Bobby is back with his Good, Bad, and Ugly look at WWE SummerSlam 2018!
Let me start with the best, a match I greatly looked forward to, Smackdown Women’s Championship Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte. All 3 competitors looked incredible. The constant head games by Champion Carmella and the intense, tight in ring action between frenemies Becky Lynch and Charlotte were entertaining. This was a solid showing by great athletes, and one of the better Woman’s Matches I have seen in a long time many high moments, and fluid action. The ending was also unpredictable and incredible, making Charlotte Flair 7 time Heavyweight Champion. I couldn’t be any happier with Becky Lynch’s heel turn, and absolutely love the crowd’s reaction to it.
Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega vs. Rusev & Lana on the Kickoff Show was quite the match. Rusev is so over, he really could do almost anything at this point and the crowd will get hot. Cien and Rusev are very natural with each other, tonight was no different. What ruins a great match is putting hype ads up during the action, and if that isn’t bad enough they do it hyping the show we all are about to watch. It really is garbage and completely wrong. Surprisingly Lana and Vega looked very comfortable tonight, had great energy and held their own. Even though the ending was cheap, this was at the least entertaining. Given it was a Pre-show however I would have given our Hero’s the nod on Rusev Day, but this crew went from Ugly too Good to this Fan.
The Cruiserweight Championship Match Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak was placed poorly on the Kickoff Show. It also had some actual old school technical wrestling which by the reaction of the half-filled kickoff crowd, enjoyed. Gulak and Alexander are unbelievably talented, and are a treat for us. Having said that, again WWE shamelessly plugging Summerslam to those who already know, imo is a completely tasteless and disrespectful move all around to the fantastic talent in the ring. Pay attention kiddos, this was a solid match as expected on an unfortunate spot of the card, but these professional’s owned it as always and gave us more than ours money’s worth. Congrats to Alexander on retaining in a fantastic match.
The Raw Tag Team Championship saw The B-Team (c) defend against Revival, I labeled Bad in the pre-show edition because I am salty about the placement of the match on the usually easily forgotten Kickoff Show. These 4 guys are tremendously talented, and being put on an ill-fated spot of the night, will in no way inhibit their unbelievable talent. Each showing great technical prowess, working a body part and staying with it, is no doubt a product of the years of expertise these teams have. What does WWE do, to reward this? Advertise during the match. “B” Team is far from their name sake, with so many false hopes, and psychology next to none this was yet another Good point of the night, even with all odds stacked against them deservingly retaining their titles and showing that “luck” is on their side. Bravo on a making the “B”est of it.
Before I get into the Intercontinental Championship Match with Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins which I predicted would be Good, let me just reiterate how over Ambrose is, Rollins too for that matter. The crowd was hot for this one the minute Ambrose’s music hit. This had a retro feel in the very best way. The gear, the buildup, and for a change, a match worthy of the IC Title’s history. Although the play back and forth with Ambrose and McIntyre served its value, nothing out of the ordinary seemed ahead. There were a lot of rest spots, and awkwardness in the pace at times, with little bits of pop sprinkled in. Then, like a bomb, spot after spot, they turned it on, and it showed. The crowd woke up and took off! They showed us why they are where they are. Bloody, beaten, laying it all out there, Rollins victorious.
Now for the Money in the Bank Match Braun Strowman (h) vs. Kevin Owens for the Briefcase of Dreams, although The Monster is one of my personal favorites, and Owens is a natural, I had very low expectations of this match and referred to it as a waste in my pre-show article. WWE must have heard because this was a squash match. I enjoyed it due to the fact that it was what it should be. Therefore this “bad” match is labeled Good. Old School straight up beat down, and now we wait and see if the Monster in the Bank will make a 2nd appearance tonight!
Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin I am going into this with a bad taste, as I hate Corbin and feel that there are so many more deserving people of his spot on tonight’s show. Finn Balor is a top guy and he is facing this clown. Finn Balor’s entrance was incredible, I loved it, and it was a great surprise to come out as the Demon. The hologram above the ring was mesmerizing.
The save sake for me is that it was quick, and one sided. I am glad this ridiculous feud is over, and now Finn Balor can go onto something better. A decisive win for the Demon.
Our United States Championship match saw Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy, and it could have gone either way. The talent is outstanding, the following for both competitors is vast. I knew coming in that if WWE let’s these 2 do what they know how we would have a classic on our hands. The strikes were great, the taunting was done well, and the crowd was into it. The risk when Jeff Hardy is in a match is expected but let me say as someone who knows how much this hurts. That was high risk bump on the apron was painful to watch. This was a good match and we were saved from the usual cheesy WWE take on it. A clean finish in a respectable U.S. Title Match. Congrats to both men for a job well done, and Nakamura for a hell of a defense. I even didn’t mind seeing Orton just leave after his seemingly unnecessary appearance after the match. Anything he would have added would have been cheap.
