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Chris King’s WWE SmackDown Live Grades & Analysis For 7/9/19

Tonight is the Go-Home SmackDown Live for Extreme Rules this Sunday. We finally find out who knocked on Aleister Black’s door? Also what matches will be added from the Blue brand for this Sunday? 

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Tonight is the Go-Home SmackDown Live for Extreme Rules this Sunday. We finally find out who knocked on Aleister Black’s door? Also what matches will be added from the Blue brand for this Sunday? 

Chris’s Grades For WWE SmackDown Live:

  • Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura–A
  • Nikki Cross vs. Carmella
  • Daniel Bryan vs. Otis vs. Xavier Woods Triple-threat-Match–B+
  • Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler–B- Would have been an A without out all the outside interference and shenanigans.

The show opens with footage from earlier today in the parking lot, where Dolph Ziggler is being interviewed by Kayla Braxton. She asked about his tag team partner from last week; Kevin Owens he says “you mean the guy that I carried on my back, just like I have carried this company for ten years”, KO pulls up and honks his horn which aggravates Ziggler. After mince words, they begin brawling and are torn apart by some of the roster. “The Best in the World” and Commissioner of SmackDown Live Shane McMahon breaks it up and kicks KO out of the building.

We’re backstage as Sarah Schrieber is interviewing McMahon about his decision to kick Owens out, he claims he’s got some intriguing ideas for the main event that was going to be Ziggler vs. Owens. We’re finally going live with the theme music playing; Corey Graves and Tom Phillips welcome us, KO immediately shuts it down and he’s got something to get off his chest! “I’ve tried to be a good company guy, but it’s gotten me nowhere”; he brought up how the McMahon Family ushered in a new era where they would listen to the WWE Universe, instead all we’ve witnessed is Shane McMahon with more control and more authority and receiving way more TV time than anyone ever wanted!

Owens has had enough and McMahon cuts off his mic as he’s screaming names that haven’t seen tv time. The WWE Universe is chanting “Kevin Owens”. This is FREAKIN Gold, KO will make a fantastic rebel against the authority! Face turn back possibly?

We roll backstage to see the Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor making his way to the ring for his match with Shinsuke Nakamura for the first-time-ever on SmackDown Live. They faced each other once on NXT before Balor made the jump to the main roster and this was a passing of the torch.

Back live as Nakamura is making his entrance. Balor is out next…This is going to be electric. Bell rings and they tie up. Nakamura eats a stiff dropkick. Balor was getting stomped in the corner as we roll to commercial. Back live as Balor speeding things up with high-octane offense. Nakamura wants the Kinshasa but it’s countered into a Slingblade. Coup de Grace… nope. “The King of Strong Styles” hits a nasty knee strike on the ring apron, followed by a Kinshasa outside…countout nope…one more Kinshasa for good measure and the 1-2-3

The Best in the World Huddle: We see McMahon, Elias and “The Scottish Psychopath” Drew McIntyre discussing what happened last night with Cedric Alexander outsmarting them. McIntyre brings out that they still won and on Sunday they will have the physical and mental advantage. Ziggler interrupts and he’s pissed about his match with Owens off, McMahon books him against Roman Reigns instead. McIntyre is not sure about this partnership.

We see a replay of Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe’s face-to-face explosive encounter. Joe gives one of his best promos in WWE to date. He offered Kofi compassion last week and clemency to his loved ones. He vows to expose him for the lie that he truly is and take his WWE Championship.

Back live as Kayla Braxton is introducing both opponents for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship Match, Bayley and Nikki Cross (who is representing Alexa Bliss as well). We get a recap of last night’s Beat The Clock Challenge. Bayley starts things off by once again trying to be the voice of reason to Cross, but she’s not accepting it. Cross reveals that Bliss promised her that on Sunday they will become the first-ever SmackDown Live Women’s Co-Champions. She tells Bayley to stick around for her match with Carmella.

