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WrestleMania 30: The Miracle on Bourbon Street

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Daniel Bryan WrestleMania 30

WrestleMania 30: Miracle on Bourbon Street

WrestleMania 30 comes to us from New Orleans, Louisiana, the first time WrestleMania had run the Superdome. This was also the first WrestleMania to air on the WWE Network and, much like its namesake in 1985, this WrestleMania could be seen as a make or break for the fledgling network, so WWE arranged what has been seen as an amazing card.

This WrestleMania has been seen as a turning point in the company’s history due to the fallout of three of the matches on this card: Daniel Bryan’s battle for respect and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship that would turn into a battle to get back to the sport he loved, and Undertaker pitting his legendary streak against Brock Lesnar’s path of destruction that would end up being a fight over whether or not the Streak would be the only part of his career and legacy that mattered.  Of course, no one knew that when WrestleMania 30 started, so is WrestleMania 30 as big a deal as it seems now? Or is it a great but, largely, inconsequential show that should just be enjoyed as is? Let’s find out!

Pre-Show:

We start with a lively look back at WrestleMania and WrestleMania Moments. Who would’ve thought this show that looked likely to fail would be celebrating 30 years and become a global phenomenan?

We see a clip of Stephanie and Triple H introducing WrestleMania 30’s stage. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like Mardi Gras threw up on it. Joking aside, they both look very proud, and they should be very proud.

I will not bore you or myself with a recap of the kickoff show other than the matches.

Four Way Elimination Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Usos vs Los Matadores (with El Torito), the Real Americans (with Zeb Colter), and RybAxel

Zeb Colter is in the ring, and he’s talking. New Orleans is even more multicultural than New York, but some people seemed to be buying this. Real Americans come out to a mixed reaction. RybAxel get little reaction. Los Matadores and El Torito get a decent reaction, or that’s their music. Usos are out last and they get a good reaction.

I forgot how pitiful the tag team division was in 2014. Thankfully, despite the motley crew of teams, this match was actually pretty good and got the crowd going. There was a badly done spot where one of the Matadores was supposed to headscissors Swagger over the top rope and, for whatever reason, it didn’t work.

First eliminated: Los Matadores.
Second Eliminated: RybAxel…thankfully.
Third Elimination: Real Americans

Winner: Usos retain via pinfall after a double Splash on Cesaro. Colter isn’t happy, maybe someone should tell him that the Usos are American citizens so he’ll cheer up. Swagger berates Cesaro for the loss and Cesaro isn’t happy. Colter calms the situation, but Swagger tries to put Cesaro in an ankle lock but is stopped by Colter who tells him to hug it out with Cesaro. Swagger extends his hand, Cesaro takes it but then takes Swagger for a swing as payback for the ankle lock and leaves, to the joy of the crowd.

Highlights: Axel stopping El Torito from doing a highflying move. The match between the Uso and Real Americans. The implosion of the Real Americans.

Comments: This was a good match, but Ryback was awful.

Opener

We start with a promo about WrestleMania with a New Orleans Jazz band. I guess it’s supposed to be on Bourbon Street, and the cutting in of the superstars and Mania moments is pretty cool in the Mardi Gras type celebration.

Hulk Hogan comes out to a HUGE pop, which is still amazing. Hogan is overwhelmed by his reception. We start out with a flub, Hogan MEANT to say ‘Superdome’ and said ‘Silverdome’ instead and things go downhill from there. After a second flub, Hogan realizes his mistake and apologizes and is forgiven. Stone Cold’s music hits and out comes the Rattlesnake to a HUGE pop.

We get a face off between Hogan and Austin and then Austin gets the mic and teases Hogan about the flub. Austin points out usually, he opens a can of Whoop Ass on whoever’s in the ring when he comes out and asks if the audience would like for him to do that to Hogan, and the audience is happy to see it. Austin talks about how he’d sat next to Hogan at the Hall of Fame ceremony and saw all that Hogan had done in WrestleMania’s early years and about protecting legacies. Austin also says that he respects Hogan and what Hogan did (which is why Hogan isn’t getting stunned, presumably). Hogan asks the crowd to give Austin a Hell Yeah.

Austin says that though he’d like to talk all night, tonight is for the WWE Superstars to come out and give everything they’ve got for the fans, just like he and Hogan have done. Rock’s music hits and out comes the Brahma Bull.

Rock is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the crowd. He and Austin do their special handshake. Rock also teases Hogan about his flub, which Hogan accepts that he will never live down. Rock cuts a nice promo about how important Austin and Hogan have been to WWE and to himself. He puts over Cena and Bryan and links them to Hogan and Austin. He also links the birth of a lot of young WWE fans to their parents feeling the passion of WrestleMania.

(Commenter: Seriously, guys, hurry up).

I ended up fast forwarding through the end of this. They took twenty minutes for this opener. The three legends had a beer bash and had the crowd in a good mood.

We get a promo for Bryan vs Triple H.

Daniel Bryan vs Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) – Winner is added to WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

 

Stephanie is in the ring, to a LOUD chorus of boos and introduces Triple H, who gets an even louder round of boos. This is his last Skull King entrance and he’s attended by three ladies who will soon become VERY well known to WWE fans: Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Alexa Bliss. Once Motorhead hits, the pop gets a little better, but the crowd’s feelings are pretty well known.

The pop for Bryan is HUGE! There are ‘Yes!’ signs EVERYWHERE! Bryan’s all smiles until he locks eyes on The Authority and the snarling on both sides has started.

Triple H sticks out his hand, but Bryan isn’t having it, he draws first blood and goes for a quick pin. It’s going to be one of those matches and things get very physical, very quickly.

Bryan mocks Triple H’s attempt at a handshake and the Game is PISSED. Stephanie manages to get him somewhat calmed down, but the tone for this match is set: This is going to be a fight and Trips can’t afford to take Bryan lightly.

I’m sure you will not be surprised that this was a really great match. Triple H and Bryan really took it to each other and both looked great doing it.

Triple H really played up the arrogant heel who didn’t think he had to take Bryan all that seriously and paid for it. I do find it interesting that Stephanie never interfered in the match, or took cheap shots, which she has done in different situations. It plays into this scenario of the Authority not taking Bryan as seriously as they should have.

Winner: Daniel Bryan by pinfall after a running knee. The Superdome EXPLODES. Stephanie and Triple H can’t believe it. Stephanie is livid and slaps Bryan and Triple H attacks him.

Highlights: Bryan hitting a sunset flip powerbomb on Triple H. Triple H still being too arrogant to take Bryan seriously. The sound in the Superdome when Bryan kicked out of the Pedigree.

