Money in the Bank 2018 is a matter of weeks away, marking the 3rd major WWE show following Wrestlemania 34 and is a show that will set the tone for the company product as we head into the summer wrestling season. Unlike shows like the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam & Survivor Series, Money in the Bank doesn’t have the most expansive history and certainly hasn’t been as integral to the company’s success as the formerly mentioned shows.
However, the Money in the Bank concept is one of the most revolutionary in recent memory and has provided fans with countless chaotic & classic memories for us to cherish for years to come. In honour of this, it’s time we take a look back at when WWE decided to capitalize on the popularity of this concept and give the match its own show; on July 18th, 2010.
Match #1: SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Opportunity – Kane vs Dolph Ziggler vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show vs Kofi Kingston vs Matt Hardy vs Christian vs Cody Rhodes
I’ll stand by this for as long as I live, this is the most underrated Money in the Bank ladder match the WWE has ever put on, at least from my own perspective.
SmackDown had a fascinating product in 2010 which was the result of departures from the likes of Edge, John Morrison & Chris Jericho to the opposing RAW brand as well as a major shake-up the brand faced with the sudden removal of The Undertaker due to injuries caused a few weeks prior to this particular event. While these circumstances can be seen as a negative for sure, it did open the door for a plethora of new talent to take the reigns and earn an opportunity in matches such as this.
What made this Money in the Bank so special wasn’t just the action, which was insanity for the most part, but the clash of numerous personalities. From the 7-foot giant Big Show all the way to Cody Rhodes sporting his ‘Dashing’ gimmick, the match was filled with multiple personalities bouncing off each other’s strengths and more importantly completely hiding their weaknesses.
The matches highlights included Kofi Kingston driving Drew McIntyre through a table with a Boom-Drop, Big Show getting drowned in a sea of ladders by his fellow competitors and the innovative use of the gargantuan golden ladder that was specifically designed to hold the weight of the Big Show himself. On top of this the standout performances from ladder match veterans Christian & Matt Hardy added a great deal, not just further deepening the strategy behind the competitors but also providing the younger talents such as Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre bodies to throw around to assist in their excellent performances.
Having the matches winner be Kane was also a move that was completely out of left field. Most fans at the time, myself included, felt Drew McIntyre was a shoe-in to claim the briefcase and secure the purpose behind his gimmick of being Vince McMahons ‘Chosen One’, but this was shockingly swerved and instead used to give Kane his first moment in the limelight in what seemed like a decade.
As an opening contest, this did everything any fan would expect and opening match to do; present excitement for what the evening will have on offer, send bodies crashing onto or through countless ladders, showcase the younger talents while maintaining the credibility of the veterans and more importantly get the crowd going on the highest note possible.
Winner: Kane via Briefcase Retrieval at 26:17
Match #2: WWE Divas Championship Match – Alicia Fox (c) vs Eve Torres
Reviewing and critiquing women’s matches from this era of WWE television is a hard thing to do, primarily because what was on offer was for the most part fairly one dimensional and bland to the point that audiences struggled to care. That was the case with this match.
Granted, it seems like the WWE actually tried to give us a match worth remembering, at least glimpses of that effort were shown.
Alicia Fox is actually a criminally underrated women’s performer who today has fallen into the background with the ‘Women’s Revolution’ coming along so heavily with a number of newer female talents soaking up time on the weekly TV product. Fox demonstrated some genuine talent in this match, and the same can be said for Eve Torres who is equally talented as she is beautiful.
The two women played into a fairly standard match layout but thankfully sections of this felt solid, with some fine use of in-ring psychology and selling giving fans a little something to cling onto instead of treating this as a complete bathroom break. Torres also played her part well, as she always fit into the role of babyface just as well as she did the role of the cocky heel in her later days as Divas Champion.
Alicia Fox managed to eventually retain her Championship following a devastating Ax Kick after taking advantage of a slight moment of hesitation on the part of Eve Torres. I hope this recap doesn’t come across as lazy, because it certainly isn’t, there just isn’t much to note here.
Winner and STILL Champion: Alicia Fox via Ax Kick at 5:53
Match #3: WWE Unified Tag Team Championship Match – The Hart Dynasty(c) w/Natalya vs The Usos w/Tamina
I think we hammer down so frequently on the WWE’s treatment of women up until around the point in 2013 where audiences actually started taking them seriously, that we forget similar injustices were done to the Tag Team Division until 2012.
The Usos today are seen as one of the WWE’s best & brightest, putting on show-stealing performance after show-stealing performance and elevating every single opponent they are put up against. The Hart Dynasty is a duo I wish we had today, insanely talented with the bloodline to back it up but never properly utilised due to the company’s clear disinterest in tag team wrestling at the time.
It’s that particular lack of interest that makes this match quite depressing to watch, especially if you put it up against some of the tag team matches we’ve gotten in the last 18-24 months from the likes of The Usos, The Hardy Boys, The New Day, Cesaro & Sheamus, etc. The layout for this match, much like the previous Divas Championship encounter, is quite by-the-numbers which sometimes can work if a certain level of creativity is involved, which in this case we had very little of.
