offical wwe thread

deviljin102

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Way to be his own man!

-too physically big to carry on his old man’s gimmick

-went from ho-hum, to ho-ly shit (!) within a couple of years, because he is coachable and humble.
If he had gone with a full mask gimmick no one would buy it perse. I think in the future, he will don it for a time. Makes sense to do so when his father retires and/or when he's in a big babyface role.
 

Arcademan

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Ole Anderson passes away at 81

The tight-knit professional wrestling community has been deeply affected by the loss of Ole Anderson. News of his death emerged on social media, specifically through a somber Instagram post by fellow wrestler Ricky Morton. As an NWA Hall of Famer, Anderson’s demise at the age of 81 has led many to reminisce and offer sympathies, with Morton extending condolences to Anderson’s loved ones.

A key figure in wrestling history, Ole Anderson was a founding member of the renowned group, the Four Horsemen, and was recognized for his performances in the Independent circuit worldwide. His successful career included several NWA Championship titles, and he was honored with an induction into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994.
 

famicommander

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WWE had to pay MLW 20 million dollars in their antitrust lawsuit settlement.

By comparison, that's more than WCW, ECW, and ROH were ultimately sold to Vince/Khan for combined. It's also twice as much as Scott D'Amore offered when he tried to buy TNA last month.

No wonder MLW can suddenly afford to book Minoru Suzuki. All this because WWE sabotaged a tiny streaming deal MLW got with Tubi of all places.

EDIT:
Holy shit they have Don King on their roster as a manager. Dude straight up killed two people and is famous for stealing from the most dangerous heavyweight boxers in the world. If Court Bauer ain't careful King gonna strongarm him outta every cent of that WWE money.
 
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Arcademan

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WWE star Virgil, born Mike Jones, dies at age 61

WWE fans are mourning the loss of Mike Jones, who was known as Virgil during his career.

The wrestling organization confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Jones died on Wednesday.

Wrestling referee Mark Charles III, known as The Count, first announced Jones' death in a Facebook post published on Wednesday, saying that the wrestling star, who had many nicknames, "passed peacefully at the hospital" that morning. Jones was 61.

"My dear friends, it is with great sorrow that I bring news from the Jones family of the passing of our beloved Michael Jones, whom we know and loved as Virgil, Vincent, Soul Train Jones and more," he said. "... I ask that you pray for him and for his family. May his memory be eternal!"

The cause of death was not shared.

Jones was reportedly diagnosed with dementia and had two strokes in 2022, according to Ohio news outlet WTRF. In December, a GoFundMe was set up to help cover Jones' living expenses.

Virgil rose to stardom in the late 1980s and early 1990s, first as Ted DiBiase's bodyguard who assisted him in fights. WWE, which was WWF at the time, scripted for the duo's relationship to sour, until 1991's Royal Rumble where Virgil refused to put a championship belt on the Million Dollar Man's waist, instead knocking him down. He beat DiBiase later that year at SummerSlam for the Million Dollar Title.

He also appeared in the nWo and spent time in the late 1990s in the WCW.
 

JoeAwesome

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220px-Mike_Jones_BET_Awards_05_ICE_AGE_SHIRT.jpg
 

famicommander

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If anyone is in NY, you can see Satoshi Kojima vs Minoru Suzuki live tomorrow for 20 bucks:

They old af but it'd be cool to see them while they're still around
 

Arcademan

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Too late for me so I'll post the AEW Revolution PPV results tomorrow. Check your favorite wrestling site if you don't want to wait ;)
 

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AEW Revolution PPV Results: 3-3-24

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com (direct link to LeClair's complete report).

Only posting the winners since it's too wordy to copy and paste ;)

(1) CHRISTIAN CAGE (c, w/ Nick Wayne, Killswitch & Mother Wayne) vs. DANIEL GARCIA – TNT Championship match
WINNER: Christian Cage in 17:00 to retain the TNT Championship

(2) EDDIE KINGSTON (c) vs. BRYAN DANIELSON – AEW Continental Crown Championship
WINNER: Eddie Kingston in 19:44 to retain the AEW Continental Crown Championship

(3) HOOK vs. POWERHOUSE HOBBS vs. LANCE ARCHER (w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts) vs. MAGNUS vs. BRIAN CAGE (w/ Prince Nana) vs. WARDLOW (w/ Adam Cole, Matt Taven, & Mike Bennett) vs. DANTE MARTIN vs. CHRIS JERICHO – All-Star 8-Man Scramble match
WINNER: Wardlow in 16:23

