. Tasha threw out Kelly and Evans. Moose was the next wrestler to enter. Moose threw out Hendry. Moose backdropped PCO over the top rope. There were noticeable boos. Sami Callihan was next and ran to the ring. Sami went after Moose. Maclin attacked Sami, but Sami powerbombed him. Swinger and Tasha fought. Taylor Wilde was a surprise and made an entrance to polite applause.

Taylor went after Maclin and Tasha and got a good reaction. Gisele Shaw was next to enter. Moose and Maclin tried to throw out Eric. A guy in a yellow hood jumped the rail but security took him out. Another hooded guy tried to get in the ring but security grabbed him. A third yellow hooded person knocked Sami out of the match and it was revealed to be Deaner. Bully Ray was next to enter and was a surprise to the delight of the crowd.

Bully went after Eric and Maclin. Tasha got in Bully’s face and pushed him. Bully threw her over the top rope onto security and a hooded guy. Tommy Dreamer was next to enter. Dreamer paired off with Moose and Bully paired off with Maclin. Rhino continued the ECW legends streak and entered next. Fans chanted “ECW” as Rhino, Bully, and Dreamer touched fists. Swinger joined in as well.

Fans chanted “Swinger”. Bully and Dreamer threw out Swinger. Bhupinder Gujjar was next to enter. Dreamer was thrown out. Gujjar gave Eric a Samoan Drop. Heath came out next. Heath gave Moose the Wake Up Call, then gave Eric one, as well as Swann. Rhino gored Maclin, then hugged Heath. Bobby Fish entered to a good reaction. Fans chanted “C.M. Punk”. Fish and Bully fought.

Matt Cardona returned and entered as the last person in the match. He didn’t get in the ring. Moose threw out Rhino. Maclin took out Heath. Maclin got rid of Moose too. Cardona finally got in the ring and went after Bully. Rehwoldt noted they had been feuding on social media. Bully slammed Cardona and Taylor did the Wassup Dive. Taylor jumped in Bully’s arms and kissed him.

Bully told her to get the tables. Fans chanted “Tables”. Cardona threw out Taylor and Shaw. Gujjar threw out Cardona. Eric gave Gujjar a neckbreaker on the apron and Gujjar rolled to the floor to be eliminated. Eric and Swann brawled. Swann kicked Eric and eliminated him from the match. Final four were Swann, Bully, Fish, and Maclin. They paired off and fought. Maclin threw out Swann. Maclin threw out Fish, leaving Maclin and Bully.

A pinfall or submission has to end the match at this point. They exchanged punches and chops. Maclin gave Bully an Olympic Slam for a two count. Bully gave Maclin a Rock Bottom for a two count. Bully gave Maclin a Bully Bomb and got the pin.

WINNER: Bully Ray in 30:00.

(A fun match that flowed really well. The surprises were fun and the crowd seemed to enjoy the match. The ending was a head-scratcher though. Impact seems invested in Maclin, so this would have been a great time to elevate him and have a title match on the horizon. Not sure where this is going with Bully Ray.)

(6) JORDYNNE GRACE (c) vs. MASHA SLAMOVICH — Impact Wrestling Knockouts Title Match

Dave Penzer did the in-ring introductions. They brawled right at the start. Masha was thrown outside. Grace slid and kicked her. Grace slid again and clotheslined Masha. Back in the ring, Grace got a two count. They fought on the apron. Masha gave Grace a reverse piledriver on the apron. Masha rolled her in and got a two count. Masha gave Grace forearm strikes. Grace stomped Masha to the mat.

Masha kicked Grace and stomped her. Masha kicked Grace. Masha gave Grace a spin kick. Grace came back with a spinebuster. They exchanged hard chops, then palm strikes. They both connected with back fists and fell to the mat. Grace slammed Masha twice. Masha came back with a kick. Grace returned a kick and a Michinoku Driver for a two count.

Grace missed a Vader Bomb. Masha gave Grace a Canadian Destroyer and got a two count. Masha gave Grace a headbutt. Grace came back and superplexed Masha, rolled through, and suplexed her again for a two count. Masha escaped the muscle buster and kicked Grace. Masha got a sleeper and took Grace to the mat. Grace reached the ropes to break it.

Masha gave Grace a German Suplex with Grace’s arms trapped for a two count. Grace connected with a back fist. Grace got a two count after driving Masha to the mat. Fans chanted “This is awesome”. Grace kicked Masha. Masha came back with a kick. Grace got the Grace Driver on Masha for a two count. Fans chanted for Grace. Masha gave Grace an Air Raid Crash in the corner followed by a Snow Plow. Masha went for the pin but Grace got her foot on the ropes. Grace gave Masha a Grace Driver off the second rope and got the pin to retain the title and end Masha’s undefeated streak.

WINNER: Jordynne Grace in 16:00.

(Very physical match. These two worked really well together. Excellent title match. A great looking finisher. I was a little surprised by the result, but was certainly fine with it. Both wrestlers rose to the occasion in this match and were elevated from it.)

(7) JOSH ALEXANDER (c) vs. EDDIE EDWARDS —Impact Wrestling World Title Match

Honor No More walked to the ring with Eddie and fist bumped all of them, then they walked backstage. Alisha and the kids were shown at ringside. They were sitting next to Josh Alexander’s wife and son (uh oh). Hannifan pointed out the awkwardness of this. Dave Penzer did the in-ring introductions again. They locked up at the start. After going back and forth, Eddie regrouped on the outside.

Alexander arm dragged Eddie and put him in an armlock. Eddie booted Alexander to the floor. Eddie jumped over the top rope onto Alexander. Alexander gave a crossbody block to Eddie on the floor. Alexander’s wife was shown clapping. Alexander chopped Eddie. They got back in the ring. Alexander got a one count. Eddie gave Alexander an overhead suplex. Eddie choked Alexander and chopped him.

Eddie threw Alexander out of the ring, then did a dive on him. Alexander dove on Eddie outside of the ring. They fought on the apron, then Eddie gave Alexander a Die Hard Driver on the exposed part of the floor with the mat pulled back. They got back in the ring and Eddie scored a two count. Fans chanted “Walking Weapon” and “Eddie Edwards”. Eddie chopped Alexander.

Eddie gave Alexander a backpack stunner and got a two count. Eddie went for the Boston Crab, but Alexander reached the ropes. Hannifan called it a “methodical, sadistic” attack. Eddie powerbombed Alexander. Alexander came back with an Alabama Slam into the turnbuckles. Alexander gave Eddie several German suplexes, including in the ring, on the apron, on the outside, and on the ramp without letting go.

Back in the ring, Alexander powerbombed Eddie over his knee and got a two count. Eddie gave Alexander a Blue Thunder Bomb. Fans chanted “This is awesome”. Alexander hit the Styles Clash then immediately went into the ankle lock. Eddie kicked Alexander to the outside. Eddie slapped Alexander hard on the top rope. Eddie suplexed Alexander, but Alexander came back with a C-4 Spike.

Matt Taven pulled the referee out of the ring as he was counting the pin. Alexander got rid of Taven and Bennett, but Kenny King gave Alexander a low blow. Security took Honor No More away from ringside. A second referee ran in. Eddie gave Alexander the Boston Knee Party, but Alexander managed to kick out of the pin attempt. Another dual chant broke out. Alexander suplexed Eddie.

Eddie went to kick Alexander, but Alexander turned it into an ankle lock. Eddie got a Tiger Driver for a two count. Alexander was bleeding from the nose. Eddie chopped Alexander. They traded hard slaps. Eddie spit in Alexander’s face, which fired him up. Eddie rolled up Alexander for a two count. Eddie clotheslined Alexander. Alexander came back with punches, followed by the C-4 Spike and got the pin.

WINNER: Josh Alexander in 27:00.

(An excellent world title match. And both wrestlers looked strong. The match started slowly and built to a very exciting finish. It appears we are headed towards an Alexander vs. Bully title match. They teased having Bully immediately cash in the title match like Moose did before, but they didn’t go that way thankfully.)
 

Arcademan

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WWE Extreme Rules PLE Results: 10-8-22

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com

(1) THE BRAWLING BRUTES (Sheamus & Ridge Holland & Butch) vs. IMPERIUM (Gunther & Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) – “Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook” match

Action spilled to the outside as soon as the bell rang. Butch initially launched Giovanni Vinci over the top, and the men spilled over the bar tops and stools near the announcers desk. Imperium gained control quickly, taking down Butch and Ridge Holland in the ring and isolating Sheamus on the outside. They tossed him over the bar top and into the ringside barrier. Kaiser and Vinci pulled Sheamus to his feet and tossed him into the ring steps.