Comments: Even though I already knew what would happen, Bryan’s victory was a surprise, which is nice. However, I can’t see how a Triple H victory was viable since Evolution hadn’t been relevant in nearly a decade.

Six Man Tag Team Match: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins) vs The New Age Outlaws and Kane

New Age Outlaws are out first, but due to what just happened, the crowd isn’t having it. The Shield interrupts Road Dogg’s promo and get a good pop. The crowd really wants vengeance for Bryan, apparently. Kane comes out and also gets little reaction.

This match was quick and dirty, which is sad because it really could’ve gone on longer. Dean and Kane start us out, as usual, Dean shows no fear of Kane and tags in Roman. This match quickly degenerates into a free-for-all. The Shield is NOT playing tonight.

Winner: The Shield by pinfall after a Double-Triple Powerbomb.

Highlights: Double-Triple Powerbomb, double Drive-By on the Outlaws.

Comments: I wish this match had gotten more time, but the Hogan/Austin/Rock segment went long, and they didn’t want to take time away from Bryan/Triple H. The crowd is very happy to see the Authority being taken out in some fashion after what happened to Bryan.

We get a backstage segment with a lot of WWF/E Legends playing with toys: Danny Davis, Sgt. Slaughter, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Ricky Steamboat, Ron Simmons, and Ted DiBiase.

Inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Big Show is out and gets a pretty good pop, as does Sheamus. Everyone else is in the ring. Since there’s so many guys and it’s a battle royal, I won’t give you a play-by-play.

Cesaro eliminates Big Show by lifting up Big Show up and dumping over the top rope. To understand what a big deal (no pun intended) that is, Big Show was 450lbs at that time.

Winner: Cesaro by eliminating Big Show. Big Show is a good sport and shakes Cesaro’s hand. Cesaro is elated and manages to lift the VERY heavy trophy up on his own.

Highlights: Kofi and Cody having a top rope version of a chicken fight. 3MB eliminating Khali. Kofi Kingston staying in the battle royal.

Comments: This was a really good battle royal. The shock of Cesaro winning instead of Big Show was a great moment.

We get a video package for Cena/Bray Wyatt. This whole feud was creepy.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt (with Erik Rowan and Luke Harper)

The Wyatt entrance is supposed to be modeled on voodoo, except the woman isn’t wearing white like in traditional voodoo ceremonies. Wyatt actually gets a decent pop. Cena gets a mixed reaction, as usual. Cena’s usually all smiles when he comes to the ring, but he’s not tonight, probably because of the creeps in the ring.

This was an okay match, but it wasn’t exciting. Something just wasn’t clicking for me. Cena’s reactions were so over the top, it was a little ridiculous and his reaction to Wyatt’s ‘spider walk’ was just…no. The move isn’t scary, and I hate them pretending that it is.

I will give Wyatt credit for being a great wrestler, but the rest of this was just a ‘bleh’ for me on both guys. If this was supposed to bring out Cena’s inner monster, it either failed or Cena’s inner monster is a really lame one.

Winner: John Cena by pinfall

Highlights: Cena ‘getting mad’. Cena doing a flying crossbody on Harper and Rowan, instead of Wyatt. Cena taking out Harper.

Comments: I forgot how over the Wyatts were in 2014. The crowd was super into Wyatt and company during this match.

After the Hall of Fame spot, we see Daniel Bryan being examined by the trainers after his bad shoulder was attacked by Triple H.

We get a video package about the Streak and Taker vs Lesnar. They’re almost telegraphing what’s about to happen, and I’m kind of grateful for that, even though I KNOW what’s coming, seeing it basically being said is a little comforting.

Disclaimer: I have never seen the following match before. When I heard what happened, I avoided watching it, skipping it or WrestleMania 30 in general, so the following comments be my reaction in real time. There will likely be some swearing and I apologize.

The Streak: Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)

Here we go…

Brock is out first, crowd gives him a good pop. He and Paul look a little…nervous. This is bigger than anyone in UFC and they both know it. Cole and JBL are talking Brock’s stats and I really don’t care. Lawler’s legit dislike of Heyman is showing. JBL’s trying to say Heyman’s the greatest manager ever. NOT. EVEN. Bobby Heenan is and will always be the greatest Manager of all time.

Come, on, let’s get this over with, people.

Lights out. We’re getting a montage of the Streak including Heenan’s chilling words ‘You can’t stop him’. There’s a lot of coffins and it’s creepy. Guess the last one is for Lesnar. Gong sounds, He’s coming. The crowd is popping for this.

Taker’s not wearing his robes, he’s wearing his Deadman gear and the last coffin opens. Lesnar looks legit freaked out, like any normal person, especially when the coffin catches on fire.

The Superdome is SILENT until Justin Roberts announces the Undertaker, and then it’s silence again. I’m going to have nightmares about this, I just know it.

Holy Mother of God, Taker looks like an old man. He doesn’t look like Undertaker anymore. I will say that Taker’s gear looks really cool, but holy cow, Taker looks awful and it’s worse when he takes the hat off and he’s still got that godawful haircut.

 

We’ve got a face off. They both know what’s ahead, they’ve had wars before and they’re going to have one now. Slugfest starting off, but Lesnar’s breaking out the wrestling moves, and Taker’s sent outside but lands on his feet. Lesnar breaking out the UFC stuff. Heyman looks nervous. The ref isn’t doing a whole lot of officiating. Taker’s moving slower than he did last year.

They’re outside and Taker’s in control. The quiet of everyone other than Taker and Lesnar in this match is wigging me out, it’s like hearing people talk in the hospital room of someone who’s very sick or dying. Taker picks Lesnar up for Snake Eyes and Lesnar visibly helps him. Chokeslam early but Lesnar counters, goes for the F-5 but Taker counters that.

Oh, that that looked painful. That bad knee of his is being targeted. This is getting ugly. JBL using car racing terms is making me smile. They keep saying this could be the end, they’re warning the people at home what’s about to happen. Vince KNEW how badly people were going to take this.

Okay, something’s wrong. Taker’s eyes are glazed over and his movements are odd. Lesnar’s pulling his stomps a little because he’s missed Taker’s leg a couple of times. Something is wrong with Taker, like…his bell got rung or something. Oh, I don’t like how Taker’s looking right now.

This looks really sick, Taker’s lying there. I’m sure Heyman’s laughing to sell the story, but this looks awful, Taker’s not fighting back. I wish this crowd would make some noise. Taker hits a DDT that is not the best one I’ve ever seen him hit. I really wish this match was over, Taker’s starting to scare me and not in the way I’m comfortable with. He’s showing life, thankfully, but I still think something’s wrong.

