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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tagged under:

ROH TV 7/30/16 Review

By @Headliner5


Hello and welcome to another one of my ROH TV reviews from yours truly. It's Nathan here again, and I'm sorry for the lack of reviews the past few weeks,  but we are back at it again this week, so without further hesitation lets get right into it shall we?

This week's show opened with a recap from last week and the actions by the Bullet Club in their attempt to ruin the ROH World Title main event. Adam Cole and The Young Bucks injured Kyle O'Reilly earlier in the show and they attacked him once again after his match with Lethal. It was then revealed that Adam Cole will never get another World Title opportunity as long as Nigel McGuinness is ROH Match Maker.

Jay Lethal begins the hour as he responds to what happened last week, and Lethal tells the audience that what happened to Kyle O'Reilly wasn't right and that he didn't like having to defend his world title under those circumstances. Jay talks directly to ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness asking him to change this week's main event into a six man tag team match to allow both him and Adam Cole into the match for later. Nigel accepts so the main event will be Adam Cole and The Young Bucks vs. Jay Lethal and The Briscoe Brothers.

From there, we head to a commercial break, and then we see a video package of Steve Corino and Kevin Sullivan sitting together in what is apparently Sullivan's backyard. Corino asks Sullivan why he betrayed him and Sullivan tells him that BJ is the chosen one and it's not Steve Corino. He also tells Steve to get out of Whitmer's way.

Next, we head to the ring where the Getalong Gang is with their leader P-Dogg.  P-Dogg calls Moose out to the ring for a match. He arrives with Stokely Hathaway in toe and the first match is set to begin.

Match 1
P-Dogg vs. Moose

Thoughts:
This match was pretty much what you would expect from Moose and a relative unknown in P-Dogg as it was pretty much a squash. Moose took out the entire gang of misfits before finishing off P-Dogg with a flipping spear.

Match Result: Moose defeats P-Dogg via pinfall after a flipping spear.

Match Rating: N/A

After the match, Prince Nana makes his way out to the ring with former EOTR Live guest Donovan Dijak. Nana puts over Moose and his former apprentice Stokely Hathaway. He then challenges Moose to a match on behalf of Donovan Dijak and Moose gladly accepts which leads us to the next match of the night.



Match 2
Moose vs. Donovan Dijak

Thoughts:
First a squash match for Moose and now some real competition, we join this match after a commercial break. Moose hits a dropkick, which sends Dijak to the outside. Moose begins to take over on offense until Dijak turns things around in his favor with a chokeslam onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Dijak hits a fireman's carry into a powerbomb for a near fall.  Dijak climbs up to the top rope but Moose is able to dropkick him off of the top rope to the outside. Dijak quickly recovers and gets back into the ring before Moose hits a sitout powerbomb for a near fall. Both men get back up to a vertical base and begin trading punches in the center. Moose eventually hits the game breaker on Dijak, but can't follow it up with the spear as he missed it. Dijak is able to capitalize just long enough to hit Feast Your Eyes on Moose to pick up the win via pinfall. Solid match from both and it's good to see Dijak begin to get noticed even more than he already has.

Match Result: 
Donovan Dijak defeats Moose via pinfall after Feast Your Eyes

Match Rating: **1/2

After the match, doctors are in to check on Moose who appears to be hurt, as Nana shakes Hathaway's hand. As Nana turns his back to Hathaway, he signals to Dijak who hits Hathaway with a bicycle kick to knock him out cold.

We go to a pre-taped promo featuring the Addiction in front of the ROH banner, and Daniels states that ROH has the best tag team division in all of wrestling. He talks about how the ROH World Tag Team Titles and the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles are both under the ROH banner, and they also mention the Bucks being the junior heavyweight tag team champions. Frankie says everyone including the two tag teams that they just mentioned should worship them.

Back from commercial, we see a recap of what took place at Global Wars and the ending to the Jay Lethal vs Colt Cabana match. We are then informed that next week's main event will feature Jay Lethal taking on Colt Cabana for the ROH World Title.