(4) ORANGE CASSIDY (c) vs. RODERICK STRONG (w/ Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) – AEW International Championship match
WINNER: Roderick Strong in 12:43 to win the AEW International Championship

(5) BLACKPOOL COMBAT CLUB (Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)
WINNERS: Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli in 21:50

(6) TONI STORM (c, w/ Luther & Mariah May) vs. DEONNA PURRAZZO – AEW Women’s World Championship match
WINNER: Toni Storm in 12:16 to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship

(7) KINOSUKE TAKESHITA vs. WILL OSPREAY
WINNER: Will Ospreay in 21:57

(8) SAMOA JOE (c) vs. SWERVE STRICKLAND (w/ Prince Nana) vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE – AEW World Championship Three-Way match
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 19:42 to retain the AEW World Championship

(9) STING & DARBY ALLIN vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Nicholas & Matthew Jackson) – AEW World Tag Team Championship Tornado Tag match
WINNERS: Sting & Darby Allin in 21:00 to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
 

famicommander

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TNA's last PPV did about 60,000 buys, which is more than their all time record (which was way back in the Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe days) and about triple what Bound for Glory did.

In true TNA fashion, they fired the head booker right after setting their PPV buy record.
 

wataru330

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Scott D’More and Jeff Jarrett really had lightening in a bottle, 2005-2007.

The Team3D funeral, w/ Team Canada and AMW in the funeral parlor was lolz.

Joe/Styles/Fallen Angel 3-way joined in progress from Spike prime-time premier…

Man, I just loved that era. And the Kong era too.
 

GohanX

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Scott D’More and Jeff Jarrett really had lightening in a bottle, 2005-2007.

The Team3D funeral, w/ Team Canada and AMW in the funeral parlor was lolz.

Joe/Styles/Fallen Angel 3-way joined in progress from Spike prime-time premier…

Man, I just loved that era. And the Kong era too.
Mid 00's TNA was probably the most I enjoyed wrestling.
 

famicommander

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The main event scene in that era of TNA was still mostly shit. Sometimes they let Joe or AJ into the fun but too often it was just a bunch of WCW old timers. The X-Division, women's division, and tag division were on fire but it was way past time for guys like Nash, Steiner, Hall, or Mick Foley to be in the main event.

ROH from 2004 until Cornette came and ruined it was the best era for me.
 

wataru330

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ROH was big for me also. I went in person many times from 2002 to 2004.

I was at the Paul London ‘please don’t die’ show. 11/10, would chant again.
 

famicommander

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ROH was big for me also. I went in person many times from 2002 to 2004.

I was at the Paul London ‘please don’t die’ show. 11/10, would chant again.
ROH was the creative driving force in the industry from 2002 until about 2018. Without ROH there is no AEW, no NXT, no NJPW USA. And of course the vast majority of the major WWE, AEW, and TNA stars since then came from ROH.

They essentially supplanted ECW which was the real driving force behind both WWF and WCW's creative overhauls in the 90s.
 

wataru330

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Post Dunn Raw is a treat to watch. No more 784 jump cuts a match.

And Rock got little kids boycotting Moana over the whooping he put on Cody?

This era is g r e a t!
 

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WWE WrestleMania XL PLE Results: 4-6-24 (Night #1)

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com (direct link to LeClair's real-time report).

1) RHEA RIPLEY (c) vs. BECKY LYNCH – Women’s World Championship match

Michael Cole noted that Becky Lynch had been suffering from strep throat all week. Corey Graves said she admitted to him that she had a fever for much of the last few days. Rhea Ripley shoved her challenger to the corner right out of the gate. Becky took it in stride, returning to her feet and stepping to the champion. The crowd broke into a quick “let’s go Mami” chant. Lynch managed to create some separation by attacking Ripley’s arm. McAfee mentioned that Rhea has been suffering from a wrist injury. Becky tossed Rhea to the outside, them leapt off the apron onto her. She quickly tossed the champion back in the ring.

Champion and challenger traded quick blows. Ripley gave Lynch a back slam, then a Suplex with a bridging cover for a two count. Ripley backed Lynch into the corner and drove her shoulder into the challenger’s ribs repeatedly. Becky collapsed to the mat. Rhea dragged her out of the corner by the hair. “You’re nothing!’ she told Lynch. Becky countered a Suplex attempt into a roll up, but Ripley broke out with ease. She hoisted Becky back into a Suplex and dropped her. Rhea gave Becky a couple of weak toe kicks to the back of the head. The two traded blows again. Ripley caught Becky with a dropkick off an Irish whip.

