So mostly because of how pivotal certain shows were on September 1st, I decided we’d do the August Pool voting last week. Given that, voting was still insanely close. Let’s see what the MOTY Pool looks like, so you see what won, as well as remember who’s already on the list.
- January – NXT Takeover Philly: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas
- February – New Beginning in Osaka: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA
- March – Strong Style Evolved: Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks
- April – NXT Takeover NOLA: Andrade Almas vs Aleister Black
- May – WWE Backlash: Seth Rollins vs The Miz
- June – NJPW Dominion: Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega
- July – G1 Climax 28: Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
- August – G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
Now that wasn’t that only vote we had, and this one was even closer. Winning by literally 1 vote was, NWA Championship: Cody vs Nick Aldis (c). So that’s the first NWA match since the Tim Storm and Jocephus empty arena match to make the list, much less win the week.
I guess we should see what made the Top 5 for this week.
5. NOAH Ark New Chapter GHC Heavyweight Championship Match: Takashi Sugiura (c) vs Masa Kitamiya
Well this was the last match of Sugiura’s three day marathon from Takayamania, Marufuji’s Anniversary Show and this title defense. Kitamiya has earned his position this year, from having a fairly impressive tag run with Katsuhiko Nakajima (team name The Aggression), he’s proven enough. Yes this is further extending the Super New Generation against the old generation story, but no one’s been able to touch Sugiura yet.
This match was the equivalent of two bulls just slamming into each other early on. Sugiura did get the better of Kitamiya, rocking him pretty hard, so much so he nearly didn’t make the 20 count. After the close call on the outside, Masa’s gameplan took shape.
He started to focus on Sugiura’s knees, numerous Chop Blocks, Spears to the Knee and his signature Prison Lock (kneeling figure four), saw Sugiura in quite a bit of pain throughout the match. Takashi hit a few desperation power moves, including his signature Olympic Slam, but Kitamiya kicked out. Kitamiya then went for his Saito Suplex, but Sugiura kicks out.
Kitamiya knowing he needs to doing something unique, tries to go for back to back Saito Suplexes, but on the second one, Sugiura sinks in the Front Neck Lock. Kitamiya tries to drive him towards the corner, but Sugiura pushes off and sinks in deeper in the middle of the ring. After a few moments where it looked like it would break, Kitamiya passes out and the referee stops the match.
It should be noted that this is the first title defense since his Marufuji match where he had to break out the Front Neck Lock. So Sugiura still shows some versatility, all while Katsuhiko Nakajima is the next to step up and challenge the champion.
Winner: Sugiura via Front Necklock (referee stoppage)
Rating: *** 3/4
4. MLW Fusion Tag Team Championships Match: Pentagon & Rey Fenix (c) vs Rey Horus & Drago
The Lucha Bros are probably the most well known of the newest generation of luchadors. Their opponents are veterans and have a little bit of worldwide notoriety themselves so this isn’t a layup at all.
In regards to matches, it’s exactly what you’d expect form a lucha match. The referee allowed “lucha rules” so there was a lot of constant motion, not many tags, but plenty of things that made it hard for the camera to keep up. Drago seemed to be fighting through the shoulder injury that was mentioned during Triplemania, but it didn’t slow him down too much.
Fenix did some of his rope bouncing for big Arm Drags and dives, but after a while the Lucha Bros had solid control of the match. We saw Fenix and Pentagon hit the Double Footstomp/Fear Factor, which then had Fenix dive to the outside to keep Drago away, but Rey Horus kicked out. So they ran the move back, this time with a little extra flair from Fenix, and the match was over.
After the match Fenix and Pentagon addressed the crowd, and Pentagon urged the crowd to start chanting, “Please Come Back”, for Drago and Horus. So it’s nice to see the camaraderie from the luchadors.
Winner: Pentagon via Fear Factor/Double Footstomp Tandem Move
Rating: *** 3/4
3. Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Goddesses of Stardom Tag Title Match: Tam Nakano & Starlight Kid vs Mayu Iwatani & Saki Kashima (c)
Well both teams are from the STARS stable, so their pre-match promos were more about proving themselves aside from beating the enemies. Finally though, we see Starlight Kid gave Tam a mask to wear on the way out, so Tam finally gets an actual mask (a nod to a few months ago when she was teaming with all of the masked wrestlers and playfully put her hands in front of her face to act like a mask). I obviously hope Tam wins, but it’s not going to be easy.