From there, the Cabinet are seen backstage and they address their latest campaign to fix the Young Bucks problem. They are going to build a wall around them and make them pay for it with their T-Shirt sales money. The Cabinet's goal is to rid ROH of any wrestler who they don't feel is fit to be in the company. Caprice Coleman takes a shot at Moose by saying that he would cut him, but Moose is already used to being cut.

We head back to ringside for the introductions to the six-man tag team main event. Matt Taven joins the broadcast table.  He starts off by immediately insulting the Bullet Club. Nigel then tells us that he has informed security to rush the ring if the Bullet Club tries anything like they did last week.

Main Event - Match 3
Jay Lethal and The Briscoes vs. Adam Cole and The Young Bucks


Thoughts: 
All six men start the match by brawling until Lethal and The Briscoes get the advantage. The Briscoes and Lethal hit stereo suicide dives on the club to the outside of the ring. The brawl spills to the outside, Lethal and Mark set up a table to powerbomb Adam Cole through it, but the Bucks are able to stop it with stereo superkicks. The action goes back inside of the ring as the Bullet Club has now taken full advantage. They tag in and out while having Jay Briscoe isolated in their own corner for a few minutes. Jay finally builds some momentum and hits a samoan drop to Matt Jackson. Jay makes the tag to his brother Mark, who comes in and takes out all three members of The Bullet Club. Adam Cole finds himself alone in the ring as Lethal and The Briscoes begin triple teaming him. Mark climbs to the top rope and The Bucks recover and push him off of the top rope onto a table that was positioned at ringside.  Mark is out and being checked on by officials.

Back from break and Mark is hurt, but is now refusing to be taken to the back, and security is trying to get Mark to leave but he wont listen to them. Nigel McGuinness says that he doesn't want security to leave the ringside area so he tries to take Mark to the back by himself. Nigel leaves the broadcast position and eventually is able to get Mark to the back.

Meanwhile back in the ring, the action is still going strong as The Bullet Club now has a 2 on 3 advantage. Lethal finds himself isolated in the corner while the Bucks and Cole take turns beating on him. Lethal eventually begins fighting back enough to make the hot tag to Jay Briscoe. Jay Briscoe comes in and clears house with a superkick party of his own and he then hits a neckbreaker on Cole for a near fall.  We return to the action after one final commercial break and Jay Lethal is now fighting the bucks in the ring. The Bucks hit Lethal out, but Jay Briscoe comes in and takes out the Jacksons on his own. Adam Cole comes back into play by laying out Jay Briscoe, but Lethal makes his way to this feet to hit a Lethal Injection on Cole to get the win via pinfall.

Match Result: 
Jay Lethal and The Briscoes defeat Adam Cole and The Young Bucks via pinfall after Jay Lethal hits Adam Cole with the Lethal Injection

Match Rating: ***1/2

After the match, The Bullet Club attacked The Briscoes and Jay Lethal, and Cole grabs a pair of clippers and The Bucks and him proceed to shave Jay Lethal's head completely bald as the show goes off of the air for the week.

Exciting hour capped off by an exciting main event, though I wasn't a fan of the first match, but still was solid to the show.

That will do it for another ROH Review from myself, a very enjoyable episode that I would highly recommend to anyone who is a ROH fan or to anyone who is just looking to kill an hour with some good wrestling.

-Nathan

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tagged under:

The Worst Wrestlemanias Since 2000

By @__Doug___

Wrestlemania is the biggest show in the wrestling world every year. While usually not the best show out there, more often than not, the event is good to great. Today I’m not covering that, instead I’m covering the worst Wrestlemanias that the company has produced since 2000. 16 years have passed and I wish I didn't have to make a list like this, but here we are. Let's get into it.

5. Wrestlemania 32



-The one that dragged on forever. I will say that it gave us a good ladder match to start off with. Then this is where the wheels fell off. Jericho beat Styles (while I don’t personally disagree with it due to the fact that nobody took Jericho seriously enough these days and he needed a win) in a passable match. The League of Nations beat the New Day (which shouldn’t have happened), so that the legends can come out and beat down the LoN. Lesnar/Ambrose was just a glorified squash. The Divas match did come in and revive this PPV with an excellent match. That momentum was curtailed with the HIAC match, which felt out of place and wasn’t great outside of the bump of a lifetime. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal gave us a few pop moments such as Shaq entering and Sandow getting screentime, but I will give the company due for letting Corbin win on the big stage. Then comes the tedious main event. HHH/Roman didn’t click and it dragged on for ages. If they had tweaked a few things here and there, the PPV would have become a lot better.

