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Chairshot Classics: WWF The Big Event (1986)

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When the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia was announced, we at The Chairshot drew comparisons to another special production in a big, outdoor, foreign venue. The Big Event produced by the WWF in August of 1986, was an outdoor spectacle held in Toronto, Canada. It was not a PPV, but was filmed for Coliseum Video and the commentary was added later. It broke the all-time attendance record for a wrestling show, drawing an estimated 74,000. That record still stands for a Canadian wrestling event, but would be broken by the WWF just a few months later stateside for WrestleMania III. Bragging rights and the WWF Championship are up for grabs, so let’s get into the action…

Open: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund narrates our opening, featuring the city of Toronto as seen from the sky, mixed with clips of the matches that will take place tonight.

Match #1: The Funks (Hoss & Jimmy Jack) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & ‘Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell)
Blair & Hoss begin the match, Hoss goes into the ropes and knocks Blair down with a shoulder, back into it and he gets caught by a hip toss. Blair with a slam to Hoss, Jimmy Jack comes in and takes one, make that two apiece and the Funk’s head outside for a breather. Hoss heads back inside and uses strikes to back Blair in the wrong part of town. Blair fights out of the corner, double noggin knocker and the Funk’s head to the outside once again. Hoss comes in and tags Jimmy Jack, Brunzell tags in as well. Into the ropes and Brunzell slams him, then hits Jimmy Jack with an elbow and he rolls to the outside.

Hoss tags in and works Brunzell with uppercuts, into the ropes and he runs into a crossbody that gets Brunzell a near fall. Tag to Blair and they go to work on the arm of Hoss, with a hammerlock and then a pinning predicament for a count of 2. Hoss with a slam to break the hold, Blair kicks up and slams Hoss, going back into an armbar. Blair brings Brunzell in who goes right to the arm, into the ropes and Hoss with a back elbow, then tags Jimmy Jack. He comes in and gets caught with an armdrag, tag to Blair who comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow to the arm. Frequent tags by the Bees, Brunzell coming in and applying a sleeper. Hoss comes in and breaks the hold behind the refs back, no tag was actually made.

He tosses Brunzell to the floor, Jimmy Jack slams him outside behind the ref’s back. There’s a cut in the tape and it goes to both Killer Bees out on the floor, pulling out their masks and putting them on. Blair rolls in the ring and goes to work on Hoss, Jimmy Jack coming in to get some too. Atomic drop to Hoss, followed by a big clothesline and Jimmy Jack takes one too. Blair gets Hoss in an abdominal stretch, Jimmy Jack rushes in to break up. The ref gets Jimmy Jack out of the ring and the Bees switch behind the refs back. Hoss tags Jimmy Jack in and now Brunzell catches him with a small package to pickup the victory.
Winners: The Killer Bees (Brunzell/Small Package)

  • EA’s Take: I always loved The Killer Bees and felt as if they were the most underrated team in WWF/E history. I remember seeing loads of their matches on tapes that family members had and found the use of the masks to swap as intriguing. It wasn’t commonplace to see babyfaces using heel tactics and remaining over with the people. They were the first really athletic team I had ever seen, long before teams like The Rockers would be flying high. Jimmy Jack Funk is not really a Funk brother, but he is actually Jesse Barr, if you remember from my Starrcade ’84 review. He was brought in with the mask as Terry & Hoss’ unstable, younger brother right after WrestleMania 2. However, when Terry left the company a short time later, Hoss & Jimmy Jack fell down the card. Actually, this was the most prominent match that they had and Dory Funk Jr. (Hoss), would leave Jimmy Jack alone to become more or less a jobber not long after.

Match #2: King Tonga vs. The Magnificent Muraco w/Mr. Fuji
They lock-up, Muraco sent into the ropes and Tonga with multiple hip tosses and a slam, Muraco rolls outside for a breather. Back inside now and Muraco wants to shake hands, then sneaks in a knee and a right hand. Tonga strikes back with right hands and a big dropkick that sends Muraco to the outside. Muraco takes another stroll, then comes in and gets caught in a wristlock. The Magnificent One tries to break the hold with a monkey flip, but Tonga hangs on to maintain the hold. Muraco finally breaks it by sending Tonga into the ropes, Fuji hooks the leg behind the ref’s back and his guy takes advantage.

Muraco is in control now, tossing Tonga to the outside and Fuji gets involved again, whacking Tonga with his cane as Muraco keeps the ref’s attention. Tonga gets dragged up to the apron by his hair, Muraco brings him in the ring with a powerslam, then locks-on a nerve hold to wear down the big islander. The referee checks the arm, Tonga shows some life and gets to a vertical base. He delivers heavy strikes, whips Muraco into the ropes and connects with a dropkick. More right hands in the corner, Muraco is sent across into the turnbuckle, Tonga charges, but Muraco moves out of the way and re-takes over.

The Magnificent One to the outside now, wrapping the leg of Tonga into the ring post. In the ring, Muraco capitalizes, hitting a knee breaker and then punishing Tonga’s left leg. That leg is taking a beating and Muraco uses a Figure 4, Tonga is able to slide to the ropes for the break. Muraco is starting to feel cocky, taking his time as he heads to the top rope. Tonga gets to his feet and slams Muraco off the top, then starts his comeback with right hands and chops. Tonga now heads upstairs, coming off with a crossbody, as the ref makes the count, the bell rings and the time limit has expired.
Winner: Draw

  • EA’s Take: We know how I feel about draws now. This didn’t further a storyline, so there was no real need for it other than trying to protect both competitors to a degree. King Tonga is a newcomer to the WWF, coming from Carlos Colon’s World Wrestling Council based in Puerto Rico. Tonga would make a name for himself after body slamming ‘Big’ John Studd on an episode of Championship Wrestling, but of course Bobby Heenan didn’t pay the $15,000 he offered to anybody who could do it. Tonga would undergo a name change, which most people know him as now ‘Haku’. Actually, the commentators would make note of this change during this match and the ‘King Tonga’ moniker would be dropped.

Match #3: Ted Arcidi vs. Tony Garea
They tie-up multiple times and everytime Arcidi overpowers Garea. Garea tries a side headlock, gets sent into the ropes and attempts a couple of shoulder blocks, but runs into a brick wall. Garea goes to the side headlock again, Arcidi is in the ropes and he shoves Tony to the canvas, following with a slam. Garea is sent hard into the turnbuckle and Arcidi with a big back elbow. Garea whipped into the ropes again, Arcidi tries a back body drop, but gets caught with a kick. Garea hits the ropes and staggers the big man with a shoulder, then a running dropkick and Arcidi is finally off his feet. Into the ropes once more and Garea gets caught in a bearhug and he gives up.
Winner: Ted Arcidi (Bearhug)

  • EA’s Take: Tony Garea arrived in the then-WWWF in 1972 from his home country of New Zealand. Mainly working as a tag team specialist, Garea formed partnerships with the likes of Larry Zbysko, Haystacks Calhoun and most notably, Rick Martel. Tony won multiple Tag Team titles, but after Martel left the company in 1982 he was relegated to a jobber status until his retirement in 1986. Garea still works for the company as a road agent, almost 30 years later. Ted Arcidi was brought into the fold in 1985, after working as a powerlifter and even becoming the first man to benchpress 700 pounds in competition. Arcidi’s run was nothing spectacular, as he would be let go when fellow strongman Ken Patera returned to the company in the spring of 1987.

Ringside: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund catches up with ‘Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart for comments on Adrian Adonis taking on the Junkyard Dog tonight. Jimmy says tonight’s the night of his life, when he gets revenge on JYD for ripping off his pants at the Slammy Awards. Adrian Adonis grabs Jimmy and they rush off to the ring.