Noticeably, both teams worked hard to do the best with what they were handed at the time, which was an abysmal time limit which really never showcased what either team is capable of in any manner. The Hart Dynasty played the babyfaces here while The Usos resorted to their original heel shtick, and saying it was bland was an understatement when you see what they bring to the product under their ‘Day One-ish’ gimmick.
Natalya and Tamina also had some minimal involvement, due to their lack of presence in the women’s division at the time, and instead worked the outside interference portion of the match but none of this really caught on in the manner it could have. The crowd had one or two bursts of excitement for a few of the big spots, but sadly this came across as extremely forgettable to a crowd that clearly just wanted more ladders, of something of importance.
The Hart Dynasty managed to come out on top after using their teamwork to their advantage and isolated the Uso brothers and their sister, eventually resulting in one of the brothers (who I couldn’t name, apologies) tapping out in the centre of the ring to the Hart family’s signature Sharpshooter. Despite some solid call-backs to the days of the Hart Foundation in the 80’s to 90’s and a few moments of excitement, this was sadly extremely forgettable, which I hope I never have to admit for a match featuring the Usos.
Winners and STILL Champions: The Hart Dynasty at 5:58 via Sharpshooter
Match #4: World Heavyweight Championship Match – Rey Mysterio (c) vs Jack Swagger
This was the match that definitely woke the crowd back up and got them invested in the show again, after 2 matches that ultimately deflated the live crowd, then again following the opening contest is no easy task in itself. No wrestler on the planet thrives in big man matches like Rey Mysterio does, and considering his size you could consider almost any match he has with any opponent a ‘big man match’ as he’s rarely faced an opponent smaller than himself.
Jack Swagger, riding a wave of eventful circumstances in 2010, walked into Money in the Bank with what was ultimately Kurt Angle 2.0 as he utilised the Ankle Lock to dismantle and handicap countless opponents on SmackDown on the weeks leading up to this show. In the process Swagger managed to injure Mysterio himself, giving the challenger a distinct advantage heading into this match. Storytelling like this is simple, yet effective and this match used it to its advantage magnificently.
Continuously playing off Mysterio’s injured ankle and the pre-empting storyline, the champion & Swagger put on a clinic in storytelling which they combined with fantastic all around in-ring action. Swagger constantly grasped the upper hand here and not just because of the injury but also due to the clear size advantage he possessed over the ‘Master of the 619’. While the match itself certainly wasn’t the longest, it did everything it needed to and I would argue that this match would not have been of similar quality should it have received more time to develop, as the restrictions of a 10-minute span gave this match a ridiculous amount of energy that I adored.
Mysterio managed to battle his way through the pain and retain his World Heavyweight Championship using tactics from his best friend Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania XX, loosening the boots and rolling up a distorted Swagger to earn a great win, a clear call back to the superb Guerrero vs Angle match that evening. However, it didn’t stop there, after coming to his rescue when Swagger continued his assault on Mysterio following the match, Kane’s music hit to the shock and awe of every single person in attendance.
The Big Red Machine had chosen his moment and decided to cash in his newly won Money in the Bank Contract in exchange for Mysterio’s World Championship just over an hour after his victory, setting the record that is yet to be broken. In dominant fashion, Kane dismantled Mysterio in under a minute and delivered a Tombstone Piledriver to claim his first (and to this date, only) World Heavyweight Championship in a move that none of us saw coming.
Not only does this remain one of my favourite Money in the Bank cash-in’s but one of the best moments in the career of Kane. Beautiful booking from top to bottom and a reminder of just how good WWE can be at booking Kane when they put their minds to it.
Winner and NEW Champion: Kane at 12:07 (Total) via Tombstone Piledriver
Match #5: RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Opportunity – Randy Orton vs Edge vs The Miz vs Chris Jericho vs Evan Bourne vs Mark Henry vs Ted Dibiase w/Maryse vs John Morrison
Following the magnificent opening contest for any contest, as mentioned earlier, was no easy task. SmackDown had set the bar ludicrously high for any remaining competitors, with their chaotic and adrenaline fuelled match.
Was RAW able to create a match of similar, maybe even equal quality?
Without question, yes.
The RAW side of the Money in the Bank matches had a very different pace than what SmackDown had, sure it had the mixture of chaos in there but for the most part this match had a more methodical and calculated style to it for the most part and that’s what makes it so good. Much like the opener, you had a wide range of personalities in the ring who all worked magically together.
Highlight moments of the match include Mark Henry using his brute strength to knock over two ladders in unison, John Morrison using his parkour in ridiculous ways, Edge almost decapitating John Morrison, Maryse attempting to claim the Money in the Bank briefcase on Dibiase’s behalf and Evan Bourne eating an incredible landing from the ring to the floor.
Every participant had a pivotal spot here, whether it be high-flying, ground based or getting nearly murdered courtesy of a ladder, the one exception however is Randy Orton who seemed to have little involvement until the matches conclusion which I guess is the matches biggest negative. Orton came in during the closing moments and dished out a plethora of RKO’s and just as it seemed he had it won, the moment a star was born happened, as The Miz took out Orton and claimed the briefcase for himself. This moment wasn’t just wonderful but considering how vastly improved The Miz had become throughout 2010 it was more than well deserved.
