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Andrew’s Top 5 (10) Matches: Week Ending 9/20/2020

Okay, there were a lot of good matches this week, so it’s 10 instead of 5. But it’s not only Japanese tournaments! The list is fairly diverse, feast your eyes!



Holy cavalcade of coverage Batman! With all the Japanese tournaments and the fact that north american television decided to put on a few pretty big matches – WHO HAS THE TIME!?

Well I think I made time for most of it…I still have a 9-5 shoot job, so it’s a little rough. Let’s get last week’s winner out of the way, NXT: Vacant NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs Adam Cole, won the vote. Now let me preface this week a little bit. First world problems, I know, but there are TOO MANY good matches. It’s a Top 10 this week because just wow. I also numbered the Honorable Mentions to highlight how much quality there was all week.

So let’s get to this monster of a list!

Quick Top 10:

  1. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii
    Rating: **** 1/2
  2. N-1 Victory B Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kenoh
    Rating: **** 1/2
  3. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: Tetsuya Naito vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
    Rating: **** 1/2
  4. AEW Dynamite: Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz vs Best Friends
    Rating: **** 1/4
  5. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 6: Tam Nakano vs Giulia
    Rating: ****
  6. NXT: Shotzi Blackheart vs Io Shirai
    Rating: ****
  7. N-1 Victory Day 2: A Block: Manabu Soya vs Masa Kitamiya
    Rating: ****
  8. AJPW Champion Carnival Day 3: Shotaro Ashino vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: ****
  9. IMPACT!: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) & Madman Fulton & Ace Austin vs Motor City Machine Guns & The Good Brothers
    Rating: ****
  10. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Momo Watanabe vs Utami Hayashishita
    Rating: ****


Honorable Mentions:

  1. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Shingo Takagi vs Jay White
    Rating: *** 3/4
  2. N-1 Victory A Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kaito Kiyomiya
    Rating: *** 3/4
  3. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 6: Utami Hayashishita vs Maika
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: KENTA vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: *** 3/4
  5. NXT: North American Championship: Timothy Thatcher vs Damian Priest
    Rating: *** 3/4
  6. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: *** 3/4
  7. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: AZM vs Syuri
    Rating: *** 3/4
  8. N-1 Victory Day 2: B Block: Takashi Sugiura vs Shuhei Taniguchi
    Rating: *** 3/4
  9. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: EVIL vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: *** 3/4
  10. AJPW Champion Carnival: SUWAMA vs Jake Lee
    Rating: *** 3/4
  11. AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs Private Party
    Rating: *** 1/2
  12. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: YOSHI-HASHI vs Juice Robinson
    Rating: *** 1/2
  13. N-1 Victory Day 2: A Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kazushi Sakuraba
    Rating: *** 1/2
  14. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Jungle Kyona vs Natsuko Tora
    Rating: *** 1/2
  15. N-1 Victory A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Manabu Soya
    Rating: *** 1/2
  16. NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: Breezango (c) vs Imperium
    Rating: *** 1/2
  17. AEW Dynamite: Hangman Page vs Frankie Kazarian
    Rating: *** 1/2
  18. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 5: Tam Nakano vs Saya Kamitani
    Rating: *** 1/4
  19. NJPW Strong Ep. 7: Alex Zayne & ACH vs Guerrillas of Destiny
    Rating: *** 1/4
  20. IMPACT!: Trey Miguel vs TJP
    Rating: *** 1/4
  21. UWN Prime Time Live: West Coast Pro Championship: Hammerstone (c) vs EJ Sparks
    Rating: *** 1/4
  22. N-1 Victory Day 2: B Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Yoshiki Inamura
    Rating: *** 1/4
  23. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 5: Mayu Iwatani vs Himeka
    Rating: *** 1/4
  24. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Jungle Kyona vs Maika
    Rating: *** 1/4
  25. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Taichi vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: *** 1/4
  26. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 6: Mayu Iwatani vs Saya Kamitani
    Rating: ***
  27. IMPACT!: Brian Myers vs Willie Mack
    Rating: ***
  28. N-1 Victory B Block: Yoshiki Inamura vs Takashi Sugiura
    Rating: ***
  29. IMPACT!: Kimber Lee & Deonna Purrazzo vs Susie & Kylie Rae
    Rating: ***
  30. NJPW Strong Ep. 7: Misterioso & Fred Rosser vs PJ Black & Rocky Romero
    Rating: ***
  31. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 5: Mayu Iwatani vs Death-Yama
    Rating: ***

5t. Stardom 5Star GP Blue Stars Day 5: Momo Watanabe vs Utami Hayashishita

From Mathew’s Review:

Utami slammed her down and went for the pin as Momo kicked out, leaving Utami frustrated as she went to pin her again but no luck with Momo kicking out again. Utami throws her into the corner and charges at her but Momo moved to deliver a Dropkick and delivers one more once Utami sat down and picked her up for a Suplex as Utami kicked out. Utami catches Momo with a judo flip and does it one more time before pinning her and Momo kicked out again as not a lot of time is left. The two are on the top rope and Momo attempts a Superplex but she would toss her over with what looks like a Uranagi and tops it off with a Somato as Utami barely kicked out. Momo went for a kick but Utami ducked and catches her for a German Suplex. The two slowly get up as they go blow for blow until Momo got up and roundhouse her in the face and delivers a Somato to her back and then a regular one to pin her and Utami kicked out again! Momo is wasting no time and delivers a Package Driver to get her down but Utami with another kickout as she just won’t quit.

Momo climbed to the top rope and goes for a Dropkick but Utami went under her and catches her for another German Suplex, making her crash into the turnbuckle and that looked brutal. Utami picked her up for the Kryptonite Krunch and pins her as Momo would kick out but just barely! Utami puts her in a Sleeper Hold and would turn it into a German Suplex Hold and Momo would kick out again as we have less than a minute left now! Utami attempts the Torture Rack but Momo fought off her to apply the Crossface Chickenwing for a moment and turns it into a Torture Rack of her own. Momo puts her down to hit the Tequila Sunrise and Utami kicked out! Momo calls for the Peach Sunrise and Utami flipped over her and got up to hit a Lariat as the bell rings and we have a tie!

Winner: Time Limit Draw


5t. IMPACT!: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) & Madman Fulton & Ace Austin vs Motor City Machine Guns & The Good Brothers

From My Results:

Ace tagged out to Josh Alexander while the Guns and the Machine Gun were having some discourse and we get some beautiful fluid tandem offense from The Guns. Shelley hits the blind tag, shoulder blocks, slingshot Sentons and Splashes, each member of the heel team comes in and The Guns dispatch each one, even Fulton. As the Good Brothers react like Emilio Esteves and Charlie Sheen during Men at Work, “Golf Clap? Golf Clap.”

After the commercial, Alexander gets an opening to bring in Ethan Page and the heels get rolling. Page then tags in Fulton and Shelley has this look on his face like “dammit”. Fun moment when Alex tries to jump over Fulton, Fulton grabs him, but only Sabin is reach out for the tag. Good Brothers are more like “We’re over here, get closer…” which then allows a really nice Northern Lights Suplex for Fulton for a near fall.

After Shelley eats offense for a while, Sabin finally gets sick of waiting, jumps into to help Shelley and Shelley tags out to Karl. The match goes into 5th gear from here. Dives, tandem moves, signature spams, both teams do the Japanese corner train spot, more signature moves, just a frenetic pace that you don’t see much in American wrestling.

The North manage to pull off their Tandem Inverted Mat Slam finish, but Ace Austin tags himself in right beforehand, so Ace gets the pin on a champion and The North are fuming a bit as we fade to black.

Winner: Ace Austin via Inverted Mat Slam (The North’s Finisher)


5t. AJPW Champion Carnival Day 3: Shotaro Ashino vs Kento Miyahara

From Mathew’s Review:

We got the crowd clapping to the beat of a Metallica song while Kento’s finger was playing along with them, it’s great since Ashino’s theme is from Metallica. The two locked up and they struggled till they made their way to the ropes as the referee calls them to break it up, but it looked like Kento was about to slap him but doesn’t as the two are in a standstill. When it comes to just ground work, Shotaro has a better advantage and he showed that while they locked up again and he had Kento’s arm locked till Kento backed into the ropes as the ref called for the break again, but Shotaro doesn’t give Kento the same courtesy he gave him and hits a European Uppercut before backing up. Once they got outside, Kento does his usual headbutts to him and throws him around before bringing him back into the ring and once Kento had one foot over the rope, Ashino went into the attack and hits a Dragon Screw on that leg and has him where he wants him now. Ashino just gets Kento’s leg around the turnbuckle post and twists it onto the post, making him scream in agony before letting go. This is the type of stuff Yoshi should’ve been doing when they fought but Ashino does leg work the best and he shows it. There was one takeaway from making this match great and that was that I could’ve done it without the interference from Enfants Terribles since it would’ve just been better without help from anyone as this match alone screams Triple Crown Championship and we’re getting it for the Carnival.