Match #4: ‘Adorable’ Adrian Adonis w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. Junkyard Dog
JYD quickly hits the ring and goes to work with right hands, then wraps the chain around his hand and clocks Adrian with it. Headbutts on the mat and Adonis goes shoulder-first into the ring post. Adrian gets whipped into the corner, flipped upside down and over the top to the floor. JYD tries to drag him in by the hair, but the ref backs him off. He gets Adonis up to the apron and hits more rights and a headbutt. The ref tries to get in between again, JYD pushes him off, allowing Jimmy Hart to jump on the apron and spray some fragrance into JYD’s eyes.

Adrian takes the opportunity and hits a clothesline, knocking JYD to the canvas. Big forearms from Adonis, he heads to the 2nd rope and connects on another for a count of 2. JYD gets tossed to the outside, tries to get back on the apron and is knocked to the floor again. Jimmy Hart whacks him with the fragrance bottle behind the ref’s back, with no effect. Adrian heads up top, Jimmy Hart jumping on JYD’s back and getting thrown aside, then JYD crotches Adonis in the ropes and he falls to the floor. They slug it out a little before getting back inside. Jimmy Hart is on the apron, Adonis charges JYD, misses and hits his manager, both men crashing out to the floor. The bell rings and the winner is…
Winner: Junkyard Dog (Count-Out)

  • EA’s Take: This had to be a botched finish or something. How in the hell does JYD win by count-out when Adonis was back in the ring, then hit Jimmy Hart and spilled back out to the floor? The bell rang after he was outside for about a second and a half. The match was fine for what it was, simply a continuation of the heated rivalry. However, the screwed-up finish diminishes it all for two of the better characters in the company. JYD is a trailblazer, the first real African-American mainstream wrestling star. There were men before him like Ernie Ladd, but never to the level of popularity as the dog.

Match #5: Dick Slater vs. ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe
Sharpe with a top wristlock, Slater counters into a hammerlock and Sharpe goes into the ropes to break. They go for a test of strength know, Slater with a boot and he stomps on Sharpe’s fingers before rolling to the outside and taking a walk. Back between the ropes, Sharpe strikes with his forearm support, the ref sees it and Iron Mike claims it was an open hand. Slater doesn’t appreciate it, stalking Sharpe and backing him in the corner with right hands and headbutts. Into the ropes they go, Slater ducks a clothesline and catches Sharpe’s boot, then hits a swinging neckbreaker, but misses a follow-up elbow drop. Sharpe attempts a slam, Slater’s out of it and he connects with a russian leg sweep. Slater climbs to the top turnbuckle, and comes down with a big elbow. He floats over into a double leg pinning predicament and gets the 1-2-3.
Winner: Dick Slater (Top Rope Elbow)

  • EA’s Take: In the NWA, Dick Slater was a mainstay and a top draw, but after debuting in 1986 with the WWF he never did much, making this a match between 2 relative jobbers. Slater would continue to work as an enhancement talent until early 1987. ‘Iron’ Mike Sharpe is a 2nd generation star that would become a mainstay in the WWF’s undercard from 1983 until his retirement in 1995, only gaining untelevised victories against lower level talent.

Ringside: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan who has some words about his upcoming contest against The Machines. He says in the main event, his man Paul Orndorff is going to take away Hulk Hogan’s WWF Championship.

Match #6: Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, King Kong Bundy & ‘Big’ John Studd vs. The Machines (Super Machine & Big Machine) & Captain Lou Albano w/Giant Machine
Super & Studd begin, Studd backs him in the corner and there’s a shoving match. Studd backs Super into the ropes this time, he goes for a right hand and it gets block, Super fighting back with rights and a failed slam attempt. Super is sent into the ropes and runs into a big shoulder, sent in again and Super with 3 straight clotheslines, taking Studd off his feet and to the outside. Giant Machine grabs Studd and rolls him back in the ring, Super tries another slam, but Studd’s too close to the ropes.

Tags on both ends as Bundy & Big enter the match, Bundy into the ropes, Big tries a shoulder and it’s a stalemate. Big hits the ropes and can’t stagger Bundy with another shoulder, he ducks a right and delivers rights of his own. Bundy reverses a whip into the corner, misses a splash and Big with a back elbow, finally taking the big man off his feet. Bundy regroups and comes back with heavy forearms, tags Studd in and he pummels Big in the corner, then down to the canvas. Heenan tags in and he goes after Big, trying to unmask him. Super comes in with a shot on Heenan and he quickly tags Studd back in. Big is sent into the ropes and he delivers a kick, Super tags in and goes to town with a series of rights, he gets distracted by The Brain in the corner and Studd capitalizes with a back elbow.

Tag to The Walking Condominium, he maintains the upper-hand, then gets the ref’s attention which allows Heenan & Studd to double team. They hold Super in the ropes, Bundy attempts a shoulder, but misses and hits Studd. Super builds some momentum, hitting the ropes and delivering a shoulder to Bundy. He goes into the ropes again, but Studd with a kick. Bundy covers and Big comes in to break it at 2. Tag to Studd, knocking Super down with a back elbow and then bringing Heenan in.

The Brain tries to direct traffic, but doesn’t see Super make the tag to Albano until he’s already in the ring. Albano offers Heenan a free shot, Bobby slaps him and Albano with a flurry of rights, then sending Heenan into the corner and turning him upside down. Bobby goes to the eyes, then tags Studd who pummels Albano and then knocks The Machines off the apron. Chaos breaks out as Giant Machine is in the ring now and he starts taking out everybody with headbutts and chops causing a DQ.
Winners: Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, King Kong Bundy & ‘Big’ John Studd (Disqualification)

  • After The Bell: Giant Machine gets ahold of Heenan, hammering him with a right hand and a big headbutt.
  • EA’s Take: This match was entertaining because of the personalities involved, but was not exactly a sight to be seen for in ring ability. Andre The Giant was starting to have problems with his health due to his acromegaly and took some time off to also film the movie ‘The Princess Bride’. To explain Andre’s time off, Bobby Heenan lobbied to get him suspended after he missed a match against Bundy & Studd. It worked and Andre was suspended, but 2 months later vignettes for a new team called The Machines started airing. It was obvious that the man known as ‘Giant Machine’ was indeed Andre The Giant and Heenan would try vehemently to prove that it was. Bobby was never successful and the angle would last until November, when Andre was officially “re-instated”. Big Machine was Blackjack Mulligan, who would go back to that moniker when The Machines ended, while Super would go on to be part of a tag team that would ‘demolish’ it’s competition.

Match #7 is a Snake-Pit Match: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
A ‘Snake-Pit Match’ is just a no disqualification match. Jake goes right after Steamboat on the apron before he can get in the ring. Ricky fights back with right hands, whips Roberts into the ropes and hits a back body drop, The Snake rolls outside to catch his breath. Steamboat catches Jake coming back inside with more rights, into the ropes and he connects with a big chop, covers and gets 2. Ricky goes to a wristlock now, working the arm then into the ropes they go again.

The Dragon lands another big chop and gains another count of 2, then goes back to punishing the arm. Roberts gets to a vertical base, misses a right and Steamboat goes back on the offensive with a chop and then a back kick. Roberts falls to the outside, Steamboat chases and gets caught. Jake with a stiff right hand and then a slam on the floor. The Snake tortures The Dragon, Ricky fights back and stops Jake from using a chair. Steamboat wants the weapon, connecting to the midsection and head of Roberts with it. Back inside, Ricky climbs to the top and comes down with an overhead chop for a near fall.