Ripley dragged Lynch around the ring. She slapped her chest and smiled at the crowd before ascending the southwest turnbuckle. She gave a signature Guerrero shake, but Becky ripped her down with an arm drag. Both women were down as the match approached 5:00. As the opponents rose, they began trading body blows. Rhea bounced Becky off her knee, then looked for another Suplex. Lynch turned it into a tornado DDT off the middle rope for a cover and two count. Becky willed the crowd to life, but they booed her. She leapt off the bottom rope and caught Rhea with a kick. Ripley was draped over the middle rope. Becky gave her a diving leg drop, flipping the champion to the floor. Lynch followed up with a Bex-ploder into the barrier at ringside. Lynch tossed Rhea back into the ring and gave her another leg drop, this time from the middle rope. She covered for another two count.

Lynch grabbed onto the injured wrist of Rhea and tried to apply the Dis-Arm-Her. Ripley shoved her away, into the turnbuckle. Lynch tried to use the momentum to leap onto the champin, but Rhea caught her and slammed her. Becky popped to her feet and ate a huge knee to the face from the champion for a two count at 7:45. Ripley set up her challenger for the Riptide, but Lynch floated over her back. She shoved her into the ropes and delivered a back cracker. Becky transitioned right into an arm bar. Ripley writhed on the mat, searching for leverage. She dead-lifted Becky into a trio of Powerbombs, sitting out on the last one for a near fall.

The camera pulled back as Cole reiterated the chilly temperature in the stadium. Back in the ring, Ripley dropped Lynch with another big boot and two count. Rhea began to show frustration. She peppered Becky with quick punches and slaps. Becky rose to her feet and returned several of her own. She side-stepped a charge, running Ripley right into the southeast ring post. Becky climbed the ropes and locked the Dis-Arm-Her against the top rope. Becky used the entirety of the referee’s count, finally letting go. Ripley shook out her arm, tripping Lynch up and quickly applying the Prison Trap. She dragged Lynch to the center of the ring. The crowd cheered for a tap. Becky reached valiantly for the ropes, but Rhea laid into it. Lynch turned her over multiple times, eventually catching the champion in a pin, necessitating a hold break.

Rhea went for Riptide again. Becky blocked it and turned it into the Man-Handle Slam for a cover and near fall at 12:20. Becky sat in the middle of the ring, gasping for breath. She tried again to work Ripley’s arm into position for the Dis-Arm-Her. Rhea blocked it. She managed to hoist Becky up and deliver Rip Tide for a stack cover and last moment kick out. The crowd popped big. Ripley was incensed, believing she scored a three. She climbed to the top turnbuckle. Becky sat her down by shaking the ropes. Lynch met Ripley atop the southeast buckle. The two traded punches. Lyunch managed to deliver a Superplex, then rolled into the Dis-Arm-Her. Ripley fought to her knees, trying to gain leverage. She hoisted Becky onto her shoulders. The two tumbled over the top rope, still in Electric Chair position. Ripley dropped her.

“That was a long way down!” McAfee exclaimed as Ripley tossed the challenger back in the ring. She climbed the ropes and delivered a frog splash for a cover and near fall at 15:45. Graves said you’re going to have to kill Becky Lynch before she gives up at WrestleMania. A small “this is awesome” chant broke out. Lynch rolled to the apron with Rhea in pursuit, taunting her. Ripley tried to dead lift Lynch back into the ring by the hair. Becky fought her off. She hooked the champion for a top rope Man-Handle Slam. Lynch dove, but Rhea blocked the move. She scooped Becky up and gave her a Riptide onto the turnbuckle. Becky bounced back into her arms and Ripley delivered the move again, stacking her for a cover and three count.

WINNER: Rhea Ripley in 17:09 to retain the Women’s World Championship

(Good opener in an advantageous position on the card. Becky and Rhea took advantage of being the first wrestlers out of the gate and came off like major stars. This started off a little bit slowly as the two felt each other out, but picked up as they crossed the 5:00 mark and settled in. Coming off the incredible match with Charlotte Flair last year, it felt like there were some lofty expectations for these two, and while I don’t think they quite reached those levels, I do think they did a good job of delivering a strong WrestleMania opener without taking too much of the energy out of the crowd for what it sure to be a long evening. They really played up Lynch’s sickness, which seems like it could’ve played a part in this never reaching a notable fourth gear. The crowd’s reactions were to be expected, with a heavy amount of respect built in for Lynch, but clear favoritism toward Ripley. There’s some interesting stories they can tell with Becky coming out of this loss, too.)
 

