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Cook’s Top 5: 1999 Wrestling Memories

Steve Cook bounces back in time once again, looking to 1999 for this Top 5 Moments Of The Year!

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WCW Monday Nitro

Steve Cook bounces back in time once again, looking to 1999 for this Top 5 Moments Of The Year!

To say that 1999 had a lot going on in the world of pro wrestling would be an understatement.

WWF was dominating the ratings war. WCW had many ups & downs while winding their way to their ultimate fate. ECW was seemingly reaching new heights. I got to go to a couple of shows.

We also saw one of wrestling’s most tragic moments, which I wish didn’t have to be included here, but whenever I think of 1999 in pro wrestling, it’s one of the first things that comes to mind.

5. Armageddon

WWF Armageddon was a frequently watched show in the Cook house for months after it took place. Multiple kids at school borrowed the videotape. It was much discussed by kids my age. Why?

Because it was the first time in WWF history that we saw actual puppies.

Yes, 36 year old Steve Cook looks back at 15 year old Steve Cook with utter contempt & disdain for getting so excited about seeing Miss Kitty remove her top after winning an Evening Gown Pool Match. Hey, I’m just here to tell you what my biggest memories from 1999 were. It was a big moment for boys of my age group. What do you want from me?

4. ECW on TNN

Hindsight being 20/20, ECW’s run on TNN was doomed to failure. I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that I was going to get to see ECW every Friday night on TNN. Even better, it led into one of my favorite shows of the time period…ROLLERJAM!

Hell yeah I loved Rollerjam. At least the first couple of seasons before things got a little weird. Anywho, ECW got off to a pretty good start too even though the WWF decided to take Taz (world champion) and the Dudleys (tag team champions) right after ECW got a TV deal. But Vince McMahon never believed in hurting the little guy.

3. SmackDown in Cincinnati

SmackDown was very early in its tenure when it came to Cincinnati on November 16. I was pretty excited about going, as it had been a long time since I had gone to a WWF show and much had changed. The last time I went, The Ringmaster was a thing. Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels hadn’t even had their catfight yet. Hunter Hearst Helmsley was losing cage matches to Duke “The Dumpster” Drose. It was a whole different world. Here’s a look at my second live WWF experience, thanks as always to thehistoryofwwe.comslashwrestling.com  for helping refresh my memory.

WWF @ Cincinnati, OH – November 16, 1999 (7,843; sell out)
Sunday Night Heat – 11/21/99:
The Headbangers defeated Val Venis & Shawn Stasiak following the Stage Dive on Stasiak; after the bout, Venis attacked his partner for losing the match
Steve Blackman pinned Mideon
Rikishi pinned Tracey Smothers with the Rikishi Driver

This was the first time I saw Rikishi under his new sumo gimmick. The thong was a bit much and I didn’t think it was going to get over. I don’t get them all right!

D-Von Dudley (w/ Bubba Ray Dudley) pinned D-Lo Brown when Bubba Ray prevented a suplex on his partner into the ring and held the foot down during the cover

I was a big Dudleys fan at the time, as they had just come over from ECW and were in their early WWF days. I enjoyed the battle of the Ds.

Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki defeated the Acolytes via disqualification in a technical wrestling match when the Acolytes used chairs and numerous double team moves on their opponents

I don’t remember this one but it sounds fantastic.

Smackdown!:
Grandmaster Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty defeated Edge & Christian at 4:14 when Scotty 2 Hotty pinned Christian after Grandmaster Sexay hit the top rope legdrop behind the referee’s back

Too Cool was still early in this gimmick, but their promo got over pretty well with the people. Especially when they mentioned self-gratification.

Kurt Angle pinned Gangrel at 2:34 with the Olympic Slam

This was Kurt’s first week on the main roster, as he had debuted at Survivor Series on Sunday. He got the same reaction here he got the first two nights. Gangrel’s entrance was always a highlight.

WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith pinned the Godfather at 2:06 with the running powerslam moments after the Mean Street Posse attacked the challenger on the floor
WWF World Champion the Big Show pinned Hardcore Holly (w/ Crash Holly) with the chokeslam at 1:30; the Big Bossman attacked the champion after the match
Kane (w/ Tori) pinned Viscera with a chokeslam at 2:02
WWF Women’s Champion Ivory defeated Jackie and Luna in a hardcore match by pinning Jackie at 4:35 after hitting her with a cookie sheet

I don’t remember any of these things except for Show’s late-1999 title run being very random. You can imagine how disappointed I was when Stone Cold went out of action two days before this show. To make matters worse, Mankind was doing some UPN filming thing in Las Vegas with Al Snow and was only on the show via clips of that. Triple H didn’t wrestle, instead he did a show-long angle with Vince building a match at Armageddon. Somehow Rock managed to have a match, otherwise this show was pretty low on starpower.

Chris Jericho pinned Mark Henry with a bulldog and the Lionsault at the 44-second mark

44 seconds to beat Mark Henry sounds much more impressive now than it did in 1999 when Mark hadn’t even hooked up with Mae Young yet.

WWF Tag Team Champions Billy Gunn & the Road Dogg defeated Matt & Jeff Hardy at 4:49 after X-Pac interfered and hit the X-Factor on Matt

Longest match on SmackDown!

The Rock pinned the Big Bossman (w/ Albert) with the Rock Bottom at 3:06; the Big Show made the save for the Rock after the match; Hardcore & Crash Holly tried to attack the Rock but were met with Rock Bottoms

This was followed by a show-closing interview with Vince & Triple H. Considering how bad most of 1999 WWF has aged, I’m sure this would be a rough watch nowadays. Never a bad time heading up to the Gardens for wrestling though.

2. Monday Nitro in Cincinnati

This still ranks as one of the best live shows I’ve been to. For one thing, it was the only WCW show I ever had a chance to attend. For another thing, I was in a luxury box thanks to my dad’s workplace. Companies actually cared about their employees in the late 1990s, it was pretty wild. Before the show, we got to go to a meet & greet with WCW superstars, which ended up being Saturn & Konnan. Neither seemed particularly excited to be there. Courtesy thehistoryofwwe, with a little help from Slash

WCW @ Cincinnati, OH – Firstar Center – March 15, 1999
Monday Nitro:
Meng pinned Jerry Flynn

I believe this evening marked the debut of the pants that Meng would wear for the next few years, his last two in WCW and his return to the WWF as Haku. I was always a fan of the big guy with the tremendous hair even before hearing all the incredible stories, so it was fun to see Meng kick some Jerry Flynn ass.

Rick Steiner pinned Brian Adams

Now, CRZ’s recap says it was “Gentleman” Chris Adams, and I’m pretty sure he was right. That being said, I remember nothing about this match. It went a little over three minutes and Rick kicked out of Adams’s dreaded superkick.

At this point in the show, Disco Inferno went to the announce desk. We didn’t hear what he & the announcers were talking about, but we did get to see Disco’s cover of Konnan’s rap song he was coming out to at the time. I’m pretty sure that Konnan & Disco are still arguing over who did the song better.

Ric Flair cutting an in-ring promo live was one to cross off the bucket list, if bucket lists existed in 1999. Pretty sure they didn’t, but this set up a match later with Flair & Goldberg taking on Hollywood Hogan & Kevin Nash. Tough to get a WCW main event with bigger names involved at that point, so the fans were excited even though nobody thought it would end cleanly.

Rey Mysterio Jr. pinned WCW Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman to win the title with a bulldog off the top at around the 9:30 mark; after the match, the two shook hands and hugged

I don’t have too many fond memories of Rey without his mask, but this match definitely qualifies as one. Both guys went all out, tons of flipping and things that you didn’t see too much back in the day. At the time, this was the best match I had seen live, which wasn’t saying much since I had only been to two shows, but still kind of a compliment.

WCW Tag Team Champions Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko defeated the Barbarian & Hugh Morrus

This was bit of a strange time for Benoit & Malenko, as they were still kind of Horsemen at this point and even had Arn Anderson cheat on their behalf to win the straps the night before. They were still faces though, while Flair & Arn were flipping to the heel side they were more accustomed with. Barby & Hugh were managed by Jimmy Hart as part of the First Family, which was certainly a staple of WCW Saturday Night programming. Fun little match.

Scott Steiner & Buff Bagwell came out for a promo where Scott blamed Buff for his loss the previous night at Uncensored. Big Poppa Pump beat the crap out of Buff the Stuff, which was probably well-deserved.

