Another week, and another 5 matches that stand out. Most American companies are building for the end of this year/early next year PPV, so what did Andrew find for this week?
Well boys and girls, we made it to the final vote for actual week of matches. If your confused since December just started, let me explain.
This is the last week that will feed into November. Next week we will vote for the Match of November, as well as, the Second Chance vote to count as the 12th entry. I have a few people in mind to suggest a match that got overlooked or out-voted throughout the year, and we’ll get 5 Second Chance matches. Then the 12 will get voted down to 5, then the winner of the 5 will be our Match of the Year.
So before we get to this final week, we need to reveal who won last week. NXT UK: Toni Storm vs Jinny, was the match that made the biggest impact during the holiday week. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s see what this week brings.
5. NXT UK UK Championship Match: Pete Dunne (c) vs Jordan Devlin
From Mitchell’s Coverage:
The Bruiserweight is only the second-ever champion, but he has a reign that will be hard to follow. However, not only does the Iron Irishman vow to end that reign, he vows to rebrand the entire show as the NXT Irish Division, guest starring the rest of the UK. Will Devlin turn the Division upside-down? Or will Dunne keep there from being a third-ever champion any time soon?
Birmingham is fired up for their hometown Bruiserweight, while fans tell Devlin “We Want Balor!” The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Devlin and Dunne stare down before slowly circling. Fans chant and sing as Dunne and Devlin tie up. Dunne has the chin and brings Devlin down to the mat. He wants the fingers but Devlin headscissors back. Dunne gets up and around but Devlin works to keep him down. Dunne pops out and stares Devlin down, so Devlin slaps him! Of course Dunne slaps back, then drags Devlin up for an armlock. Dunne twists the arm to a hammerlock, but Devlin avoids the stomp. Fans applaud this even match-up.
The two circle again and Devlin gets the wristlock. Devlin wrangles Dunne down but fans still taunt him that he’s a “Reject Balor”. Dunne gets up and monkey flips Devlin away. Devlin scrambles to the apron but then comes back to rock Dunne with a right! Devlin rains rights down on Dunne as fans boo and jeer. Dunne shakes the stars out of his head but Devlin gets him in a headlock. Dunne powers out and things speed up, Dunne runs Devlin over with a lariat! Now Devlin flounders as fans fire up for the Bruiserweight. Dunne gets Devlin down and traps one arm to pull on the other. And he pulls the fingers! Devlin endures the torture as Dunne bends his arm back. Dunne has double chicken wings, to stomp Devlin’s head!
Dunne kicks Devlin while he’s down, then yanks him up. He whips Devlin but Devlin reverses. Devlin stops Dunne from going up and over, and gives him a draping backstabber! Cover, TWO! Devlin grows frustrated while fans rally up for Dunne. He stomps but Dunne grabs the leg, so Devlin throws in forearms. Devlin sits Dunne up and slaps him around. Dunne clubs Devlin with clotheslines, but Devlin then ducks to urenage and moonsault! Cover, ONE! Devlin keeps his cool as he drags Dunne up. Fans rally but Devlin rocks Dunne with a forearm. Devlin eggs Dunne on as he throws more forearms. Dunne grits his teeth as he takes those forearms! Dunne then blasts Devlin with one big right! Devlin is in a corner as fans rally.
Dunne whips but Devlin reverses again. Dunne gets up and over this time then enziguris Devlin! Devlin standing switches and Germans but Dunne lands on his feet! Dunne kicks Devlin’s back, then shoves Devlin for a rebound snap German! Devlin wants mercy but gets a kick instead! And an X-Plex, into an armbar! Devlin reaches and endures, and manages to roll Dunne to a cover. TWO and Dunne lets Devlin go. Devlin gets to a corner again, and Dunne runs in. Devlin dodges and enziguris Dunne, to then boot wash! He drags Dunne right up for the saito suplex! Cover, TWO! Dunne lives but Devlin keeps his cool. Devlin hammers away on Dunne’s back with both hands. He stomps Dunne in the ribs, then gloats. Devlin moonsaults but flops! Dunne stands on Devlin’s hand, to stomp away!
Devlin clutches his beat up hand, but Dunne gets it again. Devlin breaks free to rock him with a right! Dunne hits Devlin back! Dunne runs but into a SPANISH FLY! But Dunne catches Devlin’s cover into a Koji Klutch!! Devlin endures, reaches, rolls, but Dunne rolls more. Ropebreak! Dunne lets Devlin go and Devlin slumps onto the apron. Devlin then slumps to the floor so Dunne goes out to fetch him. Fans rally up as Dunne brings Devlin to the steps. Dunne wrenches Devlin’s arm, but his stomp misses again, and Devlin shoves out the legs! Dunne’s face hits the steel! Devlin grits his teeth as he drags Dunne up. SUPER SPANISH FLY to the floor!! Fans lose their minds while the referee checks on both men. They’re somehow still okay to compete, so a ring count begins.
