So anyone that may have been upset with the lack of WWE product in the Top 5 last week, should be happier.
Also, thanks to holiday barb-e-ques and other personal engagements, I wasn’t able to catch up with everything this weekend. But we still have nice variety, that I’m pretty comfortable with. Last week was a close vote, but, Will Ospreay vs Taiji Ishimori BOSJ 25, managed to pull out the win.
This will be the last vote for the May pool, so let’s see what we can add to monthly vote next week.
5. MLW Fusion MLW Heavyweight Championship: Shane Strickland (c) vs Pentagon Jr
Holy Christ, Salina has a Mariachi band enter the ring before Shane’s entrance to play the Mexican national anthem.The crowd looks a combination of amused and confused…but it’s definitely unique.
There’s a couple nice spots i the match I’ll go over since it was actually a fairly long match for TV. Pentagon ties Swerve up with the camera cables on the apron, hitting a variety of knife edge and Kobashi style chops. The referee is giving both men a lot of leeway throughout the match, so it’s nice to see the implication that it will end in the ring.
A big Mexican Destroyer on the apron is what we’re greeted with after the second commercial break and the match starts to pick up there. Swerve kicks out of a Pentagon Driver and Feat Factor, but the back half of the match was mostly dominated by Pentagon. Out of frustration, Salina gives Pentagon a chair and it seems like the referee will let it play. It looked like Pentagon was going for a Superplex into the opened chair, but Swerve blocked him and knocked Pentagon down.
They tease the spot that ended their Wrestle Circus match of a Swerve Stomp onto a seated Pentagon, but Pentagon counters it with a Powerbomb. Salina’s usual stoicism finally breaks and she jumps on the apron after Strickland kicks out again. This leads to the “Oops” moment for heels, and Pentagon hits Salina with the Red Mist when Shane moves out of the way, giving Strickland the opening to steal a win.
Rating: *** 1/2
4. SmackDown Live: Jeff Hardy vs Daniel Bryan
A first time ever match, that for TV and even a middle of the card PPV match, was pretty damn good.
The one commercial break didn’t hurt too much, the Tree of Woe spot into the Whisper in the Wind was a nice sequence. Hell, the ending was really good also and even protects Jeff Hardy to a degree. He’s been nursing an leg issue for weeks, so the idea of Daniel Bryan winning by Knee Bar submission plays into the established injury.
Next SmackDown we’re going to be getting a Samoa Joe vs Daniel Bryan match…which should be good, but since it’s a TV match, who knows if it will be quality or used to move along a storyline.
Rating: *** 1/2
3. NXT Handicap Match: Ricochet & Velveteen Dream vs Lars Sullivan
Lars interfering in Ricochet and Dream’s match last week, allowed for this to come to fruition and make sense.
Now it’s hard to make a handicap match believable since it usually sways one way or the other, but this was actually really well done. Ricochet and Dream showed a lot of cohesion by utilizing numerous quick tags, impact moves and speed attacks against the muscle bound freak.
Lars however showed amazing resilience by kicking out and maintaining enough power late in the match to throw both men off of him.
The swerve in the match came from Velveteen Dream tagging in, but Ricochet immediately tagging back in to hit a Springboard 450. This annoyed Dream, so he hit Ricochet with his Cartwheel Death Valley Driver and left him for shark food.
Sullivan stares down Dream a little, but hit’s the Freak Accident on Ricochet and picks up the win, whilst keeping the wheels of this feud moving nicely.
NJPW BOSJ 25: Sho vs Chris Sabin
Rating *** 1/4
NXT: Lacey Evans vs Kairi Sane
Rating: *** 1/4
Raw: Elias vs Bobby Roode
Dragon Gate King of Gate: Masato Yoshino vs Kagetora
Rating: ** 1/2
2. NJPW BOSJ 25: El Desperado vs Hiromu Takahashi
Now Despy and Hiromu have a little bit of heat from the last few months being involved in the Junior Tag scene, and Hiromu came out angry.
