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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 8/30/2020

Another week, another Top…5ish. NJPW, IMPACT and WWE had some noteworthy matches. Did your favorite make the list?

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Another week, another tie that makes things longer than 5. I mean that’s a good problem to have I suppose, but sometimes I’d just like it to be five, ya know.

Last week we had 7 to pick from, and nostalgia mixed with a damn good match helped, Impact Wrestling Emergence: Impact World Tag Team Championship: Motor City Machine Guns vs The North, to win the overall voting. Nice to see Impact gaining a little momentum since Slammiversary.

Now on to the final week for August monthly pool!

Quick Top 5 (6):

  • NJPW Summer Struggle: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Minoru Suzuki
    Rating: **** 1/4
  • WWE Payback: Los Mysterios vs Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy
    Rating: ****
  • NJPW Summer Struggle: IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: EVIL (c) vs Tetsuya Naito
    Rating: ****
  • Impact Emergence: Knockouts Championship Ironman Match: Jordynne Grace vs Deonna Purrazzo (c)
    Rating: ****
  • NJPW Strong Ep. 4: TJP, ACH, Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors vs Misterioso, Barrett Brown, Adrian Quest & Blake Christian
    Rating: ****
  • NJPW Summer Struggle: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Taiji Ishimori vs Hiromu Takahashi (c)
    Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • NJPW Summer Struggle: KOPW Fatal Four Way: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA vs Toru Yano vs El Desperado
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • WWE Payback: Matt Riddle vs King Corbin
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Impact Emergence: Brian Myers vs Willie Mack
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: Breezango vs Imperium (c)
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Last Buntai at BJW: Strong World Championship: Shigehiro Irie vs Daichi Hashimoto (c)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE Payback: Randy Orton vs Keith Lee
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Impact Emergence: Impact World Championship: Eddie Edwards (c) vs RVD w/Katie Forbes
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NXT: Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar (c) vs Isaiah Scott
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE Raw: Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs Sasha Banks
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NJPW Summer Struggle: IWGP Heayweight Tag Team Championship: Dangerous Tekkers (ZSJ & Taichi) (c) vs Golden Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NXT: Io Shirai & Rhea Ripley vs Raquel Gonzalez & Dakota Kai
    Rating: ***

2t. NJPW Summer Struggle: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Taiji Ishimori vs Hiromu Takahashi (c)

From my Results:
Ishimori came over aiming for the injured shoulder. He took a page out of the former Bullet Club member Robbie Eagles, and became the new Sniper of the sky. Two quick Pump Kicks to the bad shoulder, then Ishimori hit a La Mistica just to add insult AND injury, to the already injured shoulder.

It was from here that we got that heart that Hiromu showed us throughout the New Japan Cup. He kept trying to fight out of submissions and bad spots, with a few of his bigger signature moves. Ishimori had one great counter to the Overhead Release Belly to Belly, where he just jumped through it, landed decently on the ropes, and when Hiromu tried to Powerbomb him, hit the Reverse Frakensteiner.

Hiromu’s hope came from when he caught Ishimori and hit the corner Death Valley Driver, then went right into Time Bomb, but Ishimori kicked out. So this just meant he’d pull out Time Bomb #2, which we saw him invent against Ishii. Ishimori countered, hit the Bloody Cross…and then did the smart evil heel thing. He locked in the Yes Lock, just to torture the injured shoulder more. Hiromu almost gets to the ropes, and then Ishimori rolls back to the center, applying a Garga-NO Escape. Hiromu submits and Ishimori gets his second reign as Junior champ!

Winner: Ishimori via Overhead Single Chicken Wing Crossface

 

2t. NJPW Strong Ep. 4: TJP, ACH, Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors vs Misterioso, Barrett Brown, Adrian Quest & Blake Christian

From My Results:
Each man got in great offense, great spots, and Barrett Brown took a beating. Commentary added the context that Misterioso will be having a singles match with Karl during Fighting Spirit Unleashed, so this is the New Japan style multi-man building block match. Karl is also dealing with the fact that he’s on a bit of a losing streak after “graduating” from Young Lion.

ACH had some great smooth transitions, TJP applied a nice technical Junior style to the match, and the opponents kept up. Blake Christian is the least impressive looking man in this match, but everything he did was butter. From the bottom rope Tiger Feint to the Springboard 630 into a mass of humanity. This was a lot of fun, fast paced, with everyone looking really good. Clark had some nice spots to show his power and intensity, but he is technically still a Young Lion, so the New Japan trope continues!

