So, this is my little experiment I wanna try to work on and see where it goes because if it’s successful, then I will keep it going from time to time. For those of you that know me, I cover Japanese promotions such as Dragon Gate, AJPW, Stardom, W-1, Sendai Girls, and other self-produced shows that I have the time for and whatever I get my hands on. For this, I will be covering about 5-8 matches from various promotions whether it’s from NOAH, MLW, Rev Pro, Progress, or just anything I can get my hands on that got uploaded within a two week time span from when I do these things and I call them my little wrestling quickies and no, I am not changing the name. Also, these matches will be at completely random from either I feel like a certain promotion or wrestlers deserves some form of recognition or a match that looks interesting to see how it turns out. I hope you all enjoy this little experiment and they’ll be like how I do my reviews with a little preview and how I do my rating systems, so let us begin.
King Of FREEDOM World Title No Canvas & Glass Board Death Match
Masashi Takeda (c) vs. Jun Kasai
Review: This first match is from the Japanese promotion called FREEDOMS which is based around death matches like how BJW is and this show took place on August 28th but the show got uploaded a couple weeks ago around the timeframe I do things, so figured I will give it a whirl. For those that know me, I’m not the biggest death match person but will appreciate a good one from time to time if it has a purpose or a good story behind it, except for CZW since they’re just terrible at it. Masashi Takeda is set to defend his title against Jun Kasai who has been part of some self-produced shows that I’ve covered like in Kawada’s Holy War. So which of these two will walk out the victor or at all?
If you’re one of those that had a weak stomach and felt really squeamish with how Orton twisted Hardy’s ear at Hell in a Cell, then this match isn’t for you since this one was incredibly bloody. This is one of those rare times that I’ve actually enjoyed a deathmatch fully and just enjoyed the brutality that both of these guys delivered to each other. Masashi is not only a very charismatic guy with a lot of passion for doing these matches, but he’s also a great wrestler once you get past his hardcore style of things and has shown he can go in the ring at the same time. Jun, we all know that the man is a psychopath and it’s clearly shown here in this match with what he does with these weapons to his opponents. The scars on their bodies are more severe compared to how Shuji and Sabu would have them that sometimes you just think how are they even alive from the crazy nonsense they do, but they do somehow find a way to make it safe while still making it look as dangerous as possible. They took advantage with the ring having no canvas as they would move the plywood around to place a piece of glass on there to throw their opponent into and they do just that here, they made sure whatever weapon they had in their disposal, it would be used in the match such as the light tubes, a cross with nails on it and would throw each other into, and even a knife. Masashi was throwing a lot of stuff at Jun during the match when slamming him down onto the plywood, doing a Spider Suplex onto the light tubes, and a Senton Bomb right after but Jun kicked out and flipped the fans off right away. Masashi would hit Jun with his Kokutai Ikkaisen Slam or Olympic Slam for another word as he won the match and retained his title. Probably one of the better death matches that I’ve seen this year with some wrestling and story in their mixed with just straight up violence.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
MLW Fusion Tag Team Title Match
Pentagon & Rey Fenix (c) vs Rey Horus & Drago
Review: I’ve heard about Major League Wrestling but didn’t get a chance to fully watch them until recently where I saw a match between the Lucha Bros defending their titles against Rich Swann and ACH which was a very entertaining match and it made me curious to see them again. This happened last week with Pentagon and Fenix defending their titles against Drago and Rey Horus who are also from Lucha Underground, so this should be a really exciting match. Will Lucha Bros retain the titles or will we have new champions?
At first I wasn’t fully feeling the match when we had some sequences that felt like it didn’t make much sense like Drago hitting random Superkicks in the beginning with almost all of them not fully connecting while his opponent didn’t sell it much either or a sloppy spot with Horus going for a Diving Crossbody off the top rope to both of them and as they caught him, Fenix fell down only to drag Horus down with him and it just looked really off. Despite those little nitpicks and the rather rough start, they picked up as the match went on as we see all four of them performing well like we know they could. Penta and Fenix are probably one of my favorite tag teams going on right now currently with them being in sync together every time they’re in the ring and just how they execute their moves together. Horus and Drago are no slouches either and were able to match whatever they could throw back at the Lucha Bros to give us an entertaining lucha style match. Penta would hit the Zero Factor onto Horus with Fenix Double Stomping onto him for that added effect but was able to kick out of it, so what do they do? They would do the same move again and Penta would get the pin this time to retain the titles.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half.
