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Mishal’s Top 5 Takeaways From WWE Clash Of Champions

Mishal digs into Clash Of Champions with his Top 5 Takeaways from this past Sunday’s PPV event on the WWE Network!

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WWE Clash Of Champions Roman Reigns Jey Uso

Mishal digs into Clash Of Champions with his Top 5 Takeaways from this past Sunday’s PPV event on the WWE Network!

Let’s face it, we had no real anticipation for 2020’s Clash of Champions event.

A show that for the most part was built poorly (at least on the RAW side of things), was completely inconsistent in portraying most challengers as a credible threat to the current champions defending their respective titles & one that never felt important because WWE’s creative team choosing to focus on a plethora of irrelevant storylines that removed from the ones relevant to the show itself.

To say the enthusiasm heading into the show was anything more than mediocre would be a simple lie because fans had every right to be pessimistic about what to expect from a show the company seemed to throw together at the very last minute. Outside of the 2 main events & Intercontinental Championship program, everything surrounding them was either shoved together only days prior to the event or served as the continuation to rivalries that have either severely overstayed their welcome. No major show should have that feeling behind it, not a single one.

On top of the troubles heading into the event, the show was marred by last-minute changes that shifted the entire layout of the card. Talent such as Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Nikki Cross were all pulled from their scheduled matches for the evening (presumably as a result of COVID-19, according to reports) which sent an already messy card in an entirely new direction.

Clash of Champions continued the 2020 trend in WWE of poorly building up your big monthly events, only to have them more often than not exceed your middling expectations heading in.

That being said, here are the 5 biggest takeaways from a show with a tonne going on.

5. The Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match was WWE at its very best

Every professional company has its own specific vibe & product to deliver to their fanbase. AEW is for the wrestling purists with its plethora of styles, Impact Wrestling provides a more ‘interactive’ experience due to its smaller audience, NJPW is all about the sheer physicality, even the NWA is all about an old-school throwback in a modern time & WWE excels when it is the walking Friday morning cartoon that we all know it is at its core.

This is what made Sunday night’s opening ladder match between Sami Zayn, Jeff Hardy & AJ Styles so much more special than your average multi-man ladder match, it embraced its absurdity in ways few matches ever have. Beyond just being a wild ladder match, this delved into territory I can’t recall ever seeing before in a WWE ring, but it wasn’t without its substantive story & character work. The match itself worked into all 3 men’s capabilities perfectly, with Hardy almost killing himself on more than one occasion, Styles playing the wiser more calculated competitor & Zayn fully embracing his devilish heel persona resulting in some of the most absurd moments I’ve seen in all my years of watching professional wrestling.

What started off as your standard 3-way match morphed into one of the most creative, daring & unique contests anyone could witness. Featuring countless dives which had me jumping out of my chair, a Swanton Bomb off a ladder that you could practically feel & handcuffs being used in a WWE match in ways you’d only dream of. Call WWE predictable all you want, nobody ever called Jeff Hardy dragging a ladder that was handcuffed through his earlobe into the ring to try and climb another ladder with at any point prior to this show, not a single one of you.

Beyond being amongst the finest matches of the year, it was a prime example of just how insane WWE can be when they let their performers run absolutely wild for over 20 minutes.

4. Does WWE care about tag team wrestling?

Tag team wrestling has always been a mood for WWE, never a fixture of who they are. Primarily featured when a large, marketable team or stable such as The New Day, The Shield, The Wyatt Family or The Usos is available to garner a steady flow of income off of, tag team wrestling has just never been a consistent element of the company’s programming for as long as I can remember, with interest coming in waves rather than out of a sheer passion for the style it presents.

The 2010’s saw interest spike every now & then, however, it’s largely an accessory to shows that tend to lack depth in order to fill time for the rest of the card. With the exception of the utterly outstanding Usos vs New Day program in 2017, WWE’s tag team division (outside of NXT) has just lacked any kind of significant identity for them to work with or garner fan admiration. All of this is the result of booking or management decisions, not the talent itself which has always been there, just never used in a manner that displays what they can do.

Clash of Champions was a bit of a rude awakening to how far the division has fallen, particularly over the last 12 to 18 months. Teams such as The Street Profits have been getting their shine with a solid reign as RAW Tag Team Champions (despite facing Andrade & Garza a combined 12,000 times in the past week alone), but almost everything else currently going lacks that ‘it’ factor to make something matter. Cesaro & Nakamura are in their own right undeniably superb talents, just fail to gel properly due to being thrown in a feud with Lucha House Party that does neither team any favours. And outside the select teams mentioned, what else does WWE have to offer with its tag team division?

Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Other remaining teams such as The Usos are embroiled in a fascinating storyline with Roman Reigns, The New Day have gone their separate ways for the time being & The Hurt Business is too busy trying to make ‘RETRIBUTION’ relevant at the time of this writing.

As much as we may all whine about the state of tag team wrestling in WWE, I think we can all agree that some effort is better than the little effort they’ve been handed because everyone involved in this deserves so much better than what they’re forced to work with.

3. Sasha Banks & Bayley is the company’s best-built feud in years

It’s rare that a modern-day WWE feud makes me as excited as the deeply personal feud between Sasha Banks & Bayley.