Devlin stirs at 2 but Dunne is vulnerable. The count reaches 5 before Devlin gets to Dunne. Both men get up and in at 9.99! Fans are thunderous for this action as both men glare at each other. They grind foreheads as they stand up. Devlin stands first as Dunne’s back bothers him. But Dunne blocks the cover into double knuckle locks. Dunne stands on both hands, and stomps them both! Then buzzsaw kicks Devlin! Then pumphandles, but Devlin slips out to hit a POISON-RANA! Cover, TWO!? Dunne survives and Birmingham knows “This is Awesome!” Devlin’s frustration boils up as he glares down at Dunne. Devlin drags him up and throws forearms. He then runs and springboards, but into a forearm! Dunne drags Devlin up, pumphandle, Bitter End!
But Dunne can’t cover right away from the bad back! He crawls over but Devlin rolls away! Dunne keeps pursuing but Devlin keeps evading. Devlin reaches ropes and the apron but Dunne won’t quit. Both men stand on either side of the ropes, and then Dunne joins Devlin on the apron. Devlin shoves him into a post, back first! Devlin drags Dunne up to the top rope, then positions him carefully. He comes in and climbs up to join Dunne. Dunne resists so Devlin throws more forearms. Devlin stands all the way up, another SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!?! Fans are at a fever pitch as their hometown hero shows superhuman heart. They chant “This is Wrestling!” as Devlin stands and Dunne stirs.
Dunne sees Devlin walking over and sits up. Devlin dares Dunne to stand, so he does, only for Devlin to punch him back down. Dunne gets back up even as Devlin tells him to stay down. Dunne puts up his dukes, but Devlin gives him a headbutt! Both men are rocked, but Devlin gets up again. Devlin takes the mouth guard out, and tosses it away for a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO?! As Nigel McGuinness says, “How on Earth?!” Devlin goes up top, moonsault, but into a triangle hold!! Dunne has Devlin stuck, and drives in his elbow. Devlin scrambles for another ropebreak, but Dunne brings him away! And snaps the fingers! Devlin taps, Dunne wins!!
Winner: Dunne via Triangle Choke
4. AJPW Jr Heavyweight Championship Match: Shuji Kondo (c) vs Koji Iwamoto
Iwamoto gets his rematch against the man who took the belt from him two months ago, and this should be good. Kondo is a decorated veteran and Iwamoto has been rising in the ranks over the last two years. Can Iwamoto get his belt back?
This was a fast paced Junior Heavyweight style match. There was a little bit of feeling out early, but after a while they just started throwing haymakers. Kondo hit many signatures, his Hurricane Mixer Spear/Uranagi move, Lanzarse and an Avalanche Inverted Suplex, but just for near falls. Kondo went for the King Kong Lariat, but Iwamoto countered with the first Koko no Geijutsu.
A couple Penalty Kicks fire up Kondo, as he hits the ropes again, but falls victim to another Koko no Geijutsu, giving Iwamoto a rather surprising win, but the fans were behind it.
All in all the match wasn’t anything overly spectacular, not bad at all, but it also shows All Japan is actively investing in the future. The fact the company seems to be on an upswing, this is a perfect time to establish some talent they can lock up for the future. If you like high impact and fast paced wrestling, this should resonate with you.
Winner: Iwamoto via Koko no Geijutsu
Rating **** 1/4
3. AJPW Real World Tag League: Jun Akiyama & Daisuke Sekimoto vs Ryouji Sai & Jake Lee
Welcome to another installation of Uncle Jun’s “You Gonna Learn Today”. With how stiff he was with Yoshitatsu a few matches prior, you have to wonder how he feels about Jake Lee. Jake is a young guy who left wrestling for MMA, but was trained by Keiji Mutoh and Atsushi Aoki, so the way he wrestlers is very much the older style. Will Jun lay in some real time teaching, or does he like this student?
Sekimoto and Sai start things off, but everyone wanted to see Jake and Jun. The crowd swelled and the two had a small standoff, before Jun grabs a waist lock, but gets pushed to the ropes. As Jun breaks, Jake slowly gives space and then connects with the Round Kick to Akiyama’s chest. Jun immediately removes his elbow pad and there was new fire in his eyes.
