A look back at a previous December pay-per-view!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view (see the latest TLC 2018 card) so today we’re looking back at a past December event with Roadblock: End Of The Line 2016! The RAW brand finishes out the year with a clash of titleholders, as United States Champion Roman Reigns challenges Universal Champion Kevin Owens. However, this event was all about RAW’s ladies as Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair clashed in the main roster’s first ever Women’s Iron Man Match! Let jump into the action…
Kickoff Match: Rusev w/Lana vs. Big Cass w/Enzo Amore
The bell rings and they lock-up quick, Cass backs Rusev into the corner, unloads with clubbing blows, shoots him across and scores with a big boot, The Bulgarian Brute rolling to the outside to regroup as we go to a break….Back from the break and Big Cass hammers Rusev with right hands, The Bulgarian Brute tries to escape back to the outside, Cass pulls him back in, puts him in the corner and connects with more fists and back elbows. The seven footer ties Rusev up in the ropes for more heavy shots, The Bulgarian Brute continues trying to get out of the ring, surprises Cass with a back elbow, then catches him coming into the corner with a boot.
He fires back with big punches, measures for the superkick, Big Cass blocks it, delivers a body slam and hits the Empire Elbow. He scores with a splash in the corner, Rusev rolls out to the apron, Cass builds a head of steam for a big boot, but The Bulgarian Brute drops down to the floor to retreat. The seven footer goes out in pursuit, chases Rusev into the crowd, they trade shots, Rusev heads back towards ringside and Lana shoves Enzo from behind. The Bulgarian Brute clocks Amore, rolls back in the ring, Cass unable to make it back before the 10 count.
Winner: Rusev (Count-Out)
- EA’s Take: Well, that was certainly underwhelming. It pretty much went down the way I expected it to with Lana getting into it with Enzo once again to cause a distraction. I figured Rusev would get a win one way or another because Enzo & Cass should really stay as a team, RAW’s Tag Team Division can’t afford to lose them to singles careers yet. I’d imagine this will continue on RAW in the coming weeks, helping to fill time since there’s not another PPV until January 29th. We all know WWE is very high on Cass’ as a solo star, so it looks like they are going to keep protecting him from clean losses.
Open: “The battles have begun. It’s everyone for themselves. No one is safe. The End Of The Line is near.” Tonight, Roman Reigns looks to become a double champion as he faces Kevin Owens for the Universal Title. Chris Jericho seeks revenge on Seth Rollins. Sasha Banks and Charlotte once again make history as they square-off in a 30-minute Iron Man Match for the RAW Women’s Championship. This is Roadblock: End Of The Line.
Match #1 for the RAW Tag Team Championships: RAW Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) w/Xavier Woods vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Kofi & Cesaro to start the action, The Swiss Superman connects with a dropkick right at the bell for an early count of 2, sends Kingston into the corner and goes into the Uppercut Train. Kofi gets the boots up to stop it quickly, heads up top for a crossbody, The King Of Swing catches him in the air, tries for a tilt-a-whirl, but Kingston slips out and shoves him to the corner. He rushes in for a monkey flip, Cesaro lands on his feet, goes for one of his own and Kofi lands on his feet in turn, but gets taken down by a double leg for the Swing.
Kingston gains the ropes to avoid it, the referee backs Cesaro away, Sheamus with a clothesline from the apron behind the official’s back, then tags in. He delivers a vertical suplex for a 1 count, drags Kingston to his corner and tags out, plants Kofi with a rolling fireman’s carry, The Swiss Superman follows with a double stomp and finds a 2 count. He brings Sheamus back in and shoots Kingston to the ropes, The Great White slingshots in with the Battering Ram for a near fall, then flattens Kofi with a short-arm clothesline. The Celtic Warrior grounds him now with a rear chinlock, Kingston works to a standing position, hits a jawbeaker to escape, Sheamus knocks Big E off the apron, turns back to Kofi for a clothesline, but misses.
Kingston rolls to his corner to tag and nobody’s there, Cesaro tags in, gets shot into a running uppercut, The Celtic Warrior follows with a shoulder to the midsection, The Swiss Superman clocks Kofi with the Very European Uppercut and gains a near fall. He measures Kingston in the corner and rushes in, Kofi side-steps out, Cesaro goes shoulder-first into the ring post, but E’s still out on the floor and Sheamus re-enters the match. He hooks Kingston for a back suplex, Kofi flips to his feet, elevates The Great White over the top to the floor, Sheamus climbs back up to the apron and sets for the Beats of the Bodhren.
Kofi fights it off, E’s finally back up to tag in, hits the ropes and spears Sheamus off the apron to the floor. He throws The Celtic Warrior inside, rolls in and hits the ropes for the big splash, hooks the leg and almost puts it away. He kicks Sheamus out to the apron and attempts to suplex him back in, The Great White blocks it, drops him on the top rope with a hot shot, scores with a reverse hot shot, rolls into the ring and looks for the Brogue Kick. Big E counters into a powerbomb for a count of 2, measures Sheamus for the Big Ending, The Great White slips out of it, scores with a stiff kick, makes a tag and hits an assisted White Noise with Cesaro, The King Of Swing gaining a 2 count.