Stevie Ray pinned Horace Hogan

This was a match that happened because the NWO B-Team guys were feuding with each other over who their leader was. Vincent came out and helped Stevie win, I don’t remember whether he meant to or not, but I didn’t care in 1999 either.

Disco Inferno pinned Konnan

The music feud continued, and we got an appearance from Lex Luger & Elizabeth to help Disco get the win. I’m just saying this would be a main event on a podcast today.

WCW TV Champion Booker T pinned Chris Jericho

This would have been right around the time where Jericho was making moves behind the scenes to get himself to the WWF. I don’t know if anything was official at this point, but Jericho only made three Nitro appearances after this one. I remember being disappointed that he didn’t get his customary pre-match interview time, and I also remember the kids in the next box over trying to boo him out of the building. I would not have predicted Jericho being a major star for a promotion in 2020, but I wouldn’t have been too surprised either. This match was real solid, which was to be expected with the people involved.

Hulk Hogan & Kevin Nash defeated WCW World Champion Ric Flair & Bill Goldberg

Flair & Goldberg didn’t really get along, of course. Goldberg ended up flattening both guys at the end of the show while Flair wandered off. Probably went downtown with the ladies like he was saying he would earlier, though there wasn’t much going on in Downtown Cincinnati back in 1999.

Compared to most Monday Nitros around this time period, this was a really good show. Even taking out the live bias, the show stood out at the time. I’m not sure why it happened that way, but I was really glad for it.

1. Over the Edge

Regardless of whatever else happened in 1999, the night of May 23rd will always be what I remember most for the worst possible reason. I was watching on my family’s black box, and the show started out pretty typically. Tag title defense, Hardcore title schmozz, basic early-show stuff for the WWF at the time. Then we were supposed to get an Intercontinental title match with the Godfather defending against the Blue Blazer. A Blue Blazer interview played, then Jim Ross awkwardly cut to another Blazer video, mentioning something along the lines of “we’ve got big problems out here”. We saw shots of the crowd for the next several minutes while JR explained that Owen Hart had fallen from the rafters in something that was a real life situation & not part of the “entertainment” for the evening. After Owen was taken out and about 15 minutes had passed, the show continued. Later during the broadcast, JR informed the TV audience that Owen Hart had died.

It was the first time I can remember watching one of those PPV events and not giving a damn about what was happening. Even as a kid about to turn 15, I could tell the wrestlers didn’t really care either. We were all going through the motions. Poor Jeff Jarrett & Debra having to do a pre-match promo right after their friend’s accident was awful to watch. The argument over whether the show should have continued or not, as somebody that saw it live, was never an argument to me. It should have ended. Nothing that happened on that show was so important that it had to play out on that evening. Undertaker could have won the WWF title on another night, and maybe somebody would have cared then.

Out of all the wrestling deaths there have been, Owen Hart’s is the one you can blame his employer for without any question.


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Cook’s 2021 AEW Dynamite Awards Preview

Steve Cook is here to preview the 2021 AEW Dynamite Awards?!?! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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Steve Cook is here to preview the 2021 AEW Dynamite Awards?!?! Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s Awards Season! Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like pro wrestling has more awards with each passing year. In addition to the Wrestling Observer, 411mania & countless other media outlets presenting awards, promotions do their own as well. WWE has the Slammys & the NXT Year-End Awards. Impact Wrestling has had their own awards since around the start of their company.

It only makes sense for AEW to add themselves to the mix. I’m a little confused by the Dynamite Awards, only because some of the moments nominated didn’t take place in 2020. Some of the late 2019 stuff was included here, which I suppose was in the interest of fairness because early 2020 would have been too soon to do awards. Still kinda off, but this will take care of itself in 2022. Probably.

Let’s take a look at this year’s AEW Dynamite Awards! I’m going to tell you who should win and who will win, so you can win your AEW Dynamite Award pool. I don’t know if people will be betting on these things, but just in case they are, here’s some help!

