Bobby Fernandes presents the Good, Bad, and Ugly preview for WWE FastLane 2019!
The last speed bump on the way to WrestleMania, it really is all going down after this small show. Will it be a small show though? I would say not, as on paper, this show may have some significant ramifications to the big dance. How will it fare on the most important of all scales, will it be Good, Bad or Ugly?
WWE Championship Match- Daniel Bryan (C) vs. Kevin Owens
There is a lot of history here in this rivalry. It already has so much attention due to the injustice to Kofi Kingston and the absolutely bizarre behavior of Kevin Owens. We deep down have a winner here as both guys are Main Eventers and big dogs on the roster. There is little to no doubt that this will be one hell of a physical match and the crowd will get their money’s worth no matter what. Daniel Bryan retains!
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship- Asuka (C) vs. Mandy Rose
On the fence with this one until I remembered that Mandy Rose can work decently depending on her opponent. Asuka is nasty and can work anyone especially someone as talented as Mandy Rose. She isn’t the best but that bombshell is far from the worst. Her partner Sonya Deville would have suited this rivalry a lot better in most opinions. However here we are. Hopefully setting up something better but this looks to be Good enough. Winner: Asuka!
The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre
The Shield is back, and no one is upset. Even the ever hated Roman Reigns when with his Shield Brothers back in the dark days, was over with the audience. There is something about the hounds of justice that is just amazing, almost magical. Their opponents are equally impressive and massive at that. We have ourselves a major “sloberknocker” on our hands and all around this is looking very Good. Shield Wins!
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (Lynch Gets spot in WrestleMania 35 Match)
It’s safe to say no one is happy that the triple threat is reality. This really is stupid and bad for business but it is what we have, maybe. Now we have a chance that Lynch is even in the match but she has to beat Charlotte first. It really is crap but this match won’t be. This match should be fireworks and as hot as the crowd will be when Lynch’s music hits and the Man comes around. This will rock and you can beat the Lass Kicker has this locked. Becky Lynch Wins!
WWE Raw Tag Team Championships Match- The Revival (C) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Roode and Gable
As red hot as the NXT boys are right now, and the immense talent surrounding them in the Champs and the former champs, we will have a decent match here. Expect to see some actual wrestling and of course the high flying, high impact usual from the NXT guys. This will be a Good match. The Revival Retains!
Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio
Yes! This is a match and feud that will never get old or played out. These two can absolutely “fight forever.” Expect high flying, non-stop absolutely out of you seat, action. This will not be boring, slow or otherwise. We have gold here and could be the best match we see in the evening unless they have been told to tone it down. Huge Match and a decisive Andrade victory! Great expectations here!
BAD- No, but possibly some Ugly stuff on deck.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship- The Usos (C) vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon
Botchamania seems to be eminent however we could be surprised. This aside from splashes, superkicks and a coast to coast is a recipe for disaster. The feud is ugly, the matches and promos have been Bad and it will take a miracle for something Good to happen here. Uso’s Retain and hopefully McMiz can stop already!
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship- Bayley and Sasha Banks (C) vs. Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax
This was touch as Boss n Hug are amazing and perfect first bestie tag champs for the Women’s division. That being said though, this match will be a nightmare in the form of two giant Samoans who cannot work. Nia Jax will be slow and sloppy and Tamina will no doubt be horrendous as that is her normal. Boss n Hug Win and God help us, hopefully this is quick!
- Good- 6
- Bad- 0
- Ugly- 2
We seem to have a Good show on board for Sunday. Fastlane has a lot of Gold on the line and big matches. It is being set up to be a major precursor to the biggest night in Sports Entertainment. The stakes are high, the talent is there, and the rest will be history soon enough!
The results are in as far as what I think will happen but the show is yet to go down? How will they do, will they be a textbook, no surprise, no frill waste of time, or will this be the precursor to a majorly explosive WrestleMania? We will find out this Sunday at Fastlane on the WWE Network.
Steve Cook’s Top 5 Pro Wrestling Tournaments
Wrestling’s best tournaments?
The NCAA Tournament is in full swing, and Steve Cook is inspired to take a look back at wrestling’s tournaments!
Who doesn’t love a good tournament? This is the time of year where we all become obsessed with brackets. March Madness is in full bloom, and we’re all keeping track of who beat who and who’s playing next. We all know that pro wrestling lends itself well to a tournament format… Do I need to go any further? Probably not. Here are the Top 5 Pro Wrestling Tournaments of all time.
5. Ultraviolent Tournament of Death II
I know some people are not going to be happy with this pick. Thing is, I don’t feel a list of American wrestling tournaments would be complete without a selection from the deathmatch genre. It was the bread & butter for many indy companies back in the day, and I’m sure there’s still something of an audience for it now.
