We are in the homestretch for Super Show-Down! On RAW, the Shield and the Dogs of War both try to pick up some momentum before their epic six man. Ruby Riott gets a golden opportunity against Ronda Rousey. The Brothers of Destruction send DX a serious warning, and the team of Lashley and Rush hit a major obstacle.
On SmackDown, Becky Lynch takes a stand against WWE’s continued neglect. The war of words between Rusev and English takes a scandalous turn. Samoa Joe’s actions last week have serious consequences, and Miz and Daniel Bryan look to gain some momentum before their #1 Contender’s Match in Melbourne.
On 205, Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy prepare for their date with destiny. TJP’s campaign of disrespect continues, and the Party of Gulak does an unexpected purge.
On NXT, Candice LeRae looks to put Lacey Evans in her place, Johnny Gargano looks to get back on track against Tony Nese, and EC3 looks for revenge on Lars Sullivan.
So how did everything go? Let’s find out!
Shield vs Dogs of War: We kicked off the show with Ambrose cutting a promo. Ambrose said that while there was a lot of truth in what Ziggler and McIntyre said, and that he has thought about leaving the Shield. Ambrose, despite implying that he was sick of the Shield and cleaning up after his brothers, said the Shield isn’t a business, it’s a brotherhood and that he will stand by his brothers.
As he was leaving, Ambrose was confronted by Corbin, who gave Ambrose a choice: Fight Reigns for the Universal Title, fight Rollins for the IC title or face Strowman. Ambrose, never one to back down from a fight, chose Strowman. The match between Strowman and Ambrose was actually really good. Ambrose and Strowman tore each other apart. The match ended in a DQ finish for Ambrose after Reigns and Rollins interfered. As punishment, Corbin came out and announced that Rollins would face McIntyre and Reigns would face Ziggler after the break.
Backstage, Ambrose was NOT in a good mood between Corbin and his brothers’ interference. He shrugs off Rollins’ concern with an…offhand comment: He could’ve been Intercontinental Champion.
Reigns/Ziggler was a really great match despite not being a title match, for whatever reason, both men gave it everything they had, but Reigns would pull out the victory with a spear. Ambrose’s irritation with his brothers continued when Reigns tried to talk to him. Ambrose repeated the same offhand comment he’d said to Rollins: If he wasn’t such a nice guy and loyal brother, he’d be Universal Champion by now.
The Pack were celebratory over Ambrose’s comments, but it seems the Dogs are turning on each other, with Strowman implying that Ziggler was a weak link.
Rollins vs McIntyre was really good, if a little awkward in places. Just when it looked like Rollins had the match won, Ziggler interfered, which brought out Reigns, which brought out Strowman, which brought out Ambrose. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Pack took out the Shield, standing tall over the Hounds of Justice.
Super Show-Down: Despite a miscue, and some dicey moments, the Shield held strong in Australia. Sporting a new version of their face masks (which I still hate), the Hounds of Justice looked to finally stop the Pack. It truly looked like Dean Ambrose was going to join the Pack after Reigns accidentally Superman Punched Ambrose after McIntyre ducked. However, after Reigns saved Ambrose from being bulldozed by Strowman, that seemed to have settled the matter. Ambrose got the pin on Ziggler and the Hounds of Justice still rule the yard.
RAW Women’s Division: In a preview of Saturday’s Six-Woman tag match, Ronda Rousey took on Ruby Riott in a non-title match. Riott had Logan and Morgan, who has just been cleared to return to the ring after last week’s scare, in her corner, while Rousey had the Bellas in her corner. This match was so good. Riott is rough as they come, which made her a perfect match for Rousey. Rousey would pull out the victory, but Riott gave her a run for her money. The six-woman in Melbourne is going to be amazing.
Super Show-Down: Rousey and the Bellas are undefeated but it wasn’t without a fight. Brie Bella was definitely a target early on for the kick that gave Liv Morgan a concussion a few weeks ago. Morgan got some revenge on Brie, knocking the Hippie Twin out with a step up enzuguri. There was a hilarious spot of Brie grabbing Liv’s tongue when Liv stuck it out at her.
Ultimately, despite being frozen out by the Bellas a little bit, Rousey would finally get into the ring and pick up the victory by hitting a double arm bar on Logan and Morgan after Morgan attacked Rousey to save Logan. Rousey and the Bellas got the Riott Squad this time, but the look on Nikki’s face at the end says that Rousey should start looking over her shoulder.
Moment of Bliss was back. Bliss admitted that her hero growing up was Trish Stratus. Bliss then told an outrageous lie about Stratus mistreating her as a young fan and warned that Stratusfaction was not guaranteed.
In another Mixed Match Challenge teaser, Bayley, with Balor in her corner, took on Alicia Fox, who had Jinder Mahal and Sunil in her corner. Despite Fox and Mahal’s best efforts and a really great match, Bayley would put Fox away with the Bayley-to-Belly. Fox blamed Sunil for the loss, despite Sunil’s protests of innocence.
Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs Ascension: Bobby Roode took on Konnor this week. Despite the Glorious One’s best efforts, he would fall to Konnor by pinfall.
The B-Team vs Revival: B-Team and Revival renewed their rivalry, now with no belts involved, thanks to Ziggler and McIntyre. The match was great with B-Team pulling out the win after Dallas countered the Rocket Launcher with his knees and rolled Dawson up with an inside cradle. While B-Team were celebrating, they were attacked by Authors of Pain who hit the Super-Collider on the B-Team.
Backstage, Corbin praised AoP and their manager for their rampage and told them to keep up the good work, which is bad news for anyone in the tag team division.
Elias and Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley: The primary job for any heel is to get heat. Owens and Elias not only go heat tonight, they about started a forest fire after mocking Seattle over the departure of the Seattle Sonics basketball team.