Best Moment on the Mic:
MJF Campaign Speech “We Deserve Better”
Cody Rhodes Accepts Mr. Brodie Lee’s Dog Collar Match Challenge
Jon Moxley “Accepts” The Inner Circle Invitation From Jericho
Brandi Rhodes Confronts Jade Cargill
Orange Cassidy Debates With Chris Jericho

Who Should Win: Orange Cassidy Debates With Chris Jericho

Honestly, one of the biggest travesties committed by the selection committee is the lack of Eddie Kingston in this category. Completely ridiculous. That being said, there aren’t any duds listed here. Brandi’s inclusion probably gets some heat from people, but her going off on Jade was tremendous. Orange’s performance against Jericho in the debate was some pretty good stuff & showed a different side of Mr. Cassidy than we’re accustomed to seeing. I’d give the award to him.

Who Will Win: Orange Cassidy Debates With Chris Jericho

We’re talking about Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Most Popular Wrestler of the Year here, along with the Demo God. Their star power carries them to the top of the polling.

Biggest Surprise:
Matt Hardy’s Debut
Jake “The Snake” Roberts Confronts Cody Rhodes
Brodie Lee Arrives As The Exalted One
Sting’s AEW Debut
Miro Revealed As The Best Man

Who Should Win: Jake “The Snake” Roberts Confronts Cody Rhodes

Your vote here will largely depend on your fandom of the wrestler involved. Matt Hardy fans will vote for Matt Hardy. Fans of underutilized WWE talent may go for Brodie or Miro. Sting’s popularity speaks for itself. For me, it goes back to Jake The Snake being my first favorite professional wrestler. Seeing him again, especially seeing him over the issues that had plagued him for decades, was a tremendous moment.

Who Will Win: Sting’s AEW Debut

“IT’S STING!” is all that needs to be said here.

Biggest Beatdown:
The Inner Circle Jumps Orange Cassidy
The Dark Order Attacks the Nightmare Family
Nyla Rose Puts Riho & Shida Through Tables
Brian Cage Sneak Attack On Jon Moxley
The Nightmare Family And Inner Circle Brawl

Who Should Win: The Dark Order Attacks The Nightmare Family

Brodie Lee’s destruction of Cody to win the TNT Championship really put Dark Order on the map as a force to be reckoned with. My favorite part of the beatdown: we didn’t see all of it. Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall were drug out from the back, explaining why they didn’t come out to help Cody earlier. Arn Anderson took some shots like a champ, and Brandi got choked out by Anna Jay. By the time the old TNT belt had been deposited on Cody’s carcass, the message had been sent loud & clear.

Who Will Win: The Nightmare Family And Inner Circle Brawl

This fight had a little bit of everything. MJF as a good guy. Cody smashing a window. Diamond Dallas Page looking like he could make one more run. Dippin’ Dots. Chris Jericho screaming about how he had a ticket. A hot crowd. What’s not to like?

High Flyer:
Rey Fenix
Marq Quen
Nick Jackson
Pac

Who Should Win: Rey Fenix

All four of these guys are insane, but nobody brings the insanity like Fenix. That guy just doesn’t care as long as he does as many flips as humanly possible. He & Penta were deserving winners of most web sites’ Most Underrated award, maybe he’ll get some recognition here.

Who Will Win: Nick Jackson

Fenix & Pac split the vote of Death Triangle fans, enabling Nick to ride the support of Elite fans to the crown.

Hardest Moment To Clean Up After:
Orange Cassidy Drops OJ on Inner Circle
Parking Lot Brawl
Bunkhouse Match
Big Swole Dumps Garbage On Dr. Britt Baker

Who Should Win: Orange Cassidy Drops OJ On Inner Circle

The Parking Lot Brawl is my favorite moment on the list, but the damage was largely contained to the parking lot. Big Swole’s garbage ended up in Dr. Baker’s Popemobile, not scattered all over the place. The Bunkhouse Match went everywhere and definitely deserves consideration, but the OJ incident resulted in a ruined suit & ring canvas. Definitely tough to get that stuff out.

Who Will Win: Parking Lot Brawl

People get a chance to vote for this, they probably will. Orange is represented in this one too, so it’s all good.

Biggest WTF Moment:
Cody Moonsaulting Off The Steel Cage
Sammy Guevara Is Hit By The Golf Cart
The Young Bucks Frog Splash Off The Stadium Railing
MJF Lashes Cody Rhodes
Bloody Dr. Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida
Kenny Omega Wins AEW World Championship and Walks out of AEW

Who Should Win: Sammy Guevara Is Hit By The Golf Cart

All these moments definitely had an element of craziness, but they all pale in comparison to Sammy getting hit by the golf cart. Like, who willingly does that? Definitely something people shouted “WTF?” at.

