Tonight’s Cruiserweight grudge match throws out the rule book!
While Drew Gulak and Tony Nese prepare for their Cruiserweight Championship encounter at Extreme Rules, there’s another grudge match going on! Will the Persian Lion or British Brawler be the one still standing when it’s #AnythingGoes?
- THE Brian Kendrick VS Sunil Singh w/ Samir; Kendrick wins.
- Jack Gallagher VS Devin Justin; Gallagher wins.
- Anything Goes: Oney Lorcan VS Ariya Daivari; Lorcan wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Oney Lorcan speaks.
“Tonight, anything goes.” If Lorcan wants to use a chair, he can. If Lorcan wants to use a table, he can. And if Lorcan wants to give Daivari more stitches, he can. And will! But Daivari attacks now! The Persian Lion doesn’t want to wait, but that’s fine by Lorcan! Security and Drake Maverick disagree! They pull these two apart and will force them to wait until the main event. Will Lorcan and Daivari do anything and everything possible when there’s nothing holding them back?
THE Brian Kendrick VS Sunil Singh w/ Samir!
The Man with a Plan was talking to WWE reporters before the show when the Bollywood Boys felt the need to “cut” in. The Singh Brothers understand that Kendrick has been around a long long time but hasn’t done that much. But it’s fine, because now he gets a Bollywood Lifetime Achievement Award! Kendrick was furious, and dared them to step up into the ring! Samir and Sunil volunteered each other, but it seems Sunil ended up with this honor. Will the Singhs celebrate at another “Boscar after party”? Or will they learn the lesson of a lifetime?
The bell rings and Sunil wants Kendrick to know this isn’t personal. He wants Kendrick to dance with him! Kendrick doesn’t dance. Fans cheer, “Let’s Go, Kendrick!” but Sunil wants Kendrick to join in the “curry-sel.” Kendrick just decks Sunil with a right! He stomps Sunil then throws forearms! Kendrick whips but Sunil grabs ropes. Sunil shakes the cobwebs out, and now Kendrick dances! Sunil runs but gets tossed with a back drop! Kendrick calf kicks Sunil out and Sunil regroups with Samir. Samir checks on his brother but Kendrick shoves him aside. Sunil then clobbers Kendrick! And whips him into steel steps! Kendrick tumbles over as his knees bang off the edge. “Is that what you want, Brian? All you should do is dance!”
Sunil puts Kendrick in and covers, TWO! Sunil rains down angry rights, then drops elbow after elbow. He dances again and swivels those hips, but Kendrick gets to a corner. Fans rally but Sunil grinds his boot into Kendrick. The ref has Sunil back off, but Sunil drags Kendrick up to CHOP! Sunil rolls camera as Kendrick crawls more, then chokes Kendrick on the ropes. Samir is there to taunt Kendrick as Sunil backs off. Kendrick elbows Sunil away but Samir gets a cheap shot! Sunil knees Kendrick out then throws him back in. Sunil covers, TWO, but he keeps on Kendrick with a chinlock. Kendrick endures as fans boo the Bollywood Boys.
Fans rally up for Kendrick and Kendrick works his way up. Kendrick fights out but Sunil clubs Kendrick down. Sunil scoops Kendrick for a backbreaker, then goes to a corner. He hops up, swivels his hips, and rolls camera, to leap and FLOP! Kendrick gets clear of the elbow drop and drags himself up on the ropes. Sunil runs in but gets counter punches! Fans rally as Kendrick whips Sunil hard into buckles! Sunil staggers back, into another calf kick! Kendrick rallies with clotheslines and a boot! Fans fire up as Kendrick drags Sunil up, but Sunil denies Sliced Bread. Sunil kicks low, swivels the hips, and suplexes, but Kendrick slips out to hit the takedown! Captain’s Hook! Sunil taps fast, Kednrick wins!
Winner: THE Brian Kendrick, by submission
But Samir is right on Kendrick! There won’t be any celebrating for Kendrick, but here comes Akira Tozawa! The Stamina Monster fights off the Bollywood Boys and goes to his friend’s side. Tozawa and Kendrick stand tall now, but will they be the co-stars of the Singh Brothers’ next summer blockbuster?
205 Live presents part 1 of their closer look at Humberto Carrillo.
Ultimo Ninja is one of the fastest rising starts in the Cruiserweight Division. This third generation wrestler had fun growing up watching wrestling with his family and friends. Sunday mornings would be about watching Mexican wrestling in their grandfather’s house, and are some of his happiest memories. Moving from Mexico to the United States has been hard. In Monterrey, he had his family around, but now in the US, it’s just himself. His grandfather and father gave him the support he needs, and continue to tell him this is what it’s all for. Carrillo is here living the dream, but how far can he take it? Wait for part 2 next week!
Jack Gallagher VS Devin Justin!
The Extraordinary Gentleman continues to build his way back up in hopes of contending for the Cruiserweight Championship. His two rivals, Drew Gulak and Tony Nese, meet at Extreme Rules for the title, but will Gallagher be in position to meet them on the other side?
The bell rings and Gallagher circles with Devin. Being a gentleman, Gallagher offers a handshake. Devin takes it, and there is no trap behind it. Gallagher and Devin tie up and Gallagher wrenches Devin to a wristlock. He has Devin on the ground and turns him over, then back the other way. Gallagher wrenches the wrist and pulls back on the fingers. He drags Devin up to a headlock but Devin powers out. Gallagher runs Devin over, then speeds things up. Gallagher catches Devin for a fireman’s carry hotshot! Then he wrings Devin out to step through and hammerlock the arm. Gallagher grabs the other arm and leans on it for a recliner cover. ONE as Devin slips out, but Gallagher rocks him with a European Uppercut!
Gallagher gut wrenches but Devin slips out. Devin waistlocks but Gallagher bucks him off to boot him down! Gallagher ties Devin up in the ropes like a pretzel! Fans cheer as Gallagher runs and dropkicks Devin hard! Gallagher keeps on Devin with a suplex and holds him up to show his uncanny strength! Then he drops Devin down! Gallagher aims at Devin from the corner, but wait! Mike Kanellis shows up from the crowd!? Mike starts disrupting things by throwing trash around! “You want to ruin my show, Drake?! I’m going to ruin your show!” Speaking of Drake Maverick, he and security hurry out to stop Mike.