Butch came flying into view, toppling over Kaiser and Vinci. Gunther shoved Butch in the ringside barrier, breaking it into the lap of the front row. Gunther tossed Sheamus onto the bar top and delivered some heavy chops. Holland and Butch pulled themselves back in the ring, and Imperium returned to meet them. With a 3-on-2 advantage, Imperium went to work. They stomped Ridge and Butch, kicked them repeatedly in the corner, and delivered vicious headbutts. Butch launched himself at Gunther, dropping him to a knee. This drew the attention of Kaiser and Vinci, who quickly overwhelmed Butch. Holland hoisted both Vinci and Kaiser into the air, but Gunther broke it up. Kaiser and Vinci hit Holland with the Imperial Bomb to the outside.

Imperium surrounded Butch in the ring as the match crossed 6:00. The drove him into the corner and laid him out across the top rope. Gunther delivered a brutal chop and held him in place while Vinci and Kaiser hit double running dropkicks. Butch collapsed to the outside in a heap. Imperium posed in the center of the ring, holding the position for several moments before heading outside to continue their dominance.

Kaiser and Vinci held Butch up by the arms while Gunther peppered him with hard chops. Sheamus suddenly rose from behind the bar to a huge pop. Gunther sent his cohorts to get him, but Sheamus dropped them with ease. He turned to Gunther and entered the ring. Sheamus hit Gunther with a big German Suplex, then whipped him to the corner. Gunther blocked a kick, but Sheamus scooped him up for a big shoulder breaker. Sheamus’ chest was smeared with blood, a reopened wound from last night. He looked around to a roar from the crowd. He set up Gunther for the Ten Beats, completing the attack. Holland and Butch joined in on the assault.

Sheamus scooped Gunther up and delivered White Noise. He looked into the hard camera, then pointed to the crowd. They roared with approval. He pounded his chest for the Brogue Kick, and delivered it. Sheamus covered, but Vinci hit a springboard splash off the top rope to break it up just before three. Ridge Holland returned to the ring to meet Vinci. Giovanni cut him off with a big clothesline. Kaiser returned, but ate a leaping punch from Butch. Gunther delivered a big dropkick to both Butch and Holland, knocking them out of the ring.

Gunther yelled out, but Sheamus was waiting for him. He hit the Irish Curse backbreaker, then turned Gunther into the Cloverleaf. Kaiser slid in the ring and broke the wooden shalaylee across Sheamus’ back. Gunther covered, but Butch broke it up. All six men began brawling from the mat. Sheamus and Gunther rose first, balancing off of each other’s forehead. They exchanged biting strikes. Sheamus sent Gunther reeling with his final shot.

The two teams helped each other stand on opposing sides. Butch broke the stalemate, and a brawl ensued again. Sheamus managed to catch Gunther with a big bicycle knee. He covered, but Kaiser and Vinci pulled him to the outside. The duo then cleared off the announcers desk. A “we want tables” chant broke out at 14:00. Ridge Holland returned to fight Kaiser and Vinci. Suddenly, Butch appeared on top of the barrels. He delivered a Moonsault to his opponents waiting below.

Back in the ring, Gunther had retrieved a large shalaylee. He cracked it over the head of Sheamus and covered for a near fall. Gunther pounded the mat in frustration. He set up Sheamus for a Powerbomb. The Brutes returned, holding the arms of Sheamus and preventing the move. Sheamus slipped free. Holland and Butch held Gunther open for Sheamus to hit him with the shalaylee. The Brutes retrieved clubs of their own and pounded Kaiser and Vinci in the ring. Meanwhile, Sheamus headed outside toward Gunther. He grabbed Gunther’s arms off the apron of the ring and delivered a Celtic Cross through the announcers desk.

Sheamus returned to the ring, where Holland and Butch were holding Giovanni Vinci. Sheamus pounded his chest, charged, and delivered a Brogue Kick for a cover and three count.

WINNERS: The Brawling Brutes in 17:49

(This was a really fun opener. Sheamus has really become a crowd favorite, and he’s earned the reactions he’s getting with stellar performances night in and night out. He feels like a star again, and Ridge Holland and Butch feel like compelling acts as a result. I’ve loved what they’ve done with Imperium and the Brutes since pairing them together in a feud, and even though we’ve seen this match, plus two Intercontinental title matches between Sheamus and Gunther, it feels like there’s still some story left to tell. Given that the Intercontinental title is the one championship that’s alluded Sheamus on his very successful career, I think it’d be a cool moment for him to ultimately beat Gunther – especially now that we’re at a place where the title has meaning again, and Sheamus has a real connection with the crowd. It’s a testament to how well this has been going – rarely would I advocate moving the title off a hot, up-and-coming act, but in makes too much sense here, and it doesn’t feel like it’d do all that much damage to Gunther, either. All in all, this was exactly the match everyone should have expected, and that’s a very good thing.)
 

Arcademan

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(2) LIV MORGAN (c) vs. RONDA ROUSEY – Smackdown Women’s Championship, Extreme Rules match

Ronda Rousey took down Liv Morgan in the opening seconds, rolling her into a quick cover for a one count. Liv slid across the ring, retrieving the baseball bat she brought with her. She swung it wildly at Rousey, but Ronda caught it between her arm and body and pulled it away. She tossed the bat to the outside. “I don’t need a bat!” she yelled. Rousey took down the champion again, picking the ankle and grabbing an Ankle Lock. Morgan stayed on her foot, hopping to the ropes and pulling Rousey to the outside with her.

Morgan got herself trapped between the apron and the ring. She dared Rousey to hit her. Ronda smacked her hard. Liv collapsed. Rousey went to retrieve the baseball bat. Liv emerged from behind the apron with fire extinguisher, blasting Rousey in the face with the foam. Cole said he could feel the cold from his spot at ringside. Morgan leapt on Ronda’s back, but Rousey dropped her with Piper’s Pit. She retrieved the bat and cracked it over Morgan’s ribs before sliding her back in the ring.

Rousey swung the bat at Liv, but blocked it. She hit Rousey with the bat, sending her tumbling to the outside. Ronda grabbed her black belt and cracked it across Morgan’s stomach. A welt formed almost immediately. Rousey hit her with the belt repeatedly, then tied her to the ring post with it. She grabbed the bat and began swinging at Morgan’s stomach and hips. Morgan wiggled free and shoved her challenger away. She caught Rousey with a bat swing herself, then retrieved a table from underneath the ring.

The two women worked their way back inside the ring. Morgan set up a table in the corner as the match approached 6:00. Rousey recovered quickly, catching Morgan with a step-up knee and then wrangling her back outside with a leg choke. Morgan crawled desperately toward the announcers desk, retrieving a chair. She caught Rousey in the mid-section with its edge, then rolled her into the ring. Morgan tried to prop the chair into the corner, but Rousey blocked her. Morgan went for an awkward looking Back-Cracker, but it fell apart on her. She tried again, this time catapulting Rousey into the turnbuckle. She retrieved the chair and swung it wildly at Rousey, hitting her in the back, the shoulder, and the hips. She tossed the chair into Rousey’s waiting hands, then pulled her into double knees to the face.

Liv set up the table and tossed Rousey onto it. She climbed to the top rope and the camera pulled back as she connected with a top-rope Senton, crashing through the table and Rousey below. Morgan covered for a near fall just before 11:00. Rousey immediately grabbed an Arm Bar. Liv deadlifted her off the table wreckage and dropped her back on the slanted left half. Rousey grimaced, but kept the hold locked in. Morgan tried to lift her again. Rousey transitioned, clutching Morgan by the throat with her legs. She sat back on the hold. Cole called it a Bicep’s Crusher. Liv seemed to be smiling as she faded. Morgan passed out, and the referee called for the bell.

WINNER: Ronda Rousey in 12:22 to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship

(This was a little sloppy at times, but the shots that were actually laid in certainly sounded and looked good. I thought this was quite easily the best match in their series, and maybe the best of Liv’s career. Though that bar isn’t necessarily terribly high, I do think she’s improved considerably and this was pretty darn entertaining. The baseball bat shots early in the match fluctuated between brutal and lacking virtually any contact, but both women were wearing the pain on their faces. I thought the finish was effective and creative. Morgan got a big, babyface table spot to nearly defeat Rousey. Ronda was in perfect position to capitalize with a hold, and did so, besting Morgan and earning a knock-out submission to regain the title. While I supported giving Morgan a go with the title, I think we’ve seen that it didn’t work quite the way they would’ve hoped, and so I have no qualms about going back to Rousey. As we head into late fall, I think it’s important to have the title on a big name who can have a lengthy run before likely defending in a marquee match at WrestleMania. Rousey fits the bill.)