4. Wrestlemania 2000 (16)



-The one with only one singles match and it was a horrid divas one between Terri and The Kat. They tried to fit in so many guys in this specific version of the card and the quality went down. While it did give us a great ladder match, the main event was a bad fatal four way elimination match where HHH won. Terrible idea because it should have been just Rock and HHH with Rock going over, because that is what happens at Mania. Even the Angle/Eddie/Jericho match for the European and Intercontinental titles fell flat. Sad.

3. Wrestelmania 25



-Another show with a one match card that was actually quality in HBK/Undertaker (a recurring pattern in these Wrestlemanias). Orton vs HHH provided a dud despite the scorching hot feud. The triple threat for the world title was passable at best. Jericho vs the legends wasn’t that great, although it did provide a moment where Steamboat showed he still had some juice left in the tank. 25 also gave us Santina Marella, so yeah it belongs here.

2. Wrestlemania 29



-The New York/New Jersey edition of this was a disappointment. The card felt a lot like filler with Hell No vs Ziggler and Big E and Fandango vs Jericho being very forgettable matches. The World Title Match with ADR/Swagger and Henry/Ryback was absolutely terrible with a horrible finish as Henry fell on Ryback for the pin. HHH/Lesnar never clicked as opponents for me and this felt like it was the worst of the series of matches for them. Then here comes the main event that nobody asked for and it clearly showed in the match and the show. The only saving grace of this PPV was the classic Punk/Undertaker match. They put out so little effort in this show that Raw the following night eclipsed this fairly easily, which also led to the quality Raw after Mania episodes.

1.  Wrestlemania 27



-This Mania was terrible outside of the HHH/Undertaker match. Cole/Lawler should have never ever happened and dragged on entirely too long. The main event was nothing more than a vehicle to promote WM 28. A garbage 8 man tag happened as well as celebrity match. The less said about this show the better.

There you have it. 5 of the worst Manias since the 2000s began. The sad part is I could have added another choice or two. Either way, these are truly the worst of the worst for the last 16 years.

-Doug

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tagged under:

The Underrated: Brian Kendrick

By @MeenHendrix


If you haven't noticed by now, I reallly appreciate a good gimmick and good wrestling from the midcard. The Brian Kendrick is a prime example of this. I feel like he doesn't get enough appreciation. People remember his gimmick, but I feel like they are just saying something nice about him just because they can actually remember his name. Not sure if that makes sense, but he's underrated in my eyes.

Now when Kendrick first broke into WWE, he was essentially nothing more than a jobber. He went by Spanky in his early run and didn't get much done besides a short feud with John Cena over their hip hop gimmicks (It sucked). But interestingly enough he started teaming up with Paul London before he returned to the independent circuit.

He returned to WWE in 2005 and by September, he began teaming up with Paul London again. In December, they began wearing their signature masks, shorts and vests. WWE was lacking in tag teams with LOD 2005 breaking up before 2006, Matt Hardy and Tatanka were never going anywhere, Regal and Burchill broke up in February of 2006, and Batista's injury forced the break up of his tag team with Rey Mysterio, leaving Smackdown with basically MNM and the Mexicools. London and Kendrick were essentially a shot of steroids into the tag team bloodline. They came out the gate fast and won the crowd over with their high-flying styles. Before I knew it, they had beaten MNM five times in a row before winning the WWE Tag Team Championships from them at Judgment Day, extending the streak to 6 in a row. They went on to hold the titles for 331 days (a record at the time that has since been broken by The New Day, who rocks TBH), before dropping the titles to Deuce N' Domino (Hated those douchebags). The rest of their time as a team was mostly uneventful. They did move to Raw and win the World Tag Team Championships at a House Show. They then dropped the titles back to Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch 3 days later.