Arcademan

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WWE WrestleMania XL PLE Results: 4-6-24 (Night #1)

(2) THE JUDGMENT DAY (c, Finn Balor & Damian Priest) vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. AWESOME TRUTH (The Miz & R-Truth) vs. NEW CATCH REPUBLIC (Pette Dunne & Tyler Bate) vs. AUSTIN THEORY & GRAYSON WALLER vs. THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) – Six-Pack Ladder match for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships


All twelve men stood in the ring looking up at the two sets of tag team titles. Wrestlers came to blows immediately. The fight left the ring right away, with various people focusing on taking down Damian Priest. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller returned to the ring quickly with two ladders, trying to steal a win. Multiple wrestlers came back in to stop them. Judgment Day returned to the fold and took everybody down. Priest tossed a ladder at Waller, knocking him out of the ring. Finn Balor tossed wrestlers into Priest’s ladder and he batted them down like baseballs. The champions propped a ladder in the corner and tossed Tyler Bate onto it. The “Big Strong Boy” rolled out of the way, sending Priest crashing onto the steel.

Balor grabbed a ladder. Bate hoisted him onto his shoulders, ladder still in tow. He completed an airplane spin, then tossed the dizzied champion onto the propped ladder. On the outside. Xavier Woods traded blows with both members of New Catch Republic. The duo cleared a path and climbed a ladder on the outside. Wrestlers gathered under both sides. Bate and Dunne hit tandem Moonsaults off the top of the ladders onto the crowd of wrestlers below as the match crossed 4:00.

Back in the ring, New Catch Republic set up a ladder and began to climb. Damian Priest pulled Dunne off the ladder and launched him into it,. dropping Bate in the process. Priest re-positioned the ladder in between both sets of titles and began to climb. The Miz pulled him down. He set him up for a Skull Crushing Finale, but the two got their feet tangled in the ladder and stumbled dangerously. R-Truth leapt onto the apron, asking for a tag. The crowd popped big. Miz made a leaping dive, reaching his partner. Cole said that Truth thinks it’s a regular tag team match. Truth completed a standard “hot tag” comeback, finishing it off with a Five Knuckle Shuffle and Attitude Adjustment to Balor onto a ladder. Truth pinned Balor and counted to three for himself. The crowd reacted like he’d just won. So did Truth.

DIY returned to the ring. Truth told him to tune up the band. Miz and Truth fed Priest to Johnny Gargano, who hit Sweet Chin Music. Tommaso Ciampa gave Priest a Pedigree. Truth offered the Raw titles to DIY if he and Miz could retrieve the Smackdown titles. The teams tried, but Austin Theory and Grayson Waller knocked both teams off the ladders. Waller ascended the ladder himself and retrieved the Smackdown Tag Team titles just after 7:30. Samantha Irvin announced them as the new champions. Cole noted that that they could become Undisputed champions if they retrieve the Raw titles. Theory tried, but was quickly pulled down by Pete Dunne. Meanwhile, Tyler Bate grabbed Waller off his ladder in Powerbomb position. He launched Waller over the top rope, through a propped ladder between the ring and announcers desk.

Outside the ring, Ciampa tossed Tyler Bate into the ringside Prime “hydration station.” He and Gargano retrieve a table from underneath the ring, much to the delight of the Philly faithful. On the apron, DIY tried to Suplex Woods over the ropes and onto a pair of tables. Kofi Kingston cut them off. New Day propped a ladder against another ladder and the middle rope. Xavier hit a frog splash onto Ciampa, who was laid out on the ladder. New Day began ascending the ladder as the match approached 11:30. Kofi, too far to reach the belts, delivered a trust fall out of the ring onto a group of wrestlers below.

Austin Theory ripped Xavier Woods off the ladder and began climbing. New Catch Republic caught up to him. They manipulated his fingers until he released his grasp on the steel and fell into their waiting arms. They gave him the Burming-Hammer. Meanwhile, Johnny Gargano gave Pete Dunne a tornado DDT off the apron and through a table on the outside. Tommaso Ciampa climbed the ladder to join Tyler Bate. He gave him an Air Raid Crash onto the mat. Cole said he killed him.