Fans taunt Mike with “Who’s Your Daddy?” over the shocking revelation from last night’s Raw. Mike walks back out through the crowd and security keeps him moving. Devin rolls Gallagher up! TWO, and Gallagher is mad now! Extraordinary Headbutt on the run! Gallagher covers, Gallagher wins!
Winner: Jack Gallagher, by pinfall
Not even Mike’s tantrum is enough to throw off the Extraordinary Gentleman. But will Mike have to pay for his emotional outbursts? As for Gallagher, is he going to climb back up the Cruiserweight ranks as the summer heats up?
Drake Maverick finds Mike Kanellis backstage.
He needs to speak to Mike not as boss and employee, but man to man. Maverick knows Mike is frustrated with Maverick for not doing his job here on 205 Live, and he apologizes for that. Maverick admits he’s been trying to do too much, with being both a GM and pursuing the WWE 24/7 Championship. He’s neglected the Cruiserweight Division and his own wife, but he knows Mike has his own frustrations right now. But Mike can’t just take that out on other people! Please understand Maverick’s position as 205 Live GM.
Oh that’s so great. Suddenly Maverick understands Mike. But he doesn’t! Maverick is the reason Mike’s life is in ruins. And now it is only fair that Mike ruins things for Maverick. But as GM, Maverick can’t have Mike doing this. Mike is now fined. Wow, really!? A fine on a man with a second child on the way?! Because Mike brought this upon himself. Mike says Maverick can do whatever he has to do. Because Mike is going to compete in Maverick’s ring, on Maverick’s show, and he’ll just see how much Maverick will do after he sees what Mike has planned. What does Mike have planned to ruin Maverick’s show?
Anything Goes: Oney Lorcan VS Ariya Daivari!
It’s as simple as the name suggests! The British Brawler and Persian Lion will do anything and everything they can to settle the score! Who wins? And who survives?!
They don’t even wait for the bell, or for both of them to be in the ring! The second Daivari is on stage, Lorcan leaves the ring to rush him! They brawl on the ramp and Lorcan knees low. Lorcan puts Daivari in the ring hard then follows after. The bell finally rings and this is official as Lorcan LARIATS Daivari down! Lorcan whips Daivari out of the ring, and fans fire up with the Fury of 205 Live! Lorcan goes back out to go after Daivari by bumping him hard off steel steps! Fans also like that Lorcan brings out chairs from under the ring! Lorcan puts them into the ring one after the other, and fans chant “We Want Tables!”
For now, Lorcan puts Daivari in the ring and runs into the corner for a big back elbow! Lorcan runs corner to corner for another! Then he glares as he picks up a chair and sits it in front of Daivari. But Daivari throws Lorcan out of the ring, and folds up that chair. Daivari tosses it aside, he won’t resort to those yet. He goes out and bumps Lorcan off the announce desk first. Daivari then goes looking under the ring and brings out a trash can. He tosses the chain inside aside, but Lorcan mule kicks him before he can use the can! Lorcan snap suplexes Daivari to the floor! The referee goes out to keep an eye on them as Lorcan whips Daivari. Daivari reverses and sends Lorcan into barriers!
Daivari staggers about before putting Lorcan back in the ring. He looks under the ring, and brings out a ladder! Fans do like seeing that as Daivari puts the ladder in the ring. Daivari finds that chain again, and wraps it around Lorcan’s face! The chain digs into Lorcan’s face, and Daivari lets go when he has Lorcan in a corner. Daivari stands the ladder up in a corner, then drags Lorcan up. He CHOPS Lorcan, then whips him corner to corner. Lorcan reverses but Daivari stops from running into the chair. Daivari kicks Lorcan but Lorcan still whips him into the ladder! Daivari and ladder fall over and fans fire up for Lorcan. Lorcan drags the ladder around to prop up against ropes.
Lorcan grimaces as he goes back to Daivari. He drags Daivari up and lines up his shot, but Daivari resists the suplex. Daivari fights back with body shots and CHOPS Lorcan to sit on the ladder. Daivari whips Lorcan but Lorcan reverses to hip toss Daivari on that ladder! Cover, TWO! Daivari writhes but he survives taking steel ladder twice already. Fans rally up for Lorcan as he grits his teeth. Lorcan grabs a chair again and sits it up. Lorcan signals for his signature suplex, and drags Daivari over. Half nelson but Daivari resists for dear life! Daivari full nelsons into an inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Daivari is frustrated but he has Lorcan down. Daivari grabs that chain again and uses it to grind Lorcan’s face again. He whips Lorcan like that into buckles!
Daivari drags Lorcan up again, that chain around his face, for another buckle bump! Daivari trash talks the fans but they boo and jeer. Again Daivari throws Lorcan with the chain into buckles! Cover, TWO! Lorcan toughs it out but Daivari goes to the chair. Daivari keeps Lorcan down with haymakers before moving the ladder to a corner again. Daivari bumps Lorcan’s face off the chair, then laces him through for a modified camel clutch. Lorcan endures being bent back against steel, even as Daivari rakes his face! Fans rally up for “Oney! Oney!” as Daivari lets Lorcan out of the chair. Daivari soaks up the heat as fans boo, and then drags Lorcan back up. Daivari sits Lorcan down in the chair to throw hands.
Lorcan can barely cover up as Daivari SLAPS and punches away. Daivari runs, but into a drop toehold! Daivari hits steel chair! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Lorcan grits his teeth as he rises. Daivari crawls and Lorcan is right at him. Lorcan throws a big European Uppercut, then another. Daivari flounders but Lorcan keeps on him with EuroUppers. Lorcan whips but Daivari reverses, only to get a blockbuster! Daivari flounders away but Lorcan runs back in for another EuroUpper! Daivari ends up outside and Lorcan fires up! The Fury runs, the Fury FLIES! Direct hit takes out Daivari and the fans fire up! Lorcan drags Daivari back in, and fans still want tables. Lorcan hears them, and brings out a table! He brings that table into the ring, but Daivari SUPERKICKS him down!