He hooks Big E for the Neutralizer, E counters out with a back body drop, The Swiss Superman flips to his feet, ducks under a clothesline and springs off the 2nd rope with a corkscrew uppercut. Cesaro’s feeling it and calls for the Swing, Kofi slides in to break it up, Sheamus is there to meet him, Kingston ducks a shot and The Swiss Superman gets clobbered accidentally by his own partner from behind. Kofi dumps The Celtic Warrior outside, the ref works to get him back to the corner, Big E elevates Cesaro into the air and Xavier connects with an enzuigiri to Cesaro behind the official’s back, E following with the Big Ending, but still can’t finish it.
Big E is stunned, Kofi punts Sheamus from the apron and tags in, New Day sets for the Midnight Hour, The Celtic Warrior grabs Kingston’s foot to prevent it and Cesaro tosses Big E to the outside. The Swiss Superman scales the ropes and hits Kingston with a super hurricanrana, puts him in the Swing, Sheamus drills E on the outside with a Brogue Kick and The Swiss Superman locks Kofi in the Sharpshooter. Woods climbs on the apron to distract the referee as Kingston taps out, Sheamus chases Xavier away, Cesaro releases the hold and gets surprised by a small package, but rolls through it. He dead-lifts Kofi into a Neutralizer, lateral press and E saves the match at a count of 2.
Big E tries to throw Cesaro to the outside and gets sent out himself, The King Of Swing hits the ropes, Sheamus makes a tag and Cesaro flies over the top onto E with a corkscrew crossbody plancha. The Celtic Warrior lines Kofi up for the Brogue Kick back in the ring, Xavier rolls in and pushes Kingston out of the way, taking the Brogue Kick for him. Kofi counters a Sheamus clothesline and hits the SOS for a near fall, The Celtic Warrior tries to crawl to make a tag, Cesaro comes in too early, Kofi decks him with Trouble In Paradise and makes a cover, Sheamus surprises him with a roll-up and we have new champions.
Winners and NEW RAW Tag Team Champions: Cesaro & Sheamus (Sheamus/Roll-Up)
- After The Bell: The New Day looks distraught, rises to their feet and hands the titles over, then embraces Cesaro. Sheamus rips the belts away, stands o the corner and celebrates, The Swiss Superman heading into the crowd to celebrate with the fans.
- EA’s Take: Tremendous opening contest, I never doubted these guys wouldn’t give us a great match. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I dislike Cesaro & Sheamus being the ones to win the straps, I still believe it should have been Gallows & Anderson some months back. I’m just not a huge fan of singles stars being thrown into a tag team and I’m supposed to buy it. RAW’s Tag Team Division is still in serious need of some help because I’m sure New Day will get a rematch, but the bigger question is what’s next for them. To me, the thing to do would be to allow New Day to hang onto the titles until WrestleMania and have a huge babyface showdown with Enzo & Cass, but now I think we’ll likely see Gallows & Anderson step in next.
Backstage: WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens walks down the hallway holding a Christmas gift when Charly Caruso stops him for a word, The Prize Fighter wondering if she’s trying to insult him or if she’s just bad at her job. He says New Day fell, but he’s better than them, better than Cesaro & Sheamus and certainly better than Roman Reigns. She asks him about Chris Jericho, KO wonders how long she’s worked here and claims he doesn’t even know her name. He explains that he and Y2J are best friends unconditionally, the camera pans over and we see Chris Jericho. Owens apologizes for Monday and says Seth Rollins is to blame for them not being Tag Team Champions, stating he wants to make it up to him and gifts him with a holiday scarf. The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah says nothing, throws it back in the champion’s face and walks away.
Match #2 – 10 Minute Time Limit: Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman
Braun tries to corner Sami at the bell and Zayn uses his quickness to keep away, The Underdog from the Underground ducks a couple of shots, scores with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, goes back to the ropes, Strowman elevates him and gets hit with a dropkick. The Underdog from the Undeground corners him and goes to the 2nd rope for right hands, Braun shoves him away, throws him into the corner, then tosses Sami across the ring. Strowman squashes Zayn with a corner splash, Sami rolls out of the ring to recoup, Strowman going out in pursuit and hammers him with clubbing shots to the chest.
He rolls Zayn back in and buries a kick to the midsection, chokes Sami on the middle rope, The Underdog from the Underground tries to fight back, but Braun puts the boots to him, then chokes him against the 2nd rope again. The official backs him away, Strowman charges in, Sami low-bridges the top rope to send him outside, slingshots over the top with a crossbody, Braun catching him in mid-air and drops Zayn face-first on the apron. He throws The Underdog from the Underground back inside, Strowman steps in, hits another splash in the corner, then levels him with a short-arm clothesline. He covers Sami and pulls him back up at 1, delivers more heavy shots to the head and chest, the ref backs Braun off to check on Zayn, Strowman with another big shot, covers and pulls him up at 1 again.
The Underdog from the Underground staggers to his feet and tries to fight back, gets flattened by a clothesline, Braun decks him with a massive forearm to the jaw, then clubs him back down to the canvas. Zayn stumbles back to his feet, Strowman plants him with a body slam, The Underdog from the Underground keeps staggering back up, gets floored by a short-arm clothesline, then nearly decapitated by another. He keeps getting back up only for Braun to knock him back down, RAW General Manager Mick Foley makes his way down to ringside with a towel, Strowman yells at him to throw it in, then tosses Zayn outside at Foley’s feet.
He steps out and implores Mick to throw in the towel, The Hardcore Legend contemplates it, Sami pulls himself up using Foley for help, telling him not to do it. The Underdog from the Underground grabs the towel and tosses it into the crowd, Strowman clocks him with another shot, informs Foley that Sami’s blood is on his hands and he will finish it. He measures for a splash near the post, The Underdog from the Underground side-steps it, Braun runs himself into the ring post, staggers back to his feet and lines up for another.