Kendrick was brought back to the Smackdown brand through the 2008 Supplemental Draft and this is when I became a huge fan of the guy. He became a heel with cool new ring gear, a nice leather jacket, a huge black guy as his bodyguard (Ezekiel Jackson) who wore only white as if he had just come back from a Yacht Party and new life and energy on the microphone as a braggadocious pain in the ass. Who the hell is this guy to come in and act like he owns the place? He was a tag team wrestler, 5'8 Cruiserweight. Who is he supposed to be better than? The answer to that is everyone. That cockiness made The Brian Kendrick an instant favorite of mine.


The Brian Kendrick steps in with Ezekiel destroying everyone who gets in his way. They drew comparisons to Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Kendrick starts off undefeated from July to August. He wins a 10 Man Battle Royal for a chance to be in the WWE Championship Scramble at Unforgiven 2008. He defeated Jeff Hardy on Smackdown. He held his own in the Championship Scramble. He came out looking like a future star. Certainly WWE couldn't mess this up, right? Wrong. He instantly fell down the card and didn't appear on another PPV for the rest of the year. He was moved to Raw and lost every match on the brand.


Almost overnight, the talk of the town had been discarded like the Light Heavyweight Championship. I mean luckily he was able to at least win the X Division Championship in TNA, but it was kinda too late. WWE had ruined a potential mega star. Maybe it was his 5'8, 175 pound frame, but Kendrick had the tools in the ring to adapt to any kind of match style if needed, which very few wrestlers are able to do, and he could talk his ass off. He could make you love him. He could make you hate him with his goofy dancing before and after the match. He spends his days as a trainer now (and as a participant in the CWC), and it sucks because he could have been a valuable part of the main event scene. Who wouldn't want to see The Brian Kendrick clash with Jeff Hardy and CM Punk or how he uses Ezekiel to weasel his way into an upset over the Undertaker. Sadly, none of that would come to fruition for The Man with a Plan. Hell he didn't have to be a main eventer. He could have had some good matches with Ziggler and Mysterio in the midcard for the Intercontinental Championship. The longest reigning WWE Champion of the Championship Scramble will forever have my respect and admiration. It's just a shame and ironic the WWE didn't have big plans for the Man With A Plan. Still, he remains underrated.

-Ameen

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tagged under:

5 Reasons The WCW/ECW Invasion Failed

By @BMDontCheat 



As my first article for EOTR, I'll be covering the top 5 things that fucked up the "Invasion" angle. Now as you may know, 2001 was already an interesting year for WWF. A heel turn of the century for Stone Cold, a trifecta of classic PPV's from Royal Rumble to No Way Out to Wrestlemania 17, and Vince McMahon finally put an end to the rival company known ass "WCW (Dubba U See Dubba U)". After WM17, the signs were becoming clear that the first 3 fantastic months of  WWF was just the tip of the iceberg, as McMahon was bracing the the fans for the biggest storyline of the year (or so we thought).

As a fan, you must have been really excited at the thought of a possible Stone Cold vs Goldberg feud or NWO vs DX or The Undertaker vs Sting (smh WWE) or Too Cool vs Disco Inferno and Tank Abbot in a dance off right (alright.... maybe not that one haha)? Well perhaps all except the latter, but still Vince had the leverage to make twice as much money and gain a bigger fanbase with much ease.

BUT OF COURSE HE WOULDN'T BE VINCE MCMAHON IF HE DIDN'T FIND A WAY TO FUCK THIS UP RIGHT!?

Right.

Here are the top 5 things that fucked up the Invasion angle:

5. Bad Timing


-Now I know this was a HUGE thing in wrestling, so of course they want to nip that in the bud. But there were a couple problems. First off, some key superstars, Benoit and HHH mainly, were both suffering injuries at the time (so much for the DX feud). Also, many big name WCW stars were still getting paid while sitting on their ass thanks to their Time Warner contracts. Perhaps the best move would've been to wait or even buy out the TW contracts to involve some of those big name wrestlers. I mean, after all, that is the point of the Invasion angle. Seeing the best WWF  superstars up against the best WCW superstars was to be the draw. It didn't happen here.

4. Burial of WCW Superstars


-This is where things began to piss us wrestling fans off! The only two big name players from the South that Vince got his paws on was then WCW champion G.I. Br... err... I mean Booker T, and 3x WCW Champ Diamond Dallas Page. You would've thought with these being the only two credible superstars that Vinnie Mac would've put them over as incredible threats right??