The important thing about this was in the Royal Road tournament, Jun injured his elbow in his match against Jake. So it was a little gamesmanship, followed up with Jake pulling a page out of Jun’s book and pulling off the old oki-doke misdirection as he attempted a move on the apron but Jun saw it and they just stared each other down. These two need to have another singles match soon because this will be great.
As for this match, all four of these guys put on a damn good show. Rouji Sai took most of the punishment, Jake managed to break up Sekimoto’s “I’m Helping” Super German Suplex, to give Sai the opening to take over the match, After a few kicks, Sai hits a big Sky Kick in the corner and gets the win for the team.
Abridged version yes, but much like New Japan, tournaments are used to build more storylines. The match was a good match, but the personalities shining through are what make these special.
Winner: Ryouji via Sky Kick
Rating: **** 1/4
Impact: Lucha Bros vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann
Winner: Lucha Bros via Tandem inverted Code Red
Rating: *** 3/4
205 Live: Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali vs Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese
Winner: Alexander via Lumbar Check
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw Intercontinental Title Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Rollins via Falcon Arrow
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT UK Women’s Title Match: Toni Storm vs Rhea Ripley
Winner: Ripley via Rip Tide
AJPW Real World Tag League: Odinson & Parrow vs Zeus & The Bodyguard
Winner: Parrow via Powerbomb/Backstabber Combo
Impact: Eli Drake vs Tommy Dreamer
Winner: Drake via Boat Oar/Chair combo
NXT: Keith Lee vs Lars Sullivan
Winner: Sullivan via Freak Accident
2. Progress Chapter 78 Progress World Championship Match: WALTER (c) vs Mark Haskins
So the story here was that Haskins had to relinquish the title due to a neck injury a few years ago, and now he’s finally clawed his way back. So can Haskins fell the giant Austrian Redwood for the title he never lost?
To take a line from my grandfather, this match encapsulated, “Ever see what a chainsaw does to a tree”. Haskins gave up significant size, but after getting thrown around and nearly toyed with, he started chipping away. Round Kicks to the back of WALTER’s hamstrings eventually dropped the hulking champion, and gave him the opportunity to work on the arm.
A big fun spot from this match was after Haskins had WALTER in the corner, a few running lariats, he winds up for a corner to corner move, WALTER tries to cut him off with a Shotgun Dropkick, but Haskins sees it coming, jumps in the air and times his Double Footstomp beautifully. Yes we see Kota Ibushi and other juniors do this often, but consider the two people here…it was cool.
Haskins locks in his Bridging Fujiwara Armbar a few times on top of strikes to weaken WALTER’s left arm. There was a real moment in this match where WALTER looked wounded and Haskins had a legitimate shot, as well as, the crowd support.
WALTER’s size saves him from tapping out to a Sharpshooter by just grabbing backwards and pulling Haskins off of him. Haskins fights out of a Sleeper Hold, Chicken Wing, Power Bomb…but eventually falls victim to the Fire/Thunder Driver. Haskins showed a lot of heart and it definitely told the story that WALTER was pushed further than most people have ever pushed him.
Winner: WALTER via Fire/Thunder Driver
Rating: **** 1/2
1. MLW Fusion MLW Tag Team Championship Match: Pentagon Jr & Fenix (c) vs LA Park & Hijo de LA Park
So this continues the Salina de la Renta vs Konnan story, where they just keep having different luchadors from each stable going after one another. Nothing more, nothing less, Salina is trying to take the Tag Titles out of Konnan’s camp, so she got LA Park and his son.
It’s always hard to describe the early bit of lucha matches. Everyone is in the ring, tags are optional and it’s just time to beat the hell out of each other. LA Park focused on Pentagon, so Hijo went after Fenix, and the pairings stayed pretty consistent. A big take away from this match was just that tables wouldn’t break.
Aside from that, we saw a lot of fun moments. LA Park (who is the original WCW La Parka) did his old air guitar with the chair, and his little La Parka strut at different points. Hell he even pulled off a Suicide Dive, and if you haven’t seen him since WCW, he’s at least 60 pounds heavier.
It was a fun match, lots of spots that played to the crowd, or allowed the combatants to pair off and not run everybody ragged at the same time. A goofy spot was when everyone missed Sentons. One would try, the other would move, but it was a solid spot to slow things down and reset for the finish. Hijo hit a nice Asai Moonsault on Fenix on the outside, while LA Park and Pentagon slugged it out in the middle of the ring.
When Hijo gets back in LA Park gets kicked out of the ring, they hit their tandem spike Fear Factor on Hijo and then Fenix dives outside to stop LA Park from breaking up the pinfall.
