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Mathew’s Wrestling Quickies #3 Feat Austin Aries vs Johnny Impact



Welcome back to another edition of my Wrestling Quickies as we have another stacked collection of matches for your reading pleasure.

The last one I did went over well with adding ROH into the mix with the Lethal and Ospreay match along with stuff from AAA and W-1. Now I got some nice surprises in this one lined up for you all and you’ll never know what’ll pop up in my quickies, so be sure to not miss them.

So let’s get started, shall we?


Tag Team Match
TAJIRI & Kagetsu vs. Minoru Tanaka & Konami

Review: Our first match for the evening is a show in Japan titled GPS Growth4, which is a Freelancing show that took place on September 26th and I decided to cover the main event of the show due to knowing the people participating in the match. We have TAJIRI (Yes, the one we all know and love) teaming up with our current World of Stardom Champion, Kagetsu as they take on Minoru Tanaka and Konami. Stardom was kind enough to upload this match on their website and how could I say no to watching and adding it on here? Which of these teams will win?

Konami and TAJIRI started it off and he would quickly tag in Kagetsu for the two women to really start it off as the to would have a kicking contest to see who would win and it was Konami who came out on top and the two would tag back in the men. When TAJIRI and Minoru came into the ring, they would have a slow paced match with just chain wrestling for most of it. Kagetsu would do her trademark spitting water into her opponent’s face and the referee, but she would also do it to Minoru right after and later on, Minoru got payback by doing it to Kagetsu.

I honestly thought the match had a couple of slip-ups like when Minoru got the hot tag and went for a Dropkick to Kagetsu, it looked like he missed and she told it anyway despite ducking it and despite stuff like that, it was still a lot of fun and focused more on Kagetsu and Konami since they deserve a chance to shine while the two vets worked with them a little to give them that little rub. TAJIRI and Konami are in the ring now as TAJIRI spits green mist into her eyes and hits his Buzzsaw Kick to knock her down and go for the cover, but he stops himself to tag in Kagetsu now who sprays blue mist into her eyes before hitting the Oedo Coaster as she gets the win for herself and TAJIRI.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters


Tag Team Match
CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER)

Review: We now travel to Germany for the next match which is another tag team match from wXw or Westside Extreme Wrestling and is probably one of my favorite promotions currently right now since they usually deliver with good quality shows and matches, plus it’s the home of two of my favorite wrestlers of 2018 and one of them is WALTER. This match was apart of their tag league tournament on the October 5th show as we got Ringkampf taking on CCK, Chris Brookes, and Jonathan Gresham. So which of these two teams would get points for the league?

One thing I can say about this match is that it is aggressive and I mean that in a good way with CCK and Ringkampf deliver a lot of powerful strikes to each other in this match and showing why they’re both considered one of the top teams in wrestling right now. Timothy is one of the best technical wrestlers right now and the knowledge and experience he has in the ring just shows that from how he was handling CCK while WALTER would just overpower the both of these men to make them a threat to this league. CCK also did well with how Gresham and Brookes work well together in the ring as a tag team with their exciting athletic ability while also knowing when to be technical with their opponent.

Still, it’s an entertaining match and a great way to start off their tag league. WALTER would manhandle Gresham and picks him up for a Powerbomb as Timothy hits a European Uppercut before Greshman landed on the mat and goes for the cover until Brookes broke the count. Gresham would get the crowd off their feet when he would catch WALTER for a German Suplex and even hits it to give them that little moment. Timothy is in the ring now as Gresham would apply the Octopus Stretch onto him and as WALTER tries to break it up, Brookes would catch him in the same hold between the ropes while Timothy keeps trying to fight out of it, but he couldn’t take it anymore as he tapped out!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half


Best Two out of Three Falls Match
Michael Elgin vs. Ultimo Guerrero

Review: Our next stop is in Mexico for the promotion CMLL for their October 12th show, Super Viernes with our usual Two out of Three Falls Match like how CMLL does it as our main event of that show is between Michael Elgin and Ultimo Guerrero. Does Elgin pick up the win or will Ultimo get it?

The first fall was mostly technical with how they were in the ring together until they were both in the outside where Elgin slammed the guardrail onto him and oversold it despite it not fully hitting him. This one would last about seven minutes as Ultimo would get the first fall by making Elgin tap out to the Pulpo Guerrero. The second fall doesn’t last as long since it was mostly the two beating each other down until Ultimo threw Elgin over the barricade and would try to dive over but got caught by Elgin and threw him over to make him crash down onto the floor. Elgin would stand on the barricade to hit a Senton onto him and then threw him back into the ring so he could hit the Elgin Bomb and gets the second fall as we’re now tied up.