Instead this idiot Vince made up a stalker angle for DDP to pursue the Undertaker's wife Sara, in which the role definitely didn't fit him at all. All that building up then at King Of The Ring after he revealed himself, he gets the shit kicked out of him by the Deadman in what was really an one sided confrontation. The best part of this had to be when he lost a singles match to the Undertaker's wife on a episode of Raw. WOW great way to treat your new talent asshole! Of course, Booker T would suffer a downgrade after he lost his WCW Title to the Rock, as he would continue playing tag team partner to Test (RIP). But at least he wasn't buried like DDP was. Sheesh, no wonder why Sting was hesitant to join WWF/E in the first place.

3. Stone Cold Heel Turn


-The superstars of the Alliance were rendered useless and it's apparent due to the fact that Stone Cold was made the leader of the opposing team. I mean it was obvious Steve wasn't getting much reception as a heel to begin with, but making him join the two companies that fired him is downright unbelievable.

The fact Steve Austin led the Alliance made the WCW/ECW superstars look less credible than before! This angle brought so many cringeworthy moments of the Rattlesnake that many fans like to forget including the time where Kurt Angle kidnapped him, placed a bag on his head, made him cry and forced him to give him a title shot. What the fuck?

Let's not forget the most awful and terrifying moment of the Alliance angle where Stephanie McMahon started singing on air!!! So many bad memories.

2. New Owner of ECW



-Speaking of this chick Stephanie.... let's just say ECW was also brought into the mix. Which kinda made sense considering Paul Heyman was a commentator of RAW.

However what we didn't expect was Shane McMahon announcing the new owner of ECW........ his god awful actress of a sister, Stephanie McMahon.

THAT HAS TO BE THE BIGGEST FOH MOMENT OF THE ALLIANCE ANGLE, LET ALONE PRO WRESTLING HISTORY!!! Stephanie McMahon is as extreme as Drake playing a backgammon game. Stephanie is as extreme as a J Cole fan.
FUCK WWE FOR THAT ONE!!!!
I mean Paul Heyman was literally cutting the best promos of the Invasion! He carried that shit yet they couldn't have him OWN the company HE CREATED! What an idiotic choice.

1. Vince's Ego


-Last but not least, the biggest thing that fucked up the Invasion angle is Vince's ego!

I mean we knew from the jump that angle was not to be taken seriously when DDP was buried by Taker or when Stephanie was announced as the owner of ECW. Shit, even with WCW big name talent like Goldberg, Sting & Hogan, we can all bet that Vince would screw them up too in this angle. Hell I mean look after the Invasion how Goldberg was treated. Or look how WWE treated the NWO storyline. And don't let me bring up Wrestlemania 31.....

The point I'm making is that they dodged a bullet by not coming in too early. The main reason for this angle sucking is Vince's pettiness and selfishness. Overshadowing all that talent he had by feuding with his demon seed children. The Alliance was a utter joke not made for the fans to enjoy, but for Vince to get the last laugh!

"He who gets the last laugh, laughs the loudest!"

So there you have it 5 reasons why the Invasion angle failed. Hopefully WWF learned their lesson with the next time the plan an Invasion storyli... wait... (remembers NWO storyline, Remembers Nexus angle)...... You know what WWE.... fuck it. No more invasion storylines. EVER.

-Alex

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tagged under:

NXT Takeover: Back to Brooklyn Preview

By @TrueGodImmortal


We've got about three plus weeks until this will be occurring, but I can't lie, this NXT show coming up has a special feeling about it. Much like the WWE is in a new era with their RAW and Smackdown rosters and new stars, it looks as if NXT is launching the next chapter and starting it in Brooklyn. The card for NXT Takeover: Back to Brooklyn is amazing and today we're going to preview the full card and everything surrounding it. With all the attention on RAW, Smackdown, the draft and the CWC, NXT seems almost lost in the shuffle, but I guarantee you that NXT will be on everyone's mind come Summerslam weekend and afterwards.