(3) DREW McINTYRE vs. KARRION KROSS (w/ Scarlett) – Strap match

With the match now officially underway, McIntyre mounted Kross and delivered a flurry of hard right hands. He swung the slack of the strap over his head and then cracked it across Kross’ back. Karrion rolled to the outside. Drew followed, continuing to whip Kross. “Fall and prey for me!” McIntyre yelled. Scarlett got in McIntyre’s face. Drew just stared her down. Kross used the distraction to pull McIntyre shoulder first into the ring post.

The referee rushed to Drew, asking if he needed medical attention. McIntyre waved her off. Kross pulled McIntyre into the ring post twice more, then dragged him back in the ring. He twisted Drew’s arm and slammed him to the mat. Kross posed for the crowd. Scarlett did the same. Kross draped McIntyre over the middle rope and choked him with a knee to the back of the head. He took him down by the injured shoulder again. Cole said the shoulder could be dislocated.

McIntyre pulled himself to his feet and delivered a pair of big chops as the match crossed 3:00. Kross shrugged them off and looked for the Kross Jacket. McIntyre backed him into the corner to avoid the grip. Kross took McIntyre down with a whip of the strap. He dragged Drew to the outside and continued to work on the injured shoulder and arm. He slammed the injured shoulder into the announcers desk with a Flatliner, then wrapped the bad arm around the ring post with the strap. Kross used the slack and whip McIntyre’s back and shoulder mercilessly. McIntyre collapsed to the floor, slowly, in a heap. Scarlett screamed for more.

Kross dragged McIntyre back in the ring. He gave him a Doomsday Suplex and covered for a two count. Kross folded the strap again and wound up. He continued to crack it over McIntyre’s back. Drew shrugged it off and stood tall, nostrils flaring. He gave Kross a clothesline, then an overhead belly-to-belly. Kross stood and walked into a Neckbreaker. McIntyre kipped up. He hooked Kross for a Future Shock DDT, but Kross over-powered him into the corner. Drew exploded out and delivered a big Spinebuster.

Both men traded big right hands as the match crossed 8:00. The locked up and fired punches again. Each pulled a small slack of strap and began trading blows to the chest and neck. McIntyre broke the stalemate with a strap whip to the stomach. Kross collapsed to a knee, allowing Drew to hook him up and deliver the Future Shock DDT. McIntyre kipped up again and held three fingers up to the crowd. He counted down, but Scarlett entered the ring and put herself between the combatants. Suddenly, she sprayed McIntyre in the face with Pepper Spray. McIntyre fell down, clawing at his eyes. Kross hit him from behind with a Kross Hammer for a cover and three count.

WINNER: Karrion Kross in 10:21

(This was a decent enough brawl. I’ve been generally unimpressed by Karrion Kross’ in-ring output, and while I thought this was on the higher end of it, I still wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again. He just hasn’t evolved or changed anything since NXT, and I thought that character was a vacuum of charisma both in and out of the ring. I think that Triple H has done a far better job handling Kross and Scarlett than Vince initially did, but I still just don’t find myself thinking there’s anything worse pursuing with him. Though I sort of expected this kind of finish, it’s still disappointing. McIntyre is an important act who should be lined up for another match with Roman Reigns down the line, and I just don’t think losing to Karrion Kross, even under these circumstances, is a way to keep him as a viable main event act.)
 

Arcademan

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(4) BIANCA BELAIR (c) vs. BAYLEY – Raw Women’s Championship, Ladder match

Bianca Belair and Bayley came to blows as soon as the bell range. Bayley drove her shoulder into Belair’s abdomen, but Belair hit her with rapid forearms to the back. Before long, both women rolled to the outside to retrieve their own ladders. Belair retrieved a taller one and set it up next to Bayley’s. Bayley opted to play defense, jumping from her ladder back to the mat and pulling the champion down. The two women then played tug-o-war over the smaller ladder. Belair used her strength to drive Bayley all the way across the ring and through the middle rope to the floor. Belair quickly climbed the other ladder, but Bayley cut her off.

Bayley pulled Belair to the outside and took her down. She got in a young girl’s face in the front row. “Who sucks? I’m winning!” she told her. Bayley propped a ladder against the ring apron and tried to catapult Belair onto it. It backfired – Belair planted herself on the ladder and used it to quickly climb back in the ring. Bayley followed. Belair flipped over Bayley’s back using the ring ladder. She shoved Bayley into the bottom rungs, sending it sliding across the ring. Bianca folded the ladder and dropped it in the center of the ring. She gave Bayley a big big bodyslam onto it, then hit her signature handspring standing Moonsault. Belair retrieved the other ladder and entered into another tug-o-war.

The challenger managed to trap between the turnbuckles and a ladder. A dueling chant broke out from the Philly crowd. Belair fought free and went for a clothesline. Bayley ducked, caught the champion with an elbow, and delivered a Sunset Bomb into the corner ladder. Bayley set up the tall ladder in the center as the match crossed 5:30. She nearly reached the top before Bianca pulled her down. Bayley toppled her own ladder and kicked it closed. She used its top to ram Belair in the sternum. Bayley laid the ladder flat and used its weight to drive Belair out of the ring and to the floor.

Bayley built a ladder bridge between the ring steps and the barricade. She hoisted Belair onto it, then ripped a Belair sign from a fan in the front row. Bayley jumped onto the apron and hit a running elbow onto the champion. Bayley bounced violently off of Belair. She recovered quickly and kicked the folding mechanism off a nearby ladder. She used the now disconnected pieces to sandwich Belair and try to crush her between the two sides. Belair moved, and Bayley hit her own hands.

Bianca Belair used her brief reprieve to retrieve a new ladder and set it up in the ring. She got halfway up before Bayley returned to the ring and pulled her down. The challenger tried to climb, but Belair pulled her into her arms and delivered a powerful Spinebuster. Belair began another ascent. Bayley used her legs to kick the ladder and dump Belair to the floor. Bayley grabbed at her knee. Cole said she may have re-injured it. Suddenly, Bayley held up a piece of metal. Cole and Graves realized that she’d actually been removing part of her brace, creating a weapon. She charged at Bianca, but the champion scooped her up and connected with the K.O.D.

With Bayley down and out, Belair set up a ladder and began to climb. Dakota Kai and Io Sky rushed to the ring and toppled the ladder over. They swarmed Belair, but Bianca fought valiantly. She somehow worked both members of Damage Ctrl onto her shoulders and connected with a double K.O.D. The interference gave Bayley enough time to recover. She took Belair down with a ladder, then wedged it between two turnbuckles. She tossed Belair into it, then gave her a Rose Plant.

“That’s it, Bayley’s got daylight!” Graves exclaimed. She set up a ladder in the center, then dragged Belair underneath it. She trapped her beneath it, then began to climb as the match hit 14:00. Belair bench pressed the ladder up into the air, sending Bayley bouncing awkwardly into the top rope. Both women staggered to their feet. They stood on opposite ends of the ladder and began to race to the top. hey traded quick punches. Bayley got a hold of Belair’s braid. She used it to pull Bianca’s face into the steel of the ladder. Belair fell, but she recovered quickly. She whipped Bayley in the back with her braid. Bayley crashed to the mat. Belair grabbed another ladder.

Belair set up for another K.O.D. She got her up, but Bayley took a ladder with her. Belair still managed to hoist her up and over, hitting the K.O.D. and causing Bayley to land on the ladder. Belair scampered up the ladder and retrieved the championship.

WINNER: Bianca Belair in 16:41 to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

(This was fun. I don’t think it set an impossible bar for ladder matches, or even women’s ladder matches going forward, but it showcased both women well. WWE continues to creatively give Bianca Belair excellent power spots that stand out and feel earned throughout the course of the match. Her double K.O.D. on Kai and Sky was great, as was the finish where she hit the move on Bayley with a ladder in tow. Bayley, for her part, drew plenty of heat from the crowd and looked formidable in her first major singles match in well over a year. I do think her character has been missing something, her promos seem generic and uninspired. I don’t know if it’s a lack of scripting, or just a lack of confidence coming from such a significant time away. While I think Belair is often better when in the hunt, I do think getting her a big win against a major division star was important, and so I agree with the call here. I do suspect we’ll see this again before too long, and some combination involving these two at Survivor Series.)
 

Arcademan

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(5) EDGE vs. FINN BALOR – “I Quit” match

Edge and Finn Balor circled one another timidly. Edge struck first, backing Balor into the corner and dropping him with a back elbow on the ricochet. Cole said “I Quit” matches are never quick, necessitating a competitor to beat down their opponent to a point at which they’d be willing to utter the phrase. Edge whipped Balor from corner to corner. Balor collapsed as his back bounced off the turnbuckle.