Elgin started to dominate the beginning of the third fall and even hits his Powerbomb onto the entrance ramp while taunting the crowd after to get the fans fully behind Ultimo. Elgin would hit another Elgin Bomb into the ring and Ultimo would surprisingly kick out of it. Elgin and Ultimo really do have good chemistry in the ring together and Elgin really does transition well to the Mexican style of wrestling since he’s no stranger to it due to being in AAA for a bit also, but I really enjoyed their work here in the ring. Elgin would have Ultimo on the turnbuckle to go for a Hurricanrana but Ultimo would catch his hands to hit a Powerbomb but Elgin kicked out of it. Elgin went to the top rope but Ultimo quickly follows behind him to hit an Inverted Suplex off the top rope and he goes for the pin as Ultimo wins the match!

Rating: Bruce Prichard


International Ribbon Tag Team Title Match
Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi (c) vs. Hiragi Kurumi & Tsukushi

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve had Ice Ribbon talked about from my stuff and was kinda hard to drop them after one show and it wasn’t bad or anything, just had other promotions lined up and it was getting too much without a balance. But now I get to talk about them in this set of quickies and it’ll most likely be where you’ll see them pop up from time to time unless there’s a rave about one of their big shows. So, we will be talking about the Ice Ribbon show from October 8th which was called Oktober Ice Ribbon Fest 2018 and the main event was the Lovely Butchers defending the International Ribbon Tag Team Championships against Hiragi Kurumi and Tsukushi. Will we have new champs or will they retain?

What’s this, no corner screen with the female commentators and using actual commentators for this match? This is a sudden surprise for me since that was one of my big problems with Ice Ribbon with that little corner screen being covered to watch them do commentary when it’s unnecessary to see and loses focus of the match. I thought the Lovely Butchers did a fine job showing why they’re the champions while Tsukushi and Hiragi seemed like they work just as fine as well. The match itself wasn’t great, but I thought it was still a solid bout with nice tag team wrestling involved along with some good chemistry, but still felt like they could’ve done more if they were given a little bit of extra time instead of about eleven minutes for their main event. Mochi would have Hiragi up on the turnbuckle as she hits the Styles Clash off the ropes to make it connect and the Lovely Butchers retain the titles.

Rating: Eric Bischoff


Singles Match
Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov

Review: We’re now in England as we talk about one of the biggest shows for PROGRESS which was Chapter 76: Hello Wembley. The show was stacked from top to bottom with great matches and moments but we’re only going to be covering one of the matches and the match I’m covering is the one I was more excited for which is WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne taking on wXw’s Ilja Dragunov. A lot of you people already know Pete Dunne by now, but not many of you know Ilja Dragunov and he’s the other favorite I was talking about at the previous match involving wXw and this guy just has the look of a star, has charisma, and can work a great match while being a good talker. When this match got announced, I was super excited to see it unfold finally and now that moment has come. Who wins in this special dream match?

This match was more of a battle for supremacy as both of these men were considered some of the best in Europe right now and seeing these two battle it out in that fashion is what made it exciting from bell to bell. Even just seeing them exploding with energy soon as the bell rang with them punching each other right away with Ilja getting the upper hand with it and dove to the outside later on. The match, while had great wrestling, involved also treated it like a fight with the strikes both of them would do to each other and trying to push their limits on one another. Ilja made his PROGRESS debut in this match and he would fit in right away playing the heel in the match to get the crowd to hate him while showing the fans how good he really is in the ring while Dunne is just being Dunne proving why he’s UK’s best wrestler at this point in time in this match.

Around the middle of the match, Dunne would even get some heat into the match when he grabbed Ilja’s arms so he could stomp his face down on the mat to make him feel defenseless and the fans seem to have disliked that type of thing for this match. Ilja’s manager would hit Dunne with the WWE United Kingdom Championship when the referee wasn’t looking and Ilja would capitalize on that but Dunne kicked out. The manager would start yelling at Dunne until he grabbed his hand to snap his fingers and would hit Ilja with a Bitter End but turned it into a Tombstone when he had him mid-air, but Ilja still kicked out of it. Ilja would hit the Burning Hammer and Sickle for a two count as he ran towards him for Dunne to catch him into a Triangle Choke which Ilja escaped out of. Ilja would later onrush towards him again for Dunne to catch him once again for the Triangle Choke but he shifted his body around so he was sitting on top of him to grab his fingers to snap them over and over again until Ilja couldn’t take it anymore and tapped out!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half


Impact World Title Match
Austin Aries (c) vs. Johnny Impact

Review: You heard it right, I will be talking about Impact Wrestling in this set of quickies like I did with ROH at the previous one. The show took place at Bound for Glory as Austin Aries is set to defend his Impact World Championship against Johnny Impact in the main event of this big PPV. I don’t follow Impact as much as I would like but from what I’ve seen with their recent work, it looks like they’ve been slowly getting better and I’m glad that’s been the case lately. This rivalry though has sparked some personal stuff between the two to get the crowd into the match more and now it’s time to see how it unfolds. Will Aries retain again or will we finally have a new champion?