The card so far has 6 matches total on it, all of which are intriguing to be honest and feature newer stars stepping up and some big in ring NXT debuts as well. The rise of the biggest NXT star seems likely to culminate in a title win, and two of the biggest names from the indies seem likely to possibly become the NXT Tag Team Champions as well. The way things could turn out leave me beyond excited. Let's get into the card (beware there are spoilers below possibly).

*American Alpha vs Authors of Pain 


-This match doesn't really excite me. It's the only match that seems very flat on this list and although I'm a big fan of American Alpha, I am not sold on the Authors of Pain. I'd hope American Alpha walks away with the win and get a nice send off to the main roster of Smackdown, but honestly I could see NXT giving Authors of Pain the win and continuing to push them only because Paul Ellering is in their corner. Regardless, this one doesn't excite me.

*Austin Aries vs No Way Jose


-Aries turns heel and I'm glad he did. He works much better as a heel and I love the character that Jose plays. It's fresh and he's truly entertaining. I think this match has to end in a victory for No Way Jose, but if this feud is set to be a long term type of deal, I could see Aries getting a non clean victory and Jose coming back after to exact revenge on NXT TV. Either way, this should be a good one.

*Bobby Roode vs Andrade Almas


-Roode makes his big debut at the biggest possible show he could be at. Almas is a solid wrestler and we know the pedigree of Roode, so this should certainly be a good one. However, I would assume that Roode definitely wins this one. No other option really, because it's his big debut and I'd assume NXT has big plans for Roode going forward and maybe even a possible NXT Title run in the future or maybe next year.

*NXT Tag Team Title Match
The Revival vs Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa


-This is my sleeper choice for match of the night. Gargano and Ciampa as a team is smart, as I don't see either making a big splash as singles wrestlers in NXT, but as a team, they are money and could go a long way in the WWE. I'd personally like to see new tag Champs to drive down the feeling of the new era and get ready to move The Revival up to the main roster within the next few months or before the end of the year at least. Gargano and Ciampa will likely win and if they do, I could see a future feud with the Authors of Pain, which I'm not sold on that, but it sounds likely for some reason. If The Revival retain, the question becomes who do they face going forward? That's the dilemma. I'd hope Gargano and Ciampa get a big win and shake the tag division up here.

*NXT Women's Championship 
Asuka vs Bayley


-So Asuka turns heel. Good. Asuka as a heel is a smart choice and I'd love to see her get very aggressive against Bayley. Bayley as the sympathetic face against an aggressive Asuka is a great dichotomy and though I don't see or want Bayley to win, I'd not be too surprised if she did. However, it's time for Bayley to move up to the main roster and time for Asuka to be on her own with the NXT women's division. However, my worry is who would be her next challenger? Carmella and Alexa Bliss are now on Smackdown, so with Asuka retaining in Brooklyn, we'd have a lot of things up in the air, and I think that's a good thing. Suspense going forward.

*NXT Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe


-I hope you all know what this is building to. Samoa Joe will likely be leaving NXT soon and I'd hope join Smackdown. Nakamura will be on RAW likely by the time Wrestlemania hits (or Smackdown if they are lucky), but this is all leading to a Hideo Itami vs Nakamura match for the NXT Title. At least I believe so. Speaking of which, the returning Itami might have an impact in this match or after the match. Regardless, I see Nakamura winning this huge match in what should be a classic, and winning the title. From there, I think Joe gers one more rematch and then moves on to the main roster. Expect the crowd to be fully behind Nakamura in Brooklyn and LOUD.

This event could surpass the Wrestlemania 32 weekend event in Dallas. It has the makings of yet another amazing card for NXT, keeping the quality up as usual for the brand. I can't wait.

-True

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tagged under:

Keys To The New Era of WWE

By @TrueGodImmortal



The new era in WWE has begun. I can't say I'm not surprised that this new era is really underway. Usually, WWE messes up everything and doesn't give the fans things that they want or anything fresh and new. Until now. While this might not last very long, it looks like the last couple of years of suffering for fans who had wrestlers they didn't like forced down their throat might be over. At least for the time being. With the draft being something I was truly skeptical of, one had to wonder what could occur after the solid Battleground on the first editions of the new Raw and Smackdown. As the 8 PM hour approached this past Monday, I was worried that we would be treated to more of the same.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

As Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley stood in the ring and addressed the Raw roster, they announced a new championship title and that Seth Rollins would be involved in a match at Summerslam to determine the new champion for RAW. The name of this title? The WWE Universal Championship. Did I like the name? No. Not at all. However, we knew this was coming. Ambrose won the right to have the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown, so Raw had to do what they had to do as expected. With the secondary world title announced, they made some big announcements to determine who would be the other participant in the Summerslam title match.