As for Lashley and Rush, tonight didn’t go as well for them as the previous two weeks, Elias and Owens were ready for them and left both men laid out after Lashley and Owens had a grueling match that Owens one on a roll up after Elias attacked Rush.
Super Show-Down: He’s back! After being away from the WWE Universe for more than six months, John Cena returned to be Bobby Lashley’s partner against Elias and Owens in Melbourne. Sporting a new haircut, an even more muscular body, and an…interesting new finisher, Cena helped Lashley score a major win over the two thorns in his flesh, though it must be said that Lashely, Elias, and Owens did most of the wrestling.
Undertaker vs Triple H: After knowing each other for decades, you’d think Shawn Michaels would learn to never challenge the Undertaker or Kane, but that’s what he did. Sporting a shaved head under his cowboy hat, WWE’s rottweiler in terrier garb did just that on Monday. HBK claimed that he’d wanted to attend the Super Show-Down as fan and watch two of the greatest of all time go at it for the last time, but Undertaker had made it personal, which meant that HBK was going to make it personal. He vowed that he would not only be in Hunter’s corner in Melbourne, but he promised to take out Kane with some Sweet Chin Music if the Big Red Machine interferes.
Well, that did it. Kane’s music hit and HBK was so focused on the entrance ramp, he didn’t realize that Kane was behind him. By the time he figured it out, it was too late, and Kane laid him out. If things looked bleak before for the Heartbreak Kid, it turned pitch black when the lights went out and the gong sounded. The Deadman Cometh and HBK found himself surrounded by the Brothers of Destruction.
At this point, Triple H, still in his suit from being backstage, came running out to save his friend and paid for it. The Brothers took out the former DX members with stereo chokeslams and were about to leave when Taker noticed Triple H flopping around like a fish and decided to send his opponent a final statement, with a thunderous Tombstone Piledriver.
Super Show-Down: Triple H’s decades long quest to put down the Undertaker came to fruition, finally beating the Undertaker in a big match environment, though it took him and HBK to do it.
The match started off with a surprise, after everyone was in the ring, we were told that this match was now No Disqualification. No one was really in any doubt about who made that call, and Triple H’s smirk and nod confirmed that he’d pulled rank and changed the match stipulation. There was going to be a winner tonight.
Triple H was full of confidence to the point of cockiness, which seems like a stupid thing to do given their histories, even trying to mock Taker’s signature Old School rope walk.
This match was really good, but everyone involved is really showing their age and the wear and tear wrestling has on the body. If that new hip was Taker’s new lease on life, the lease seems to be a short-term one.
It took a lot of doing but, eventually, Triple H was able to put Undertaker away after taking out the ref and some Sweet Chin Music.
After the match, Taker and Kane seemed to want to have a moment with Trips and HBK, and DX seemed to go with it, hugs and congrats went around, until Taker and Kane attacked, leaving both members of DX flat in the middle of the ring. Guess this ‘Last Time Ever’ isn’t going to be the last.
WWE Championship: Paige was not in the mood for BS on Tuesday after Samoa Joe’s antics last week. We were assured that AJ Styles’ family were safe and charges were pressed against Samoa Joe. Management wanted Joe fired for his actions, but Styles asked that Joe not be fired because firing him wouldn’t solve the problem.
We then were shown a video by Styles from earlier. He was at home with his family in Georgia. Stating that this issue between him and Joe is bigger than WWE and he vowed to bury Joe alive at Super Show-Down.
Super Show-Down: The Styles family nightmare is over! AJ Styles beat Samoa Joe in one of the most brutal bouts of the night and a pinfall wasn’t going to be enough for Styles, who has been tormented for months by his former friend.
This match was brutal, but still very good, even if really didn’t seem like a No DQ match for most of it. Styles would finally get the victory by forcing Joe to tap out to a Calf Crusher. With his Samoan boogeyman vanquished, Styles is going to turn his attention to the results of the Miz/Bryan match.
WWE United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura wasn’t in action this week.
SmackDown Women’s Division: Asuka was in action on Tuesday against Peyton Royce, each side was looking to get some momentum going into their match at Super Show-Down. Despite Royce’s best efforts, Asuka would get a submission victory, giving the Empresses of Glow a lot of momentum heading into Super Show-Down.
Super Show-Down: The IIconics scored a major victory in front of their families and countrymen in an emotional match.
The Divas From Down Under traded in their usual jibes about whatever town they were in, choosing to say together ‘We’re home!’ and were even generous to their opponents, saying they weren’t too shabby.
Compared to Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair, this wasn’t the best match in the world, but it didn’t need to be. Asuka and Naomi put up a great fight, but it was the IIconics’ night. They put the Empresses of Glow away with an IIconic Knee on Naomi. The crowd loved it and the IIconics celebrated with the fans.
In a post-match interview, Kay and Royce discussed how much it meant to them to perform in their home country and about the sacrifices they’d made to work in WWE: Never being home for Christmas, missing birthdays and special occasions. Then they were shown a video WWE had shot of their families watching them perform. Both women, and yours truly, cried and thanked WWE for letting them see that video.
For the last several weeks, Becky Lynch has been getting the best of her former best friend, Charlotte, and doing her best to destroy the Queen, but this week, Charlotte managed to get one over on the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
It started with Lynch being left off the Super Show-Down poster, so to rectify that oversight by WWE, she decided to make her own poster and it was a dandy: It was a picture taken from her impromptu photo shoot last week imposed next to a picture of the stadium Super Show-Down will be happening at, complete with a KO’d Charlotte Flair at her feet.
Apparently, this was too much for Charlotte, who attacked Becky and the fight was on, but this time, Charlotte would have the last laugh, Fall-Away Slamming her through her cool poster. Charlotte had the last laugh Tuesday, but I have a feeling Becky will make her pay and then some on Saturday.