Referee Chad Patton stuck a microphone in Balor’s face as Edge choked him against a turnbuckle. “No,” Balor muttered. He fought free from the corner and dropped Edge with a quick dropkick. Edge stumbled to the corner. Balor stomped at the back of his knees, then gave him a stiff chop to the chest. Balor kicked Edge’s legs out from underneath him and stepped on his knee again. He twisted Edge’s leg through the middle rope and applied torque. Patton stood by a microphone, catching all the groans and grunts.

Finn brought Edge to the mat and continued to work over the leg. When Edge refused to quit, Balor transitioned into a Figure Four. Edge writhed in pain, but told the referee to get the microphone out of his face. He sat up, trying to turn the hold over. Balor applied additional pressure to the knee with his hand, but Edge still managed to turn over. Balor refused the microphone, instead contorting his torso to gain enough momentum to roll the hold back over. Edge punched himself free and Balor rolled to the outside as the match crossed 5:15.

Approaching the apron, Edge got caught by a quick leg sweep. He found himself trapped between the ring and skirt. Balor knocked him down and kicked him repeatedly. He walked him to the announcers desk and slammed Edge’s head over and over. Balor kept asking the the referee to get a submission. Edge refused. Balor grabbed a headlock and punched Edge repeatedly. Edge managed to shove Finn into the ring post to buy some time. Balor bounced back and hit a Sling Blade on the floor.

Patton asked Edge again to no avail. Edge rose slowly, scooping Balor and running him right through the ringside barricade at the timekeeper’s station. Balor stood and made his way past a reserved row of completely empty commemorative chairs at ringside. Edge pursued. The fought in an open equipment area near the kickoff set. Edge gave Balor a Suplex on the hair arena floor. He disappeared into a nearby tunnel and emerged moments later with a hockey stick. Cole wondered if he got it from Gritty. Edge bombarded Balor with the stick, then tossed him on top of the kickoff desk. He put Balor in a Crossface using the hockey stick.

When Edge let go of the hold, Balor fled. He walked briskly toward the lower bowl and ascended the stairwell into a fan-occupied tunnel. Security rushed in to hold a gathering of fans at bay. Edge launched Finn into the concrete overhang of the tunnel bay. Finn crawled back toward the spotlight in the arena. Edge set up for a Spear, but Balor sidestepped him. Edge collided sternum-first with the steel handrail of the arena steps. Balor choked Edge between the bars, but Edge refused to quit.

Security cleared a path as Edge and Balor fought back down to the floor, around ringside chairs, and eventually, over the barricade to ringside. Balor retrieved a steel chair from beneath the ring and drove it into Edge’s ribs. Balor stalked his prey as the match crossed 15:00. H drove the top of the chair into Edge’s back and stomach. “Screw you Finn,” Edge murmured breathlessly into the microphone as Chad Patton asked him again. Balor attacked him with the chair again. The referee returned with the microphone. “I don’t quit,” Edge growled. Balor grew furious.

Finn wedged the chair in between two turnbuckles. He tried to whip Edge, but the larger man was able to plant himself firmly in the opposite corner and avoid the damage. Balor still managed to take him to the mat. He applied a Crossface of his own, then transitioned into hard knees to the mid-section. Edge breathed heavily into the microphone, but still refused. Balor tried to toss Edge into the propped chair again. Edge turned it around and sent Balor crashing instead. Graves said it was Edge’s last gasp.

Edge swung the chair at Balor’s legs, striking him down. Balor grabbed at his knee and thigh, screaming. Edge didn’t let up, continuously driving the edge of the chair into Finn’s lower extremities. Edge locked in the Edgecator. Balor screamed in agony. He sounded poised to quit, but Damian Priest emerged from the back to save the match. Dominick Mysterio joined the fray, too. Edge managed to send both to the apron. He speared them to the outside and returned to Balor as the match hit 20:00.

Balor stumbled to his feet as Edge sized him up for a Spear. Rhea Ripley hopped onto the apron behind Edge. She had a pair of handcuffs, and she locked Edge to the top rope. Ripley jumped to the floor, dangling the key in Edge’s face and laughing. Edge turned to see Balor, Priest, and Mysterio waiting for him. Balor had a Kendo stick in hand. The three men pounced, beating Edge down. Balor wound up and hit Edge over and over with the Kendo stick. Edge collapsed to one knee. The referee put the microphone in his face. Rey Mysterio’s music hit.

Rey Mysterio ran to the ring, chair in hand. He took out Priest on the way. Rey hit the ring and dropped Finn Balor. Dominick blindsided his father with an elbow from behind. He tossed Rey to the outside and stomped him viciously. Cole screamed at Dominick. “What is wrong with you?!” In the ring, Balor continued to beat Edge senselessly with the Kendo stick. Michael Cole begged Edge to quit.

The crowd reacted to something off camera. It was Beth Phoenix. She ripped the Kendo stick from Finn’s hands and beat him with it. She took down Priest as well. Dominick leapt on the apron and begged for mercy. Beth felt someone behind her and turned to find Rhea Ripley. The crowd roared as the two women came to blows. Beth gained the upper hand, dropping Ripley with a Spear. Rhea rolled to the outside. Dominick rushed to her side. Phoenix revealed that she’d taken the key from Rhea. She freed her husband.

Edge exploded out of the corner with a Spear to Damian Priest. He came face to face with Dominick Mysterio. Dom begged off, first pleading with Edge, then offering him his hand. Edge looked around, then gave him a low blow. Edge shoved Dominick away. Balor attacked from behind with a Sling Blade. He screamed at the crowd, then turned around to continue his attack. Edge flew to his feet and dropped Finn with one Spear, then a second, then a third. He told Beth to get him a chair. Phoenix obliged.

Rhea Ripley returned and dropped Phoenix with Brass Knuckles. Damian Priest gave Edge a South of Heaven. He and Dominick stretched Edge out, allowing Balor to deliver three consecutive Coup De Graces. Dominick and Priest held Edge up and Balor stuck the microphone in his face. “This is your last chance, Edge, say it!” Balor barked. “Go to hell!” Edge responded. Priest punched Edge in the face. Ripley retrieved two chairs. She placed one under Beth’s head and lifted the other high above her own. “I quit!” Edge said, wearily.

WINNER: Finn Balor in 29:53

Rhea Ripley swung the chair anyway, delivering a Con-Chair-To to Beth Phoenix. The crowd’s boos were enormous. Cole begged for the referee to call for help. Officials spilled from the back, and commentary went silent. Edge rushed to Beth. Mysterio returned to her side as well. Cole pleaded for a doctor as the show went to break.

(Sometimes the most obvious and calculated of finishes is still the right one. The moment Edge said that there was nothing Judgment Day could physically do to HIM to make him quit, I thought it became painfully obvious that Phoenix would be involved, and the finish would center around her being in peril. That’s exactly what they did, and I thought it worked. Though I’ve been lukewarm at best on Judgment Day throughout their post-Edge run, there’s no doubt that they’ve got a whole lot of heat right now. Dominick has been doing great work, and the crowd seemed really invested when he finally got physical against his father tonight. Though I think this ultimately ran a little long, given was felt like obvious interference from all the previously involved parties, I do think they hit a strong emotional crescendo. I’m intrigued to see what the finally iteration of this feud is, where I suspect Edge and Beth will get their ultimate revenge.)
 

Arcademan

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(6) MATT RIDDLE vs. SETH ROLLINS – Fight Pit match, Special Guest Referee: Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier separated the two men and called for the bell. Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins danced around each other, jockeying for position. Riddle threw some quick thigh kicks, sending Seth backing timidly into the steel cage. The crowd broke into a loud “we want Wyatt” chant. Riddle shot Rollins’ legs and took him down, mounting him for quick strikes. Riddle leapt off the cage wall, catching Seth in the side of the head with a quick kick. Rollins collapsed awkwardly, seemingly shaken up.

Riddle pounced, giving Cormier minimal time to check on Seth. A stray punch caught Cormier. The UFC legend threw Riddle off of Rollins and admonished him. “You’re here to fight him, not me!” he exclaimed. Rollins blased Riddle in the back of the head, using the break to his advantage. He tossed Riddle into the steel. Cormier checked on Riddle. Seth tossed Cormier aside. Cormier backed Rollins against the cage, delivering the same message he gave Riddle moments earlier.

After quick standing switch exchanges, Rollins caught Riddle with a Superkick. He requested that D.C. count Riddle out. Cormier reached a count of six as Riddle started to stir, so Rollins pounced again. “You’re a loser, and you’re always gonna be a loser!” he yelled. Riddle fought back briefly with punches to the stomach, but Seth gave him a Suplex right into the wall of the cage. Rollins ascended the side of the cage and pointed to himself, a la RVD, again. He leapt back onto Riddle, then hit rapid fire kicks to the head. Rollins held his arms out and the crowd booed, then began singing his theme song.