Chokeslam! Only a two-count. Taker goes for the tombstone but Lesnar counters and hits the F-5, Taker kicks out. JBL rooting for Lesnar irritates me, but the crowd is rooting for Taker. Taker is trying to sit up, but I think he just suckered Lesnar in and he’s got him in Hell’s Gate. Damn! Lesnar breaks the hold.

Okay, now I’m really worried about Taker, but he goes for Hell’s Gate again. Lesnar breaks the hold by the deadlift powerbomb. Heyman’s about to have a stroke. Taker goes to sit up but it’s not happening. Lesnar gets Taker in that damn arm break thing of his but Taker’s not tapping and turns it around on Lesnar, just like Triple H did last year.

Both guys are sucking wind like crazy. Taker looks like he can’t believe he knocked Lesnar down. Old School is countered into the second F-5. Heyman throws a damn tantrum over Taker kicking out. Lesnar hits a horrible German suplex.

Taker hits what I think was supposed to be a Last Ride, but he didn’t get it all and he missed the cover. God, Taker looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he was struggling to get Lesnar into a tombstone position.

Okay, he sat up, that’s…that’s good, right? It looks like the lights are coming back on. Lesnar hits another F-5 for three. Crap, even KNOWING that how this match would end doesn’t make it easier, I’m STILL crying.

Winner: Brock Lesnar by pinfall. The Streak is over. The crowd pops but then reality sinks in. There are a lot of stunned and unhappy faces in the crowd. They didn’t even play Lesnar’s music at first. It’s like…that wasn’t the finish that was planned. The crowd’s starting to boo, LOUDLY. Afterwards, Taker gets to his feet and the crowd and ringside crew give him a standing ovation and he walks to the back.

Comment: I honestly never want to see this match again, once is more than enough. I might feel differently next year, but right now, I don’t care if I ever see this match again.

We get a promo for WrestleMania 31.

The commentators give props to Undertaker. It really seems like this was meant to be Taker’s last match.

Vickie Guerrero Invitational Match for the WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee vs Aksana vs Alicia Fox vs Brie Bella vs Cameron vs Emma vs Eva Marie vs Layla vs Naomi vs Natalya vs Nikki Bella vs Rosa Mendes vs Summer Rae vs Tamina Snuka

All the Divas are in the ring for this match, except for AJ, who gets little reaction, which isn’t surprising given what just happened.  Vickie is screeching and it’s getting on my nerves and apparently the Divas aren’t thrilled either.

AJ and Tamina are shoved into the middle and the rest gang up on them. Again, I wish they’d done the Divas/Women’s Revolution sooner, there’s a lot of talented women in this match who really should get more respect than they are given by fans.

Winner: AJ by submission.

Highlights: Stereo snap suplexes. Bellas’ stereo suicide dives. Bellas turning on each other.

Comments: Given what was going to happen tomorrow on RAW, why wasn’t Paige brought in as a surprise entrant?

Mean Gene is doing an interview with Hogan backstage when Piper and Orndorff show up. Piper doesn’t seem to be in the mood to fight…yet. They start rehashing their match at the first WrestleMania and it looks like a fight’s going to break out, especially when T starts running his mouth. Pat Patterson (who refereed that match) reminds them that that match was thirty years ago and Hogan offers to bury the hatchet (not in Piper and Orndorff’s heads, I presume). Everyone shakes hands, and all is good with the world.

There’s a lot of Hall of Famers at ringside, enjoying the show. Bret’s there and he’s a bundle of laughs, as always. The crowd is still dead from the Taker match.

Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs Batista vs Daniel Bryan

Orton is being sung to the ring and his pop is minimal. They’re going to have an uphill battle to get this crowd engaged again. Batista gets a round of boos. And the crowd isn’t in a good mood.

Bryan gets a pop, but even he isn’t getting much of one, surprisingly. The ‘Yes’ chant starts, but it’s not as loud as earlier. Even when they do the in-ring intros, Bryan’s not getting a big pop. Bryan draws first blood, Batista goes for a powerbomb, but Bryan counters with a really bad headscissor takedown. Orton targets Bryan’s bad shoulder and Bryan goes outside and we get a match between Orton and Batista.

Triple H and Stephanie show up with Scott Armstrong to make sure that Bryan doesn’t win, but Bryan isn’t going to be robbed of his dream by a bunch of corporate suits or their stooge ref. He takes out Armstrong and Stephanie, and then takes out Triple H with the Game’s own sledgehammer.

Batista and Orton try to gang up on Bryan so they can have the 1-1 they were supposed to have, but Bryan refuses to go away, even shoving away doctors and getting off a stretcher after a Batista Bomb/RKO combination through the Spanish annouce table.

After taking out Orton, Bryan locks the Yes!Lock on Batista and Batista taps. We have a NEW champion and it’s a Mick Foley moment. The guy everyone said couldn’t be champion is the champion. The crowd LOSES it.

This match was also slow moving, or it felt that way. Like Miz/Cena waiting for Rock, it felt like everyone was treading water for the Triple H and Stephanie run in. While it was nice story progression to see them take Bryan more seriously, it hurt the match, in my opinion because things didn’t pick up until they came out.

Winner: Daniel Bryan by submission on Batista. The crowd ERUPTS, their hero is the champion! Bryan celebrates with his sister and niece and then goes to see Connor Michalek, the brave little boy who had been such a fan of his, even while dying of pediatric cancer, and thanks him for his support. Sadly, little Connor would die a few weeks later of his disease.

Highlights: Bryan hitting ‘Yes’ kicks to Orton and Batista. Bryan taking out Scott Armstrong. Bryan using the sledgehammer on Triple H. Batista Bomb into an RKO. The crowd reaction to Bryan’s win

Comments: This match wasn’t as good as Bryan vs Triple H. It was good, but it was too slow a start.

Overall Comments:

So, is WrestleMania 30 as big a deal in reality as it is in retrospect? Well, yes and no. No, it’s not a big deal because of the fallout of the big matches because no one knew what that fallout was going to look like, but it IS a big deal because of what it represents for WWE and the fans: That Vince McMahon’s biggest gamble is still going strong. The show that everyone feared or hoped would fail is not only still successful thirty years later, but growing and improving, seeking new horizons and still bringing in new fans.

Snoozers: There were several, but Cena/Wyatt was the biggest one.

Match of the Night: Triple H vs Daniel Bryan, that was amazing.

Hall of Fame: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Paul Bearer, Carlos Colon, Sr, Scott Hall, and Mr. T. Sadly, this would be the last WrestleMania appearance for The Ultimate Warrior. He would die of a sudden heart attack two days later.