Super Show-Down: If Becky Lynch has learned anything from being friends with Charlotte over the past five years, it’s how to fight dirty. Charlotte may have been tutored in underhanded tactics by her infamous dad, but Becky was taking her own notes in secret.
The rematch between the former friends over the SmackDown Women’s Championship was every bit as nasty and bitter as the first time, except that this time, Charlotte had no illusions of making up with Becky.
This match was brutal and it seemed that Becky would be the latest person to lose to Charlotte Flair, but Becky remembered the one lesson of Ric’s that Charlotte doesn’t: The challenger has to beat the Champion, not the other way around. Becky hit Charlotte with the Women’s belt after getting caught in the Figure Eight, causing a DQ. Since Charlotte didn’t beat Becky, she gets a win but not the belt.
An enraged Charlotte refused to accept this and attacked Becky as the latter left the ringside area. Becky made her pay for it by hitting her with a Bex-sploder outside the ring and then kneeing her head into the barrier.
After the match, it was announced that Charlotte would get another chance at the title on SmackDown and if Becky got disqualified, she’d be stripped of the title.
SmackDown Tag Team Division: New Day had promised to reveal the secret to their pancakes (apparently, it’s some poor schmuck named Mr. Bootysworth), but this cooking class was interrupted by the Bar. Neither man is impressed with New Day’s cooking. Cesaro knows pastries, being Swiss and is a really good cook. They break up the cooking class before laying out New Day and dumping the batter on Mr. Bootysworth (played by Dewey Foley).
Super Show-Down: Despite a valiant effort by the Bar, New Day are still the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. Cesaro and Sheamus came extremely close but New Day were able to pull out the win and leave Australia still the tag team champions. It’ll be interesting to see who will challenge for the Tag Titles next.
Rusev vs Aiden English: Aiden English delivered on his promise to show video proof of what happened in Milwaukee, but it only served to muddy the waters. It shows English trying to find the lyrics to his entrance when Lana comes to his hotel room, saying that there was something she need to tell him and the video ends with Lana saying ‘I want you’.
Obviously, the evidence of anything hinky happening between Lana and English isn’t there and English, who is trying to take credit for Rusev Day’s popularity, certainly has reasons to put Lana in a bad light, but does Rusev believe it? Lana vehemently denied any wrongdoing, but it’s unclear whether English’s ‘proof’ will have any affect.
R-Truth and Carmella vs Andrade and Zelina Vega: Zelina Vega and Carmella had been having a war of words on Twitter that ended with Carmella challenging Vega and Andrade to a match, which was accepted.
The match was really great. Carmella has come a long way from when she first came to SmackDown. She and Vega could have a great one-on-one rivalry without Truth and Almas being involved. Carmella and Truth countered the Double Tranquilo with double splits and had a dance break during this match which wasn’t as stupid looking as it sounds.
It looked like Almas and Vega were going to steal one after Almas broke up a potentially successful pin attempt by Carmella. However, Almas and Vega’s tricks caught up to them after a pin attempt by Vega was countered by Carmella into a submission win via Code of Silence.
Tye Dillinger vs Randy Orton: Dillinger confronted Paige and demanded a match with Randy Orton, despite Paige’s concerns, winning her approval with his determination.
Dillinger showed a lot of fight, taking it to Orton, who seemed less than impressed with the Perfect 10. Taking his sadistic side to the extreme again, Orton decided to ruin Dillinger’s gimmick by breaking one of his fingers, thus leaving Dillinger unable to do his ‘Ten!’ chant.
Miz and Daniel Bryan: Shelton Benjamin hasn’t been seen much on WWE TV and went on Twitter to demand a match. Paige agreed by putting him in a match against Daniel Bryan. Miz, who is looking for some momentum going into his big match against Bryan in Australia, stirred the pot a little, telling Benjamin that he (Benjamin) was the best and claiming that he (Miz) had gotten Benjamin the match against Bryan.
Benjamin told Miz that he was looking to make a statement and that Bryan was casualty #1, which Miz liked.
The match was amazing. Benjamin and Bryan put on a classic performance. Miz was watching on commentary and helped Benjamin pick up the victory by distracting Bryan
Miz added insult to injury by attacking Bryan after the match before hitting a Skull-Crushing Finale on Bryan, telling him ‘Good luck’.
Super Show-Down: We all knew that, eventually, Miz was going to get his and that Brian was going to make the A-Lister pay for his years of insults and degradation and boy did he! Not only did Daniel Bryan beat Miz, he beat him after a very short match with a small package, even though Miz did get his shoulder up about the time three was counted. Unsurprisingly, Miz was furious, but Charles Robinson stood by his decision, it’s Daniel Bryan vs AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Crown Jewel.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Neither Alexander or Murphy were in action this week, but we were shown montages of them preparing for Saturday.
Super Show-Down: The Age of Alexander is OVER! After going undefeated for 277 days, Alexander lost in an epic match against Buddy Murphy. The Australian Juggernaut fed off the very pro-Murphy crowd, taking everything Alexander could dish out and then some, finally ending Alexander’s epic reign with Murphy’s Law for the three.
Akira Tozawa vs Jack Gallagher (with Drew Gulak and Brian Kendrick): Akira Tozawa was still looking for some revenge on Gulak and his goons after their unprovoked attack on him the Tuesday after SummerSlam and this week he took on Jack Gallagher, who was accompanied by Gulak and Kendrick.
The match was really great, Tozawa and Gallagher work really well together and there was a lot of back and forth between them. Tozawa would pick up the victory and narrowly escape becoming a victim of Gulak’s temper tantrum, but Gulak wasn’t satisfied. He cut a promo about how his team wasn’t living up to potential and did a PowerPoint presentation to show how he planned to fix that, he blamed Brian Kendrick.