Who Will Win: Kenny Omega Wins AEW World Championship and Walks out of AEW

We certainly saw some funny business coming when Don Callis started appearing to call big Kenny matches. Nothing quite like what we’ve gotten, where AEW is regularly making their presence felt on Impact Wrestling’s AXS TV show while Omega & Callis have joined forces with the Good Brothers to re-live their New Japan glory days. Recency bias & the general craziness of AEW & Impact crossing over make this a solid pick.

LOL Moment:
Jericho & MJF: Le Dinner Debonair
Dr. Britt Baker Waxes Tony Schiavone
Young Bucks Super Kick MJF Into Cruise Ship Pool
The Inner Circle Las Vegas Trip

Who Should Win: The Young Bucks Super Kick MJF Into Cruise Ship Pool

I’m a simple man. Anytime somebody gets thrown into a pool on a wrestling show, I laugh and cheer. As creative as Jericho & MJF’s musical number was, and as crazy as that Vegas trip was, and as much as I love Britt & Tony’s chemistry together, give me the classics every time. Man gets thrown into pool. Simple, yet effective.

Who Will Win: Jericho & MJF: Le Dinner Debonair

MJF needs another plaque honoring his musical performance to carry around. As Owen Hart & Scorpio Sky could tell you, one trophy is always better than two.

Best Twitter Follow:
MJF
Orange Cassidy
Dr. Britt Baker
Nyla Rose

Who Should Win: MJF

Dude just talks shit about everybody under the sun. Even Negative One, for heaven’s sake!

Who Will Win: Orange Cassidy

Twitter was made for people like Orange, who have no problem keeping their thoughts under 140 characters. I’m also good at it!

Breakout Male Star:
Orange Cassidy
Darby Allin
Eddie Kingston
John Silver

Who Should Win: Eddie Kingston

I can make a really good argument for every single nominee. We’ve already seen Orange’s name pop up a few times here, it’s no secret that he had an outstanding year. Darby is the current TNT Champion and has proven his worth every time we’ve seen him in the ring. The Brian Cage match took place after voting started, but it was evidence of why Allin deserves to win an award like this, and deserves his spot as TNT Champion and the man that Sting has chosen to carry on his legacy. Don’t get me started on Johnny Hungiee, once he started showing his personality on Being The Elite, everybody fell in love with the guy.

Eddie Kingston only went from needing to sell his wrestling boots to pay the rent to being one of AEW’s brightest stars. Those of us who were familiar with his work in the indies or in Impact wrestling knew about it. All Eddie needed was a chance, and he’d take care of business. That’s exactly what he did, and he’ll be in AEW as long as he wants to be.

Who Will Win: Darby Allin

It’ll be well-deserved, too. Nobody can deny that Darby brings it every time he’s out there. The man might be 170 pounds fully clothed with some chains, but his toughness and inability to quit can’t be denied.

Breakout Female Star:
Anna Jay
Tay Conti
Big Swole
Penelope Ford
Hikaru Shida

Who Should Win: Anna Jay

Anna had less than ten matches before getting on AEW television, and she immediately proved that she belongs. She can only get better in the ring, and she already performs at an acceptable level. Her only weakness? She always corpses when John Silver is being peak John Silver. I can’t really blame her for it.

Who Will Win: Hikaru Shida

I mean, she is the AEW Women’s Champion. Which is at least the second most important championship in the women’s division. It’s no fault of Shida’s, she does good work, but I don’t really see that connection between her and the audience.

Bleacher Report PPV Moment of the Year:
Stadium Stampede
Jon Moxley Wins AEW World Championship
Shida Wins AEW Women’s World Championship
Kenny Omega & Adam “Hangman” Page Defeat The Young Bucks
Darby Allin Defeats Cody Rhodes For TNT Title
Young Bucks Win AEW World Tag Title

Who Should Win: Jon Moxley Wins AEW World Championship

Tons of good contenders here, but it’s tough to argue against Mox knocking off Le Champion at Revolution. He was the right man to take the title from Chris Jericho at the right time, and few champions could have carried AEW through this weird year like Moxley did.

Who Will Win: Stadium Stampede

I think the multi-man clustermess has the best chance of garnering the most votes. It was certainly one of the most unique offerings from AEW in 2020.