I’m not entirely sure which match fans like more of these two, for myself personally I prefer the opener but it’s easy to see why people would gravitate more towards this one. If you’re ladder match style is more about the sheer chaos of everything, I see SmackDown being your choice but if you’re style is a more methodical and timed approach, this is the one for you.
Either way, this was another homerun of a ladder match and essential viewing for almost anyone.
Winner: The Miz at 20:27 via Briefcase Retrieval
Match #6: WWE Women’s Championship Match – Layla (c) w/Michelle McCool vs Kelly Kelly
I’m so sorry ladies, I don’t mean to be harsh. I really don’t.
The first women’s match of this particular show was largely forgettable, but I can admit to its positives, such as having an okay amount of time to encompass some in-ring action and solid overall psychology & storytelling. Almost none of that appears in whatever the WWE was trying to accomplish with this match.
The whole ‘LayCool’ gimmick never caught on with me when I was younger, and it still doesn’t to this day, their mannerisms while admittedly more than capable of garnering them heat, come across as far too over-the-top and completely distract from the match itself. Where this really hurts it, is the lack of time this match got, a whopping 3 minutes of in-ring action. Add to the fact that Kelly Kelly has never been the strongest in-ring performer the women’s division has had, and this ended up being what it was, a car crash.
Nothing in this match had anything worth gripping onto, almost every aspect felt rushed and unimportant and to add insult to injury, the crowd decided to cheer for the then fired Daniel Bryan over the Championship match in the ring at the time. For me, this was the earliest sign of the popularity the man had that transcended the WWE Universe and sadly it was far more interesting than anything Layla & Kelly Kelly managed to put on.
Layla ended up retaining her gold with a cheap roll-up, and this match left absolutely no impact on the audience or the rest of the card. Another look back and reflection of how happy we should be to have the women’s wrestling we have today.
Winner and STILL Champion: Layla at 3:56 via Roll-Up Cradle
Main Event: Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship – Sheamus (c) vs John Cena
Sheamus & John Cena had quite the history leading up to this main event. In the months prior many fans were stunned at the sudden rise of Sheamus in the main event scene in WWE and despite losing out on walking into Wrestlemania XXVI as WWE Champion he managed to gain his gold back a few short months later.
The more intriguing factor in this match though, was the potential inclusion of Nexus, a new stable formed of NXT Season 1 talent who were out to make a name for themselves (in hindsight, this project failed on all levels). To make sure this didn’t happen, the two main event talents were locked inside a steel cage for good measure and the potential for a brutal exchange. With 2010 being the peak of WWE’s PG policies surrounding their programming it was difficult to imagine how far the brutality could reach considering the restrictions but there was some potential.
In a nutshell, the match itself was a fine main event to close a show. All the parts that had been put in motion weeks prior came into play, the cage itself was used as a weapon to inflict pain to both men and as anticipated, Nexus brought their chaos to the main event. The issue with this match was its pacing, which sadly was quite boring as both Cena & Sheamus built towards their big spots and signature moves, which ultimately made this match seem fairly one-dimensional and bland at countless points.
Whenever signature moves, or big spots occurred, the match became quite entertaining, but the sad reality was that the crowd knew what was coming and resulted in them deflating any tension, unpredictability or shock value from the contest. A steel cage should be a structure of brutality & unpredictability, not one where the main prize at stake ultimately falls into the back drop in favour of cheap outside interference.
Once Nexus did show up, the match seemingly had more levity and stakes to it, as WWE Universe members had been waiting to see Cena get his hands on the rebel group for the destruction they had caused in the weeks prior to this match. This slight distraction left a window open for Sheamus to escape the cage and retain his WWE Championship in the most simplistic ending imaginable and was only setup to tie-in to the post-match antics.
Following the match Cena finally got his hands on some of the Nexus members, ploughing them over with clotheslines and the use of steel steps in the hopes of rearranging their facial features. This was slightly satisfying but failed to reach the emotion we had anticipated initially and as a result closed the show off in fine yet unspectacular fashion.
Cena & Sheamus did their job here, it just seemed like the entire thing was a setup for a post-match beatdown and you never want to detract from the importance of your company’s biggest championship, ever.
Winner and STILL Champion: Sheamus at 23:02 via Cage Escape
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 24 – December 4, 2002
The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly Classic IMPACT!
We open with a recap of the ending of last week’s episode, but with some after show footage of Killings and Russo getting into a fight and the Harris Brothers breaking it up. While this was going on, Russo was still demanding an answer from Jarrett and Jarrett wasn’t saying anything.
After that, we hear some very familiar bagpipes and after a few minutes, the Hot Rod comes out with a young man I’m ASSUMING is his son because I have no other explanation for why this kid is here.