I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of Johnny these days but from I’ve seen with him lately, it’s good to see he’s still in excellent shape and still doing the stuff I normally see him do while still finding ways to be creative, like how he stepped between the ring apron and guardrail to hit a Moonsault right onto Aries and it looked like a kick but still great with the impact. Aries really hasn’t changed a whole lot except for slowly upping his heel game in the match and knowing how to draw heat from the crowd.

I don’t watch too much Impact these days as I said previously due to not always being home and focused on writing other coverages, but I do watch clips and keep up to date with them when I can and this match was great and I do hope they find success with this new reboot they’ve been having this year and have been doing much better than ROH. Aries would hit the 450 Splash for Johnny to kick out of it at two and he would eventually hit his Starship Pain and it looked like he had it, but Aries grabbed the rope before the referee could count to three. The match is getting down to the wire now with close calls as Aries now hits his Brainbuster for Johnny to have his foot on the rope before the three-count also. Aries would then apply the Last Chancery for Johnny to break the hold again and Aries would hit a Suicide Dive onto Johnny’s wife, Taya Valkyrie which gets Johnny pissed and attacked him on the outside before taking him in to hit a Brainbuster and hits one more Starship Pain for the pin, and we have a new champion!

Once the bell rang, Aries would no sell the move and flip off Don Callis before walking out of the ring. Some people are saying it’s a work while others are claiming it to be a shoot since Aries’ contract would expire after the event and hasn’t shown up at the tapings. However, another source has claimed that Aries is doing a loose cannon type of gimmick where he would do this stuff on purpose and then wrestle for other promotions to keep the gimmick intact and not sure if I’ll fully buy it but we’ll see what happens, but also wouldn’t be surprised if it was, in fact, a shoot and not as bad as Low Ki. Congrats to Johnny Impact, hope you have a good reign.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half


GHC Heavyweight Title Match
Takashi Sugiura (c) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Review: We return to Japan as we talk about another Japanese promotion, NOAH. If you have seen Hi5ame’s articles popping up on the website about NOAH, you’ll know what it’s all about and if you haven’t read them, then you’re missing out and you should check out her work since it’s great stuff and some of the best I’ve read whenever she has something posted. Anyway, we’ll be talking about the GHC Heavyweight Championship match that took place on the October 4th show which also had their Global Junior League finals taking place as Takashi Sugiura is set to defend the title against Katsuhiko Nakajima. Takashi is honestly my favorite champion in all of 2018 with how impressive he has been with his title matches since each match told a different story in the ring and each defense is just a work of art, he’s even a better champion than Kenny Omega and not many people will watch NOAH or his title reign and they’re missing out on that which is a shame. NOAH really needs a streaming service next. So will Takashi deliver us another classic while retaining at the same time or will we have a new champion?

The progression for Nakajima since he lost the title over a year ago has been an amazing experience seeing him turning from this vanilla like babyface to this heel with a new attitude to raise his confidence and made himself grow more as a character and a wrestler. These two would just beat the crap out of each other mostly with stiff kicks all around by both of these men, slaps, elbows, you name it and they did it in the match to give it that fighting type of feel while telling a great story in the ring. Takashi would once again give us a unique title defense to make all of his title matches have a different feel with completely different stories to tell you how great his reign as GHC Heavyweight Champion has been so far.

Nakajima would wrestle this match rather fairly until near the end of the match as he would use a weapon on Takashi to hit him with it over and over again to eventually choke him with it until the referee would finally turn around to see what he was doing as Nakajima threw the weapon out of the ring to go back to beating down the champion. Nakajima would deliver slaps to his face to get him down on his knees from the beating has was given would even get on top of him to keep delivering punches onto him. Nakajima would then have Takashi get up so he could kick him, but Takashi collapsed on the floor ducking the kick before it would connect and it looks like he’s out of it. Eventually, Takashi would get back up for Nakajima go for another kick but Takashi would catch his foot and would apply the Ankle Lock on him as he holds onto it tightly. It looked like Nakajima was going to break out of it but Takashi would land on the mat to hold him in place, still holding onto the submission with Nakajima being unable to move, he held on for as long as he could and had no choice but to tap out and Takashi retains once again. Beautiful match and probably his best title defense for this run. I hope to see a rematch if Nakajima wins the Global League.

