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News From Cook’s Corner 5.25.20: Memorial Day

Memorial Day almost feels too accurate, for this edition of Cook’s news…

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Memorial Day Weekend holds a great deal of importance across the United States in which I live. It holds a little extra importance to me, as my birth took place on a Sunday during Memorial Day Weekend. I must admit it’s always been a little weird getting birthday presents during a time when we’re supposed to be somber and remembering those who gave their lives for our country. Or are we supposed to be happy about that? I’ve never really been sure, and I think if I asked ten different people I would get ten different answers. It’s difficult to say anything other than “Memorial Day is a day where we are supposed to remember soldiers while not working”. Some make a big display of it, and some complain that others don’t make enough of a display of it. Me, I just wish that people wouldn’t use it for political purposes, but I know that they will, and it’s pretty gross.

While all this is going on, I have a birthday. There is a low-level celebration at this point, since the numbers are getting bigger and I’d prefer to forget my actual age. I actually did for about six months a couple of years ago. It was pretty great. As far as presents go, I don’t ask for much, because the things I need are way too expensive for me to ask other people to pay for. A house, fancy car, good therapy…all these things cost way too much. Until Tony Khan slides into my DMs, I won’t feel comfortable asking anybody for these things.

This past week has been one of the worst I can remember as a wrestling fan. It would have been bad enough if it was only one of my best friends passing away far too soon. We had two wrestlers beloved by many pass way before their time.

There was other news over the past week. An AEW pay per view event. WWE getting mad at Owen Hart’s widow for no real reason other than she’s right. None of it is worth mentioning when we have so much to unpack. This Memorial Day edition of News From Cook’s Corner serves as a memorial to two fallen wrestlers, and something I need to get off my chest about the way my friend’s death was reported by the wrestling journalist with the most influence and most time in the profession. I prefer to write about good times…there aren’t any to be had this week.

Hana Kimura was 22 years old.

She had a whole life in front of her. She had the potential to do great things. Hana had already established herself as one of joshi’s top young stars, and had the ability to branch out & go other places if she so desired. She recently expanded her horizons by appearing on Terrace House, a popular Japanese reality show. From what I can tell, everybody Kimura worked with in wrestling loved her.

Unfortunately, we’re finding out how beloved Hana Kimura was by her peers because she’s no longer with us. STARDOM announced she passed away on Saturday in Japan, coming hours after Hana had posted some self-harm images on social media (later deleted) and left a message that can only be described as a goodbye.

What happened?

Like many reality shows, Terrace House has a very dedicated fanbase with a percentage of folks that take things way too seriously. An episode aired recently where Hana grew upset with a fellow castmate that accidentally washed her ring gear that had already been washed once, then threw it in the dryer causing it to shrink. She didn’t react well, leading to a torrent of online hatred from a portion of Terrace House fans who were already inclined to hate Hana for other reasons they’d decided on based off her appearances on the show. None of which would be acceptable reasons for telling somebody they need to kill themselves…because there is no fucking acceptable reason to do that.

I will never be able to wrap my head around why people think it’s ok to do that. Even if we all had super thick skin and never let anything people said ever bother us because we’re manly men or alphas or whatever…why would you tell somebody to kill themselves? It doesn’t compute to me. Now, I’ve said some pretty mean things over the years, especially in my younger days. I’ll probably say some things in the future that aren’t very kind. There are certain lines I wouldn’t cross. That’s because I have a sense of empathy. Even if I don’t particularly care for somebody, there’s still a human being in there somewhere.

I’m also smart enough to know that if I don’t like somebody that’s on a TV show, IT’S A TV SHOW. TELEVISION. ENTERTAINMENT. Not only would you have to be a sick piece of shit to send such hateful messages to somebody, you’d have to be a dumb piece of shit to not realize that even if it’s a “reality show”, it’s a show that’s largely based off the whims of the producers and what they decide makes a “good story”. Though, from what I can tell, the people that disliked Hana mainly did so because she had “big shoulders” and didn’t have the look of a typical Japanese woman. So maybe there was nothing the producers could have done to stop that.