Two Fatal Four Way Matches. The winners of both would face each other In the main event to determine who would go to Summerslam. Who were included in these matches? Roman Reigns, Sheamus, Sami Zayn, and Chris Jericho in one. Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Rusev, and the debuting Finn Balor in the other. What stuck out the most to me was that Finn got a huge reaction and he carried the superstar aura with him as he stepped up when his name was called. As the night progressed, we also learned that Sasha Banks would get her shot at the Women's Title against Charlotte. The usual skepticism came from me. I figured Reigns would win the Fatal Four Way and the main event to go to Summerslam and that Charlotte would end up retaining or getting disqualified to set up a Summerslam match between her and Sasha again.

Once again, I was wrong. And I'm glad I was wrong.

After Finn won the opening match to earn his shot in the main event, of course Reigns won his match and it seemed like the usual was going to happen. Reigns vs Rollins yet again, and for some reason it had lost its luster. Just months prior, we were seemingly excited at the idea of Reigns vs Rollins, but so much had changed. We saw how good Ambrose can be if booked right, how much better Seth is than Roman, and that Reigns is just not working. Thus, with the prospect of Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins at Summerslam coming up, we got beyond excited to see if Finn could pull it off. The main event was set for the night. Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor.


However, before we would get to that, we'd witness the crowning of a new Women's Champion, as Sasha Banks finally culminated her journey on the new era of RAW, with a surprising victory over Charlotte in a great match. Sasha represents the future of women's wrestling and if she gets the ball to run with, she could become one of the greatest women wrestlers of all time. As Charlotte and Sasha went back and forth in their match, watching Sasha lock in the Bank Statement and get a victory was a big moment. I was extremely excited for her and for one of the first times in my life, I marked out for a Women's match and finish. It was beautifully executed. Sasha marks a new change in the women's division and I'm hopeful that she has a lengthy reign and fights Bayley at Wrestlemania 33 in a classic.




However, as RAW came to an end, we had a huge moment and upset, as Finn Balor beat Roman Reigns CLEAN in the middle of the ring to get the right to face Seth Rollins for the new WWE Universal Championship. It was a monumental moment for WWE and RAW and of course Finn Balor, but also for the fans. It represented a new time, where the predictable isn't the norm, and the new stars get a fair shot. It was an amazing end to an amazing RAW, and it set the tone going forward with a Cruiserweight Division also coming soon. RAW is stacked now, and have such a great talent depth. What about Smackdown?

Smackdown got the short end of the stick and that was never more evident than seeing what occurred in the first episode of the new era. Daniel Bryan is still one of the most over guys and of course Dean Ambrose is the champion and one of the top guys in popularity, but Smackdown is still very much the B show. AJ Styles and John Cena will likely finish up their feud at Summerslam in what should be a great contest, but something just feels flat about this new Era of Smackdown.


For example, how in the hell does RAW have new debuts and reintroductions of returning stars, but American Alpha can't even debut on the first episode of the new era? That was a terrible call. However, all hope isn't lost. American Alpha debuts next week, John Cena is there but not the main focus of the show, Randy Orton will be freed up once this one-off Brock feud is over, AJ Styles will likely be facing Dean Ambrose for the WWE Title in the Fall, Bray Wyatt has a chance to rise again, and we also have the returning Shelton Benjamin and Rhyno on the Smackdown rosters. If what is rumored is any indication, MVP could be returning to WWE (he denied it, but who knows), and we may see a return of some others who were popular also.

