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Andrew’s Ratings & Review: WWE Money in the Bank

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Money in the Bank is the unofficial, fifth largest PPV in the WWE Big 4. We’re guaranteed at least two somewhat entertaining spectacles of matches, so the insurance of having at least two decent matches is nice.

Will this underwhelm like many of the 2018 PPVs have, or will we finally get some good payoffs coupled with solid matches? Let’s find out.

 

Bludgeon Brothers vs Gallows & Anderson

Starts off with Gallows unleashing a flurry of strikes, then Harper gets hung up in the ropes as the action spills outside.Bludgeon brothers slowly get the advantage dropping Gallows onto the ramp and Anderson across the apron, as they roll back in the ring, and head to commercial.

Coming back from the break the Bludgeon Brothers are still in control, working Karl Anderson over. Gallows is still down on the outside and Anderson keeps trying to mount a comeback, but is immediately stopped by either member of the Bludgeons in the ring. An Irish Whip into the corner goes awry for the Bludgeons. Anderson catches Harper with a Spinebuster and finally Gallows gets to the apron for the hot tag. A few nice kicks and a Pumphandle Slam on Harper give the Good Brothers a distinct advantage for the first time all match.

Harper connects with a Big Boot as Rowen distracts them, Gallows and Anderson gofor Magic Killer, Rowen breaks it up, and they hit their assisted Powerbomb finisher. Bludgeon Brothers retain in a fairly, by the numbers and uninspired match.

Winner: Bludgeon Brothers via Tandem Powerbomb

Rating: **

 

Big Cass vs Daniel Bryan

D-Bry pushes Cass into the corner and tries to bring him down with strikes, but Cass throws him off. The beginning is very much Bryan trying to chop down the tree.But he gets caught going over the turnbuckle and thrown into the barricade.

Bryan slowly gets back in the ring, but Cass maintains most of the control. Big Boots, hip attacks, splashes in the corner. But Daniel catches him with a Drop Toehold into the middle turnbuckle and keeps trying to chop down Cass with Round Kicks and Dragon Screw Leg Whips. Since Daniel has the control, he’s showing more aggression and repeatedly throws Cass’ injured left leg into the ring post. Bryan sells out for a big dive, driving Cass into the barricade, but on the way back in, Cass starts to put some offense together.

Avalanche Fall Away Slam from Cass for a 2 count. Cass follows up with a Torture Rack, into a big slam for another near fall. Then Cass misses a Big Boot, getting hung up in the ropes. Chop Block from Daniel, and then he goes for his Yes Kicks. Bryan lands the Buzzsaw Kick, goes for a running kick, but gets caught with a Pop-Up Big Boot, for yet another 2 count. Torture Rack number two from Cass, but Bryan lands on his feet, hits that signature Running Knee and gets caught in the Heel Hook. Cass tries to get to the ropes, but taps.

Meh, this match was what you expected it to be. Nothing special, but not totally awful.

Winner: Daniel Bryan via Heel Hook

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Sami Zayn vs Bobby Lashley

Zayn plays keep away for a while, Lashley chases him but Sami takes a few short cuts to get the early advantage on the outside.

Sami attempted to get a count out victory twice, but Bobby isn’t even close to being beat enough. Sami keeps laying in right hands, until Lashley catches the fist and hits a big Running Lariat. Zayn goes for a Crossbody, but Lashley catches him into a Fallaway Slam. Then we get multiple spots in the corner with Lashley hitting some running shoulder blocks and lariats. Huge Spinebuster off the ropes, into the Stalling Vertical Suplex, but Bobby doesn’t go for a cover.

Lashley goes for a Backbreaker variation, another Vertical Suplex, still no cover. Finally after doing it again, Backbreaker into Suplex, he picks up the pinfall victory.

This match was worthless.

Winner: Bobby Lashley via Stalling Vertical Suplex

Rating: *

 

Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Elias

Starts off slow with Rollins hitting a Hammerlock Takedown, and they do the whole slow ‘working hold’ way to build the match. Elias gets out of it and lands a few strikes, Rollins eventually catches him with a Dropkick, causing Elias to powder out, but Seth goes for the Plancha to the outside.

Heading back into the ring, Rollins hits a Springboard Lariat and keeps working Elias over, little by little. Elias catches Rollins with a big Lariat on the apron, then rams his head into the apron and works over the neck. Snap DDT, and a 2 count for Elias. Elias sinks in a Cobra Clutch, slowly wearing down Rollins, and cleverly staying on the neck area. A little more back and forth once Seth breaks out, then hits a Suicide Dive. Second rope Blockbuster from Rollins for the near fall. Rollins’ knee buckles mid leap frog, and Elias hits a kneestrike for only 2. Electric Chair attempt from Elias, as Seth slips out but sells the knee, as Elias rolls him up for 2 again.

Seth hits a combination of strikes, slowly building momentum, Elias tries to counter it, but Seth manages to hit his Thrust Kick as Elias is recovering from a rollup .Frog Splash attempt from Seth, but only hits Elias’ knees and then a counter cradle into a 2 count. Elias goes to the top rope, most likely for his Macho Man Elbow, but Seth cuts him off. Superplex into Falcon Arrow from Seth for a very close 2 count.

Blackout attempt, Elias moves, catches Rollins’ Suicide Dive attempt, rams him into the barricade, post and stairs. Finally hitting the Macho Man Elbow, for a near fall. Seth is basically dead weight, laying him on the top turnbuckle, but Rollins goes for Sunset Power Bomb, Elias goes for Drift Away, an exchange of rollups, Rollins gets the cradle with a handful of tights.

So Elias pushed Rollins to the point of cheating. Should be an interesting story device.

Winner: Seth Rollins via Cradle

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Match

Hoo-Hoo-Hulla-Baloo! People get dumped left and right, Becky kicks a ladder into Charlotte’s face, but gets caught by Ember Moon before the ladder gets in the ring. Ember than rams Natty into the steps.

Sasha stops a Drop Toehold into the ladder, but Ember hits a nice Springboard Crossbody, sending Sasha crashing into the ladder. Ember keeps a lot of early momentum until Lana hits an X Factor on Ember, into the corner of the ladder. Natty comes in, nearly gets the ladder dropped on her, takes out Lana, drops Naomi on the ladder, split first and dropkicks her out of the ring. Charlotte comes in, hits an Exploder Suplex on Natalya and goes for the ladder, but Becky shows up to stop her.

Tug of War with the ladder, Naomi jumps off the ladder onto Natty, then kicks the ladder into both Becky and Charlotte. Bliss tries to pull the ladder out, but Naomi hits a Plancha to get rid of Bliss, and then a Blockbuster from the apron to the floor, as the action pauses.

Naomi dropkicks the ladder into Becky Lynch, as Ember and her then square off. Naomi goes to try and Monkey Flip Ember into the ladder, but Ember flips out, and then Hip Tosses Naomi into the ladder. Sasha enters, stacks Ember and Lana on top of a ladder propped in the corner and hits double knees, on the stacked up opponents. Charlotte cuts off Sasha before she can climb the ladder. After a brief trash talk spot, they both try to run up the same side of the ladder, goofy spot, which turns into them knocking each other off, then Charlotte hits a Neckbreaker on Sasha for the advantage.

Sasha counters a Razor’s Edge by landing on the ladder, Natty pulls off Charlotte, Becky shakes Sasha down as she falls into Natty, Bliss pulls down Becky, Banks pulls off Bliss, as they then both slowly climb. Becky takes Alexa off, and the strikes on the ladder start. Lana sets up a taller ladder as Bliss keeps attacking Lynch. Six women on two ladders, let’s see how this ends. Natty Slingshot Powerbomb on Sasha into the ladder and knock the ladder over. Charlotte Powerbombs Ember into a Ladder leaning in the corner. Charlotte takes out Lana, and then goes after Bliss, but Bliss hits a Code Red on Charlotte.

Bliss and Lana are the only two up right now. Bliss is the best wrestler standing at the moment, go figure. Lana kicks the taste out of Alexa’s mouth and then locks in the Accolade. Naomi springboards onto the ladder, Naomi has the briefcase, but can’t take it down, as Becky Lynch takes Naomi down.

Becky has a shot, but Charlotte sprints up the ladder. Small stare down, and then Bliss topples the ladder. Charlotte takes out Alexa with a spear, Sasha hits a Backstabber on Charlotte, Naomi rams Sasha’s head into the ladder, Lana pulls Naomi off face first. Natty Electric Chair Drops Lana, Ember Superkicks Natty off, Charlotte Spears Ember into the ladder. Becky Becks-sploders Charlotte and readjusts the ladder.