Piper got on the mic to cut a promo, but because the promo was so long, I’m not going to go through the whole thing here. Piper UNLOADED on Russo, saying that the NWA was the only thing Russo hadn’t killed. He said Russo was a ‘hump’ (I’m assuming he meant ‘hunk’, but you never know) of 300lbs that failed to become a wrestler and became a sport entertainer, but never had any talent, though the fact that Piper himself made a VERY good living being a sports entertainer should be pointed out. He said that Russo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and would kill the dreams of all the young guys in the locker room. He then says he’s there to challenge Russo.
He also plugs his book, which is part of the reason he was in Nashville to start with, saying it was about a boy and his dreams. In his usual, controversial style, Piper accused Russo of all the sins in the calendar, including being the Osama Bin Laden of wrestling (YES, he said that a year after 9/11) and of killing Owen Hart, who Piper claimed to be related to (he’s not to the best of my understanding). He then, without naming names, trashed some of Russo’s ideas in WWE.
Piper then calls out Russo, who tries to pull one over, but this is Roddy Piper we’re talking about and that didn’t work. In what can best be described as a drunken rant, Piper asked Russo, who he had just PUBLICLY accused of killing Owen Hart, if he killed Owen Hart, and asked how he’d bankrupted WCW so fast. I guess Piper didn’t get the memo that WCW was having financial troubles before Russo got there.
To his credit, Russo tried to defend himself, but Piper is DEFINITELY drunk, and is a loud and stubborn drunk at that. Finally, the Harris boys come out to try and save this mess and at least get Russo out of the ring. This was NOT a great start to the show. After that mess was over, we were given an update on the Lynn/Siaki X-Division title match that was randomly announced last week: It will NOT be happening this week because Jerry Lynn is injured again.
Spanish Announce Team vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): Maximos get a good pop. Apparently, SAT and Divine Storm trained together in Brooklyn. To add some more pressure to this, the winners get a shot at the Tag Team Champions, the New Church.
How’d it go? Well…the start was something to be seen rather than described. Honestly, these guys didn’t give the appearance of people who trained together, unless they all had very short-term memories. The match was awkward, especially for the Maximos. It actually looked like two teams that were still in training. Divine Storm got the win with a big assist from Trinity, so they will be fed…er, working with the New Church for the Tag Team Championship.
Harris comes out to a great pop. The whole point to the singles matches Harris and Storm will be having against the New Church is to have a chance to get their hands on James Mitchell.
Russo interrupts, claiming that he doesn’t have an issue with Harris. He then berates Piper for the opening segment and tells him that he’s going to hell for bringing up Owen Hart’s death. He also berates the TNA fans for supporting the NWA, an organization that he claims doesn’t care about them because it’s run by old men. Showing that he has no real understanding that the fans know full well what his ‘accomplishments’ are and that’s why they’re jeering, he claims the fans don’t know what they want.
To prove just why the fans are right to jeer, Russo calls attention to the Athena signs in the crowd. It turns out that Athena is the girl who takes the wrestlers’ gear to the back for them and she is very loved by the crowd. Russo calls her into the ring and proceeds to insult, bully, and degrade Athena, to the outrage of the crowd. When Athena, rightly, slaps the shit out of him, Russo has the Harris brothers, who aren’t happy with their treatment by the NWA, attack Athena, who can’t defend herself.
Backstage, an enraged Bob Armstrong let the Harris twins have it. He reminds them that the NWA, not Vince Russo, is paying them. He also points out that he gave them shots, despite neither of them being good wrestlers and that all Russo’s going to give them is a joy ride. The Harrises aren’t listening and call Armstrong’s warning ‘Bullshit’.
At ringside, an enraged Chris Harris is also calling ‘Bullshit’ on what just happened, but he’s saying it Tenay and West. Tenay will only say that this is what happens when Russo is around and he’s not happy.
Chris Harris vs Brian Lee (with New Church): Well, we finally got to see this match. The match starts off in a brawl, but that was about the highlight of the match. Lee might bear a resemblance to Undertaker, but he’s not nearly as good of a wrestler as the Dead Man. Harris would pull out the win with a spear, so AMW is one match away from getting their hands on James Mitchell.
Backstage, Goldy finds Ron Killings talking to a subtly pleased Bob Armstrong. Killings wants Russo’s ass for robbing him of the NWA Title. Armstrong is very understanding but tells him that he has to deal with the Harris twins first, by tagging with Jeff Jarrett.
James Storm vs Slash (with New Church): Round two of this starts with a sneak attack by Slash. Sensing that the Church was in trouble. Mitchell, Lee, and Bella Donna all did their part to try and help Slash win, but Storm was more determined. That said, this was a much better match than the previous one. Slash is definitely the breakout star of the New Church.
I will say that Bella Donna finally seems to be getting the hang of being a valet and getting her timing right, which is nice to see. She doesn’t seem to be very evil, compared with other members of the Church, more like a lost soul that’s being exploited by Mitchell. In the end, Storm would get the win, with an assist from Harris and the Death Sentence, when the New Church’s antics backfired on them. So James Mitchell will face America’s Most Wanted in a bullrope match.
Tenay and West go over the rules of the Bullrope match: Storm, Harris, and Mitchell will be joined at the wrist and there will be a STEEL cowbell in this somewhere.
