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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 10/4/2020

Japanese tournaments are still going strong, but there are a few North American matches that make it into the Top 5! Which match was your favorite of the past week?



Well now, if you’ve been paying attention the last few weeks, you know the Japanese tournaments have done a good job at encompassing a lot of my time. So there’s not a ton of TV beyond Impact, because I cover Impact. This week is similar, but I capped off last week with NXT TakeOver 31, so some names may look more familiar!

Since this week is just a Top 5, let’s see how last week’s vote shaped the September pool!

September MOTY Pool:

  • NXT: Vacant NXT Championship: Finn Balor vs Adam Cole
  • AEW All Out: AEW Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs FTR
  • AEW Dynamite: Parking Lot Fight: Santana & Ortiz vs Best Friends
  • G1 Climax 30 Day 5: Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii

As you can see, even though AEW and NXT have taken a small backseat to my priority list, they still are decently represented in the September Pool. Even though I like Ibushi vs Ishii better as a match, my vote will go to the Parking Lot Fight, because it was actually well orchestrated and capped off the story solidly.

Now on to this week!

Quick Top 5:

  1. Victory Road: Impact World Championship: Eddie Edwards vs Eric Young (c)
    Rating: **** ½
  2. TakeOver 31: NXT Championship: Kyle O’Reilly vs Finn Balor (c)
    Rating: **** ¼
  3. N-1 Victory Day 6: A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Kaito Kiyomiya
    Rating: **** ¼
  4. G1 Climax 30 Day 8: Tetsuya Naito vs SANADA
    Rating: **** ¼
  5. G1 Climax 30 Day 6: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto
    Rating: **** ¼


Honorable Mentions:

  1. G1 Climax 30 Day 8: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs YOSHI-HASHI
    Rating: ****
  2. G1 Climax 30 Day 7: Tomohiro Ishii vs Shingo Takagi
    Rating: ****
  3. Victory Road: Four Way Tag Rules: Ace Austin w/Fulton vs Karl Anderson w/Gallows vs Alex Shelley w/Chris Sabin & Josh Alexander w/Ethan Page
    Rating: *** ¾
  4. N-1 Victory Day 5: A Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Manabu Soya
    Rating: *** ¾
  5. TakeOver 31: North American Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Damian Priest (c)
    Rating: *** ¾
  6. G1 Climax 30 Day 6: Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA
    Rating: *** ¾
  7. N-1 Victory Day 6: B Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Naomichi Marufuji
    Rating: *** ¾
  8. G1 Climax 30 Day 7: Will Ospreay vs Jay White
    Rating: *** ¾
  9. UWN Prime Time Live: NWA National Championship: Trevor Murdoch vs Aron Stevens(c)
    Rating: *** ½
  10. TakeOver 31: NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs Candice LeRae
    Rating: *** ½
  11. G1 Climax 30 Day 6: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Juice Robinson
    Rating: *** ½
  12. N-1 Victory Day 5: A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masa Kitamiya
    Rating: *** ½
  13. G1 Climax 30 Day 7: Taichi vs Kazuchika Okada
    Rating: *** ½
  14. IMPACT!: The North vs Ace Austin & Madman Fulton
    Rating: *** ½
  15. N-1 Victory Day 6: B Block: Kenoh vs Takashi Sugiura
    Rating: *** ½
  16. Victory Road: Tenille Dashwood vs Jordynne Grace
    Rating: *** ½
  17. TakeOver 31: Kushida vs Velveteen Dream
    Rating: *** ½
  18. G1 Climax 30 Day 7: Jeff Cobb vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: *** ¼
  19. TakeOver 31: NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar (c) vs Isaiah Scott
    Rating: *** ¼
  20. G1 Climax 30 Day 6: YOSHI-HASHI vs SANADA
    Rating: *** ¼
  21. G1 Climax 30 Day 8: KENTA vs EVIL
    Rating: *** ¼
  22. N-1 Victory Day 5: B Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Shuhei Taniguchi
    Rating: *** ¼
  23. NJPW Strong Ep. 9: LBC Semi-Final: Logan Riegel vs Clark Connors
    Rating: *** ¼
  24. Victory Road: The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs XXXL (Larry D & Acey Romero)
    Rating: *** ¼
  25. NJPW Strong Ep. 9: Misterioso, Rocky Romero, Jeff Cobb & David Finlay vs KENTA, Jay White, Hikuleo & Chase Owens
    Rating: ***
  26. N-1 Victory Day 6: A Block: Masa Kitamiya vs Masaaki Mochizuki
    Rating: ***
  27. IMPACT!: The Rascalz (Dez & Wentz) vs The Good Brothers
    Rating: ***
  28. NJPW Strong Ep. 9: LBC Semi-Final: Danny Limelight vs Blake Christian
    Rating: ***
  29. G1 Climax 30 Day 8: Hirooki Goto vs Zack Sabre Jr
    Rating: ***
  30. N-1 Victory Day 5: B Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Yoshiki Inamura
    Rating: ***
  31. Victory Road: Brian Myers vs Tommy Dreamer
    Rating: ***
  32. UWN Prime Time Live Ep 3: United Tag Team Title: Real Money Brother$ vs SoCal Distancing(c)
    Rating: ***
  33. Victory Road: Knockouts Championship: Susie w/Kylie Rae vs Deonna Purrazzo (c) w/ Kimber Lee
    Rating: ***