Young Lion eats the pin, but it helps to build up Misterioso and keep Karl having something to overcome, without suffering the pinfall. Great great stuff!

Winner: Misterioso via Backstabber

 

2t. Impact Emergence: Knockouts Championship Ironman Match: Jordynne Grace vs Deonna Purrazzo (c)

From My Results:
We get a well-paced slugfest. Both women do a good job at find spots to pick up the intensity to create hope spots and pushes for a first fall. Deonna starts working on the arms, to set up for her Fujiwara, and newly revealed name for the double Fujiwara that she calls the Venus de Milo. Jordynne however takes an interesting approach. She starts out by wrestling with Deonna, the “best technical female wrestler”, and frustrates Deonna for a while.

The interesting aspect here was that Jordynne seemed to be trying to prove something to Deonna. Jordynne focused more on wrestling and submissions, less on her power advantage. The first fall comes from Jordynne and the Rear Naked Choke she pulled out a few weeks ago. This leads to interesting angles in the match.

With only about five minutes left, Deonna is down 1-0. Deonna then drags the referee in the way of a splash, which sets up Deonna getting hit by the Grace Driver, but there’s no one to count. Deonna then recovers, gets her belt, hits Jordynne with it when she isn’t paying attention, and gets her pinfall to tie up the match.

Looking at only about 3 minutes to go, Deonna starts scrambling and searching for the arm. Jordynne counters a few attempts with pinfalls but as they show us the final fifteen seconds on the clock, Deonna hooks in the Venus de Milo and Jordynne submits with about four seconds left in the match.

Winner: Purrazzo 2-1

 

2t. NJPW Summer Struggle: IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: EVIL (c) vs Tetsuya Naito

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Evil and Naito slowly rise, and Naito dodges Evil to enziguri! Naito whips, Evil reverses but Naito hits leaping forearms! Naito aims from a corner, runs, tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives but Naito still isn’t done. Naito drags Evil up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirl but no Destino as Evil grabs Red Shoes! Evil mule kick LOW BLOWS Naito!! Evil runs, and LARIATS Naito!! Cover, TWO!!! Naito survives and Evil is furious! Evil seethes while the fans rally up again. Evil hobbles and wobbles but he slashes the throat. Evil drags Naito up, spins him around, but Naito elbows out of Everything. Evil still tries, Naito spins him, reels him in, escapes and flips over, but Evil falls so whatever Naito wanted, it was more like a sloppy DDT!

Both men slowly rise, Naito basement enziguris! Naito fires himself up, drags Evil back to his feet, but blocks the low blow! Red Shoes reprimands, Naito elbows and SLAPS! Scoop, VALENTIA! Naito drags Evil back up, tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!! Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Naito via Destino

 

2t. WWE Payback: Los Mysterios vs Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy

From Adam’s Review:
Dominik coming out like a house of fire, taking it to Murphy and Rollins early out of pure frustration. Amazing back and forth, amazing high flying wrestling, amazing technical wrestling with counters from everyone and being one step ahead on both sides of the teams. Some of the counters including both Murphy and Rollins catching a crossbody and doing the Falcon arrow, Rey going to the top and getting two knees to the gut from Seth but in the end with the last counter, a little malfunction at the junction between Rollins and Murphy in the Buckle Bomb and Enziguri combo sending Rollins into the kick instead of Rey. Rey tagging in Dominik, taking out Rollins with a sliding suicide dive through the bottom rope and Murphy taking the 619 from Dominik along with a nice Frog Splash to get his first win as a WWE Superstar.

Winner: Mysterios via Frog Splash

 

1. NJPW Summer Struggle: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Minoru Suzuki

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Suzuki dares Shingo to rise, SLAPS Shingo from all sides over and over with fast palm strikes, then keeps Shingo standing to keep going! But Shingo JABS and HEADBUTTS outta nowhere! Shingo runs, Suzuki follows and gets around, only for Shingo to still torture rack! Suzuki fights out, gets a sleeper hold on, then spins Shingo. Shingo spins through to LARIAT! Suzuki stays up, Shingo LARIATS again! Suzuki powers up to stay up but Shingo LARIATS him again! Shingo runs, into a dropkick! Both men are down and the fans are fired up again! Suzuki rises as fans rally, but Shingo gets head to head with him. They headbutt on the mat, throw forearms back and forth, then Shingo keeps Suzuki up to ROCK him again!