Steamboat looks to wear Roberts down some more, locking in an armbar. Jake is up, but gets slammed into the top turnbuckle, Steamboat climbs the 2nd rope and reigns down right hands to The Snake’s head. Steamboat with an irish whip into the corner, reversed and Ricky is sent flying over the top to the outside. Roberts slides out after him and starts to take control, catapulting Steamboat into the ring post and he’s been cut. Jake using everything around ringside, driving Ricky into the barricade and then sending him in the ring. Roberts begs The Dragon to fight back, then pummels him with heavy shots. Jake with a short-arm clothesline, then sets for the DDT, but Ricky drives him into the turnbuckle. Jake stops any momentum with a right hand, followed by an inverted atomic drop and a gutbuster, then makes an arrogant cover. Ricky counters, holding Jake down for the 3 count.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Pinfall Counter)

  • EA’s Take: The continuation of their heated rivalry, this was the first major feud in the WWF for Jake Roberts and in a lot of ways it was for Steamboat too. It all started on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event in May, when Jake delivered his patented DDT to Ricky on the concrete floor, right in front of Steamboat’s wife. Ricky’s head legitimately hit the concrete and he was rendered unconscious and suffered a severe concussion. After taking time off to recoup, Steamboat would return and immediately set his sights on revenge. This was one of the bigger matches they had, other than the final encounter on another edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event in October.

Match #8: Billy Jack Haynes vs. Hercules Hernandez
They tie-up and it’s a stalemate off the bat, locking up again and neither man can get the upper-hand. A 3rd lock-up and Haynes scores a side headlock, into the ropes he knocks Herc down with a shoulder, back and forth with leapfrogs and Hernandez flattens Haynes with a clothesline. Hercules locks the hands together in a bearhug, Haynes breaks the hold by clapping at the ears. Hernandez with hard rights, dropping Haynes and hitting 3 consecutive elbow drops for a count of 2. Billy Jack eats a top turnbuckle, reverses an irish whip into the opposite corner and they crack heads and double down.

Hercules is to his feet first, Billy Jack catches him with a series of boots and a big knee. Into the ropes and Haynes with a back elbow, followed by a backbreaker. He heads to the 2nd rope and comes down with a forearm drop for a near fall. Haynes goes for the Full Nelson, but Hernandez with a low blow and the ref doesn’t see it. Herc takes advantage, tossing Haynes to the outside and posturing for the crowd.

He drags BJH to the apron and delivers a forearm shot, then a kneelift that drops Haynes back to the floor both times. Hernandez brings BJH in the hard way, delivering a suplex in from the apron for a 2 count. Herc follows up with a decapitating clothesline and covers, the ref counts to 2 and Haynes gets a foot on the bottom ropes. Hercules thinks he’s won, BJH capturing him from behind with a roll-up and a near fall. Hernandez hits a couple of shots and attempts a neckbreaker, BJH counters into a backslide and he gets the count of 3.
Winner: Billy Jack Haynes (Backslide)

  • EA’s Take: Both of these big guys actually put on a pretty good match as Haynes scores the sneaky victory. Billy Jack is another newcomer to the WWF, after leaving the NWA following a heated physical confrontation with promoter Jim Crockett. He had a quick feud with Randy Savage over the IC Title, but this rivalry with Hercules is his most notable work of his WWF career. Both men would become rivals over who had the best Full Nelson, which they used as their mutual finishing maneuver.

Match #9: The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond) vs. The Dream Team (Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine & Brutus Beefcake)
The Dream Team jumps the Rougeaus before the bell sounds, they pair off in the corners as the bell rings. Rougeaus start to take the upperhand and throw Valentine & Beefcake to the outside. Order is restored as Raymond & The Hammer are the legal men, tag to Jacques and he comes in with a sunset flip for a count of 2, as Beefcake comes in to get dropped by Raymond. Valentine is sent into the ropes for a chop, then a knee drop before tagging Raymond. He comes in and lands a couple of kicks to the midsection, Jacques back in for a jumping back elbow for 2. Jacques locks in an abdominal stretch, but The Hammer powers out with a hip toss and brings in Brutus. Beefcake with a big slam and a 2 count, Jacques backs him near his corner and tags out.

Brutus is dropped to the canvas, Raymond grabs the legs and hops on his chest with a seated senton. Brutus backing Raymond into a corner and he unleashes a flurry of knees, then tags The Hammer who comes off the top with a forearm smash. Another forearm for Raymond, then a slam for a 2 count. Raymond is sent in, ducks a back hand and hits a crossbody for 2, then tags his brother. The Rougeaus drop Valentine with a double dropkick, Jacques rolls him up and gains a count of 2. Valentine with big chops and Jacques is in the wrong part of town. Dream Team with a couple quick tags and slam Jacques back-first into the turnbuckle. The Hammer with an atimoc drop, Beefcake back in and delivers a low-looking boot, then struts his stuff. Jacques battles in the corner and now all 4 men are in the ring.

Dream Team has the Rougeaus in headlocks on opposite corners, they got ram the brothers into each other, but get shoved off into one another. Jacques with a slam on Beefcake, then he flips Raymond off the top and into a senton. They make the cover, Valentine breaks it up to save the match. Brutus tosses the Rougeaus to the outside, The Hammer does a number on Raymond on the floor. Raymond’s lower back is being destroyed and continuously rammed into the ring apron. Jacques tries to come in the ring, distracting the ref for more double team tactics by the Dream Team. Brutus lifts Raymond in a military press, then drops him into a backbreaker for what I guess is a 2 count. Valentine in off the tag, with heavy offense, they call him ‘The Hammer’ for a reason.

Valentine with an inverted atomic drop, Brutus with more rights off the tag and a vertical suplex for another near fall. The Hammer comes in and utilizes a bearhug, Raymond fights out, but still can’t make the tag and gets caught in it again. Jacques again wants to get in the ring, allowing his opponents to double team his brother again. Raymond is finally able to get something going, getting the tag to Jacques after Valentine misses consecutive elbow drops. Jacques is the proverbial ‘house of fire’, connecting on dropkicks to Beefcake & Valentine, then slamming them.

The Hammer briefly stops the momentum, more double teaming from him and Beefcake, they go for a double clothesline, but Jacques ducks it and lands a double dropkick. He heads to the 2nd rope, missing a knee drop to Valentine. The Hammer tries to go for the Figure 4, Jacques kicks him off, but Valentine is persistent and he finally gets it on. Raymond comes in to break the hold and all hell is breaking loose again. They pair-off, leaving Valentine & Jacques in the ring. Raymond & Brutus come back in, the ref tries to get Brutus back on the apron and Raymond hits a sunset flip on The Hammer as he’s trying to put the Figure 4 on Jacques again. The ref doesn’t realize it’s not the legal man and he counts to 3.
Winners: The Rougeau Brothers (Raymond/Sunset Flip)

  • EA’s Take: The match could have been really entertaining, but the referee was ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE. His counts were very slow and he just was not quick to the trigger on anything he was supposed to do, which really took away from what could have been. Jacques & Raymond came to the WWF from their family’s promotion in Montreal, having an enormous feud with Jimmy & Ronnie Garvin. Like many of Superstars on this card, they are still relative newcomers, having just signed 6 months prior and debuting as clean-cut faces…for now. The Dream Team is still looking to get on track after dropping the WWF Tag Team Championships to The British Bulldogs at WrestleMania 2. They’d start to move in a different direction with the addition of another member to come.