SmackDown over the last four to six weeks has been a testament to the importance of long-form storytelling, something the main roster has been lacking for the longest time. Unlike their red branded counterparts, superstars on SmackDown seem to have some kind of direction, whether it be Bayley & Banks, Reigns & Jey Uso, Sami Zayn’s quest to recapture his gold, Alexa Bliss transforming into ‘The Fiends’ slave of sorts or Bray Wyatt’s teasing of his return to feud with Reigns, the product has a sense of longevity to it that I truly treasure. A good chunk of it feels planned out, building on new stars & furthering the brand in a way that keeps my interest.

That is exactly why Banks & Bayley lands as well as it does because there’s a history behind the tragedy of their on-screen relationship. On top of being a solid duo, the characters of both women have developed substantially, with Bayley going full-blown heel while Banks re-discovers herself as ”The Boss” she was so widely known as in her NXT glory days. It’s the age-old tale of selfish heel vs fiery babyface that has created some of professional wrestling’s finest feuds over the decades, and for all we know, this could rank up there with the best of them when all is said & done.

With Hell in a Cell approaching under a month from now, it’s such a relief to finally see the company build up feuds that are worthy of being held in such a brutal, sadistic structure, something that has certainly been missing from previous events over the years. Of everything going, seeing these two former best friends collide inside the steel structure will be nothing short of spectacular.

2. The Ambulance Match will never satisfy fans

Ambulances matches are an odd one to talk about. Gimmick matches in general either work or don’t base on how believable they are, just how absurd or not the gimmick is or more importantly if it makes sense to the audience watching at home or in the rafters. For myself personally, the Ambulance match is a colossal waste of time, it’s basically the Last Man Standing stipulation with extra steps.

To others, they may find some kind of redeeming quality to it with its absurdity or the brutality that could come with it in the past, the truth is under PG- era guidelines or without a certain degree of talent, I’m just not sure this stipulation works with most competitors. Both Shane McMahon & Kane pushed their bodies to the absolute limit at the 2003 Survivor Series to make this thing work under the circumstance, but there was a degree of tension that came with their story that made all the better as a result. This past Sunday, I’m not sure the result WWE wanted was achieved.

I’m overwhelmed that Drew McIntyre gets to continue establishing his legacy as WWE Champion, simply because his reign has been the most well booked of any champion in the last half-decade at least, but also due to the importance of making sure the future is at the forefront of what you sell. On the other hand, this stipulation may have hurt the ”Scottish Psychopaths” reputation to some extent, as the booking did him little favours in defining the rage this entire rivalry has built up since SummerSlam. What felt like a deeply personal feud turned into a story more about the legends than the champion himself, and while the action held my attention fairly well elements of the booking compromised what should have been an absolute massacre on both men’s parts.

In terms of establishing the motive for Randy Orton to demand a rematch down the line, this achieved that pretty well, in terms of making your champion look like the force of nature you’ve been selling him as since the start of 2020? This fell short in that regard & if anything made him look substantially weaker than he was prior to this booking. While not a bad match this is one of those contests that is dividing the fans who’ve seen it since it’s the kind of thing you either enjoy or not depending on how you like your wrestling delivered to you.

1. Roman Reigns: Professional wrestling’s hottest star

In the midst of the chaos that has been 2020, one of the brightest shining lights, at least within the realm of professional wrestling, has been the short but immensely satisfying redemption story of the Roman Reigns character since his return at SummerSlam a little over a month ago.

Since the infamous split of The Shield in mid-2014 fans have been clamouring for Roman Reigns to play the character he seems so destined to portray. While I never thought Reigns was the worst babyface by any stretch of the imagination, it was clear that his character needed more progression to get to the stage that WWE wanted him to be at. Everything from his look, in-ring style, verbal ability & presentation screamed a monstrous heel who could run through any and everyone. For a while, we got glimpses of this potential. His feuds with the likes of Undertaker, Braun Strowman, John Cena, Brock Lesnar & even Triple H displayed just what Roman Reigns should have been from the get-go.

Despite taking the company a little over six years to get to this point, I’d say it’s better late than never. Reigns is in the role we all knew he would excel at playing, with a manager that ascends most of his clients to the very top of the foodchain, along with additional added history to their dynamic that makes everything all the more fascinating.

Sunday night was solidifying proof of just what about every fan knew prior to this booking change, and it feels so, so good to take in.

Reigns’ match against real-life cousin Jey Uso wasn’t a 5-star mat classic, it wasn’t unpredictable or anything out of left field and it was never meant to be. But it might have been the best pure form of storytelling & character work WWE, maybe even any wrestling brand has put on display all year. It emodied everything Reigns needs to be & after what feels like years, a true force of nature exists in the company outside of Brock Lesnar. Everything from his ground & pound assault of his cousin, constant resistance on being acknowledge as ”The Tribal Chief”, Heymans ringside antics & even the simple removal of his vest during matches created something you just knew was special while witnessing it. Heck, even the simple notion of a tribal bouquet being place around his neck post-match was pure brilliance. Sunday nights main event demands a rewatch, maybe even more than one, because it was the star making performance we all knew Reigns had in him.

After that evening it wasn’t hard to see what so many have known in the man for so long, whether we reference Vince McMahon’s insistence on putting him at the top of the card, AEW making it vocal of the importance he would represent to their or any brand (as Chris Jericho stated publicly) or how to the current locker room the man is the unchallenged locker room leader & the standard-bearer for the current crop of talent. One thing has never been clearer after Clash of Champions, Roman Reigns is without a doubt wrestling’s hottest commodity.


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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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