Wikipedia tells me the episode in question debuted on Netflix Japan on March 31, and production on the show stopped on April 13. One would assume that Hana had little else but to deal with this abuse during the lockdown. It’s sickening. It’s all of the things that’s wrong with society in 2020. When we’re happy to empower those that abuse & denigrate others, this is what we end up with. A large group of people that believe that the only way to bring themselves up is to bring others down. Or, they don’t mind being down and just want everybody else to be as miserable as they are. They even have a nice little keyboard they can hide behind.

Most people could not handle what Hana had to deal with every day, and I’m saying that just based off a few messages I saw. I’m sure there was much worse, and there was obviously a lot more of it. A lot of people will say that they could, and there are plenty of folks that seem completely unbothered by what other people think. Maybe they’re just untouchable alphas. You don’t know unless you’ve been in that person’s shoes.

I’d like to think that if anything comes from the unnecessary death of Hana Kimura, it’s that some of us are just a little nicer to each other. A little more empathy from all of us would be nice. I’m keeping my expectations low because I’ve noticed that some people refuse to ever learn anything.

Hana deserved better. I’m terribly sorry for the loss to her family and all the people around the world that loved her, but couldn’t drown out the terrible monsters that did her in.

Shad Gaspard died a hero.

I think most fathers would make the same choice Shad did, given the situation. He & his son were caught in a rip current. Once lifeguards arrived, Shad instructed them to save his son first. I’d assume they would have done so anyway, but then I’ve never been in a rip current or had to save anybody from one, and it’s been years since I watched Baywatch. Unfortunately, once Shad’s son was saved, Shad disappeared. He didn’t re-appear until a couple of days later on the shores of Venice Beach.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost ten years since Gaspard was part of WWE. Some have commented that they were surprised how much news his death made considering that Cryme Tyme was never really a major part of the show and weren’t one of WWE’s longest-tenured acts. They had an affiliation with John Cena for like two weeks, which was mentioned in a $40,000 donation to a GoFundMe for Shad’s family. All this tells me is that Cryme Tyme probably should have been featured more back in the day. They always seemed over to me. I wouldn’t put them in the same category as Morton & Gibson, but they were a popular tag team.

I remember when Cryme Tyme split up and everybody thought he was going to be the star that broke out. Instead, Shad got released, and JTG stayed on the payroll for years without actually doing anything. I don’t think anybody bet on that one. Gaspard did some indy bookings here and there, with some alongside JTG as “Crime Time” once WWE finally let him go.

Shad had other interests though. He did some acting, some modeling, wrote a graphic novel. He did motion capture work for multiple video games. Started a family, obviously. There was also the time where he detained a drunkard that was trying to rob a gas station. You hear nothing but good things about Shad Gaspard, and I can’t say I remember hearing anything bad about him while he was alive.

You feel bad for his family, and you hope his son can cope with the traumatic event.

I’m not the first person to have a bone to pick with Dave Meltzer on this website.

I’m certainly not the first person online. In fact, picking on Dave has become a bit of a cottage industry for some people. Conrad Thompson figured out years ago that he could have some pretty successful podcasts by reading old Wrestling Observers to old-timers. Bruce Prichard & Eric Bischoff were happy to use erroneous information to bump up whatever talking points they were selling, and fans were happy to pick on Dave.

I’ve always held back a little bit. For one thing, I’ve never claimed to be any kind of insider. I’m just a guy that spouts off on the Internet. Some of it might be true, some of it might be false, some of it might be unintelligible. Somebody that lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones, and there’s a reason why I’m afraid to change clothes too often.