Suzuki ROCKS Shingo back, eggs Shingo on, and Shingo ROCKS him back! Suzuki smiles again as he ROCKS Shingo with another forearm. Suzuki eggs Shingo on, Shingo ROCKS him back! Both men are on wobbly legs but Suzuki ROCKS Shingo again. Shingo ROCKS Suzuki back. Suzuki bluntly headbutts Shingo! Shingo drops to a knee, Suzuki scowls but Shingo headbutts back! They go back to forearms back and forth, fans rally up, and Suzuki just keeps hitting Shingo! Shingo hits back but Suzuki ROCKS him again. And again! Suzuki just CLOBBERS Shingo with that forearm! Sleeper hold!! Shingo flails, fades, fans rally up but Suzuki spins Shingo around! Shingo gives a nod to his late mentors as he Gotch lifts for the PILEDRIVER!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!

Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver

 

Thoughts:

A whole lot of New Japan, but Impact and WWE did manage to sneak in some stuff. Again, I didn’t catch AEW because of scheduling, so this isn’t devoid of AEW because of a bad show, just more a busy schedule.

With that said, I doubt much could touch Shingo vs Suzuki this week, so I don’t think my choice would change at all. It was also nice to see that Seth continues his pattern of following up a lackluster match with something that was actually really damn good. Either way, given the fact two thirds of the list is NJPW, I expect one of them to win.

Should make for an interesting August pool!

 


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: About that Cole-O’Reilly match…

It was the Takeover match that held the most promise. Where did it go wrong? 

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It was the Takeover match that held the most promise. Where did it go wrong? 

Exclusive: Kyle O'Reilly is ready to renew his career-long rivalry with Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

6. I was jacked to 11 for Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly. I was ready to give it a Tokyo Dome 6 stars. MOTY before the bell rang. A masterwork of storytelling. I correctly predicted it would be an unsanctioned match. Then the action started, and it quickly became “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”

NXT TakeOver: New Orleans | WWE

5. After the first few acts of violence, it was apparent that the problem with the match would be the stipulation. The last NXT unsanctioned match was Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa in 2018. That was 3 short years ago, but things move quickly in today’s world. There is very little chance an unsanctioned match can deliver the level of violence it promises as long as NXT is on the PG-13 Peacock.

The Most Brutal Spots from Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly's Insane Unsanctioned Match at NXT Takeover - EssentiallySports

4. Fans are losing their minds over all the content Peacock is leaving on the cutting floor. A lot of it was offensive and would never work today, but that’s not the point. The fact is there’s only so much violence Peacock’s parent company NBC will tolerate from wrestling. Take the chain, for example. Other than the clothesline, it was practically useless. O’Reilly tried to make it work, but it fell flat. In an unsanctioned match, 20 feet of heavy duty chain should be all you need to decimate another human being.

The B Word: Did Pro Wrestling's Blood Dry Up? | Ring the Damn Bell

3. Maybe I’m a victim of my own wrestling memory. An unsanctioned match in Memphis in the 80’s would have been a bloodbath. Someone would have been hung over the top rope with the chain around his neck. Whipped across the back. Hog tied. Someone would have wrapped it around their fist for a few stiff shots to their opponent’s forehead. But that goes back to my original point. None of that would fly today even if NXT was only on the WWE network.

5 Hilarious moments from this week's WWE programming

2. I’ll go so far as to say the only violent-promising stipulation that interests me is Falls Count Anywhere. There is zero drama in wrestlers pulling chairs from under the ring. The chance to use the naturally occurring environment as a weapon still holds a world of suspense. Someone is going through windows, walls, off the stage, over the guardrail, stuffed in a locker. Honestly, I’m tired of people getting hit in the stomach with folding chairs. Of all the ways to hit someone with a folding chair, that’s the least practical. 

WWE Announces Multiple Injuries At NXT New Year's Evil - WrestlingRumors.net

1. I’m sorry to say Kyle O’Reilly versus Adam Cole didn’t deliver what I expected. Maybe I’m in the minority. Maybe I don’t need over-the-top violence to entertain me. Maybe I don’t need wrestling to keep pushing the envelope. Five of my top 6 matches of 2021 are straight up wrestling matches. Maybe all I need is two (or three or four) strong characters and a good story. Damn, I sound old. 


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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 4/11/2021

WrestleMania week is back in the usual form with a whole lot of wrestling, and not a lot of sleep. The article was delayed a little to allow for me to try and watch as much as I could given other coverages and plans I had. See what you think about the Top 5!