Match #10: ‘King’ Harley Race vs. Pedro Morales
Harley plants a knee into the midsection, but Pedro strikes back with big left hands and Race spills out to the floor. Harley grabs the Pedro’s legs and drops him out onto the apron, delivering elbows to the throat and then dropping him on the timekeeper’s table. Harley with a diving headbutt on the floor, heavy lefts and then he rams Pedro into the ring post. Back in the ring, Pedro blocks a suplex and plants Race with one of his own. Morales with a small package and he gains a count of 2. Harley reverses a whupe into the corner, Pedro hops up into a sunset flip for another near fall. Pedro works over Harley in the corner, the ref gets in between and Race with a double leg takedown. He stacks Pedro up, puts his feet on the ropes for leverage and Harley gets the win.
Winner: ‘King’ Harley Race (Double Leg Pinfall)

  • EA’s Take: It’s well-known that Harley Race is an NWA icon, but during a time when the WWF didn’t recognize a Superstars accomplishments in other organizations, they needed a way to recognize Harley as a true legend of the business. Thus, the WWF took ‘Handsome’ Harley Race and had him win the King Of The Ring Tournament, altering to ‘King’ Harley Race. Harley would later say he waited to go to the WWF until he was near the end of his career because he knew he could “get away with doing a lot less”. Pedro Morales is a former WWWF Champion, who was also near the end of his career, retiring just one year later. Had this match happened 10 years earlier, it would have been a tremendous draw.

Match #11 for the WWF Heavyweight Championship: ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff w/Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan vs. WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan
The ref checks both men and as Hogan is being checked, Orndorff levels him with a big clothesline as the bell rings. Orndorff takes advantage, unloading on the champion, Hogan turns the tide until the ref pulls him off by his hair. They slug it out, Hulk getting the upper-hand and knocking Mr. Wonderful to the outside with a big right. Orndorff quickly back in, he catches a back elbow and spills outside once more, this time grabbing Hogan’s legs and dragging him outside. Ornodorff with heavy shots, tries to slam Hulk into the apron, but Hogan counters and rams Orndorff instead.

Back inside, the Hulkster with big rights and a clothesline, followed by an elbow drop. Hulk with an irish whip into the corner, following Orndorff with a clothesline. Hogan plays to the crowd and Mr. Wonderful catches him in the midsection, then Heenan delivers a slap from the outside. Orndorff comes from behind and Hogan scouts it, planting him with an atomic drop and then going after Heenan on the outside. The Brain slides through the ring and Orndorff puts the boots to Hogan coming in. Orndorff has the edge, sending Hulk to the outside with a clothesline and landing a suplex on the floor. Mr. Wonderful heads back in the ring to bask in the glory and hit Hulk with a knee when he tries to roll in.

Orndorff continues to dominate, driving the point of the elbow into Hogan’s neck on the apron. Hulk is dragged to the apron, Orndorff with a big forearm shot before they finally get back in the ring. The referee is getting all over Mr. Wonderful, he drops a knee and covers for a 2 count. Orndorff with a slam, then drives the elbow into Hulk’s neck again for another 3. Mr. Wonderful is perched on the top, coming down with another elbow. He signals for the piledriver, but Hogan flips Orndorff over to avoid it. The Hulkster can’t capitalize and Orndorff continues to pummel the champion. Hogan desperately grabs a side headlock, but Orndorff with a back suplex and Hulk gets his foot on the rope after a count of 2.

Hogan’s starting to feel it now, Hulking up and hitting Orndorff with a knee that also knocks down the ref. Hulk gives Mr. Wonderful the thumbs up, then clotheslines him the same way that Orndorff turned his back on him. Hogan signals for the piledriver, he gets Orndorff in the air, but Heenan comes in and clocks him with a chair. Mr. Wonderful crawls to a cover, but the ref is still down. He slowly crawls over and taps Orndorff’s shoulder. Mr. Wonderful grabs the belt and begins to celebrate as the bell rings. The referee tells Howard Finkel that Orndorff has been disqualified.
Winner and STILL WWF Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (Disqualification)

  • After The Bell: Orndorff has the title around his waist and he puts the boots to Hogan, incensed that he didn’t win the title. He Hulks up and goes to town on Mr. Wonderful with right hands, a clothesline and a big boot, sending Orndorff to the outside.
  • EA’s Take: A highly enjoyable main event, as this was the main draw of the evening. Paul Orndorff turning heel on Hulk all began when the seeds were planted by Adrian Adonis, who would refer to Orndorff as ‘Hulk Jr.’, saying he went soft by teaming with Hogan. Mr. Wonderful’s jealousy of Hogan would come to a head during a tag match, in which Hulk would suffer Orndorff’s signature piledriver. Paul would reunite with Bobby Heenan, adding fuel to the heated rivalry. It was during this time that Orndorff would suffer a severe arm injury while weightlifting, but did not take the time off to properly fix the issue. This would creep up later on for Mr. Wonderful. Paul Orndorff was a great technician and sports-entertainer, who was vastly overshadowed by Hulk as many other stars were during this time.

EA’s Finisher: This 2 hour event had very little of anything other than in-ring action, there wasn’t much in the way of interviews and such. In this time period, Hogan was really all you needed to draw, plus we know how rabid Canadian fans tend to be. In addition to your main event, other matches like the Snake Pit Match, JYD vs. Adrian Adonis and Heenan’s squad against The Super Machines are your selling points. I think that’s why we see them almost alternating between them and your squash matches like Harley vs. Pedro or Slater vs. Sharpe. It’s basically a glorified house show, nothing of any real importance happened, no title changes or rivalries concluding. Compared to the Greatest Royal Rumble? This will obviously be peanuts when it comes to production value, spectacle and overall importance of the show. Not just because I’m expecting at least one championship to change hands, but because it’s the first step into a new country.

3 On Top
1 – Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
2 – Ricky Steamboat vs. Jake Roberts
3 – The Funks vs. The Killer Bees

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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 20 (11/6/2002)

Another week of classic NWA TNA featuring Jeff Jarrett, R-Truth, James Storm, and Jerry Lynn versus AJ Styles!

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Another week of classic NWA TNA featuring Jeff Jarrett, R-Truth, James Storm, and Jerry Lynn versus AJ Styles!




This week, the tournament to determine a new #1 Contender for the NWA Championship continues. Ron Killings makes a surprising offer to Mr. Wrestling III. Jeff Jarrett’s response to the Mr. Wrestling rumors surprises everyone. The saga of Sean Waltman/Brian Lawler/April continues. America’s Most Wanted take on the New Church, and Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles clash again over the X-Division title.

How did they do? Let’s find out!

We start out with a recap of the NWA’s anniversary show, which actually looked like a lot of fun. Jorge Estrada won the North American Championship on that show.

Back in the Asylum, the long-suffering Goldylocks has the job of interviewing the newly reunited Rainbow Express. Lenny’s back and sucking on a Dum-Dum sucker like he has nothing better to do. Goldy wants to talk about the issue with Estrada and Priscilla, but Bruce wants the cameraman to look at his lovely iridescent boots.

Goldy jokingly asks if she can borrow them sometime, but Bruce, cattily, says no. Goldy replies that the backstage comments about Bruce being a bitch are true, to Bruce and Lenny’s shock.

Goldy asks about the Rainbow Express being back together, slightly mocking their issues. Bruce admitted that he and Lenny had fought but have made up. Furthermore, he decrees that Lenny is the Miss TNA Runner-Up, and so will get the Miss TNA tiara and sash if Bruce can’t continue.

Jorge Estrada (with Priscilla) vs Bruce (with Lenny)

Estrada and Priscilla come out, but they don’t have a lot of chemistry. However, Estrada is gentleman enough to open the ropes for her. Bruce and Lenny come out with Lenny basically fellating a banana.