Daivari drags himself to a corner to rest for a moment before going out to the apron. Daivari aims at Lorcan and leaps, into the trash can! Lorcan tossed the can at Daivari midair! Daivari crashes and burns, and now Lorcan looms over him. Lorcan drags Daivari up to throw into steel steps! And he SMACKS Daivari with the trash can lid. Then Lorcan throws a chair on Daivari! Lorcan scoops out chair after chair to bury Daivari under them! Lorcan stands one up again, then brings a few more over and sets them up with that chair. He kicks Daivari then SMACKS him with the trash can lid before bringing more chairs over. Lorcan has six chairs lined up nice and close, and signals for his suplex. But Daivari kicks and SMACKS Lorcan back! Daivari SMACKS Lorcan more, then climbs up the steel steps.
Daivari soaks up the heat before he drags Lorcan up. Fans chant “You Suck! You Suck!” but Daivari has Lorcan up top! Daivari goes to suplex, but Lorcan resists for dear life. Lorcan fights back and then headbutts Daivari. Lorcan has Daivari in a bomb, but now Daivari resists for dear life. Daivari back drops Lorcan onto all those chairs!! The fans are stunned as Lorcan is down in the wreckage of steel. Daivari himself staggers over to drag Lorcan up and into the ring. He stomps Lorcan but isn’t done with him. He goes to the table! Daivari sets it up but stomps Lorcan before also bringing the ladder up. Daivari has the ladder up, sets Lorcan near it, and climbs. He reaches near the top, then leaps, for the Lion Splash! Cover, TWO!! Lorcan still lives!!
Daivari is livid but fans are still on Oney’s side! Daivari goes back to the table and puts it sideways in the corner. He stomps Lorcan more then goes out to get a second table! Fans don’t like Daivari but they do like where he’s going with this. Daivari sets that table up, but the legs break. So Daivari fetches a third table! He’s a little more careful with this table and has it properly set up by the first. Daivari drags Lorcan up and sets him on the tables, to then climb up top on the corner. But Lorcan revives and trips Daivari up! Lorcan climbs up to join Daivari, to SUPERPLEX Daivari and himself through the tables!! Cover, Lorcan wins!!
Winner: Oney Lorcan, by pinfall
It was #AnythingGoes, and both men went to extremes! Lorcan survives and wins, but what shape is he in after all that? Will this match be the catalyst to Lorcan’s rise towards the title?
205 Live takes a look at what led to this coming Cruiserweight Championship match.
Tony Nese and Drew Gulak were among the original class of Cruiserweight superstars from the Cruiserweight Classic and the premiere of 205 Live back on November 29, 2016. They were good friends back then, traveling the world and fighting together in 205 Live. They both wanted to bring change to 205 Live, but at some point, Gulak felt Tony was not able to do that. So Gulak left Tony behind, “because I am superior to him.” But Tony says Gulak’s plan wasn’t about a better 205 Live, but getting himself all the attention. Tony knew Gulak never believed a word he was saying. Gulak says Tony was only ever concerned with his physique.
But then when these two collided in this year’s Cruiserweight Champoinship Contender’s Tournament all the way back in March, we saw who was superior. Gulak felt that the winner of that match was clearly going to win the title at Wrestlemania, and it was Tony. Tony won the title in his hometown, on the biggest stage possible. But Gulak says Tony got lucky for three seconds. “He robbed me of my Wrestlemania moment.” And for the first time since the start of this new Cruiserweight Division, Gulak found himself completely alone. There was no one left to help him, so Gulak refocused and went back to his roots. Gulak brought back his mean streak, and at Stomping Grounds, he let nothing stop him become champion.
Tony says this renewed aggression was out of jealousy and bitterness, but it did allow him to pin Akira Tozawa. “Until he pins the man who was Cruiserweight Champion, he’s not a champion to me.” Gulak vows that Tony will have to beat him unconscious to get this belt back, because he’s not letting go any other way. Who will win to prove they are THE Cruiserweight Champion?
A great go-home for 205 Live! What a great thing to open with but Daivari interrupting Lorcan’s promo! They have really built this feud between them rather well, and they had an incredible match in the main event! I don’t understand why it was called an “Anything Goes” match when it was basically No Holds Barred, but there must be some kind of paranoia (from Vince). If they called this match “No Holds Barred” and basically outdid the No Holds Barred Tag Match of Roman & Taker VS Shane & McIntyre in sheer extreme spots, it obviously would look bad on those four big names. They still could have called tonight’s match “No Disqualifications” but I suppose that wouldn’t stop count outs in the grand scheme of wrestling stipulations. Either way, a great match, and Lorcan is red hot.
Interesting to see that the Singh Brothers are the ones moving into a new tag team feud. They lost to the Lucha House Party, but I suppose this is what happens now that they lost. Plus, there aren’t any other united Heels on 205 Live anymore so what else would there be for them? But again, what do we get out of this? We need a prize for these tag teams to actually fight for. Meanwhile, the story of Mike Kanellis and Drake Maverick continues, and it is much better on 205 Live than the cringey things we’re starting to get on Raw. Can’t wait to see what Mike does to disrupt 205 Live. I also like that Humberto Carrillo is getting video promos to help fans understand who he is. This must be the beginning of a true push for the title after Extreme Rules.
And speaking of Extreme Rules, that video package to sum up things between Gulak and Nese was really well done. WWE definitely does great with things like this, and each guy was great in their own parts of the promo. This match feels like it could go either way, and hopefully doesn’t end up on the preshow but it probably will. I still feel it has to be Gulak to make for new match-ups, such as with Lorcan and Carrillo.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (7/17/19)
Who is the first to challenge the champ?
The NXT Champion returns to Full Sail, BAYBAY!
After making some stops on his Championship Celebration Tour BAYBAY, Adam Cole finally returns home! And he’s even daring to put the NXT Championship on the line tonight! Who steps up to the challenge?
- Matt Riddle VS Arturo Ruas; Riddle wins.
- NXT Breakout Tournament: Bronson Reed VS Dexter Lumis; Reed wins and advances to the next round.
- Apollo Crews VS KUSHIDA; KUSHIDA wins.