Prior to the Match, it was great to see Nattie. We all loved the Anvil, and it was a great show of respect. The Raw Women’s Championship match featured Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey. I absolutely love Alexa Bliss, she started off perfect throwing shade to the Bella’s and having little to no respect for her inferior fans. Rousey as always was fired up, and looked incredible. She is a warrior and has an appropriate look as such. She is so intense, and I knew this was going to be a winner. The crowd was hot for this one and rightfully so. Bliss played her role as the heel Champion to perfection and Rousey our gallant hero. I loved the constant heat and taunting from Rousey. This was a squash match, and I would have never in my life, guessed that Bliss would ever have lost so quick without a fight. It was fun to watch, Congrats to the Baddest Women Champion on the Planet Ronda Rousey.
Your main event, for the Universal Championship, Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns started off on fire. I couldn’t be happier with Strowman’s presence. Followed up with insane offense on Roman’s part. The match was action packed and the crowd was hot. They kept Strowman out with a vicious F5, making him a non-factor. It was done right: quick and Roman finally got the belt back.
Steve Cook’s Top 5 Worst Tag Team Names
Truly inspired by The Viking Exprience, Steve Cook takes a look back at the Worst Tag Team Names in his latest Top 5!
The Superstar Shakeup brought some new faces to Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live. In what was considered a bit of a surprise as they’re currently NXT Tag Team Champions, Hanson & Rowe made their debut on Raw. Only they weren’t Hanson & Rowe, they were Ivar & Erik. They also weren’t the War Raiders. Instead, they were The Viking Experience. A week later they’ve changed to the Viking Raiders, which is slightly less horrible but brings back memories of the NFL during World War II when we had the Phil-Pitt Steagles.
The only solace fans can take is that Ivar & Erik won’t be sunk on the main roster because they’re known as the Viking Experience or the Viking Raiders or whatever else. They’ll be sunk on the main roster because they’re a tag team. And hey, it’s not like they’re the only tag team ever to have a crappy name. Here’s five others!
5. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane)
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the dynamic between Bryan & Kane. If there are two wrestlers I would like to see/hear do a talk show, it would be the newly Trumpian Glen Jacobs & The New Daniel Bryan. They have amazing chemistry as a unit, though they couldn’t be further apart as wrestlers or on the political spectrum.
The name though…the WWE Universe screwed this one up. Team Friendship was right there for the taking. It would have been the perfect name for Kane & Bryan based on the counseling they had gone through with Dr. Shelby. It was one of those names that would have been stupid and awesome at the same time. Instead, they went with the lazy mish-mash. Which made even less sense when they reunited years later with Bryan firmly in Yes Mode.
4. The Gangstanators (New Jack & John Kronus)
I am kinder to mish-mash names than most. I see a lot of hate out there for names like Jeri-Show, Jeri-Miz, Rated-RKO, Rybaxel and other names that wrestling writers obsessed with Brangelina gave tag teams. For me, the best part of Ryback & Curtis Axel as a tag team was their name.
A team that came along before Brangelina was a much worse example of this fad than anybody that came along after. Kronus was part of the Eliminators, and his partner Perry Saturn decided to get some work with WCW. New Jack was part of the Gangstas. I don’t know what happened to his partner Mustafa, but nobody else seemed to care.
So New Jack & Kronus decided to team based off of mutual respect. Nothing wrong with that. The name was terrible though. If they had plans for this duo, they really should have come up with something new, instead of something that reminded us of two tag teams that we liked more.
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3. TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne)
Miller & Thorne were known as The Mighty Don’t Kneel, or TMDK for short, during their run throughout Australia, Japan & the American independent scene. WWE likes to change these things up, for obvious reason. So Shane Thorne got to keep his name, but Mikey Nicholls became Nick Miller, which gives us the TM part. 61 is the dialing code for Australia. So it’s kind of clever.
Here’s the hitch in the getty-up: No good tag team name needs this much of an explanation. You see Ax & Smash, and you understand why they’re called Demolition. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart walk out accompanied by Jimmy Hart, and The Hart Foundation sounds apt. Heck, Honky Tonk Man comes down with black-haired Greg Valentine and you get Rhythm & Blues right away. This thing…well, there’s a reason they changed it to The Mighty once they turned heel.
2. The New (fill in the blank)
New anything is bad news. Especially in pro wrestling, with the exception of the original New World Order. Remember the New Blackjacks? The New Rockers? The New Midnight Express? If you’re my age, you’re probably trying to forget these teams, as they were nothing but a pale imitation of the original teams.
The New Blackjacks were Blackjack Bradshaw & Blackjack Windham. Marty Jannetty brought along his buddy Leif Cassidy to form the New Rockers. The New Midnight Express were Bodacious Bob & Bombastic Bart. I might be mixing those up, but I don’t care enough to look it up. It was that bad. I’m pretty sure Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson have never retired because they’re afraid somebody will try to make a New Rock N Roll Express.
People are learning, though. When Konnan put Santana & Ortiz together as a new tag team for him to manage in Impact Wrestling, he was smart enough not to call them The New LAX. They got to be LAX while Homicide & Hernandez had to be The OGz during their feud.