Final Thoughts: Aside from the Taker match, I really enjoyed this show overall. Even knowing the outcome, the Bryan matches were done so well, I was still surprised that he won.


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Chairshot Classics: WWE Survivor Series 2015

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With all signs pointing to The Brothers Of Destruction teaming up at WWE’s Crown Jewel on November 2nd, today we’re looking back at another time The Undertaker partnered up with his brother Kane, Survivor Series 2015! It was a celebration of 25 years of ‘The Deadman’ on this evening, but The Wyatt Family looked to spoil the party. Could ‘The New Face Of Fear’ defeat The Brothers Of Destruction and take his place as WWE’s newest evil?

Kickoff Show Match – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Miz, Bo Dallas, Stardust & The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) vs. Neville, The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von), Titus O’Neil & Goldust

  • Gold & Stardust will kickoff the action, Stardust tries a boot, Goldust catches the foot and they slug it out, The Cosmic One falling back into his corner and tagging out. Viktor hits the ring, charges right into a powerslam, Goldust with the cover and he scores an early elimination. Viktor has been eliminated.
  • Konnor steps in and has words for The Bizarre One, Titus calling for the tag and he gets it. Collar & elbow lock-up, Konnor backs O’Neil into the corner, doesn’t break clean and hammers away with right hands before celebrating prematurely, Titus turning the tables and unleashing a series of his won. Konnor reverses a whip across, charges in, O’Neil hops up and over and delivers a slam, following with a leg drop before tagging out. D-Von enters the match, connects with a couple of rights and brings in his brother, Bubba hitting a slam and calling D-Von to the top, hitting the Wazzup Headbutt. Bubba gives the orders for tables, Stardust and Miz charge the ring, only to get clotheslined to the outside. The Man That Gravity Forgot comes in, sees Dallas running in and elevates him out to the floor, hits the ropes and flies to the outside with a moonsault plancha as we go to a break….Konnor whips Bubba into the ropes for a back body drop when we come back, drops a big elbow and covers for 1. Bubba ducks a right hand and plants Konnor with a uranage out of nowhere, hooks the leg and gets a sneaky 3 count. Konnor has been eliminated.
  • Stardust rushes the ring and runs into a hiptoss, D-Von tags in and takes a knee to the breadbasket, The Cosmic One tagging out and Miz pummels D-Von in the corner. Bo tags and does more of the same, quickly tags out and Stardust rips at D-Von’s face. The A-Lister re-enters the match, snapmares D-Von over and hits the ropes for a running boot that gets a count of 2. He goes to a front facelock, D-Von battles to his feet, Miz with a kneelift, hits the ropes and D-Von plants him with a spinebuster. Stardust gets a tag, climbs to the top for a double axe handle and catches a right hand to the midsection on the way down. D-Von crawls to a tag, The Man That Gravity Forgot spingboards into the ring over Stardust, takes down Dallas and Miz on the apron, then connects with a flurry of kicks to The Cosmic One. Neville scores with an enzuigiri, shoots him in for a back body drop and Stardust with a kick to the chest. He charges Neville in the corner, The Man That Gravity Forgot side-steps it, Bo makes a blind tag and plants him with the Running Bo-Dog, Miz with a blind tag, follows with the Skull Crushing Finale and finishes Neville off. Neville has been eliminated.
  • The A-Lister runs his mouth at The Dudleys on the apron, Goldust slides in from behind with a schoolboy and gets the 1-2-3. The Miz has been eliminated.
  • Miz can’t believe it and argues with the referees on his way out, Goldust is distracted and Stardust takes advantage as we go to another break….Bo has Goldust on the floor when we return, rolls him back inside and covers for a 2 count before going to a rear chinlock. The Bizarre One finds his footing, breaks the hold and hits the ropes, running into a dropkick by Dallas for another count of 2. Stardust tags, clobbers away at Goldust on the apron, feigns going for a table and changes his mind, stomping away at his brother in the ring. The Cosmic One grabs a crossface chickenwing, pulls Goldust up for a suplex, The Bizarre One counters to a small package for a count of 2, but gets immediately laid out by a clothesline. Stardust with some early celebration, Goldust takes advantage with a schoolboy for 2, The Cosmic One angrily pounding away and bringing Dallas back in. The Inspirational One continues the onslaught, levels Goldust with a short-arm clothesline for a near fall, then goes back to the rear chinlock to wear him out. Bo slams him to the mat trying to get to his feet, Stardust tags and they split The Bizarre One with a wishbone, then drops The Dudleys & Titus off the apron. The Cosmic One runs at Goldust in the corner, meets a boot to the midsection and The Bizarre One plants him with a sunset flip bomb. Bo gets the tag as Goldust reaches Titus, O’Neil with a shoulder to Dallas, squashes Stardust in the corner, then clotheslines Bo and shoots him in for a back body drop. The Inspirational One sees it coming and hits a kick, but gets dropped by a big boot, Titus turning around and catching Stardust coming off the top into multiple backbreakers. O’Neil stacks them in the corner, squashes them both and Goldust & Bubba enter the ring with synchronized Dusty tributes, Clash Of The Titus to Bo and we’re down to 4 on 1. Bo Dallas has been eliminated.
  • Stardust realizes he’s all by himself, drops off the apron and tries to take a walk. O’Neil goes out to meet him, Goldust comes up from behind and catches a back elbow, The Cosmic One tries to run away, slides in the ring and runs into a 3D to finish it.

Winners & Sole Survivors: The Dudley Boyz, Titus O’Neil & Goldust

  • EA’s TakeI think Renee Young is overblowing just how ‘good’ this match really was. To me it was just an appetizer, a time-filler, something to get the people in the arena a little more hyped up for the main show. The match was not bad by any means, but it was merely a bunch of thrown-together parts and the only significance was the return of Goldust.

Open: Everyone rises to their feet in the arena, as Lilian Garcia is in the ring to sing our National Anthem.

Video: “Once in a generation there comes a phenom. An individual not measured in seconds, days, weeks or even years, but by the legacy he’s built. A presence that’s risen above all challenges and gone head-first into the unknown. But, when a Phenom joins a Demon from the depths of Hell, only time will tell us what the future will bring.” Tonight marks the 25 year anniversary of The Undertaker in WWE, as he and his brother, Kane, look to cement their spot as the keepers of the darkness over The Wyatt Family. A change is coming, as tonight we crown a brand new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. “History is written, by the survivors.”

