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WrestleMania 29: WWE Goes Home Again or Does It?

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Wrestlemania 29 Met Life Stadium

WrestleMania 29 comes to us from New Jersey’s Met Life Stadium, instead of MSG, which had become too expensive to run TV from, sadly. This WrestleMania marks the start of the ‘NXT Generation’ as superstars that have come from NXT as a developmental brand are starting to come onto the main roster. The first to do this is the Shield, who are making their WrestleMania debuts after running through the roster for three months.

There are other things going on at this WrestleMania of course, The Rock/Cena feud will reach its climax, CM Punk and the Undertaker will lock horns, and Triple H will put his career on the line against the returning Brock Lesnar. So, does WrestleMania 29 live up to this card? Let’s find out!

Opener

We start off with a gorgeous tribute to the people of New York and New Jersey, who had withstood Superstorm Sandy, which totally trashed the Northeast, especially New Jersey and NYC. I don’t like Chris Christie, but that was great. I’m also crazy about ‘I’m Coming Home’. The New Jersey National Guard is there, and MetLife Stadium is packed.

Now, we get a promo about WrestleMania moments, and there have been tons of them. This includes promos for the three big matches: Taker/Punk, Triple H/Lesnar, and Rock/Cena.

Six Man Tag Match: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins) vs Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show

Sheamus comes out first to what sounds like a pretty good pop, Orton is next to another great pop. Big Show doesn’t get quite as big a pop, but everyone seems really amped up for this. In a show of solidarity, Orton, Show, and Sheamus come to the ring together.

JBL points out the big problem with this set up: Orton, Show, and Sheamus are great individuals, while the Shield is a TEAM. Lawler thinks Orton and company are the people who can beat the Shield, who have been running roughshod over the roster since their debut.

The Shield get a really good pop, coming through the crowd. None of them look nervous, which is surprising. I’d be peeing my pants.

This was a really good match, all three members of the Shield were a little rough around the edges, especially Roman, but everyone looked really great.

I actually forgot how great the Shield were as a team back in 2013. I hear a chant for Ambrose going, but with the open stadium, it’s a little hard to tell.

Orton and company seem to like to take the clothes off the Shield. Rollins dang near killed himself in a suicide dive.

Winner: Dean Ambrose gets the pin on Orton for his team. Big Show is ticked that Orton tagged himself in when Sheamus was going for Show and KO’s both Orton and Sheamus before leaving.

Highlights: The Shield!!!!!!!! Ambrose shirtless (I’m shallow, what can I say?). Big Show spearing the Shield and saving Sheamus from the Triple Powerbomb. Big Show KOing Orton and Sheamus.

Comments: Seeing all three members of the Shield in their first WrestleMania is fantastic.

We get a promo about Rock/Cena Part II. I admit, I didn’t like Rock beating Cena in 2012, but this was probably already penciled in, so I won’t complain about it. I forgot that 2012 was a pretty rotten one for Cena personally and professionally. I won’t comment on Rock beating Punk since I haven’t seen the match in awhile.

Mark Henry vs Ryback

Mark Henry comes out first to a decent sounding pop. Ryback’s pop is quieter and it’s hard for me to say who the crowd is rooting for, to be honest.

We start off with a lot of trash talk, at least Ryback does. If you’re looking for something technical, skip ahead. This was a rough, physical match. It also had some old-school elements, such as bearhugs.

This match was slow, but very good. Both guys looked great and Ryback’s loss was more because of Henry’s veteran instincts than anything else.

Winner: Mark Henry by pinfall. Ryback is in bad shape after that finish, but Henry decides to put Ryback in the Hall of Pain for good measure, but Ryback hits a spinebuster and goes for Shell Shock and nails it this time.

Highlights: Ryback going for Shell Shock on Henry and getting squashed due to Henry grabbing the ropes.

Comment: I’m not sure what this feud was all about, but this match was interesting, if a little slow.

We’re getting getting a promo for some WWE toys and JBL has it in for his Rey Mysterio toy, due to his embarrassing loss at WrestleMania 25. A partnership with Special Olympics is also announced. The Special Olympics team is on the stage with Stephanie McMahon and Chris Christie.

WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E (with AJ Lee)

Ziggler and Big E are out first to a decent sounding pop. It’s weird to see Big E not part of New Day. I like this more serious Big E better, personally.

Team Hell No get a great pop. Ziggler insists that AJ kiss him in front of Bryan. Bryan’s response is to kick Ziggler’s head off, which pretty much sets the tone for this match. This wasn’t a pretty match, this was a fight. There was a botch, the ref counted three before Kane got his shoulder up

Winner: Daniel Bryan pins Ziggler to retain the Tag Team belts.