Zayn avoids it and Strowman goes crashing through the barricade into the timekeeper’s area, Sami rolls back into the squared circle, Braun stumbling back in at a count of 9. He charges Zayn in the corner and only finds the ring-post with his shoulder, The Underdog from the Underground goes upstairs, scores with a crossbody and gains a count of 2, but gets sent to the outside on the kick-out. He quickly slides back in, drills Braun with a Helluva Kick and the clock hits zero.
Winner: Sami Zayn
- EA’s Take: I really wish the rules of this one had been explained a little bit better because I would have certainly picked Sami to “win” if that was the case. Either way, I knew Braun wasn’t going to get pinned in this one and it still basically ended in a “draw” fashion as I anticipated. Sometimes sticking to the script is the smartest move as this makes Sami look good while Strowman can continue to look like a monster.
Video: Last Thursday, WWE COO Triple H was in the United Kingdom for a blockbuster announcement, revealing that a two-day tournament will be held in January on the WWE Network to crown the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion.
Match #3: Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
Collar & elbow tie-up to begin, Rollins with an arm drag and we have an early stalemate. They lock-up again and Jericho goes to a side headlock, Seth shoots him away to the ropes, gets knocked down by a shoulder block and The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah plays to the crowd. They circle back around into another collar & elbow, Y2J grabs a wristlock, The Architect rolls through into one of his own, scores with an arm drag and hooks on an armbar. He snapmares Jericho back down and hits the ropes for a kick to the chest, puts him in the corner for lefts, rights and chops, whips him across, rushes in and Jericho gets a boot up to the chin.
He goes to the 2nd rope and connects with a dropkick for a 2 count, pulls Seth back up for a back suplex, makes an arrogant cover and only gets 1. The Architect fires back with more fists and chops, Jericho rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle, beats Seth down in the corner, sends him across and Seth rebounds back out with a clothesline. He whips him to the ropes, Jericho hangs on to avoid a kick and skirts to outside to take a walk, Rollins steps out to the apron, comes off with a high knee, then deposits Y2J into the ringside barricade. He rolls The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah back in the ring, Jericho uses the official as a shield, sneaks in a poke to the eyes, then takes control with stinging chops and whips Seth to the ropes for a clothesline.
He looks for a dropkick and Rollins catches him by the legs, catapults Jericho into the turnbuckles, rushes in, gets elevated over the top, but lands on his feet on the apron. He clobbers Y2J with right hands, the ref steps in between them to create separation, The Architect looks to springboard back in, Jericho beats him to the punch with a springboard dropkick and Seth spills down to the floor. He pulls himself back inside at a count of 9, The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah meets him with heavy fists, hooks on a modified crossface chicken wing, The Architect finds his footing, fights free and hits the ropes, but runs into a dropkick for a count of 2.
Y2J chokes Rollins on the middle rope, starts to slap Seth across the face, The Architect blocks one and returns the favor, irish whip to the ropes is reversed and Jericho buries a knee to the breadbasket. He goes for the Walls Of Jericho, Rollins squirms to the ropes, Y2J pulls him back up, Seth lands on his feet and connects with an enzuigiri. He measures Y2J in the corner and charges in, Jericho gets the boot up, attempts the running bulldog, Seth pushing him away into the turnbuckles to buy a little time. He starts to build momentum with punches, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, The Architect ducks a couple of shots, plants him with a sling blade, puts Y2J in his crosshairs in the corner and scores with multiple running forearms.
Rollins to the 2nd rope for a blockbuster that gains a 2 count, Seth wants the Pedigree, Y2J counters with a back body drop, The Architect lands on his feet, but is taken down by a double leg for the Walls Of Jericho. Rollins is able to power The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah away, both guys back up quick and Jericho connects with an enzuigiri, goes to the ropes for the Lionsault, Seth is playing possum and he pushes Y2J over the top as he springs off the 2nd rope. Jericho falls to the floor, Rollins takes flight with a suicide dive, throws The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah into the squared circle, climbs up to the apron and springboards in looking for the high knee, but gets caught and then locked in the Walls Of Jericho.
The Architect drags himself to the bottom rope to force the break, Y2J argues with the official about a tap-out, gets angered and kicks Seth out to the apron. He looks for the springboard dropkick and gets caught in mid-air by a kick, Rollins heads to the high rent district for a frog splash, nobody’s home and Jericho follows with a Lionsault for a near fall. The Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah hits the ropes for a clothesline, Rollins counters into a falcon arrow for a count of 2, both guys stagger to their feet and trade right hands, Jericho goes to the ropes and runs into a high knee. The Architect quickly attempts the Pedigree and Y2J blocks it, Rollins tries to counters into a powerbomb, Jericho reverses back into a hurricanrana, Seth rolls through, Jericho rolls through himself and slaps on the Walls Of Jericho again.
Rollins is able to turn his body and grabs a small package for a near fall, Y2J quickly goes to the midsection with a kick, hits the ropes and gets sent over the top, lands on his feet and scales the corner to the top turnbuckle. He comes down with a double axe and gets caught by a kick, The Architect follows with a basement superkick, heads upstairs and scores with a frog splash, but can’t capitalize. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens sprints down and tries to climb into the ring, Seth meets him with right hands and keeps him on the outside, turns around and gets surprised by a small package, but the ref is dealing with KO, gets there late and only counts 2.