Rating: Jim Cornette


Singles Match
BxB Hulk vs. Shingo Takagi

Review: Mat, don’t you already cover Dragon Gate? Why is this on here? Good question and I actually have the answer for you which is, I had a bit of a busy week last week and the Dragon Gate network takes their live shows off after a week and brings them back a month later, which means I was unfortunately unable to get to it in time. So instead of waiting a month for it to come back to the service, I’m just gonna move forward and only talk about the match that was important on the show, Shingo’s final Dragon Gate match. Before Shingo Takagi made the jump to New Japan Pro Wrestling, he would have his last match with the company he’s been known for as he fights on the October 7th show against his former rival, BxB Hulk. Will Shingo win his final match or does Hulk take it?

I gotta be honest here, it felt a little bit underwhelming and yeah the match was good, but I felt like the atmosphere of it wasn’t as impactful or nothing fully stood out and didn’t really have a bigger feel for a final match of his and it hurt it a little bit for me. Anyway, it was still solid enough to get over despite it being just a regular match with nothing special in it in-ring wise until the end, but it was mostly the story that helped carry it due to their history together in the ring. Around the last five minutes of the match or so was when it would start picking up to get better with Shingo hitting Hulk with everything in his arsenal, he would even hit two MADE IN JAPAN’s in a row to try and put him away but Hulk would kick out of it at two, even kicked out of the Pumping Bomber as well. Hulk would start getting in some offense now with his series of kicks all onto his head and would hit his First Flash which Shingo would kick out of right away before the referee could even get to one. Shingo would start yelling at Hulk which leads to Hulk kicking him more and hits one more First Flash to pin Shingo and end his Dragon Gate career.

Shingo Takagi was in Dragon Gate since 2004 when he made his wrestling debut and has been with the company ever since while doing a little bit of freelance work here and there. He’s been with the company for fourteen years and he’s done everything he could at Dragon Gate, which now means that it’s time for him to move on and do more with his career to show the world more of who he is. He made his return to NJPW on October 8th as he joined Tetsuya Naito in Los Ingobernables de Japon where he would now be considered a Junior Heavyweight and is now teaming up with BUSHI for their Jr Tag League. I’m kinda iffy about him being stuck in the junior division, but I’m sure it’s only a short-term thing since the heavyweight scene is stacked right now and I still wish him luck. Thank you, Shingo Takagi, for your contributions to Dragon Gate and still hope for more success in your career.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter


Overall: Despite some of the matches being underwhelming, the majority of the matches I’ve watched have been either enjoyable or great matches to give me plenty of excitement for this version of the quickies and could be a while for me to top it or have it this stacked, but you’ll never know what to expect.

Favorite Match: Takashi Sugiura vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

Least Favorite Match: Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi vs. Hiragi Kurumi & Tsukushi

Score: 8.5/10

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Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: The Final Opponent For John Cena In WWE

It’s obvious that John Cena is nearing the end of his legendary career, and he’s suggested ending it at WrestleMania 41. Who should be his final opponent?



John Cena Last Match Randy Orton WWE WrestleMania 41

It’s obvious that John Cena is nearing the end of his legendary career, and he’s suggested ending it at WrestleMania 41. Who should be his final opponent?

John Cena recently appeared on the Pat McAfee Show, the Monday after his surprise (but mostly expected) WrestleMania 40 appearance during Cody Rhodes’ win over Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Championship. During that appearance, he confirmed what many expect, that he is nearly done with his in-ring career. But Cena even tossed out the idea of a time-frame, detailing that his acting schedule will likely take him through Christmas, and maybe Hollywood could “pump the brakes” to allow for one final run.

That run could easily begin at the Royal Rumble with a surprise entrance (or entering himself via TV appearances as part of the build), with a tease for his 17th world title win before finally settling in on his final match.

Fantasy booking and storytelling aside, the goal here is the final match–more specifically the final opponent. With a John Cena, you’ve got a ton of options. As such, it’s hard to narrow it down to 5, and one of your favorites is likely missing–be warned!

Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: The Final Opponent For John Cena In WWE

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Miz – A feud with John Cena gave The Mix a WrestleMania 27 main event–and a WrestleMania  main event victory on top of it. Miz has been receiving more love than ever lately, and a match with John Cena would not be misplaced. Maybe he can use their WrestleMania 33 contest (and Cena’s personal aftermath) as fodder for it, too.
  • AJ Styles – The man who once made it popular to “BEAT UP JOHN CENA” is also nearing the end of his run, and could be the one candidate on this list that could realistically give us a double-retirement match. He would also be the guy who retired both The Undertaker and John Cena (and would probably end up being the guy who lost in both).
  • The Rock or Cody Rhodes – Both great options, but you have to figure their dance card for WrestleMania 41 is already full, potentially standing across the ring from one another. Either is an amazing option (including “Thrice In A Lifetime”), but I just don’t think it’s in the cards.
  • Trick Williams – Potentially a surprising addition to the Honorable Mentions, but the comparisons are there in terms of in-ring style/ability, promo skills, and the interplay they had in NXT (remember, it was Cena who is credited with encouraging Trick to not be afraid to go for it himself despite his relationship with Carmelo Hayes).

5. CM Punk

The fifth spot on this list was nearly interchangeable between several of the honorable mention names, but it really came down to Punk and Seth Rollins for me (with a hint of AJ Styles). The 2011 feud between CM Punk and John Cena was legendary, and is a moment that will forever be seen by me as the one that truly cemented CM Punk as a member of the growing list of all-time greats in WWE.

Punk is uniquely qualified for this match as he would make it mean more than a showboat for John Cena’s career and final match. It’s entirely believable that CM Punk would want to put John Cena’s career into the ground, and WWE has the video archive to support it.

Despite being #5, this could actually be a dark-horse for the match we get, and I can’t see anyone reasonably being upset about that.

4. Roman Reigns

John Cena and Roman Reigns have had two separate legendary programs. the first saw Cena, at times, embarrass Roman in promo exchanges in a feud that took place in the “pre-Tribal Chief” era. The second is more fresh and likely more memorable, as John Cena put Roman Reigns over in a football stadium in Las Vegas at SummerSlam (although it might be more remembered for the return of Brock Lesnar).

Reigns, a legend himself at his point (he’s featured alongside Steve Austin at the top of the “Forever” portion of the Then/Now/Forever/Together video that recently debuted) would provide a pairing akin to The Undertaker serving as Shawn Michaels’ retirement opponent at WrestleMania 26 9notice I didn’t say “final opponent). The end of Roman’s 1316 day world title reign has brought about a new appreciation for Reigns, which would further enhance this pairing at WrestleMania 41.

3. Bron Breakker

Bron Breakker is the picture-perfect definition of a juggernaut in WWE, a fast rising star who almost seems like a lock to main event WrestleMania one day (you never know–Seth Rollins JUST got his first WrestleMania main event last weekend). Breakker recently said farewell NXT as the natural in-ring competitor makes a transition to full-time main roster competition.

Breakker also fits the category of who “needs it.” Bring the man to retire John Cena would be quite the feather in the cap of Breakker’s early career, and would give him a moment that would be relived for generations to come. The only question mark is WWE “trusting” Breakker with this moment, as a sudden change of character could mean that Cena’s final match wouldn’t be seen or discussed as much. Breakker, to me, has given no reason for anyone to suspect that might happen, regardless of any controversies his father and uncle have been linked to.

2. R-Truth

Despite being 5-years older than John Cena, and making his in-ring debut in the same year (1999), R-Truth’s childhood hero hanging up the boots will undoubtedly be a hard-hitting moment for the  man who has basically become the WWE Mascot. Truth emulating Cena in his matches, and of course the RawAfterMania moment with Cena, Truth, and The Miz hitting a Fifteen Knuckle Shuffle (thank you, Michael Cole) on The Judgment Day makes this a near can’t miss final match for both John Cena and the WWE Universe.

R-Truth himself is equally deserving of this match, as it would be a reward for all of his years in the ring as part of a career that seems age defying while proving that age is not only a number, but also a number that can be ignored (see Child Hero, John Cena).

While a rematch of their 2011 WWE Capital Punishment main event is an unlikely WrestleMania 41 match-up, it’s one I believe everyone would love to see.

1. Randy Orton

I mean, is there anyone more perfect? John Cena and Randy were inseparably linked for a good portion of their careers, and have shared the ring more times than Big Show has turned babyface/heel. Both are far into legendary status at this point, and Orton specifically is obviously focused on enjoying this stage of his career.

But Orton is still delivering great performances inside the ring, too.

Randy Orton vs John Cena was an exciting proposition many years ago, became a punchline for WWE booking a few years ago, but is now coming full circle as the perfect match-up to end the amazing career of John Cena. It has my vote, and should have yours, too.

Even if R-Truth would be the most fun option.

What say you? Who is the best candidate to stand across the ring from John Cena in his final WWE match, potentially at WrestleMania 41? Who did I leave out?