Damnit, camera guy for cutting off what Kento was doing to get momentum back since he focused on Yuma watching from the back, he does this twice and it was annoying. Kento had Shotaro in the corner and hits the first Blackout, making him go out the ring again. Koji Doi chopblocks Kento when the referee wasn’t looking and Shotaro has time to breathe. Ashino hits stiff European Uppercuts to daze him and runs the ropes, metting a kick from Kento and gets him with the Brainbuster, causing them both to go down. Kento hits a second Blackout and a German Suplex on top, and as he goes for another Blackout, Shotaro ducked and grabbed his foot to apply the Ankle Lock. Ashino has it locked in tight and Kento is trying to fight it off. Love how he struggles here with all the leg work Ashino did but tapped to Yoshi with miminal work during day one. Kento was able to flip around to try and pin him as Ashino kicked out at two to break the hold. Kento goes for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Shotaro broke it off and kneeled down to grab his ankle again for the Ankle Lock! Kento was able to get to the ropes as Ashino hits a German Suplex but Kento gets up and hits another Blackout. Ashino is dazed as Kento quickly went over behind him and would hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the pinfall victory! Kento is still in the race but it seems like Shotaro is now eliminated as well.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown Suplex Hold


5t. N-1 Victory Day 2: A Block: Manabu Soya vs Masa Kitamiya

From My Results:

This was a titanic bout between two heavyweights. There was lariats, clubbing, standing and taking punishment; everything you could ask for from two power wrestlers. Both trying to get the other to budge with Shoulder Tackles and displays of power that fizzled at the force of the other.

Realizing that the power was very close to equal between the two, Soya broke out a kneeling Neck Crank variation to get Kitamiya to tap. This was a great win for Soya since it helps stabilize him in the tournament; it was inner faction, so it gives him personal bragging rights and hopefully leads to more with him. Kitamiya however, tends to struggle quite a bit against other power wrestlers.

Winner: Soya via Neck Crank


5t. NXT: Shotzi Blackheart vs Io Shirai

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Shotzi brings Shirai up to a fireman’s carry but Shirai fights out. Shirai shoves and FLAPJACKS Shotzi down! Shotzi flounders up, into the TIGER FEINT! Shirai climbs up top, aims at Shotzi, for the missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! Shirai won’t slow down, she goes back up top, but Shotzi trips her up! Shotzi spins Shirai around, goes up top and SUPER STEINERS! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi can’t believe how close yet so far she is from defeating the champion! Shotzi puts Shirai in the drop zone, heads back up top, but Shirai SHOTEIS first! Shirai climbs up, throws forearms and then grabs a leg. Shotzi resists the superplex, clubs Shirai back and puts her down on the apron! Shotzi boots Shirai, hops on abut Shirai bucks her off! Shirai APRON GERMAN SUPLEXES Shotzi down!!

Both women are down but only Shirai is on the apron! Shotzi is dazed as she slowly stirs and is somehow still okay to continue! Shirai drags Shotzi up and in to finish this directly. Cover, TWO!! Shirai is frustrated that Shotzi survived, but Shotzi is in the corner, still dazed. Shirai runs corner to corner, SHINKANSEN! Then Shirai puts Shotzi back in the drop zone before going back up top. Shirai goes OVER THE MOON!! Cover, Shirai wins!!

Winner: Io via Moonsault


5t. Stardom 5Star GP Red Stars Day 6: Tam Nakano vs Giulia

From My Results:

Even if Tam can’t cut a pre-match promo without the giggles, boy does she know how to wrestle with hatred. The strikes between these two were great, the fact that when one had the upper hand, the smiled with dubious delight. It was a great match that helped you feel the level of their disdain.

Giulia hit a gorgeous flying Octopus hold which Tam fought to the ropes, but Giulia transitioned to a Sunset Flip leaving our number 1 idol in the universe on the backfoot for a while. It wasn’t until Tam slipped a Glorious Driver into a Dragon Sleeper, broke the hold and then cold cocked Giulia with a Spinning Crane Kick that looked on point. Tam hits a German Suplex, a regular Tiger Suplex, holds on, to hit one more Tiger Suplex with the bridge. Tam picks up the win, eliminating Giulia from 5Star contention and solidifying her bid at the White Belt next month.

Winner: Tam via Tiger Suplex Hold


4, AEW Dynamite: Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz vs Best Friends

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

PNP regroup and they point at Trent and his bloody back. Ortiz SMACKS Trent with what’s left of the wood! Santana toys with Chuck while Ortiz rains down rights. Another SMACK from the wood! Trent gets up on noodle legs but Ortiz ROCKS him! Santana presses Chuck into another car’s trunk, and says, “This was the biggest mistake you have ever done in your f***ing life!” Santana punches Chuck over and over into the car’s license plate! Chuck can barely cover up! But he refuses to give up! Meanwhile, Ortiz has put Trent on that wood bridge on the truck bed! Santana grabs the baseball bat Chuck found and takes aim. But wait, who is that coming out of the car trunk!? It’s ORANGE CASSIDY!!