The opening salvo was actually gorgeous in this match. Both teams shake hands, but Kid and Tam rush the others to get the upper hand. Saki manages to reverse a double Irish Whip as she focuses on Tam, sending Kid into the ropes and Mayu comes flying in connecting with a nice dropkick. From that point that match a little hit or miss honestly. Out of all four women, Saki is definitely the weakest link.
Aside from a few awkward spots and near miss/barely hit maneuvers, it really was an entertaining match. My highlight was Kid and Tam drop toe holding Saki and Mayu into the ropes and hitting stereo Tiger Feints (619), and honestly I didn’t know Tam could do that. The followed that up with dual Dropkicks, that send Mayu and Saki to the outside and then two Flying Crossbodies really made it look like Kid and Tam had a good shot to take this match. Tam also had a nice moment in the match where she had Saki in a Dragon Sleeper, Mayu tried to break it up, but Tam kicks her and hooks her head for a DDT, so she drops for the DDT/Reverse DDT combo.
Mayu and Tam’s interactions were really good in this match and gives everyone watching hope that Tam can maintain this level. Mayu and Saki hit a few tandem moves on Starlight and Mayu keeps Tam out of the ring while Saki hits the Unprettier for the pinfall.
Winner: Saki via Unprettier
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Kagetsu vs Utami Hayashishita
Winner: Kagetsu via Boston Crab
Rating: *** 3/4
MLW Fusion: PCO vs Homicide
Winner: PCO via Forearm Smash
2. NXT: Velveteen Dream vs Johnny Gargano
Johnny Wrestling has fallen to new lows while the Patrick Clark Experience has risen to new heights. Dream rubbed that in Gargano’s face last week, but only because he didn’t realize Gargano was still okay to go in the ring. Whether rising or falling, which man will move forward after tonight?
Dream mocks Gargano with a “Johnny FAILURE” t-shirt, and even a “Who Am I?” armband to taunt Gargano’s crisis of confidence. But it’s not like Gargano needs reasons to be riled up for this match. The two men throw their shirts at each other, then the bell rings, and they tie up. Dream gets a waistlock to headlock to hammerlock to takeover. Dream poses and taunts Gargano, then shoves him. Gargano rocks Dream with a left forearm! Gargano dares Dream to come back and sprawls to a facelock. Dream rolls around but Gargano keeps hold. Dream reaches back with legs and gets a ropebreak. Gargano lets go at 4 while fans duel.
Gargano drags Dream up but Dream puts on a headlock. They go to a corner and Gargano sees Dream going up and over, to rock him with another forearm! Gargano stomps a mudhole into Dream to show he’s not a failure. He comes back but Dream takes down and goes after legs. Gargano powers out a couple times and sends Dream out. Gargano rocks him with a baseball slide dropkick, then bounces Dream off the apron. Dream goes around the corner but Gargano follows to chop him against barriers. Gargano wants to know where the arrogance went as he chops Dream again! He puts Dream in but Dream hotshots Gargano on the ropes! Fans keep dueling while Gargano gets to a corner. Dream runs over and kicks Gargano down. Dream rains rights and stomps on Gargano, grinding his boot into Gargano’s chin.
Gargano drags himself up but Dream throws forearms into his back. Dream backs off to then put Gargano in another corner. Dream keeps on Gargano with forearms, then chokes him on the ropes. The ref counts and Dream stops at 4, but Gargano turns it around to chop away! Gargano whips but Dream reverses and Gargano hits buckles and tumbles! Dream gives Gargano a neckbreaker, then covers. TWO, but Dream keeps his cool. Dream stomps Gargano to a corner, then stands on him at the ropes. The ref counts and Dream stops at 4 to stalk Gargano again. Dream climbs up to pose, then swings in for a bronco buster on Gargano’s back! Gargano has his eyes locked on the Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling sign, even as Dream throws him down by his hair.
Dream circles Gargano, and boots him down. High stack cover, TWO, so Dream goes to a grinding chinlock. Fans rally up and Gargano powers out of the hold. Dream kicks him and puts him in a sleeper hold now, and Gargano fades fast. Fans rally again and Gargano gets a second wind. Gargano stands and opwers Dream into buckles. Dream clubs him but Gargano fires back with haymakers. They brawl in the corner, Dream boots Gargano down, then hops up. Dream leaps, but the ax handle is caught. Dream fights out to prepare the sidewinder, but Gargano spins through to make it an elbow drop DDT! Fans rally once more and Gargano stands up. Dream staggers into a boot, then Gargano hops up for a flying headscissors! Gargano enziguris Dream right out of the ring, then slingshots. Dream gets in and runs, into the slingshot spear! Cover, TWO!