Match #1 – WWE Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Roman Reigns vs. WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Zeb Colter
Collar & elbow tie-up to start, Alberto backs Roman into the corner and they break clean. Another lock-up, Reigns with a side headlock, Del Rio pushes him off into the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder, re-thinking his strategy. The champion with a leg kick, backs Reigns into the corner for more to the ribs, then fires off right hands from the 2nd rope. Roman powers out of the corner with Alberto on his shoulder, flipping him to the mat, Del Rio coming right back by pulling Reigns to the outside. The Big Dog drags Alberto out by the foot, looks to drive him into the barricade, Del Rio counters and Roman is sent into the wall, then rolled back inside.

Alberto comes off the top with an overhand chop for a count of 2, Roman reversing a whip into the corner, climbs to the 2nd rope with right hands, Del Rio pushes him off, charges in and gets planted by a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for 2. Roman drives the champion into the top turnbuckle, whips him hard into the corner, charges in and gets elevated to the apron, Alberto hanging him across the top rope and dropping him to the floor with an enzuigiri. Del Rio heads out and rams Reigns into the steel steps as Triple H watches from the back. Back in the arena, El Patron tosses Roman inside, heads up top for another overhand chop and goes to a rear chinlock.

The Big Dog battle to a standing position, whips Del Rio into the corner, rushes in and misses, hitting the ring post shoulder-first. The champion keeps the pressure on with kicks and right hands, charges for a running dropkick, Roman avoids it and Alberto flies through the ropes to the outside. Reigns rolls outside, catches Del Rio climbing up the apron with the Drive-By, bashes his head off the apron and announce desk, then rolls him back in the ring. Alberto tries a clothesline, Reigns ducks it and connects with one of his own, then clobbers the champion in the corner with a flurry more before hitting the ropes for a big boot. The Big Dog calls for the Superman Punch, El Patron ducks out of the way and scores with a Backstabber, makes the cover and gets a near fall.

Del Rio goes back to kicks in the corner, spikes Roman with a DDT for another count of 2, arguing with the ref about the count. The champion sets his sights on a superkick, The Big Dog ducks out of the way, plants Alberto with a Samoan Drop and gets 2. Reigns props Del Rio on the top turnbuckle, attempts a superplex, Alberto with headbutts, gets Reigns in the tree of woe and tries the double stomp. Roman avoids it, Del Rio’s knee buckles on the landing, Reigns coming back with a Superman Punch and positioning himself for the Spear, Alberto countering with a superkick for a near fall.

The champion thinks it’s time for the Cross Armbreaker, Reigns counters into a schoolboy powerbomb, Alberto kicking out at 2. Both men struggle to get to their feet, Alberto grabbing a Cross Armbreaker out of nowhere on the canvas, Reigns powers Del Rio up to a vertical base, but the champion hanging onto the hold in the ropes. The referee finally forces the break, El Patron heads to the top, jumps over Roman who’s getting to his feet, turns around and takes a Spear, Reigns covering to advance.
Winner: Roman Reigns (Spear)

  • EA’s TakeDel Rio clearly still hasn’t quite gotten his footing back yet, there were some mix-ups at the beginning of the match that were glaring, things were a bit choppy for a bit there. They were able to turn it around towards the end of the match, but I’ve had Roman as a lock for the finals since the tournament was announced. Nothing surprising here in a match that was similar to a Raw main event.

Backstage: Jojo brings in Roman Reigns for some words, Dean Ambrose coming right in and congratulating his friend on the victory. Roman tells Dean that all he has to do is win and it’ll be them for the title, Ambrose walking away. The Big Dog tells Jojo that once Dean’s done, it will be best friends fighting for the championship. Kevin Owens comes in to remind Roman that he’s not eliminated yet, telling Reigns he’s been close before and tonight, he’s the guy that will stop him. KO walks off, Reigns stating that Owens is about to get his ass whooped.

Match #2 – WWE Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Dean Ambrose vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
Ambrose with a hammerlock to start, switches to a side headlock, Owens fighting out and grabbing one of his own. The Lunatic Fringe pushes KO into the ropes and gets dropped by a shoulder knockdown, Owens back into the ropes and Dean with multiple armdrags. The champion reverses whip into the ropes, Ambrose with a schoolboy for a quick 1, gets a waistlock and Owens with a back elbow, using a schoolboy for a quick 1 of his own. KO with shoulders to the midsection in the corner, shoots Dean across and charges in, The Lunatic Fringe hops up and over, hits the ropes and takes Owens down with a forearm.

He rakes KO’s face on the top rope, clotheslines him to the outside and flies with a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Ambrose sends the champion back inside, charges him in the corner with a forearm, follows with a running bulldog and covers for 1. The Lunatic Fringe heading upstairs, Owens hits the ropes and crotches Dean, dropping him to the mat with right hands and scoring with the Cannonball that gets 1. The Prize Fighter utilizes a rear chinlock, Ambrose gains a vertical base and breaks the hold with jabs and chops, Owens countering a whip into the corner and Dean goes in sternum-first.

The champion plants Dean with a torture rack neckbreaker for a 2 count, hits the ropes for a running senton and gets another count of 2. He chokes Ambrose on the middle rope, levels him with a short-arm clothesline, fires away with heavy rights, sends Dean into the ropes for a back elbow and gets another near fall. KO back to the rear chinlock, again Triple H is watching from the back as The Lunatic Fringe fights to his feet. Owens catches him in a sleeper, Dean counters to a back suplex, then avoids a running senton, hits the ropes and they double down off a double clothesline. The Lunatic Fringe tries Dirty Deeds, KO blocks it, they exchange right hands, Ambrose hits the ropes and Owens hangs him on the top rope.

He splits Dean with a gutbuster, heads up top for a moonsault and misses, The Lunatic Fringe scaling the corner to follow with a diving elbow drop and a near fall. Ambrose props Owens on the top turnbuckle, hooks for a superplex, KO blocks it and drops Dean back to the mat. The Lunatic Fringe fires back up to attempt a superplex, the champion counters and powers him into a 2nd rope fisherman’s buster, but still can’t get a 3 count. Owens yells at Dean to stay down, sends him into the ropes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Ambrose rebounds off the middle rope and scores with the Lunatic Lariat, KO rolling to the outside.