Flamita vs. Bandido
Review: This match happened at Rev Pro in an event called Brawl At The Guildhall which took place on September 7th and it’s sure to be a fun one as we have two Luchadors and current PROGRESS Tag Team Champions fighting against each other, Flamita and Bandido. I first started watching them in Dragon Gates months ago if you remember my early coverages around that time and I was very impressed with both of these guys, and it looks like I’m not the only one that thinks that since they’ve been creating quite a buzz together all around the world this year and rightfully so for that matter. So because of this and seeing that it was uploaded a couple days ago, I had to add them into my first article since they do deserve your time in the ring, great talent here. Which one of them will win here?
I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the Lucha Libre style goes over in the United Kingdom scene since the crowd was really getting into the match and even starting a Lucha Libre chant here and there into the match, so I am totally okay with this happening here. Flamita and Bandido did what they did best with their wrestling style and even give us a little bit of humor with them doing their little dance to taunt each other whenever they ran into the rope until they had enough and went back into wrestling each other. Like any type of Lucha style match, we get armdrags, springboards, fast pins, back and forth with the kicking and the two men do it without skipping a beat without overkilling any of their stuff and the fans going crazy. They did have one little mess up in the match when they were rolling each other up for the pins and it looked like Bandido slipped a little bit to not be pinned fully but he was able to quickly cover it up to not hurt the match as much. It’s crazy that both of these men are only 23 years old and are performing at this level, then again Flamita has been wrestling since he was eleven years old while Bandido only has about five years of experience in his name. Bandido was pulling a lot of stops such as going for a headscissors and turning it into a Canadian Destroyer, doing a Tilt-a-Whirl DDT and it was somehow still not enough to put Flamita away here. The two would hit Superkicks onto each other and Flamita hits a Spanish Fly for a two count. Flamita would be able to get Bandido onto the turnbuckle as he hits the 619 and tops it off with a 450 Splash off the top rope to get the victory.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Hideo Itami vs. Naomichi Marufuji
Review: This match was from Marufuji’s 20th Anniversary show where he was in the main event to take on his old rival, Hideo Itami who was known as KENTA when he did wrestle in NOAH before leaving for the WWE. If you have followed their careers in Japan, you would know that they have what some considered as one of the greatest feuds in NOAH’s history with the battles they shared in the ring to produce some of the best in Japan. KENTA left NOAH in 2014 to leave for the WWE and he did appear to have a bright future there when he was transitioning rather well, but his various injuries over the years would ruin his momentum and probably some of the passion he had in him. However, when Marufuji booked this show, he did contact Triple H to see if he can have Hideo come back to Japan for the special event in which it was agreed upon and we have our main event right here for this special show. Does Hideo get the big win or will Marufuji stand tall in his special show?
Soon as the match begins, the crowd would just chant for KENTA, ignoring his WWE name and it’s nice to see how much Japan missed him. This match was more of a callback to their previous battles in NOAH and it sure was something special for the people that have followed them and for those that haven’t followed them, I’m sure you were able to get something exciting out of it. I like to think that this match and being back home in Japan for one night was able to give him that little spark again since I’m sure he misses home and can give WWE a general idea on what he can actually do and give them a reminder why he signed them in the first place, so I hope they see that while he’s in 205 since he’s slowly gaining momentum back again there. One thing I was worried about was how Hideo would fair into the match with not wrestling the Japanese style for so long and wrestling a long match and he was able to wrestle like he never missed a step and even lasted over a half hour here. Marufuji despite being beaten and battered from all the years he wrestled still showed he’s performing at such a top level that you can see why he’s still considered one of the best in Japan still.
Despite the match being great, they did mess up a little bit with Marufuji slipping a little with his Piledriver onto the apron and made it look like it was nothing, even Hideo missed the GTS on one of his attempts but was able to quickly pick him up to hit another one so he could correct his mistake and the fans didn’t seem to care and were rather pleased to see him hitting it again, even with the two GTS’ in the match, Marufuji was still able to kick out of them. By some miracle, Marufuji would hit a Spanish Fly and it’s a rare sight due to his age and incredibly bad knees and also hits the Shiranui for Hideo to kick out of it as well and both of these men are going all out still while trying to figure out what do they have to do to end it. Marufuji would have to end it the only way he could and that was by hitting the Emerald Flowsion in the center of the ring as Marufuji stood tall. In an interview, Marufuji talked about how grateful he was to Triple H for letting Hideo come back to Japan for one night to make his show even more special, and also said he would be honored to wrestle a match for the WWE to return the favor. Hunter, get a Takeover going in Japan so we can make this a reality. You did it for Jushin Liger, now do it for Marufuji.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half.