Becky had it, but Alexa tips the ladder and Becky goes crashing. Little Miss Bliss, is Ms. Money in the Bank. The match was a little clunky, but still quite entertaining.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal

Roman blocks Mahal’s first punch and starts man handling Jinder. A Back Elbow, bouncing his face off each turnbuckle and a big Samoan Drop. Roman misses the Driveby and Sunil Singh gets up out of his wheelchair to slam Roman into the post. Jinder takes control and rolls Roman back into the ring. Knees and forearms, Jinder gets a 2 count. The obnoxious crowd chants started immediately, and they aren’t taking away from the match, just continuing to prove ‘smart’ crowds, as mostly brain dead.

A few more near falls, and then we get Jinder dropping repeated knees and choking Roman with his shin. Front Facelock, as Roman slowly struggles through it, back to his feet, just to get dropped back down. Jinder yells at the crowd and then misses a knee drop. Roman gets his feet up and starts his comeback. Huge Uppercut from Roman, as he goes for his corner lariat spot while the crowd does the Wave. Jinder catches Roman with a Running Knee Lift, for 2.

Jinder goes for the Khallas, Roman counters and tries a Samoan Drop, Jinder slips out but gets caught by a Big Boot for another near fall. Superman Punch, countered by Jinder into his Double Knees Gutbuster, for 2. Khallas number two, snapmare counter from Roman as he hits a desperation Superman Punch. OOOHH AHHH, Spear attempt, and Jinder kicks him straight in the face and throws him into the ring post shoulder first.

Roman on the apron, as they both start throwing hands. Roman catches him with a knee to the chest, then a Guillotine Leg Drop, into a successful Driveby. Sunil Singh tries to interfere again, but Roman braces himself and then Superman Punches Sunil and Jinder. Instead of playing Fling the Singh like Randy Orton does, he Speared Sunil, Jinder almost picks up the win with the Small Package. Reigns ducks under a Lariat and hits a Spear, for the pinfall.

Not a bad match at all, if you mute the audio.

Winner: Roman Reigns via Spear

Rating: *** 1/4

 

SmackDown women’s Championship: Carmella (c) vs Asuka

Moonwalking and trash talking, as she barely avoids two Spinning Backfists from Asuka, and goes to the ropes for sanctuary. Carmella slaps Asuka, more trash talk and Asuka hits multiple Hip Attacks followed by Draping Headkicks and a Hip Attack that sends Carmella reeling.

Sliding Kick from the apron as Carmella tries to run away with the title. Asuka tries to stay on her, but Carmella grabs Asuka’s arm and pulls her face first into the ring post. Rolls her in for a 2 count, and then rubs her face in the mat. Carmella lays on Asuka with a Double Chicken Wing variation, as Asuka turns it into a pin, Backfist attempt, Carmella dodges, hits two quick Thrust Kicks for a near fall. Then Carmella goes back to a submission attempt, some Front Chancery kind of move, to wear down the Empress. Asuka fights back up to a vertical base, but Mella drives the knee into Asuka stomach.

Asuka misses a dropkick, catches Carmella’s foot and goes for a quick Kneebar, but Mella gets to the ropes. A few slaps from Carmella, pisses off Asuka and she lays in a bunch of strikes, kicks and hip attacks for 2. The anger gets the best of Asuka as Carmella baits her towards the ropes and Asuka flies to the outside. As she tries to get back up, Carmella kicks her and she lands hard on the outside. Mella with the Suicide Dive, rolls Asuka back in for 3 2 counts in a row.

Asuka finally hits a couple Spinning Backfists, a big kick in the face and then someone stands on the apron in Asuka’s mask and outfit. James Ellsworth unmasks himself, and Carmella hits a Superkick for the pinfall.

The surprised, Ellsworth reveal/interference last too long, but it was a fun swerve and a better match in general that most probably expected.

Winner: Carmella via Superkick

Rating: ***

 

WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Styles takes an early advantage, landing a nice crisp Dropkick for the first attempted 10 count. Nakamura stays on the receiving end of a lot of offense, including a very quick Phenomenal Forearm to the outside. Nakamura has already been down 4 times, triggering the referee to start a count.

Finally, Shinsuke drives Styles into the barricade and snaps off a suplex for his first advantage. Nakamura drapes Styles across the apron and hits a Running Knee and then jumps off the stairs as he lands a Curbstomp style maneuver before rolling AJ back into the ring. Nakamura big brother’s Styles a bit, kicking him in the head, followed by numerous Round Kicks to the chest and abdomen. Keeping Styles in the corner, he chokes him with his foot, than finally goes for the Vibration Kick, but Styles fights through. Nakamura lands a Feint Kick when AJ starts getting something going, but gets up by 5. Shinsuke drapes AJ across the turnbuckle, and Nakamura drives his knee into the mid section. AJ tries to walk away from Shinsuke, as they trade punches and then Nakamura wedges Styles’ face into the steps and gives him the Vibration Kick.

Going from that spot, Nakamura throws AJ into over the barricade and they start brawling in the crowd. AJ finally gets in a few kicks of his own, sends Nakamura back over the barricade. AJ jumps on the barricade, and Shinsuke kicks the legs out from under him, but AJ is back up by 7.

Styles continues to be on the receiving end of the small insulting taps to the head. Reverse Powerslam attempt, countered by an Enzuigiri. Dropkick mid air from AJ, sending both men down, to get up by 7. Phenomenal Blitz catches Nakamura, and then Styles does that Wheelbarrow Faceplant move for a count of 6. Shinsuke goes for the low blow, Styles dodged, Shinsuke caught his foot and then lands the Reverse Powerslam. Knishasa attempt number one, gets met by a forearm from Styles. Both men down, but Nakamura is up by 7, Styles lands an Ushigoroshi. Count gets up to 8, as Styles goes for another Phenomenal Forearm, but an Enzuigiri sends AJ falling to the outside.

We may see our first announce table spot. Nakamura cleans on off, drops Styles onto it and then clears the top off of all of them. Runs across all announce tables and lands the Kinshasa. Styles rolls off the table at 9, so Nakamura drives his face into the ring post. Shinsuke goes to get out a table before the crowd chants for it, for a change. Shinsuke kicks Styles in the knee and Styles goes face first into the table legs before it’s correctly set up. Table is set up, AJ is propped on the top turnbuckle, Styles slips through and tries to Powerbomb him, Nakamura fights out, table gets knocked over and Shinsuke drops AJ on the edge of the table.

He then leans the table in the corner, and throws AJ styles through it. Table breaks clean and Styles lays there, but manages to get up by 9 to Nakamura’s astonishment. Knee lift, Axe Kick, but Nakamura misses the Draping Knee and his knee goes into the exposed turnbuckle.

Styles works on Shinsuke’s injured knee, and they both slowly get back up. Styles keeps stomping on Nakamura’s knee, but eventually stops so the ref can count. Shinsuke gets up by 6, and goes for the Calf Crusher. Nakamura visibly taps out,but that doesn’t matter in this type of match.

Shinsuke gets back at 8, as AJ keeps methodically kicking at the left leg. So the tables turned, as Shinsuke was the methodical predator early, but now AJ is just trying to cripple Nakamura. Even going to get a chair and ramming it into the knee,then multiple Chairshots. The pleading of Nakamura goes unanswered, but it was all bait for a perfectly placed Low Blow, Styles is up by 9. Shinsuke with a desperation Kinsasha on a damaged knee, but back up at 9 again. Styles refuses to stay down.

Nakamura goes for Landslide on the table, Styles pushes him off and hits a Phenomenal Forearm, followed by a Styles Clash from the stairs to the floor, Nakamura is up at 9. “Come on” from Nakamura, and Styles just kicks him in the balls. Goes back into the ring, and lands a Phenomenal Forearm through the table.

Match had a few hiccups, but told a good story, had callbacks from the entire feud,both men looked very resilient. Styles wanted it, just a little bit more.

Winner: AJ Styles via Phenomenal Forearm

Rating: **** 1/2

 

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (c) vs Ronda Rousey

Jax immediately drives Ronda into the corner, and then tosses her from corner to corner. Ronda tries to fight back with strikes, but a big headbutt from Jax, slows down Ronda’s offense. Corner Splash, into a Samoan Drop attempt but Rousey counters with a Kimura, into a Triangle Armbar as Nia tries to power out of it. One Armed Sitout Powerbomb breaks the Triangle Armbar. Ronda tries to get up, but falls through the ropes to the outside. Jax throws her into the barricade, rolls her back in, but Ronda kicks out at 2. Rousey tries to fight back, but Jax ignores a few strikes and lands a Gorilla Press, for 2.

Given a couple seconds, Ronda goes for a desperation Guillotine, then a Sunset Flip, but Jax just ragdolls Ronda into the mat. Bear Hug from Nia, slowly seems to be wearing out Ronda. A few forearm shots break the hold, but a Samoan Drop from off the ropes leads to a near fall.

