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The Chairshot’s Weekly Brainbuster: Matt’s Power Rankings 11/22/19

Welcome to the seventh edition of The Chairshot’s Brainbuster Power Rankings!



Welcome to the seventh edition of The Chairshot’s Brainbuster Power Rankings!

This week, I bring to you a Special Edition Tag Team version as we are headed for WarGames and Survivor Series, as well as the NJPW World Tag League! We are discussing the week of 11/15-11/21! We will be comparing WWE (RAW and SDL), NXT (NXTUS, 205 Live, and NXT UK), AEW (Dynamite and DARK), and NJPW! Who had the biggest week?

These rankings are very much based on momentum as well as strength of opponent, weighing out “power rankings” based on head to head results. Each week, I will discuss five difference makers in wrestling and, using science, prove why they had the best week in wrestling! Greg DeMarco and I will compare our lists, giving you all two different types of power rankings!

1) Colt Cabana & Toru Yano +43 [74 Overall Tag Score]
Jeff Cobb & Mikey Nicholls d. Cabana & Yano, World Tag League 11/16
Cabana & Yano d. IWGP Tag Team Champions Guerillas of Destiny, World Tag League 11/17
Cabana & Yano d. IWGP US Champion Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki, World Tag League 11/18
Cabana & Yano d. Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI, World Tag League 11/19

These two screw ball partners end up as the first New Japan entry to win the top spot, but that’s for several reasons. They aren’t even an actual “tag team”, but two comedy relief characters who work extremely well together and have found a groove. They only started teaming in the west coast New Japan Showdown Tour earlier this month, but they find themselves 5-1 overall. So on top of the fact they had a 43 point week, which should always catapult anyone to the top spot, they also beat the IWGP Tag Team Champions and earned 27 points in one match, which is tied for the largest amount of points won in New Japan since 2012 (tied with about eight other matches), because the G.O.D. did have a +301 Tag Score, where are prior to the win this team only had a +14 Tag Score, giving them only a 16% chance to win. Not only did they win, they parleyed that momentum into a match against the undefeated in block match team of Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi, and beat them too. No doubt they were the number one entry in our power rankings!

2) Juice Robinson & David Finlay +30 [132 Tag Score]
Juice Robinson & David Finlay d. Hirooki Goto & Karl Fredericks, World Tag League 11/16
Juice Robinson & David Finlay d. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima, World Tag League 11/17
Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr d. Juice Robinson & David Finlay, World Tag League 11/18
Juice Robinson & David Finlay d. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma, World Tag League 11/19
Juice Robinson & David Finlay d. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare, World Tag League 11/21

The Lifeblood partners are one of the best tag teams in all of New Japan. That’s pretty good considering they were both Young Lions just a few years ago. What’s even more impressive here is that David Finlay has a -198 Overall Score as a singles competitor! They find themselves leading the entire Tag League with 8 points after this mornings show just finished. Can they win the whole thing? We will find out next month!

3) Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI +27 [71 Overall Tag Score]
Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi d. Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr, World Tag League 11/16
Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi d. Jeff Cobb & Mikey Nicholls, World Tag League 11/17
Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi d. Shingo Takagi & Terrible, World Tag League 11/18
Cabana & Yano d. Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI, World Tag League 11/19

These two go way back, having teamed up several times a dozen times prior to this Tag League, and they showed their familiarity here, decimating the first three teams they came across in brutal fashion. The Stone Pitbull would not be denied, putting away Taichi, Nicholls, and Terrible all with the Brainbuster! Tomohiro Ishii is a former IWGP Tag Team Champion and he wants to be again. If they can win this tournament, they get an opportunity to do so at WrestleKingdom!

4) Asuka +10 [140 Overall Score]
Asuka d. Natalya, WWE RAW

Asuka has not wrestled a singles match since losing the Smackdown Women’s Champioship in March, for that reason, her 140 Overall Score was not listed on any of the leaderboards prior to this article, but, from 2017-2019, she compiled a 130 Overall Score, and led the women’s division most of the time she was a singles star. Also to note, she has the highest Overall Score in NXT history (272 Overall Score). I need to see some more singles competition before she appears on the leaderboard again, but keep this in mind for future articles! The reason she made my top 5 this week was a lack of competition overall, and the fact that the Empress of Tomorrow was such a dominant singles star before moving to the tag division and reinventing herself.

5) NXT UK Champion Kay Lee Ray +22 [124 Overall Score]
Kay Lee Ray d. Xia Brookside, NXT UK
Kay Lee Ray d. Dakota Kai, NXT

The reigning NXT UK Women’s Champion had herself quite a week! After appearing on NXT last week becoming the fourth member of Team Baszler for WarGames, she defeated Xia Brookside and then Dakota Kai, cementing herself as the undisputed top female star in NXT UK! Hopefully we will begin to see more of Kay Lee Ray, as she is a world traveled star! The reason I felt she belonged in the list this week is because of her dominating wins and her position on Team Baszler as we head into WarGames! Watch for Kay Lee Ray to have some dominating moments inside the double cage this Sunday!