Will the AEW Dynamite Awards be a unique offering? Tough to say, but you can find out by streaming the show on BR Live next Wednesday! You can also find out how right I was on every single award. It’s a gift.


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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 1/17/2021

Now since this week isn’t full of big events, the list should be a little more interesting. Let’s see what made the Top 5 and if it’s close to last week’s quality!

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Last week kicked things off hot and heavy, and as expected; we cooled down a little this week. Still some fun matches, but nothing should really be competition for last week’s list.

Speaking of that list, all 6 matches had some support, and that’s really nice to see. However, there has to be a winner, and by only a couple of votes; Wrestle Kingdom Night 1: Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada, won the popular vote!

So let’s see what matches we get to possibly add to the January pool!

Quick Top 5:

  1. NXT UK: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs A-Kid
    Rating: ****
  2. Hard to Kill: Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs Moose, Rich Swann & Chris Sabin
    Rating: ****
  3. Hard to Kill: Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. NXT: MSK vs Isaiah Scott & Jake Atlas
    Rating: *** 1/2
  5. Hard to Kill: X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey
    Rating: *** 1/2
  6. IMPACT!: Rich Swann vs Karl Anderson
    Rating: *** 1/2

Honorable Mentions:

  • AEW New Year’s Smash Night 2: TNT Championship: Darby Allin (c) vs Brian Cage
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Hard to Kill: Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/Kimber Lee & Susan vs Taya Valkyrie w/ Decay
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • IMPACT!: Rohit Raju & Chris Bey vs Manik & Suicide
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE SmackDown: Daniel Bryan vs Cesaro
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NXT: Undisputed Era vs Breezango
    Rating: ***
  • Hard to Kill: Knockouts Tag Team Title Finals: Fire & Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) vs Nevaeh & Havok
    Rating: ***
  • AEW New Year’s Smash Night 2: NWA Women’s World Championship: Serena Deeb (c) vs Tay Conti
    Rating: ***
  • WWE SmackDown: Jey Uso vs Shinsuke Nakamura
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb vs Rosemary
    Rating: ***

4t. IMPACT!: Rich Swann vs Karl Anderson

From My Results:

The entire time Kenny’s been in the picture, they’ve put a lot of spotlight on some of Karl’s singles accolades in Japan. So it should come as no surprise that Karl actually came in with a plan and dominated for a good portion. Karl focused on the shoulder and it worked really well for him.

Rich was selling and getting caught by Shotgun kicks and a bunch of other moves, but at least proving to be resilient. Rich manages to catch Karl as Karl starts looking to finish things. A few nice strikes, the over the shoulder back kick and finally Swann’s got something. Karl does stabilize and look for the Gun Stun, but Rich ducks the Gun Stun with a School Boy Rollup and that’s the match!

Winner: Swann via School Boy Rollup

 

4t. Hard to Kill: X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs Rohit Raju vs Chris Bey

From My Results:

Rohit went after Manik to try and prove his point that it’s TJP. Bey seemed dead set on finding a way to win, and as we expected in an X Division match; there were a lot of spots, but they all made sense. Rohit does manage to take off the mask, but TJP painted his face under the mask, so it still throws off Rohit. TJP strings together a few moves, goes for the Mamba Splash, but gets caught by Bey with a Cutter. Bey then hits a Double Art of Finesse, but his brief moment of not knowing who to pin, caused the pinfall breakup.

Rohit almost won the title back after his call back to hitting his Tiger Knee after a Mamba Splash but Bey kicked out. Haymakers get thrown, Rohit hits the Dragon Stomp on Bey, and looks to finish things, but TJP slides in for the style of Cradle he’s used a bit lately, and retains his title after a fun, hard fought match.

Winner: Manik via Ole Cradle

 

4t. NXT: MSK vs Isaiah Scott & Jake Atlas

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Swerve drags Wes up, full nelson for Atlas to HEEL KICK Wes, then a spin to a fireman’s carry, toss and SPINNING POWERSLAM! Swerve is up top, 450 SPLASH! Atlas covers, but Carter breaks it just in time! Fans fire up as Swerve grows frustrated! Swerve throws Carter back out, Atlas drags Wes back over and tags Swerve in. Atlas drags Wes to a corner, rams his shoulder in, and Swerve helps hoist Wes to the top rope. Swerve and Atlas both climb up to bring Wes up but Carter drags Atlas down in a heap! Wes shoves Swerve away and both men fall to the mat! Fans fire up as everyone is down, and Wes gets to ropes. Wes kicks Swerve away to go to his corner but no one is home.