Nia goes for the Leg Drop, and misses big. Nia misses a move into the corner, and then Ronda sinks in the Armbar over the rope, Ronda breaks by 5. Ronda tries to figure out what to do, so she goes to the top rope for a Crossbody and a 2 count. Combination punches, big knee strike into a Judo Throw for 2. Ronda tries the Armbar, but Nia rolls her up for 2. Rousey hits another big side slam, and slowly pries Nia’s arms apart, but Bliss hits her with the briefcase.

Alexa takes out both women, but seems more focused on beating down Ronda, instead of cashing in on Nia.

Winner: Ronda Rousey via DQ

Rating: ** 3/4

 

WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax (c) vs Alexa Bliss

Money in the Bank cash in, Bliss DDT and goes after the injured arm. Hits Twisted Bliss, for the pinfall.

Winner: Alexa Bliss via Twisted Bliss

Rating: N/A

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Kofi is revealed as the New Day member, but everyone tries to gang up on Braun. He powers through, they all go to the outside, and then each man starts beating him with ladders and burying him.  Miz tries to take advantage of the distraction to sneak the briefcase, but Joe stops him. Joe and Miz play tug of war, Miz loses, Joe gets a Trouble in Paradise from Kofi, as we see Owens and Balor enter and start mixing it up.

Owens hits Balor with a ladder and then leans it in between the ropes. Owens goes to drive Balor into the ladder, Balor counters, they go to the outside, but Owens keeps the advantage and Superkicks Balor onto the announce table. Kevin looks to climb outside, but Rusev goes for the briefcase and distracts Owens. Rusev sends Owens into the ladder via Fall Away Slam. Samoa Joe comes in and takes out Rusev, but Kofi takes out Joe for the time being, and tries to set up the ladder. Miz stops Kofi, Kofi dispatches him and then Stage Dives onto the others. The group catches him, but Balor comes over the top with a Tope con Hilo and then goes to the pile of ladders on Strowman. Now is the time when Braun starts working through people.

Flying Forearm from Joe, Superkick from Owens, Machka Kick from Rusev and Braun falls down momentarily. Rusev stays on Braun, as Owens tries to set up a big spot with putting Braun through a table. Braun fights back, but Joe has him in the Coquina Clutch, Owens Superkicks Braun, and then goes to the big ladder as Rusev
and Joe hold down Braun.

Strowman fight out and Owens is trapped on the ladder. Braun catches him and then tosses him through the table from the top of the ladder. Strowman then makes his way through Joe and Rusev. Trips while taking out Kofi. Braun goes through a ladder that Balor and Roode had, Miz pees his pants and gets tossed out.

Joe uses another ladder to slow down Braun, so now Joe gets a shot to climb the ladder as Balor Shotgun Dropkicks Braun over the barricade. Samoa Joe dispatches of Finn and Bobby Roode, but Rusev gets Joe out of the ring. Rusev then runs over Roode and Kofi, and does a stacked Accolade on Kofi and Bobby Roode. Miz tries to sneak a Skull Crushing Finale, but it gets turned into a three person Accolade. Samoa Joe appears with a Coquina Clutch to stop the Accolade. Miz stops Joe from climbing, but Kofi stops him as he has his hands on the briefcase. Bobby Roode puts an end to Miz and Kofi playing at the top of the ladder. Balor with a Slingbalde on Roode. Balor sends Kofi and Miz to the outside, as he and Roode keep fighting inside.

Balor climbs a ladder from the outside, and hits the Coup de Grace from the outside in, on Bobby Roode. But Braun is back to ruin Finn’s day. Miz keeps trying to sneak up the ladder, but Braun keeps eating everyone. Kofi jumps on Strowman’s back as he climbs up, so Balor, Kofi and Braun fight at the top. Braun knocks down Balor, flips Kofi off of his back and grabs the briefcase. Like many Strowman matches, it was a lot of, everyone gangs up on him, but he still wins anyway. Nothing super surprising, but the match was okay. More just a bunch of spots instead of any real storytelling though.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Fairly solid wrestling from most of the matches. Ronda again proved she’s a natural in her match, as well as, AJ versus Shinsuke finally putting toether a match at the
level people expected. A surprising cash in, sending the fans home happy with the men’s ladder match, at least the perception ends up being a happy one.

Since people will bring it up, Takeover wasn’t hands down better than Money in the Bank, I feel like they were about even. An average Takeover and an average main roster event that ended with a fan favorite going over, will make it hard tocompletely hate on the show.

All in all, good weekend from WWE.


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Coverage

Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (7/18/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4, “Break the Machine”

The Machine called Cage wants to be Lucha Underground Champion, and is willing to break Pentagon Dark to do it. Will he succeed? Or end up broken instead?

 

Gifs to come courtesy of frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ancient Aztec Medallion Match: Paul London w/ The Rabbit Tribe VS Desmond X; Desmond wins the seventh and final Aztec Medallion.
  • Odd One Out Over the Top Rope Battle Royal: The Mack wins, and chooses ??? to be left out of the Gift of the Gods Championship match.
  • Johnny Mundo w/ Taya VS Vibora w/ Kobra Moon; Vibora wins.
  • Lucha Underground Championship: Pentagon Dark VS Cage; Pentagon wins and retains the Lucha Underground Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Ancient Aztec Medallion Match: Paul London w/ The Rabbit Tribe VS Desmond X

The Mad Hatter has a new edge after sacrificing Mascarita Sagrada, but he faces a new face in the Temple for the seventh and final spot in the Gift of the Gods Championship match. Can Desmond make an impact in his debut?

The bell rings, but Desmond is distracted by Saltador and Mala Suerte jumping in and running around. London hits Desmond in the opening, then stomps and hammers away. London chokes Desmond at the ropes, then tucks him in. Mala and Saltador hold Desmond in place for the basement dropkick! Desmond tumbles out of the ring, but the others hold him up. London runs in again, but Desmond sends the harebrained henchmen into the dropkick! Desmond goes up to the apron to mule kick London down, then Arabian Press moonsault! London gets out of the way, so Desmond only hits Saltador and Mala. London is back in the ring, and slingshots to wreck Desmond with another dropkick. He drags Desmond up and into the ring to slingshot to the Oklahoma Roll. TWO, and Desmond crawls to a corner.

London goes over and rains down lefts and rights with frantic fury. Desmond crawls away but London is on him again. Desmond shoves then ducks London to hit a back elbow. London walks into a strike fest and leaping complete shot! Fans rally behind Desmond as he aims at London, but the henchmen grab his feet! London runs in, but Desmond gets free and lets London hit buckles. Desmond runs in but into boots. London climbs up, but Desmond springs up to super headscissor London down! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer Desmond while London rolls away. Desmond gets up and runs corner to corner, but misses the uppercut. London runs but hits buckles again, and Desmond hits a swing kick. Desmond goes for a tornado DDT but London powers out of it. Desmond handspring Pele kicks London down! Cover, TWO, but Desmond keeps going.

Desmond climbs up top and takes aim, but London rolls away. Desmond rolls through his 450, but then turns around into London’s double knees! London goes full rabies as he foams at the mouth. He stalks Desmond then brings him up, but the tiger suplex is countered to a wheelbarrow pin! Desmond wins!

Winner: Desmond X; wins the final Aztec Medallion

From debut to a Gift of the Gods contender, Desmond has the X factor needed to survive in the Temple. Will he also use that same potential to be the next GotG Champion?

 

Antonio Cueto presents the Gift of the Gods Championship.

He congratulates Desmond X on becoming the final entrant for next week’s massive GotG match. Antonio has been a promoter for over 40 years, and can’t ever remember such a star-studded match. “Next week is gonna be epico!” But that means the seven fighters must now place their medallions in the belt to officially claim a spot in Lucha Underground history. Introducing first: Dragon Azteca Jr! The Eagle Tribe’s representative heads down the stairs, and places the Snake Tribe medallion. Second is King Cuerno, the King of Hunters! He presents the medallion of his Deer Tribe. Third is Ivelisse, the Baddest Bitch in the Temple. She enters her first ever GotG match as she presents the Moth Tribe medallion. Fourth is Desmond X, who only just won the Rabbit medallion.

Fifth is Son of Havoc, who won alongside The Mack just last week. Havoc places the Jaguar Tribe’s medallion, followed by The Mack presenting the Eagle Tribe medallion. And last but not least, Mil Muertes! He appears with Catrina to present the Death Tribe’s medallion. All seven medallions are in the belt, and all seven competitors stand in the ring. Antonio wishes to have some fun. “To some, seven is a lucky number. But I have always found it to be unlucky.” That means that next week, ONLY SIX will get to compete. Because tonight, the odd man–or woman–out will be decided in a surprise Over the Top Rope Battle Royal! The winner gets to choose who doesn’t join the rest of them next week!! “What’re you waiting for?! FIGHT!!”