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Greg DeMarco’s WrestleMania 40 Saturday Results & Review

It’s the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania! Night 1 of WrestleMania XL and Greg DeMarco has your results and review!



Sami Zayn WrestleMania 40

It’s the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania! Night 1 of WrestleMania XL and Greg DeMarco has your results and review!

It all comes down to this–at least for the first night! A loaded card in front of a packed house, and I’d expect everyone to deliver one hell of a performance.

Women’s World Championship – Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley (champion)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Rhea Ripley retains

In my opinion, this match should be the main event of Night 1, but The Rock is back and that was going to take precedence (even if I disagree). Becky won this title shot at the Elimination Chamber, even though they were already building the feud before that event in Perth. Ripley herself main evented that event in a stadium, defeating Nia Jax.

  • It was revealed during her entrance that this is Becky Lynch’s “Flu Game,” as she has temperatures as high as 102 degrees throughout the week.
  • Rhea Ripley enters to a life performance of her entrance theme, which you can tell she dug.
  • Prime logo is center ring, just the black outline with “Prime” in the middle, and it is not at all bothersome. I can’t believe people made such a big deal out of bitching about that.
  • The stage looks dope, not at all “too small” as some had said. The whole environment looks great, honestly.
  • Rhea Ripley has been dealing with a wrist injury. She said on the Pat McAfee Show she didn’t expect to work with the wrist brace on tonight, but there it is.
  • Corey Graves points out that Becky’s training was likely impacted by her illness, and Pat McAfee scoffs at him for stating the obvious. I hope that isn’t what we get all night.
  • Commentary notes that is is 52 degrees and windy in the stadium, and I am reminded of Nick Khan’s comments about moving an outdoor WrestleMania to late April in the future, if they don’t get an indoor building (he did say “2026” when talking about that, which likely means the 2025 venue is indeed set).
  • Rhea’s Prism Trap is a fell of a submission finisher. Add in the body lock the way she did, and it’s even more impressive.
  • I just noticed the “Prime” turnbuckle pads and it’s…weird. I just didn’t expect it and can’t think of the last time we didn’t have the WWE/WWF logo on the buckles outside of Black and Gold NXT. WrestleMania 2?
  • I am also noticing that Dude Wipes seems to have sponsored the ring posts. Kudos to WWE (and the wrestling industry behind them) for being so damn desirable to sponsors!
  • That combo to get into the Riptide was fantastic–and the kickout was even better.
  • During the DisarmHer you can clearly see the commentary position, and Michael Cole is legit reclined all the way back. Love it–Cole is living his best life.
  • Rhea’s Riptide into the buckle before the proper Riptide was pretty sweet as well. Made Becky look insanely strong in defeat.

Winner via pinfall AND STILL your Women’s World Champion: Rhea Ripley

Hell of an opener, and if you didn’t know Becky was sick, you wouldn’t have known. Props to them both. That would have satisfied as a main event, but can now go down as one of the best openers in WrestleMania history.

Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championships and Smackdown Tag Team Championships – DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) vs. New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate) vs. A Town Down Under (Austin Theory & Grayson Waller) vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Awesome Truth (Raw titles) and A-Town Down Under (SmackDown)

As many expected, the belts are hanging separately, meaning we are most likely splitting the tag titles here. Triple H and company have put some serious work into building up the tag team divisions of both brands, and even though I expect the two winners to not be actual “teams,” but either way I actually like the way they didn’t make a big deal out of splitting the titles up, they’re just doing it. They have been defended separately since being unified, albeit rarely.

  • R-Truth makes a joke about DIY being DX and that’s now taken off. I love it.
  • The Miz is very under appreciated. Can literally do anything.
  • Someone is struggling with the “Titan Tron” videos tonight.
  • Not gonna lie, I am the biggest Pat McAfee fan, but he’s actually quite annoying right now.
  • Sign of the night: SANTA DESERVED IT.
  • Lots of green in this match, half of the teams wearing their “WrestleMania Green” gear.
  • Also, loving the Consequences Creed gear for Woods.
  • God Bless Finn Balor for taking that Airplane Spin into the ladder.
  • 205 combined years of experience in this match. That’s an average of 17 years (Waller has the least with 7, Balor and Miz are tied for the most with 23).
  • “Dunne Mountain?!?!” Thank you Michael Cole for fixing that.
  • Poor Finn Balor, not he takes the AA to the ladder after John Cena’s Five Moves Of Doom
  • Hilarious.
  • A-Town Down Under gets the SmackDown tag titles!
  • And Grayson gets tossed through a ladder, still holding a title!
  • The match does continue until the Raw tag titles are also retrieved.
  • If Theory also got the Raw tag titles down, I will laugh my ass off.
  • Birminghammer is a fantastic name for a tandem (somewhat) Burning Hammer.
  • Tornado DDT through a table!
  • Air Raid Crash from the ladder!
  • And we still have more tables set-up.
  • JD McDonagh trying to get Finn–who has taken a beating–to get the Raw tag titles.
  • McDonagh through the tables!
  • PERFECTLY placed Razor’s Edge onto that chair.
  • Dude, that ladder is trashed. (And very unsafe.)
  • AA sends Damian outside!
  • I think everyone wants R-Truth to get this. EVERYONE.
  • YES!