Swerve runs in, blocks a boot, but Carter tags in! Carter ROCKS Swerve, Wes pops Swerve up to the ropes, Carter ROCKS Swerve into Wes’ NO HANDS POISON-RANA!! Carter drags Swerve up, Wes runs in, BLOCKBUSTER HART ATTACK! Cover, MSK WINS!!

Winner: MSK via Blockbuster Hart Attack

 

3. Hard to Kill: Barbed Wire Massacre: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards

From My Results:

Interesting pacing to get across the familiarity, twisted respect and love for punishment between these two. We saw Barbed Wire Tables, Chairs, Baseball Bats, Kendo Sticks and even an…N64 Controller!

Sami took a ton of punishment, but the story was basically playing with Eddie’s emotions to bait him into bad dives, and openings for Sami to move out of the way, or sneak in a barbed wire shot. Eddie hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on a barbed wire chair, Sami hit an Avalanche Piledriver through a barbed wire table, but none of this was enough. If anything, the Piledriver just pissed Eddie off.

Going for the callback that started it all, Sami tries to hit a Barbed Wire Chair into Eddie’s face with a Barbed Wire Bat, but Eddie hits a low blow to get a moment. Sami tries to bring himself up with a chair, Eddie hits the Boston Knee Party, then the Diehard Flowsion for the win!

Winner: Eddie via Diehard Flowsion

 

1t. Hard to Kill: Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs Moose, Rich Swann & Chris Sabin

From My Results:

We get a lot of Japanese tag stylings, from the triple team that Team Impact pulls off, to the way the Club breaks up any type of momentum with their own train attacks into the corner. Moose looked amazing in this match. He went toe to toe with everyone, pulled off great moves like a Standing Moonsault, leaped to the top rope for a Spanish Fly and was a really good teammate, regardless of his issues with Rich Swann. Hell Swann and Moose even hit a Doomsday Device variant together. Small aside, I did like seeing Chris Sabin pull off Cradle Shock, which just doesn’t happen often enough anymore.

Omega almost has the match one on Rich, but the only one able to break it up was Moose, and he did so. Omega went into V-Trigger spamming mode to wipe out Moose, rock Rich and then a One Winged Angel won the match for the Bullet Club former members.

Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel

 

1t. NXT UK: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs A-Kid

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

AK survives two powerful impacts and BT Sports Studio is thunderous! Walter stirs and crawls over to AK. Walter facelocks AK, drags him up and eggs him on. Walter CHOPS AK back down and AK flops to ropes! AK sits up and Walter kicks at him again. Walter CLUBS AK but AK gets up with a clenched jaw. AK SLAPS Walter, then catches the chop to a takedown! AK locks up one arm, wants the other, but Walter resists! AK shifts to an ARMBAR! Walter clasps hands, moves around, but AK keeps his shoulders up in the triangle hold! Walter moves around, rolls them both to the ropes then out of the ring! Walter APRON BOMBS AK down!!

AK crumples to the floor but Walter drags him back up to put him in. Walter stalks AK but AK fires off palm strikes! Walter grabs AK for a sleeper but AK pries it off to PELE! Walter staggers, AK runs, into a LARIAT!! Walter CHOPS AK on the back! And POINT-BLANK LARIATS!! Cover, Walter wins!!

Winner: Walter via Burning Lariat

 

Thoughts:

Well it’s hard to argue that Walter vs A-Kid was the best match, it only lacked a little punch since I don’t follow NXT UK super closely; so I didn’t see A-Kid as a credible threat. He did prove himself fairly well with the MMA style strikes and grappling attacks, but he’s still to fresh of a face to me, for me to have bought in as much as say Ilja or Tyler Bate, when they had their big versus little man matches.

Impact did bring some higher quality, but that’s to be expected since they had a PPV and a Go Home. The Rascalz debuting as MSK was nice, so I’m glad they got a small moment to shine.

Either way, Walter vs A-Kid, is my vote for match of the week. Which one gets your vote?


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