Kendrick, who has never been accused of being a stupid man, figured out the plan and went on the attack, but the numbers game was too much for him. Gulak and Gallagher left the former Cruiserweight Champion in the ring.
Kalisto vs TJP: After weeks of disrespecting the Luchador tradition, TJP faced off with Kalisto in a one on one contest. This match was dominated by TJP, who missed no opportunity to disrespect the masked luchador tradition Kalisto was so proud of. Kalisto would get the victory, but that didn’t stop TJP from further disrespecting masked luchadors, by unmasking Kalisto anyway.
Mustafa Ali and Hideo Itami: Drake Maverick said both men were off to recover from last week. Saying what Ali did was reckless, Maverick also said that he knew that this rivalry was far from over and the next time Ali and Itami face off, it’s going to be a match no one wants to miss.
Lio Rush: We were informed that Lio Rush will be issuing an open challenge next week.
NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa cut a promo about the perils of being on top, about how everyone is looking to take you down and belittle you. He says that Velveteen Dream’s name suits him since he’s living in a dreamland, but says that even though Dream seems to think Ciampa took out Aleister Black, they both know what actually happened. He then warns Dream to be careful because Ciampa destroys fairytales and mystique and he’ll turn the Dream into a nightmare.
NXT North American Championship: The three men involved in the upcoming Triple Threat match for the North American Championship cut promos, each vowing victory and talking trash about their opponents. Adam Cole dismissed both Ricochet and Dunne, claiming that the legacy of the North American Championship starts and ends with him. Dunne says that his legacy as UK Champion is real and Ricochet vows to walk out still North American Champion.
NXT Women’s Division: Nikki Cross was in the bowels of Full Sail University, looking to have some fun. She wants to play a game because games are fun. Who does she want to play with? Bianca Belair since they had so much fun the last time they’d been the ring together, though she hopes Bianca won’t be scared off because they’d caused some trouble last time. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Nikki knows who attacked Aleister Black!
What does the EST think of Nikki’s request? Seeming to forget that while Nikki didn’t beat her in their match a few weeks ago, Belair herself didn’t get the win either, Bianca trashed Nikki as scraggly and vowed to not just beat NXT’s Twisted Sister, but to embarrass her, but can you embarrass someone as crazy as Nikki Cross? Question is: Why is Belair so determined to embarrass Cross? Could it be that the EST knows she may have met her match?
Candice LeRae took on Lacey Evans in a very personal battle since Evans felt the need to stick her nose where it didn’t belong. The match was really good, but unfortunately, Candice’s emotions got the best of her this round. Despite a valiant effort and a hell of a fight, Evans’ Women’s Right ended Ms LeRae’s fight, but if Evans thinks this is over, she’s got another thing coming.
The Queen of Spades cut a promo for her rematch at Evolution against Kairi Sane. Baszler talked about how things change. She and Sane have changed a lot since they first met one-on-one at the inaugural Mae Young Classic and Baszler feels she’s gotten too comfortable, so she’s going back to basics in fight camp, which none of the ‘girls’ of NXT would ever do. Evolution is a fact of life and Baszler is going evolve too.
NXT Tag Team Division: The Forgotten Sons took on Torry Kirsch, Cesar Rise, and Vinny Mixon in a six-man tag match. Cutler has a busted nose and is wearing a mask, but that doesn’t stop him from dishing out punishment. This match was super quick with the Sons picking up a win over their unfortunate opponents. Undisputed Era may be preparing for the War Machine, but they shouldn’t forget about the Forgotten Sons.
Aleister Black Mystery: Outside of Nikki Cross’ statement about knowing who attacked Black, we don’t have any new developments.
Lars Sullivan vs EC3: EC3’s been out for a couple of weeks after getting the snot beat out of him by the Leviathan after sort of, not really, accusing Sullivan of being the one who attacked Aleister Black. 3 made his return last week, keeping Sullivan from completely destroying his hapless opponent
This match was bowling show ugly, as JR would say. EC3 has a lot of skill and finesse, but Sullivan is rough as a cob. It took a Monster Headbutt but Sullivan would win this round, but both men were bloody messes at the end. So, who is going to stop the Leviathan?
Johnny Gargano vs Tony Nese: For months, Mr. Wrestling has been struggling to stay true to himself while dealing with his ongoing feud with Tommaso Ciampa and the rumors that he had something to do with what happened to Aleister Black. This week, however, Gargano had something to take his mind off his professional troubles, a one-on-one with 205’s premiere athlete, Tony Nese.
This match was incredible. Gargano was acting like himself and the crowd, who had been having dueling chants of ‘Johnny Wrestling’ and ‘Johnny Failure’ quickly got on Gargano’s side. It was a hell of a fight, but Gargano would make Tony Nese tap out to the GargNo Escape. It looks like Mr. Wrestling is back on track, but will he get another chance or will the suspicions about Black continue to haunt him?
RAW: LOVE Ambrose being honest about his feelings about the Shield, even if it was only hypothetically. The fact that the crowd actually seemed to sympathize with Ambrose’s frustration is telling. The fact that you couldn’t tell if Dean was being honest or being sarcastic was an interesting twist. If I’m Reigns or Rollins, I’d be looking over my shoulder at Ambrose after tonight.
Corbin making the Reigns/Ziggler match non-title is a little baffling.
I’m thrilled to pieces that Ruby Riott had a match with Rousey. Riott got to show what she could really do and she looked like a legit threat to Rousey. Everybody won tonight.
In the old days, Elias and Owens would have to have police protection from the potential riot that would’ve started over their Sonics comments.
SmackDown: Not surprised, that Joe was threatened with termination for last week.
Carmella and Zelina Vega should have a one-on-one feud without Truth and Almas. They have natural chemistry and have worked very well together.
I’m over Miz/Bryan. What’s the point of having them feud if Bryan doesn’t put Miz in his place?