Both guys are up quick and Seth goes for the Pedigree, Y2J counters with a back body drop, turns to yell at Owens, The Prize Fighter walks off, Jericho turns around and gets clocked by a high knee. He stumbles into the corner, catches Rollins running in with a boot to the jaw, rushes out for the Codebreaker, Seth blocks it, plants him with a Pedigree and covers for the win.
Winner: Seth Rollins (Pedigree)
- EA’s Take: Pretty good match here, but it kind of felt like a prolonged match we would see on RAW and was pretty predictable with Owens getting involved and arguably costing Y2J the match. Part of me was hoping we would see a Triple H return just so that there would be something a little more exciting, but of course that didn’t happen, so we’ll have to wait a little longer. I figured that would be a good way to advance two stories in one between Rollins/HHH, while also giving Jericho a win and essentially making him #1 Contender to Owens’ title, leading to a match at Royal Rumble. That could still happen, but they just went about it a more simple way.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 23
NWA-TNA Episode 23: November 27, 2002
Goldy is introduced and sings ‘God Bless America’ and sounds lovely as usual.
Opening: We open with Borash in the ring and he says that since it’s the day before Thanksgiving and because everyone is feeling grateful, despite everything the country has been through and is about to go through (the War in Afghanistan was about to start, I think), everyone at TNA is thankful to the fans for supporting them.
Briscoe Brothers vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): The Briscoes are back! They’re going up against generic new comers, Divine Storm.
This match was much better than Divine Storm’s previous outing last week. They and the Briscoes worked together very well and put on a really good match. Trinity got involved, hitting a hurricanrana on one of the Briscoes. There was also a really cool spot where one member of the Briscoes and one member of Divine Storm hit stereo diving sentons on each other’s opponent.
Ultimately, Divine Storm would win this round with a cradle suplex.
At ringside, Tenay addresses the revelation that Vince Russo was Mr. Wrestling III. The usually calm, neutral Tenay minces no words about how he feels. He does NOT like Vince Russo, he does NOT want to be associated with him, and vows to not let Russo destroy TNA the way he did WCW. West is a little stunned by Tenay’s anger, claiming that he didn’t realize that Tenay disliked Russo that much.
After the commercial break, Tenay is in the ring and he’s wanting to interview Jeff Jarrett. He gets Vince Russo instead. Russo seems to see no reason to play nice. He throws Tenay out of the ring and tells him to go sulk in the commentary area. Apparently Tenay had vowed to quit if Russo was allowed into TNA and Russo called his bluff, telling him he can go home and pout like Sean Waltman and they’ll replace him with a chimpanzee that will have more personality.
Addressing the audience, and seemingly unaware of just how many people hold him responsible for the destruction of WCW, Russo introduced himself as the Anti-Christ of wrestling and said that he came back because the business was ‘in the shitter’, without seeming to accept that he’s very much to blame for the state of the business.
Russo then tries to claim credit for Jarrett’s rise in the late 90s, claiming to have befriended him in WWE, despite the Double J gimmick, though it should be pointed out that Russo’s ‘friendship’ didn’t help Jarrett get out of the mid-cards in WWE. Russo then clams that the Jarrett’s begged him to come in and help TNA, saying that TNA means ‘Tits and Ass’ not ‘Total Non-Stop Acton’.
Proving that he has no clue what he’s doing, Russo disrespects the NWA greats who have been putting up with his garbage, and claims he’s saving TNA, instead of destroying it.
But Russo’s wants us all to know that he’s not a total psychopath. He offers Jarrett, who owns the company and put up with Russo’s BS even when it nearly closed the company down, be in on what he’s got planned for TNA, which will include some drastic changes. He will expect an answer by the end of the show.
After Russo leaves, an incensed Tenay calls Russo a cancer, stating that Russo is everything that is wrong with professional wrestling and says, point blank, that Russo killed WCW.
Throughout the evening’s show, there were various TNA on-screen talent plugging a silent auction to benefit a school for autistic children and for breast cancer awareness. The segments were pretty lame, so I’m not going to mention them past this point.
America’s Most Wanted vs The Hot Shots: Hot Shots don’t get a ton of love from the crowd,but there are some cheers. AMW are extremely over, but they aren’t in good moods after losing their rematch to New Church last week. The match was pretty typical for these teams. AMW was ground and pound, while the Hot Shots were a lot of flash and cockiness, butthe match was really good.
During the match, James Mitchell and Bella Donna come out, which distracts Storm and Harris, just when they had the match won. AMW pursued the Not-So-Good Minister and his lady, getting themselves counted out in the process. Mitchell, proving that there is no honor among thieves, ran for his life and left Bella Donna to the wolves.
Storm and Harris, proving that they are equal opportunity ass-kickers, were ready to hit the Death Sentence on Bella Donna, when Mitchell returned to half-heartedly try to save her. As the AMW were distracted, the New Church attacked from behind. Mitchell grabbed Bella and they got away, but Bella needs to rethink her life choices.
Backstage, Goldylocks is looking to talk to Jeff Jarrett about his upcoming match against Ron Killings and, presumably, Russo’s offer, but Dory Funk Jr is barring the door.
Funk, lets Goldy know that while Jarrett IS in the locker room, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone since he’s focusing on the match. When Goldy asks if he’s Jarrett’s manager, Funk simply says that he’s got a vested interest in the match.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match: BG James and Curt Hennig vs New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna): I’m not sure why the Harris Twins aren’t in this match since they’re supposed to be the #1 Contenders for the tag titles, but we’re getting James and Hennig. It was supposed to be James/Waltman, but Tenay informs us that Waltman has refused to show up because he doesn’t to be associated with Russo.