Odd One Out Over the Top Rope Battle Royal!

The bell rings, Catrina gets out of the way, and all seven luchadors go at it! Cuerno goes after Ivelisse while Muertes takes care of both The Mack and Desmond X. Azteca and Havoc stay clear while Cuerno tries to toss Ivelisse. She fights back while Azteca runs into Muertes’ barreling shoulder. Muertes throws and ELIMINATES Cuerno! Muertes then targets Ivelisse as she climbs up top. He grabs her by the throat, then throws her out onto Cuerno! Ivelisse is ELIMINATED! Muertes then grabs Desmond and ELIMINATES him with a single toss! Azteca staggers up but runs into Muertes, who powerbomb lifts him. Azteca counters with a headscissors while Mack and Havoc work together, they all ELIMINATE Muertes! Of course, Aztec is also ELIMINATED for touching the floor, leaving just The Mack and Havoc!

Havoc and Mack, two thirds of the Lucha Underground Trios Champions, must now face each other. This will decide who is completely gone from the Gift of the Gods Championship match. The fans are divided, but Havoc assures Mack that it’s no big deal. Havoc then DIVES onto everyone else!! He ELIMINATES himself! The Mack wins!

Winner: The Mack

That was surprising to everyone, including The Mack! He respects Havoc’s self-sacrifice, but now who will he say is not in the GotG match? Mack thinks for a moment. He ain’t afraid of no man, but “Mil Muertes scares the shit out of me.” In other words, sorry, but Muertes is out! Mack takes his leave and Catrina and Muertes are pissed, but Muertes does something about it! He attacks everyone else!! He blasts through Cuerno, Havoc and Azteca, throws Ivelisse down, then Choke Slams Desmond! But none of it matters, he’s still out. Who of the remaining six will take the Gift of the Gods Championship, and then use it to challenge THE Lucha Underground Champion?

 

Johnny Mundo w/ Taya VS Vibora w/ Kobra Moon!

A war of factions has broken out in Lucha Underground between the Worldwide Underground and the Reptile Tribe. Can the Guru of Greatness lead his team to vengeful victory with a win over #Luchasaurus? Or will Mundo end up the one going to #SlamTown?

The bell rings, and Mundo gets a waistlock and kick. He kicks but Vibora blocks and uppercuts back. They circle, and Mundo sticks and moves with the giant snake man. That superman rabbit punch staggers Vibora, but Vibora comes back with a forearm of his own. Vibora runs, but Taya grabs his feet. Mundo runs, but Kobra returns the favor. The luchadoras take notice of each other, and they get in the ring now! Taya SPEARS Kobra! “Wera Loca” throws the Queen of Snakes out, and Vibora grows concerned for his monarch. The referee gets distracted keeping the luchadoras apart, so he doesn’t see Mundo’s low blow mule kick out of the pop-up! Mundo adds the Flying Chuck! Then the shining wizard to standing shooting star! Cover, ONE and Vibora sits up. Vibora drags Mundo up, fireman’s carry, modified Widomaker!

But Vibora isn’t done yet. He brings Mundo back up, whips him to a corner, then runs in for the big back elbow. He keeps going, boot wash! Vibora has the Believers on his side as he gives Mundo a Vibora Trigger! Mundo is rocked, but Vibora drags him back up for a straitjacket to torture rack, BURNING HAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Mundo somehow survives, but Vibora grabs him around the throat now. Choke Slam but Mundo slips out to hit a BIG Poison-Rana! Vibora’s up, front Spike-Rana! Fans rally up as Mundo climbs. But Vibora sits up again! Mundo isn’t sure what to do, so he CARTWHEEL DIVES onto Kobra! Fans lose their minds while Taya trash talks Kobra. But Vibora is only angered by this offense to his queen. The WWU flip him off and he gives chase, but the Darewolf, PJ Black, is lurking with a chair.

Mundo leads Vibora around the ring while Taya keeps the ref distracted. They turn the corner and SMACK! PJ gets a direct shot on Vibora. Mundo drags the dead weight up and into the ring, then climbs up. Fin Del Mundo! Cover, TWO!??! How?! Believers are behind Vibora but Mundo is furious. He SUPERKICKS the referee! PJ brings in chairs and Taya joins in. They all toy with the Luchasaurus, then put a chair around the neck. Mundo grabs the other chair, but here comes Drago! The firespitter of the Reptile Tribe flies in to missile dropkick Mundo down! He baits Taya and PJ away, so Daga can come in to swing on them! The Reptile King and Knight chase off the WWU minions and that leaves us with Vibora and Mundo 1v1.

Mundo grabs a chair while the fans duel. Vibora stands, ducks and handsprings, to SUPERKICK the chair, then SUPERKICK Mundo! He whips Mundo, for the powerbomb! Then, CHOKE SLAM! Standing moonsault! A new referee comes in to count, TWO!! “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Vibora drags Mundo up, puts him in a corner, then takes aim from across the way. But Ricky Mundo appears to save his hero! But then Vibora goes to the corner for the ASAI! Believers are thunderous as he wipes both Mundos out. Vibora puts Johnny Mundo in the ring, then climbs up again. Mundo springs to life and ducks under to then roundhouse Vibora. SUPERKICK, too, then hook kick! Mundo runs but into a headbutt! Vibora grabs at Mundo but Mundo slips and slides around for another swing kick. Mundo springboards, but into a SUPER CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, Vibora wins!

Winner: Vibora, by pinfall

The Luchasaurus defeats a former Lucha Underground Champion, and Kobra Moon helps him celebrate. But wait, the WWU return to SMACK them down with chairs! But that just brings Daga and Drago back! They take those chairs and use them on PJ and Taya. Ricky gets a SUPERKICK from Drago, then a hesitation dropkick from Daga. PJ SUPERKICKS Daga back, but then the brawl continues. Ricky gives the WWU numbers advantage but that’s still not enough to stop the fight. This war is far from over, which side will be left standing after the dust settles?

 

XO Lishus works out backstage.

He’s a maniac, maniac~… In his mind. But Jack Evans is spying on him, still upset over the #PutUporShutUp defeat he suffered weeks ago. No one gets the better of him, no one! But then Ricky and Rosa the doll show up. What’s Jack doing? Spying on his enemy to learn everything about them. What’s Ricky doing? Recovering after getting his ass beat by the Reptiles. Jack should’ve been out there to help. Look, Ricky, Jack already said he doesn’t do snakes. Johnny was okay with it, so you and that “dirty ass doll” better mind your own business. Jack storms out, but Rosa says she doesn’t like Jack. Neither does Ricky. Maybe they should do to Jack what they did to Angelico. No, Ricky can’t. Johnny would be mad. But who’s in charge of Ricky’s life? Johnny? Or Ricky? Or perhaps, Rosa…?

 

Lucha Underground Championship: Pentagon Dark VS Cage!

After The Machine attacked the Bone Collector and put him through a table, the champion got payback while giving Cage what he wants. Will Cage finally grab hold of the top Aztec gold? Or will Pentagon and his #CeroMiedo add the arm of a Machine to the collection?

Fans are already thunderous as they duel between the two luchadors. More Believers are on Pentagon’s side than Cage’s, but that doesn’t deter the challenger. Cage hits before the bell as he blasts Pentagon off the apron! The bell rings so now Cage’s assault is official. He throws big forearms then throws Pentagon into railing. Pentagon kicks back, but Cage forearms again. Cage throws Pentagon into more railing, then kicks him across the face. The Terminator drums start up and Cage throws Pentagon over the stair guard rails! Then he bounces Pentagon off the announce desk. Cage scoop slams Pentagon to the floor, then brings him up. Pentagon hits back with haymakers and kicks, then grabs a camera cable to choke Cage with it! The referee reprimands Pentagon, and Pentagon lets up on Cage to shout at the ref. Cage takes advantage and back suplexes Pentagon on the apron!

Pentagon slumps to the floor, but Cage drags him up again. Cage goes bowling for chairs with Pentagon! He throws Pentagon into railings again, then ties his mask to them! Cage fires off boots and forearms to hammer Pentagon into the steel. Fans chant “We Want Tables” and Cage goes looking. When he can’t find any, he takes Matt Striker’s chair! Cage brings the chair over to Pentagon and swings on him! Thankfully, Pentagon unties his mask and narrowly escapes! Pentagon SUPERKICKS Cage, then Slingblades Cage down! The Believers fire up with the champion, and “CERO MIEDO!” echoes out. Pentagon puts Cage in the ring for flying double stomps! Cover, ONE, and Pentagon is shocked. But Pentagon keeps his cool, he waits for Cage to stand to kick that leg. Pentagon then grabs Cage for the driver but Cage slips out to hit a jumping knee.