R-Truth entered the ring, all alone, as the match crossed 13:30. He began climbing the ladder. J.D. McDonaugh appeared, ripping Truth to the mat. He helped Finn Balor climb the ladder. New Day returned to pull Finn back to the mat. J.D. was left alone atop the ladder. Cole explained that it wouldn’t count if he pulled the titles down. New Day tipped the ladder, sending J.D. crashing through the two tables on the floor. Damian Priest returned and gave Xavier Woods a Big Boot. He delivered a Razor’s Edge to Kofi onto a chair.

Priest began climbing the ladder. Referees tried to get his attention, seeing that the ladder was falling apart. Priest ignored them. Miz ran up the ladder. It nearly broke under his weight. Priest and Miz fought back to the mat. Priest tossed the damaged ladder to the outside. R-Truth returned with a new ladder. Priest took it from him and set it up. He began climbing, but Truth pulled him off and onto his shoulders. He gave Priest an Attitude Adjustment to the floor. Truth climbed the ladder and retrieved the Raw Tag Team titles.

WINNERS: Austin Theory & Grayson Waller in 7:30 to win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships, Awesome Truth in 17:27 to win the Raw Tag Team Championships

(An expected level of chaos and carnage in a very entertaining WrestleMania ladder match. I’m surprised its taken them this long to split the tag team titles, but it certainly made sense for them to pull the trigger here. The two winners made a lot of sense, too. Theory and Waller have been firmly established as a team as of late and should be able to rehabilitate their image some with a strong tag team title run against a variety of capable opponents on Smackdown. On the Raw side, R-Truth and Miz seemed primed for a title win for a long time now, with many having originally predicted they’d face Priest and Balor in a regular tag match at WrestleMania. The crowd was with them every step of the way, and Truth’s antics proved wildly over with the audience. A solid, feel-good moment for this show. I expect they’ll get plenty of TV out of Judgment Day trying to get their titles back from Awesome Truth, unless their break up comes sooner rather than later.)
 

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WWE WrestleMania XL PLE Results: 4-6-24 (Night #1)

(3) SANTOS ESCOBAR & DOMINIK MYSTERIO (w/ Legado Del Fantasma) vs. REY MYSTERIO & ANDRADE (w/ L.W.O.)


Rey Mysterio kicked things off with Santos Escobar. Cole and Graves noted that the temperature seemed to drop another few degrees right as the bell rang. After a brief exchange, Santos and Rey tagged out. Andrade caught Dominik Mysterio with a hard shot to the jaw, sending him to the outside. Andrade tagged Rey back in. Mysterio leapt onto Andrade’s shoulders and the duo leapt together off the apron onto Mysterio and Escobar. The camera cut to a shocked and pleased Zelina Vega.

In the ring, Mysterio removed his belt and prepared to use it on his scorned son. Dominik cut him off with a knee to the gut, then tossed him to the floor. Dom called for the referee’s attention so he could tag in Santos. Graves said it was “wisdom beyond his years.” Escobar gave Mysterio a kick to the midsection, then tossed him back in the ring. Graves noted that it must be hard for the tag partners on the outside to keep their muscles warm in this weather. McAfee said it’s nothing like football, where at least they had warm benches.

Escobar tagged in Dominik, who flipped into the ring onto his father for a cover and two count as the match hit 4:00. Dom grabbed a front face-lock as members of L.W.O willed on their faction’s leader. Dominik dropped Rey with a spinning back elbow and covered him for a two count. Dom tagged in Escobar. The duo dropped Rey with tandem back elbows and dropkicks. Santos covered Rey for another two count. The crowd continued to boo Dom as he riled them up from the apron. Escobar hoisted Rey onto the northeast turnbuckle. He rose to meet him, using his leverage to try to rip Rey’s mask off. Rey held onto it, but Santos pulled Rey into tree of woe position. He gave him a kick to the gut. Rey crumbled to the mat.

Mysterio battled out of an abdominal stretch and worked Escobar into the corner. He gave him a quick trio of punches before Santos hoisted him onto his shoulders out of the corner. Rey slid down his back and delivered Code Red. Both men were down in the center of the ring. Both managed to reach their partners for a tag. Andrade exploded into the ring, delivering dragon screws to both Santos and Dominik. Dom retreated to the northeast corner. Andrade caught him with double running knees. He climbed to the top rope and went for a Moonsault. Dominik rolled through. Andrade landed on his feet and hit a standing Moonsault instead. He covered for two just before 8:00.