Michell gets on the mic and says that he doesn’t care about the difference between professional wrestling and sports entertainment, he’s just interested in being evil.
This match was really basic, which is probably the best option for everyone involved. Hennig looks like he’s laid off the booze and hit the gym a little more, but there’s no hiding the fact that his ring skills are lacking, though he shows some of his former brilliance with an interesting modified figure-four.
AMW run in, causing James and Hennig to be DQ’d just when they thought they had the match won. All hell breaks loose with AMW not only brawling with the New Church, but with the angered James and Hennig who feel that they were robbed of their opportunity. AMW would chase New Church into the back, but it’s clear that AMW have made enemies of James and Hennig.
Alyx Winters vs EZ Money: For reasons that I can’t explain, EZ Money has gotten over with the higher ups at TNA and is back for another match. His opponent is Alyx Winters,who reminds me a little of the Wunderkind from WCW.
The match has a pretty basic start, but there’s an interesting reverse Boston Crab/swing hold by Money. There’s a spot where Winters was supposed to float over Money, but Money didn’t run in and when Winters landed, it was balls first on Money’s knee. After that stupid spot,that Money was very proud of, the match went rapidly downhill. Money picked up the win with a cradle suplex and left poor Winters in the ring.
Backstage, we find Goldylocks with Bruce, who has been in middle of the drama that is the relationship of Brian Lawler and April. After seeming to be caught in the shower with April and probably NOT conserving water, unless April gets turned on by saving the Earth’s oceans, Bruce found himself fending off not only an enraged Lawler, but his former partner, Lenny Lane, who tried to claim that Bruce was ineligible to be Miss TNA because he was actually straight. If you find that confusing, join the club.
This week, Bruce has ditched the pastels and his fetching Miss TNA number for a pretty basic…guy look, long-sleeved shirt, baseball cap.When Goldy introduces him as Bruce, he corrects her and says that his name is now Allen Funk. A confused Goldy asks him about the April situation and Funk claims that he felt sorry for April because of how Lawler treated her and tried to comfort her. What that has to do with showering together, I have no idea.
Furthermore, Bruce states that he is gay, but that his heart got involved and that April is a very sexual person. Goldy makes a really bad joke, but asks what Funk plans to do with the Miss TNA gear, and Funk says he’ll give it to April.
Crimson Dragon vs Sonny Siaki: Last week, Crimson Dragon made a mediocre debut in a match involving AJ Styles. This week, Dragon and Siaki meet one on one. Dragon’s changed his look and looks like a very stylish ninja, while Siaki looks bored,though he gets a bit of a pop from the crowd.
The match was okay, Siaki does his best, but Dragon sucks. He botches several spots before Siaki can put him away with a super overhead-toss and a Money clip.
Once Crimson Dragon is vanquished, a disgusted Siaki gets on the mic and states that he’s tired of the lackluster opponents he’s been getting. If TNA won’t give him better competition than this, he doesn’t want to say. Sonny Siaki, in his own mind, should only be wrestling top guys and be in title matches.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with April, apparently, Goldy was wanting to interview Lawler, but found April instead. April says that Lawler has been in the production truck watching the footage of the shower scene all day. April doesn’t seem to get what the problem is, Bruce is gay and she’s faithful to Brian, which shows that either she’s an idiot or he is.
Goldy points out that no one believes her, especially after last week, to which April coyly implies that Goldy’s jealous. Angry and fed up…FINALLY, Goldy tells the cameraman to cut off the interview because she’s ‘done with this bullshit’.
To add more drama to this mess, Lawler goes to ringside, not dressed to wrestle and looking very sad. According to him, he gave everything he had to a woman and that April cheated on him and made him look like an idiot, though it must be said that Lawler was already doing a good job of making himself look like an idiot before April got there. In play at sympathy, Lawler then claims that April and Goldylocks had an affair, which didn’t win him much sympathy. Fed up, Lawler says he’s quitting the wrestling business and does his really bad crying act before walking away.
Tenay and West are dumbstruck, with even West saying that that was weird.
Thing get weirder back stage when Goldylocks tries to talk to Lawler, but finds him being comforted by Priscilla, Jorge Estrada’s manager. Lawler is STILL doing the fake crying thing, telling Priscilla that she’s the only one that cares. They walk away together, but we see Lawler grabbing Priscilla’s butt, so I don’t think we have to worry about him bouncing back from April.
X-Division Championship Match: Jerry Lynn vs AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree): The rivalry between Styles and Lynn is well-known, so I won’t go into it here. Styles won the right to face Lynn last week after defeating Jorge Estrada and Crimson Dragon.
The match was okay. Even the best rivals have a clunker and this was that match for Styles and Lynn. I’m not sure what was going on,but they just could seem to mesh as seamlessly as they usually do.
Added to the trouble was Plumtree, who was trying to use some heel manager tactics and not doing a great job at it. Unfortunately, Plumtree’s antics would end up costing Styles the match when the brass knucks Plumtree tossed him ended up with Lynn, who knocked Styles into next week for the pin.
In a pre-show interview, Tenay interviewed Dory Funk Jr. Funk, who has none of his brother’s personality, talked about how much being NWA champion meant to him, and talked about what he learned from all the greats he worked with, and plugged the Funking Conservatory wrestling school. For whatever reason, the person typing up the names of the former NWA greats Funk mentions spells Jack Brisco’s name as ‘Briscoe’.