1. Air Devils (Fast Eddie & Matt Sydal)
This may require some explanation. Matt Sydal was a young up & comer in the Midwest indies back in 2005. The boy had all the high-flying moves you could ask for, and a look that any babyface would love to have. He was ready to take ROH by storm, but he needed a partner! It seemed like it would be Joey Matthews for a minute, but Matthews had other business at hand with Johnny Nitro & Melina. Hardly an opportunity a wrestler would turn down. So Fast Eddie got the nod, as he’d had some ROH appearances in the past.
The ROH message board got the opportunity to vote on a name for Matt & Eddie, and I can’t tell you what the other options were, but I can tell you what won. The Air Devils. See, daredevils, air devils, haw haw. A name so bad that the ROH commentators crapped on it during their debut match in Dayton, Ohio, which happened to be the very first ROH show I saw live. It was the Air Devils’ first & last match together, as Fast Eddie turned on Matt Sydal and joined Prince Nana’s Embassy.
Just a terrible piece of business, though it worked out in the long run for Sydal. He got over with ROH fans and had a pretty good run there. Fast Eddie…well, I’d be lying if I said I remembered a thing he did with the Embassy. When that faction won a Trios Tournament at another Dayton show I attended, they were represented by Alex Shelley, Jimmy Rave & Abyss. No Fast Eddie. He never saw his dismissal coming.
Did anybody else notice that fans chose two of these names? It goes to show that even if “The Viking Experience” is a terrible name, there’s no guarantee that we would have done better.
Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Analysis (4/22/19)
The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!
The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!
Arena Puebla and Arena Mexico Tuesday
I did not watch either of these shows, truth be told on weeks that I’m too busy I’ll probably skip Tuesday at least. Not that I plan on always skipping them but sometimes duty calls in life and Friday is really the only televised show CMLL cares about. CMLL current has what I call WWE syndrome, in the sense that they have a comfortable business right now. They were struggling a little last year until LA Park and the Lucha Brothers came in for a summer tour basically. Cibernetico, El Zorro, and Charley Manson coming in helped to an extent too but not the same. So ever since then CMLL has enjoyed very nice attendance so they don’t feel the need to put in a desperate effort. Which is what happens sometimes. Wrestling companies all go through that period once in a while so I’m sure they’ll eventually be back to high quality things. But right now it’s AAA giving high quality. So on the Monday Puebla show they set up a Police Man vs King Jaguar hair vs hair match which will be this Monday. I can’t imagine most are interested but these guys probably wanna do something. And nothing of significance happened on Tuesday. Nothing usually ever does.
Arena Mexico Friday
Volador and Ultimo Guerrero successfully won Block B and will face Titan and Cavernario next week. Or this week. Depends when this drops. It will be a good match. Block B was definitely a step down from Block A as far as quality wrestling goes. There was a lot of brawling and similar finishes here in Block B. That’s really all that’s going on.
So some of this AAA news involves MLW and Impact so I’m going to put it all here because there’s no point of typing it twice.
AAA has two shows this week, one on 4/26 and 4/28. I won’t be watching the one on 4/26 live because Avengers Endgame is calling. But the line ups look like this for 4/26, Psycho Clown, La Parka, and Puma King vs Rey Escorpion, Texano jr, and Chessman. Laredo Kid and Brian Cage vs Taurus and Daga. Poder de Norte vs Sammy Guevara, Jack Evans, and Australian Suicide. 4 way match with Golden Magic vs Hijo Del Vikingo vs Villano III Jr vs Flamita. Taya and Faby Apache vs Chik Tormenta and Luchadora surprise. Lady Maravilla and Black Danger vs Big Mami and Nino Hamburguesa.
For the 4/28 show it looks like, Psycho Clown, Laredo Kid, and Puma King v Rey Escorpion, Texano Jr, and Taurus. La Parka, Golden Magic, and Nino Hamburguesa vs Chessman, Averno, and Dave the Clown. Hijo Del Vikingo, Flamita, and Villano III Jr vs Poder de Norte. Sammy Guevara vs Jack Evans vs Australian Suicide. Faby Apache and La Hiedra vs Lady Maravilla and Chik Tormenta.
So AAA also has shows coming up on May 3rd and May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. But they also have some joint show which I’m not sure if it’s going to be on just TV Azteca or on Twitch too. There’s no way of knowing until the day approaches cause it’s AAA but it’s some tournament gimmick between 5 “companies”. I use quotes because Konnan is quite literally on creative for all the companies. One company isn’t technically even a company anymore. Lucha Libre Elite is a defunct company propped up by AAA to do invasion angles. The other is Aro Lucha which isn’t even like, it’s own company. The Harris brothers run it with Konnan and they basically use AAA talent and Mexican independent talent. So it’s again, basically AAA. Then we have AAA proper, whatever that entails. Then we have Impact and MLW. So at least in theory those two will use their own talent. It’s some tournament format supposed to happen on May 2nd. I’ll see if I have more information next week before it all happens. Maybe Konnan will reveal more on Keeping it 100 this week.
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