We return from commercial with WWE’s “Twisted Sister” taking out all her frustrations and aggression on Mella. Throughout every kick and headlock, Cross stares a hole through Bayley. Mella attempts a comeback but Cross drops her with the PURGE and the 1-2-3.

The Kabuki Warriors Are Coming: We see live footage from two weeks ago in Tokyo, Japan Asuka and Kairi Sane got a massive victory over The Iconics. Backstage Peyton Royce and Billy Kay are exiting the dressing room and Paige and the Kabuki Warriors are waiting. Peyton makes up an excuse that Billy is sick so they can’t defend their Women’s Tag Team Championships tonight.  Paige calls them “shriveled runaway cowards” and slaps Billy.

Back to ringside as Tom Phillips and Corey Graves congratulate The Man Becky Lynch for being on the cover of ESPN magazine alongside “Glow” star Alison Brie. Plug for Sunday’s Winners-Take-All Mixed Tag Team Championship Match on Sunday.

Sarah Schrieber interviews The Big Dog Roman Reigns. He says that “These Crazy nights have created the big fight” and it’s because of that, he’s confident that Ziggler is not ready for him. “Me and The Deadman are going to do our thang, and this Sunday those boys are going to Rest In Peace”.

It’s a New Day…Wait where’s the Intro lol technical error. Here comes Xavier Woods and Big E for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Summit. Woods has a Triple Threat Match tonight with Otis and Daniel Bryan. E says this Sunday they have a Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the SmackDown Live Championships. E claims “he thought he was involved in another type of three-way” –Rated R style. Sunday they will become your SIX-TIME Champs, The Planet’s Champions quickly interrupt;

Bryan says he’s figured it out that every time, The New Day wins the gold nobody takes them seriously. Woods cuts him off and wants to hear from Rowan…First, he was taking orders from Bray Wyatt, then it was Luke Harper, and now it’s Bryan. They need some clarification on who his daddy is, Rowan is pissed as a “Who’s your daddy” chant breaks out. Bryan is actually complimenting New Day as terrific wrestlers and having some of the best tag team title matches in WWE history. Of course, it’s quickly negated with some mince words about how if they or Heavy Machinery won the titles it would be a travesty. Here come Otis and Tucker.

Tucker says they proved themselves as worthy contenders at Stomping Grounds; they didn’t sit and mope after they lost, they went back to work. Last week Otis and Tucker earned their way into the triple-threat-match on Sunday. They respect the longest-reigning tag team champions New Day, but the sixth will have to wait. We finally get to the triple-threat-match…It was solid work from all three but, they should have been given more time to do the talking with their fists.

Bell rings with all three competitors but Bryan scurries outside so Otis and Woods can tear each other apart. Classic methodical heel work from Bryan. He tries to help Woods hit a double-suplex to Otis however, he suplexes both of them! All hell breaks loose as Rowan drills Otis with a ferocious clothesline and bulldozes through Tucker. Tucker and E drive Rowan over the announce table, but now the two powerhouses are broken up by the official. E, Tucker, and Rowan get sent to the back as we head to commercial.

Back live with a fired up Woods driving Bryan headfirst into the barricade. Back in up top, Bryan eats a missile dropkick…nope. Woods goes for The Honor Roll…countered into the Lebell Lock. Otis breaks it up. Otis executes a spinning slam to Bryan and a fisher-bone Suplex to Woods. It’s Worm Time! Woods goes for another aerial maneuver, but it gets countered into a massive Compactor for the 1-2-3

Recap from the Kevin Owens Show last week with McMahon and McIntyre; which where this boiled frustration in KO originated from when he started asking highly-personal questions and was shut down. Followed by Ziggler and him vying for another title shot where McMahon denied both of them and placed them in a tag team match against Heavy Machinery. Of course, it ended with miscommunication and an inadvertent Superkick by Ziggler. Then we get to the parking lot brawl earlier today and KO’s justified rant about The Best in the World crap!

Backstage in catering R-Truth is hiding under a table; Ember Moon is confronted by Sonya DeVille and Mandy Rose, this culminates into a tag team challenge for next week.