In the locker room, Bob Armstrong is trying fire up Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings, but Jarrett still isn’t saying anything. Jarrett still hasn’t responded to anyone’s question about his loyalty, though Killings getting in his face probably didn’t help.
Double Elimination Match: EZ Money vs Kid Kash vs AJ Styles vs Joel Maximo: Styles is determined to get back to the title match, because he takes out Joel Maximo before the match officially starts. The match pretty good. It had it’s slow spots, but Styles and Kash were easily the highlights of the match. However, to everyone’s surprise, EZ Money pulled out the win with a pin on Joel Maximo, with an assist from AJ Styles.
We get word through Tenay that Jarrett and Killings WILL team up against the Harris Twins later in the show.
Backstage, Goldy is with Sonny Siaki and she’s not happy about it. Siaki is looking like LL Cool J. Goldy tries to be a good sport and wishes Siaki luck, despite the fact that she looked like she wanted to gag rather than say anything nice to him.
Siaki seems to have dropped the speaking in the third person thing, thank heavens. He doesn’t need Goldy’s well-wishes, he’s waited a long time for this match and it doesn’t really matter when his match with Lynn happens because he’s going to walk away with the gold. I applaud them for letting Siaki try and be himself, but it seems a little too late.
Tenay introduces Jerry Lynn, who explains that he’s got a partially torn pectoral muscle, but he WILL be competing next week against Sonny Siaki. The segment is interrupted by the Harris twins bringing out a table and putting Bill Behrens, the boring as beige NWA official, on it. Lynn tries to save Behrens’ bacon, but ends up being powerbombed THROUGH Behrens and the table. Ron Killings runs out to make the save, but suffers a pretty nasty beat down for his troubles.
Backstage, Goldy finds Bob Armstrong and BG James. Armstrong is pleading with James to put aside his issues with Jarrett and team up to face the Harris twins. James finally agrees and addresses Armstrong as ‘Dad’ for the first time since he’s appeared on TNA.
Bullrope Match – AMW vs Bella Donna: James Mitchell comes out and claims that he can’t compete because he has double pneumonia, though that claim falls a little flat all things considered. He then offers up Bella Donna instead, which AMW are less than impressed with.
Unfortunately, Slash and Lee get the jump on AMW, softening them up for Mitchell to get in some eye gouges and shots with the cowbell. Mitchell then offers to let Bella Donna finish things up, but AMW pull her off the top rope in a spot that looked really awful for Bella’s knee, and set her up for the Catatonic and Eight Second Ride. Still not satisfied, but not wanting to take their frustrations out on the helpless Bella Donna, AMW leave her in the ring and go after Mitchell, who runs for his life.
Tenay shows us a pre-show interview he did with Curt Hennig, who still seems to believe that it’s 1991 and he’s still the best wrestler in the world. In his mind, he’s the better option to carry TNA than Jeff Jarrett, who has nearly broken his back trying to carry Hennig on several occasions. As for Russo, Hennig says that Russo gave him a chance in WCW, but put the belt on David Arquette, which is all that needs to be said to explain why Vince Russo should never be allowed around professional wrestling. Hennig is still bragging about taking down Lesnar, but that still hasn’t been confirmed by any reliable, or sober, witness.
In present time, BG James is found out cold under some metal chairs. Looks like Jarrett’s going to have to deal with the Harrises and Russo on his own.
Harris Brothers vs BG James and Jeff Jarrett: Remember Bash at the Beach 1996 when there was genuine interest and suspense about the NWO and the third man? Remember the shock when it turned out that Hulk Hogan, still one of the biggest stars in wrestling, had turned on the fans?
This was not that match. Jarrett did a good job, but the Harris twins were a load to carry on his own. Ron Killings, limping, and with taped ribs, came to the rescue, letting Jarrett beat the Harrises with a Stroke.
However, the real shock came AFTER the match. Ron Killings still wanted Russo, but suffered another severe beatdown as Russo came in from the crowd. BG James came from the back an appeared to be helping Killings, just before he laid him out with a chairshot, to the crowd’s fury. Then, just to add surrealism to this mess, Percy Pringle, aka, Paul Bearer is on the ramp as Russo, James, and the Harrises celebrate and that’s where the show ends.
Overall Comments: I don’t have much to say about this show other than there were okay matches and an awful story. I didn’t watch much of WCW as a kid, so I didn’t see the real affects of Vince Russo’s ‘writing’ until later and it’s easy to see why his ideas took off in the Attitude Era because he gave the mostly male wrestling demographic what they wanted.
However, watching it back now, and I’ve said this before: It is clear that Russo has a serious problem with women and takes any opportunity to try and humiliate and degrade them and the fact that many people still wish Russo was writing for WWE shows that people either don’t remember how badly the women were treated or they don’t care.
I will say that I was happy to hear the Nashville crowd letting Russo know what they thought of him and it wasn’t friendly.