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WrestleMania week is back in the usual form with a whole lot of wrestling, and not a lot of sleep. The article was delayed a little to allow for me to try and watch as much as I could given other coverages and plans I had. See what you think about the Top 5!

Firstly, we have to assess which match won March, and what our current Match of the Year Pool looks like!

MOTY Pool:

  • January: NJPW New Beginning Nagoya: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • February: NXT Vengeance Day: North American Championship: Johnny Gargano (c) vs Kushida
  • March: NJC 3.21.21: NJC Finals: Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi

Shingo managed to stack the deck a little bit, and he pulled off having one of his matches win March! So we’re starting off with 2021 Year of the Dragon, and with another Ospreay match on the horizon, well – let’s hope that this week’s Top 5 blows some doors off!

The winning match from last week was AEW’s retirement tussle, AEW Dynamite: Christian Cage vs Frankie Kazarian, which might get lost in the wash this month, but we’ll see!

Now we get to the Top 5!

Quick Top 5:

  1. NXT Stand & Deliver Night 1: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa
    Rating: **** 3/4
  2. NXT Stand & Deliver Night 2: Unsanctioned Match: Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly
    Rating: **** 1/2
  3. WrestleMania 37: Cesaro vs Seth Rollins
    Rating: **** 1/4
  4. WrestleMania 37: SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks (c)
    Rating: **** 1/4
  5. AJPW Champion Carnival 4.9: Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.10: Jake Lee vs Suwama
    Rating: ****
  • NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 2: NXT Championship: Finn Balor (c) vs Karrion Kross
    Rating: ****
  • WrestleMania 37: WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs Daniel Bryan vs Edge
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Impact Wrestling Hardcore Justice: Mystery Partner Triple Threat Tag Match: Ace Austin & Madman Fulton vs TJP & Fallah Bahh vs Josh Alexander & Petey Williams
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 1: NXT Tag Team Championships: MSK vs Grizzled Young Vets vs Legado del Fantasma
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.11: Zeus vs Suwama
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • WrestleMania 37: WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs Drew McIntyre
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • IMPACT!: Eddie Edwards, Willie Mack & Rich Swann vs Good Brothers & Kenny Omega w/Don Callis
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.10: Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Bloodsport 6: Josh Barnett vs Jon Moxley
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.10: Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Impact Wrestling Hardcore Justice: Hardcore Wars: Team Dreamer (Tommy Dreamer, Eddie Edwards, Rich Swann & Willie Mack) vs Team VBD (Eric Young, Rhino, Joe Doering & Deaner)
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.11: Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • WrestleMania 37: WWE United States Championship: Sheamus vs Riddle (c)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Impact Wrestling Hardcore Justice: Title vs Career: Knockouts Championship: Jazz vs Deonna Purrazzo (c)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.9: Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WrestleMania 37: Bad Bunny & Damien Priest vs Miz & John Morrison
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WrestleMania 37: Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
    Rating: ***
  • NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 1: NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs Raquel Gonzalez
    Rating: ***
  • NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 1: Pete Dunne vs KUSHIDA
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Matt Cardona vs Jake Something
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.11: Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling Hardcore Justice: Doc Gallows w/Karl Anderson vs Black Taurus w/Rosemary & Crazzy Steve
    Rating: ***
  • WrestleMania 37: WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs Rhea Ripley
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Champion Carnival 4.9: Suwama vs Kohei Sato
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling Hardcore Justice: Number 1 Contender: Knockouts Hardcore Gauntlet: Rosemary vs Tenille Dashwood vs Jordynne Grace vs Alisha Edwards vs Havok vs Su-Yung
    Rating: ***
  • NXT TakeOver Stand & Deliver Night 2: NXT Crusierweight Championship Unification: Santos Escobar vs Jordan Devlin
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling Hardcore Justice: Crate American Bash: Johnny Swinger vs Matt Cardona
    Rating: ***
  • WrestleMania 37: WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: AJ Styles & Omos vs New Day (c)
    Rating: ***

3t. AJPW Champion Carnival 4.9: Zeus vs Kento Miyahara

From My Coverage:

Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.

The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.

Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!