Dominik Mysterio landed a neckbreaker after ducking a clothesline. He and Andrade reached their respective corners for tags. Rey delivered a Hurricanrana to Escobar, draping him over the middle rope. Dom tried to get involved, but Rey tossed him to the floor. Andrade leapt onto Dom on the outside. Mysterio hit the 619. He climbed the southwest turnbuckle to finish it off, but Angel leapt on the apron out of sight of the referee. He kicked Rey to knock him off balance. Escobar pulled him down. Meanwhile, Elektra Lopez leapt onto the apron to distract the referee. Zelina Vega pulled her down. She flipped onto Lopez below.

L.W.O took out Legado Del Fantasma on the outside. They set up Wilde for a massive dive onto the entrance way. In the ring, Escobar told Dominik to retrieve a chair He tried to, but two large men in Rey Mysterio masks attacked him. They tossed him back in the ring. Rey tripped up Escobar and Dom into the middle ropes. He hit the 619, then a splash from the top rope for a cover and three count.

WINNERS: Rey Mysterio & Andrade in 11:02

The masked men revealed themselves to be Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. They celebrated with L.W.O. and slapped hands with fans.

(The match was fine, but felt like more of a set-up for the action on the outside of the ring and the eventual appearance by Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. It was strange, by keeping them both under masks for such a long time, the crowd didn’t seem to know how to react. It sort of felt like they kind of knew who they were, but they weren’t sure enough to react until they finally took the masks off. The ensuing pop was big, but not quite as significant as I’d have expected for Kelce. Still, a fun moment for what it was. The match more or less did what it set out to do, but it certainly didn’t feel like this settled anything.)
 

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WWE WrestleMania XL PLE Results: 4-6-24 (Night #1)

(4) JEY USO vs. JIMMY USO


Jey Uso continued his onslaught as soon as the bell rang. He clotheslined Jimmy Uso over the top rope to the floor, then launched himself right back onto his brother. Jey tossed Jimmy back in the ring and caught him with a step-up. He climbed the northwest turnbuckle and delivered a big cross body for a cover and two count not event a minute into the match. Jey removed his vest and let his brother collect himself. He charged, but Jimmy hoisted him into the air and caught him with a quick Samoan Drop. Jimmy looked back at his twin with disgust. Jey rolled toward the corner. Jimmy hit him with two big hip checks.

“This it? Him?” Jimmy asked the crowd. Jey crawled out of the corner. Jimmy kicked him in the head. He looked around at the crowd. They booed him loudly. Jey launched himself off the middle rope, but Jimmy picked him out of the air with an uppercut. He dropped his brother with a kick to the chin. “Come on!’ he challenged him before delivering another chin kick. Jey slumped against the ropes. Jimmy lifted him to his feet and kicked him again. “Jimmy sucks!” the crowd chanted. Jimmy shrugged them off and kicked Jey in the head again.

A chorus of boos continued to ring out. Jimmy took his time, sauntering onto the apron and climbing to the middle turnbuckle. He mocked Jey’s bounce before jumping at him back in the ring. Jey cut him off with a boot, finally buying himself an opening. The two brothers rose to knees opposite one another at 4:30. They smiled and started trading punches. The crowd responded with dueling “yeet” and “no yeet” chants. Jimmy hoisted Jey onto his shoulders, but Jey slid free. He kicked Jimmy first in the gut, then in the jaw. He gave him a step-up Enziguri. Cole said it’s been a stalemate thus far. The two rose to center. They began firing off wildly. Jimmy gave Jey a Superkick. Jey shrugged it off and delivered one of his own.

“Right here, big brother!” Jey challenged Jey to kick him in the face. He did. Jey returned the kick again. Jimmy stumbled toward the corner. Jey kicked him again. Jimmy slumped in the southeast corner. Jey kicked him again. “You hear me?” Jey asked. He kicked him again. Jimmy was out on his feet. Jey got a running start and delivered a leaping kick. Jimmy collapsed to the mat. Jey called for his brother to stand. McAfee wondered if Jey is supremely confident, or if he’s unwilling to put his brother down. Jey set up for the death blow. Jimmy put his hand up. Jey kicked air. Jimmy screamed out, “I’m sorry! I was wrong!” He crawled toward his twin. Jey seemed moved. Jimmy offered his hand. Jey took it and helped him up. Jimmy could barely stand.

Jimmy suckered him in. He reared back and kicked Jey in the face. He quickly climbed to the top rope and delivered a frog splash for a cover and near fall just before 10:00. McAfee said he thought the Usos were back. “No chance,” Cole responded. McAfee said Jey wanted it, and Cole agreed. Jimmy called for Jey to stand. He got a running start, but Jey picked him off with a Spear. He climbed to the top rope and delivered a splash of his own for a cover and three count.