Rollins set up for a Peruvian Neck Tie submission. Riddle rolled through it and tried to give Seth a back drop. Seth landed on his feet awkwardly. Riddle bounced up and hit Seth with an RKO. Cormier counted both men to eight before they returned to their feet, trading overhead open palmed strikes. Before long, they transitioned to open kicks to the chest. Riddle caught a quick combo and went for a lifting knee, but Rollins blocked it. Riddle went for a second RKO, but Seth slammed him to the mat. Riddle tried to stand, but Seth caught him with the Stomp. Riddle barely answered Cormier’s count at nine.

Rollins climbed to the platform surrounding the cage as the match crossed 10:00. He led the crowd in another serenade, arrogantly strutting around the platform. Riddle grew tired of the showboating and climbed up to meet him. Riddle tried to use the support chain of the cage to hoist himself up, but Rollins bit his hand. Riddle managed to pull himself up anyway, pulling Seth into a choke around the chain. Rollins used the perimeter steel to free himself, then sent Riddle crashing into the chain link. Riddle tried to use his legs to choke Seth out, but Seth ripped him away from the cage and delivered a Buckle Bomb into the steel wall atop the cage. Graves said he was worried about something much worse. Cole said it was “shades of Mick Foley in Hell in a Cell.”

Cormier yelled from below for the competitors to return to the ring. Rollins and Riddle continued to battle back and forth. Rollins got the better of the exchange and delivered a Pedigree on the walkway atop the cage. He told Cormier to count Riddle out. Cormier said that Riddle needs to be in the ring itself. “I’ll choke you out!” Rollins yelled. He sized Riddle up, waiting for him to stand. Seth went for another Stomp, but Riddle moved. He hit another RKO. Seth nearly slid off the walkway and back into the ring far below, but he caught himself on the chain link and dropped safely to the mat.

With Rollins down in the center of the ring, Riddle stood up on the walkway above and peered down. He contemplated, then flew off the platform with a Broton. Riddle sold even more pain than Seth. Both men again barely answered Cormier’s count. Matt Riddle jumped up to apply a Triangle Choke on Rollins. Seth hit a pair of Powerbombs into the steel wall, then another in the center of the ring. Riddle persisted, keeping the choke locked in. Rollins tapped out.

WINNER: Matt Riddle in 16:38

Matt Riddle left the ring, celebrating up the ramp. The camera cut to Seth Rollins, clutching his ribs at ringside. Daniel Cormier rose Riddle’s hand at the top of the stage and Cole bid the audience goodnight.

Suddenly, all the lights cut out. The crowd immediately held up their flashlights. Cole asked aloud if they were still on air. A creepy, subdued rendition of “He’s got the whole world in his hands…” played on repeat.

Slowly, characters from the Firefly Funhouse were revealed standing at various locations in the lower bowl of the crowd. The Pig, the Buzzard, Abby the Witch, and then, apparently, the Fiend in the front row. The camera cut to a moss adorned door at the entrance way. Light seeped from behind it. An old TV cut in, showing a creepy, masked face saying something unintelligible. The camera cut back to the door. The light grew brighter. The door flew open, and a familiar lantern filled the black space. A huge “holy shit” chant broke out. A person in the mask from moments ago emerged, filling the light. He slowly removed the mask, revealing himself to be Bray Wyatt. A firefly graphic appeared on screen (the same Wyatt has been using as his Twitter profile picture), and the jarring, classic Wyatt Family cut-out ended the night.

(The Fight Pit was disappointing. I understand that they needed to take this feud to the next level, but they were fighting an uphill battle coming off a stellar outing last month in Cardiff. This just didn’t live up to that match in the slightest. Cormier’s early tone-setting seemed to be laying the groundwork for something later in the match, but simply never went anywhere. The offense seemed plodding, giving the illusion that they were in for a long haul and a big built to a finish. Instead, the predictable ascent to the top of the cage brought some fine spots that never really seemed to connect until Riddle’s big Broton off the top. That, undoubtedly, was the highlight here. The crowd seemed to struggle to get invested outside of a few big moves, being more intrigued by the upcoming reveal of the White Rabbit than anything the match itself had to offer. It’s a shame, given how personal this rivalry has been and how much focus it’s been given on weekly television. The camera was out of position for Rollins’ tap out, which made things even more anticlimactic for the audience viewing at home. It wasn’t bad, it just felt flat.

They certainly managed to send the crowd home happy, though. Triple H went for his signature end-of-show fake out a la NXT, having Cole conclude the evening only for the lights to go out with the show-closing signature already on screen. Though it felt a little too heavy handed, I don’t mind Cole asking if they’re still live. It was a fun wrinkle, even if it felt calculated. The electricity from the crowd was palpable, and the eerie inclusion of real-person renditions of the Firefly Funhouse’s iconic characters was an effective, pleasing way to kick things off. The dramatic touch of stationing them at different points throughout the crowd was excellent. The production, as with most things Wyatt related, was top notch, and the reveal, though predictable, was wholly satisfying. We’ve been burned plenty by Wyatt’s story-telling before, though I have my suspicions that has far more to do with Vince McMahon than it ever did the creative mind behind the character. With a new regime at the helm, and an expectation for more creative freedom, I’m all-in on whatever the next chapter of Wyatt will be.)
 

famicommander

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Women of Wrestling is back with a syndication deal, airing in many of the timeslots ROH abandoned when Tony Khan bought it. Most of the country gets the episodes on a weekend timeslot, usually late night, on local broadcast TV.

The first two episodes did
0.03 rating, 281,000 viewers
0.06 rating, 273,000 viewers

By comparison, the last two episodes of Impact did
0.02 rating, 100,000 viewers
0.01 rating, 89,000 viewers

NXT does in the 0.09-0.16 range, Rampage in the 0.12-0.20 range

I haven't actually watched it yet but it's still co-owned by the LA Lakers owner and the same guy who owned previous WOW incarnations and the original GLOW.
 

famicommander

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Mia Yim, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Vincent (Vinny Marseglia), Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows have all left Impact Wrestling. Anderson and Gallows are headed back to WWE.

Weird that Impact didn't take the tag belts off the Kingdom if they're leaving. Unless the MCMG are leaving too.
 

BanishingFlatsAC

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Mia Yim, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis, Vincent (Vinny Marseglia), Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows have all left Impact Wrestling. Anderson and Gallows are headed back to WWE.

Weird that Impact didn't take the tag belts off the Kingdom if they're leaving. Unless the MCMG are leaving too.

They did at the taping on 10/8.
 

famicommander

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NJPW recently announced two more championships, bringing the promotion's total to 12.

That seemed like an absurdly high number. And then I realized WWE has 15 despite retiring 5 titles in the last year, and AEW has 15 including Tony's ROH belts (but not including belts from partner promotions he doesn't own but still plasters all over his TV shows).

The absolute maximum should be:
1. World Title
2. World Tag Team Title
3. Midcard Title (TV Title, Intercontinental Title, National Title, etc)
4. Divisional Title (ROH Pure Title, TNA X-Division title, WWF Hardcore title, etc)
5. Women's World Title
6. World Trios Title (only if you have a huge roster)
7. Women's World Tag Team Title (only if you have 20 or more women signed)
 

famicommander

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Women of Wrestling beat AEW Battle of the Belts in total viewers (got beat out barely in the actual rating, but still).

WOW ratings:
Episode 1: 0.03 rating, 281,000 viewers
Episode 2: 0.06 rating, 273,000 viewers
Episode 3: 0.04 rating, 251,000 viewers
Episode 4: 0.07 rating, 334,000 viewers

AEW Battle of the Belts IV did a 0.10 with 317,000 viewers.

Insane that this promotion could come back from the dead (again) with almost no advertising and immediately trash Impact and MLW's ratings and start competing with AEW's secondary show in a month.

Also funny that they're mostly occupying the timeslots ROH vacated when Khan bought it, and now Khan can't find a television timeslot for ROH.
 

Arcademan

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The investigation into AEW’s post-All Out brawl has reportedly ended with The Elite being brought back and CM Punk likely exiting the company.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports that AEW's third-party investigation into the incident was completed last week. With the investigation over, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were backstage at Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite. It’s doubtful that Punk will be returning to AEW, with the two sides working on a buyout of Punk’s contract. In addition to wrestling for AEW, The Young Bucks and Omega are executive vice presidents of the company. This week’s Dynamite was the first time The Young Bucks and Omega have been at an AEW show since being suspended after All Out.

Though The Young Bucks and Omega were backstage at Wednesday’s Dynamite, they didn’t appear on television. A video teasing their imminent return did air on the episode.