Winner: Zeus via Jackhammer

 

3t. WrestleMania 37: SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks (c)

From AJ’s Review:

Bianca catches some of Sasha’s high speed offense and does powerbomb pinfalls as Sasha kicks out of the first two, reversing the third with an X-Factor and taking control back with a Tornado DDt for another near fall. Banks now goes to the top for a Frog Splash. Sasha gets her anger and ruthlessness to wrap Bianca’s hair around her opponent into a Bank Statement and somehow, Bianca powers through and gets to the ropes before Sasha starts stopping on Bianca’s face after the break. Banks keeps going with the trash talking but Bianca shoves her into the corner post with some Shoulder Tackles and sets her up for a Superplex. Sasha fights her off and attempts a cartwheel kick before Sasha grabs the feet into a Tree of Woe position to land a Meteora. Sasha misses the first one, goes to a knee strike from the Tree as Bianca sits up so Sasha lands knees first into the turnbuckle and eats a 450 Splash for a near fall. Sasha tries to get control again after but gets whipped in the midsection with Bianca’s hair and after a fight to swing around, Bianca grabs Sasha up and lands the Kiss Of Death to win her first Women’s Championship in WWE.

Winner: Belair via KOD

 

3t. WrestleMania 37: Cesaro vs Seth Rollins

From Greg’s Consciousness:

  • This truly is the biggest match in Cesaro’s career–but it’s also one that would further cement Rollins as a Hall Of Famer.
  • I’ve been picking Cesaro here as I can imagine Rollins wants to make him in this one match.
  • Also, surprised that we haven’t seen everyone wearing white tonight, as we typically see a lot of at WrestleMania. It’s a welcomed change, I did all the black gear.
  • Nice to see that the Big Swing is a part of the match’s storytelling.
  • Corkscrew Splash! Seemed less effective that way–but more impressive.
  • Fans REALLY want to see Cesaro get the win, and I am with them.
  • Stomp into European Uppercut + 23 Rotation Big Swing + Neutralizer = CESARO WINS

Winner: Cesaro via Gotch Neutralizer

 

2. NXT Stand & Deliver Night 2: Unsanctioned Match: Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Kyle grits his teeth, gets a chair, turns it upside-down, and gathers up the chain. What is Kyle creating in his mind? Kyle brings the chain to the corner, piles it on, and then gets the chair. Kyle puts that chair around Cole’s leg, and then heads for the corner. Kyle flounders his way up the corner, but Cole gets up and uses that chair to SMACK Kyle off the top! Kyle falls to the mat, Cole gets sits the chair upside-down, and drags Kyle up. Cole puts Kyle in the ropes in the corner, gets around the corner and climbs up. Cole says he is always going to be better than Kyle! But Kyle LOW BLOWS Cole!! Payback for a moment ago, and Kyle gathers the chains again!

Kyle wraps his leg up in the steel, locks it in, and aims at Cole! Cole is on the chair, STEEL GUILLOTINE KNEE!!! Cover, KYLE WINS!!

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly via Steel Guillotine Knee

 

1. NXT Stand & Deliver Night 1: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa

From AJ’s Review:

Ciampa not letting this momentum going to waste as he attempts a Fairy Tale Ending but gets coutner into a pin from Walter. Ciampa kicks out and actually lands the Fairy Tale Ending for another two count. Ciampa keeps going with the rapid offense but gets caught into a Sleeper Hold. Tommaso breaks it by manipulating Walter’s weakened hand and breaks out of the hold only to get a German Suplex and a heavy Lariat that Stan Hanson would love for a two. Walter tries to get strength back into his hand and goes for a powerbomb but Ciampa now counters it, biting Walter’s hand and putting him into a Fujiwara Armbar, pulling the fingers back of the champion until Walter goes to the ropes to break it. Walter LOOKS WEAK as Tommaso tries to go for Widow’s Bell but Walter backs up to break the attempt from the apron. More fighting continues on the apron as they get to the top rope. Ciampa finally gets an advantage as he uses and Air Raid Crash from the top rope for another near fall.

Both men begin to get up and start a chopping contest until Walter decides to use his weight advantage to get an upperhand, pinning Ciampa down in a knuckle lock but his hand gives out, breaking it. Walter going to any length to win and stomps on Ciampa head, going for back to back powerbombs to take Ciampa down only for another two count and frustration rising. Walter grabs Tommaso for another Sleeper but make sit a Sleeper Suplex and to make sure the match is sealed, he hits one last Chop to retain his United Kingdom Championship.

Winner: Walter via Chop

 

Thoughts:

Well damn, we had a lot of damn good to great matches this week. Some stuff I missed since I had some fill in coverage I needed to do, but it was nice to see Mania week back in old form. Do I agree with my rankings on the fact that Walter vs Ciampa should win the weeek? Yes I do. But arguments can be made for nearly any of the Top matches.

So this should be an interesting fight to see what ends up winning the week.


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