Hiromu jumped on him quickly and started tearing at Despy’s mask. Desperado eventually got some space and the match became a very hard hitting back and forth. Hiromu being a fan favorite helped to keep the crowd invested the entire time also.
Desperado teased a few of his finishers, even kicked out of a Time Bomb. After Hiromu got out of an El Es Claro, he went to try for one more Time Bomb, but got caught in Pinche Loco. And surprisingly, Despy picks up the win over everyone’s favorite psycho, Hiromu.
Rating: **** 1/4
1. AJPW Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji
The rematch that Marufuji didn’t really want, but who’s gonna so no to a title shot? All of this was predicated on the fact Marufuji won the Champion Carnival, so that grants him an opportunity. Just makes it spicier that he won the Carnival by beating the champion, so we got ourselves more layers.
To be honest, the match felt very similar to their Carnival outing. However, the passion that we saw in the Carnival as NOAH vs AJPW and a sense of betrayal, was replaced more with anger and general pride.
Miyahara was embarrassed he lost the Carnival and thus making AJPW look inferior to NOAH. So he came out angry, took the match to the outside and used the ring and the barricade to an early advantage. Marufuji applied some veteran cunning catch Miyahara with a crescent kick around the ring post and then pulling him into it.
After that, we saw many of the same spots from last month. Marufuji hit a springboard shotgun kick as opposed to the curb stomp, but it had the same appeal, the apron piledriver was utilized and even the dueling knee strikes.
We did see distinct growth from Kento since he seemed to know to expect certain moves, whereas Marufuji was kind of going to the old reliable stuff. Kento kicks out of Ko-Oh, two Shiranuis and then Marufuji teases a Flowsion, but Kento gets away.
At that point, Kento punished Marufuji with numerous knee strikes and then eventually pulls out the win with his Shutdown German Suplex Hold. Not quite as good as the Carnival Final, but still very good and a possible excuse to have a rubber match. Maybe Champion vs Champion if Marufuji can get the GHC off of Takashi Sugiura?
Rating: **** 3/4
Mainly since I know they can put on better matches, I can’t follow my ratings for who I vote for. Honestly, NXT Handicap Match: Lars Sullivan vs Ricochet & Velveteen Dream, impressed me the most because of how hard it is to make handicap matches believable.
So see, I do vote for non-Japanese matches. Now keep calm, and let us know what you think and which match would be your Match of the Week.
Always Use Your Head
King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.
While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.
Randy Orton’s Return to WWE
On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.
‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.
The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.
The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!
This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt
So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.
Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.
As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.
Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.
Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.
Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends
We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.
Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.
After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.
Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)
In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.
Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)
Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)
Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.
Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.
The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…
Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble
I absolutely hate it.
This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…
Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.
I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.
Down The Wire: No Cap Recap NFL Conference Championship
Tom and Dave are back, with no cap, to give you their thoughts on an exciting NFL Championship Sunday!
Down The Wire: New Jobs in the NFL and NBA All Star Controversy
Join the brothers Wortz as they discuss the NFL coaching carousel and the NBA's All-Star game.
Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Championship Weekend
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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (1/31/23)
The Bracket of Courage!
Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (1/30/23)
The Bracket of Wisdom!
Bandwagon Nerds #168: One…And Done?
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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (1/29/23)
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Vengeance, thy name is...
Mitchell’s NJPW New Beginning Sapporo Results & Report! (2/4/23)
Will Sapporo be tranquilo?
DWI Podcast #362: No Purple Demons
AJ and PC review SmackDown, along with their Rumble reactions and thoughts on the Road to WrestleMania!!!
DWI Podcast #361: Once in a Twicetime
This week we review the Royal Rumble and the current Road to Wrestlemania!
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (2/3/23)
The Elite are on a Rampage!
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/3/23)
What is the State of the Bloodline?
The Outsider’s Edge presents The Storylines Episode
Rance and Kyle are joined by PC Tunney to discuss their Top 10 Best Storylines ever!
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 2.2.2023
Impact has a new number one contender, a few new signings and setting up for No Surrender. Lets see what...
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Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (2/1/23)
Dynamite is No Holds Barred!