- NXT Championship: Adam Cole VS ???; No Contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
Matt Riddle VS Arturo Ruas!
Bro… NXT brings some Evolve as the Original Bro takes on the Brazilian Tiger! Both men had great wins during the Evolve 10th Anniversary Special, but who will win what is surely going to be a fight?
The bell rings and Riddle fist bumps Ruas to show this is still respectful. They test each other with jabs and kicks, but they keep their space. Riddle goes for a leg but Ruas sprawls. Riddle gets the waistlock and slam, but Ruas switches on the mat. Ruas rolls Riddle and wants a sleeper but Riddle rolls out to switch with Ruas. Fans rally and cheer for the Bro as he scrapes Ruas off his leg. Riddle and Ruas approach and Ruas tries some hands. Riddle throws them back then powers Ruas to a corner. The ref counts but Ruas turns things around, only for Riddle to hop on! But Ruas powers out to a slam! Ruas goes for the arm but Riddle holds tight. Ruas CHOPS Riddle but Riddle rolls to go for Ruas’ arm! Riddle gives back the CHOP as he works on the grip.
Ruas rolls and slips out to then get a facelock. Riddle pops out and gets his hands up, and fans cheer again. Ruas tries his capoeria stance but Riddle fires through it. Riddle has a leg but Ruas trips him up! Riddle gets the ropebreak and Ruas lets go. The two get up again and the dukes are up. Riddle tries kicks but so does Ruas. Riddle just gets Ruas with his foot! Ruas shrugs it off and tackles Riddle! But Riddle has the leg guard and elbows. Ruas tries palm strikes but Riddle gets away. Riddle comes back with hands, but misses his kick to block Ruas’ and boot Ruas down! Ruas kicks from the mat then trips Riddle up! Ruas rains down hands but Riddle heel kicks back, FINAL FLASH KNEE! Riddle rains the rights, Ruas can’t defend himself! The ref calls it!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by stoppage
Ruas gets #Broverwhelmed by Riddle, but Riddle doesn’t get to celebrate long! Someone attacks from behind! They wear a hoodie so we can’t see who they are as they stomp Riddle out! But then the hood comes off, it’s KILLIAN DAIN! And he drops big sentons on Riddle! The Beast of Belfast throws Riddle out of the ring hard, then goes out to run him over! Dain rains down rights, then throws him by his hair! Riddle crawls to retreat but Dain keeps on him with stomps. Dain CLUBS Riddle then kicks him into the apron. Dain clobbers Riddle over and over, and drops a fourth senton! Fans boo the Belfast barbarian as he rains down more rights.
Dain hauls Riddle up to throw him to the stage. Riddle crawls but Dain kicks him while he’s down. Dain runs and drops a fifth senton, and they both crash through the floor!! Dain promised to take everything from everyone, is Riddle just the first victim?
The NXT Tag Team Champions, the Street Profits, have a special edition of #StreetTalk!
This very special edition is rather quiet as they talk about the fact that, while the titles say the Street Profits are the champs, there are others that think the belts are theirs. Dawkins and Fords know Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish are the ones running around trying to own the place. They disrespect the Profits. Nah, fam. These titles are serious. If the Profits weren’t serious, how did they win the ladder match? How did they win period? But if reDRagon wants to see the smoke, come see them. The Profits will still be the champs, “and that… is undisputed.” Will the Profits burn O’Reilly & Fish when they finally go 2v2?
NXT shares fan footage from Saturday.
Marina Shafir had only just pulled into the parking lot, when Mia Yim attacked! The Head Baddie in Charge gave one of the MMA Horsewomen a taste of their own medicine as she beat Marina down, and then SLAMMED the door shut on her! Is this going to get Shayna Baszler’s attention?
NXT Breakout Tournament: Bronson Reed VS Dexter Lumis!
The opening round of this inaugural tournament wraps up with perhaps the most physically imposing men of the field. First is the menacing maniac hailing from an “undisclosed location,” whose thousand yard stare into your soul might be reason enough not to fight him. Second is the bar brawler from Australia’s Black Forest, who welcomes anyone to test his Australian Strong Style. Who joins Angel Garza, Jordan Myles and Cameron Grimes in the semifinals?
Lumis frames Reed like a picture but Reed looks to crush Lumis with his hand. They tie up and Reed headlocks Lumis. Lumis pulls hair then powers out. Reed runs Lumis over but Lumis is right up! That surprises Reed, but he swings a clothesline. Lumis ducks and runs but Reed follows to run Lumis over! Reed scoops Lumis but Lumis slips out, shoves and elbows Reed out of the ring. Lumis then runs to FLY! But Reed gets free, only for Lumis to land on his feet!? Reed dodges Lumis to crossbody Lumis down! Fans fire up for this as Reed drags Lumis up. Reed puts Lumis in the ring and stands him up, but Lumis throat chops. Lumis whips and trips Reed into ropes! Reed gasps for air but Lumis rains down rabid rights. The eerily stoic Lumis is now fired up as he stomps Reed around.
Lumis frames the picture and pulls on Reed’s ears. The ref reprimands Lumis so he shifts to a neck wrench. Fans rally up and Reed fights up, but Lumis throws him back down. Lumis drops ax handles and elbows, then puts the neck wrench back on. Fans rally again and Reed endures. Lumis licks Reed?! Perhaps he wants a taste of Reed’s pain. But Reed only gets mad and fights his way up. Reed throws forearms but Lumis knees low. Lumis runs but into Reed’s powerslam! Both men are down as Lumis clutches his ribs. Lumis is up but Reed follows to rally with forearms and elbows. Reed whips and back drops Lumis high and hard! Lumis leans on the ropes, Reed runs and bounces Lumis off the ropes, and runs him over with his full body! Cover, TWO!
Reed keeps going and drags Lumis up for a suplex. Lumis slips out to back suplex Reed! And then kips up to a leg drop! Cover, TWO! Lumis keeps his cool and goes to a corner while Reed is down. Lumis climbs up top, frames the picture, and leaps, to flop! Reed lifts Lumis for a back suplex SLAM! The straps come down and now Reed climbs!? Reed leaps, SUPER SPLASH! Cover, Reed wins!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall; advances to the second round
Australian Strong Style advances! Will he continue to make a big splash when he goes up against Cameron Grimes next?