Gargano grits his teeth as he brings Dream up. He chops Dream against ropes, then whips. Dream tumbles out and hits a swift jab. Gargano goes outside while Dream goes up, SUPERKICK! Dream tumbles to the floor, but the apron cannonball wipes him out! The referee checks on both men but they’re both okay. Gargano stands while Dream drags himself up. Gargano puts Dream in at 4, then returns at 6. Fans duel whiel Dream gets to a corner. Gargano runs in for a forearm smash. He whips but Dream reverses. Gargano goes up and over, school boy kick misses, Dream hits a Famouser! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as both men slowly stir.
Gargano gets to a corner but Dream walks over. Gargano elbows Dream away, then hops up, for another try. Dream counters and wants a submission, but instead rolls through to a fireman’s carry. Gargano sunset flips, TWO, Dream sits on it. TWO, and Gargano buzzsaws, only to run into a boot. He comes back with a discus lariat! Cover, TWO!! Dream crawls to a cover, TWO!! Both men are exhausted but the fans know “This is Awesome!” Gargano drags himself back to a corner but Dream pursues. Gargano climbs but Dream anchors his leg. They’re both on the apron and start brawling. They give haymakers back and forth, then Dream kicks low. Gargano forearms but gets another boot.
Dream lifts Gargano, but Gargano fights the Death Valley off. Gargano wants a powerbomb but his leg gives out! The very leg he hurt when he tried to finish Ciampa. Dream adds on by shoving Gargano into steel steps, knee first! Gargano writhes in pain but Dream shows no mercy. Dream puts Gargano in, Sidewinder!! Cover, TWO!? Gargano’s superhuman heart is still very much part of him! Fans love it as they give a standing ovation of “NXT! NXT!” Dream yanks the leg and drops a knee on that knee! Fans duel while Dream exposes the knee to hit it directly. He even wrenches it at the ropes. The referee backs Dream off, but the damage is done.
Dream drags Gargano up, but Gargano swing kicks him away! Dream SUPERKICKS back! Then with Gargano on the apron, Dream climbs up, for Purple Rain Maker! But Gargano gets away and Dream hits only apron! Gargano DIVES!! Fans are thunderous as Gargano drags Dream into a GargaNO Escape on the outside! Dream taps and flails but it doesn’t matter, this has to end in the ring! Gargano doesn’t care, he just wants to torture Dream! The ring count gets his attention, and he gets in at 7. Gargano leaves Dream out, but Dream gets in at 9.5!
Gargano seethes as he drags Dream back up. He has Dream between the ropes, and drags him out, just like Ciampa would! Dream knows this and resists, so Gargano instead ties him up in the ropes to SUPERKICK! Gargano drags Dream out from the apron now, but the referee tells him not to do this. Fans are divided, they want to see Gargano win but this might be too much. Gargano puts Dream back in and apologizes to his fan in the front row. Gargano goes back in, but Dream just keeps calling him “Johnny Failure!” Fans fire up, the knee pad comes down, but Gargano rusn into the Dream Valley! Cover, DREAM WINS!!
Winner: Dream via Dream Valley Driver
1. NJPW Road to Destruction: The Golden Lovers vs Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii
Well what the heck? This is a Road to… show, we’re not supposed to get big show matches here. As we should all know, Ishii has a title shot against Omega at Destruction in Hiroshima (yes yes the irony of the name isn’t lost on me). So this is one of those tag matches to build suspense and they’ll trade wins back and forth that don’t mean anything…right?
To be completely honest this match wasn’t mind blowingly special, but the fact that all four men went so hard on a show that people don’t expect it at, is why this stands out. We got to see a beautifully executed Cross Slash from the Lovers, a few other tandem moves, but we still have yet to see a Golden Shower (dual 450 Splash) since the reunion.
The interesting wrinkle that came from this was the heat between Ospreay and Ibushi. As far as New Japan is concerned, I’m pretty sure by the time Ospreay hit the Junior scene, Ibushi was moving up to Heavyweight and also drifting between companies. So this would be something special if we get a special singles match between Ospreay and Ibushi some time soon.
So this match is definitely worth the watch, you won’t be disappointed. But you can also kinda check the box next to “typical good New Japan match”.
Winner: Lovers via Golden Trigger
Rating: **** 1/4
This isn’t an easy choice for me this week. None of the matches were historically cataclysmic, so there’s a good case for all of them.