Funk stated that he believed that the Jarrett/Killings feud was the future of the NWA and would be seen as a great rivalry in twenty years. As for Russo, Funk makes no bones about the fact that he doesn’t like Russo and feels that Russo’s sports entertainment had no place in professional wrestling.
NWA Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett vs Ron Killings: It’s time for the rematch. Both men get great pops, though Jarrett’s is a little mixed. This was a really great match, much better than last week’s. Jarrett and Killings took each other all over the arena, actually resulting in a double countout, but Bob Armstrong demanded that the match be restarted so that there could be a definitive winner.
There was a really lame ‘take out ref’ spot that was only saved by Armstrong’s selling, While Armstrong was ‘out’, Russo showed up, seeming to help Jarrett, handing Jarrett his guitar to finish Killings off. Instead, Jarrett breaks the guitar over the turnbuckle to the crowd’s delight, choosing to put Killings away with three Strokes to retain the title.
Angered, Russo go on the mic as Jarrett was leaving,demanding to know Jarrett’s answer, but the show ends before we hear what Jarrett has to say.
Overall Thoughts: So, how was Week 23 of NWA-TNA? Not great. There were a lot of blah matches andstupid/awful segments and only a couple of really good matches to cover for it.
The use of Russo was interesting, he seemed to truly NOT get that most people hold him responsible for what happened to WCW, a fact that bears out if you ever listen to him and seemed to honestly think that the wrestling business needed him. Spoilers: It doesn’t. In my opinion, having watched this show from the first episode to now, Russo’s involvement has been what’s kept TNA from really flourishing in the early stages, which nearly put the company out of business.
I’m glad the Lawler/April/Bruce/Goldy thing seems to be finally over because it was godawful to watch. Siaki getting fed up with having to deal with mediocre job guys was interesting, but they’re still trying to make him a Rock clone and it’s not getting over with fans.
Overall, this was an okay show. I’m hopeful next week will be better.
Chairshot Classics: WWF In Your House 5 – Season’s Beatings (1995)
A look back at a previous December pay-per-view!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view so today we’re looking back at a past December event with In Your House 5: Season’s Beatings! A family squabble has been renewed in a rematch from SummerSlam 1992, except this time The British Bulldog challenges his brother-in-law Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart for the WWF Championship! Let’s get into the action…
Open: “It’s that special time of year. A time of giving, a time of joy, but one family not enjoying the spirit of this holiday season is The Harts. At a time when most come together, this family has been ripped apart. Bret Hart, the reigning three-time WWF Champion puts his title on the line against his brother-in-law, The British Bulldog, a man driven by the obsession to become champion, who Bret has never beaten. Tonight, two men stand apart, one family stands divided. Tonight, it will be more like seasons beatings for The Hart Family.”
Match #1: The 1-2-3 Kid & Sycho Sid w/’The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty
Goldust is seen sitting in the crowd to watch the action, applauding Razor as he makes his way to the ring. 1-2-3 Kid & Jannetty will kick things off, Marty teases having Ramon start the match, The Kid goes on the attack with kicks, shoots him to the ropes, but Marty slides under him for a kick of his own. Kid blocks it, Jannetty brings the other leg around for an enzuigiri that gets 2, hooks on a wristlock and looks to make a tag, but The Kid squirms free. They lock-up and 1-2-3 Kid backs Marty to the corner, doesn’t break clean and slaps him across the face, Jannetty pushes him onto his backside, then grabs a side headlock.
Kid pushes him away to the ropes, Marty scores with a shoulder block, goes back to the ropes and The Kid leapfrogs over, attempts a hip toss, but it’s blocked. Jannetty goes for a hip toss of his own to no avail, 1-2-3 Kid flips himself to his feet, gets leveled by a clothesline, Marty hooks the leg and finds a 2 count. He hooks on another wristlock and tries to tag, The Kid again squirms away, gets surprised by a drop toe hold, Jannetty goes to drag him to his corner, but 1-2-3 Kid breaks free once more. He puts the bad-mouth on Jannetty and a shoving match ensues, Kid swings wildly with a right hand that misses, Marty splits him with an atomic drop, then finally tags out. The Bad Guy steps in and 1-2-3 Kid retreats to the outside, Jannetty drops off the apron, rolls him right back in and Razor throws his toothpick in The Kid’s face.
1-2-3 Kid doesn’t appreciate it and pushes him, Ramon retorts with a slap to the face, ducks under a punch and delivers an atomic drop of his own, Kid making a blind tag in the process. Sid steps in and flattens The Bad Guy with a clothesline, hammers away at his back, chokes the champion across the 2nd rope, then brings Kid back in for a series of kicks. 1-2-3 Kid corners Razor and unloads with rights and chops, Sycho Sid re-enters the match, continues to batter The Bad Guy in the corner, then fires away with right hands. Ramon rebounds off the ropes and scores with fists of his own, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Sid tries a clothesline that’s off-target, Razor comes back through for one of his own and they double down after a double clothesline.