So this match was one for Konnan’s squad, but the rivalry is far from over.
Winner: Lucha Bros via Fear Factor/Double Stomp combo
Rating: **** 1/2
Well you know, since this is the last official ‘week’ Top 5 of 2018, I’m going to vote for, MLW: Lucha Bros vs LA Park & Hijo. I’d like to see MLW have a couple shots at winning a month since they’ve been putting on a great product. Also it’s a small nod to our podcast personality Christopher Platt, who called months ago on POD is WAR that MLW was going to be a player for a number 2 in the United States.
Well enjoy voting on this one, and wait to see what we have for the second chance vote next week!
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)
Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…
Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!
At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!
WWE Universal Championship
The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.
The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.
After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.
I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.
Naomi vs Billie Kay
I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
Bray Wyatt’s Promos
Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.
With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.
Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro
Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.
The Usos and The Revival
Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.
Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party
What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins
Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.
Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox
So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.
Robert Roode vs Ricochet
With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.
The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.
I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.
Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!
WWE Week in Review April 15-April 21, 2019, Non-Shake Up Edition
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!
Gran Metalik vs Ariya Daivari vs Mike Kanellis vs Akira Tozawa: I have no idea why this match happened since it wasn’t an official #1 Contender’s match, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great match and Daivari winning it was a HUGE surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see if he can back up his mouth.
The fact that Mike Kanellis had the match won and it was stolen by Daivari revives my hope that Mike Kanellis will be turning babyface, especially since Cedric Alexander has been drafted to RAW. I think Kanellis has what it takes to be a great underdog babyface, he just needs the right opportunity to do it and 205 being without its other TOP babyface is the perfect opening.
Oney Lorcan vs Cedric Alexander: One thing I hated about this match is that the feud leading up to it wasn’t given more time. This could’ve been a blockbuster non-title feud if WWE had left Cedric on 205 Live, where he belongs.
All that said, it was a fantastic match and it gave Cedric the send off from the fans that he deserved, I just wish it hadn’t happened because I think the cruiserweight guys are going to get lost on RAW and SmackDown, which is what 205 was supposed to keep from happening.
Gallus vs Humberto Carrillo and Raul Mendoza: This week’s shows were done at WrestleMania AXXESS, which is why 205 Live’s own Humberto Carrillo got to team up with his sometime partner, Raul Mendoza, to take on Gallus in a fantastic match that actually went better than expected, in my opinion. Matches with wildly different styles can be a slow going trainwreck, but this was a wonderful match to watch and drives home that Gallus aren’t just big blowhards, they’re also great athletes. I was a little disappointed that Carrillo and Mendoza lost, but it’s clear that NXT UK has big plans for Gallus, which I’m thrilled to see unfold.
Kassius Ohno: As someone who HATES it when people mispronounce things, I applaud Ohno for his pronunciation correction. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed by the promo. Ohno’s playing the role of arrogant heel very well, especially discounting Ligero because someone who has a crazy schedule can’t possibly put on a quality match every night, is just silly for an indie guy to say. Guess we’ll see what the Leeds Luchador has to say.
Dunne vs Walter: I think I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I’m a big Jordan Devlin fan, so I was thrilled with his promo on Dunne vs WALTER. I’m still hopeful that he’ll get another title shot, whoever has the title.
Dave Mastiff vs Kona Reeves: This was an odd one because Kona Reeves hasn’t exactly been a NXT mainstay since his debut and his job this week seemed to be becoming Dave Mastiff’s dinner. To give the Keanu Reeves wannabe his due, he did try to compete, but the Black Country Bomber was a little too big for him. Mastiff winning wasn’t a shock, but it needs to lead to something bigger sooner or later.
That said, I’m intrigued by the possible Mastiff/Wolfgang feud being teased. A brawl between two huge men, who can move like cruiserweights sounds like a lot of fun.
Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster: So, the challenge has been accepted and we’ll get The Flying Welshmen vs Moustache Mountain next week!
Rhea Ripley vs Kacy Cantanzaro: This should’ve been a great rematch from the Mae Young Classic, instead Kacy got squashed like a bug by Ripley, who seems to have a bigger chip on her shoulder than normal. At least Kacy has a…friend, of sorts, in Piper Niven, who scared Ripley off.
Grizzled Young Veterans vs Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams: Did that just happen?! Did I just watch Jordan and Williams, the most unlikely to succeed tag team get a win, even on a technicality, over the NXT UK Tag Champs? Did that just happen?! It did and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve become a big fan of Jordan and Williams, and while they didn’t get a pinfall victory over the champs, the fact that GYV took the loss rather than be pinned is enough for me! Go Lucky Bad Boys!