Tyler Breeze has a new NXT photoshoot.
Prince Pretty finishes up and Cathy Kelly asks for an interview. Breeze agrees, so long as they walk and talk. Cathy walks with Breeze about losing to Roderick Strong. Well the thing about NXT now is that it’s good to have someone watching your back. So Breeze either adapts or- The Forgotten Sons walk in and can’t believe there’s another “blast from the past.” But Steve Cutler tells Breeze this isn’t the old NXT, this is not the Tyler Breeze Show. This is the NXT where real men compete.
Breeze is a man, check the beard. But yeah, Breeze hasn’t been here awhile, but good to see Cutler and Wesley Blake are still stuck here. And didn’t Jaxson Ryker used to be Buddy Murphy? The Forgotten Sons say Breeze’s jokes are why he’s never been taken seriously. Ryker is a savage, and Breeze has never faced a man like him. Well guess what? Breeze has seen everything he needs. Will Breeze still be gorgeous after a going against the Gunner?
The #EvilGenius will return to action next week!
Io Shirai’s new entrance, new look and new attitude came with the simple message: “I don’t need anyone.” Will this new attitude be what she needs to make it back to the top? Her return match against American Ninja Warrior, Kacy Catanzaro, will test that theory!
Apollo Crews VS KUSHIDA!
The Time Splitter is still undefeated in NXT, and he is willing to take on anyone and everyone from within the WWE! Now SmackDown’s rising star returns to Full Sail to test the Super Junior, will Kushida’s streak continue?
Full Sail “Welcome Back!” Apollo as he heads to the ring. The bell rings and Apollo shakes hands with Kushida to show this is a respectful match. The two circle and tie up, and Apollo gets out of Kushida’s grip. Apollo comes back to get the waistlock and throw Kushida down. Kushida works his way up and around to waistlock and facelock. They roll around and Kushida holds on to then float all over Apollo, back to a gator roll and cover, TWO! Apollo ducks the Penalty Kick just in time, and Kushida lets him know how close it was. Fans duel as the two circle and tie up again. Apollo headlocks but Kushida powers out, only for Apollo to run him over. Things speed up and Apollo shows his agility, but so does Kushida! They keep moving and Apollo dropkicks Kushida right down!
Apollo strikes a pose before he wrenches and whips Kushida corner to corner. Apollo hits a corner clothesline then whips again, but Kushida slides out. Kushida plays cat ‘n’ mouse to then handspring heel kick Apollo down! Apollo is down but Kushida goes out to fetch him. Kushida puts Apollo in, then goes after the arm. Kushida headbutts the shoulder then runs, but into a pop-up gutbuster! Both men are down and fans rally up. Apollo stands to drag Kushida up, then suplexes and holds Kushida up for over 20 counts! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps on Kushida with a chinlock and thrashes him about. Kushida endures and fans rally up.
Kushida stands, fights back, then runs, but into Apollo’s elbow! Apollo drags Kushida back up to throw haymakers. Apollo throws hands in the corner then whips Kushida corner to corner again. He hits a big splash then a big overhead suplex! Cover, TWO! Apollo drags Kushida up again for forearms, backing Kushida down to a corner. He whips Kushida corner to corner agian but misses the splash this time! Kushida throws forearms back! Apollo mule kicks, runs to a corner, but Kushida catches his headscissors to KICK Apollo down! Fans rally as Kushida gets up first.
Kushida forearms Apollo at the ropes but Apollo reverses the whip. Kushida handsprings to back elbow Apollo down! Apollo is in the corner, Kushida runs in, but Apollo boots Kushida away. Apollo runs but into Kushida’s hip toss! Kushida cartwheels and dropkicks to add on! Apollo gets to a corner as fans fire up with Kushida. Kushida goes to the apron to kick Apollo out of the corner! Then step-in springboards in for a tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Kushida drags Apollo up and wrenches the arm to a shoulder breaker. Kushida runs and slides under to kick away on the arm. Apollo catches the kick, then blocks the takedown counter! He fireman’s carries but Kuhisda slips out to a waistlock. Apollo standing switches, but Kushida elbows free. Kushida runs into a BOOT! Cover, TWO!
Kushida survives but Apollo drags him up for a deadlift German Suplex! But Apollo holds on for a second, a la the Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle! The third German is a release, and leads to a standing shooting star! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives again and Apollo is shocked. Full Sail is thunderous for “Both These Guys!” as Apollo stands Kushida up again. Apollo trophy lifts but Kushida slips out. Kushida catches Apollo to give him a buckle shot! Then Kushida springboards, huricanrana but Apollo rolls through, TWO!! Kushida Peles but Apollo enziguris! Both men are down and fans are loving “NXT! NXT!” for this match.
A standing count begins and Apollo slowly sits up. Apollo gets up at 4 to go to the apron. Apollo then climbs, but Kushida hurries over. Kushida stops Apollo with a forearm, then throws more as he climbs. Apollo gives forearms back, and the two start trading. Apollo sends Kushida down, but Kushida is up to handspring heel kick Apollo back! Kushida climbs up and stands Apollo, for a SUPER ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Apollo flails and works his way up to his feet. He drags Kushida but Kushida rolls Apollo away, SAKURABA LOCK! Apollo endures the kimura but taps out, Kushida wins!!
Winner: KUSHIDA, by submission
An incredible battle brings Apollo and Kushida to their limits, but it is the Super Junior’s streak that continues! How long will it take the Time Splitter to fight for a title?
Backstage interview with Keith Lee.
The Limitless One moves into his second year in NXT beginning, but what are his feelings towards his tenure here? “Tenure” makes Lee think of “progress,” but what progress has he made with his stop-and-go momentum? Lee has been here a year now, but what is the real keyword? Opportunity. Opportunities were supposed to be set at his feet, but… It feels more like Lee has been passed over. There is the Breakout Tournament, but why wasn’t that here when Lee arrived? And now there’s this new guy, Damien Priest, and he’s all the buzz. But maybe Lee should change the narrative. Maybe Lee should be the one that replaces Priest in everyone’s conversations. Will Limitless #LiveForever against the Archer of Infamy?