NEVER Openweight Title Match
Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Taichi
Review: You heard it right, the last match for this version is from NJPW as a little surprise to keep your interests up to show that you can expect them to show up sometime when you least expect it, but only for huge matches…well, except for this because I wanted to. I was gonna close it out with Tetsuya Naito taking on Minoru Suzuki from the same show, but it was rather underwhelming and it’s because of the fact that while both talents are amazing, their chemistry isn’t all there and it made the match not that memorable. So, with that said, I decided to do the Openweight Championship match with Hirooki Goto defending the belt against Lord Taichi. This one happened in the NJPW Destruction In Beppu show that took place a couple days ago and Taichi was able to get this opportunity during the G1 Finals show when he won the tag match where Goto was involved in. Taichi was not picked to be involved in the G1 Climax this year which I thought was a pretty bad decision since I honestly thought he would’ve done great and has had an impressive year ever since he moved up to the heavyweight division and had great matches against Naito and Tanahashi. Can Goto retain the title again or will Taichi claim his first singles title in his wrestling career?
The beginning of the match started off a bit slow with Taichi playing mind games with Goto by not fighting him right away as Goto sat in the ring Shibata style as he waited for him to return. Taichi also had some heel tactics in the match with Kanemaru attacking Goto when the referee wasn’t looking and would also use chairs in the match to try and get Goto counted out, which fails by the way. It looks like Taichi is gonna be doing what Minoru Suzuki did when he was involved with the Openweight Championship by having a bunch of outside interference but the difference is that it makes sense for someone like Taichi since a guy like Minoru doesn’t need it since he’s scary without help except for Taichi who is more known for this kind of shenanigans.
Despite this probably the weaker of Goto’s title defenses, it was still a very solid match with what they had to work with together since Taichi isn’t the most technically sounded guy in the roster, but the story is there and that was what they delivered in. Kanemaru and El Desperado would help try to interfere in the match when the referee was down until CHAOS members came out to even the odds and sent them to the back so it would be an even fight between Goto and Taichi as Goto hits the Ushigorishi and Shouten Kai but Taichi still kicks out of it. Takashi Iizuka would make his way into the ring with his little iron claw thing to try and take out Goto but he fails to do so and Taichi rolls Goto up for a two count. Taichi couldn’t win with sneaking up on him as he decides to hit the Last Ride and Goto kicks out again, but Taichi quickly picks him up and hits the Black Mephisto for the pin and we have a new champion! Miho ran into the ring hugging Lord Taichi with tears rolling down her eyes to celebrate his very first singles title win in his fifteen-year career.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters.
Overall: So I decided to wrap up the first edition of my miniseries with the minimum of five matches to get a better flow and setup instead of just filling up the max of eight matches in my first addition. I like to think it was a success and I think I’m gonna keep doing it for a little while longer for your reading pleasure.
- Favorite Match: Hideo Itami vs. Naomichi Marufuji
- Least Favorite Match: Pentagon & Rey Fenix vs Rey Horus & Drago
- Score: 8.5/10
Cook: Don’t Hate Lafayette Because They Don’t Know #DIY
Steve Cook chimes in on the controversy surrounding the WWE Monday Night Raw crowd from Lafayette.
Anybody that knows me well knows that I’ve always been a huge baseball fan. It was the first sport I fell in love with as a kid and has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. I read pretty much anything I could about the history of it. I might be a Cincinnati Reds supporter, but I also have a good appreciation for most of baseball history.
That’s why I was excited when the New York Yankees came to town in 2011. The Yankees don’t come to Cincinnati very often. In fact, it was only the second series they’d played in Cincinnati since interleague play started in 1997. Whether you like the Yankees or not, it’s hard not to be impressed with their tradition of success. Their twenty-seven World Series championships are sixteen more than any other team has. Names like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle & countless others give the Yankees a tradition that’s unparalleled.
Aura & Mystique on the road
Even in 2011 the Yankees had some all-time greats on their roster. Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous Hall of Famer this year. Derek Jeter will follow him into the HOF in 2020. Alex Rodriguez…well, that vote’s going to be interesting. He’s got the numbers! Heck, Bartolo Colon was on that team, and his HOF vote will also be interesting if he ever retires.