“The Dutch Destroyer” Aleister Black is getting wired up for THE BIG REVEAL…NEXT.

We’re back live as this interview will be conducted by Tom Phillips; his opponent wants to remain anonymous, Black “Applauds them, for doing what he would do”. He’s past the point of caring now…A man in a suit circles the chair before it’s revealed as “The Swiss Cyborg” Cesaro. The two will FIGHT Sunday!!! About Freaking Time that WWE does something interesting; with one of the most skilled and entertaining and competitive superstars, that has been under the damn noses for years now. Rant over!

Silent Shelton Benjamin: Sarah Schrieber asks Benjamin if he thinks Ziggler will finally do what it takes in his main event match, which is next…Silence and a sly grin.

Main Event is next as both “The Show-off” and “The Big Dog” make their way to the ring… commercial.

Kayla Braxton is about to interview the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston…Paul Heyman appears. Kofi says he knows Joe’s mind games and he knows how dangerous of a threat he is. Last week though; he accomplished something nobody else has and that is getting inside his head too, Kofi welcomes the massive challenge to edge his name as one of the best WWE Champs of all time…BABY!

Back live as Reigns makes a slow and confident entrance, followed by Ziggler. I give this match five minutes before McMahon and his cronies interfere. Before the bell rings The Corporation 2.0 come out. I’m starting to wonder how much of what KO unloaded on earlier was scripted…this is the fourth or fifth sighting of McMahon.

Bell rings as Ziggler tries to go for Reigns’ legs but to no avail. A shove to Reigns in the corner and a right hand all it takes is one headbutt for Ziggler to go down. The Big Dog is taking Ziggler to school, overpowering him. Ziggler goes on offense…flying clothesline…nope stiff uppercut. Drive-by on the apron…business as usual for Reigns. McIntyre and Reigns have a stare-off as Elias distracts him so Reigns can get his head slammed into the ring post. Ziggler takes advantage… two-count.

The Show-off takes over with his technical maneuvers that keep The Big Dog down…Comeback engaged, Elias on the apron and eats a Superman Punch, Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag…long two-count. McMahon is so giddy, he’s acting like a kid on Christmas morning. Sweet Chin Music…nope Ferocious Superman Punch… kick-out. Sets up for the spear, McIntyre pulls Ziggler outside. The Big Dog is going flying, Ziggler nails him with a Superkick off a distraction by McMahon. From out of nowhere KO stuns him and hightails it through the crowd. Zig-Zag…nope Night Night Ziggler HUGE Spear 1-2-3. Good match but disappointed no Taker at either show.

That’s it, folks! Extreme Rules begins this Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network, with the kickoff show getting things started at 6 p.m.


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WWE NXT 2021 Year in Review: Best Matches Of The Year

Bradley Jay takes a look back at 2021 for NXT as he ranks the best matches of the year!

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Bradley Jay takes a look back at 2021 for NXT as he ranks the best matches of the year!

Better late than never. Here are the best NXT matches of 2021.

Honorable Mentions

  • Ilja Dragunov versus Rampage Brown versus Joe Coffey 4.5 stars
  • Swerve Scott versus Leon Ruff, NXT TV, 5-4-21, 4.6 stars
  • KUSHIDA versus Johnny Gargano, NXT Vengeance Day, 4.6 stars
  • Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa versus GYV, NXT TV, June 17, 4.7 stars
  • Subculture versus Eddie Dennis & Primate, NXT UK TV, 1-11, 4.7 stars
  • A-Kid versus Nathan Frazer versus Rampage Brown, tv 09-24 4.7 stars

Ilja Dragunov on his win over WALTER at WWE NXT TakeOver 36

7. WALTER versus Ilja Dragunov, Takeover 36, 4.7 stars

When you are talking about the best match of the year, you have to split some hairs. Yes, this match was brutal and lived up to the hype, but the end left a sour taste in my mouth. Dragunov is standing tall, belt held high, with his foot on a prone WALTER’s chest. WALTER has been too good for too long to deserve this kind of disrespect. Dragunov had a million reasons to celebrate his victory, and that gesture was forced and unnecessary. Great means great from start to finish.  