Charlotte definitely needed to do something to make it look like she could be a threat to Becky Lynch.
For someone who lost several years of their career due to concussions and neck injuries, Daniel Bryan doesn’t seem to learn his lesson. You had concussions so bad they were causing seizures, why would you do a diving headbutt, a move that played a big part in the condition of Chris Benoit’s deterioration?!
205: I’m a little confused as to the logic behind throwing Kendrick out of the Un-Gentlemen after Gallagher lost. I guess that’ll be revealed down the road.
I’m over this thing of having TJP unmask masked luchadors.
NXT: I love Nikki Cross.
Bianca Belair’s dismissal of Cross is odd because while she didn’t lose to Nikki, she didn’t beat Nikki either. For someone who takes such pride in being undefeated, why would you settle for a Double Countout instead of a victory.
Candice LeRae and Gargano need to turn tweener and just tear things up at NXT.
I enjoyed the build of the Triple Threat match for the North American Championship.
Gargano and Nese was amazing, hope there’s a rematch down the line.
Mae Young Classic: This week wasn’t one of Toni Storm’s best performances. Matsumoto really out-performed her at every step.
Kacy Catanzaro is going to be a big deal in WWE once she gets a little bit more training in.
I hope Taynara commenting on Lacey Lane’s dreads is a storyline/heel thing and not her actual opinion. That said, I enjoyed vicious, heelish Taynara.
WWE needs to sign Mercedes Martinez. Her match with Satomura was a classic.
Super Show-Down. Becky/Charlotte was easily the better of the three women’s matches on the card WWE put out.
Watching the IIconics cry after seeing video of their families watching them wrestle live makes it really hard to see them as heels.
Cena’s new move? Bleh. You’re not Wonder Woman, dude. Also, if they were going to have Lashley, Elias, and Owens do most of the match, why not make it a handicap match rather than have Cena spend most of his time holding down one corner of the ring.
For a No DQ match, the Styles/Joe match had very little DQ worthy spots, which made it seem kind of lame. It was still good, but if you’re going to book a No DQ match, have more DQ worthy spots in it.
The placement of the matches is baffling to me. It seemed like the three big SmackDown matches were at the start of the card and, other than the Cruiserweight Match, everything else was RAW.
The Bella Twins freezing Rousey out a little during their match was interesting, as was Nikki’s face after the match. Brie grabbing Liv’s tongue was hilarious
Brie seems to have learned her lesson from the last time she was in action. She was visibly VERY careful when hitting her spots.
I’m honestly surprised that Murphy got a clean win over Alexander, I figured there would be some sort of craziness involved.
Even though the Shield stood strong, the reaction to the crowd to the prospect that Ambrose would turn on the Shield and Ambrose getting the win shows that WWE shouldn’t end this storyline just yet or pull a swerve.
I’m not a fan of Daniel Bryan but watching Miz lose and throw a tantrum in the ring was hilarious. Also, I hated the super short match, but I’ve been told that it’s because the show ran long and WWE didn’t want to cut the Triple H/Taker match down.
If this ‘Last Time Ever’ match was a pilot for WWE doing a Legends Division like what TNA did back in the mid-2000s, I’d advise them to scrap it. Nostalgia’s great but having fifty-year olds try to pretend that they’re thirty is going to get old very quickly. Let Ric Flair’s final years as a wrestler be an example of stopping while you’re ahead.
Super Show-Down was pretty good altogether, but that main event was kind of ‘eh’. It was good, but I wasn’t feeling it.
Please stop griping about the lack of build for Evolution. WWE is treating it like any other PPV and giving it a three week build. They’ve advertised Evolution almost as much as Super Show Down.
Ruby Riott losing to Ronda Rousey isn’t a bad thing. Riott looked amazing out there and Rousey proved that she can sell her ass off.
To the male fan that told Renee Young, who worked for a sports show before coming to WWE, played sports, and is a legit sport fan, that she couldn’t know anything about sports and was told what to say: Screw. You! Newsflash: Women are more than capable of knowing about sports and sports figures.
Final Thoughts: This was a really great week for WWE. Super Show-Down lived up to the hype overall and set things up for Evolution and Crown Jewel.
Andrew’s Top Matches: Week Ending 6/16/2019
A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?
A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?
Two big New Japan shows had them dominate last week. Funnily enough, one match dominated by amassing nearly 5 times as many votes as second place. The winner of last week’s Japanese filled Top 5, NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay.
For anyone who was upset about the domination last week, well this is the week for you. We’ve got some WWE products, a little flavor from Mexico, and of course some matches from Japan.
Let’s get down to business!
5. NXT UK: Imperium (WALTER, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs British Strong Style ( Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)
Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Barthel throws Dunne out while Walter throws Seven. Walter stomps Dunne down while Barthel has Bate. Aichner tags in but Bate fights back. Bate boots but Barthel deflects that to ropes. Aichner gives Bate a draping backstabber! Barthel climbs to add double stomps! Aichner covers, TWO!! Bate survives and Glasgow loves it! Aichner is furious but he keeps focus on Bate. Tag to Barthel and they trash talk Bate in their respective languages. But Bate fires off with fast hands! Aichner kicks low and whips Bate, but Bate rebounds for DOUBLE LARIATS! Bate crawls but Walter intercepts, only to get the rolling kick! Hot tag to Seven!