The backstage fight between The Elite and Punk took place following AEW’s All Out pay-per-view on Sept. 4. After Punk went off on The Elite at a post-show press conference, The Young Bucks and Omega went to Punk’s locker room to confront him. Punk is said to have thrown the first punch during the fight.

Punk’s camp told Wrestling Inc. that “Punk felt threatened and reacted in a legal way” after being confronted.

The brawl also involved Ace Steel, who was working for AEW as a producer and is a longtime friend of Punk’s. Steel, who reportedly bit Omega during the fight, was released from AEW after the conclusion of the investigation.

Meltzer wrote that “many if not most” of the top names in AEW were saying that they wouldn’t work with Punk after the All Out incident.

“Punk won’t be back,” one unnamed AEW star told Meltzer. “His value on screen isn’t one percent worth the hassle and black cloud he causes backstage.”

Fightful reports that Chris Jericho approached Punk backstage after the All Out fight and told Punk that he’s “a cancer to the locker room, and a detriment to the company.”

Punk, The Young Bucks and Omega were all champions for AEW when their altercation took place. Punk had to vacate the AEW world championship after the incident. The Young Bucks and Omega were stripped of the AEW trios titles.

Punk suffered a torn triceps in the main event of All Out and would have needed to relinquish the AEW world title even if the post-show fight didn’t happen.
 

famicommander

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You know you're a locker room cancer when the fat, bloated, ancient, alcoholic glory hound Jericho seems like a good dude in comparison.
 

famicommander

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AEW has gone full Vince Russo.

Samoa Joe Billy Gunn was kidnapped by ECW ninjas Swerve Strickland.
 

Arcademan

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WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia has shared intelligence with American officials that suggests Iran could be preparing for an imminent attack on the kingdom, three U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The heightened concerns about a potential attack on Saudi Arabia as the Biden administration is criticizing Tehran for its crackdown on widespread protests and condemning it for sending hundreds of drones — as well as technical support — to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine.

“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis,” the National Security Council said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”
Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Nor did Iran’s mission to the United Nations.
One of the officials who confirmed the intelligence sharing described it as a credible threat of an attack “soon or within 48 hours.” No U.S. embassy or consulate in the region has issued alerts or guidance to Americans in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the Middle East based on the intelligence. The officials were not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.


Now in case you're wondering "What does this have to do with wrestling?" It's because WWE's Crown Jewel event takes place this Saturday. As of now, there are no plans to postpone or cancel it however WWE will update everyone tomorrow on what is going on.
 

Arcademan

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WWE Crown Jewel PLE Results: 11-5-22

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com

(1) BROCK LESNAR vs. BOBBY LASHLEY

Lashley made his ring entrance. Then a video package aired on the match. Brock then made his entrance. Cole noted that Paul Heyman said on Corey Graves’ podcast that Brock looks at Lashley as an “asterick” (he meant “asterisk, I assume!) in his career because of what happened at the Royal Rumble. Lashley shoved Brock into the ringside steps early. Brock sold a hurt leg. Lashley threw Brock into the ring and the ref called the bell instantly, apparently without checking with Brock if he was okay. WWE is usually good about not overly rewarding pre-match attacks like that. Lashley speared Brock. Brock immediately rolled to ringside to try to walk off his leg pain. Lashley speared him at ringside, too, crashing into the ringside barricade. He then rolled him into the ring and speared him again and scored a near fall. Fans chanted, “Fight forever!” Lesnar came back with a sudden German suplex which popped the crowd. Brock did another. He then played to the crowd as he limped over to Lashley and delivered a third German suplex. Brock delivered an F5 for a believable near fall.

Lashley clotheslined Brock over the top rope seconds later, then rammed him into the ringpost ribs-first while having him lifted onto his shoulders. Lashley played to the crowd, who booed him. Lashley threw Brock back into the ring and then gave Brock a spinebuster. He held out his arms and was booed again. Cole said Brock looked to be in serious jeopardy. Lashley applied a full nelson on Brock mid-ring. Lesnar got red-faced and looked concerned, but then he let out a big roar and tried to power out. Lashley held on. Brock told the ref to shut up when he asked if he gave up. Brock dropped to one knee. Lesnar’s arm dropped twice, but not a third time. Fans cheered. Lesnar then pushed off the turnbuckles and landed on Lashley and got a three count. Cole said Brock one, but he barely survived the fight, an attempt to protect Lashley a bit in his loss.

After the match, Lashley applied another full nelson briefly. Fans booed and chanted “You suck!”

WINNER: Lesnar in 6:00. (**3/4)

(For all the controversy associated with WWE’s relationship with Saudi Arabia feeling like propaganda to “normalize” the Saudi Arabia’s regime and their practices, it’s a blast to see a fans – at least in the rows opposite the hard camera – so thoroughly excited by the novelty of seeing WWE up close in person. They were very into this match and strongly took side with Brock; Lashley’s pre-match attack from behind nudged fans in that direction, so I’m not sure if the crowd would have been more split if they had Lashley approach his strategy more down the middle. The match itself was fine, but because of the short duration and lack of stakes, it didn’t feel epic and probably diminished the prospects of a bigger match between them down the line. What there was to it was well executed and dramatic.)

(2) ASUKA & ALEXA BLISS vs. DAKOTA KAI & IYO SKY – WWE Women’s Tag Team Title match

After Sky & Kai made their entrance, Byron Saxton interviewed Bliss & Asuka backstage. He asked how confident they are defending their titles just five days after winning them. As Bliss began to talk, the monitor behind them showed the firefly imagery associated with Bray Wyatt. She noticed, but shook it off and continued talking. She said the match isn’t one week in the making, it’s month of retaliation coming back to haunt Damage CTRL. Asuka yelled that they aren’t ready for Bliss & Asuka. They began their ring entrance.

Sky got in sustained offense against Asuka. She eventualy hot-tagged Bliss who rallied. Sky took over against Bliss, though. Bliss fought back and scored a near fall after a Code Red. Bliss climbed to the top rope, but Kai met her up there. Kai joined in to set up a double superplex. Asuka intervened and powerbombed Sky and Kai off the top rope, but that also ended up superplexing Bliss, defeating the purpose of her ostensible attempt to help her partner. Asuka tagged in and hit Kai with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Asuka landed rapid-fire strikes including spinning back elbows. Bliss tagged back in and went for a Twisted Bliss, but Kai lifted her knees. Bliss had paused briefly to yell at Sky yelling at her from the ring apron.

At ringside, Asuka and Sky battled. Bliss landed a Twisted DDT. Kai shifted her body and rolled into position for a top rope move by Bliss, WHICH LOOKED RIDICULOUS. Bliss climbed to the top rope when Nikki Cross gave her a neckbreaker off the top rope. Kai made the cover. The ref, who was distracted by Sky and Asuka brawling on the other side of the ring, missed the interference, but then turned and counted the pin. Cole noted that Bliss and Cross used to be best friends.

WINNERS: Sky & Kai in 13:00 to regain the WWE Tag Team Titles. (***)

(Good match other than Dakota obviously shirting herself into position for Bliss’s top rope move, even more puzzling considering that was before the spot where Cross interfered, so being in “perfect position” didn’t even matter. This seems to explain the title change five days ago since they wanted Cross to cost Bliss & Asuka the belts rather than just cost them a chance at winning the belt.) [c]

(3) DREW MCINTYRE vs. KARRION KROSS (w/Scarlett) – Cage match

Cole said Kross and Scarlett feast on negative energy. Kross took early control. Fans booed. Drew fired back with chops. Kross chopped back and then threw Drew into the side of the cage. Kross catapulted Drew neck-first up into the bottom rope. Cole said Kross has just been a terrible match-up for Drew. Kross said Drew’s mistakes was approaching Kross like a regular opponent. Drew fired back with two clotheslines and an overhead toss followed by a head-first throw into the side of the cage and then a neckbreaker. Both were down and slow to get up, though. Drew kipped up which popped the crowd. Cole touted the size of the crowd. Barrett talked about the soccer team that plays in that stadium. Drew landed a Michnoku Driver for a two count. Cole said, “This is the slow, plodding match we’ve come to expect from these two men.” (That sounded like a burn, not a compliment or even an objective neutral description, surely not Cole’s intent.)