Winners via belt retrieval, AND NEW:

  • SmackDown Tag Team Champions – Grayson Waller & Austin Theory
  • Raw Tag Team Champions – R-Truth & The Miz

Really good Ladder Match, but it’s hard to have a bad one. The tag team titles are split and it was really well done. It made perfect sense to do it that way, not make a big deal out of it and just let it happen. I am excited to see both teams win–not because I picked both, but because I think one team (Waller/Theory) have amazing futures and the other (Miz/Truth) will be a lot of fun, even if their run will probably be short lived.

Santos Escobar (with Legado Del Fantasma members Angel, Humberto, & Elektra Lopez) & Dominik Mysterio vs. Rey Mysterio & Andrade (with The LWO members Carlito, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro, & Zelina Vega

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Dominik and Santos win, giving Dominik “revenge” for his loss at WrestleMania 39.

Look, this match doesn’t make a lick of sense–Dominik shows up two weeks ago and finds his way into another WrestleMania match with Rey? Definitely shoehorned. But Dominik is outstanding, so if this gets him on the card, I’ll take it.

  • More green in this match, and I am here for it.
  • Innovative Double Cross Body by Rey & Andrade.
  • Dominik showing experience beyond his years, making sure the ref sees his tag with Santos.
  • At this moment, I am wondering who turns–Carlito or Andrade. Gotta assume it’s one of them.
  • Three matches in and I don’t even notice the Primo logo in the center of the ring or on the turnbuckle pads.
  • Santos Escobar trying to unmask Rey Mysterio, as if we don’t all have Google.
  • Corey Graves making a great point about Rey taking some responsibility for the issues in his life, and Michael Cole immediately dismissing it.
  • It’s so hard to do a really good Dragon Screw Leg Whip, and Andrade (along with Dominik and Santos) just pulled off two to perfection.
  • Camera shot of Rey’s cross body shows the heaters above the ring. Good–keep ’em warm!
  • This could have easily been an 8-man tag team match. Maybe we get that Monday on Raw (which can also be where the turn happens, making my prediction here likely wrong).
  • Joaquin Wilde gets to do his NXT spot at WrestleMania, and that’s probably more important than officially being in the match.
  • Two masked men–definitely the Kelce Brothers–are here.
  • My bad, it was Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Good call, honestly. Great pop for them, too.
  • Looking at the reply, Dominik sold that ringpost spot like a champ.

Winners via pinfall (Rey on Santos): Rey Mysterio & Andrade

Fun tag team match that served its purpose. Needed? Maybe not, as I really wanted to get Liv Morgan vs. Nia Jax onto this card. But when you can get Rey & Dominik on the card, everyone will be happy. and of course the Jason Kelce & Lane Johnson appearances.

Brother vs Brother: Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Jimmy Uso follows in the footsteps of Owen Hart and Matt Hardy and beats the “more talented brother.”

They’ve wanted this match all their lives–and the preview video was insane. Very well done.

  • Jey in the WrestleMania whites tonight.
  • And we get a hot start to the match!
  • “Big Brother Jimmy” is always a fun thing to hear.
  • More Dude Wipes sponsorship on this one–you have to wonder if having Dude Wipes on the posts for the opener was in error.
  • Superkicks. Lots of Superkicks.
  • Very enjoyable YEET/NO chants from the crowd.
  • Jey just kicking the hell out of Jimmy, including a Jumping Super Kick.
  • This has “Fight Without Honor” feels from old school ROH, where the winners have respect after. We will definitely see these guys together again.
  • Jimmy apologizing to Jey. Crowd is not buying it.
  • Of course it was BS, and Jimmy gains the advantage.

Winner, via pinfall: Jey Uso

Jey breaks the babyface curse by beating his heel brother. Thought we might get an embrace between them, instead we faded out. A good match that was more about the story than the in-ring action. I can see some feeling like this hasn’t “lived up to expectations” because of the high expectations you’d have for an Usos match. Their best work will always be as a team, but I know this is a lifelong dream come true for both.