Also, I have respect for Meltzer’s longevity. The guy has been writing about pro wrestling nonstop since before I was born. I’m not exactly young anymore, so that’s a lot of material produced over the years. Dave Meltzer has been sold to us for years as pro wrestling’s pre-eminent journalist, which most of us didn’t argue with because of the competition. We’ve got some young guns out there fighting over who’s next in line, but right now Dave’s still the head honcho of this game.

That being said, when you’re pro wrestling’s #1 journalist, the guy everybody looks to when the news breaks and things are happening, you’re held to a higher standard. That’s the way it has to be. Dave Meltzer has to be on his best at all times. He’s not a backwoods hillbilly with no connections like me, who can write any sort of rubbish because that’s what’s expected of me. People expect better from Dave F’n Meltzer.

So when I was informed that Dave wrote about Larry Csonka in the Observer, and informed of what he wrote, I was surprised to learn something I didn’t know about my buddy.

Honestly, while talking with some friends about it, I wasn’t sure if we should dispute it or not. “Motorcycle accident” kinda makes Larry sound like a badass, right? Especially if he’d already had part of his leg amputated. I might have missed Larry’s biker years, but I can tell you that he absolutely did not lose his leg due to a motorcycle accident. The truth isn’t as sexy.

Larry suffered an injury while moving a paving stone for some yard work. He patched things up, he went on doing what he usually did, which was review wrestling shows. Sometime during the next week it got infected. The pain became too much and he had to go to the hospital. Had to finish reviewing his second show of the day though, because he was Larry Csonka. (One of those was a freaking Wrestle Kingdom show too. I’m telling you, the guy wasn’t human.) They had to remove part of his leg. The second operation happened after he didn’t react well to the first one.

To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure on Friday when I was informed of Dave’s bit. I remembered part of the story, but I went back to the podcast Larry did on his injury to make sure I had things right. Heck, I went back to another one that Dave also appeared on. In his defense, it’s not like I’ve listened to everybody on every podcast I’ve ever been on. But, I dunno, if I heard that Jerome Cusson was going to talk about how he lost an arm the other day, that might interest me. You don’t hear about that every day on a wrestling podcast, I don’t think.

It’s an amazing thing that I thought to go back to a podcast somebody did about their injury to properly write about it, yet the pre-eminent journalist in our field, who, by the way, has people writing on his website & appearing on podcasts there that knew Larry & knew other people that knew Larry, just went off what he thought happened. He could have left out what he thought happened, said Larry lost his leg previously, and we wouldn’t have thought anything of it.

Apparently somebody went in and fixed it for Dave, so at least there’s that. I guess.

I’m not even mad about it. I’m disappointed. We expect better from the man that who has done this longer than anybody, and has had more success than anybody at it. I am starting to understand why Bruce & Eric get so worked up about these things Conrad reads them. As much as I’ve heard both are full of it, I get their vitriol towards Dave. When you hear something about a friend that you know is 100% untrue, but you also know that a lot of people will believe it because it’s Dave F’n Meltzer, and you hear multiple things like that every week, I imagine it adds up.

Not to mention the fact that when you read one thing you know is untrue, it calls into question everything else Dave’s written over the years. That’s a lot of things to call into question, and makes me wonder if we can ever have a true history of pro wrestling that isn’t sanitized by WWE for our protection. That’s not good.

I just want Meltzer to be a better reporter than me, somebody who has never done any reporting in his life. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Thanks for reading. I can 100% guarantee you that next week will be better. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.


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Coverage

Greg DeMarco’s 2023 WWE SummerSlam Review

The biggest party of the summer comes to Detroit, when WWE SummerSlam 2023 delivers an action packed event that easily exceeds expectations.

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Cody Lesnar SummerSlam

The biggest party of the summer comes to Detroit, when WWE SummerSlam 2023 delivers an action packed event that easily exceeds expectations.

WWE presents SummerSlam 2023 live from ford field in Detroit in front of over 59k fans–who provided an electric atmosphere. Overall the card featured either matches, many of them delivering at or above expectations.