Highlights: Ziggler trying to nail Kane with the MitB briefcase and missing badly.

Comment: I really liked this match. It had a lot of great elements, and again, veterans winning due to experience not poor wrestling by newcomers.

We get a promo by Cena for Make a Wish.

Fandango vs Chris Jericho

We have a lot of dancing ladies for Fandango’s debut. Funny, he looks like Johnny Curtis from NXT. Okay, Dude, you can sort of dance, this isn’t ballet or ballroom dancing. Jericho gets a great pop, I can’t say that the audience seemed very impressed with Fandumbo (my favorite of Jericho’s nicknames for him).

Fandango exhibits some dance…steps, but Jericho isn’t having it and proceeds to take Fandango to the woodshed, as JR would say. This match was pretty much all Jericho at the start. Fandango did manage to get some offense in, but this match was not great, especially for someone making their in-ring debut, even his victory seemed like more a fluke than being a better wrestler.

Winner: Fandango by pinfall. The crowd is not impressed with this result, and neither am I, to be honest.

Highlights: The reel of Jericho’s nicknames for Fandango. Finding out that Cole studied ballroom dancing.

Comment: There’s a story that Jericho summed up Fandango’s prospects as ‘The song will get over, but the guy won’t’. IF that story is true, I can see what he was talking about, at least at this point.

We get a highlight of the pre-show IC title match between Barrett and Miz.

We get another promo for Rock/Cena, but from Rock’s POV. There’s parts of this that seems fake. Like the kids claiming to be one of the millions, but they were born after Rock was gone from WWE. I’m just not buying this promo.

After that, we get a montage of WrestleMania moments, so this must be the halftime show. Our performer is Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. I’m not a listener of his music, so I can’t tell you how good or bad this is.

Diddy reminds us that WrestleMania started in New York City and really gets the crowd going.

We get a promo for ADR/Swagger. I’d totally forgotten how much they danced around the racism line during this feud.

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) vs Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)

Swagger and Colter are already in the ring, Colter is yapping and the NYC/New Jersey crowd isn’t having it. Considering that New York City has been multi-cultural for pretty much all of its history, I’m not sure letting him cut a promo against multi-culturalism was such a good idea.

ADR and Ricardo are out next, Ricardo not very convincing on crutches. ADR gets a great pop, which is surprising to me. For whatever reason, ADR is wearing a robe like a boxer.

To no big surprise, this was a really good match, the storyline of the ‘Real American’ vs the Immigrant Who Made Good was a good one and made the great ring work really meaningful. ADR vs Swagger is one of those great feuds that could go forever in a lot of different ways, they’re so well matched and work so well together. I honestly thought the barely hidden racism of the story would turn me off, but it didn’t. I really wanted to see Swagger get beat by ADR.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio by submission by the cross armbreaker, he retains the World Heavyweight Championship. ADR and Ricardo celebrate in the ring.

Highlights: ADR stomping on Colter’s hand for trying to trip him up. ADR countering the Ankle lock into the cross armbreaker and Swagger reversing it back into an Ankle Lock.

Comment: It’s weird thinking of ADR as a babyface, but it worked.

We get a promo for the National Guard.

We get a promo for Undertaker/Punk. I have to admit that this whole thing about disrespecting Paul Bearer bothered me deeply and having his death be used in a storyline angered me. That might have been the point, but it still makes me mad and deepened my dislike for Punk.

The Streak: Undertaker vs CM Punk (with Paul Heyman)

Living Color sings Punk and Paul Heyman to the ring, the reaction to Punk is mixed and the cheers seem to be for the band more than Punk. The Deadman Cometh.  Taker comes out of the floor, with the ands of fans through the smoke looking like hands reaching out from hell. Taker’s in his Lord of Darkness type rig.

Punk plays some mind games with Taker and draws first blood, but Taker is the Master of mind games and gets in the saddle quickly. This wasn’t a pretty match, but if you want a match where the heel gets his can kicked, this is a good one to watch. There was a possible botch towards the end of the match, Punk hit an elbow drop from the turnbuckle to where Taker lay on the Spanish Announce table and the table didn’t break, which hurt Punk and Taker.

My deep dislike of Punk aside, this was a really great match, and easily could’ve gone either way. That said, I’m not sorry Punk lost, though it looks like a big part of the audience thought he’d win.

Winner: The Undertaker by pinfall. The Streak is 21-0. Afterwards, Taker takes the urn back, places it in the ring and celebrates, just as if Paul Bearer were there with him…maybe he was.