Kross surprised Drew with a flying knee for a near fall that Cole sold well. Kross trash-talked Drew before lifting him for a throw into the side of the cage. Drew reversed him and landed a spinebuster followed by a jackknife cover for a two count. Kross shifted into a sleeper attempt. Drew reversed Kross into the sleeper. A couple minutes later they battled on the top rope. Drew superplexed Kross off the top rope. Then Drew tried to climb out of the cage door, but Scarlett maced Drew in the face. She also maced the ref. (Totally legal in a cage match!) “Just when you thought Scarlett wouldn’t be involved because of the cage!” Cole exclaimed. Kross tried to climb out, but Drew grabbed his legs and pulled him back mid-ring with an anklelock. Kross kicked out of it. Drew landed a Glasgow Kiss followed by a big boot.

Scarlett closed the cage door. Drew noticed she was locking it. Drew asked what she was doing. Scarlett showed off the key and told him he can’t win. Drew climbed the cage to prove her wrong. She began unlocking the cage door and let Kross climb out, but Drew dropped to the floor first to win. Cole said Scarlett might have made a mistake in her strategy because it took her longer to unlock the door for Kross than it did for Drew to drop to the floor. As Drew celebrated, Kross yelled at ringside, “This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not like this!”

WINNER: McIntyre in 13:00. (**3/4)

(A solid enough cage match for this place on the card. The finish was pretty convoluted, though, and made Scarlet look pretty inept.) [c]
 

Arcademan

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WWE Crown Jewel PLE Results: 11-5-22

(4) THE JUDGMENT DAY (Finn Balor & Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio w/Rhea Ripley) vs. THE O.C. (A.J. Styles & Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows)


When The Judgment Day walked out, Cole said Ripley’s hair style was paying homage to “the late, great” Beth Phoenix. When Cole talked about Dominic and Ripley being a couple, and Rey being against it, Barrett admonished Cole because they have never confirmed their a couple. He also told Cole that Dominik is 25 years old and should be able to decide whom he dates, if that’s the case. Barrett called Anderson “a true world traveler… who is respected around the world.” Anderson battled Balor first. Then when Priest tagged in, Gallows tagged in. Cole mentioned Gallows history as IWGP Tag Team Champion, a rare acknowledgment on WWE commentary of a title outside of WWE.

Cole said a lot of people are saying Ripley has become the de facto leader of The Bloodline. He called her “bewitching” and “provocative.” The O.C. eventually isolated Dominik and got in sustained offense against him. Fans chanted “A.J. Styles!” Dominik rolled to the floor. Styles went after Balor when he tried to enter. Priest hit Anderson at ringside as the ref was occupied with Styles and Balor. Back in the ring, Dominik scored a two count on Anderson. “That’s how this game works,” Barrett said, defending the illegal interference. He insisted Graves would agree with him.

Later Styles and Balor battled. Balor applied a figure-four mid-ring. Anderson landed a senton on Balor to break it up. They did a spot where everyone suplexed everyone. Styles and Balor were down on their backs mid-ring and slow to get up. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Styles set up a Phenomenal Forearm seconds later, but Ripley yanked him off the ring apron and slammed him onto the edge of the ring. “Somebody’s got to kick her ass,” Cole exclaimed. “I mean, this is ridiculous!” Balor landed the Coup de Gras for the win.

WINNERS: The Judgment Day in 14:00. (**3/4)

(A solid tag match, but nothing memorable. The commentary and Ripley hair style suggests a Ripley vs. Phoenix feud is on the horizon.)

(5) OMOS vs. BRAUN STROWMAN

Barrett said Omos needs MVP in his ear, and without MVP present because of Braun’s attack on him at ringside on Smackdown the night before, he might be at a disadvantage. (So much for my idea that MVP might take the pin here in some lame escape hatch finish. Instead, they’re set up an excuse for Omos to lose. Omos offered a test of strength at the start. Braun asked the crowd and they encouraged it. Braun accepted, but lost the test of strength. Omos threw a Diesel-style elbow in the corner and then mounted Braun in the corner and trash-talked a bit. He whipped Braun into the opposite corner, and Braun bounced out of it and fell to the mat. When he stood, Omos splashed him in the corner against the turnbuckles. He followed with a big boot. He told the ringside camera, “I’m the only giant.”

Omos one-arm slammed Braun and then put his foot on Braun’s chest to score a one count. Cole said Omos has never looked this good. “He looks spectacular so far,” he said. Barrett said he’s never seen Omos look so confident. Cole said, “He’s literally beating the hell out of Strowman.” (Huh?) Omos tossed Braun across the ring. Omos said, “I could do this in my sleep.” Braun grabbed Omo by the throat as Omos grabbed him. Braun broke Omos’s grip and punched him. Omos bent over. Braun then charged and clotheslined Omos over the top rope. Omos landed on his feet. Braun charged at Omos art ringside, and Omos clotheslined him. Barrett said that has never backfired on Braun before.

Back in the ring, Omos called for Braun to stand. Barrett said it’s turned into an act of humiliation. Braun powered Omos’s arms off of him, but Omos threw Braun into the corner. He then charged him in the corner, but Braun moved and then lifted Omos and gave him a running powerslam for a three count.

WINNER: Braun in 7:00. (*1/2)

(This wasn’t half bad, actually. I mean, based on the low expectations given how limited Omos has been. This was quite passable for a battle of two big men. The psychology here was for Omos to be “protected” even in losing by dominating up until the loss. It made Omos look weak, though, that it only took one running powerslam to be pinned. Braun looked diminished by being dominated up until that point. This was a bit of a no-win situation where WWE had to choose sides, and an Omos loss would take away some of the mystique that is the driving force behind him being relevant.)

(6) JEY & JIMMY USO vs. THE BRAWLING BRUTES (Ridge Holland & Butch) – WWE Undisputed Tag Team Title match

Cole said Jey has his wrist and arm wrapped because he believes he has a broken wrist that occurred during the European tour, but he’s not going to leave his brother high and dry to get it tended to. They replayed the Bloodline’s brutal attack on Sheamus weeks ago. He said if they retain the belts tonight, they’ll defend them Friday against New Day to try to set the record for length of tag title reign. Cole said Reigns will defend his title soon, and that has to be in the back of the Usos minds. He said it could make them ripe for the picking given how much the Usos have on their minds. Cole said this is the biggest night in the career of the Brawling Brutes.

Butch got in early offense against Jimmy, so Jimmy rolled to ringside to regroup with Jey. They grabbed their belts and threatened to just leave. Barrett said, “That’s one way to get the record.” Butch leaped onto them and then went after Jimmy’s arm. The Usos took control against Butch for a short stretch leading to a hot-tag to Holland. Cole touted Holland’s history playing rugby. Holland lifted both Usos at onnce and tossed them over his shoulders. “Somewhere Sheamus is smiling,” Cole said. He scored a two count on Jey. The Brutes went after Jimmy’s arm against the ringside steps.

Holland gave Jimmy a twisting one-arm slam mid-ring for a two count. When Butch tagged in, Cole called him, “The frenzied, manic Butch.” All four fought mid-ring. The Usos got the better of it. Jimmy went for a top rope splash, but Butch caught him and applied an armbar and then grabbed his finger. Jimmy lifted Butch and then Jey kicked him. Jey and Jimmy climbed opposite top turnbuckles and landed a stereo splash. Holland broke up the cover. All four were down and slow to get up. They went to a wide overhead shot of the ring and scoreboard for a cool view. Fans chanted “Uce-y!” as Jey stood over Butch. Butch grabbed Jey’s fingers and yanked them apart. As Jey sold that, Holland tagged in. Holland gave Jey a White Noise for a dramatic near fall. Butch and Holland threw Jimmy over the ringside barricade, then returned to the ring. They double-teamed Jey and scored a near fall, broken up by Jimmy. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Cole said: “Indeed, this is awesome. The whole night’s been awesome!”


All four stood and exchanged rapid-punches. Butch climbed to the top rope, but Jey met him up there. Jimmy then gave Butch their 1D (One and Done) as Jey dropped Butch backwards off the top rope. Barrett said it was a successful banger for the Usos and next they’ll try to break the record against New Day. Cole called it one of the biggest matches in the history of Smackdown on Fox.

WINNERS: The Usos in 11:00 to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles. (***)

(Not long enough to be epic, but really good while it lasted. The crowd was into it, and the Brutes managed to pull off a couple convincing near fall along the way even though it felt highly unlikely the Usos wouldn’t be facing New Day on Friday for the record.)
 