WINNER: Jey Uso in 11:04

(5) DAMAGE CTRL (Dakota Kai & Asuka & Kairi Sane) vs. JADE CARGILL & BIANCA BELAIR & NAOMI

Noami began the match with Kairi Sane. She gave one half of the women’s tag team champions a kick and landed herself on the apron. She tried to leap back in, but Dakota Kai gave her a quick kick from the apron. This allowed Kairi to knock her to the outside and hit an Insane Elbow from the apron to the floor. She tossed Naomi back in the ring and covered her for a two count. Cole mentioned that Iyo Sky is not in the building tonight as she prepares for her Championship defense tomorrow.

Sane tagged in Asuka. She worked Naomi into the corner. Damage CTRL worked together to isolate Naomi, but she managed to reach her corner and tag in Bianca Belair. The EST gave Dakota Kai a stalling Suplex, then stacked Sane and Asuka in the corner for double punches. Kai charged her, but Belair telegraphed it and flipped over her. Kai speared her own partners. Belair gave Kai a Gutbuster, then pressed Asuka onto both Kai and Sane. She delivered her signature handspring standing Moonsault to all three women and covered them for a two count just before 5:00.

“We want Jade!” the crowd told Bianca. She looked to honor the request, but Dakota Kai cut her off by pulling on her braid. The heels worked Belair over in their corner. Kai tagged Asuka, who delivered a quick flipping neckbreaker to Bianca. The Jade chants continued. “They want Jade and Asuka does not care!” Pat said. Kai and Asuka tried to give Belair a double Suplex, but she flipped through and landed on her feet. She slid through their grasp and dove into Jade’s waiting hand.

Cargill dropped Dakota Kai, then gave Asuka a Chokeslam. Kairi was waiting for Jade on the top rope. She dove at her. Cargill picked her out of the air and slammed her. Kai charged her. Jade gave her an awkward back drop. Cargill delivered a driver to Kai and hooked both legs, but the Warriors broke up the pin. Bianca returned to the ring. Asuka tried to mist Belair, but she ducked. She sprayed Sane instead. Belair whipped Asuka with her braid. She gave her a K.O.D. Jade hit Kai with Jaded and covered her for a three count.

WINNER: Jade Cargill, Bianca Belair, and Naomi in 8:02

(Not much to this one. The crowd was prepping themselves for the official non-Rumble debut of Jade throughout. They popped respectfully for Belair’s always-impressive offense, but the story of this was getting Cargill in the ring to do some impressive stuff. She succeeded. Each of the three babyface women got a few minutes to do their thing, and Damage CTRL fed into it well enough. I couldn’t help but feel like Cargill and Belair deserved some bigger moments here.)

(Like matches involving the Bloodline have been apt to do, this relied less on the in-ring action and more on the emotional storytelling. In truth, the stock of the Bloodline had dropped so dramatically in recent months that this lacked the impact it may have had months ago. Jey has maintained a strong connection with the crowd, and relied on it heavily here to carry the weight. I don’t think it ever really felt like this program hit a strong crescendo, and so the match felt similarly hollow. Jimmy’s late match ruse proved fruitless, as no one seemed to really buy into it except Jey. Thankfully, the babyface wasn’t full thwarted in the end and Jey managed to counter his way into a win. A fine match, but like the opener, it failed to reach another gear.)
 
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Arcademan

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WWE WrestleMania XL PLE Results: 4-6-24 (Night #1)

(6) GUNTHER (c) vs. SAMI ZAYN – WWE Intercontinental Championship match


Gunther flashed a confident smile at Sami Zayn as the bell sounded. Sami circled him. The two locked up and the champion took early, firm control. He shoved Zayn to the mat and then gave him an arrogant boot to the face. He chopped Sami to the mat. Zayn shook it off and stood up, so Gunther did it again. He helped Sami to his feet and gave him a stiff uppercut. Sami stumbled to the corner and Gunther game him no quarter, following close behind him. Sami returned the favor with a pair of quick chops. The champion largely shrugged them off. He hoisted Sami side-first onto the top turnbuckle and mauled him. Sami collapsed to the mat below.