NXT Championship: Adam Cole VS ???
He’s back, BAYBAY! Adam Cole’s victory lap finishes with Full Sail, and he’s promised a title defense just for the fun of it. Cole picks up a mic to say, “For the past few weeks, I’ve been traveling all across the globe on the BAYBAY Championship Tour.” What he did is to show the morons what a true champion is. He showed us what true power is! And while he’s been gone, the Undisputed Era has been taking care of business. There is now an #UndisputedPowerSwitch in NXT, but Cole is a fighting champion. Anyone, anytime, anywhere! And that starts tonight! And against… Johnny Gargano?!
A video of Gargano plays, from when he shared the NXT Championship belt with the aspiring wrestlers in Cleveland. It was such a surreal moment for those young stars, and so… “Twan Tucker, c’mon down!” And he’s here in NXT! Cole says it’s good to see him again. Hopefully Twan realizes this is the opportunity of a life time. And he promises this will just be the two of them, no Undisputed Era around. This is a fair chance to slap the taste out of Cole’s mouth. Oh so it’s just Cole and Twan? Too bad, because Twan didn’t come alone! Twan brought JOHNNY GARGANO!! Cole is in shock as Johnny Wrestling storms out and past Twan, to brawl with Cole! Gargano rallies, blocks a superkick and gives a SUPERKICK! Then one from the apron!
Gargano chases Cole and throws hands as they go around the outside. Cole throws Gargano into railing and retreats up the stands, but Gargano still chases him down! Gargano rains down hands and Full Sail is thunderous! Gargano CHOPS and punches Cole against the railing, then pushes him back to ringside. Cole keeps retreating, but Johnny Badass keeps coming. But Cole elbows Gargnao back! Cole whips but Gargano reverses to send Cole through barriers! Gargano hops on to rain down hands and bounce Cole off the floor! Referees rush out to drag Gargano away. Cole stands tall with his title, until Gargano FLIES off the stage!!
Referees go after Gargano again but he still goes after Cole! They end up in the ring, Cole kicks low to run, but gets a SUPERKICK! And then the DIY style, into GargaNO Escape! Cole taps, but it doesn’t matter right now, Gargano wants to hurt the cocky champ! Referees pry at the grip around Cole’s neck, but Gargano lets go when he’s satisfied! Gargano defended the honor of The Land, but will he bring the title back in yet another match with Adam Cole, BAYBAY?
NXT GM William Regal responds to this chaotic ending!
As seen on WWE’s YouTube, Regal sees things between Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano will not be over so easily. So his choice is to give Gargano and Cole another Best 2 Out of 3 Falls, but where Gargano chooses one stipulation, Cole chooses another, and if need be, Regal chooses the third. In other words, NXT brings back the Three Stages of Hell!! What will Gargano and Cole choose to do to each other in order to finally, decisively, and indisputably end this feud?!
WOW that was an incredible episode for NXT! We waste little time getting to hard hitting action as Arturo Ruas makes his debut (ignore when he was Adrian Jaoude) and against Matt Riddle. It was great to see legit MMA-trained wrestlers give us just samples of what they can legitimately do, and what a great choice to make this a TKO, referee stoppage win as opposed to a pin or submission. It really ups Riddle’s power, which he’ll need after Big Damo destroyed him. It was a great spot to have them break the stage, but it was easy to see the exact panel on the stage they were going to break. I’m reminded of old cartoons, where you could tell if something was about to move because it was slightly different in shade. That aside, Dain VS Riddle is going to be awesome!
We got an awesome “fan filmed” section where Mia Yim went off on Marina Shafir. I’m surprised they didn’t have a response promo from Shayna, but we can definitely get that next week. If anything, Mia might do something like this to Jessamyn Duke so Shayna will have no one in Toronto. Meanwhile, Io Shirai’s Heel persona starting her in-ring journey is going to be great, but I’m sure this all leads to her and Candice LeRae for at least the “post” TakeOver episode. Reed VS Lumis was a pretty solid opening round finale, and both guys got great shine. The second round is going to be even greater with Garza VS Myles and Grimes VS Reed. Street Profits gave us a quiet but strong promo, solidifying that Toronto will feature all parts of Undisputed Era to either make or break the #drapedingold prediction.
Kushida VS Apollo, WOW! This is the Apollo we’ve been wanting to see back in the ring, but the main roster doesn’t use him nearly enough. Kushida keeps rolling, so he’ll definitely be primed for a title match after Toronto onto Chicago for Survivor Series weekend. And the announcement of Cole having a title match on NXT TV set up expectations, such as a ridiculous squash, what we got was so much better! Twan let Gargano go right after Cole and their brawl all over the arena was great. And now hearing that we’re getting the (not officially named) return of Three Stages of Hell, this is going to give us the truly decisive and truly over-the-top finale to this saga between Gargano and Cole. There are any number of things the three falls can be, and you know they’re doing all three falls, Toronto is going to be insane.
My Score: 8.6/10
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment (Week 5: RAW/ July 15, 2019)
Monday Night RAW happened. Or did it? Let’s talk about what we saw on YouTube and discuss whether anything actually occurred at all.
The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Monday Night RAW/ July 15, 2019/ Long Island, New York
I had Night 3 of New Japan’s G1 Climax to watch on Sunday (and Night 4 on Monday), so I didn’t see Extreme Rules. The results seemed okay, but it’s worthless to cover it here if I didn’t actually see it. I did, however, take advantage of a 3-month subscription for 99 cents a couple of days ago, which follows the 2-month subscription for 99 cents that ended this week. So that’s awesome. I can justify spending what translates into less than 40 cents a month on the WWE Network. I can’t justify 10 bucks a month. And it has nothing to do with the current product.