Read on for my thoughts, and even some ratings!

How I am rating segments:

I am using “The Line of DeMarco-cation,” which is for entertainment. the line is if I was entertained. You can have three main results:

  • ABOVE the Line of DeMarco-cation
  • AT the Line of DeMarco-cation
  • BELOW the Line of DeMarco-cation

If necessary, i reserve the right to go WAY ABOVE or WAY BELOW. Significant segments can be rated. individual and overall ratings are totally subjective.

It’s simple: ENTERTAIN ME!

Logan Paul vs. Ricochet

  • Welcome to the biggest match of Ricochet’s career.
  • Samantha Irvin’s outfit matches Logan Paul, not Ricochet — SWERVE, BRO!
  • Ricochet is a star, and I love seeing him treated like one.
  • Rocket Mortgage is donating $5k for every move off the top rope? This match alone might accumulate half a million.
  • I know Logan Paul needs to catch a private jet to Dallas and that’s why this is on first, but this is the perfect opener.
  • If you didn’t know who Logan Paul was, you’d think he was just another member of the roster–and that’s the biggest compliment you can give to him. He’s a damn good heel, too.
  • Paul using Braun Strowman’s powerslam–will we get Logan vs Braun?
  • LOGAN MUST POSE!
  • SPANISH FLY STICK THE LANDING.
  • This might be the best match either have had in a LONG time.
  • Logan Paul just hit a Buckshot Lariat over the top rope and to the floor. Sorry Hangman.
  • I love that refs continue to have names – like former Greg DeMarco Show guest Eddie Orengo (as El Bandido Jr).
  • I’d love to know Ricochet’s powerlifting numbers. Dude is deceptively strong.
  • Logan Paul flew two-thirds of the way across the ring on the Springboard Froggy Splash
  • This match is spotty–yes–but watch and learn Young Bucks. They are strung together by psychology and it all makes sense,
  • LOVE that finish. Logan Paul wins (as expected), but Ricochet is protected.
  • Think about that – RICOCHET IS PROTECTED.
  • Hell of a match.

Winner: Logan Paul (pinfall brass knucks shot)

WAY ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes

  • That video package–amazing. It likely telegraphed Cody’s win, but I don’t think many expect Cody to lose.
  • I love when people question Brock’s presence. Did you hear that pop?
  • Cody got a hell of a pop, too.
  • You can tell how much Brock Lesnar respects Cody Rhodes, as he opens up the arsenal for him.
  • I love that Brock simply stands center ring as the ref counts Cody out. Brock wants to win–doesn’t care how. That’s a little detail that shows how brilliant of a character Brock Lesnar is.
  • This is the fifth time Brock has gone for the count-out–and I love the psychology.
  • Now Brock does care how he wins–he wants to break Cody’s will.
  • Wait, is this Cody Rhodes’ mystery twin brother Cory Rhodes?
  • That top rope Cody Cutter was fantastic.
  • Not sure when Brock’s shorts got ripped, but it adds to this fight.
  • That’s what this is, a fight. And that is Brock Lesnar at his finest.
  • It might have been a happy accident, but Cody’s hand bouncing off the bottom rope before he finally grabs it to break the Kimura is another amazing little thing.
  • Brock is so slow and methodical, but snatches people up for the F5 in a flash. So good.
  • Cody Rhodes wins, after THREE Cross Rhodes. Good shit.
  • Interesting that the show of respect from Brock to Cody is considered Cody’s arrival.
  • Or maybe it’s just the arrival of “The American Nightmare.”
  • I will be very interested–as will all of you–to see what’s next for both men.

Winner: Cody Rhodes (pinfall, three Cross Rhodes)

WAY ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

NOTE: Very interesting that Roman Reigns was featured in the PayBack promo, as well as Logan Paul. I wouldn’t expect either to be on that card.