Ambrose flies through the ropes with a suicide dive, tosses the champion in, Owens rolls out the other side and Dean tries another suicide dive, but gets caught. KO drops The Lunatic Fringe on the announce table, tosses him back in for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, Dean avoids it and lands on his feet turning around into a superkick. Ambrose rebounds off the ropes for another Lunatic Lariat, walks into another superkick, the champion attempts the Pop-Up Powerbomb again, Dean counters with a hurricanrana, then spikes Owens with Dirty Deeds to head to the finals.
Winner: Dean Ambrose (Dirty Deeds)

  • EA’s TakeA better match, a lot cleaner than our first semi-final. I had a hard time believing Ambrose wouldn’t win this, but figured the odds were greater than that of Reigns, so it definitely helped make the match more interesting. I’m hoping for something more interesting to happen in the main event, as everything thus far has been expected.
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Chairshot Classics: WCW Halloween Havoc ’92 – Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal

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Open: Tony Schiavone & Bruno Sammartino introduce the show, specifically talking about the “Spin the Wheel – Make the Deal” match between Sting and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons must be cautious of The Barbarian, and there has been some conflict between Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. Missy Hyatt is backstage to figure out whether or not Rick Rude has decided who his choice of guest referee will be for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match. She has no information at this time and sends it off to the commentary team.

Match #1: Arn Anderson, ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton & Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas
Anderson and Gunn get us going. Collar and elbow tie up, Anderson with position, the veteran with some condescension before beating the young kid down. Irish whip, Gunn puts on the breaks and lands a drop kick. Anderson gets a knee to the midsection after a distraction by his teammate, he goes to the top but the Z-Man takes care of him with a drop kick of his own. Anderson’s team regroups on the floor, Double A comes back to the ring. Collar and elbow, Gunn with a wristlock and a tag to Z-Man. Zenk with an elbow and he grabs the wrist. Anderson with a drop toe hold and he tags in Eaton.

Beautiful Bobby with some rights. Zenk reverses the Irish whip and Eaton digs his heels in giving Z-man a shot. They hit the ropes and Zenk executes a high elevation back body drop. He follows it with a drop kick back to Eaton’s corner and Michael Hayes is tagged in to a big pop. Hayes with a side headlock, Z-Man forces him on the ropes, they run and Zenk delivers a hip toss. Hayes slows it down. Collar and elbow tie p and Zenk makes a quick tag to Douglas. Shane twists the wrist, they hit the ropes and Shane is quick with an arm drag. He hangs on with an arm bar until Hayes gets a knee to the gut and tags in Eaton. Shane greets him with an arm drag and he locks in.

Bobby gets position with a vertical base, he moves to the corner for a break but takes some liberties. Douglas reverses the Irish whip and elevates with the back body drop. Headscissor takedown by Shane followed with a single leg takedown. A tag is made to Zenk and he goes right to work on Bobby’s leg. Eaton is able to crawl his way to his corner and tag in The Enforcer. Arn with a forearm and a side headlock, they hit the ropes, Double A gets a shoulder tackle but he’s caught in a sleeper hold on the comeback. Anderson escapes it with a belly to back suplex. Hayes is tagged in and he hits a quick elbow, followed with a fist to the face before grabbing a reverse chin lock. Z-Man fights out with elbows to the gut, he hits the ropes but Hayes catches him with a kick.

Swinging neckbreaker by Hayes and he gets two. Eaton is tagged back in, Z-Man trying to fight him off. Z-Man lifts Eaton for an atomic drop, unaware Eaton tagged in Anderson. Eaton reverses the Irish whip, Z-Man ducks his clothesline but runs into the elbow of the legal man. Anderson with a lateral press and he gets two. Anderson feeds Z-Man to the corner and he tags in Michael Hayes. The Freebird locks in a modified camel clutch, he breaks it, goes for a vertical suplex but it’s reversed. Hayes tags Anderson while Zenk tags Douglas. Shane goes to work on all of his opponents. A front face lock is placed on Anderson, and Eaton cheap shots him at the knees.

Double A goes to work on the leg that was clipped, Eaton is tagged in and he enters with some flying knee to knee contact. Beautiful Bobby locks in the figure four and he gets some help from Michael Hayes. Douglas tries to roll it over and Eaton smartly tags in Anderson. Arn sends him for an Irish whip, he comes off the ropes and catches Double A with an atomic drop but both men knock heads and they’re down. Anderson crawls and tags in Hayes but Douglas is able to tag is Gunn right after. Johnny sends Hayes for the ride and a back body drop, he’s rushed by Eaton who gets a scoop slam and a melee breaks out. While all six competitors brawl, Johnny Gunn hits a Lou Thesz Press on Michael Hayes and they pick up the win!
Winners: ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn & Shane Douglas (Gunn/Lou Thesz Press)

  • EA’s Take: This match felt like a collection of guys with nothing meaningful to do storyline-wise (which is basically the case), but they still delivered a perfectly fine opening bout. With three grizzled vets on the other side of the ring, I’m not sure who they’re trying to put over here, if anyone. No one on the winning team stood out, but I sincerely enjoyed the match all the same.

Backstage: Missy Hyatt is still outside Rick Rude’s locker room. She can’t get in, but here comes Harley Race. The former World Champion is just here to watch a championship match and he won’t let Hyatt into the locker room.

Match #2: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman
Collar and elbow tie up, Pillman gets position and chops away. Steamboat retaliates with a chop of his own, they hit the ropes and Ricky takes Pillman down with a shoulder block. He tries another and gets a two count. Pillman tries flipping Steamboat over the top rope but The Dragon hangs on and grabs a victory roll for two. Off the kickout, Steamboat hits the turnbuckle and Pillman scoop slams him. Pillman taunts and Steamboat plays possum, baiting him into an arm bar. Pillman up to a vertical base, they hit the ropes, Steamboat with a shoulder tackle and a hip toss. Deep arm drag by The Dragon and he hangs on.

Steamboat moves to the wrist and he puts a lot of power on it. Pillman reverses with a drop toe hold, he can’t grab the chin lock and Steamboat reverses back into the hammerlock. Steamboat with knees to the kidneys, they’re up to vertical. Pillman fights back with forearms and Steamboat retaliates with chops and a back body drop. Scoop slam by Steamboat, but he’s met with a slow blow, an eye rake and a clothesline. Pillman hangs Steamboat on the ropes and throws him back. Steamboat is sent for the ride, he leap frogs Pillman and catches him in a choke on the comeback. Pillman meets the turnbuckle, Steamboat tries to send him for the ride but Brian drops down. The ref backs Steamboat off and Flyin Brian takes a cheap shot.

Brian rubs Steamboat’s face into the canvass. Steamboat fights back with some chops and sends Pillman into the turnbuckle. They run the ropes and Pillman counters with a head scissor take down. Pillman takes Steamboat to the middle rope, he sends The Dragon for the ride and he counters into a back slide and a two count. Pillman quickly hammers Steamboat’s head into the canvass and chokes him out. Ref breaks it up. Pillman sets Steamboat on the top turn buckle and slaps him in the face. He sets up for a superplex, Steamboat blocks it and throws Pillman to the canvass. Steamboat comes off the turnbuckle but he runs into a drop kick by Flyin Brian.