I’ll admit it. There was a period of time where I was into guys getting hit with light tubes & thrown into barbed wire and fun stuff like that. I’m over it now, so I can’t tell you if any of the tournaments over the past ten years have blown the stuff from the 2000s out of the water. What I can tell you is which deathmatch tournament was most memorable to me. The second TOD made “Sick” Nick Mondo a CZW legend. Dude got thrown off a building by Zandig! Mondo beat JC Bailey in a Light Tubes & Ladders match, Zandig in a 2 out of 3 fall Light Tube Log Cabins match, and Ian Rotten in a Barbed Wire ropes, 200 Light Tubes match.
Mondo became a star that night. Unfortunately it was his last night in the business, as injuries suffered during the evening made him think twice about the whole wrestling thing. Hey, at least give him credit for being smart enough to get out.
4. 2008 Battle of Los Angeles
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s strength over the years has been staying in their lane. Sometimes people would like to see the company get bigger, but they’ve spent most of their existence working around other promotions’ rules. As long PWG they remained DVD-only, companies that had TV & PPV with not many other dates on the schedule were happy to let some of their guys get a payday out west.
Since 2005, PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament has featured pretty much anybody that ever made any kind of name on the indy wrestling circuit. Winners include the likes of Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Ricochet, and Sami Zayn’s mentor El Generico (RIP). The best one I’ve seen, the 2008 edition was won by none other than Low Ki. It was when he wasn’t jobbing to anybody, so the result was kind of obvious.
It was still a fun show with a ridiculously stacked roster. Ki, Nigel McGuinness, Bryan Danielson & Chris Hero made up the final four. Danielson had matches with Hero, T.J. Perkins & Davey Richards. Hero also had a Necro Butcher Rules match with Necro Butcher. The finals featured Ki & Hero working with only one rope…and having a pretty darn good match.
3. 1993 King of the Ring
Every so often, fans clamor for the return of King of the Ring to WWE programming. It’s like they forget King Sheamus, King Barrett and the other weak noblemen to rule over WWE’s kingdom. The event definitely had its ups & downs, but it certainly got off to a good start in Dayton, Ohio.
Let’s be honest, any show in 1993 that had Bret Hart wrestling three times was bound to be a good one. He went through Razor Ramon in the first round in a solid starter. Mr. Perfect awaited in the semi-finals, and the two men had a classic match like they always had with each other. Then Bret took on Bam Bam Bigelow in the finals, and overcame the odds against a bigger man that had the semi-finals off thanks to a Lex Luger/Tatanka draw.
Bret’s goal on this evening was to prove that he was the best wrestler in the WWF, even if he had been taken out of the championship picture at the moment. He did just that, and put the KOTR tournament on the map in the process. Owen Hart following in Bret’s footsteps and winning the next year meant so much because people remembered that performance.
2. 1987 Crockett Cup
Going back to the days of Jim Crockett Sr., the Mid-Atlantic territory was always a tag team-heavy promotion. Fans in the Carolinas, Virginia & surrounding areas loved that style of wrestling. The tradition continued after Jim Sr’s death, and when it was decided that a major show was needed between Starrcade & the Great American Bash tour, the idea of the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament was hatched. The Crockett Cup featured most of the best tag teams in the world coming together for a twenty-four team tournament where the winners would split $1,000,000 & get a trophy.
Jim Crockett Promotions held three of these events from 1986-88. The first edition in the Superdome didn’t draw much of a house, but Baltimore came out in full support in 1987. A who’s who of tag teams from the Road Warriors to the Midnight Express & the Mulkeys were there, but at the end of the night it was the Super Powers, Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff beating the Horsemen team of Tully Blanchard & Lex Luger to take the prize.
Even bigger than all that…Magnum T.A. made his first appearance in a wrestling arena since his car accident the previous year. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, and not a doubt that his friends Dusty & Nikita would win the main event.
1. The Deadly Game
Survivor Series 1998 is one of those shows that people either really love or really hate. Workrate fans really hate it, as there wasn’t a classic match to be found on the card. Fans that are more into characters & story really love it. To me, this night was Vince Russo’s highpoint as a wrestling writer.
Stone Cold Steve Austin had lost the WWF Championship in September, getting pinned by both Kane & Undertaker. Austin refereed a match between Kane & Undertaker in October, where he knocked them both out & made the match a no-decision. Vince McMahon came up with the idea of a tournament after that, and his primary objective was to keep Austin from winning it. It became known as the Deadly Game…I’m still not sure why, but it gave us one of the best PPV theme songs of all time.
Mankind was thought to be Vince’s favorite, while The Rock was seen as the next worst option for Vince other than Stone Cold. After a night of seemingly never-ending twists & turns, including Austin getting screwed yet again by a McMahon (Shane this time), Rock & Mankind met in the finals. And wouldn’t you know it, a year after Survivor Series 1997, which Jim Ross kept dreading a reprise of all night with Mankind winning at the behest of Mr. McMahon, it turned out that Rock was the man locking in the Sharpshooter while Vince yelled to ring the damn bell.