2t. G1 Climax 30 Day 6: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto

From My Results:
Combinacion Cabron gets countered again, but Naito has a counter for the counter. An interesting swing and miss from Goto, leads to Naito wrenching the arm, bringing Goto down and applying Puma Blanca. Goto breaks the Puma Blanca, and then wrestle toward the corner and up to the top rope. What looked to be a chance for Naito to hit an Avalanche Frankensteiner, turned into Goto hitting a Superplex followed up by a Plancha to the outside (okay, Goto doesn’t fly much).

Goto rolls Naito back in, hits the Flying Elbow, but only a two count. GTW is attempted, Naito slides out, then there’s a little rope run dodging, Naito tries to grab and arm, but eats a Lariat for his trouble. When Goto tries to continue, Naito grabs a hold of the head for a quick Swing DDT. They both struggle to their feet and Naito batters Goto with three sets Back Elbows and tries to keep Goto down. Naito takes Goto to the top turnbuckle again, hits the Avalanche Frakensteiner and looks for the Running Destino.

Goto counters the Running Destino with a Reverse GTR, into a hanging Reverse GTR, but only a two. GTR attempted, fought out of, Goto then tries for GTW, but Naito counters with a Destino, and both men are down. Elbow exchange that Naito gets the best of, Goto counters with Ushigoroshi, Naito counters the next with a short Destino, and then Goto counters another Destino with GTW. Goto looks for the Round Kick, but Naito hits Valentia, then the Arm Wringer version of Destino, for the pinfall!

Winner: Naito via Destino


2t. G1 Climax 30 Day 8: Tetsuya Naito vs SANADA

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Sanada squeezes tighter on Skull End, Naito scoots around but is fading! Red Shoes asks him but Naito refuses to quit. Naito gets his head free again, Sanada sits him up to get the dragon sleeper back! Sanada drags Naito from ropes to drop back down with the body scissors! Naito is caught but he still endures as fans still rally! Red Shoes asks, Naito is slow to respond, so Sanada drops him to go up top! MOONSAULT! But Naito moves and Sanada flops! Fans rally up as Naito gets to the corner. Naito sits up, watches Sanada stir and the fans rally harder. Sanada rises, Naito runs in, tilt-o-whirl but no Destino! SKULL END, but Naito slips out fast to try again, DESTINO HITS!! Cover, TWO!?!? Sanada survives and the fans are thunderous again!

Naito drags Sanada up, wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but Sanada blocks Destino to flip Naito into the dragon sleeper! Naito slips through to suplex, Sanada kicks back, Valentia is just a normal brain buster now! But that still has Sanada in a daze and fans rally up again. Naito and Sanada head for each other, Naito gets a leg to then throw elbows and an enziguri! Naito drags Sanada back up, tries Valentia again, Sanada steals DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but Sanada fires back up! Sanada goes up top, MOONSAULTS Naito on the back! Sanada goes again, MOONSAULT to Naito’s chest!! Cover, Sanada wins!!!!

Winner: SANADA via Moonsault


2t. N-1 Victory Day 6: A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Kaito Kiyomiya

From My Results:

The Sleeper Hold transitions into the Neck Crank that Kaito started employing, and it’s all smart offense. He wrenches on Shiozaki’s neck, which softens things for the Neck Crank or possibly the Tiger Suplex, all finishers that put pressure on the neck and shoulders. Shiozaki breaks the hold, looks worse for wear, but gets some space after a desperation lariat.