As for all the Superkicks, I mean….it’s an Usos match.

Six-Woman Tag Team Match – Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, & Kairi Sane) vs. Naomi, Bianca Belair, & Jade Cargill

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Bianca, Naomi, & Jade win when Jade scores the pin (probably on Kairi, who always seems to eat the fall)

This match is all about getting Bianca Belair on the card (she had to be), and Jade Cargill’s debut. It also got Damage CTRL on the card, which they truly deserve–even if it is to lose.

  • Respectfully, Dakota Kai. (Good thing the ring and surrounding area is heated)
  • Not gonna lie, Jade looks nervous. But this is a six-woman tag, and her portion is likely highly choreographed. Gonna be all good.
  • As I watch and enjoy the match (but am not typing much lol), this seems like a match where we’re all just waiting for Jade to come in and win.
  • No one has told Jade about the tag ropes yet, apparently.
  • And now Jade is in, and Damage CTRL makes her look like a million bucks.
  • Dakota Kai nicely gets herself into position for the finish, and Jade gets her WrestleMania win.

Winners via pinfall (Jade on Dakota): Jade Cargill, Naomi, & Bianca Belair

We knew what this one was about going into it, and that’s what it should have been. Jade still ain’t ready. I know it might be an “ego hit” for her to go to NXT, but she needs it. If Giulia can go to NXT, so can Jade.

Intercontinental Championship – Sami Zayn vs. GUNTHER (champion)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Sami Zayn pulls off the major upset and is the one to dethrone Gunther

Gunther has had a stranglehold on the Intercontinental Championship, defending it like crazy in 2023 but slowing that down here in 2024. It’s not fair to say he’s outgrown the title, but that might actually be the case. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens with Imperium leading up to the draft, and at the WWE Draft itself.

  • Sami Zayn was the perfect wrestler to have their journey form backstage to the ring followed by the cameras. From his family to Chad Gable to Kevin Owens, it was all so perfect–maybe too perfect? (Not in that someone will screw him, but in that it might be too heavily foreshadowing his win?)
  • Gunther looked oddly nervous standing on that stage.
  • You know, the Intercontinental Championship is basically a third world title at this point. And we could see the end of a legendary reign. I think this deserved the Samantha Irvin In-Ring Introductions (aka “Japan Style”) treatment.
  • Gunther is smiling confidently now, we’re good.
  • Crowd is ON FIRE for these guys (and evenly split with their chants for each guy).
  • This is the 21st time the Intercontinental championship is defended at WrestleMania, and it makes you wonder what in the hell they were thinking for the other 11.
  • Looks like Dude Wipes is back on the ringpost!
  • Hell of a nearfall, followed up by a Helluva Kick from Gunthcr, and one from Sami!
  • That finish….AMAZING.

Winner via pinfall, AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn

The athletes… the moments… the storytelling… professional wrestling is such a beautiful business. Sami Zayn’s win over Gunther was everything I had hoped it would be when I picked Sami to win. Absolutely beautiful.

Cody Rhodes & World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. The Rock & Undisputed WWE Champion Roman Reigns

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Seth & Cody get the win after tons of interference and surprise appearances, making Roman vs Cody on Sunday a match where The Bloodline is banned from ringside.

So much involved in this one. As you know, If Rock & Roman win, Sunday’s WWE Championship match will be held under Bloodline Roles. If Seth & Cody win, then that mach will see ZERO Bloodline involvement. Personally, if Cody is winning the title, I’d rather it be straight up. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I am wrong.

  • Honestly, after the introductions, I realized I was just watching!
  • This was very much Steve Austin vs The Rock inspired, with them fighting all over the stadium, and pushing the envelope.
  • I loved The Rock basically neutering the referee–normally I hate that, but here it works.
  • That finish and the condition of Rollins both lay perfectly into night 2, I would imagine.

Winners via Rock pinfall on Rhodes: The Rock & Roman Reigns

Per rule, Sunday’s main event will now be Bloodline Rules. And given that, my prediction of Roman retaining might be harder to pull off. This was a good return for The Rock, and perfectly played into the whole story. Job well done.

Greg DeMarco’s Overall Thoughts for WWE WrestleMania XL, Saturday (Night 1)

in a vacuum, this was  highly enjoyable show. Night 2 might end up being legendary if both Bayley and Rhodes win, and it could overshadow Night 1. But the scene was fantastic, production was top notch as always, and the fans went home having enjoyed one for the ages. The Triple H Era s well underway, and will likely kick into a higher gear with Night 2.

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