The whole plotline about Jarrett’s loyalties was so blatantly ripped off from the original NWO storyline, I’m surprised Vince didn’t sue, plus it was just awful. What made the NWO work were the original three guys involved. It’s another example of Russo thinking you can just plug anyone into a storyline or a character type and it’ll work and the audience will buy it, not thinking that 1. The NWO storyline, with all the twists and turns, only ended a couple of years before and fans remember it very vividly. And 2. All three guys were top stars in their primes. BG James and the Harris Twins were past their primes, and Paul Bearer’s glory days of being a manager were largely behind him, not a great formula for rebooting the NWO.
The Piper thing was another storyline from the NWO years, but it was in awful taste and not a great showing for Piper, who came across as an angry drunk using the death of a friend to sell a book.
I didn’t enjoy this episode and I hope this isn’t the precursor to worse things down the road.
Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’88
Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble begins with a look back at the inaugural event!
This was originally not a PPV, but actually a special which aired on the USA Network. It would however, create the 3rd in WWF’s ‘Big 4’ PPV’s and become the annual January tradition that a lot of fans look forward to even more so than WrestleMania. A little known fact is that in late 1987, WWF experimented with the Royal Rumble idea, holding one in St. Louis, Missouri that saw One Man Gang victorious. This is never referred to though, as WWF considers this the first for historical purposes. It’s every man for himself and luck of the draw, let’s get to the action!
Open: Photos featuring all the matchups for tonights event are shown, as Vince McMahon runs down the card that includes the contract signing for the biggest rematch in WWF history between Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant. In the arena are Vince & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, there’s no time to waste and we go right to the ring and Howard Finkel.
Match #1: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
They tie-up and Rude doesn’t hesitate to throw hands, Steamboat fires back with chops and Rude goes to the eyes. He tries to throw Ricky over the top, Steamboat hangs on, skinning the cat back inside and tossing Rude out to the floor. The Ravishing One collects himself, telling the ref Steamboat grabbed the tights back inside. Rude wants a test of strength, stops to have a conversation with the fans at ringside and then they lock hands. Rude gets wrist control, driving The Dragon to his knees. Steamboat to his feet, gets out, taking Rude down with a top wristlock and going into an armbar. The Dragon works over the arm, wrenching at the joint and putting Rude to the canvas.
Rude breaks it with a right hand, into the ropes, Steamboat slides through the legs and gets an armdrag, going back into the armbar. Steamboat relentless on the shoulder joint, Rude with forearms and Ricky fires back with chops. Into the ropes, back and forth and Steamboat with another chop, gaining control over Rude’s arm once more. Rude gets to a vertical base, breaking the hold with boots and right hands. Whips The Dragon in and lands a back elbow, finally getting something going. The Ravishing One smashing Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckles, Rude continuing to hammer away.
In the ropes again, Ricky slides through Rude’s legs and hits another armdrag, grabbing an armbar and driving his knee into the shoulder. Rude gets to his feet, sending Steamboat into the ropes and driving an elbow into the chin. More heavy shots from Rude, Steamboat fires back, into the ropes, Rude reverses and drives a knee to the midsection. Steamboat falls out to the floor, Rude giving chase and driving his back into the apron, then slamming Ricky on the floor. Rude drags The Dragon to the apron, bringing him in the hard way with a vertical suplex for a count of 2, then locks in a variation of a Camel Clutch.
The Dragon attempts getting up, but Rude jumps down on the back numberous times. Steamboat gets up again, this time lifting Rude on his shoulders and then dropping him to the mat. Ricky to his feet first, goes for a splash, but Rude gets the knees up, following with an atomic drop for a 2 count. Rude goes back to the Camel Clutch, Steamboat propels him into the corner and then drives his head into the top turnbuckle. The Dragon with a snapmare and a falling chop for 2, Rude goes to the midsection and gets a side headlock takedown, they float over into a bridge and Ricky gains a backslide for a near fall.
He ducks a right, grabs a roll-up for another. Both guys go back and forth with small packages for 2 counts, Rude flooring Ricky with a clothesline for another. Rude attempts a vertical suplex, Steamboat blocks and hits one of his own, then climbs up top. The Dragon jumps off with a crossbody, Rude pulling the referee in front of him and Steamboat takes him out. Rude gets Steamboat up in a Rack, the ref gets to his feet and calls for the bell.
Winner: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rack)
- After The Bell: Finkel announces that the winner is by disqualification and it’s Ricky Steamboat. Rude hits the ring again after a premature celebration and berates the ref.
Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Disqualification)
- EA’s Take: Two great workers here, but definitely not as quality of a match as you’d expect. Lots of rest holds and the pace didn’t pick up until the last 15-20 seconds of the match. Rick Rude is easily one of the most underrated WWF Superstars of all-time, after arriving from the NWA in the summer of 1987. No real feud between these two here, as they had limited interactions. Steamboat was one of the company’s hottest babyfaces after his WrestleMania III bout with Randy Savage, but a few weeks after Steamboat asked for time off to be with his wife, who was expecting the birth of their first child. It didn’t sit well with management, as a lot of time had been put into grooming Ricky to be a top babyface. When he would return in late 1987, he was not pushed or really put into any meaningful storylines.