The referee checked on Sami, asking if he wanted to continue. Gunther just laughed. He gave Sami another brutal uppercut. Zayn collapsed in a heap. The camera cut to Sami’s wife, sitting at ringside. She begged her husband to stand. Gunther chopped him to the mat again. Zayn struggled for breath as the match crossed 4:00. Gunther challenged Sami to chop him. Zayn gave him a couple. Gunther cut him off again, but Zayn hit the ropes and dropped Gunther with a big clothesline. He pounded the mat, willing the crowd to life. Gunther gave Sami another violent chop. Then two more. Sami firing a stiff right straight to Gunther’s jaw. He caught him with a boot, then a half-nelson Suplex. Zayn hit a second one. Gunther rolled right to his feet and dropped Zayn with a huge lariat. He covered for two.

Zayn continued to redden Gunther’s chest with chops. “I think he’s just pissing Gunther off,” Cole concluded. Sami managed to drop the champion with a tornado DDT. Gunther stumbled the corner in retreat, allowing Sami to set up for a Heluva Kick. Gunther telegraphed it and tried to grab a sleeper hold as Zayn charged. Sami fought through it. He pulled Gunther in for a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Gunther sunk his hips and prevented the lift. He transitioned back into a sleeper and fell to the mat, locked in deep. Zayn wiggled his lower body free, allowing himself to return to a vertical base. He walked Gunther toward the ropes. “He’s carrying Gunther like a backpack,” McAfee exclaimed. Gunther let go of the hold, but gave Zayn a German Suplex.

Sami used the turnbuckles to pull himself up. Gunther charged, but Zayn caught him with an Exploder. He called for the Heluva. Zayn lifted the leg high, but Gunther pulled him up into a massive Powerbomb with a stack cover for a near fall just before 9:00. Gunther leaned against the ropes, exasperated. He waited for Sami to stand, delivering a big kick in the corner. Sami fell into Gunther’s arms. The champion set his foe back against the corner and looked for a finishing blow. Gunther ran to the opposing corner, but Sami exploded to life and followed him. Zayn hit the Heluva Kick. he hooked the leg, but Gunther kicked out at the last moment. Sami set him up for another Heluva Kick. Gunther flew out of the corner with a massive clothesline, turning Zayn inside out.

“The Ring General has had enough,” Graves said. Gunther gave Zayn a massive Powerbomb. He held onto him, hoisted him up, and delivered a second. Gunther stacked his challenger for another near fall. The champion was shocked. Zayn was slumped lifeless against the bottom rope. Gunther stomped him repeatedly. A dueling chant broke out. Sami used the ropes to pull himself up. Gunther gave him another huge clothesline. “Just stay down, Sami!” Graves exclaimed. Gunther circled his prey. He yelled to Sami’s wife, “do you want to come help him?” He gave Sami another Powerbomb, immediately turning back to Sami’s wife and laughing.

Cole and Graves pleaded with the referee to stop the match. Gunther ascended the southeast turnbuckle. He gave Zayn a big splash, but didn’t even bother with a cover. He climbed the turnbuckles again and crushed Zayn with another splash. He asked Sami’s wife if she wanted to throw in the towel. He laughed. Meanwhile, Zayn began pounding the mat, trying to will himself to life. Gunther climbed the turnbuckles again. Sami leapt to life and gave him a Heluva Kick on the top rope. He dropped Gunther with a massive Brainbuster onto the top turnbuckle. Gunther stumbled to his feet, then to the opposing corner. Sami hit him with another Heluva Kick, this time to the back of the head. Gunther still didn’t go down. Zayn gave him one more for good measure. He fell on top of Gunther for a three count.

WINNER: Sami Zayn in 15:30 to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Samantha Irvin announced the result with legitimate emotion in her voice. “The 666 day reign is over!’ Cole exclaimed. He called it one of the biggest upsets in history.

Sami rose to his knees, title sitting against his waist. The crowd gave him a huge ovation. He rolled to the outside and shared a kiss with his wife.

(That was a ton of fun. Incredibly emotional from the start. Gunther was every bit as dominant as regularly advertised, and they sold the idea that he was unbeatable incredibly well. Zayn, for his part, showed off why almost nobody sells better or fights from behind quite as well as he does. The crowd was certainly split in the early going, but as Gunther became more dominant and more cocky, the tides shifted and the crowd got heavily behind Zayn. By the time the big comeback happened at the end, he’d whipped them into a frenzy. I thought this was both guys at their absolute best. A great match with a ton of emotional investment, and a win that seemed to catch most by surprise. Sami can have great matches against a variety of opponents for a title that’s had new life breathed into it, while Gunther can move up the card where he now undoubtedly belongs. Great stuff.)
 
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