Slim Jim SummerSlam Battle Royal

  • I have to admit, it just feels right to have Slim Jim back in my wrestling.
  • This better be good since it cost us Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus.
  • I hope Sheamus got a full entrance for the crowd.
  • Oh look, Omos still works here!
  • Chad Gable is so damn good.
  • Austin Theory is in this match? And didn’t get an entrance?
  • At WrestleMania 30, Big E was in the Andre The Royal Giant Memorial Battle Rumble, didn’t get an entrance, and didn’t even get to carry his Intercontinental Champion. And I don’t even think his elimination was mentioned by commentary (I’d have to go back and check).
  • Santos Escobar eliminating Austin Theory at least makes sense.
  • LA Knight barely breathes and the crowd gets ELECTRIC.
  • I haven’t made as many bullet points because this has actually been a really good battle royal!
  • I’d love to know who the agent was–fantastically done.

Winner: LA Knight (last eliminates Sheamus)

AT The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

MMA Rules Match – Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler

  • Some of the shots during the entrance make me want WWE to get rid of stages altogether, and stick with this type of entrance.
  • Also, it’s a reminder that I hate major wrestling events in daylight.
  • This being an MMA Rules Match seems to be a missed opportunity at having a special guest referee.
  • The fans DO NOT CARE About this match, and I see why.
  • I am all for Ronda being able to go out how she wants to go out, and the talent pushing their own idea forward. But sometimes, you gotta say no.
  • Some matches also play much better in an arena instead of a stadium (Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair from WrestleMania comes to mind). This is one of those matches.
  • Whenever NXT had an “unsanctioned match,” the ref wore all black. That’s what we should have done here.
  • Now we have doctors checking on Shayna? Really? I know we want to put over how tough she is, but…..
  • The crowd pops out of relief when it’s over.
  • Do this on Raw, not here. Give Becky and Trish this spot.

Winner: Shayna Baszler (technical submission, Kirifuda Clutch)

BELOW The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

Intercontinental Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. GUNTHER (c) 

  • My Peacock membership doesn’t let me see the video package here, and I am fine with that–it’s been a while since I’ve seen that AFLAC Duck, though.
  • Ludwig Kaiser must love doing the entrance, but honestly the act might be getting stale?
  • Corey Graves very poetic in pointing out that “records are meant to be broken.” That’s one of the core values of WWE at this point.
  • It does appear GUNTHER will be going it alone tonight as Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci are headed to the back. Let’s see if they stay there.
  • Interesting placement for this match, right after the ill-received MMA Rules Match.
  • Didn’t the internet tell us Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor was going on fourth?
  • Btw, this match is brought to you by Rocket Mortgage. Money talks, BAYBAY!
  • GUNTHER truly lives the “Ring General” gimmick.
  • As the match progresses, I honestly can’t see Drew winning here.
  • The simplicity of the finishing sequence really adds to GUNTHER: top rope slap fest, McIntyre crotched on the ropes, splash, lariat, powerbomb. Nothing fancy–trademark GUNTHER.

Winner, #ANDSTILL the Intercontinental Champion: GUNTHER (pinfall, powerbomb)

ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

World Heavyweight Championship: Finn Balor vs. Seth “Freakin'” Rollins (c) 

  • I presume we will get a bunch of Judgment Day shenanigans here, but I really needed Seth to go on last to further establish his championship. Instead, we are smack in the middle of the event (according to the Peacock slider, anyways)
  • Seth Rollins’ entrance + 58k people = a beautiful sight
  • The worst thing about this, to me, will be when Balor and Rollins are partners after Balor turns babyface.
  • Love Rollins tossing the vest at Balor.
  • Love the more unique start to the match.
  • Interesting that Rollins, with a win, moves to 5th all time for SummerSlam wins? I had no clue! Mr. SummerSlam anyone?
  • We keep naming refs, and I love it,
  • If you want an “inside look” at a match, start paying really close attention for a few minutes starting with the triplicate of dives from Seth Rollins. You’ll see a few things that the cameras picked up.
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE the Buckle Bomb into the barrier from Balor to Rollins. Should have known they’d do that, but it never crossed my mind. Brilliant.
  • Decent amount of overlap in the offense of this match and the one prior–in hindsight, they may have wanted to put GUNTHER/McIntyre on before Rousey/Baszler.
  • Fans boo’d the crap out of Damian Priest when he came down–but popped like hell for Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley.
  • I really enjoyed the story told with the Judgment Day. When Priest called for the briefcase to be used, it would have worked. When Balor called for it, it wasn’t going to work, and Damian Priest knew it. But he let Finn Balor sink himself anyway. That will definitely play again later when they fully implode.