I’m not going to get on a soapbox, but in short, I signed up on day one and kept my subscription even after I stopped watching regularly, and even after I stopped watching altogether. But when they signed the Saudi deal, I was not happy. And then they doubled down by continuing on with the show after the murder of an innocent journalist. It runs deeper than that, but that’s the gist. As soon as they decided to run that show, I decided that morally, I couldn’t give them $120 bucks a year any longer. So that’s that. I started a free trial at the end of January. Got a second one at the beginning of April, and then accepted 2 months for 99 cents in May and 3 months for 99 cents in July. A buck ninety-eight for 9 months? Yeah, I don’t have a moral obligation that stops me from throwing couch change at someone. In reality, when my subscription ends in mid-October, I’ll have paid 22 cents a month. Hey, I’m even doing numbers analysis up here. How about that?
Monday Night RAW 7/15/2019
Total Number of Clips: 13
Total Time: 34 minutes, 18 seconds
*Note: In the interest of saving space, I won’t be embedding every clip, only the ones that I feel are necessary.*
Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent to be revealed (4 minutes, 56 seconds)
This was the longest clip of the small batch this week, running more than a full minute longer than the second longest, and that one (Truth, Maverick, and the 24/7 Title) was one YouTube clip but 3 actual TV segments. The next longest video that was only one segment was a full minute and 56 seconds shorter than this. The Women’s 4-Way and angle afterward got a 3-minute video. More on that later. This was fine, standard fare from Heyman, and although the outcome at the end of the night was disappointing, at least based on this segment it felt like maybe someone fresh would get a title match. Good enough. (1 for 1)
2-out-of-3 Falls Six-Man Tag Team Match (2 minutes, 59 seconds)
This got Robert Roode on TV, which is good. He actually feels like a guy who would fit well as a regular partner/ally for The Revival. Match seemed fine, and the aftermath was good, with Ricochet getting taken out by The Club, which means they aren’t done with him even though AJ took his belt at the PPV. I hope something big happens with The Club and it’s not just AJ as a mid-card guy with 2 guys as his backup. Or even AJ as a main event guy with 2 guys as his backup, like they did in his feud with Roman Reigns in 2016. If that’s all they do, eh, it’s fine, but it’s nothing special. Finn has to become part of this when he returns in the fall, right? (2 for 2)
The Viking Raiders vs. Vinny Gruner & Jackson James (1 minute, 36 seconds)
Man, they came really close to killing that guy with the pop-up powerslam finish. It’s good to see these guys aren’t getting the Ascension treatment, but they have been on TV for exactly 3 months as of this episode of RAW. It’s time to start doing something with them because the crowd doesn’t seem to care very much. It was just an inoffensive squash and they’re not being beaten up by 60-year-old men every week, so I’ll take it. Next week is the RAW Reunion, though. If I were these guys, I might consider not showing up. (3 for 3)
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew McIntyre (2 minutes, 17 seconds)
After the unbelievably bad angle they did last week to close the show, they needed to give Cedric something, and thankfully they did in the form of a quick win over Drew McIntyre. I get the feeling Drew probably isn’t going to be challenging, much less defeating, The Undertaker at SummerSlam. He’ll probably just be in Shane’s corner for his match against Kevin Owens. Oh well. That’s close, right? I’m interested in seeing if they follow up with Cedric now, or if this was just an apology match for the shit that happened on the previous show. Either way, this was exactly what they needed to do. (4 for 4)
Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe (1 minute, 47 seconds)
Joe picks up another win in extremely quick fashion (the match was under a minute and a half long), which is good after losing his 50th title match in a row. Getting beat up by Finn immediately after was completely unnecessary, though. I know that Finn is a fighter, but why bother? Instead of Joe getting what was essentially just a fluke roll-up, why not have him tap Finn or choke him out? Finn is leaving in a few weeks, and it’s going to be The Demon, not Finn Balor, who is going to take on Bray at SummerSlam, so at this moment Finn Balor is a disposable entity. This did nothing for Joe. (4 for 5)
Bray Wyatt returns and attacks Finn Balor (1 minute, 21 seconds)
I will say, the mask is definitely scarier in the ring the way it was presented here than it was when it was revealed in the Firefly Fun House vignettes. It looked like a corny, failed attempt to look scary, at least to me. I liked the outfit with the striped pants and whatnot since it’s a different attire than he was wearing when he left, but the mask was uninspiring. It was scary as shit on Monday, though. This was very well done, and I really hope Bray beats The Demon at SummerSlam. Hopefully, they can do that and then drop the silly gimmick that The Demon is a creature that uses Finn as a host (that’s pretty much what they’ve made it) and just let Finn be Finn, a cool dude in a leather jacket who sometimes likes to paint himself up because he enjoys the showmanship of it. This was about as good as they were going to get for the re-debut of Wyatt. I hope, almost exactly 6 years after his original main roster debut, they get it right this time. I also wonder if he’s going to wrestle in the mask and if the mask looks a little different because it’s not the exact same one from the promos, and instead has been altered to be worn in the ring. (5 for 6)
The Street Profits predict Brock Lesnar’s next challenger (1 minute, 59 seconds)
Can they be done with this now, please? It started off as amusing, but now it’s getting annoying. This is a terrible use of a pair of guys who are absolutely terrific. If they aren’t joining the RAW tag division, please just keep them in NXT. (5 for 7)
Zack Ryder vs. Mike Kanellis (1 minute, 50 seconds)
Next. (5 for 8)
Lucha House Party vs. The Club (2 minutes, 51 seconds)
This was exactly what it needed to be, with AJ, Gallows, and Anderson picking up a win as a team in what appeared to be a solid match. My big issue with this is similar to other omissions that don’t make much sense. Ricochet interfered in this match and went after AJ (it’s what they used to stop the match for the commercial break). Why not show that? It’s important in the build of the feud that Ricochet isn’t going to let these guys walk all over him. Outside of that, this was still an entertaining clip and the right thing to do for The Club, so I won’t let that drag it down. (6 for 9)
Natalya vs. Naomi vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss
I assume that between entrances, the match, and the post-match promo this probably took around 40 minutes of the show to itself, and that would be why this week there are only 13 clips instead of the usual 17-to-19. The only parts of the match that they showed were the 3 eliminations, which means I only saw a minute and 21 seconds of what everyone is agreeing was a Very Bad 25-minute match. That means to me, as a viewer of only the YouTube content, this was actually just fine. Sadly, the last fall did include the “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” dueling chant, along with a very, very brief “Goldberg” chant immediately after. Natalya is suddenly a heel, maybe, or maybe she’s just trying to get on Becky’s level in terms of being a loose cannon on the microphone. I guess we’ll see next week. It was a bit cringeworthy, but I also like Natalya more than a lot of people do, so I’m okay with this. Thanks to the fact that the only parts of the match they showed here were good, this gets a thumbs up from me. (7 for 10)
The Miz pummels Dolph Ziggler on “Miz TV” (2 minutes, 57 seconds)
It was a different promo than the one that Ziggler has been cutting for the last 3 years, so that was good. The last thing we need is another feud between these two. I have enjoyed most of the stuff they’ve done together over the years, but we don’t need more. I sort of thought this was going in the direction of Ziggler helping Miz get his head back on straight, possibly leading to them forming a tag team that would be somewhat similar to the Awesome Truth. Maybe that is the plan. I’ll wait and see with this. I also might be the last person outside of Vince McMahon and Dolph Ziggler himself who still thinks DZ can be rehabbed and do something good, so I may be judging this on a bit of a curve. Going with a thumbs up for this. (8 for 11)
R-Truth Invades Drake Maverick’s hotel room (3 minutes, 52 seconds)
As I mentioned earlier, this video was all 3 of the night’s segments all put together, which made sense to do. This may have been the best 24/7 stuff I’ve seen since I started 4 weeks ago. This was a lot of fun. (9 for 12)
Cross-Branded All-Star Top 10 Battle Royal (2 minutes, 53 seconds)
Boy, oh boy, there is a LOT to unpack from the name of this match. I won’t do it, but wow. That’s something. I don’t know… the excerpts from the match itself were good, as you would expect with the talented guys involved. The winner was disappointing but Seth was really the most obvious winner, and nobody should have expected WWE to go an unexpected route like Big E, even though the crowd seemed to be supporting him the most, and the fact that he’s been ready for the spot for like 3 years, or more. Again, this was fine. I don’t really care very much. I will say, though, that I thought Rollins was showing a ton of fire in the post-match promo, and it almost made me care. And then he had to shoe-horn in the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion” line, and it ruined the whole thing for me. I’m listing this as a negative because I wish they would explore different directions. This was a perfect opportunity. Whatever. (9 for 13)
The July 8 episode, the final RAW before Extreme Rules, was really quite awful. I hated it. This week is a step above that. I’m mostly apathetic toward it. I felt nonplussed by pretty much everything. I’m glad that it was under 35 minutes long because it went by extraordinarily quickly, but when I was done it felt like I watched a whole lot of nothing. With the exception of the Bray Wyatt return, this week’s episode could have not happened at all, and nothing would be different.
Come to think of it, that’s probably worse than a bad show because contrary to what I said last week it wasn’t bad TV that drove me to stop watching. It was the fact that with the exception of some really strong matches, the show was the same thing every single week. There were a number of occasions where I would miss 2 weeks and not check out the reviews, and when I saw the show again, there had been such a minimal amount of storyline progression that the episodes I missed might not have even existed at all. I hope something happens next week. At least they appear to be doing fun stuff on SmackDown, with Kevin Owens if nothing else.
Average Clip Length
Week 5: 2 minutes, 38 seconds
Week 4: 2 minutes, 10 seconds
Week 3: 2 minutes, 33 seconds
Week 2: 2 minutes, 44 seconds
Week 1: 2 minutes, 32 seconds
The average length of each clip is back on par with the first 3 weeks after last week’s sizeable drop. After a little under 48 hours, here are some viewership numbers:
- Bray Wyatt’s return has over 2.5 million views
- Just over 2 million views for R-Truth pinning Drake in the hotel
- The Battle Royal has over 1.7 million views, as one might expect
- The Women’s 4-Way has 555k views
- Over 400k for Cedric vs. Drew
- Viking Raiders at under 87k views, by far the least-watched
Bray’s return came very close to outclassing, in under 48 hours, the most-watched clip from last week’s show, which was the Roman/Cedric vs. Shane/Drew match. That had around 2.6 million views as of last Friday night, more than 2 days longer than the Bray return clip. As of the writing of this, Wednesday evening July 17th, that clip has only earned about another 100,000 views, at just over 2.7 million.
The 24/7 Championship saga must have had some buzz, which it hasn’t had for the last 2 weeks. It’s the second-most-watched clip for the July 15th RAW. The 24/7 stuff didn’t even earn enough views last week for me to even mention it in more than a single sentence — there were 3 clips (probably should have just put them all together in one) and only one of them was over 100k. The one with the word “consummation” in the title was just under 300k last Friday and sits at 662k as of Wednesday evening. The other two videos are well below 350k. Hitting over 2 million views this week is back up to form and makes me happy.
I don’t recall any other video featuring the women’s division going above 300,000 views, especially not in under 48 hours. I would wager that the reason it’s at more than half a million views is that people heard the match was awful, and they were curious to see it for themselves. Those people were likely both disappointed and relieved at the same time. No disrespect to the women, but this match had a ton of buzz online and it wasn’t positive attention. Very few people checked the 4-way match video out because they were interested in the outcome, and Becky Lynch isn’t in the thumbnail, her name isn’t in the title of the video, and the title doesn’t even specify that the match was for a title shot.
The Viking Raiders continue to be one of, if not the least-viewed videos every week. After just under 48 hours, they have well under 100,000 views, Even the Street Profits hit 104k. Also, after hitting 1.4 million for Maria’s in-ring destruction of Mike Kanellis a few weeks ago, that angle has stalled out big time both in development and in YouTube hits. Ryder squashing Kanellis has only 284k views. The “pickles and ice cream” video from the July 8th episode, which was the awful follow-up to the original angle from July 1st (which peaked at 1.8 million as of this writing) is at a pitiful 184k after more than a week. Maybe they should be glad that nobody is checking them out. The fewer eyes, the better.
Well, that’s all I have for this week. I’m officially at the halfway mark, as there are 3 more episodes of RAW before SummerSlam and my last will be the night after. So far, I’m not leaning toward going back to being a regular RAW viewer. I might start checking out SmackDown, though. It seems like fun.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (kinda)
The Chairshot Dot Com