Cage grabs Pentagon now, pumphandle driver! But he isn’t done, as he drags Pentagon up again. Cage powerbomb lifts, buckle bomb! Pentagon rolls out but can’t get away. Cage deadlift SUPERPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Pentagon survives because Cage didn’t grab the legs. Believers duel as Cage slashes the throat. Cage drags Pentagon up in the fireman’s carry but Pentagon slips out for a backstabber! Cage goes to discus but Pentagon counters with a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Pentagon’s own ego allows Cage to survive. Pentagon climbs up but Cage grabs him onto his shoulders. Cage walks around with the electric chair, to throw Pentagon down with a facebuster. Cover, TWO!

Cage keeps his cool, but Pentagon escapes the powerbomb with an enziguri! SUPERKICK added, and then a flying DESTROYER! But Cage gets back up, so he gets another Destroyer! Pentagon grabs Cage, Package Piledriver!! Cover, Pentagon wins!

Winner: Pentagon Dark; still Lucha Underground Champion

Neither man nor machine is enough to stop the darkness that fuels Pentagon. However, Cage gets a second win and swings on Pentagon! Pentagon ducks the discus, to smash Cage with the belt. He hears the Believers chant “Break his arm!” Pentagon makes sure to tell Cage that the title is his, before putting on the Dark Armbar! But wait, Cage powers out! Cage lifts Pentagon, to F5 him onto the belt! Fans boo and jeer, but Cage picks up the belt for his own. Cage tells Pentagon, “I already told you. You can’t break my arm, because I’m not a man… I’m a MACHINE!” Even so, Pentagon retained. Will Cage find a way to challenge Pentagon again? Or is it back of the line for this unbreakable behemoth?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Great stuff tonight for Lucha Underground, with plenty of surprises, too. I like the character change for Paul London after what he did last week, but it seems it was for naught with the debuting Impact Wrestling star, Desmond Xavier, winning over him. Desmond joins the Gift of the Gods match, and that battle royal was fast but very important. I was surprised to see just how strongly Face Son of Havoc is as he bites the bullet for The Mack. And then Mack makes a perfectly logical choice to keep Muertes out of this match. Muertes is incredibly strong, which he shows off by eliminating the majority of the field, so why wouldn’t another wrestler want to avoid him? Plus, Muertes still has his part to play in Catrina’s story, so he isn’t without something to do.

Mundo VS Vibora was great, and really gives us a look at what Vibora can do in the ring. However, with Taya, PJ, Ricky, Daga and Drago running in and out, it makes it clear that WWU has the numbers advantage though the Reptiles clearly have strength. The Reptiles still might have to recruit members to keep even with the WWU, because an Elimination Tag match could easily go the WWU’s way. Though, Jack uses his own reasons for not being involved, and it seems XO is going to be a personal rival of his. Ricky being revealed as the reason Angelico is gone this season is perfectly creepy for his new gimmick, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also used as to why other stars aren’t returning, such as Dante Fox.

The Lucha Underground Championship match went as expected, but I like that Cage keeps himself strong with that attack. Antonio Cueto might give Cage another chance separate from Gift of the Gods, and there’s still the issue of the Gauntlet of the Gods, too. There’s a lot that can happen for Pentagon and the Lucha Underground title, and unpredictability is always what’s best for pro-wrestling.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (7/18/18)

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Who will challenge the Queen of Spades for her NXT Women's title?

The EST goes down with injury, so the odds go up for Mrs. Wrestling, the Pirate Princess and the Loony Lass to win and challenge the NXT Women’s Champion!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Dakota Kai VS Lacey Evans; Lacey wins.
  • Kassius Ohno VS Rick Ramirez; Ohno wins.
  • NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat: Candice LeRae VS Nikki Cross VS Kairi Sane; Kairi wins and will challenge Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dakota Kai VS Lacey Evans!

The Captain of Team Kick has gotten over her fear, but that doesn’t mean she’s gotten past being looked down on. Will the Lady of NXT use her Woman’s Right to knock Dakota out of the Women’s Division? Or will Dakota kick Lacey to the curb?

The bell rings and Lacey starts by mocking Dakota’s kicks. She then pie-faces Dakota, so Dakota trips her up and jackknife covers. ONE but Dakota throws Lacey around with arm-drags. Dakota runs and dropkicks Lacey, then whips her into a corner. Lacey reverses but Dakota goes up and over to then slip up and around for a roll up. TWO, but Dakota keeps on Lacey with a snapmare and kick! Dakota runs, for another kick! Cover, TWO! Lacey flounders to a corner but Dakota takes aim. Dakota runs Around the World, but misses! Lacey retaliates with her own kick, then sets Dakota up in the Tree of Woe. She ties Dakota in with the tag rope! Dakota is trapped but Lacey backs off at 4, to come back with the swinging bronco buster. Dakota is freed but Lacey mocks her while she’s on the mat.

Lacey watches Dakota crawl to ropes, then says “What’re you gonna do? Nothing.” Dakota stands while Lacey mocks the kicks. Lacey throws Dakota down to stomp her out. Fans boo and jeer as the Model Soldier covers. TWO, and Lacey gets frustrated. Lacey drops knees into Dakota’s back, then pulls her up by her hair. The ref reprimands her, and Dakota kicks back. Dakota rolls Lacey, TWO. Dakota kicks but Lacey blocks, takedown and gut punch! Lacey yanks Dakota around for an elbow drop. She keeps on that leg with a deathlock, then pulls on Dakota’s head and neck. Lacey pulls Dakota back, then slaps her on the side. Dakota endures while fans rally up. Lacey grimaces, then grinds her chin into Dakota’s head for added attack. She switches to her forearm across Dakota’s face, but stops at 4. Fans keep rallying for Dakota, and Dakota pries her way out.

Lacey comes back with a kick, then grinds Dakota back down in the arm-half of a surfboard. She grinds Dakota into the mat, then drops knee after knee into the back. Dakota refuses to quit, and fans rally up again. Dakota fights her way out with her legs, but Lacey pulls harder with full extension of her leg. Lacey uses both feet, but Dakota stands up to make it a cover! TWO, and Lacey kicks away on Dakota’s back. Dakota endures the stretching and bending, so Lacey just slingshots her down. Lacey sits for a cover, TWO. She drags Dakota up, then over to ropes to give her a knee and a sweep. Lacey slingshots out for more stomps. She literally walks all over Dakota, then salutes herself. Dakota rolls in but Lacey slingshots for the elbow drop.

Cover, TWO! Lacey grows further frustrated, and makes Dakota pay for it with stomps. Lacey climbs up, but her moonsault flops! Dakota grits her teeth and drags herself up. Fans fire up for her as she aims at Lacey. Lacey hits hard with that body shot, but Dakota kicks and kicks and kicks back! Dakota takes aim as Lacey crawls away. Kiwi Around the World! Then ANOTHER! Dakota scrapes her foot on Lacey’s face over and over, then gives the boot wash! Cover, TWO!!

Lacey makes sure her jaw is still there, but Dakota is on her again. Dakota’s kick misses, and Lacey pumphandles to a scoop slam! Lacey can’t cover, because her face hurts too much. Dakota slowly stirs while Lacey drags herself back up. Fans fire up again, and Dakota scorpion kicks! Dakota runs but into a drop toehold. Lacey grabs the leg and ducks the enziguri to hit the Woman’s Right! Cover, Lacey wins!

Winner: Lacey Evans, by pinfall

That’s all it takes for things to go the Model Soldier’s way. Then she gets in Dakota’s face, shouting “You will NEVER be a lady! I AM a lady!” Lacey wins big, but with the contenders match tonight, how long will she have to wait for her chance at the NXT Women’s Championship?

 

Backstage interview with Ricochet.

The One and Only lost to the Undisputed Era a couple weeks ago in a Six Man Tag with Mustache Mountain. Mustache Mountain then lost to the Undisputed Era 2v2 with the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line. Ricochet speaks up there. It’s no secret he doesn’t like the Undisputed Era, but he knows they’re still fighting champions and will defend those belts again. In fact, the Undisputed Era loves to do just that. Except for Adam Cole, who barely defends his North American Championship. Ricochet was this close to being the NAC, but Cole stole it out from under him. Cole hides behind his title and his team, everyone knows it. But Ricochet will not stop until he gets 1v1 with Cole, and then you’ll see the next NXT North American Champion.

 

The Street Profits return!

And they return home, too. They ball on the court. “You dust yourself off, you get back up.” That’s how Deangelo Dawkins & Montez Ford do. They’re motivated by what The Mighty did to them the last time they faced off. They won’t fall for those tricks again. The #CurseofGreatness is on its way back, will they give Shane Thorne & Nick Miller the payback they deserve?

 

NXT Media catches up with EC3.