Velveteen Dream vs Buddy Murphy: I think I’ve said before that I’m not a Velveteen Dream fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s talented and he definitely showed it against Buddy Murphy. I was a little puzzled by Murphy going back to NXT and I still am, but it was a great match by both guys and that’s really all that matters.
Street Profits vs War Raiders (or whatever they’re called): This is another ‘What’s going on here’ moments because the Street Profits haven’t been on NXT all that much, but they’re getting a title shot next week. I guess the Undisputed Era is going to have to wait for another go.
Johnny Gargano vs Undisupted Era: At least Gargano got the hero’s welcome he deserved as NXT Champion. I do like Cole’s whining that Gargano got lucky, completely ignoring the fact that he and Gargano knew that they would have to beat the other man twice to win, it was funny, as was Gargano’s pointing out that Cole was being an idiot for the same reason. It’s nice to have a smart face that can rile up the heel once in a while.
I also liked that we got more signs of unrest in UE with Gargano and Regal stirring the pot. I’m stoked for Gargano vs Strong, especially to watch Cole seethe.
Dominik Dijakovic vs Aaron Frye: There’s not much to say about this since Dijakovic hit one move and it was done. The promo was much more interesting given that Dijakovic has Velveteen Dream in his sights.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: I love these two because they’re so obnoxious, but not in the annoying way the IIconics are and I loved their excuses for Aliyah’s loss last week. I can’t wait for next week’s tag team match since it seems like Candice LeRae seems to finally be being treated as more than Gargano’s perpetually worried wife.
Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This was such a good match and allows Sane to be written out of NXT to got to SmackDown, while maintaining Baszler as a heel. It also paves the way for Baszler vs Shirai by having Shirai by having Shirai save her friend, even if it meant Sane lost any more chances at the title. It was the perfect way to end the Baszler/Sane feud while creating a new feud, so no complaints.
Shield’s Last Ride
After six and a half years, two reunions, two betrayal, and twenty-three cumulative championship reigns, the Shield has come to the end of the road…at least for now. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are heading to different shows, while Dean Ambrose has chosen to walk away from WWE and find a new path. In honor of the moment, WWE chose to air Ambrose’s last WWE match and let the WWE Universe say goodbye to one of the greatest factions in the history of Professional Wrestling.
Advanced Warning: If you haven’t figured out that I’m a huge Shield and Dean Ambrose fan, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I will be a blubbering mess and this might not be very coherent, but I will not apologize for that.
Elias: Gotta love Elias’ never say die attitude towards performing. He managed to throw PLENTY of shade at the Shield and everyone else. Him being a primadonna to Balor about the interruption was fun and we found out Balor can wrestle in a leather jacket, but he still needs a more supportive jock strap. Balor getting the win wasn’t a surprise but it was a really great, if odd match due to some spots.
Riott Squad vs Bayley and Ember Moon: God, I’m going to miss the Riott Squad together! Why did WWE have to split them up?! Them ‘singing’ with Elias was hilarious! The match against Ember and Bayley was great, but I missed what Liv did to get expelled from the match, and costing her team the win. Still, great match and we get to see a great potential team in Bayley and Ember.
Shield Promo: For old time’s sake, we got a vintage Shield promo. It doesn’t matter what they said, because it was just nice to get that promo.
The Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin: Well, it’s come down to this. After six and a half years, the Shield rode into battle together one more time.
To be honest, this match was too hard to watch. The Shield renewed my active interest in WWE, rather than just half-heartedly watching it when I remembered or not at all. Dean Ambrose has been my hero since I laid eyes on him because he wasn’t what I expected a WWE Superstar to look or sound like. I was intrigued and then I fell in love, in a platonic, non-creepy, sense, with him. My online friends will attest to my cheering, ranting, raving, and screaming for Dean when it looked like he was getting gypped by WWE. That renewed interest lead me to becoming a writer about wrestling, something I never thought anyone would ask me to do. The idea that the man that reactivated my interest and love in wrestling is leaving, even if it’s just for now, has been hard to take and accept.
That said, it was a great match, with everyone hitting their best moves. The fact that it was about the Shield as team, rather than Ambrose, which lead him to letting Seth get the pin and making the final speech about Roman, Seth, and the Shield, rather than himself, makes me respect Jonathan Good all that much more.
I wish Dean all the best, he’s come a long way from his days of nearly bleeding to death for $20 and it looks like he’ll have a great future ahead of himself, whatever happens, but I fervently hope that I will see him again in a WWE ring. Thanks for the memories, Dean, and ALWAYS believe in the Shield!
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