This was an okay match. The biggest problem is that, without Siaki and Yang to cover for him, Estrada was exposed as not being a good wrestler. Bruce is a good wrestler, but his gimmick really obscures this.

That said, there were a lot of highlights, including Estrada suplexing Lenny and Bruce and the same time and nearly getting a pinfall. However, he BADLY botched a hurricanrana on Bruce onto the floor and nearly knocked himself out. Another…highlight was Estrada hitting a back suplex on Bruce, but his hand lands on Bruce’s crotch in the pinfall, and Estrada QUICKLY moved it away.

This is one of those feuds where it’s not clear what they’re fighting about or what the plan for this is and that was clear with the ending: Lenny chases Priscilla because Priscilla had gotten in the ring. Estrada takes both members of Rainbow Express out. Bruce gets mad at Lenny, who was doing his job and starts chasing and threatening Priscilla. As he chasing her, he slips on the peel of the banana Lenny had been fellating and knocked himself out (yes, I’m serious) leading to a countout win for Estrada.

Winner: Jorge Estrada by countout.

Now here is where things get odd. Under the new rules the NWA laid down last week, because Bruce got counted out, by right, his Miss TNA regalia should go to Estrada. Estrada give the stuff to Priscilla, but Lenny takes them back and we’re told that because Bruce didn’t DELIBERATELY get himself counted out, he’s still Miss TNA. Which is a nice caveat.

Comment: Bleh match, stupid finish.

Backstage, the woes of Goldylocks continue, as she’s stuck interviewing Sonny Siaki, who is right up in her space. Goldy’s not happy about this but tries to be professional and asks about the tournament. Sonny Siaki, still with the Rock ripoff gimmick, claims to be the past, present, and future of TNA and that he’s the start. Turning his attention to BG James, he calls him ‘Goofy’ and vows to be the victor. Turning his attention to Goldy, he claims that he knows that she bid on him in a silent auction to raise money for the D.C. Sniper Fund. Goldy looks repulsed by the idea, and her repulsion seems to grow when Siaki promises to show her some love after he beats BG James.

#1 Contender’s Tournament Round 2
Sonny Siaki vs BG James

Siaki comes out to very little reaction. James comes out to a better reaction and does his usual schtick, but Siaki gets the jump on James in the ring and it’s on!

Siaki is really coming into his own as a competitor, but it’s clear that James is past his prime. Siaki targets James’ knee, using kicks and a stretch muffler to try and get the victory. It actually looked like Siaki was going to advance, until Jerry Lynn showed up and distracted him. Siaki seemed to work through it until he went for his Money Clip. James countered it into a pumphandle slam for the win.

Winner: BG James by pinfall.



Comment: Eh this match was ‘eh’. Siaki really should have advanced, but it looks like they’re going with the Lynn/Siaki feud for now.

Backstage, Goldylocks is with Storm and Harris, who are in VERY bad moods. Goldy, trying to maintain some peace, seems to want to bring in James Mitchell there for a face to face segment, but Harris yells at her that if she wants Mitchell, she can go find him, but if she wants to deal with America’s Most Wanted, she going to deal with them.

Seriously?

Harris goes on to say that America’s Most Wanted are done dealing with this shit and will do what they want, when they want. He comments about how the New Church claims to be evil, but Harris says there’s evil in all of them and vows to go crazy on the New Church.

Storm has dropped the goofy cowboy gimmick and vows that they will destroy the New Church. He starts to us the cowboy whoop, but drops it for ‘Sorry about your damn luck!’.

Now THIS AMW I can get behind.

NWA Tag Team Championship Match
America’s Most Wanted vs New Church (with James Mitchell)

New Church comes out first. Mitchell gets on the mic and warns AMW that blood will flow because AMW didn’t learn their lesson from last week.

AMW wasn’t in the mood to play and the match started out on the floor. AMW dominate the brawl and when the match finally gets to the ring, Slash is bleeding BADLY. I’m guessing he over did the blading.

There’s a lot of back and forth in this match, but I can’t say that Slash and Lee are much better than Slash and Malice or Slash and Cobain were.

AMW would pull out the win by DQ after Lee was caught using a spike on Storm, but not until after Slash and Harris were both bleeding badly. A furious Mitchell ordered Slash and Malice to attack Harris and Storm. It took a whole lot of very brave security guards and Bob Armstrong to get things calmed down.

Winner: America’s Most Wanted by DQ.

Comment: Okay match, I’m glad Harris and Storm are getting into the AMW characters.

#1 Contender’s Tournament
Brian Lawler (with April) vs Syxx-Pac

Lawler and April came out first looking very smitten and happy. The fans were having it and insulted April, to Lawler’s dismay. Lawler pulled out a chair for April and put down his jacket so she wouldn’t get dirt on her lovely outfit. Waltman came out next and Lawler got the jump on him.

This was a really good match, even though Lawler was still distracted by April. April, for her part, seemed to either be playing mind games with Lawler and Waltman, seeming to try to get Lawler to not hurt him, which didn’t really help. Waltman turns the tide by dodging a Hip Hop Drop. Waltman’s hip was still bothering him, so he did a…modified Bronco Buster.

To further add fuel to the fire, Waltman went out and kissed April, which pissed Lawler off. Lawler attacked Waltman and then called April over, where he pulled her up on the apron by the hair and called her an extremely vulgar name.

Ew, are we really back to this?

Lawler’s distraction proved to be what Waltman needed. He got a low-blow in and the pin off a powerbomb. Having won the match and advanced in the tournament, Waltman takes off, with April in tow, and she wasn’t resisting.

Winner: Sean Waltman by pinfall.

Lawler was absolutely beside himself at losing his girlfriend again, and resorts to sleaze to win her back. He faked a heart attack in the ring so badly, Fred Sanford would’ve called it fake. Fortunately, for him, April fell for it and ran back to check on him.

Comment: This was actually a really good match for both guys, but the April thing is back to being cringey.

As the refs ‘check’ on Lawler, Tenay and West show us a pre-taped interview with Ron Killings. Killings and Tenay are talking and Killings, who was not ranting and raving about conspiracy theories, told Tenay that Tenay was the only person in TNA that he trusted. With that in mind, he addressed the Mr. Wrestling III situation and said that Mr. Wrestling had gotten him, so he offered Mr. Wrestling a contract for a title match with Killings. All Mr. Wrestling had to do was contact Tenay and sign the contract.

Killings also said that he found it odd that Bob Armstong signed off on the contract almost immediately, when it usually took a fight to get him and the NWA to agree to anything. However, he repeated that he had signed the contract and if Mr. Wrestling contacted Tenay and signed the contract, he would get the match.

Back in the Asylum, a visibly pissed Jeff Jarrett. As Jarrett paced the ring, Tenay and West repeat the rumors that Jeff Jarrett was Mr. Wrestling III, despite the fact that Jarrett and Mr. Wrestling III had been in the ring together.

Jarrett, politely, asked Tenay to come into the ring. While he waited, Jarrett called Killings an idiot for offering Mr. Wrestling a title shot. After Tenay got into the ring, with the contract, Jarrett addressed the rumors of him being Mr. Wrestling III.

Tenay, sensing a confession, confirmed that those rumors were going around and offered the contract and the offer Killings made.

Jarrett read over the contract and repeated the terms of the contract. Just when it seemed that the mystery was going to be solve, Jarrett tore up the contract in disgust.

I’m not going to lie, I cheered, and so did the rest of the crowd.