WALTER vs. Tommaso Ciampa -- NXT UK Championship Match: photos | WWE

6. WALTER versus Tommaso Ciampa Takeover, Stand & Deliver,  4.7 stars

I gave Ciampa a 1% chance of winning. Despite the lack of drama, these two told a masterful story with near flawless execution. Something about WALTER brings out the best in whoever he faces. He did it with Tyler Bate and Ilja Dragunov. He did it with Ciampa. This was easily his best performance since his return from neck surgery. People say he’s a brawler, while guys like Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong are known for their gas tank. Ciampa showed he can run with the best of them. He earned the respect of Imperium and my #1 Star of the Night.

WWE Women 🎊🍾 — Kay Lee Ray(c) vs Meiko Satomura for the NXT UK...

5. KLR versus Meiko Satomura, NXT UK TV, 3-4-21, 4.8 stars

Kay Lee Ray versus Meiko Satomura was brilliant. Near flawless. Oh how these two deserved a live crowd. I was worried because the build was rushed and forced. Silly me. After 25 years of bumps, Satomura is still quick as a blink. I can only imagine what she looked like in her prime. I’ll be honest. The post-match show of respect from KLR was so genuine, I shed a tear.

WWE NXT UK Crowns New Women's Champion In Meiko Satomura

4. KLR versus Meiko Satomura II, NXT UK TV, 6-9-21, 4.8 stars

How would they top their first MOTY contender match-up? By delivering another MOTY candidate. I would have liked to see Satomura with more rage & anger throughout. And it would have been better if I watched on mute instead of enduring Nigel McGuiness’s incessant yapping. Satomura’s post-match reaction was priceless. She’s been wrestling for two decades and still looked like she just won her first title. If you tell me either is the best women’s wrestler in the world, I will not argue with you. 

MSK vs. Grizzled Young Veterans -- Men's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: photos | WWE

3. Grizzled Young Veterans versus MSK, Vengeance Day, 4.8 stars

It’s my favorite cliche in all of wrestling: the tag team match will steal the show at Takeover. I wanted to see MSK deliver in a longer match. Wow. I got what I asked for. I loved the end when Nash Carter flipped the switch from goofy skater boi to a guy who can get angry and kick some ass. As for Wes Lee? Shades of Ricochet! And I’m already looking forward to GYV in the finals of next year’s Dusty Cup Classic. 

Something Wicked This Way Comes - NXT's "New Year's Evil" Review (06/01/21) - STEELCHAIR Wrestling Magazine | Covering WWE, AEW, NJPW, ROH, IMPACT and more

2. Rhea Ripley versus Raquel Gonzalez, New Year’s Evil, 01-06, 4.9 stars

First, one tiny grievance. I was hoping for more with the finger tattoos. Someone should have tried to tear a digit off. That would have sealed the deal and made this 5 stars. Despite that missed opportunity, I loved this match. Both women looked like absolute destroyers. I’m sorry to see this rivalry end. Any other night, including Takeover, this would have been MOTN by a miracle mile. Wednesday night was not any other night… 

Kyle O'Reilly Addresses Hospital Reports Following NXT New Year's Evil 2021 Main Event Against Finn Balor | EWrestling

1. Finn Balor versus Kyle O’Reilly, New Year’s Evil, 01-06, 4.9 stars

Call me bitter, petty, a mark. If O’Reilly had won this would have been 5 stars, maybe more. There are few wrestlers in NXT more universally loved and appreciated than O’Reilly. Everyone wanted to see him win. I was certain we were getting his Daniel Bryan WrestleMania 30 moment. I felt O’Reilly’s anguish when he lost. Heartbreaking. As it is, we got what could be the 2021 MOTY, and it’s the first week of January! It will be a very good year watching everyone else try to top this.