Arcademan

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WWE Crown Jewel PLE Results: 11-5-22

(7) BIANCA BELAIR vs. BAYLEY – Last Woman Standing for the WWE Raw Title


Bayley got the better of Belair early at ringside. She pulled a table out from under the ring and set it up. Belair, meanwhile, recovered enough to stand. Bayley was having issues locking the legs of the table, giving Belair extra time. Bayley then set up a suplex, but Belair fought back. Belair suplexed Bayley on the ramp. Bayley took over again and slammed Bayley with a chair mid-ring. When she climbed to the top rope, Belair threw a chair at Bayley to knock her off balance. Bayley dragged Belair to ringside behind the ringside steps. She kicked the steps into her and Belair sank beneath the steps in the hollow part. She she stood, Bayley bashed her with a kendo stick. Belair dropped back under the steps. Bayley smashed the steps with the kendo stick, then threatened Cole. The ref began counting Belair down. Belair fought back and knocked Bayley down. She then lifted the top of the steps and threw them, but well short of Bayley. Bayley threw Belair into the announce desk. The ref began counting both down. They both stood before ten. They brawled up the ramp. Bayley gave Belair a Bayley-to-Belly on the stage. They both stood before the count of ten.

Bayley dumped Belair into a rolling equipment case on the stage. The ref began counting. Belair popped out of the case at the count of seven. Bayley decided to lightly press on the lid rather than sit or lie on the lid. Belair set up Bayley for a K.O.D., but Bayley slipped out and then applied a crossface. Belair faded, so Bayley let go and stood. The ref began his ten count. Belair stood, then fell, but it wsa enough to break the count. Bayley arrived back on the stage with a golf cart. She sped toward Belair who easily moved out of the way in a comical scene. She then brawled with Bayley in the cart. Barrett said he didn’t expect to see that. “Can somebody say Caddy Shack?” said Cole. They brawled onto the roof of the cart. The ref, for some reason, implored them to get down. Belair drove the cart with Bayley lying on the roof. She sped down the ramp and stopped at ringside. Bayley stood and grabbed Belair’s braid. Belair yanked Bayley off the roof and meant to crash her through the table set up at ringside. Bayley overshot it, though, and crashed to the ringside floor. Baley hit the back of her neck on the edge of the table, it appeared. The ref checked on her. Barrett said when tables don’t break, it can be worse when you catch it on the edge of your spine. Belair then powerbombed Bayley through the table in an apparent audible. The ref then counted to nine before Bayley stood.

Belair threw some chairs into the ring. Cole said she’s been watching Liv Morgan on Smackdown. Belair slammed Bayley on the chairs. When Belair flipped off the top rope for a 450 splash, Bayley moved and Belair landed hard on the chairs. Belair stood at nine. Bayley went back on the attack. A dueling chant broke out of “Let’s Go Bayley / E.S.T.!” Bayley bashed Belair with a chair, then set up the chair. She rammed Belair onto the chair. Belair countered with a K.O.D. onto the chair. She then sandwiched Bayley in the ladder and wedged her in it under the bottom turnbuckle. Bayley was trapped and struggled to get out, but the ref counted to ten.

WINNER: Belair in 20:00 to retain the WWE Raw Title. (***1/4)

(That was a clever and resourceful method of trapping Bayley to win the match. Probably the best match of the night so far. Some of it was hokey, such as the golf cart aspect, but overall it was a successful dramatic and creative Last Woman Standing style match.)
 

Arcademan

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WWE Crown Jewel PLE Results: 11-5-22

(8) ROMAN REIGNS vs. LOGAN PAUL – WWE Undisputed Title match


Logan made his entrance alone, beggining by standing atop a huge tower platform. They went to a wide shot of pryo blasted from the top of the stadium. The platform lowered as Cole said there’s a reason he’s one of the top social media influencers in the world. He said if he pulls off a Buster Douglas-like upset, it’d be one of the biggest upsets in WWE, and perhaps in all of sports. He said Logan lasted eight rounds with Floyd Mayweather, who said Logan was better and tougher than he thought “and a hell of a competitor.” Cole said Reigns hasn’t been pinned since Dec. 15, 2019. Reigns’s entrance then began, which popped the crowd.

After formal ring introduction, they locked up. Reigns shoved Logan into the corner and then laughed. When Logan shoved Reigns back, Reigns got furious as the crowd cheered. He went back after Logan. Cole said Logan has to get Reigns off his game and then he stands a chance. Logan took down Reigns with an amateur style move. Reigns topped Logan’s success with amateur wrestling moves with a punch. Logan swung back, but Reigns ducked. Reigns slid to ringside and pointed at some fans. Fans taunted Reigns as Reigns returned to the ring. “Stop running, Tribal Chief,” said Logan. Logan armdragged Reigns and then charged with a clothesline, sending Reigns over the top rope to ringside. Cole said Heyman looked shocked.

Reigns got the better of Logan at ringside, tossing him into the time keeper’s area. Logan, though, leaped off the barricade and tackled Reigns. He threw him back into the ring where he slingshot himself into the ring and landed a somersault clothesline for a two count. Cole said, “That was a two-and-a-half count, Wade, against the most dominant champion in 35 years!” Reigns caught Logan mid-air with a right punch. Both were down and slow to get up. Heyman encouraged Reigns from ringside, declaring him the greatest of all time. Reigns stomped away at Logan. Cole said Logan had his moment early, but the longer the match goes, it has “Roman Reigns dominance written all of it.” Reigns gave Logan a back suplex.

Reigns dominated for several minutes. Logan came back with a gut-wrench slam. Both were down and slow to get up. Barrett touted that Logan had trained with Shawn Michaels recently and it might be showing. Logan clotheslined Reigns when stood. Cole brought up Logan looking for a lucky punch. Logan back elbowed a charging Reigns and then landed a blockbuster for a two count. Barrett said Logan is the best “three match wrestler” he’s seen in his entire life “and it’s not even close.” Logan caught Reigns with a Superman punch. Both were down and slow to get up again. Logan kipped up. Logan leaped off the top rope with a crossbody followed by a standing moonsault for a near fall. Heyman was bug-eyed at ringside. Cole said Heyman is going to turn grey in a hurry and will need extra Grecian Formula. (Is that still a thing?)

Logan stomped the mat HBK-style. Reigns caught his boot and landed a uranage for a near fall. Both were down and slow to get up again. Barrett said he has his naysayers, but Logan is something special and he’ll fight to his last breath. Cole said fans are wishing the unthinkable might happen. Reigns stood and charged with a Superman Punch, but Logan ducked and landed a kidney punch. Logan landed a right and then a Superman Punch for a dramatic near fall. “What the hell are we witnessing, Cole?!” said Barrett. Reigns rubbed his temple, but couldn’t stand. He rolled to the floor as Logan grasped for his hand to prevent it. Barrett called it a veteran move by Reigns, knowing exactly what he has to do. Logan went after Reigns at ringside. Barrett said that one lucky punch was Logan’s best chance. Logan cleared the Arabic announce desk (which was grimy and beaten up looking).

Logan took a phone from his entourage at ringside and held it for a selfie video of his leap off the top rope onto Roman on the table. He landed on Reigns and the table collapsed. (That selfie bit is going to undo any goodwill Logan built up with his effort in this match because it’s so cocky and disrespectful in any context, but especially his as a celebrity interloper.) Barrett said the video Logan took is about to go viral. The Usos ran to ringside and pulled two members of Logan’s entourage over the barricade and beat them up. Jey superkicked one of them in the ring. They superkicked the other guy and then kicked them out of the ring.

Jake Paul then made his entrance, with a theme song and on-screen graphic. “The problem child is here,” said Cole. Jake faced the Usos. he punched Jey and then punched Jimmy. Both went down and rolled out of the ring. Jake celebrated his fist and yelled, “Let’s go!” Logan threw Reigns into the ring and then gave his brother a pep talk. “Finish this shit,” he said. Logan landed a top rope splash for a near fall. Barrett said Logan winning would be the worst nightmare of every wrestling purist. A “Logan!” chant broke out. With both down, Solo Sikoa’s music played and he walked out to his theme. (Playing theme songs for mid-match run-ins is really too much.) Jake awaited Solo. Referees and officials stepped between them. The Usos then approached Jake. Logan leaped over the top rope onto both Usos. Jake and Logan hugged. When Logan returned to the ring, Reigns gave Logan a Superman Punch and a spear for the win. As Reigns left, he said he never wants to see Logan again. Heyman said, “This is your glory, my Tribal Chief. I acknowledge you, my Tribal Chief!”

WINNER: Reigns in 25:00 to retain the WWE Undisputed Title. (***1/2)

(A good match, but it felt a little video-game-esque at times with the signature spots, many designed overtly to show how athletic Logan was. Some of it worked, other times it felt performantive rather than part of the natural flow of a match, although that can be said for a lot of full time wrestlers’ highspots these days, too. Logan continues to be impressive overall, but that selfie spot is going to cost him with fans he’s trying to win over. The stuff at the end to wedge Jake and the Usos and Solo involved made the match into a bit of a mess leading to the finish. Cole and Barrett were heavy-handed in their praise of Logan, but Logan’s performance and Reigns’s selling made it less offensive.)
 
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