Winner AND STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Freakin’ Rollins (pinfall, Stomp on the Money In The Bank Briefcase)

WAY ABOVE The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

WWE Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (c) Bianca Belair

  • Very odd having Asuka enter second.
  • Charlotte Flair with the ode to Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35 (IYKYK)
  • Did I miss the C4 ad read? I saw that Bianca Belair entered with some, which made me thing THAT was why she came in last, and now the C4 branding is around the ring, but no real mention? Or did I miss it? Was it only for Peacock Premium subscribers?
  • Very choppy match so far–and Charlotte has to basically stop the match to have Jessika Carr fix her outfit, leaving Belair and Asuka in the corner waiting until Asuka realized what was happening and tried to cover. The Double Natural Selection that followed was quite clunky.
  • Bianca nowhere near Charlotte Flair when the moonsault hit–is Bianca really that good? I seem to ask myself this during every big time Bianca match, dating back to WrestleMania 37 when I felt like Sasha Banks had to carry her.
  • I find myself wanting to fast forward to the finish, here. I’m not, but I kinda want to.
  • ANOTHER REF NAMED! Thank you, Michael Cole.
  • If IYO SKY cashes in here (which is easy to expect), I really hope it’s not right after Charlotte wins, getting her to #15. Granted, she could cash in DURING the match and make it a 4-way. But of everyone, I think Charlotte needs to eat the pin tonight.
  • We have now had medical personnel tending to one of the participants in the middle of each women’s match tonight–first Shayna Baszler, now Bianca Belair. Seems like a misstep on someone’s part.
  • Bianca with the heroic comeback, and a beautiful 450 Splash on Charlotte during the Figure Eight.
  • Charlotte gets misted but Bianca gets the pin???
  • Makes sense if we do the cash in here. as Bianca is hurt.

Winner, AND NEW WWE Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair (pinfall, small package)

  • Aaaaaaaand here comes IYO SKY.
  • I love Corey Graves telling Bianca to get the hell out of dodge.
  • IYO and Bayley take out everyone, and she is indeed cashing in.
  • Over The Moonsault, new champion, and the crowd goes nuts. Women’s Money In The Bank briefcase is still undefeated.
  • Nice World Of Stardom reference by Michael Cole, too.

Winner, AND NEW WWE Women’s Champion: IYO SKY (CMITB cash-in, pinfall, Over The Moonsault)

AT The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

There were some rough spots, but the cash in saved it for me.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match: Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns (c) with Paul Heyman