Dunne tags in off Seven, Seven gives Barthel the Seven Stars Lariat! Seven DIVES onto Aichner while Dunne tags Bate. Dunne pump handles, Bitter End on Barthel! Bate climbs, for the corkscrew senton! Walter returns and barrels through Dunne to BOOT Bate! Dunne dropkicks Walter then slingshots out, only to miss. Walter runs at Dunne but Dunne sends him into steel steps! But then Walter back suplexes Dunne onto barriers! Wait, who is that coming down the ramp? He wears a hood and familiar mask… In the ring, Seven CHOPS Aichner. Aichner shoves Seven into the ref! Seven clotheslines Aichner and himself out of the ring! The mystery man enters the ring and targets Bate! It’s ALEXANDER WOLFE!! The German Ax Man POWERBOMBS Bate! Glasgow boos but Wolfe grins. Barthel covers while Walter gets the ref in. Imperium wins!!
Winner: Imperium via Sit-Out Powerbomb
4. AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers vs The Young Bucks (c)
From Joe’s AAA Coverage:
Lucha Bros jump the Bucks. Matt Jackson does 3 northern lights suplexes to Fenix then does one to Fenix and Pentagon at the same time. Matt does a baseball slide and then Nick does a dive over him. Matt unties Pentagon’s mask and then beats him up in the crowd. Back in the ring they hit double super kicks. Pentagon hits sling blades on both Bucks. Fenix does a double cutter. They roll out and Fenix hits a huge dive and goes flying into the crowd while Pentagon hits Matt with the Pentagon driver. Matt hits a Canadian destroyer then a spear and Fenix breaks it up. Lucha bros go for super kicks but the Bucks reverse it into sharptshooters. Lucha bros break out and a ton of super kicks get hit. Nick hits a frog splash on Fenix and Penta runs up his back and hits a Canadian destroyer on Matt. Fenix then hits a stomp on the apron on Nick. Pentagon hits the package piledriver on Matt. He kicks out. Then Fenix and Pentagon do the combo package piledriver. Nick pulls the ref out. Nick does an asai moonsault to the ref and Fenix. Matt pulls off Pentagon’s mask and kicks him in the groin and then they hit a Meltzer driver. Fenix pulls the ref out now. Fenix kicks Matt in the groin and then hits a cutter for a two. A new ref is out here now. They do the combo package piledriver again and Fenix hits a middle rope splash on Nick. Penta pins Matt. Pentagon pins Matt Jackson with a package piledriver combo.
Winner: Lucha Bros via Spike Fear Factor
3. 205 Live: #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Drew Gulak vs Humberto Carrillo vs Akira Tozawa vs Oney Lorcan
Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Sacramento fires up behind Lorcan, but Ariya Daivari runs out to SMACK Lorcan with a chair!! The Persian Lion is a sore loser from his loss last week. The referee can’t disqualify anyone but he does get Daivari to leave. That doesn’t matter to Daivari, the damage has been done, and he laughs all the way to the back. This leaves Carrillo and Gulak in the ring. Gulak goes to throw Carrillo but Carrillo throws him out first. Carrillo turns around to get Tozawa’s mule kick. Tozawa swings, misses, slides under and hits the rolling roundhouse! Nese is still watching as Tozawa climbs up top! Fans fire up but Carrillo kicks Tozawa down! Carrillo climbs but Gulak returns to shove him off! Carrillo hits barriers!
Gulak has Tozawa, but Tozawa fights back! They brawl up top and Tozawa clubs away. Fans “AH! AH!” along with him, but Gulak just headbutts Tozawa to stop him. Gulak adjusts, for the SUPERPLEX! But both men cradle the other!! Three count, but who wins!?
Winner: Tozawa & Gulak via Simultaneous Pin
NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: Naomichi Marufuji vs Go Shiozaki
Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: Submission Match: Drew Gulak vs Kushida
Winner: Kushida via Hoverboard Lock
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: IWGP Jr Tag Team Titles: Roppongi 3k (c) vs El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori
Winner: ELP via CR2
Rating: *** 1/2
205 Live: Chad Gable vs Jack Gallagher
Winner: Gable via Countout
Rating: *** 1/2
AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: Tessa Blanchard & Daga vs Taya Valkyrie & Laredo Kid
Winner: Laredo Kid via Laredo Fly
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: LIJ vs Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask IV, Jyushi Thunder Liger & Shota Umino
Winner: Shingo via Pumping Bomber
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT: Michael Elgin vs Willie Mack
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi vs Tomohiro Ishii, Tomoaki Honma & Ren Narita
Winner: Taichi via Superkick
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe & Cesaro vs Ricochet, The Miz & Braun Strowman
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Winner: Burch via Distracted Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Toa Henare
Winner: Archer via Claw
IMPACT: Jordynne Grace vs Madison Rayne
Winner: Rayne via CrossRayne
2. Stardom Shining Destiny: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano vs Arisa Hoshiki (c)
The backstory is interesting for the match. Arisa returned to Stardom about 6 months ago and has been part of the STARS faction, the same faction as Tam. Tam is an awkward girl who just wants to prove herself. Io pushed her before she left (see the Exploding Baseball Bat Match), Mayu saved her from humiliation when she was kicked out of Oedo Tai. So Arisa joining STARS and becoming quite friendly with Mayu, never sat well with Tam. Then during this years draft, Arisa was taken before Tam. This is their chance to express their feelings through a fight, since words don’t seem to be doing the job.
Tam came out with a stoic and distant look in her eyes, while Arisa was her typical upbeat self. It almost looked like Tam was distracted by her own determination to prove herself. Arisa smiles as she hits you, she’s having fun, she enjoys the sport. This was notable since Tam was straight faced through the first half of the match. Once it spilled to the outside and Tam his a German Suplex on the apron, the tone shifted.
Tam was smiling through the ropes down on Arisa, but not chiding, like she started having fun. The two had a big exchange of strikes and smiles, before Arisa started to harden a little. Tam knew to dodge the Brazilian Kick, but everything else was a great back and forth. Arisa and Tam trade running Knee Strikes, top rope attempts and Arisa tries to submit Tam, but she gets out of it.