The year didn’t end as strong as it started, but let’s be thankful for what we had. Thanks for reading, and always remember: Good things happen when you let wrestlers wrestle.  


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POD is WAR & Peacemaker: Episodes 1-3 Review

DC needs some love too! It’s not just all about Marvel! So POD is WAR, decides to cover some Peace-maker. John Cena, 80s hair metal, dumb jokes…is there anything more on brand?

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Well since the Bandwagon Nerds are buried in other shows, the tumultuous triple triad decided this show’s title just goes too well with our show name. So as a cheap excuse for a literary reference, and to spread the good word of hair metal and John Cena, POD is WAR will be reviewing Peacemaker!

  • Show: Peacemaker
  • Streaming Service: HBO Max
  • IMDB: 8.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 94% / Audience – 85%

WAR & Peacemaker Review: Episodes 1-3

Andrew: It was the best of shows…it was the worst of shows. What? Have you heard the podcast? If you expect serious this is the wrong article and definitely the wrong series to be watching.

The show picks up after the events of The Suicide Squad with Peacemaker (John Cena) being told he can leave the hospital and immediately conferring with a janitor whom he smoked a little weed with during his rehab. A comedic back and forth about being trustworthy and if Peacemaker is really a Superhero and not a racist Super Villain sparks up (a pretty consistent theme through the first few episodes as well) as Peacemaker decides he’ll leave but he has to be careful.

So he first heads to what I’m assuming was his place, an American flag painted trailer. We get a small hint at his crime fighting buddy Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) who left him a ton of messages because his dad (Robert Patrick) never shut off the cell service. Just as Peacemaker thinks he’ll have normal situations to take care of, he’s ambushed by a group of people claiming to be a detachment from A.R.G.U.S. and are employing his help on Project Butterfly. Peacemaker realize that since Amanda Waller is involved, he’s not gonna be able to get out of this; even though they won’t explain what the hell Project Butterfly is.

With the main story catalyst established, we then meet his father, in an unassuming house with an upside down American Flag waving in the front yard. Fast forwarding a little through the setup, his dad is a racist hard ass but also a tech genius and has created a pocket dimension in a closet to store all of Peacemaker’s helmets. So an awkward attempt at Peacemaker trying to reconnect with his dad, leads us to the best eagle in a streaming show…Eagley; obviously Peacemaker’s side kick and best friend.

The rest of the first episode is a lot of Peacemaker trying to live a somewhat normal life and drop the Super Villain implications. After going home with a hair metal groupie looking chick at a bar, he clumsily leaves the file on Butterflies and potential targets on the bed they just had sex on. Turns out, she’s a Butterfly. So John Cena in his tighty whities is fighting this woman straight out of 1985 with Quireboys playing in the background. Peacemaker manages to get to his car (A Ford Comet with the American Flag painted on it) to get to a helmet that blows the attacking woman to literal pieces.

From there we find out that basically everyone in this squad is straight out of F Troop. The tech guy switches registration but uses Peacemaker’s dad cause he was “stressed”, the conversations tend to just be awkward and it comes down to Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) needing to tranquilize a good portion of police officers to get Peacemaker out of that exploded body situation.

Vigilante’s actual introduction is amusing and we go through a buddy montage of shooting things and playing with grenades. Which is beneficial because when it comes down to their first Butterfly target, Peacemaker chokes because he doesn’t have a reason to kill them and two targets are children. Thankfully, Vigilante is a psychopath and takes out three targets before their meta-human bodyguard Judomaster breaks up the sniper’s nest. After a funny torture scene (I know what I said), we bumble our way into Judomaster getting hit by a truck to be captured and Peacemaker manages to take out the target. During all of this we see that Peacemaker’s father does get arrested for the situation with the 80s looking woman, and when he enters prison, he immediately intimidates a black inmate with many of the white inmates reacting to his return. The episode ends with the Aryan Nation bowing and calling him the White Dragon.