  • I am timing this from the second Jey Uso’s theme hits through the end.
  • Man, Mike Rome is on one, and I am not sure if that’s a good thing. He doesn’t sound as fantastic as he usually does.
  • 12:34 from Jey’s music hitting to the bell ringing.
  • Roman is so slow and methodical, I don’t know if he realized Jey was going to dive so soon. Jey connected with Roman’s back, but that could have been really really bad.
  • I know this is Tribal Combat, but given the use of stairs earlier tonight, we might as well consider the stairs legal.
  • You know it’s an important match when Roman Reigns hits The Drive By, as he did on Jey Uso.
  • Table, Kendo Stick, and more early.
  • Jey clotheslining Roman over the top rope (with the Kendo Stick) and hitting the dive makes me think Jey got slightly lost earlier when he did the dive to a kneeling Roman’s back.
  • That was a MASSIVE powerbomb onto the chairs!
  • 35 minutes in (remember, since the start of Jey’s entrance, so 23 minutes into the match) and this is definitely just a touch slow. The story is amazing, so that’s my only complaint so far.
  • I have to wonder if Roman knew he was bleeding when he hopped the barricade to go into the crowd.
  • Aaaaaaaaaaaand here’s Solo Sikoa. That should surprise no one. We gotta get the whole family involved, right? At least the whole Bloodline.
  • Solo declining to help Roman up might be starting Solo’s arc in the story, but it wasn’t apparent enough and commentary had to fill in the blanks.
  • 50:22 since Jey’s entrance is the point where Jimmy shows up (pulling Jey out of the ring).
  • Jimmy hits the Superkick and leaves.
  • Spear through the table that was set-up about a week ago and Roman Reigns pins Jey Uso at 52:09 (from th estart of Jey’s entrance).

Winner AND STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns (pinfall, spear through the table)

AT The Line Of DeMarco-cation.

“At” might surprise you, but this was WAY too slow. Bell-to-bell it was roughly 40 minutes, and that was about 10 minutes too long. But the story is worth it in the end.

WWE SummerSlam 2023

Total Matches: 8

  • ABOVE the Line of DeMarco-cation – 4 matches (3 WAY ABOVE)
  • AT the Line of DeMarco-cation – 3 matches
  • BELOW the Line of DeMarco-cation – 1 match

One “bad” match and seven “good ones, four of those I’d call “great.” Three of the great ones I labeled as “WAY ABOVE” the line, which easily makes up for one match that was lacking. Hell, when even the Battle Royal is good, you know you watched a damn good show.

Overall Rating for WWE SummerSlam 2023: 9/10

Let me know your thoughts! Drop a comment and tell me your ratings, and what you think of the Line Of DeMarco-cation.


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King’s WrestleMania Rewind: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka from WrestleMania 34

Chris king is back with one of the most underrated matches in WrestleMania history–Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka!

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WWE WrestleMania 34 Charlotte Flair Asuka

Chris king is back with one of the most underrated matches in WrestleMania history–Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka!

We look back at Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka at WWE WrestleMania 34. ‘The Empress of Tomorrow’ put her unprecedented and historic undefeated streak of 914 days on the line against ‘The Queen’s’ SmackDown Women’s Championship.

For years, this was considered a dream match while Asuka dominated the roster in NXT, while Flair won numerous championships on the main roster on both Raw and SmackDown. The Empress made her long-awaited debut on the September 11th episode of Raw and began to tear through the competition.

Asuka outlasted all twenty-nine other women in the historic first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble match to challenge for the title of her choosing. At Fastlane, she made her choice.

The WWE Universe was so excited for this match myself included. Both superstars delivered a fantastic performance on the Grandest Stage of Them All executing counter after counter. Asuka showed off some nasty-looking kicks to her opponent, and Flair hit a thunderous Spanish Fly off the top rope. Flair was seconds away from defeat at the hands of The Empress but she locked in Figure Eight and Asuka was forced to tap out.

I can’t even begin to explain how shocked I was at this outcome, as nearly everyone expected The Empress to continue her undefeated streak and walk away with the women’s title. This controversial decision was the downfall of Asuka’s momentum. She would ultimately win the SmackDown Women’s Championship at the 2018 TLC pay-per-view in the triple-threat ladder match.

Fast forward to this year when Asuka has recently returned with her Japanese-inspired persona Kana. Kana is dangerous and ruthless and is heading into a championship with Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 39. The Empress has regained all her momentum and is highly favored to walk away with the Raw Women’s Championship. Let’s hope that Asuka and Belair can tear the house down and deliver an A+ grade match both women are fully capable of.


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