Kaito charges the corner, but Shiozaki gets a foot up. Then he grabs Kaito and powers him up to the middle rope for an Avalanche Brainbuster. Shortly after that, we see Shiozaki pull off the Go Flasher, but only for 2. Kaito fights back and we see Go grab him and pull of the Limit Breaker to slow the momentum. Kaito no sells a little, they face each other, charge and Shiozaki levels him with a Lariat. Shiozaki goes to the ropes for a Moonsault, but Kaito stops that and we see some positioning struggles.

A near Avalanche Brainbuster, turns into an Avalanche Reverse DDT from Kaito to Shiozaki, only a near fall though. Kaito then hits an Emerald Flowsion, again only for 2, but the damage seems to have been severe to Shiozaki’s neck. Tiger Suplex gets locked in, held on with a bridge and Kaito wins!

Winner: Kaito via Tiger Suplex Hold


2t. TakeOver 31: NXT Championship: Kyle O’Reilly vs Finn Balor (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Balor is stuck, Kyle has the legs for a DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Balor tumbles down but Kyle drags him up again, for another DRAGON SCREW in the ropes! Kyle hurries to a corner as Balor is stuck again! FLYING KNEE DROP! Balor is down now but Kyle heads up top!? ANOTHER FLYING KNEE! And the KNEEBAR!! Balor endures as Kyle has the Achilles Lock!! Balor hurries to pry the hold apart but Kyle just shifts to another angle! Balor endures, kicks at Kyle, but that leg gets caught! DOUBLE HEEL HOOK!! Fans are electric as Balor punches Kyle! Kyle just wrenches both ankles again! Balor turns over, crawls and reaches, ROPEBREAK! Kyle has no choice but to let go! The crowd chants for “NXT! NXT!” for another incredible main event!

Kyle throws off the wrist tape in frustration as he grits his teeth. Kyle KICKS Balor in the leg and Balor falls over! Kyle hobbles and Balor flounders up, but Balor drops down to avoid another kick! Balor suckers Kyle into a trip up and DOUBLE STOMP! Kyle clutches his stomach, but he still runs in to KNEE Balor in the corner! GERMAN SUPLEX! But Balor’s right up to DOUBLE STOMP again!! Both men are down and the crowd is still fired up! Balor hobbles over to a corner and he drags himself up the ropes. Balor leaps, COUP DE GRACE!!! Cover, Balor wins!!

Winner: Balor via Coup de Grace


1. Victory Road: Impact World Championship: Eddie Edwards vs Eric Young (c)

From My Results:

The champion maintains control for a while as he finds different ways to torque on the injured ankle. Eddie flips through a Backdrop, but the ankle gives him trouble, so it’s a nice struggle of Eddie trying to block and fight back, while severely hampered. Eddie and EY start a chop exchange, which Eddie seems to get the best of, before EY hits a Forearm. Then when it looks like EY’s got him close, Blue Thunder…Face Buster, Inverted Blue Thunder Bomb…not sure, but it’s effective for Eddie.

Another Blue Thunder bomb gets Eddie a near fall, a TKO followed by the Edge of Sanity from EY gives him a near fall, and we see both men trying to just throw haymakers. Eddie manages to hit a Tiger Driver on like one and a half legs, then he goes for the Boston Knee Party, but EY gets his arms up to block. The fight up to the top turnbuckle, EY looks for an Avalanche DDT, but Eddie turns it into an Avalanche Blue Thunder Bomb. Eddie looks for another big move, perches EY, but EY counters by twisting Eddie’s legs and just throwing him knees first back on to the mat. Spinning Toe Hold from EY makes him look like an opportunistic genius, but Eddie’s shoe comes off, Boston Knee Party…but too close to the ropes and EY drapes the leg. EY kicks the leg, Piledriver, into Spinning Toe Hold and Eddie taps out!

Winner: EY via Spinning Toe Hold



Now even if Steve Cook wasn’t a fan of the Balor vs O’Reilly match, I definitely appreciated the story that O’Reilly was supposed to be “a secret”, so you couldn’t have him come out immediately looking equal to a decorated champion. With that said though, Eric Young proved a lot to me in the Victory Road main event. Eddie Edwards has always been known as a good worker, just lacking on charisma; but this match checked a lot of boxes for me. It focused on Eddie’s heart and being able to fight through the pain, and EY’s delight in causing pain. So EY’s sadistic side is what kept Eddie in the match sometimes, and Eddie shined with the ring work he’s known for.

So if you couldn’t figure it out, Eric Young vs Eddie Edwards, gets my vote because that was a great story, great match and just really helped everything along for Bound for Glory.

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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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