Cassidy has his fist wrapped in something, and gives Santana a FULL METAL ORANGE PUNCH! That something was a steel chain!! Cassidy drags Santana up and fireman’s carries him over to the red sedan. He hands Santana off to Chuck for an AWFUL WAFFLE on the hood! Trent turns things around on Ortiz to get him up and around for a CRUNCHIE through the wood!! Cover, Best Friends win!!

Winner: Best Friends via Strong Zero


1t. G1 Climax 30 B Block Day 2: Tetsuya Naito vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

From My Results:

Whenever Naito would put a few things together, Tanahashi would strike back and go after the knees. It wasn’t until Naito tapped into a small bit of viciousness and grabbed Tanahashi’s wrist and smashed him about 20 times with clubbing back elbow strikes. Tana did manage to hit a few Sling Blades after that, but it was at that point that Naito looked to be building towards an idea.

Tanahashi hit a Standing High Fly Flow, so he went to hit it flush once Naito was down, but Naito rolled and Tanahashi ate mat. Gloria, Valentia, Running Destino and finally the full arm wringer Destino. A really well paced match, with great offense from both and showed a lot of character from both men.

Winner: Naito via Destino


1t. N-1 Victory B Block Day 1: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kenoh

From My Results:

This starts off very pensive. Both circle for a few seconds, try to engage in a lockup, but back away quickly. Both were very familiar with one another before being a part of the same faction, so it’s no shock things will start slowly. Especially given the last two big victories were taken by Kenoh and he managed to knock Nakajima out twice.

After the slow start, they start measuring one another with traded kicks and the “anything you can do, I can do better” mentality. But once one stings, the pace sharply quickens. To say strikes were traded is an understatement. I mean, if you watch this, you’d be hard pressed to remember they are in the same faction.

Kenoh gets an advantage and goes for a few of his Double Foot or Double Knee dives, while Nakajima opens up slightly altered spots. He applies a Cobra Twist, pulls out his old Diamond Bomb, to go along with a flurry of kicks and his corner cocky pose spot. This match was less of a kickfest than usual, but still contained all of the grit and aggression that we’ve come to expect from their matches.

After lighting up Kenoh with a Punt Kick, he goes full mount and rains down elbows on what looks like a barely conscious body. But instead of looking for the knockout, Nakajima makes a point to win with the Vertical Spike.

Winner: Nakajima via Vertical Spike


1t. G1 Climax 30 A Block Day 1: Minoru Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Suzuki brings Ishii around but Ishii LARIATS first! Ishii dares Suzuki to sit up, then runs, bu tinto a spin and a SLEEPER! Then the spin, but no Gotch as Ishii Alabama lifts for a CRUNCHIE!! Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Ishii gets up and sits Suzuki up, for the SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives but Ishii isn’t going to stop! Ishii suplexes, Suzuki resists and goes aftre the arm! Ishii breaks free to enziguri! Suzuki is down again but Ishii steadies himself first. Ishii runs at Suzuki, to clothesline him at the ropes! Ishii keeps moving, Suzuki gets around to waistlock and drag him down, into a SLEEPER! Ishii fights up but Suzuki spins him, GOTCH-

NO! Ishii powers up and back drops out! Suzuki boots, Ishii LARIATS! Suzuki stays up and fires off more palm strikes. Both men SLAP and SLAP, then Suzuki ROCKS Ishii and then DECKS him!! Suzuki sits Ishii up, runs, and BASEMENT BOOTS! But Ishii is up!? Ishii LARIATS Suzuki down! Ishii rests in a corner but Suzuki laughs as he rises! Suzuki boots, Ishii blocks and headbutts! Ishii fires up, waits for Suzuki to stand, and runs to LARIAT again! But Ishii isn’t done, he drags Suzuki up for the suplex, and- No! Suzuki rolls back, spins Ishii around, Gotch PILEDRIVER!!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!

Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver



Wait, there’s a few more weeks of this? Oh boy…

ANYWHO, I don’t even know where to start with this week. AEW was surprisingly good, NXT wasn’t far behind, the Japanese tournaments top my personal enjoyment and the Impact 8 man was patterned like a Japanese match…so put all of these on a dart board, close your eyes, and toss a dart.

I guess I’ll personally pick Tanahashi versus Naito as my pick for the week, but damn it’s close. Seven different companies, three women’s matches, and this is still early on in a few of the tournaments.


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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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