Highlights: Heyman nearly crapping his pants when his attempt to save Punk from the suicide dive nearly ends with him getting chokeslammed. Taker countering the GTS into a tombstone. Chioda waiting for Taker to finish the ‘Rest in Peace’ pin before counting.

Comment: This is the one match in the Streak where I wanted to see Taker’s opponent get the s**t kicked out of them. I had enough respect and/or liking for Taker’s other opponents to not want that for them. Punk pissed me off and I wanted Taker to teach him respect. Also, this would be Punk’s last WrestleMania, he would leave the company in January 2014 and has not returned.

We get a promo of Mick Foley’s newest documentary: For All Mankind.

We get a third promo for Rock/Cena. They’ve promoted this one match more on this show than the rest of the card. I get it, WWE, lay off.

We get a promo for Triple H vs Brock. I’m irked by the commentators saying No Holds Barred is Brock’s match, when Triple H has been in, and won, his fair share of No Holds Barred matches.

Disclaimer: I do not like Brock Lesnar, I haven’t since his first run in WWE, so if the following comes across as heavily biased against Lesnar, that’s why. I will try to be neutral, but I won’t promise.

Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) – No Holds Barred. If Triple H Loses, He Retires

HBK comes out first and gets a great pop. He looks like he just got in from hunting something and considering that it was 50F when the show started, the tank top cannot be keeping him warm.

Lesnar and Heyman are out next and the reaction seems mixed for Lesnar.

Triple H gets a really great pop and has his Skull King entrance. For some reason, he’s got something glowing on his stomach. I’m not sure if that’s water or something else.

Lesnar tries get go for the kill quickly, but Triple H is ready for him. This match starts off as a slugfest pretty quickly. This narrative that No Holds Barred favors Lesnar is deeply irritating to me because it ignores that Triple H has been in many No Holds Barred matches. It’s like they completely forgot about Taker/H two years before, all the Hell in a Cells, and the Street Fights Triple H has been in over the years.

My almost pathological hatred of Lesnar aside, this was a pretty good match, but it was slow moving and not quite as excited as other ones I’ve seen, including Triple H vs Taker. I’ll give both guys their due, that was a great match and one I’d recommend watching.

Winner: Triple H by pinfall. HBK and Triple H celebrate in ring, the McMahons were avenged.

Highlights: HBK distracting Lesnar without doing anything. HBK taking an F-5 to help Triple H. The look on Lesnar’s face when Triple H gives him a taste of his own medicine. HBK hitting Sweet Chin Music on Heyman.

Comments: I despise Lesnar, but that was really good.

We get a promo for WrestleMania 30.

New attendance record: 80,676!!!

WWE Championship Match: The Rock vs John Cena

Cena is out first to a mixed reaction. The crowd doesn’t seem to really be behind him, but he shakes hands with Michael Strahan. Rock gets an amazing pop. It’s been eleven years since Rock was the defending champ at WrestleMania.

Cena and Rock circle each other and we are off! Cena gets first blood, but Rock gets the upper hand quickly.

I’m getting Hogan/Andre vibes and not the good ones. This match is like Hogan/Andre at WrestleMania IV with bloom off the rose. This is a slow match and it is getting boring. I almost want to poke them and say ‘Come on guys, pick up the pace a little’. It did pick up the pace towards the end, but not enough to salvage the whole thing.

Winner: John Cena by pinfall, we have a new WWE Champion. Afterwards, Rock and Cena exchange words (nice ones) and hug. Cena lets Rock have the ring to himself. On the stage, they have a moment and Rock raises Cena’s hand. The torch is passed.

Highlights: Cena using Rock’s moves against him and suckering Rock in.

Comments: I’m sorry, but that was a boring match. It was good, but very boring.

Overall Comments

So how did WrestleMania 29 do? It actually did really well, in my opinion. Compared to the previous two WrestleManias, this was a great show. All of the matches had great spots in them, even the boring/not great ones. My biggest issue is that a lot of the matches were slow. I realize that everyone wants to do their best at WrestleMania, but the slowness really bugged me.

Snoozers: Cena vs Rock. I’m sorry, but that was incredibly boring and not what I expected from either man.

Stinkers: Fandango vs Jericho, having your first match at WrestleMania, with a legend like Chris Jericho, should produce something more impressive than that match.

Match of the Night: Triple H vs Lesnar. My deep dislike of Lesnar aside, that match was fantastic.

Sign of the Night: I hate Cena Guys. Last year, I saw three of them spill beer on a Baby!

Hall of Fame: Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus, Booker T, Donald Trump.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this show, even the not great matches had good spots and there was a lot of interesting things going on. Only thing I didn’t like were the three promos for Rock/Cena, it just about killed any desire I had to see the match.

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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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NXT TakeOver Toronto
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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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