Pillman says its over, Steamboat gets his shoulder up on multiple covers. Brian checks in with the ref and is victim of a belly to back suplex. The ref starts his 10 count, Steamboat is up first, Pillman reverses the whip to the ropes and catches The Dragon in a sleeper. Steamboat drives into the corner, Pillman hangs on, but not the second time. From the apron, Pillman snaps Steamboat’s neck off the top rope. He climbs the turnbuckles, Steamboat catches him with a gorilla press. Steamboat is fired up, Pillman escapes to the floor. Ricky gives chase and chops him on the outside. Pillman is rolled back in, Brian regains the advantage with a knee to the face and some chops.

Steamboat is sent into the turnbuckle, The Dragon fights back with chops. Steamboat tries to grab him, again Brian rolls to the floor but he’s followed again. Irish whip by Steamboat and he runs into a knee. Pillman with a cross body press from the 2nd rope and he gets a two count. Standing switch into a back breaker by Steamboat who heads for the top rope. A big sunset flip earns him two. Pillman counters the pin, but The Dragon flips him back and he picks up the 3 count.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Roll-Up)

  • EA’s Take: This was exactly what you would expect, Pillman is showing some heel behavior. He’s also taken quite a few losses, albeit to legitimate opponents, you’d hate to see his talent get buried. Unfortunately, this is kind of his road until a partnership that wasn’t fondly remembered until years after Pillman’s early passing.
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NWA-TNA Episode 11: Going Out With a Bang? (Part 2)

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This week, TNA has a couple of mysteries that need solving: Who is the Masked Bullet that Bob Armstrong brought in to fight Jeff Jarrett and what the hell is Brian Lawler’s problem with Jarrett? The Miss TNA challenge is open again, God help us all, Sonny Siaki will take on Monty Brown, and Lo-Ki, AJ Styles, and Jerry Lynn will meet up in a ladder match that has to be seen to be believed. Let’s check out what’s going on this week!

Opening: We get the usual opening, crowd seems hot. We see Goldilocks trying to talk to Brian Lawler about what Jarrett allegedly did since Slash jumped Lawler before he could tell us last week. Lawler is about to tell us when Jarrett jumps him from behind and we STILL don’t know.

Kid Kash vs Amazing Red: Kid Kash is out first and gets a good pop since he’s from Johnson City, Tennessee. Amazing Red doesn’t get as good a pop. This was an interesting match-up. Every match I’ve seen of Amazing Red’s seemed to be more about high spots than wrestling, however this match had some pretty decent wrestling. Red makes the mistake of calling Kash an old man (Kash isn’t exactly a ‘kid’) and Kash doesn’t appreciate it and the spot fest starts. Kash calls on his ECW experience and throws a chair and NAILS Red with a great throw, but only gets two.

Kash does such a good job of being the heel in this, he actually reminds me of 80s Roddy Piper. Red does a good job of hanging with him, but it’s clear, at least to me, that Red is better at hitting high spots than wrestling because when it goes to the mat, he’s not nearly as good. There’s a really lame spot where Kash ‘accidentally’ pushes the ref into the ropes and the ref either didn’t hit the ropes hard enough or what, but Red’s ‘slip’ to nut shot himself on the turnbuckle was pathetic.

Kash gets the victory after hitting the Bankruptcy, a cradle Argentine Rack. Red goes for a handshake but Kash isn’t having it and takes Red out. The Maximos come to Red’s aid and take Kash, and maybe themselves, out.

Winner: Kid Kash by pinfall.

Comment: That was really good.

Backstage, Goldilocks is trying to get an interview with Sonny Siaki. Siaki is still in his Elvis gear, for some reason. Siaki doesn’t like Goldi asking him, admittedly very impatiently, to turn around and says he’ll turn around when he’s ready. They trade barbs, because Goldilocks is clearly tired of being insulted by the wrestlers. Siaki warns her to not be a smart ass and that the only thing Elvis did right was slap Priscilla. (Oh, HELL no!) He then says if Goldilocks keeps it up, she won’t get to have her way with him. Siaki says he’s bigger than the Super Bowl. Siaki makes Goldilocks do her ‘Sonny Siaki has left the interview’ thing, but she’s PISSED and I don’t blame her.

Sonny Siaki vs Monty Brown: Siaki gets an okay pop, as does Brown. Brown cuts a promo on Jarrett about Jarrett using chairs and promises to take Jarrett apart if he ever gets his hands on him. You know that feeling you get when you can tell from the start that something’s not going to be good? I got that feeling during the first lock up of this match. This match was awful. Monty Brown has a lot of power, but his skill level is not the best. He’s an incredible athlete, but it always seems like he got the absolute minimum training on how to wrestle outside of hitting power moves (and even those seem like a struggle in a few spots) and it really shows with guys who have more experience. Siaki did a great job of selling, but this match was just blah.

Siaki finally turns the tide after a dominate performance by Brown by utilizing the low blow after Jarrett causes a distraction. As Jarrett runs his mouth, Bob Armstrong and a masked wrestler that is referred to as ‘The Bullet’ come out, armed with a steel chair. While Jarrett is distracted by that, Brown attacks him. While Jarrett sells Brown’s whiffed punches, Lawler comes out and starts choking Jarrett with his belt. Jarrett and Lawler have an actual fight before being separated by security.

Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.

Comment: Brown could really be a great wrestler if he could learn to do more than power moves.

Goldilocks is with Slash and a guy who looks like he was just pulled out of a bar. Slash laughs at the idea of this guy being his friend and introduces the guy as his brother in pain, Cobain (oh, lord) and that suicide is what he lives for (oh, LORD!) and his ecstasy comes from his own pain. Cobain finally says something, he says that he overdoses on the sweet nectar of his own pain. This interview gets increasingly weird and I’m glad it’s over.

Four Team Elimination Match: The Backseat Boys vs Slash/Cobain vs The Hot Shots vs James Storm/Chris Harris: The Backseat Boys are out first and they look like Dollar Store versions of 3 Count from WCW. Slash and Cobain are out next and they don’t inspire confidence. Hot Shots don’t get much of a reaction either.  We’re told that whoever gets the final pinfall will be the final entrant in the Gauntlet for the Gold match in two weeks. Storm and Harris get a good reaction and Storm still has his pop guns.

This match was pretty good…once Backseat Boys and the Hot Shots were eliminated. Backseat Boys were more interested in spots than wrestling and were quickly eliminated. I’m not sure how much training or experience Cobain had before TNA, he just seems to be there for Slash to have a partner because Malice is MIA. While this is going on, Ron Harris and Brian Lee are at commentary, griping about being left out of the match, and I’m almost on their side. This match was super rough towards the end, but it was a lot of fun. Harris and Storm get the victor, but suffer a beat down by Harris and Lee, which brings out the rest of the tag division.