In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. Tonight, Canadian strongman Dino Bravo will attempt to break the world benchpress record of 705 lbs. They introduce Dino Bravo along with his manager Frenchy Martin. Dino calls it a big challenge, but he feels up to the task. Frenchy says something in French, of course. Ventura goes over some of the technicalities, as Dino goes for a warmup rep at 415 lbs. Dino stops and says it requires total concentration, asking the crowd to be silent. Using Ventura as his spotter, Bravo lifts it and reps it with no problems. They rip through 505, 555, 595 and 655. The crowd keeps making noise and Bravo feigns leaving with 715 lbs. Dino comes back and attempts it, Ventura helps Bravo get it up and they proclaim it legit.
- EA’s Take: I know they were trying to gain heat for the newly repackaged Dino Bravo, but this was just brutally long. The fans were clapping in support of him breaking the record, until he walked off. Dino would return to singles competition when his alliance with Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine as The Dream Team was phased out, joining up with his new manager Frenchy Martin as the French-Canadian Strongman.
Match #2 for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships 2/3 Falls: WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Toteno & Itsuki Yamazaki)
The bell rings and The Angels hit the The Glamour Girls with dropkicks. Noriyo & Leilani are left in the ring, Noriyo missing another dropkick as Leilani hangs onto the ropes. Leilani tosses her across the ring by the hair and then drives her into Martin’s knee before she tags in. Martin with a slam, covering and Noriyo bridges out, grabbing a roll-up for 2. Itsuki tags, sends Martin into the ropes and hits a rolling headbutt, followed by a piledriver. Noriyo back in, she gets taken to the ground, but grabs a body scissors.
Martin fights out of it, Noriyo attempts a crossbody and gets caught, then dropped to the canvas. Martin misses an elbow drop, then quickly crawls over and tags Leilani. She enters and takes a knee out of the ropes, Itsuki back in with a flying forearm and a dropkick. The Angels strike back and forth in the corner, Itsuki covering a count of 2, then lock in an octopus stretch. Martin comes in the ring to try and break it, but kicks her own partner. Noriyo back in to deliver a dropkick to Martin, then we get synchronized figure four’s from The Angels. The legal participants are left in the ring, Itsuki breaks the hold and wishbones Leilani’s legs, then tags Noriyo. She comes in and cross the legs, grabbing a modified surfboard.
Itsuki back in, she continues to work the leg, Martin comes in to help her partner and they pull on Leilani by her hands and legs. Martin is dropped to the mat and rolls outside going back to the apron, Leilani crawls to try and tag, finally making it. Martin fires a kick to the midsection, whips Noriyo into the corner and she hops on the turnbuckle, putting the boots up to a charging Martin. Judy catches the feet, pulling Noriyo off the turnbuckle and slamming her to the mat. She delivers a shot to Itsuki on the apron, whips Noriyo into the ropes and Leilani with a cheap shot from the apron. Martin plants Itsuki with a reverse powerbomb, covers and gets the first fall.
First Fall: The Glamour Girls
Martin tosses Itsuki by the hair, putting her in the wrong part of town, then whips her into the ropes for a flying forearm and a count of 1. She slams Itsuki, attempts a splash and misses, allowing Noriyo to tag in and hit a dropkick. Into the ropes, Noriyo with a jumping clothesling, heads to the 2nd rope and connects with another for a near fall. She hits the ropes, landinga crossbody for another 2, then tags Itsuki for a double team suplex. Martin enters the ring to break it up, but gets caught and The Angels attempt to whips The Glamour Girls into one another. The Angels stop short, Glamour Girls charging with clotheslines and end up hitting one another. Order is restored and Leilani flattens Itsuki, lifts her to her shoulder, Itsuki rolls through into a pin and picks up a 3 count.
Second Fall: The Jumping Bomb Angels
The Angels rush Leilani and deliver double knees, then a double clothesline before the ring clears to a one on one situation. Itsuki with a running knee, but Leilani uses her size to force Itsuki into her corner and Martin makes a tag. Into the ropes, Martin catches a kick attempt, Itsuki countering with an enzuigiri and Noriyo enters. Noriyo attempts a fisherman suplex, Martin counters and drives a knee to the midsection, then whips Noriyo hard into the corner. Martin charges, Noriyo hops up and over, grabbing a backslide, but Martin rolls through. Judy grabs the legs, catapulting Noriyo into her corner and tagging out.
Leilani wrenches the neck, then stomps away at Noriyo and hangs her across the top rope by the hair. Double underhook suplex plants Noriyo and Leilani gets a count of 2. Leilani maintains the advantage, Martin in off the tag with a big boot that sends Noriyo into a tag. Itsuki comes in and is immediately tossed across the ring by the hair, then distracts the ref for Leilani to get in an illegal choke. Leilani makes a cover for multiple 1 counts, sends Itsuki in for a double axe handle and it’s blocked. She drops Leilani keyster first on the canvas a couple times and gets a 2 count. She tosses Leilani into her own corner, then brings Martin in the hard way and tags Noriyo.