Fourteen year old me couldn’t have enjoyed the show more, even if Rock was my third choice behind Austin & Mankind. Yeah, this time period was tough for me as far as favorite wrestlers feuding went.
New Japan Cup Fallout : Will It Really Be Okada’s Revenge at G1 Supercard ?
The New Japan Cup has come to an end, with Kazuchika Okada winning the tournament. Will Okada prevail and cut the Switchblade’s new era short ?
The New Japan Cup has now come to an end, with Kazuchika Okada winning the tournament for the second time in his career. The Rainmaker will look to get his revenge over Jay White in MSG, which is exactly the subject of today’s article. Will Okada prevail and cut the Switchblade’s new era short ? Let’s dive into the matter at hand !
If there is one thing I learned watching New Japan Pro Wrestling, it is to NEVER neglect any possibility. Such a statement has never felt more true since Jay White came back to New Japan at Power Struggle in 2017. Since then, White has kept being the ultimate trump card. First by defeating Kenny Omega for the IWGP US Heavyweight championship. Then, he defeated both Okada and Tanahashi in the G1 Climax, took over Bullet Club, and went on to repeat his G1 upsets over Okada and Tanahashi, at Wrestle Kingdom and New Beginning, claiming the IWGP Heavyweight championship from Tanahashi in Osaka.
What New Japan called the “Switchblade shock” in reference to Okada’s “Rainmaker shock” from 2012 is now real, and with Okada marching to MSG with the purpose of finally vanquishing his nemesis, I have to wonder if Okada will actually do it, because if there is one thing I am actually sure of, it is that the outcome of the match between the Rainmaker and the Switchblade is as uncertain as it could be. Sounds paradoxical ? I will explain.
Here’s the thing. While the possibility of the rest of this year gravitating around Okada and White fighting over the Heavyweight championship is not something to rule out, I find it hard to imagine that other people will not be involved. I can think of Tetsuya Naito or Kota Ibushi, depending on the result of their soon to come IWGP Intercontinental championship match. I believe this match will help shape up the new direction following the Okada vs White encounter. I have already touched on Kota Ibushi in a previous article, explaining why I could see him take the Intercontinental championship away from Naito, so let’s follow that logic. This would leave the leader of L.I.J empty handed in every sense of the term…or does it ? While Naito won’t be able to reach his goal of becoming a dual champion, it is doubtful that he will stop looking to take back the Heavyweight championship, the first chance he gets.
This is actually important to consider in the eventual result of Okada vs White and especially what will happen going forward. Naito being the biggest star in New Japan to not hold a championship while haven’t taking part in any Heavyweight championship matches since Wrestle Kingdom 12, and with Dominion slowly coming up, we have to think of who would challenge for the Heavyweight championship in Osaka-Jo Hall this year.
With that in mind, we are left with two options. Assuming whoever leaves MSG as Heavyweight champion keeps the title until Dominion, which seems likely, will New Japan add another chapter to one of the most storied rivalries of the last decade, or will we see the continuation of New Japan’s new era in a more explicit way, with a never seen before IWGP Heavyweight championship to main event the second biggest New Japan show of the year ? Of course, this is only based off assumptions. Who knows, depending on the circumstances of this upcoming Okada vs White III, we could be up for a fourth encounter even sooner than expected.
To cap off with this opinion piece, let’s actually give an answer to the initial question. I do not believe G1 Supercard will be marked by the Rainmaker’s revenge over the Switchblade. Let me ask you one question : Do you fully expect Jay White to lose the Heavyweight championship without any defenses, considering the faith New Japan seems to have in him ?
You guessed my stance, I think that feels unlikely. Not impossible, remember what I said about never putting any possibility aside, but unlikely. We could even witness a surprise in Madison Square Garden, but it won’t be Jay White retaining the championship, if that does happen.
Let me add that, as a nod to another previous article concerning Bullet Club dominating G1 Supercard, the best way to dominate the event, in terms of results and talk created afterwards, would probably be include Jay White winning. After all, White would be 3-0 against Okada, which says something considering how highly regarded of a wrestler the Rainmaker is.
This is how I now conclude this article. What did you think of the New Japan Cup ? What are your thoughts going forward ? Do you breathe with the Switchblade or will Okada make it rain all over Madison Square Garden ?
Opinion2 days ago
Beyond The Mat: That Time My Two Favorite Shows Met And It Wasn’t Awful
Opinion2 days ago
WWE WrestleMania: The Last Stand For Ronda Rousey?
Opinion2 days ago
WWE: I Believe WrestleMania 35 Comes Short
NJPW PPV Coverage2 days ago
Andrew’s New Japan Cup 2019 Final Day Ratings & Analysis