Winner: Chris Harris and James Storm by pinfall.

Comment: That got really good, eventually.

Backstage, Jarrett is arguing with Bob Armstrong. For some reason, Jarrett seems to think he’s in charge and tells Armstrong to either get things running smoothly or he’s taking matters into his own hands. Armstrong tells Jarrett to shut up and that Jarrett’s going to get everything he deserves tonight. Jarrett says that what he deserves is a title shot, the tag titles, and that he’s going to reveal who the Masked Bullet is and promises to beat his ass. Armstrong isn’t happy, but Jarrett seems to have already figured out who the Masked Bullet is.

Bruce vs April Hunter: Here we go again. I still want Bruce’s dress but other than that, I really wish this storyline was over.

Winner: Bruce

Comment: Who is actually wanting this match on every week?

Goldilocks is interviewing the remaining Elvises and brings up Siaki. Neither Yang nor Estrada are all that upset about Siaki going solo. It also seems that Yang doesn’t seem to remember Elvis’ best lines. ANYWAY, the gist is that it’s being made clear that Siaki won’t be welcomed back to the Heartbreak Hotel any time soon.

Speak of the Devil and he shall appear, Siaki pops up with some big news: He’s the new #1 Contender for Truth’s NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Maximos vs Jimmy Yang and Jorge Estrada: Maximos get little reaction. Tenay informs us that we will finally find out what Brian Lawler’s issue with Jarrett is after this match and that poor Goldilocks has the job of doing the interview. On to the match. This was an okay match. Neither the Elvis’ nor the Maximos are the most exciting parts of the X-Division and this match was slow. The Maximos, like Amazing Red, are really great as long as they can do their high spots, but they struggle when it comes to mat wrestling. Yang and Estrada pick up the victory, while Siaki looks on from the ramp.

Winner: Flying Elvis’ by pinfall.

Comment: Eh

Now for what we’ve all been waiting for: What is going on with Brian Lawler? Goldilocks gets a lot of appreciation from the crowd, but not Brian Lawler, who calls her a piece of trash and Goldi leaves, to the dismay of the crowd. He demands that Jarrett come out, but Jarrett doesn’t show up. Before we finally get an answer, Truth comes out, apparently still pissed about Lawler hitting him with a chair last week. Truth doesn’t think it was an accident, though Lawler swears otherwise and that he and Truth are still good, they have a common enemy, Jeff Jarrett. After Truth warns Lawler that the Asylum is Truth’s house, he leaves, and we get back to business. Apparently, this whole thing is about Jarrett doing something with or to Lawler’s girlfriend, who is sitting at ringside. Lawler realizes that a photographer is taking pictures of her because that’s his job, and goes ballistic.

Comment: This whole thing seems to be leading up an angle where Lawler is being used by his girlfriend to attack people, but the set up is weird.

We get a recap of Jarrett’s encounter with the Masked Bullet.

Jeff Jarrett vs The Bullet: Jarrett comes out to an okay pop, as does the Bullet. This isn’t much of a match. It’s a brawl. It’s pretty obvious who the masked man PROBABLY is, just judging by the guy’s selling and the way he moves. Jarrett’s really in the doghouse, if you get my drift. If not, well, we’ll all find out together.

Jarrett finally gets tired of playing with Bullet, handcuffs him to the ropes, and goes to get a chair, vowing to reveal who the masked man is, but is stopped by Bob Armstrong, who gets a couple of shots in before saying hello to Jarrett’s little friend. Jarrett continues to pummel Bob while the Bullet can only watch. Armstrong is bleeding from the lamest blade job ever and is eventually laid out by a weak chairshot (Jarrett barely touched him). After all that fun, Jarrett’s finally going to reveal who the mystery man is. Before he can, security runs in and stops him. I guess we’ll find this out next week.

Winner: No Contest.

Comment: Good grief.

Don West pumps us up for next week’s episode, provided there is one and he’s more excited than the crowd.

We get a recap of Lynn and Styles’ epic 2 out of  3 falls match and why we’re having a Triple Ladder match.

Triple Ladder Match For the X-Division Championship: Lo Ki vs AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn: All three guys get a pretty good pop. Ladder matches are hard for me to follow and type but this was a really great match. All three guys worked like it was their last chance, which was a very real possibility at the time. Styles seemed a little hesitant during this match, but Lynn’s veteran experience really helped the match along.

If you’re used to ladder matches with a lot of crazy spots involving the ladder, this isn’t the match for you. There were some ladder spots, but the focus was on wrestling. I’m not sure if it was that none of the guys had done ladder matches before or what, but the lack of ladder spots didn’t hurt the match.

Winner: Jerry Lynn is the NEW X-Division Champion.

Comment: That was fantastic!

Overall Comment: So how was episode 11 of TNA? It was okay, all things considered. In doing some research, I found out that due to Health South pulling out as backers of TNA, episodes 10 and 11 were filmed on the same day, which means almost everyone worked at least two matches, and Styles and Lynn did four. This explains why the crowd seemed not as interested in the proceedings as earlier. TNA took a couple of weeks off after this in order to try and find another backer.

My issues with the treatment of women are still there, and I still say someone needs to get Vince Russo help to deal with this apparent hatred of women. The Miss TNA thing needs to be scrapped and never mentioned again.

Jeff Jarrett’s position in the company is still confusing. It honestly feels like there’s a fight every week over whether or not he’s a heel and it seems no one can make up their mind. His actions and attitude should make him a heel, but the NWA’s actions make him seem like a babyface and as much as I like Jarrett, he isn’t cut out to be a Stone Cold type character. Plus, he’s fighting against NWA reps who are mostly older men past their prime, not a boss that pushes himself to lift more weight than his wrestlers and doesn’t hesitate to take nasty bumps to put someone over. Not saying Armstrong, Steamboat, and the others weren’t willing to take bumps, because they were, but it seems like the idea of treating them like lot of WWE superstars treated Vince was deemed too disrespectful to men who had once been NWA champion.

Stinkers: Bruce vs April Hunter. Someone PLEASE stop putting this on TV.

Snoozers: Flying Elvis’ vs Maximos. Boring and slow is the best way to describe it.

Match of the Night: Triple Threat Ladder Match.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I think this could’ve been a really great episode if they hadn’t been forced to tape two two-hour shows in one day. As anyone who has griped about crowd reaction at a WWE PPV will know, it’s hard for even the best performers to keep a crowd engaged after four hours.


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