However, NXT: Johnny Gargano vs Velveteen Dream, had the most psychology and story telling layered in the match. Watching Johnny actually break out of his rage driven moments, and conveying his shock and disappointment on his face was nice. Him going over to the fan and embracing the kid mid match to try and hold on to who he is, was great. So that will get my vote this week.
Like I always say, if you haven’t seen most of these, find what you can, expand your horizons, but ALWAYS, USE YOUR HEAD.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)
Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…
Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!
At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!
WWE Universal Championship
The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.
The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.
After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.
I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.
Naomi vs Billie Kay
I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
Bray Wyatt’s Promos
Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.
With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.
Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro
Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.
The Usos and The Revival
Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party
What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.
Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox
So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.
Robert Roode vs Ricochet
With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.
The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.
I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.
Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!
WWE Week in Review April 15-April 21, 2019, Non-Shake Up Edition
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Gran Metalik vs Ariya Daivari vs Mike Kanellis vs Akira Tozawa: I have no idea why this match happened since it wasn’t an official #1 Contender’s match, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great match and Daivari winning it was a HUGE surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see if he can back up his mouth.
The fact that Mike Kanellis had the match won and it was stolen by Daivari revives my hope that Mike Kanellis will be turning babyface, especially since Cedric Alexander has been drafted to RAW. I think Kanellis has what it takes to be a great underdog babyface, he just needs the right opportunity to do it and 205 being without its other TOP babyface is the perfect opening.
Oney Lorcan vs Cedric Alexander: One thing I hated about this match is that the feud leading up to it wasn’t given more time. This could’ve been a blockbuster non-title feud if WWE had left Cedric on 205 Live, where he belongs.
All that said, it was a fantastic match and it gave Cedric the send off from the fans that he deserved, I just wish it hadn’t happened because I think the cruiserweight guys are going to get lost on RAW and SmackDown, which is what 205 was supposed to keep from happening.
Gallus vs Humberto Carrillo and Raul Mendoza: This week’s shows were done at WrestleMania AXXESS, which is why 205 Live’s own Humberto Carrillo got to team up with his sometime partner, Raul Mendoza, to take on Gallus in a fantastic match that actually went better than expected, in my opinion. Matches with wildly different styles can be a slow going trainwreck, but this was a wonderful match to watch and drives home that Gallus aren’t just big blowhards, they’re also great athletes. I was a little disappointed that Carrillo and Mendoza lost, but it’s clear that NXT UK has big plans for Gallus, which I’m thrilled to see unfold.
Kassius Ohno: As someone who HATES it when people mispronounce things, I applaud Ohno for his pronunciation correction. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed by the promo. Ohno’s playing the role of arrogant heel very well, especially discounting Ligero because someone who has a crazy schedule can’t possibly put on a quality match every night, is just silly for an indie guy to say. Guess we’ll see what the Leeds Luchador has to say.
Dunne vs Walter: I think I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I’m a big Jordan Devlin fan, so I was thrilled with his promo on Dunne vs WALTER. I’m still hopeful that he’ll get another title shot, whoever has the title.
Dave Mastiff vs Kona Reeves: This was an odd one because Kona Reeves hasn’t exactly been a NXT mainstay since his debut and his job this week seemed to be becoming Dave Mastiff’s dinner. To give the Keanu Reeves wannabe his due, he did try to compete, but the Black Country Bomber was a little too big for him. Mastiff winning wasn’t a shock, but it needs to lead to something bigger sooner or later.
That said, I’m intrigued by the possible Mastiff/Wolfgang feud being teased. A brawl between two huge men, who can move like cruiserweights sounds like a lot of fun.
Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster: So, the challenge has been accepted and we’ll get The Flying Welshmen vs Moustache Mountain next week!
Rhea Ripley vs Kacy Cantanzaro: This should’ve been a great rematch from the Mae Young Classic, instead Kacy got squashed like a bug by Ripley, who seems to have a bigger chip on her shoulder than normal. At least Kacy has a…friend, of sorts, in Piper Niven, who scared Ripley off.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams: Did that just happen?! Did I just watch Jordan and Williams, the most unlikely to succeed tag team get a win, even on a technicality, over the NXT UK Tag Champs? Did that just happen?! It did and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve become a big fan of Jordan and Williams, and while they didn’t get a pinfall victory over the champs, the fact that GYV took the loss rather than be pinned is enough for me! Go Lucky Bad Boys!