Jarrett repeated that he’d been waiting 20 weeks, five months, to get the title shot he deserved. He then said that he’d be damned if someone else was going to take the backdoor way. He then vowed that in two weeks, he was going to walk out of the tournament as NWA champion before storming out.

Tenay came back to the announce table and assured everyone that he had another copy of the contract and that the offer to Mr. Wrestling was still good.

Elimination Table #1 Contender’s Match for the X-Division Championship
Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke vs Joel Maximo vs Jose Maximo vs Ace Steel (with Mortimer Plumtree)

Another week, another #1 Contender’s Match and the usual suspects, minus Amazing Red, are all assembled. Rules are simple, and for once, TNA didn’t try to over complicate the rules.

One odd moment was that the match actually started before Ace Steel and Mortimer Plumtree were announced, which left the funny visual of Jeremy Borash announcing Steel while the other four competitors fought around him, and then bailing out.

The match started out in the usual way for this bunch, lots of high spots and flips, not a lot of actual wrestling. Kash was still the highlight of the match. Mamaluke tried to show off his wrestling skills, but a Table Match wasn’t a great place to show off a submission hold. Steel’s alliance with Plumtree, and Plumtree’s constant interference made an alliance between the other four competitors almost inevitable.

Mamaluke wasn’t a standout in the match, but he got the credit for eliminating Ace Steel by suplexing him through a table in the corner. Steel’s head was the on thing that ACTUALLY went through the table, but, much like Big Show’s foot years later, what counted was that some part of Steel’s body had been put through a table.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the hated Steel and meddling Plumtree didn’t buy Mamaluke much time. Kash and the Maximos teamed up to take out Mamaluke and he was moonsaulted through a table by Joel Maximo.

Once it came down to the final three, there was no honor among thieves. Kash and the Maximos duked it out. Kash would get the victory by hitting a hurricanrana on Joel Maximo through Jose Maximo through a table.

Winner: Kid Kash by eliminating the Maximos.

Comment: Really good match. Glad to see Kash finally get a push.

Jeff Jarrett vs Curt Hennig

Jarret came back out and announced that no one had seen Hennig all day. Jarrett clappedback at Hennig’s jibes about his and Jarrett’s history. That first match that they had in the Asylum when Jarrett was a rookie? What Hennig didn’t mention is that Jarrett nearly beat Hennig for the AWA Title when he was on 19.

As for the cracks about Double J and the Chosen one, Jarrett reminded ‘Mr. Perfect’ of a few little details: He was a 7x WWF Intercontinental Champion as Double J. The ‘Chosen One’ was a 4x WCW World Heavyweight Champion, something Hennig never became. Jarrett claimed that after the embarrassing defeat last week. He then demanded that the ref ring the bell to give him the match since Hennig wasn’t there.

Hennig did show up, through the crowd and not dressed to wrestle. The ‘match’ was really a lame-ish brawl that featured Jarrett selling his butt off to Hennig’s visibly weak punching. When Scott Armstrong tried to convince Hennig to get into the ring, Hennig shoved him to the floor. Jarrett fought back but spent most of the brawl as a punching bag. A second ref sent to take control of the situation was laid out with a chairshot to the head. After Hennig hit three Perfect-plexes in a row, a third ref came out and called for the bell. Hennig was disqualified due to laying his hands on two refs. Bob Armstrong comes out to check on his son, but the drama is over for now.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett by disqualification

Comment: Honestly, they need to get rid of Hennig. It’s sad to see him such a mess and it gets worse every week. The best that can be said for this week’s performance is that he looked sober.

Don West gave us his weekly ‘Please tune in so we stay employed’ sell and it’s time for the main event.

X-Division Championship Match
AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Jerry Lynn

I should note that I’m not really sure why Lynn got this match since Kid Kash was the number one contender.

Anyway.

Both men got really great pops, in Styles’ case, it was despite Plumtree.

The match got off to a slow start with some basic wrestling moves and the usual jockeying, which was stymied by the fact that Styles and Lynn had been tag team partners and rivals for nearly five months and knew each other’s moves very well.

Plumtree was starting to show his usefulness as a manager, doing all the heel manager things: distracting the ref, attacking the babyface, etc. If Styles wasn’t so over due to his amazing talent, this would’ve been a better fit.

It looked like karma was going to bite Lynn in the ass. Sonny Siaki came out and distracted Lynn before being sent to the back. Unfortunately for Styles, the distraction didn’t work as Lynn kicked out of the Styles Clash. It would take a tombstone piledrive, but we had a NEW X-Division Champion! The show closes with Lynn celebrating.

Winner: Jerry Lynn by pinfall.

Comment: That was a really good match, but it sucks that Styles’ second title reign only lasted a few weeks.

Overall Comment: So how was Week 20 of TNA? Actually, this was a really good show. There were some blah matches and moments, but it was an overall good show. Most of the matches had a purpose and the storylines got moved forward.

It seems that TNA has decided what to do with Jarrett. He went from being the top heel to being super over due to the fact that he’s incredibly talented. It doesn’t mean he’s likeable, but the fans have finally rallied around him. For all his complaining and sneakiness, Jarrett showed an honorable streak that a lot fans respected. He refused to take the easy way out and claim to be Mr. Wrestling III, even though it would’ve given him a guaranteed shot at Killings, rather than going through the tournament.

I’ve been despairing over the Hennig/Jarrett feud, mostly because Hennig’s visible decline, but this week’s promo was really great. Hennig had been mocking Jarrett’s previous gimmicks, making him seem like a nobody, so to hear Jarrett clap back and remind Hennig of his own silly gimmick and what Jarrett’s gimmicks had actually been reasonably successful.

The women issue is still ongoing and still frustrating. The Sonny Siaki/Goldylocks thing seems to be an attempt at copying the Rock/Lilian Garcia interactions in WWE, but Sonny Siaki has none of Rock’s charm and humor, which makes the segments with Goldylocks very creepy. Add in the fact that Goldylocks is less willing to put up with his antics than Garcia was with Rock, and the segments become incredibly uncomfortable to watch.

The storyline with April seems to have gotten a little lost. Who is she siding with? Lawler or Waltman? TNA can’t seem to decide if she’s the instigator of this whole thing or if she’s a victim. Lawler’s terrible acting didn’t help the situation and the faked heart attack was just…no.

I’m getting a little bored with a new #1 Contender match every week for the X-Division that basically features the same people over and over. I realize that the division is small, but it’s getting boring and there haven’t been any real breakout stars other than Lynn and Styles.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this show and hope the trend continues.



What did you think of this edition of NWA TNA? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Chairshot Classics: NXT TakeOver Toronto (2016)

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On the eve of NXT TakeOver: War Games II, we look back at a previous November TakeOver event with TakeOver: Toronto

Open: “Toronto, the birthplace and proving ground for some of the greatest Superstars from the ‘Great White North’. For over three decades, the host of some of the most memorable moments in WWE history. Now, it’s NXT’s turn to takeover Toronto.”





Match #1: ‘The Glorious’ Bobby Roode vs. ‘The Perfect 10’ Tye Dillinger
We have a staredown at the bell, Roode slowly starts to circle Tye and he starts to strike a ‘Glorious’ pose. Dillinger strikes with left hands, Bobby goes to a side headlock, quickly gets pushed off to the ropes, scores with a shoulder knockdown, then goes back to the ropes. The Perfect 10 catches him with a back elbow and clotheslines him to the outside, throws him back in, clotheslines him back out the other side, then steps out and fires away with stinging chops. The Glorious One sneaks in a right hand to stop the onslaught, irish whip into the barricade is reversed, Tye elevates him with a back body drop off the rebound and Roode smacks off the floor.