Both guys crawl to tags, Jannetty peppers The Kid with punches, attempts to shoot him to the ropes, 1-2-3 Kid reverses for a back body drop, Marty puts on the brakes and drives him face-first into the canvas. He sends Kid back to the ropes for a clothesline, The Kid ducks it, runs into a powerslam for a near fall, then reverses a whip to the corner. 1-2-3 Kid charges in and eats a back elbow, Marty hops to the 2nd rope, comes off with a somersault cutter, but only gains a near fall. He looks to ground The Kid with a camel clutch, we go to Todd Pettengill who is sitting with Goldust, The Bizarre One speaking about how much machismo Razor is oozing and comments on how good The Bad Guy looks before presenting Todd with an envelope to give him.
Back in the ring Marty slaps on a front facelock, Kid backs him to the corner, drives shoulders to the midsection, Jannetty counters one with a knee, snapmares The Kid over and grabs a rear chinlock. DiBiase climbs to the apron to distract the official, Kid finds his footing, shoves Jannetty off to the ropes, Sid clocks him from behind and 1-2-3 Kid follows with a spinning heel kick. Sid gets the tag and bludgeons Marty in the corner, Jannetty begins to battle back, climbs to the top rope for a crossbody, but gets caught in mid-air with a powerslam that almost puts it away. Sycho Sid scoops him up for a body slam, baits The Bad Guy into the ring, Marty hooks Sid from behind with a schoolboy, but the referee is busy dealing with Razor.
Sid quickly tags out and Kid plants Marty with a body slam, ascends the corner to the top rope, connects with a frog splash, but still can’t finish it off. Tag back to Sid, The Kid shoots Jannety to the ropes, the big man follows up with a big boot, The 1-2-3 Kid then baiting Ramon back inside. The official works to get the champion back to his corner, Sycho Sid whips Marty into the turnbuckles, shoots Kid in for a running dropkick, then turns Jannetty inside-out with a clothesline. He drives a knee into the spine and slaps on a chinlock, Marty fights to his feet, Sid clubs him back to the mat, Jannetty tries to punch his way back in it, but gets knocked down again. The Kid re-enters the match, snapmares Marty over and hits the ropes for a short leg drop, tags right back out and Sycho Sid uncorks with more heavy shots.
He tags out and Kid comes off the top with a double axe handle, sends Jannetty to the corner and charges in, nobody’s home and both guys reach out for a tag. The Bad Guy fires away with stiff right hands to Sid, knocks him down with a discus punch, catches The Kid coming in with another haymaker, then sends him colliding into his partner. He tosses 1-2-3 Kid with a fallaway slam to dispose of him, hooks Sid for the Razor’s Edge, the big man counters out with a back body drop, hits the ropes for a leg drop and it’s off the mark. Ramon looks to whip Sycho Sid to the corner, the big man reverses it and follows him in, takes a boot to the chops, the champion climbs to the 2nd rope, planting Sid with a bulldog for the 1-2-3.
Winners: Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty (Razor/2nd Rope Bulldog)
- After The Bell: Kid hits the ring to make the save a little too late, The Bad Guy grabs him for the Razor’s Edge, Sid reaches in from the floor and drags The Kid outside to safety.
- EA’s Take: Just a solid match to begin the show here, the action was really driven by Kid & Jannetty as you’d expect. Kind of an abrupt finish too, it almost seemed like The Kid was supposed to make the save, but his timing was off. I know they WWF is building towards a 1-1 match between Razor & Kid after The Bad Guy’s brief feud with Goldust, but it just seems strange that they would have Sid take the loss here. Especially with them pumping Sid & The Kid as the next great tag team, they probably should have gone over.
In The Arena: Our ring announcer makes the announcement for our next match, but Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler interrupts and says he’s got something big for everyone. The King says we are close to that time of year when everyone expects a visit from a special individual, but there’s a fat chance Santa Claus will come see any of the idiots here tonight. Lawler states he’s brought a surprise for everybody that is very special, introducing ‘Double J’ Jeff Jarrett. King tells us that Double J is greater than great, claims Jarrett is preparing for his newest world tour, saying that his last album and tour was so successful that he has a gift. He presents Jarrett with a gold CD to commemorate selling 500,000 copies of his last album, Double J calling it the culmination of that tour. He reminds us that he said he would use the WWF and that’s what he did, claiming to have taken Monday Night RAW to new levels all by himself. Jarrett speaks about putting the finishing touches on his new album, but also wants to declare himself as the first participant in next month’s Royal Rumble, believing he will go to WrestleMania XII and be crowned WWF Champion.
In The Arena: Dean Douglas heads to the ring for his match, calls for a mic and says class is in session now. He states he was prepared to come out tonight and give Ahmed Johnson a wrestling lesson, but the doctors did what no wrestler could do and sidelined him. Douglas claims his back is only at 65%, says he could still show Ahmed a thing or two, but they wouldn’t allow it so he had to find a replacement, introducing Buddy Landel.
Match #2: Buddy Landel w/Dean Douglas vs. Ahmed Johnson
‘Double J’ Jeff Jarrett has joined commentary for this match. Ahmed enters the squared circle and gets right in Douglas’ face, Dean slaps him, Johnson looks to unload with a big right hand, but Landel blocks it from behind and we’re underway. Buddy fires away with stinging chops, Ahmed absorbs them, Landel tries to beg him off, scores with fists, but they have no affect. Ahmed grabs him by the throat, props Landel on the top turnbuckle, the referee steps in to force a break, Buddy comes off the 2nd rope with a crossbody, but gets caught in mid-air. Johnson plants him with a spinebuster, hauls him up for the Pearl River Plunge and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Ahmed Johnson (Pearl River Plunge)
- After The Bell: Douglas has his head down in disbelief on the outside, Ahmed slides to the floor, grabs the paddle and whacks him across the backside to send him scurrying. Lawler calls Johnson to the floor for an interview, calls for a different camera angle and goes on to talk up Double J instead of asking questions. He insults Ahmed and asks Jarrett how he’d do against him, Johnson states he’s heard enough, calls Double J a fake cowboy and a wannabe. Jarrett picks up his gold CD plaque clobbers Ahmed on the back of the head, then smashes the glass over him. He drags Johnson up, Lawler holds up a chair, Double J drives Ahmed into it, then rocks him with multiple chair shots. He rams Ahmed head-first into the steep steps, grabs the paddle and delivers a shot, then fires away with right hands. Johnson begins absorbing the shots, grabs the chair and chases Double J to the back.