Velveteen Dream vs Buddy Murphy: I think I’ve said before that I’m not a Velveteen Dream fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s talented and he definitely showed it against Buddy Murphy. I was a little puzzled by Murphy going back to NXT and I still am, but it was a great match by both guys and that’s really all that matters.
Street Profits vs War Raiders (or whatever they’re called): This is another ‘What’s going on here’ moments because the Street Profits haven’t been on NXT all that much, but they’re getting a title shot next week. I guess the Undisputed Era is going to have to wait for another go.
Johnny Gargano vs Undisupted Era: At least Gargano got the hero’s welcome he deserved as NXT Champion. I do like Cole’s whining that Gargano got lucky, completely ignoring the fact that he and Gargano knew that they would have to beat the other man twice to win, it was funny, as was Gargano’s pointing out that Cole was being an idiot for the same reason. It’s nice to have a smart face that can rile up the heel once in a while.
I also liked that we got more signs of unrest in UE with Gargano and Regal stirring the pot. I’m stoked for Gargano vs Strong, especially to watch Cole seethe.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Aaron Frye: There’s not much to say about this since Dijakovic hit one move and it was done. The promo was much more interesting given that Dijakovic has Velveteen Dream in his sights.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: I love these two because they’re so obnoxious, but not in the annoying way the IIconics are and I loved their excuses for Aliyah’s loss last week. I can’t wait for next week’s tag team match since it seems like Candice LeRae seems to finally be being treated as more than Gargano’s perpetually worried wife.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This was such a good match and allows Sane to be written out of NXT to got to SmackDown, while maintaining Baszler as a heel. It also paves the way for Baszler vs Shirai by having Shirai by having Shirai save her friend, even if it meant Sane lost any more chances at the title. It was the perfect way to end the Baszler/Sane feud while creating a new feud, so no complaints.
Shield’s Last Ride
After six and a half years, two reunions, two betrayal, and twenty-three cumulative championship reigns, the Shield has come to the end of the road…at least for now. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are heading to different shows, while Dean Ambrose has chosen to walk away from WWE and find a new path. In honor of the moment, WWE chose to air Ambrose’s last WWE match and let the WWE Universe say goodbye to one of the greatest factions in the history of Professional Wrestling.
Advanced Warning: If you haven’t figured out that I’m a huge Shield and Dean Ambrose fan, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I will be a blubbering mess and this might not be very coherent, but I will not apologize for that.
Elias: Gotta love Elias’ never say die attitude towards performing. He managed to throw PLENTY of shade at the Shield and everyone else. Him being a primadonna to Balor about the interruption was fun and we found out Balor can wrestle in a leather jacket, but he still needs a more supportive jock strap. Balor getting the win wasn’t a surprise but it was a really great, if odd match due to some spots.
Riott Squad vs Bayley and Ember Moon: God, I’m going to miss the Riott Squad together! Why did WWE have to split them up?! Them ‘singing’ with Elias was hilarious! The match against Ember and Bayley was great, but I missed what Liv did to get expelled from the match, and costing her team the win. Still, great match and we get to see a great potential team in Bayley and Ember.
Shield Promo: For old time’s sake, we got a vintage Shield promo. It doesn’t matter what they said, because it was just nice to get that promo.
The Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin: Well, it’s come down to this. After six and a half years, the Shield rode into battle together one more time.
To be honest, this match was too hard to watch. The Shield renewed my active interest in WWE, rather than just half-heartedly watching it when I remembered or not at all. Dean Ambrose has been my hero since I laid eyes on him because he wasn’t what I expected a WWE Superstar to look or sound like. I was intrigued and then I fell in love, in a platonic, non-creepy, sense, with him. My online friends will attest to my cheering, ranting, raving, and screaming for Dean when it looked like he was getting gypped by WWE. That renewed interest lead me to becoming a writer about wrestling, something I never thought anyone would ask me to do. The idea that the man that reactivated my interest and love in wrestling is leaving, even if it’s just for now, has been hard to take and accept.
That said, it was a great match, with everyone hitting their best moves. The fact that it was about the Shield as team, rather than Ambrose, which lead him to letting Seth get the pin and making the final speech about Roman, Seth, and the Shield, rather than himself, makes me respect Jonathan Good all that much more.
I wish Dean all the best, he’s come a long way from his days of nearly bleeding to death for $20 and it looks like he’ll have a great future ahead of himself, whatever happens, but I fervently hope that I will see him again in a WWE ring. Thanks for the memories, Dean, and ALWAYS believe in the Shield!
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