Dillinger sends him into the ring and Bobby tries to beg him off, The Perfect 10 mocks him and stomps away at the fingers, flashes a ’10’ in his face, avoids a chops and scores with one of his own. He puts The Glorious One in the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope and lets go with stiff lefts, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Roode ducks down for a back body drop, Dillinger catches him with a kick, charges and gets deposited over the top to the outside. The Glorious One slides out the opposite side, clobbers Tye with a forearm from behind, drops him chest-first across the top of the barricade, then drapes him across the apron. Bobby comes down with a clubbing shot to the sternum, drives him down into the apron, pushes him in and chokes him in the corner with the bottom of his boot.

Roode with heavy knife-edge chops, shoots The Perfect 10 hard into the turnbuckles, follows in with a clothesline, then heads to the 2nd rope for a shot across the back of the neck. The Glorious One is supremely confident now, hooks Dillinger for a neckbreaker, Tye surprises him with a backslide and gets a count of 2. He starts to build some momentum with chops, irish whip to the corner is reversed, The Perfect 10 hits the turnbuckles hard and Roode follows with a neckbreaker for a 2 count. He drops a knee across the chest, rakes his bootlaces across the eyes and starts toying with Tye as he pummels him.

Roode puts him in the corner and goes to the 2nd rope to right down punches, gets a little to confident and The Perfect 10 powers him out into an inverted atomic drop. Dillinger gets a rush of adrenaline and battles to his feet, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Tye ducks a clothesline and scores with multiple flying forearms. He delivers a knee lift, flattens Roode with a clothesline, stomps away in the corner and then exposes the knee for the Tye Breaker. The Glorious One sees it coming, rolls outside and starts walking to the back, Dillinger goes out in pursuit, throws him back in the ring and slides in, Bobby catches him with a spinebuster and nearly puts it away.

He props Tye on the top turnbuckle and sets for a superplex, plants The Perfect 10, rolls into a cover and only gains a near fall. The Glorious One starts to look puzzled, stands over Tye and flashes a ’10’, then exposes his knee and tries for a Tye Breaker of his own. Dillinger slips out of it and looks for a superkick, Roode ducks it, goes to a schoolboy, puts his feet on the ropes, but the official sees it and stops at 2. Bobby can’t believe it and argues with the referee, The Perfect 10 surprises him with a schoolboy for a near fall, both guys up  quick, he connects with the superkick, but still can’t finish it.

Both guys stagger to their feet and exchange fists, The Perfect 10 gets the better of it, powers Roode up for the Tye Breaker, The Glorious One escaping and hooks him for the Glorious Drop. Tye avoids it, Bobby attempts a sunset flip, The Perfect 10 rolls through it, slaps on the Sharpshooter, but Roode is able to crawl to the ropes. Tye stumbles back up, tries to pick The Glorious One to his feet, gets caught in a small package for a 2 count, counters to one of his own off the kick-out, but still only gets 2. Roode staggers to the corner and Dillinger comes charging in, The Glorious One side-steps out of the way, drives him shoulder-first into the steel post, spikes him with the Glorious Drop and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: ‘The Glorious’ Bobby Roode (Glorious Drop)

  • EA’s TakeI think about what it must be like to be Bobby Roode walking into the arena, to a packed house and a massive pop compared to his previous situation in TNA. I have made my feelings on Dillinger clear before, the man is a future champion and I stand by that. This was the best way to start this event off. The match was well paced and the two men worked together wonderfully. The crowd was high energy which only heightened the already great match’s intensity. Roode getting the win makes sense. He is set to advance into the title picture imminently. My boy Tye however, got to show what he could do and look as good as you can in a loss. Good luck to the rest of the card because these two just set an epic tone to start the night.

Match #2 – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals with Paul Ellering Suspended Above The Ring In A Shark Cage: The Authors Of Pain (Rezar & Akam) w/Paul Ellering vs. TM61 (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller)
The cage lowers, Ellering holds a quick conference with The Authors, the official locks him inside and it is raised above the squared circle. Akam & Miller to kickoff the action, Akam immediately drives Miller into the corner at the bell, shoots him across, Miller puts on the brakes and fires back with forearms. Akam blocks a whip and sends him to the ropes, Thorne tags in on the way through, delivers a big boot to send Akam to the outside, Rezar hits the ring and runs into a double dropkick. TM61 clothesline him to the outside, Thorne spills to the outside, Miller builds a head of steam and flies over the top with a somersault plancha onto Akam.

Rezar looks up at the support structure for the shark cage, powers Thorne onto his shoulders and starts to climb up with some devious plans in mind. Shane kicks him away, climbs to the top of the structure, jumps off with a somersault and takes out The Authors Of Pain. He throws Akam back in the ring and climbs onto the apron, Miller slides inside, the official tells Miller he’s not legal and works to get him back to the corner, Rezar taking the opening to sweep the legs of Shane on the apron. He climbs up to the apron and tags in, sends Thorne into the squared circle and covers for 2, bludgeons him with big right hands and stomps, then rips away at the face. Akam tags in and comes off the 2nd rope with a combination stop/side slam for a count of 2, Akam hammers Shane with heavy shots, hooks the leg and gains another 2 count.

He looks to ground Shane now with a rear chinlock, Thorne works his way to a standing position, Akam launches him across the ring, lateral press and another near fall. He measures Thorne in the corner and rushes in, Shane side-steps out of harm’s way, Rezar gets the tag and knocks Miller off the apron, picks Thorne up and gets surprised by a dropkick. Miller pulls himself back to the apron and tags in, cracks Rezar with forearms, slams Akam coming in, delivers a corner clothesline to Rezar, then hits an exploder suplex on Akam. He plants Rezar with a back suplex, smashes them both with basement flying forearms, goes to the top turnbuckle and executes a moonsault, but can’t finish it. Akam & Thorne get back involved and every pairs off in opposite corners, TM61 with in-sync punches from the 2nd rope, The Authors look to counters into the Clink Powerbomb, but Thorne & Miller reverse with hurricanranas.

Shane gets a tag, TM61 plant Rezar with Thunder Valley, Thorne hooks the leg, but Akam is there to make the save. Miller dumps him to the outside, slingshots over the top with a crossbody, Thorne follows with a somersault plancha, the official takes in the chaos and Ellering drops a chain into the ring from above. Rezar wraps it around his fist, tries to clock Thorne climbing up to the apron, Shane blocks it, the chain flies into the crowd and he rolls Rezar up for a near fall. He pops back to his feet, Rezar delivers a spinebuster, tag to Akam, they take out Miller on the apron and deliver The Last Chapter for the win.
Winners: The Authors Of Pain (Akam/The Last Chapter)

  • After The Bell: The cage lowers and Ellering is freed to raise his guys’ hands. NXT General Manager William Regal & Triple H come down to the ring along with Dustin Rhodes, presenting The Authors with the Dusty Cup and posing for a photo-op.
  • EA’s TakeI called AOP to win this tourney before it began. It just made too much sense as hard as they have been pushed. The way the match was completed fits into the idea that Ellering always is involved in some way. TM61 kept the pace of the match where it needed to be. It was bogged down in spots, but not so much so that it made the match plodding. Both teams should look to be competing in the title picture in the aftermath of this event. Also, I hope no one got hit by that chain that went into the crowd….jeez!