The Top One Percent made his entrance just as Velveteen Dream was celebrating a win, what was that about? Just a “non-friendly reminder” that EC3 isn’t about to forget the betrayal at the Royal Albert Hall tag match against Ricochet & Aleister Black. It also means EC3 is always watching. A fan wants a selfie, EC3 is nice enough to give it to him. EC3 gets a compliment and gives a compliment back. He even gives away a free EC3 t-shirt, just like the one on sale at the WWE Shop! EC3 doesn’t need this guy’s money, he’s already rich.

But then The Finest, Kona Reeves, comes along. He admits that random “dirtbag” is right, EC3 has a really nice outfit. Custom? Yes. Of course, yes. But it’s not The Finest. But that watch, sick watch. Just not The Finest. And that tan, that’s real good. Though, Kona’s is all natural. Yes, okay, we get it, it’s not The Finest. But look at him with those glasses covering up those “dead, creepy eyes” while wearing the buy-one-get-one suit, and is that cubic zirconium? How many arcade tickets did it take to get that chain? If Kona is gonna banter, bring your “A” Game or else EC3 will chew you up, spit you out and feed you to his cats! Do you understand him?

The Finest should just fight the Top One Percent. Do it, fight him. Fight him, fight him. Kona doesn’t want to. Yeah, because he knows he’d get a Top One Percent beating! EC3 leaves The Finest behind, but only now does Kona man up. Kona was thinking they’d be the Finest Friends, but now they’re worst enemies. Who will put their money where their mouth is with a win?

 

NXT takes a look at Aleister VS Ciampa.

The Embodiment of the End makes his opponents #FadeToBlack, but the Psycho Killer has darkness in his heart. The champion defeated the Leviathan the same night Ciampa brutalized and cheated his former friend out of victory. “And now you have something that I want.” Aleister believes how you deal with adversity is what makes you a champion. Ciampa believes that in Aleister’s case, the belt makes the man. Ciampa got to main event two TakeOvers in a row, but wants the “boy” to be careful waht he says. He then took his shot with a sneak attack and draping DDT.

Aleister says that Ciampa may see himself as a devil, but Ciampa knows nothing of the devil on Aleister’s back. Ciampa brushes that off as smoke and mirrors. He promises to snuff out the mystique like a candle. Aleister tells Ciampa he’s lost and confused, but Ciampa has his path to the title. Whose darkness will envelope the other to take the NXT Championship for their own?

 

Kassius Ohno VS Rick Ramirez!

The Knockout Artist returns! He hasn’t had the best string of matches lately, but that won’t slow him down. Will he get back on track tonight against an impressive looking prospect?

The bell rings and fans are behind Ohno as he approaches Rick. They circle, and Rick gets a waistlock. Ohno standing switches and tosses Rick down. Ohno barrels in with the discus! Cover, Ohno wins!

Winner: Kassius Ohno, by pinfall

That was fast! Ohno looms over Rick, as if he didn’t want to do what he just did to the younger wrestler. Will this be the first of many wins that help Ohno get back towards the NXT Championship?

 

The Undisputed Era speaks.

The NXT Tag Team Championships are back where they belong. Was there any doubt. Just look at them! North American, Tag Team and Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, they might as well be champions of the world! The loss to Seven and Bate no longer counts. Cole asks if they want to hear a joke. Sure. “Ricochet.” He talks smack about being so close to being a champion. “This close, this close”, who talks like that? They don’t speak loser. Cole is a champion and Ricochet isn’t. But Cole is a fighting champion, because when you anger the Undisputed Era, you’ll regret it. Ricochet needs to back off before he gets hurt. And that’s Undisputed. Will Cole keep Ricochet frozen out of the North American Championship scene? Or will GM William Regal have something to say about it?

 

NXT looks at the 21st century Vikings, the War Raiders.

Hanson & Rowe have come, and “the raid has begun.” Their warpath has already steamrolled Heavy Machinery and made The Mighty fall. “There’s no secrets, there’s no tricks, it’s the same story everywhere we go!” From Japan to Mexico to the UK and all over the United States, they’ve been tag team champions. Back in 2014, they were on opposite sides of a tournament. They were in the business 10 years each before this, without ever meeting, but in that first encounter, they “beat the snot” out of each other. There is no respect greater. And then they thought, what if they took that fight to everyone else? And thus, one of the most powerful tag teams was born!

This alliance changed their lives forever. Through blood, sweat and tears, respect was earned around the world. Rowe & Hanson shocked, destroyed, and dominated ever since. Their inspiration was the Viking culture that took what they wanted when they wanted. They embodied that in every promotion they ever competed in, and there’s no one on Earth who can stop them. In fact, it was only a motor cycle wreck that could’ve ended Rowe’s life that stopped them. His arm was rebuilt, and he overcame fear. With that behind them, no one can overcome these two. They bring that same spirit to NXT now, and defy expectations. Rowe has strength beyond his size, while Hanson has agility beyond his. They’ve earned the right to raid NXT’s Tag Team Division, and they’ve only just begun. “We take gold, we break EVERYONE!” The war is here, who can hope to survive?

 

Velveteen Dream sets the scene.

The Experience hears it. He hears the people buzzing about what the next experience will be. TakeOver: War Games, the people and Aleister Black said his name. Philadelphia, Dream had a knockout performance. New Orleans, the Dream rose to unimaginable heights. Chicago, a MOTY candidate to say the least. And come Brooklyn, the spotlight will still shine on Dream.

 

NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat: Candice LeRae VS Nikki Cross VS Kairi Sane!

This was meant to be a Fatal 4 Way, but Bianca Belair is unfortunately not medically cleared to compete. Her bad luck becomes good luck for the other three, who go from having a 25% chance to a 33% chance of winning. Will it be a rematch between The Queen of Spades and Mrs. Wrestling, the Loony Lass of SAnitY, or the Pirate Princess?

Nikki is rocking in a corner while fans cheer her on. But then Shayna Baszler makes her presence known, and Nikki smiles with wild eyes. Nikki waves at Shayna as the champion joins commentary. The bell rings and we begin.

Kairi and Candice aren’t sure what to make of Nikki, but then she blasts out of the corner at the two of them! Candice sends her into Kairi then rolls Nikki up, TWO. Kairi rolls Candice, TWO and Nikki rolls Kairi. TWO, and Candice throws Nikki with an arm-drag. Kairi arm-drags Candice, but then Nikki runs in again and crossbodies Kairi! Candice runs in but Nikki puts her on the apron. Candice hits Nikki away, but then Kairi runs in, and Nikki sends her into Candice! Kairi dodges Nikki to give double chops while fans duel between all three of them. Kairi keeps on Nikki in a corner, chop after chop after chop, then she runs in. Nikki dodges Sliding D to swing Kairi sideways! Kairi hits the post, and Nikki grins.

Candice gets back in the ring, builds speed, and DIVES on Nikki! Nikki seemed to welcome that. But Candice isn’t done, she builds speed again, but runs into Nikki’s elbow! Nikki puts Candice under the apron skirt and–after snuggling up to her like a kitten–clubs away on Candice’s back! Shayna says she doesn’t care who wins, she’s beaten all of them at least once. Nikki rams Candice off the apron while fans duel again. Nikki thrashes and grinds Candice into the mat, then hooks the nose. Cover, TWO, but Nikki keeps on Candice with a Rings of Saturn! Candice rolls but ends up in a crucifix, TWO!

Nikki puts Candice on the top rope and into a Tree of Woe for manic mudhole stomps! Kairi comes in and SPEARS Nikki! But Kairi goes after Candice with the Woe Stomps! Cover, TWO! Kairi keeps on Candice with the Anchor Lock! She bridges back and bends Candice, but Nikki breaks it up. Nikki hops on Kairi with a psycho sleeper hold, but Candice dropkicks them both down! Candice crawls after Nikki and chops away. She fires off furious htis from both sides, then runs in for a back elbow. She CANNONBALLS onto Kairi! Candice drags Kairi up while fans chant “NXT! NXT!” Nikki goes after Candice on the outside, for an inverted DDT on the ramp! Candice hits steel, and Nikki crawls away, only for Kairi to hit a flying kabuki elbow! “This is Awesome!” but Shayna is not amused.

Kairi stands first, all fired up, and she puts Nikki in the ring. Kairi prepares that elbow as she climbs up top. Nikki hits Kairi first, then climbs up to fight her on the top rope. Kairi fights back, but Candice returns to add on! TOWER OF DOOM!!