We see the fight come to an end after the second time Arisa caught Tam with the Brazilian Kick. They have a moment after the match where Tam tells her that she’s not allowed to lose that belt to anyone besides her, or she’ll boil her. They even posed with their STARS faction, embracing with the Wonder of Stardom belt between them…and Starlight Kid keeping Tam standing.
This was a hard fought match, with a unique story that you’d see in anime but not often in professional wrestling. The concept of, words weren’t enough, so maybe they could communicate better in the ring. It’s quite poetic if you think about it.
Winner: Hoshiki via Brazilian Kick
Rating: **** 1/4
1. NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kaito Kiyomiya (c) vs Takashi Suigiura
Now as we all know from Hisame’s Newsletters, the June 9th show wasn’t televised until June 13th, hence why it qualifies for this week’s matches. Sugiura has been a great mentor to the young champion Kiyomiya. But since their tag team dissolved, Sugiura has taken to tough love. Earning his opportunity by pinning the champion a few weeks ago, Sugiura looks to become a 5 time GHC Heavyweight Champion.
Kaito came out with a lot of energy. He was trading with The Killing Machine, and holding his own, even trying to focus the left arm to take away some of his power, but the champion took a beating for a while. Kaito managed to fight out of everything Sugiura threw at him. Front Neck Lock, Olympic Slam and even a Guillotine with Body Scissors.
Kiyomiya eventually found an opening when Sugiura went for the Avalanche Olympic Slam, but Kaito turned it into an Avalanche Reverse DDT. Being Misawa’s Memorial show, Kaito hit a few Emerald Flowsions and it was only appropriate that Sugiura pulled out the ole Misawa Rolling Elbow, to rock the young champion and give hope that the old vet would pick up the win. But in a feat of beautiful camera work and great resolve from Kiyomiya, he pulls off the Tiger Suplex Hold, right in front of the portrait banner of Misawa. Almost as if Misawa gave the match his blessing.
Brutal match that proved the young champion has guts and could easily be a Match of the Year candidate.
Winner: Kiyomiya via Tiger Suplex Hold
Rating: **** 1/2
A lot of good stuff this week! AAA managed to make an appearance outside of TripleMania, NOAH saved some great matches for the memorial shows and 205 Live looks to be almost back on track.
However, my vote will go to, Wonder of Stardom: Arisa Hoshiki (c) vs Tam Nakano. Though it wasn’t the highest rated match, I really enjoyed the story and how it told the story throughout the match and even the promo afterwards. Arisa has cemented her return and her position as a prominent player. Tam felt like she got better overnight last year during the 5 Star Grand Prix and she continues to prove she’s figured it out. If she can manage to stay healthy (she has a history of missing a few shows here or there with little nagging injuries), she might finally get a singles title.
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) June 12, 2019
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.39 ~ 16TH JUNE 2019
The second Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show is now in the books! Titles changed hands, and Global Jr League participants were announced! Read up with all of the Pro Wrestling NOAH happenings!
The second Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show is now in the books! Titles changed hands, and Global Jr League participants were announced! Read up with all of the Pro Wrestling NOAH happenings!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH held the ten year anniversary event of Mitsuharu Misawa’s death in Osaka. The venue was more than just a popular choice in a metropolitan area, it was the last arena that Mitsuharu Misawa had visited on 11th June 2009 before the accident in Hiroshima on the 13th.
The usual ceremony was carried out beforehand; his spirit was welcomed to the ring as the GHC Heavyweight champion, Spartan X played and the fans threw green and white streamers which had his name on it. The roster stood around the ring, ironically, Takashi Sugiura was standing next to Kaito Kiyomiya in a fusion of the old and new NOAH.
The event was sold out, standing room only quickly filled, and one fan said that when coming back from the bathroom, they couldn’t get back to their seat.
Kinya Okada (who has been missing due to an injury that NOAH have never specified) returned to his hometown to face Yoshiki Inamura. Inamura had warned Okada that while he may have the power of the local fans on his side, he should not expect to win.
Okada didn’t win, but Inamura was left saying that he felt his power. Now the feud between the two of them can begin.
Akitoshi Saito was understandably the most emotional during the event. I don’t think he slept well the night before, especially since he was up to see the dawn (and awake before it), but he had also caught a rainbow which he took as a good omen. After his match, he broke down hysterically as he faced Misawa’s portrait.
Chris Ridgeway and Hitoshi Kumano finished their partnership, with Ridgeway thanking Kumano for teaming with him and teaching him along the way, but he was a singles wrestler and that is where he is heading now, especially since Global Junior League is coming up. During the match, he and Kenoh had a kick war, but Kenoh’s focus was on Kaito Kiyomiya who he squared up with at the beginning.
As far as Kiyomiya goes, no challenger for the championship has come forward yet. As for Ridgeway, he was going to have another role to play in the evening.
Stinger defeated HAYATA & YO-HEY and bought their dream of a third consecutive victory to a halt. After the match (in which the audience were whipped up into a fever by the close falls and the drama, plus YO-HEY using the rarely seen Bamboo Dragonfly), Yoshinari Ogawa made a short speech to the fans. He asked everyone to “never forget that there was a wrestler called Mitsuharu Misawa”.
After the match (which was one by Kotaro Suzuki using Misawa’s Tiger Driver 91, which Ogawa said sarcastically he had stolen, much to Kotaro’s indignation), Stinger introduced their new member.
Their new member in all ways is a far better fit than YO-HEY (who no one really knew why he would want to betray RATELS, and it was never really said) both in terms of style, temperament and skill set. Their new member, is Chris Ridgeway. Fans were a little shocked at first, but they knew it is a good thing, especially as there is a lot to learn from Stinger, especially Yoshinari Ogawa.
YO-HEY later posted that he was disappointed to lose, and he found the league tiring. After having a lung injury, and coming back so soon, this is not surprising.