So while Peacemaker is having a crisis of character since he doesn’t feel he’s a bad person, his father is a racist Nazi Super Villain. Fun times right? Reminds me of my childhood – not the point though! Since they batched the first 3 and the rest will be one episode a week, this definitely leaves enough to be intriguing. Sophomoric Deadpool style humor, with Cena’s ignorant deadpan delivery of a lot of it, is pretty great so far. I personally need to see things evolve a little to really chalk this up as a great series, but the first 3 episodes had enough things to keep me intrigued. Also…the opening is…unskippable. It’s a work of art.

Andrew’s Rating: 4.1/5

PC Tunney: Due to an unfortunate golfing accident he is only a floating head with the ability to speak and not write. Dragon Speech technology has not reached the Tunney Mansion yet. For his thoughts tune in to the show!

PC Tunney’s Rating: 4.5/5


AJ Balaz: Okay, I’m not going to lie, wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it was from the start but the intro instantly had me sold from the start with the near cringe worthy, stone face dancing as Wig Wam’s ‘Do You Wanna Taste It Plays’ to give us the joy that we are about to have in this series. The first episode give us a recap of what happened in the last Suicide Squad movie with Project Starfish and what is going on for Christopher Smith aka Peacemaker. He is tapped to do more work for the ragtag group of people who were against Amanda Waller in The Suicide Squad and are now Black Ops for a new Project that is going on, Project Butterfly. Of course being the jock like imbecile that they portray Peacemaker, they don’t tell him what it is and rightfully so… he’s kind of an imbecile. We are introduced to his father, who has a past we will get to later and his partner-in-crime, his best friend, Eagley. In the meantime, the ragtag group mentioned before has a file for Peacemaker involving the Project and the only thing Peacemaker is thinking of is… who he’s going to have sex with now that he is a “free man”. Striking out to one of the group mates, he finds a stereotypical 80’s punk rock girl and goes with that. Peacemaker, does the deed and we learn that the easy strange is actually a butterfly. After Cena sings one of the softest songs in the history of songs, he gets destroyed in the fight but after jumping out of a window, grabbing his helmet from his 1968 Ford Comet in American Flag print, he uses a sonic blast to kill the Butterfly, everything in about a 5 mile radius and we get Love Bomb Baby by Tigertailz as the outro to make light of the mood.

Following that, we get the group trying to get Peacemaker out. I haven’t mentioned the other main character of this story yet in, Leota who has been added to the group along with Peacemaker for this Black Ops mission. It’s unclear, very sketchy as to why she is in the group but she is an absolute delight and deterrent from the super serious thought process of the rest of the group. This is where more of the comedic side comes in where Peacemaker is running up the stairs to grab things from the butterfly’s room once Harcourt is telling him to stay put they are coming and he is confused as to how and asks if they can see him doing “other things” (It’s very dude bro, locker room humor. You’ll be desensitized from it very quickly. It’s few and far between). Peacemaker runs from any potential problem, the tech guy of the group changes things over that is slightly… going to make more problems after. They group escapes normally and the problem that they did was switch the records of Car Title and fingerprints from Peacemaker’s name to his father’s. At the end, we see that Peacemaker’s father that is now in jail, is a Supervillain, neo Nazi that has the name of “White Dragon”.

The third episode starts with the group going to get rid of the politician that was in the folder from episode one and Peacemaker’s sidekick comes into the fold, Vigilante. He’s more of the friend that tries to impress the group more and after Peacemaker’s rifle doesn’t have a ‘Dove of Peace’ to make him feel better of killing people, Vigilante has to step in to do the job. Peacemaker freezes up until the bodyguard of the politician attacks them, Judomaster, and kidnap Vigilante and Peacemaker. After the group tries to get in the house to save them, Judomaster is incapacitated, Peacemaker manages to break free, kill the politician and a Butterfly leaves the body, trying to escape. “Oh… Project Butterfly.”

AJ’s Rating: 4.3/5

 

POD is WAR Consensus Rating on Peacemaker Episodes 1-3:  4.3/5


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