She climbs upstairs, Itsuki with a slam and Noriyo follows off the top with a knee drop for 2. Noriyo hits a double underhook suplex into a bridge, gaining another 2 count, then brings Itsuki back in for a crossbody and another 2. Martin is slammed to the mat, Itsuki comes off the 2nd rope with a senton and misses, Martin covering and only getting 2. Itsuki with a leg takedown, Noriyo with the tag and a 2nd rope clothesline, but Leilani breaks up the pinfall. The ref’s tied up with Leilani, The Angels climb opposing turnbuckles and hit a tandem dropkick for the 1-2-3.
Winners and NEW WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo/Tandem Top Rope Dropkick)
- EA’s Take: The crowd was quite into this contest and a lot of the style of The Angels is ahead of it’s time, however the pacing of the contest was a bit too hectic at times. Women’s wrestling isn’t quite as clean and smooth as the men at this point, it would take a number of years for it to get to that point. The WWF Women’s Tag Team Titles are a forgotten relic in the annals of WWE history and this is the last major appearance they’d ever see. The Glamour Girls would go on to regain the championships in June before the titles were dropped completely in early 1989.
Video: Footage from WrestleMania III is shown, when Andre The Giant took on Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. At one point, Hogan attempted to slam Andre, but The Giant’s weight came crashing down onto the champion for what some claim was a 3 count. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ has plans to buy the championship, but Hulk Hogan refused to sell it. DiBiase promises to get what he wants, no matter the cost. Andre would accept DiBiase’s offer, attacking the champion on Saturday Night’s Main Event. The Giant has agreed to hand the title over.
In The Ring: It’s time for the contract signing for the biggest rematch in history, as Andre The Giant along with ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Virgil make their way to the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund will oversee the proceedings and he introduces WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, then WWF President Jack Tunney.Tunney & Hogan sit down at the table, but Andre refuses as Gene urges him to sign the contract. DiBiase gives Andre a few words and he slowly makes his way to the table, staring down the champion. The Giant finally takes a seat, then DiBiase takes the mic and begs Hogan to sign. Hulk appears to be having doubts, but then signs after some more prodding by The Million Dollar Man. Andre reviews the contract and Hulk grows impatient. The Giant finally puts his name on the dotted line and DiBiase tells him to put his ‘stamp of approval on it’. Hogan lunges at DiBiase and Andre grabs the champion, slamming his head into the table.
- EA’s Take: This segment is a stark contrast to the one earlier tonight. Yes, it was also long, but that was supposed to be the effect and it worked perfectly. Even almost 30 years later, you could feel the tension as Hogan’s blood boiled at Andre toying around with him. DiBiase was the perfect foil to add a new layer to the Hulk/Andre rivalry, giving it new life with the ‘purchasing of the title’ story. This contract was signed for a match to come on Saturday Night’s Main Event and would lead to the biggest moment in the shows history.
Connect on Facebook
*SPOILERS* Ring Of Honor Final Battle Fallout TV Taping Results (12/15/18)
WWE News: Reported Reason For Nick Miller’s Release, Plans for Shane Thorne
WWE News: RAW Live Event Results From Nashville, Tennessee (12/14/18)
Mitchell’s WWE TLC Results & Report! (12/16/18)
EVOLVE News: Final Card For Tonight’s EVOLVE 117 In Woodside, New York
Finn Bálor and Drew McIntyre: Main Event Stars on the Rise After WWE TLC?
WWE News: Finn Balor Returns To Action At Tonight’s Live Event
WWE News: NXT Live Event Results From Jacksonville (12/14/18)
WWE News: RAW Live Event Results From Bakersfield, California (12/15/18)
EVOLVE News: Johnny Gargano Returning To EVOLVE In January
SmarkToDeath: Final Battle Review and Special Guest – Jonathan Pilquist
DWI Podcast: #182 Beetlejuice Beetlejuice…Dance Break!
Talkamania: TLC Predictions and More!
Smark To Death: Tables, Ladders, Cha…..Oh Thank God for Final Battle
Greg DeMarco Show: Daniel Bryan & WWE TLC Preview!
Indy Wrestling Radio: Fantasy Football complaining, RAW review
Raw Reaction: Go Home, WWE TLC
Speez & The Benchmark Show: TLC Match On WWE Raw! (12/10/18)
Indy Wrestling Radio: Football, Cody, WrestleKingdom 13
Chairshot Radio: WWE vs. The World
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.14 ~ 14TH DECEMBER 2018
Andrew’s WWE TLC Results & Ratings
WWE TLC Results: Asuka vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch
WWE TLC Results: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
WWE TLC Results: Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles
ROH News: Bandido Officially Agrees With Ring Of Honor On A Contract
WWE TLC Results: Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey
WWE TLC Results: Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio in a Chairs Match
WWE TLC Results: Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor
WWE TLC Results: Natalya vs Ruby Riott In A Tables Match
News1 day ago
*SPOILERS* Ring Of Honor Final Battle Fallout TV Taping Results (12/15/18)
News2 days ago
WWE News: Reported Reason For Nick Miller’s Release, Plans for Shane Thorne
News1 day ago
WWE News: RAW Live Event Results From Nashville, Tennessee (12/14/18)
Coverage12 hours ago
Mitchell’s WWE TLC Results & Report! (12/16/18)