According to an article from Tokyo Sports, Kotaro Suzuki is still seeking a single match with Naomichi Marufuji.
Naomichi Marufuji was defeated by Shuhei Taniguchi, who made him tap to his modified camel clutch in seventeen minutes and 52 seconds. Marufuji had expected to defeat Taniguchi, but after losing via submission (which is rare, and not even Ogawa could do this), he reflected that he needed to find himself after losing to both Go Shiozaki (on the 9th June) and now Taniguchi.
AXIZ (Katsuhiko Nakajima and Go Shiozaki) clashed with The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and KAZMA SAKAMOTO) in the main event. It was a brutal match, but ultimately The Sugiura Army prevailed when Sugiura won via TKO by using the front neck lock choke on Nakajima.
After the match, AXIZ limped into the interview area (Shiozaki supporting Nakajima), with Nakajima asking for a rematch.
Sugiura granted it, but he warned that he wasn’t going to choke Nakajima this time, he was going to make him submit, or he was going to pin him.
AXIZ will get their rematch for the tag belts on the 27th June
Post match promos ~ Global Junior Tag League 2019, Korakuen Hall
Final night of Global Junior Tag League\Mitsuharu Misawa memorial
Post match interviews ~ Global Junior Tag League 2019, Osaka
GLOBAL JUNIOR LEAGUE RETURNS
Hot off Global Junior Tag League, the juniors get about three dates of being friends (or not) with each other, before Global Junior League starts on the 27th June at Korakuen Hall. The league will run for ten dates, and finish on July 27th at Culttz Kawasaki. There will be a small “NOAH The Spirit” interim date in between.
The participants for this year have been announced as such:
BLOCK A: Minoru Tanaka, Daisuke Harada, YO-HEY, Yoshinari Ogawa, Tadasuke, Junta Miyawaki
BLOCK B: Kotaro Suzuki, Hajime Ohara, Hitoshi Kumano, HI69, Chris Ridgeway, HAYATA
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and KAZMA SAKAMOTO)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
THE TESTAMENT OF MISAWA
On the 10th anniversary of Mitsuharu Misawa’s passing, Line News carried out in depth interviews with Akitoshi Saito, Naomichi Marufuji, Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru about what happened on the night of the 13th June in Hiroshima, and as a result what happened was probably the most revealing and comprehensive account.
In an interview with Tokyo Sports shortly before his death, Misawa spoke candidly to them. He knew that he was not going to reach his next birthday, he knew that his body was falling apart (he had bone spurs in the neck, and visual problems in one of his eyes), but he couldn’t retire. Not just yet. He had one final task to complete (namely putting Go Shiozaki over). and then it would be done.
It seemed that Misawa had known this even before the interview with Tokyo Sports, around about 2007 or so, he had written a letter to the opponent who would face him in the ring for the last time, and handed it to a trusted source to deliver the letter when his premonition came true. The letter was given to Akitoshi Saito, who has kept it with him on tour for the past ten years, and had read it each day. The letter is not one of recriminations, but one of apology. Misawa wrote in it that he forgave his opponent, and he wanted him to carry on wrestling.
The article weaves the stories of Marufuji, Saito, Kotaro and Kanemaru together. It starts from the accident, with Kanemaru noticing that Misawa wasn’t moving, Kotaro taking charge, Marufuji’s mad dash to Hiroshima when he heard the news (despite a knee injury), and understandably Saito’s shock. The article explores individual memories of Misawa, the fallout of his death, and then where they are ten years later.
The article is a long one, and often an emotional one, but I urge you to read it. It is not just a story of wrestling and wrestlers, it is a story of loss, strength in adversity, and the triumph of human spirit.
~ 50 Funky Powers have neon blue and purple streamers
~ Naomichi Marufuji said that he wants to get “public broadcast” back (he means either a streaming service or a weekly show like NOAH once had)
~ Kenoh told “the assholes of Osaka” to go home and get a dictionary if they didn’t know what “Kongoh” meant (FYI, it means “diamond”)
~ Junta Miyawaki turned 22 on the 14th June.
On the way back from Osaka, Masao Inoue fell victim to Takashi Sugiura’s camera, and was photographed at the urinal (there is disturbingly a whole gallery of these, and this one had Kotaro Suzuki in the background). However, Sugiura didn’t stop there, and Inoue was filmed getting onto the bus (which seemed pretty empty as I guess most people had either gone home via the Shinkansen or stayed in Osaka) with an ice cream cone.
Marufuji joined in the fun by photographing Inoue, to which Sugiura told him to quit stealing his subject. Marufuji replied (and please bear in mind they were on the same bus and in close proximity to each other) that since Inoue was so interesting, maybe Sugiura would like to switch seats?
Sugiura said that he assumed Marufuji was being funny, as Inoue had never been interesting.
The 13th June Mitsuharu Misawa memorial show from Osaka, will be shown on the 22nd at 10pm on Samurai TV. This will be the final night of Global Junior Tag League 2019.
Riki Choshu’s Power Hall (featuring Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura) will be broadcast live on the 26th June on Samurai at 6.30pm
The opening night of Global Junior League (Thursday 27th June 2019, Korakuen Hall) broadcast at Friday 5th July on Samurai.
Ogawa & Kotaro gain their first victory in Junior Tag League
Sugiura chokes Nakajima to take the GHC Tag Championship
Shiozaki’s answer to that ten years, to have a match that Misawa would approve of
“Iron-Man” Kobashi sends encouragement to favorite pupil, “KENTA! Use your instincts, and go wild!”
Naomichi Marufuji about KENTA’S New Japan entry, “Don’t you ever be buried”
10 Years after Misawa’s death, Noah’s full house, and a limited resurrection of the green mat
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC, LINE News, PKDK
GIFS taken from Battlemen on Samurai TV
Newsletter by Hisame