I was lucky to get off of work and get a ticket to a Wednesday afternoon game. The stadium was packed & stacked, as fans in the area knew that the Yankees wouldn’t be back in Cincinnati for several years. Unfortunately for the fans & myself, Jeter was on the disabled list so he wouldn’t be playing. Nobody’s fault, these things happen. We would have expected A-Rod to play, but a rainout the night before resulted in Wednesday being a previously unscheduled doubleheader, and Yankee manager Joe Giradi opted to give Rodriguez the day game off.
Lineup card subject to change
Playing third base for the Yankees instead was the immortal Ramiro Pena. He played 23 games in 2011 and went 4 for 40 for a batting average of .100. He had one home run, four RI & scored five runs. If you’re one of those advanced stats guys, he had a WAR of -0.8 for the season. In all fairness, this & 2012 were his least productive seasons in MLB. He managed to play 50 games in 2013 & 81 games in 2014 for the Atlanta Braves & wrapped up his MLB career in 2016 with the San Francisco Giants. From what Wikipedia tells me, he’s currently playing in the Mexican League.
Jeter’s replacement ended up accomplishing a bit more. Eduardo Nunez played 127 games for last season’s World Champion Boston Red Sox. He was also an All-Star in 2016, though I think that was due to the fact that every team has to have an All-Star & the Minnesota Twins didn’t have a ton of candidates. We also got to see Rivera close out the game, so it’s not like we missed out on everybody of historical importance. And yes, Jorge Posada was there playing first base and hit a home run. Any Yankee fan reading this will yell at me if I don’t mention Posada.
Core 4, baby
At this point you’re probably wondering why in the the world I’ve spent all this time writing about a random June 2011 Yankees/Reds game. In the big picture, that game wasn’t too terribly important. A ton of baseball games aren’t. The game came to my mind early Tuesday morning while I was catching up on Twitter’s reaction to Monday’s Raw episode.
Mostly, people were mad at the crowd. This week’s Raw was notable for being the main roster debut of four NXT Superstars. (NXT wrestlers are called Superstars too, right?) Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa all wrestled on Monday night’s show in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Triple H did the big introduction at the beginning of the show, we got videos with Michael Cole yelling buzzwords, and the four men got to take part in matches. Which is more than some of the last crop of NXT call-ups can say. Ricochet got to do some flips. Black got to beat up Elias. Gargano & Ciampa got to randomly re-form their tag team.
It was fine, if a wee bit random. I would have expected NXT fans to be happy that some of their favorites were on Raw-wait, no, I wouldn’t have expected that at all because NXT fans want their favorites to stay in Full Sail forever. WWE will mis-use them on the main roster, you see. So I was a little surprised that wasn’t the main thing that Internet wrestling fans were complaining about.
No, it was the crowd.
The Raw crowd didn’t make enough noise for these debuting talents. They should have been out of their seats for Ricochet & Black like they were Austin & Rock in 1998. And of course the fans should have gone crazy for DIY vs. The Revival because it’s great tag team wrestling.
Listen, I’m with you guys as far as the talent of these guys goes. I’m hip to the NXT jazz. I’ve been watching & reviewing lately, If I was in that crowd, I would have been cheering & rooting all of those guys on. The thing is…I’m not in the majority of wrestling fans. Far from it. I’m a wrestling nerd that consumes way too many hours of my day with watching wrestling & writing my opinions about it. From what I can tell, a lot of the people I saw whining & moaning about that crowd do the same thing that I do. We’re obsessed with wrestling & analyze everything way too much because that’s what we enjoy doing.
Not everybody does that.
Sometimes we lose touch with the fact that not everybody is like us. There are plenty of wrestling fans that don’t spend every day obsessing over the gossip or watching every single show they can get access to. I know WWE fans that don’t get WWE Network. There are even WWE Network subscribers that don’t watch NXT. I’m not going to get all hot & bothered & mad at people that don’t watch NXT for not going crazy over NXT call-ups. I might wonder why Baron Corbin gets a louder reaction than any of them, and I might think that reflects poorly on their taste, but at the same time, I realize that it’s because Baron Corbin’s been on TV long enough to establish a persona.