Match #3 – 2 out of 3 Falls for the NXT Tag Team Championships: #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
Gargano & Dawson to begin, Dawson with an arm drag off the opening lock-up, Johnny with a headscissors to escape, scores with an arm drag of his own and Dawson returns the favor with the headscissors. Quick pace to start, Johnny Wrestling with an early 2 count off of a roll-up, Dawson collects himself, they tie-up again and Dawson backs Gargano into the corner. No clean break and he goes to the breadbasket with a fist, snapmares Johnny over, hits the ropes for a shoulder knockdown, goes back in, puts on the brakes and sends Gargano to the ropes instead.

Ciampa gets a tag, Johnny Wrestling catches Dawson with an inverted atomic drop, Tommaso follows with a running forearm, connects with one for Dash stepping in, DIY then scoring with in-sync dropkicks. The Psycho Killer covers for a count of 2, goes to a wristlock, Dawson rakes the eyes to break it, brings Wilder in and he clubs Ciampa down to the canvas. He tries to drive Tommaso head-first into the top turnbuckle, The Psycho Killer blocks it, returns the favor, irish whip across is reversed into a knee, Dash tagging out. Dawson delivers a body slam and brings back Dash, drops him into a leg drop on Ciampa for a 2 count, Wilder grabs a side headlock, looks for a running bulldog and gets pushed away into the opposite corner.

Both guys crawl to tags, Gargano slingshots in with a kick to Dawson, levels him with a clothesline, ducks a shot from Wilder and tosses him with an overhead belly-to-belly. He lines The Revival up in opposite corners and charges in with running chops, pulls Dash out for a running bulldog and clotheslines Dawson in the process, plants him with a leaping neckbreaker and almost gets 3. Johnny Wrestling charges Dawson in the corner, gets elevated over the top, Wilder makes a tag, Gargano lands on his feet on the apron and Dawson clocks him with a right hand. He hits the ropes to build a head of steam, Johnny looks to slingshot back in with a spear, Dawson counters into the Shatter Machine and Wilder covers for the fall.
First Fall: The Revival

Gargano staggers to his feet, Wilder tries to attack him from behind, gets surprised by a roll-up for a near fall, but Johnny can’t capitalize. Dawson tags in and ties Johnny up in the ropes for heavy shots, Wilder clotheslines him back into the ring behind the ref’s back, Dawson follows with a slingshot suplex and again gets a count of 2. Dawson shoves him into the corner, Dash tags in and the champions pound him with clubbing shots, Wilder with some words for the crowd, then Dawson re-enters the match. Dash sends Gargano to the ropes for a drop toe hold, Dawson follows with an elbow drop for a 2 count, then looks to ground Johnny Wrestling with a body scissors. Gargano works to a vertical base, Dawson switches into a Gory special, Johnny slips out of it, takes a shot at Dash on the apron, but gets clocked by Dawson.

Wilder steps in, Gargano charges, grabs Dash for a tornado DDT, kicks Dawson in the process, crawls to his corner and reaches for the tag. Dash grabs Ciampa from the outside and then slides in the ring, the official is distracted as Gargano tags out, the ref doesn’t allow it and The Revival double team Johnny in the corner. Tommaso has had enough and chases Dawson around the ring, the official cuts him off as they slide back in, the champions hit Gargano with a Hart Attack, Dawson covers and nearly finishes it. Wilder re-enters the match and props Johnny on the top turnbuckle for a super back suplex, Johnny Wrestling switches the weight in mid-air, lands on top and gets 2. Dash tags out and Dawson quickly tries to prevent Gargano from reaching his corner, Johnny clocks him with an enzuigiri, leaps and finally tags out.

The Psycho Killer hits the ring off the top with a dropkick, crushes Dawson in the corner with a running knee, then drops him with back elbows. Dawson ducks under one and shoots him to the corner, rushes in and meets a boot to the chin, Tommaso runs out with a Famouser, covers and only gets a count of 2. Wilder rolls into the ring and gets dumped back outside just as quick, Dawson takes the opening for a roll-up from behind, Ciampa rolls through it, delivers rolling german suplexes, scores with the Running Knee for a near fall. He calls for Gargano to climb back on the apron, Dawson clobbers him from behind, pulls Johnny into the ring and The Revival set for a spike piledriver.

Ciampa knocks Wilder off the top turnbuckle, Johnny blocks the piledriver, Tommaso comes off the top with a crossbody, but still can’t find a 3 count. Dash slides in again and Ciampa cracks him with a high knee, the referee forces Wilder back to the apron, #DIY lineup for the Combination Superkick/Running Knee to Dawson and Tommaso covers to tie it up.
Second Fall: #DIY

Dawson rolls to his corner and tags out, Dash steps in, has some words for Ciampa and they trade-off shots. The Psycho Killer gets the better of it and measures for a discus clothesline, Dawson makes a blind tag, sneaks into the ring and ducks it, but Ciampa picks the arm and goes into the Bridging Fujiwara Armbar. Dawson reverses into a roll-up for a 2 count, Gargano makes a blind tag, decks Dawson with an enzuigiri from the apron, Tommaso following up with a rope-assisted reverse STO. He looks to dive outside onto Dash and gets surprised by an uppercut, Wilder charges around ringside after Gargano, Johnny laying him out with a kick from the apron. He slingshots into the ring and spikes Dawson with a DDT, stacks him up for a count of 2, then looks around wondering what to do next.

Dawson rolls out to the apron, Johnny hooks him for a suplex back inside, Dawson slips out of it, waistlock by Gargano and he pushes him towards the ropes for a roll-up. Dash hangs onto Dawson from the outside to block it, tags himself in, Gargano battles them both off, looks for a tornado DDT on Wilder, but gets thrown off. The champions plant him with a combination clothesline/german suplex, Dawson hooks both legs, but The Psycho Killer just barely breaks it up before 3. Dawson drives Ciampa shoulder-first into the ring post, goes back to the apron to tag in, then trades shots with Gargano. Johnny gets the upper-hand, Dawson ducks a shot for a backslide, Gargano counters out, kicks Dash in the process of rolling up Dawson with a small package and almost steals it.

Wilder goes to the timekeeper’s area and grabs one of the titles, slides back into the ring, Ciampa meets him with a clothesline and they both fall over the top to the floor. The official is distracted, Dawson grabs the championship, blocks a Gargano kick with it and then slaps on an inverted figure four. Johnny Wrestling struggles to hold on, scratches and claws his way to the bottom rope and forces the break, but the damage has been done. Wilder calls for a tag and gets it, they mock #DIY and go for their combination finisher, Gargano ducks it, Dawson gets clocked by a superkick, #DIY hit Wilder with a Shatter Machine, but Dawson is able to stop the count before a finish.

Ciampa tries to roll back inside and the ref forces him back to the corner, Dawson switches out without making a tag, surprises Gargano with a roll-up, the official turns around and counts to 2, but notices it’s not the legal man in the ring. Wilder rams Tommaso into the ring post on the outside, Johnny deposits Dawson through the ropes with a superkick, Dash slides in from behind and takes Gargano out at the knees. He sets for the inverted figure four, Gargano counters into a small package for 2, they exchange roll-ups for near falls, Johnny finally hooks on the Garga-No-Escape, Ciampa cuts off Dawson and slaps on the Bridging Fujiwara Armbar, Wilder tapping out.
Winners and NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: #DIY

  • EA’s TakeIs it just me or did this whole feud get undersold and was not well built up? I picked The Revival to win this one mainly because I am so used to seeing them win at these TakeOver events. I am glad to have been wrong. #DIY looked great, as did The Revival. There were a couple of sloppy moments, but they were few and far enough between and the match was still quite good. #DIY I am sure will be seeing The Authors of Pain very soon. As for their counterparts, RAW’s Tag Team Division has become quite stale and to steal a quote from my editor, could use a “Revival”.
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