Runners Up:

6) Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish +14 [69 Overall Tag Score]
7) The Revival -14 [2 Overall Tag Score]

WWE Men:

  • Seth Rollins 200 (+4)
  • Roman Reigns 156 (-)
  • Buddy Murphy 142 (+8)
  • WWE Champion Brock Lesnar 139 (-)
  • Braun Strowman 129 (-)
  • Aleister Black 110 (-)
  • Baron Corbin 85 (-)
  • Ricochet 78 (-16)
  • IC Champion Shinsuke Nakamura 53 (-)
  • +US Champion AJ Styles 49 (-)

WWE Women:

  • RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch 189 (-)
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley 170 (-)
  • Charlotte 77 (-)
  • Natalya 9 (-10)
  • Sasha Banks -1 (-)
  • Nikki Cross -14 (-)
  • Lacey Evans -18 (-)
  • Mandy Rose -36 (-)
  • Sonya Deville -72 (-)
  • Carmella -85 (-)

WWE Tag Team:

  • RAW Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders 151 (+0)
  • Smackdown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) 38 (-)
  • Heavy Machinery 34 (+11)
  • Ziggler & Roode 23 (-18)
  • Cesaro & Nakamura 16 (-)
  • The Revival 2 (-14)
  • The Street Profits 10 (-)
  • Ryder & Hawkins -56 (-)
  • The O.C. -93 (-)

NXT Men:

  • NXT UK Champion WALTER 165 (-)
  • Tommaso Ciampa 149 (-)
  • Pete Dunne 143 (-)
  • Velveteen Dream 122 (-)
  • Matt Riddle 118 (+16)
  • NXT Champion Adam Cole 116 (+12)
  • +Travis Banks 96 (+14)
  • Joe Coffey 94 (-)
  • Jordan Devlin 90 (-)
  • Damian Priest 85 (-)

NXT Women:

  • NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler 268 (-)
  • Toni Storm 129 (-)
  • NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray 124 (+22)
  • Rhea Ripley 105 (-)
  • Io Shirai 83 (-)
  • Jinny 70 (-)
  • Piper Niven 64 (-)
  • Mia Yim 53 (-)
  • Bianca BelAir 23 (-)
  • Tegan Nox 12 (-)

NXT Tag Team

  • NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era 69 (+14)
  • Imperium 47 (-)
  • NXT UK Tag Team Champions Gallus 37 (-)
  • Young Grizzled Veterans 28 (-)
  • The Forgotten Sons 21 (-11)
  • Lorcan & Burch 0 (-)

AEW Men:

  • Jon Moxley 77 (+15)
  • AEW Champion Chris Jericho 67 (-)
  • PAC 47 (-)
  • Adam Page 30 (-)
  • Cody 29 (-)
  • Darby Allin 16 (-15)
  • MJF 16 (-)
  • +Luchasaurus 15 (+15)
  • Shawn Spears 4 (-)
  • Kenny Omega -1 (-)
  • OUT: Joey Janela

AEW Women:

  • AEW Women’s Champion Riho 77 (-)
  • +Hikaru Shida 35 (+17)
  • Britt Baker 15 (-17)
  • +Emi Sakura 2 (-)
  • Nyla Rose -1 (-)
  • Jamie Hayter -16 (-)
  • Leva Bates -33 (-)

AEW Tag Team:

  • AEW Tag Team Champions SCU (Kazarian/Sky) 86 (-)
  • Private Party 15 (+0)
  • The Lucha Bros 15 (-)
  • Ortiz & Santana 17 (-15)
  • The Young Bucks 14 (+16)
  • The Dark Order 14 (-)
  • Best Friends 0 (+18)


  • IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada 314 (-)
  • Kota Ibushi 207 (-)
  • IWGP Champion Jay White 198 (-)
  • Tetsuya Naito 153 (-)
  • IWGP Jr Champion Will Ospreay 149 (-)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi 141 (-)
  • British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr 116 (-)
  • IWGP Jr Tag Champion El Phantasmo 105 (-)
  • Hirooki Goto 70 (-)
  • IWGP Jr Tag Team Champion Taiji Ishimori 64 (-)

NJPW Tag Team:

  • IWGP Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny 289 (-12)
  • EVIL & SANADA 264 (+18)
  • El Desperado & Yoshinabu Desperado 193 (-)
  • Juice Robinson & David Finlay 132 (+30)
  • IWGP Jr Tag Team Champions ELP/Ishimori 116 (-)
  • Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii 93 (-)
  • Roppongi 3K 89 (+41)
  • Colt Cabana & Toru Yano 74 (+43)
  • Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI 71 (+27)
  • Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma 47 (+31)

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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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