To the casual wrestling fan, Ricochet & Aleister Black are like random guys filling in for Derek Jeter & Alex Rodriguez. Hopefully their careers turn out a little bit better, but just like I wasn’t excited to see Ramiro Pena back in 2011 at Great American Ballpark, Lafayette wasn’t excited to see Aleister Black. You can’t fault paying wrestling fans for not watching all the shows, unless you’re just looking to lord your knowledge over everybody else.
Most of those fans at Raw didn’t have any idea what a Johnny Gargolye or a Tomato Chomper was. Hopefully they’ll get the chance to find out, and hopefully they’ll appreciate them as much as we do. Until then, give Lafayette a break. Don’t get mad at them because they paid to see WWE Superstars & got NXT ones instead.
Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Ratings & Review (2/18 & 2/19/2019)
Andrew let’s us know how the WWE shows following Elimination Chamber measured up!
Andrew let’s us know how the WWE shows following Elimination Chamber measured up!
Well since Elimination Chamber didn’t hit me as strongly as others (though I enjoyed the two Chamber matches), my bar was set a little lower for Raw and SmackDown.
So now is that point where we find out how both shows did!
- Tables Match: Baron Corbin vs Braun Strowman: Braun wins via Powerslam through Table – *1/2
- Ricochet & Finn Balor vs Lio Rush & Bobby Lashley: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – ***
- Hawkins & Ryder vs Lucha House Party: House Party wins via Hurricanrana – *
- DIY vs The Revival: DIY wins via Meeting in the Middle – *** ½
- Drew McIntyre vs Dean Ambrose: McIntyre wins via Claymore – N/A
- Elias vs Aleister Black: Black wins via Black Mass – *
- Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs Ruby Riott: Ronda retains via Armbar – **
Triple H comes out, gushes about the PPV, like they always do and then announces a surprise. Ricochet, Aleister Black, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano will be featured on Raw tonight. Okay…so…this should be interesting. Wait never mind, because in the same breath he explains the reason there’s tables about is because Braun and Baron will have YET ANOTHER, match no one asked for.
Tables match, not only does the crowd not care, but I’m pretty sure 70% of the audience wants these two, to never touch again. The redid a few spots, including the table spot. It ended the way we all expected, Braun only struggled cause he was banged up. So yeah, this didn’t really do anything for anyone.
After Braun wins, Heyman comes out to hype up Lesnar with a small yet unnecessary interaction with Braun. He says things, video packages play, it’s very paint by numbers.
Finn is up next, Lio and Lashley start trouble…since they’re apparently cool again. Ricochet comes out for the save and we get a tag match. Lio and Lashley against Ryusuke Taguchi’s boys! I’m calling them Apollo Future, educate yourself if you don’t know why. But my big take away here was how awful and out of place Lio looked. Even Lashley looked good. Lio is just a waste of damn space.
Backstage, McIntyre walks up to Triple H demanding Rollins, Ambrose slaps him and says he’s free. So yeah…that’s the set up for their match.
Lucha House Party is an awful gimmick, and to be fair, they aren’t anything special in the ring. Typical “luchador” stuff with no personality, heat or angle makes them a waste of time. The best part from this match was Hawkins having an opening to win the match and he kinda freezes like he doesn’t remember what to do when in an advantageous position.
Heavy Machinery and Lacey Evans strut around for a few minutes…wh-why-what—wa—wh—*head desk*
Backstage segment with Roode, Gable, The Revival and DIY. Sets the stage well with nods to NXT and all of their pasts. So it was a quick way for casual fans to get a small idea of ‘okay they know each other’. As for the match, it was damn good. They always did good work in NXT and it carries over here. A little less time and a little less reign to do as they please, but still a damn good tag match.
Kevin Owens phone promo, which he drops but catches. More of a conversational promo, where his son Owen even makes an appearance when Kevin asks him for change. Apparently Popcorn and a soda is 20 dollars. Sadly, I can believe that…
Sasha and Bayley get to soak in the adoration of a dead crowd, but at least enjoy their distinction of being the first ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. Tamina and Nia show up, they apparently get the first crack. So…yup…I guess that’s a thing.
Drew and Dean barely gets started and it’s over. I love that they book the Claymore like the RKO where it just happens and even matches that should be competitive just end. But yeah, forgettable.
Elias shows up, he starts into his shtick a little, then before he gets to the song, Aleister Black interrupts him. This match was not good. Chemistry was off, Aleister’s strikes weren’t good, his motions seemed to take an extra second, even his back flip sit down spot had a hiccup. Elias caught Aleister with a nice Flying Knee at some point, but that’s the only point that really sticks out. Not a good debut.