All three women are down but the fans are fired up to a fever pitch. Kairi gets to ropes while Nikki and Candice slowly sit up. Candice hits Nikki, but Nikki hits back. Kairi comes over while those two brawl, and then joins in with her own forearms. Nikki hits Kairi, but Candice hits Nikki. Nikki hits back but Kairi does, too. They all stand, Candice ducks and sends Nikki at Kairi. Candice enziguris Nikki, but Kairi backhands Candice! Kairi goes at Nikki but Nikki headbutts. Candice grabs them both, DDT and Complete Shot, 2-for-1! Candice springboards, LIONSAULT! Cover, but Nikki drags her off by the hair! Nikki gives Candice a draping, swinging neckbreaker!! Candice hits the floor while Nikki fires up.

Nikki goes at Kairi in the ring, but she takes her time letting the madness take over. She drags Kairi up, and hits a back suplex. She drags Kairi up again, for another! Then another! Nikki gets a hat trick but she’s not done yet. She grins as she drags Kairi up one more time. Nikki has the fisherman, but decides to up the ante! They go to the top rope again, but Candice crawls back in. Nikki stomps Candice then drags her up, small package! TWO! Nikki kicks but is blocked into the Unprettier! LIONSAULT! INSANE ELBOW! KAIRI WINS OUTTA NOWHERE!!!

Winner: Kairi Sane, by pinfall; challenges Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV

The Mae Young Classic finals are revisited once more, as this will be the tiebreaker between Pirate Princess and Queen of Spades. This rematch will mean so much more with the title on the line, who finishes the series with the gold?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What a great NXT! Not much time was wasted getting to the opening match, and it was really good. Lacey has really improved during her time as this Lady of NXT character, and she gets a surprising win over Dakota. As said earlier, Lacey will have to wait a bit before challenging the NXT Women’s Champion, but she will definitely reach that some day. Dakota will, too, even though she’s currently jobber to the stars. Good promos from Ricochet and the Undisputed Era, as well as videos from the Street Profits, EC3 and Kona Reeves. I am so excited EC3 is going to face Kona and more certainly beating him, in both the ring and in gimmick.

That War Machine/Raiders video package was great, and it drives home the point that those two are aimed right at the NXT Tag Team Championships. That makes for more great ROH-in-NXT action that will certainly please the fans. Ohno surprises with that extra fast squash of “Rick Ramirez” who has Rayne on his pants. I wouldn’t mind if this leads to either an edgier or even full Heel Ohno, he needs something that either brings him up to title contention or finally to main roster. The Aleister-Ciampa package was also great, as was Dream’s stylized video promo. The NXT Championship match is going to be great, as will Dream VS anyone in Brooklyn. Then the Women’s Triple Threat was incredible, and just when I thought Candice was getting her shot, Kairi literally comes in outta nowhere. Shayna VS Kairi 3 is going to be great and can go either way.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (7/17/18)

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Can the Man of the Hour overcome a former Cruiserweight Champion?

Akira Tozawa is a former Cruiserweight Champion, but can he keep up with the ultra-fast Man of the Hour, Lio Rush, in their first-ever encounter?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • TJP VS Noam Dar; TJP wins.
  • Drew Gulak w/ Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Danny Garcia; Gulak wins.
  • Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush; Rush wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick reviews last week’s Cruiserweight Championship match.

The Japanese legend, Hideo Itami, put up a fight against the #AgeOfAlexander, but the Soul of 205 Live was tougher than even Itami expected. But not one to rest on his laurels or take it easy on himself, Cedric Alexander wants yet another challenger on this road to Summerslam. GM Maverick promises to address the state of the Cruiserweight Championship before the night is through. Who will Maverick choose to put before the champion as summer heats up?

Meanwhile, conflict is settled in the ring as the 23 Year Old Piece of Gold gets to main event against the Stamina Monster. Is the Man of the Hour ready for prime time as he goes up against a former champion? Though, Lio wonders what has Akira done lately? And before all of this, we open with the “Cruiser-Great” taking on the returning Scottish Supernova in a rematch from that surprisingly quick defeat a couple weeks ago! Can TJP get back the loss Noam Dar gave him? Or will Dar make it a quick 2-0 on the FilAm Flash?

 

TJP VS Noam Dar!

As he makes his way out to the ring, the inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion speaks to Wilkes-Barre. “What a treat!” Maverick lets TJP know who his opponent is beforehand. He’s feeling so spoiled getting his entrance music and ring gear of his choice, too! It’s like Christmas! Okay not really, because if it were, he’d be getting his chance at the title. Instead, he’s a “curtain jerker” in the “diaper storm” town of “Wilkes-Boring”. Do the people here admit they’re from here? Or do they pretend they’re from Philly? But TJP gives Dar credit for coming back from his knee injury. At least this match will be twice as handsome than TJP wrestling a local. But this comeback story will be just a comeback sentence. TJP is the one constant in this Division because he is still the best technical wrestler today. Dar makes his entrance, and we begin.

TJP rushes Dar but Dar sees it coming. Dar sweeps the legs out, then aims for his finisher, but TJP scrambles out of the ring. TJP takes his time recovering, but then Dar leaps in outta nowhere! Dar rocks TJP with a right, then a left. TJP is floundering as Dar puts him in the ring. Dar ducks and then tosses TJP, covers, TWO. Fans are behind Dar as he brings TJP up for another left. Dar whips TJP but TJP gose Spider-Man to then slide under and waistlock. Dar standing switches but TJP switches back. TJP trips up Dar but Dar resists. Dar pries free but TJP rolls Dar around for an armbar. Both men fight for control, and Dar slips free! He wants an STF but TJP gets the ropes.

Dar lets TJP go, but TJP gives him a kick. Dar rushes in but is sent into the ropes, then TJP springboards for the wrecking ball dropkick! TJP takes his time going over to Dar, then quickly runs him into buckles. TJP keeps going, throwing shoulders and elbows in the corner. He brings Dar up for a boot into Dar’s throat. Maverick watches backstage and disapproves of TJP’s attitude. TJP backs off at the ref’s count, but Dar comes back at him with a kick and a forearm. TJP European Uppercuts Dar down, then brings Dar up again. He scoop slams Dar fast, then slingshot sentons. Cover, TWO, but TJP keeps his cool.

Dar gets to a corner but TJP is on him again. TJP Northern Lights then rolls through to hammerlock an arm and go for more limbs. Dar resists, but TJP gets the other arm and pulls on it. Dar endures as TJP wrenches and pulls the wrist and fingers. He gets around with his legs for a ropebreak, and TJP lets him go again. TJP brings Dar up but Dar throws elbows from both sides. TJP gives Dar a swift elbow of his own, then whips Dar. Dar comes back with a backslide, TWO! And TJP goes for the armbar! Dar tries to get to ropes, so TJP changes it up with an Indian Deathlock. TJP grabs at arms to then shift into the hammerlock, and he YANKS on that opposite arm!

Dar writhes while TJP catches his breath. TJP drags Dar back up, then suplexes. That’s one amigo, and he makes the second amigo a back suplex. Cover, TWO, but TJP goes right at the legs. It’s another deathlock variation, and TJP grabs at Dar’s arms again. TJP wrenches Dar’s arm from elbow to wrist, but fans rally up for Dar. Dar fights out of the hold and small packages, TWO! Dar runs in but TJP goes up and over, only to miss his crossbody! TJP and Dar slowly stand up, but Dar runs into a boot. TJP goes up but Dar sweeps the legs again! Dar takes aim, and he fires off a throat chop, headbutt and EuroUpper to TJP! TJP gets to a corner, but Dar runs in with the back elbow and suplex! Cover, TWO!

Dar works to keep focus as fans rally up again. He drags TJP up, but TJP fireman’s carry! Dar slips out but TJP elbows back. TJP runs, but Dar sweeps the legs once again. TJP staggers up but ducks one lariat, only to get the other! Cover, TWO! Dar gets up again, he still wants that finishing kick. TJP sees it coming again and manages to roll out of the way. Dar walks over but gets caught into a small package! TWO! TJP fireman’s carry but Dar slips out again. Dar runs into a drop toehold that sends him into ropes. TJP goes for but misses the wrecking ball to get a basement dropkick from Dar! Dar fetches TJP on the outside, but TJP throws him into barriers.

TJP drags himself up to the apron but Dar is there quickly. Dar wants a suplex but TJP resists. TJP hops down and sweeps Dar’s leg! Dar clutches that leg, and fights TJP off. Dar crawls away but TJP gets back up and in. The referee checks on Dar, but TJP doesn’t care, he chop blocks the leg! TJP shows no mercy as he stomps away on the leg. He drags Dar up to throw him to the apron. TJP keeps stomping Dar, then Half Crabs him through the ropes! He lets go at 4, and Maverick still doesn’t approve. TJP gets back in the ring and stalks the crawling Dar. He stands on the bad leg to torture Dar, then puts on the Knee Bar! Dar taps, TJP wins!