- EA’s Take: Not much to say about this one. Dean was pulled after complaining of a back issue, something that garnered him loads of heat considering Undertaker had been performing with a broken orbital bone in his face. This would be the last of Douglas we see in the WWF as whether any of the stories for why it happened are true or not, it led to him departing the company after roughly six months. Ahmed is still only a couple of months into his run and is being pushed pretty quickly despite still lacking in some areas, but would go on to feud with his post-match attacker, the returning Jeff Jarrett.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is joined by Razor Ramon, congratulates him on the win and speaks about defending the IC Title against Yokozuna on RAW tomorrow. The Bad Guy informs Yoko that if he wants it, he just has to take it, but doesn’t think he can. Pettengill hands Ramon the envelope from Goldust and takes his leave, Razor rips it open and reads the letter, looking puzzled before crumpling it up.
Match #3 is an Arkansas Hog Pen Match – Special Referee Hillbilly Jim: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Henry O. Godwinn
Godwinn chases Helmsley to the outside with a bucket of slop prior to the bell, The Connecticut Blue Blood avoids the swap and Tony Chimel takes it at ringside instead. Hunter takes the opening and goes on the attack, rolls Henry back into the ring, slides in and staggers him to the corner with a forearm. I guess we’re officially underway with no bell, The Hog Farmer begins to battle his way out of the corner, shoots Helmsley to the ropes for a back body drop, Hunter rolls out-and-in for a quick walk, then catches Henry with a thumb to the eye. The Connecticut Blue Blood looks to whip him to the ropes, Godwinn reverses it, goes downstairs with a right hand, follows with an uppercut, then ties him up in the ropes.
He reaches out for a handful of slop, rubs it all over Hunter’s face, Helmsley slips free and clobbers him from behind with a forearm. He unloads in the corner with boots and fists, chokes The Hog Farmer, then shoots him across and delivers a kick to the midsection. He hits the ropes and scores with a swinging neckbreaker, lines Henry up for a knee drop, then plasters him with more heavy punches. He shoots Godwinn to the ropes and connects with a high knee, dumps him to the outside, climbs out and looks to whip him into the steel steps. The Hog Farmer reverses, drives The Connecticut Blue Blood into the stairs with a battering ram, powers him up over his shoulder and starts heading towards the hog pen.
Helmsley slides off and rocks Henry with a right hand, rams him face-first off of a guardrail, wants to do it again, but it’s blocked and Godwinn returns the favor. He drops Hunter with a big right, attempts to shoot him into the fencing of the pen, The Connecticut Blue Blood turns the tables and sends Henry into it instead. He hooks The Hog Farmer for the Pedigree, Godwinn reverses with a back body drop, Helmsley lands on the top of the fencing, stands up and connects with a diving elbow drop on the floor. Hunter looks to get away from the hog pen and crawls back to the ring, Henry gives chase, reverses a whip to the corner and charges in, but eats a boot to the chops.
The Connecticut Blue Blood collapses and they double down, Helmsley finds his footing first, whips Godwinn to the ropes, drops down and goes for a monkey toss, but Henry puts on the brakes and plants him with a wheelbarrow facebuster. Both guys stagger back up, The Hog Farmer sends Helmsley into the corner, Hunter gets turned inside-out, Henry shoots him back across and The Connecticut Blue Blood spills over the top to the floor. Godwinn goes out after him, they exchange blows and The Hog Farmer gets the better of it, sets him up for the Slop Drop on the floor, but Helmsley hangs onto the barricade to block it.
The Connecticut Blue Blood goes to shoot Henry into the side of the pen, Godwinn reverses and deposits Hunter instead, plants him on the floor with a Slop Drop and both guys struggle back to their feet. Helmsley uses the hog pen to get back up, The Hog Farmer charges in, gets back body dropped into the pen and this one’s over.
Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
- After The Bell: Hillbilly raises The Connecticut Blue Blood’s hand, Helmsley rips his arm away, shoves him, Hillbilly Jim returns the favor and Henry reaches over the fencing to grab him. He powers Hunter up in a military press, drops him face-first in the mud, then hauls him up for a body slam. The Connecticut Blue Blood pulls himself back to his feet, but slips and falls back down over-and-over.
- EA’s Take: While this was certainly no masterpiece and the stipulation is pretty cheesy for my taste, this one is actually pretty entertaining overall. It’s at least a new idea, both competitors gave a solid showing with some not-so-typical offensive maneuvers and the aggression, especially from Helmsley, was clearly turned up and showed a different side of The Connecticut Blue Blood. This would basically serve as the finale of this rivalry, although they’d meet once again in the Royal Rumble. Henry would go on and reunite with his old tag partner from WCW, while Hunter’s push would stall a little bit as he began coming to the ring accompanied by some high-profile beauties.