Ruby gets a rematch because…reasons. With the squash from the night before, the only thing that gives this credibility is the rest of the Riott Squad at ringside to run interference. Ronda dominates, until the interference kicks in, then Ruby gets in some offense. But suspension of disbelief was the issue here. No one expected Ruby to win because Ronda is the WrestleMania meal ticket, and she had a bad previous showing, so this was a waste of time.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
So yeah, the wrestling was actually alright with 3 out of 4 of the NXT surprises being the high points. But so many waste of time filler spots and a dead crowd put a damper on the show. It tried, it had moments where I was entertained, but unlike Elimination Chamber, this was book-ended by matches that actually didn’t matter. Still not an awful show, just closed on a low note.
- Aleister Black vs Andrade Almas: Black wins via Black Mass – ***
- DIY vs The Bar: DIY wins via Cradle – *** ¼
- Asuka vs Mandy Rose: Rose wins via Roll-Up – *1/2
- Ricochet vs Eric Young: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – **
- Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton vs Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy –Kofi gets the pinfall via Trouble in Paradise – ** 1/2
Shane O’Mac comes out to make Chamber comments, he also declares that since they were such a big hit, the same 4 NXT stars will make their SmackDown debuts as well. Then Miz comes out, apologetic and shouldering the blame. He even says he used Shane for personal reasons to gain favor with his father. Miz makes mention of the ‘no guaranteed rematches’ rule they declared with this new era, but said since Shane is a McMahon he could make it happen anyway. The Usos come out to run down the former champs and goad Shane into using his power to make the match. Miz is happy like a kid who just got the toy he was asking about, for Christmas.
Aleister has the worst Raw debut, but thankfully he and Andrade have good history and work well together. This wasn’t nearly as good as their NXT matches, but with limited time and whatever restrictions come with the main roster, Aleister looked a bit better. They also touched on Aleister basically being the one guy Andrade could never crack the code on. So when Aleister does come up officially, this is a great angle for Andrade to finally get a win.
DIY encounters The Bar backstage. Cesaro and Sheamus tease them about no one knowing who they are and size comments. So that sets the next match.
This match was solid. The smaller team had to maneuver themselves into good positions, and both teams had great flashes. This was probably about on par with the Revival match from Raw, but it loses a quarter of a point for me after the Sunset Flip Power-botch. Yes Ciampa looked like he was able to mostly recover, and after a few replays it looks like he was able to have his leg kinda buckle with Sheamus’ body, so depending on flexibility he might actually be alright. But it still looked bad, and commentary loves to show replays of botches nowadays.
Asuka comes out to basically demand a challenger (her English is better but there were a few imbeciles in the crowd chanting ‘what’ when she spoke. You morons speak the banjo down in New Orleans, don’t try to tease others with accents). Mandy and Sonya come out, with Mandy declaring that she’s ready to step up. The match was slow, stilted and pretty bad all things considered. Spots were sold for too long, or seemed to take a few too many beats to get from point A to B. Mandy did have a beautiful Bicycle Knee that caught Asuka on the outside. But aside from that, the match sucked, but a stop gap defense against Mandy, at a B PPV, is fine.
At this point, I’m just happy to see SAnitY on TV. This match was just generally unexciting. Everyone played their parts alright, Wolfe and Dain had minimal interference but it played a big enough part into a few spots. Not an awful match like Aleister’s on Monday, but the weakest of the Tuesday lot.
The main event felt a little rushed and more of a ‘get your shit in’ match. Not bad, but no real psychology or storytelling. More just trying to pair people off and get to the number 1 contender reveal after Kofi pins Bryan for the face team! Shane comes out immediately and declares Kofi vs Daniel Bryan at Fastlane.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
It’s nice they’re still riding the hot hand with Kofi, and the fans haven’t turned on anything yet. Some people are mad about Asuka’s loss, but it’s professional wrestling and she needed an opponent. Mandy used heel tactics to lull Asuka into dropping her guard, it’s a trick as old as time. If you’re freaking out that the “better technical wrestler” shouldn’t lose to someone like Mandy, then you don’t know pro wrestling and need to just shut up and go watch Blue’s Clues or something more rudimentary.
Surprisingly, SmackDown and Raw were both even this week. Raw could’ve been better, but was just weird and SmackDown was just kinda there. So I think this is the first week where the two shows tied. Hmm…well that’s something.