Winner: TJP, by submission

The Cruiser-Great tortures Dar by holding on after the bell, but lets go so he can boast about the ring. His attitude may not be so great, but has TJP earned that big opportunity like he’s been demanding?

 

205 Live takes a closer look at Alexander VS Itami.

The Don from Nihon demands respect, whether he deserves it or not. The Soul of 205 Live worked way too hard for way too long to earn that Cruiserweight Championship. It wasn’t about what Itami thinks he deserves, but Alexander adding Itami’s legend to his own legacy. The best striker in the Cruiserweight Division gave Alexander’s body bruise after bruise, but the agility and aerial attacks evened the playing field. Itami was merciless with those hands and feet, but Alexander would not die. All it took was the right opening to hit the Lumbar Check for Alexander to win #AndStill be the Cruiserweight Champion. The Age of Alexander continues, who will be the next challenger added to the legacy?

 

Mustafa Ali speaks.

“They told me it was dangerous. They said it was impossible.” The Beacon of Light means the No Disqualification match he had with Buddy Murphy two weeks ago. Ali admits it was dangerous, but he didn’t quit. He found a way to win, because he was fighting for millions. Ali vows to fight all the way until he’s Cruiserweight Champion. How long and how hard will his fight to the top be?

 

Drew Gulak w/ Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick VS Danny Garcia!

If Alexander is the Soul and Ali is the Heart, then perhaps the Philly Stretcher is the Brain of 205 Live. The self-proclaimed best submission specialist in WWE today looks to build more momentum for his Ungentlemanly Alliance tonight. Will the smartest Cruiserweight in the room be named the next challenger to the title?

Kendrick gives Garcia a handshake hello before he and Gallagher exit the ring. The bell rings, and Gulak clobbers Garcia right away! Gulak drags Garcia up for a STIFF back suplex, then into the GuLOCK! Garcia fades, Gulak wins!

Winner: Drew Gulak, by submission

The best and most dangerous submission specialist proves his word tonight with a fast and furious finish. But Gulak isn’t done, as he wishes to speak.

“Well you can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, you just might find, you get what you need.” Gulak isn’t a big fan of “the rock ‘n’ roll” but Mick Jagger had a point there. The 205 Live Universe has been subjected to two years of “unworthy champions. But not anymore!” They’ll have the champion they need in Drew Gulak. And speaking of, that Danny Garcia reminds him of Alexander. Not physically, but in spirit, because when you step to Gulak, you WILL tap out. Will Gulak grind the rest of the Cruiserweight Division into dust in his pursuit of giving us all a #Better205Live?

 

Backstage interview with Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy.

The Cruiserweight Juggernaut lost his cool with Lucha House Party spinning their matracas last week, and that cost the Premier Athlete his match. Murphy just doesn’t like losing, but the luchadors were the wrong guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. He doesn’t regret what he did, just that Nese didn’t get to properly showcase himself. Nese can defeat a former champion on Kalisto. And Kalisto knows better than anyone that he was going to lose. But Nese is willing to give Kalisto a chance to prove him wrong. In fact, next week can be a match where the teammates are left behind to settle this 1v1. Will Nese and his eight abs be enough to show the Lucha Dragon who is worthy of moving up the ranks?

 

Akira Tozawa VS Lio Rush!

The Man of the Hour told the Stamina Monster that, at least from his perspective, the former champion hasn’t done much since losing that belt. Of course, Tozawa pointed out Lio hasn’t done all that much in just showing up in the Cruiserweight Division, either. Who will make something of this first-ever encounter of high-speed superstars?

The bell rings and “AH! AH!” echoes out already. Lio admits, the people love Tozawa. He circles and approaches Tozawa, but then backs off. They feel things out, but Lio always keeps just out of reach. Tozawa keeps chasing, but Lio is just playing with him as he gets to the ropes. Lio then rushes and gets a headlock. Tozawa powers out but Lio goes up and over. Tozawa tries to trip him up but Lio sees it all just in time to change direction. Lio keeps things moving, then counters Tozawa’s whip with a springboard huricanrana! Lio grins at Tozawa while lounging on the top rope. Maverick watches this, too, and is slightly amused with Lio’s swagger. Tozawa rushes Lio but Lio bails out. Lio takes a breather but Tozawa chases him down!

They go around the ring and back in, but Tozawa dodges Lio now. Lio sunset flips but Tozawa rolls through, to Penalty Kick! Tozawa has Lio now as he hits the screaming back senton! Tozawa copies the lounging to show anything Lio can do, he can do better.

Lio runs in but gets a chop for it! Tozawa chops Lio again, then stalks him to the ropes. Lio throws Tozawa out then fires off hammering hands. The referee backs Lio off, but Lio handspring kicks Tozawa down! Lio wants time to recover, “Count him out!” Lio swaggers about in the ring, though his chest is still stinging. Tozawa gets up at 6 and in the ring at 8, but Lio is on him with more hammering hands. Lio toys with Tozawa as he stomps away in a corner. They look like Tozawa’s shouting stomps. Tozawa hits back with body shots, but Lio stomps Tozawa down again.

Lio grins as he says Tozawa’s done already. He drags Tozawa up, suplexes him down, then covers. ONE, but Lio just grins. Lio kicks Tozawa while he’s down, then drags him up. Tozawa hits back, and now it’s a brawl of forearms. Lio gets some in, but Tozawa hits back. Tozawa runs but Lio runs Tozawa over with an elbow! Lio drops an elbow, then another, taunting Tozawa every time. The fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa but Lio wraps on a chinlock. Tozawa feeds off the “AH! AH!” and stands back up. Tozawa hits Lio but Lio hits back. They brawl again, hitting each other back and forth. Tozawa chops, chops, feints, then jabs! But Lio saw it coming! Lio fires off a strike fest, but his kick is blocked. Tozawa flips Lio but Lio lands on his feet, only to get that jab!

Tozawa kicks, swings, slides under, and hits the kick. Lio is rocked all the way out of the ring. Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo hits Lio right into the desk! Then they go back in the ring. Lio flounders while Tozawa climbs, for a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tozawa is surprised by the young upstart, but he isn’t done. Fans rally up and Tozawa feeds off the energy. Lio crawls to a corner but Tozawa pursues. Tozawa brings Lio up but Lio kicks again. Tozawa catches the kick, but Lio SLAPS the mouth piece out of him! Lio runs in, but into a saido suplex! Tozawa climbs up, “AH! AH!” from the fans at a fever pitch.

But Lio gets out of the ring. Tozawa goes to dive again, but Lio ducks, so Tozawa aborts the launch. Tozawa pursues Lio directly, but Lio throws him at steps. Lio gets away while Tozawa stops himself. Tozawa grabs at Lio, rocking him with a right. Lio staggers, comes back, but misses the shoulder tackle to get a kick. Lio goes down, Tozawa goes up. But Lio trips Tozawa up! Tozawa hits buckles, and now Lio climbs. FINAL HOUR FROG SPLASH! Cover, Lio wins!!

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

He came to collect, and collect he did! The Man of the Hour gets the upset victory to add a big name to his short undefeated streak in the Cruiserweight Division. Will Lio make the entire Division, and the Cruiserweight Champion, #FeelTheRush soon enough?

 

Drake Maverick meets with Cedric Alexander.

Everyone heard from the 205 Live GM that there would be answers as to who is next for the champion to face. So who is it? Maverick has thought it over all night. Just look at tonight’s show! The best talent in the WWE is right here in 205 Live. That said, Maverick has narrowed it down based on each man’s “overall body of work” in the Division. Therefore, next week, Drew Gulak VS Hideo Itami VS TJP VS Mustafa Ali, Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! Alexander likes the sound of that. May the best man win. Who will be that best man to best the other three and go on to face the Cruiserweight Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A very good episode of 205 Live from top to bottom. TJP VS Dar was great with TJP showing off those technical skills again. I figured he’d get the win this week to even things with Dar. Dar is fine, because he’s still promised a United Kingdom Championship match, so the Cruiserweight Division isn’t as crucial for him right now. Ali has a great promo and Gulak makes quick work of his jobber. Learning that these three plus Itami will be in a Fatal 4 next week is great, because all four options make for a great match with Alexander. All four men have had a match or two with Alexander in the past, but I don’t doubt the possible rematches will be even better than the originals.

Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese already take an interesting turn in their teaming together as Nese insists he doesn’t need a corner man to face Kalisto. I would hope Murphy honors the agreement so that there isn’t reason for this duo to break up already. And whether Nese wins or loses, the muscular pals going against Lucha House Party in tag team matches should be good to bolster the idea of a Cruiserweight Tag Division. Though, if they get a third guy on their side, I’m starting to think it’ll be a Trios Division. Then the main event, Lio VS Tozawa, was very good for their first time out, but with neither man at the championship level yet, I expect a rematch to give this feud plenty of fire.

My Score: 8/10


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