Truthfully, this will likely end up in some more NXT call ups and new debuts from the CWC for both brands after the Summerslam weekend to be quite honest. The rosters will flesh out much more, and with the Cruiserweight Division coming to RAW, Smackdown will likely have something new as well to counter it. We could see a returning Kurt Angle, Nakamura could come to Smackdown (which I'd say is the smartest decision in the Fall) or Samoa Joe on Smackdown to balance the show rosters. While RAW looks to be better now, let's revisit this a few months when perhaps Nakamura or Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, and maybe another veteran or two are side by side on the roster with AJ, Cena, Orton, Bray, Ziggler, and Ambrose. Give Apollo Crews a bit of a push, and let him be more of himself rather than paint him as just a black dude who is happy to be there.


The keys to this new era are just to keep the booking and the rosters balanced. Right now, RAW is easily looking to be in better shape, but if Smackdown can get things rolling and on the right track with things that will get people interested? It'll be neck and neck. I'd say that once we get AJ vs Ambrose for the title after Ziggler loses in a potential classic at Summerslam, we'll see the Smackdown pace pick up. The existing future stars and present main event type talent are mostly on RAW, but the misused and underused talents are all over Smackdown with a bunch of new guys. The concept for Smackdown is to be an underdog and to promote the underdogs. Bray is an underdog. Ambrose was an underdog. Apollo Crews and Ziggler are also. The mission of Smackdown is to be the underdog in the fight and surprise the world. When there's a Smackdown PPV card that has Ambrose vs Styles, Apollo Crews vs Shelton Benjamin, Orton vs Bray, Rhyno vs Cena (just a thought), and American Alpha in tag team action, perhaps things will look up. I see that happening in the next few months, so just stay tuned and have faith. Smackdown will get it right.

This new era could be exactly what WWE needs to rejuvenate their fanbase. It could be what we've been asking for. It could be the turning point. The key to this is to keep pushing who the fans enjoy and keep booking everything as best as they can. Sounds simple, but this is a theory that escaped the WWE for many years prior aside from a few instances. Hopefully we keep this going and get more and more entertaining TV from WWE. Cheers to this new era.

-True

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tagged under:

Top 5: The Best Undertaker Matches At Summerslam

By @Phranchize19

We all know of the legend known as The Undertaker. We all know of his history at WrestleMania. What is less known however is the Undertaker has the record for the most appearances in Sunmerslam history and he also has the most wins at this event. The Undertaker has had some legendary match ups at WWE’s second biggest event of the year Summerslam. So let's take a look at the best of them.

5. Undertaker vs Mankind 
Boiler Room Brawl 
Summerslam 1996


-This match was outstanding. It was the first of its kind and it was a huge turning point. Undertaker had never encountered an opposition that could match his pain threshold until Mankind came along. The significance of this match is not only its originality, but it marked the end of the Paul Bearer/ Undertaker partnership (for a little while), as Bearer would turn his back on his longtime confidant and aligned himself with Mankind. Undertaker and Mankind literally beat the hell out of each other in what would later be known as a trademark Mankind match.

4. Undertaker vs Bret Hart 
WWE Championship Match 
Summerslam 1997


-While this match was really a set up to Bret Hart vs HBK, it still did not disappoint. Bret had turned heel earlier in the year at the same event Taker won the WWE title. There was a lot riding on this match, but if Bret lost he wouldn't wrestle in America ever again. HBK being the referee was significant, as he would cost the Undertaker the championship by accidentally hitting him with a steel chair. This was a match between two great workhorses and Taker showed a side of himself that proved he could hang with arguably the greatest in ring technician in history.

3. Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar Summerslam 2015


-This match began with Lesnar ending the Streak a year prior. We knew eventually Taker would be out for revenge and we got it. While I thought this match might have been a repeat because Taker looked pretty bad at WrestleMania 30, Taker moved well in this match. This match was back and forth but you literally had no idea who was going to win this match as Taker challenged Lesnar as no one had in about 2 years. The ending was strange, but I felt the right man won the match. Taker had put Lesnar over in the biggest possible way so Taker needed this one.

2. Undertaker vs Edge 
Hell in a Cell 
Summerslam 2008


-Quite possibly the greatest rivalry in Edge’s career. Taker and Edge had been trying to get a hold of each other since Survivor Series of the year prior. Every time they met in the ring it was greatness, but this particular match told a story. Edge had taken on a new persona as a lunatic who felt he needed to be that way to beat Undertaker in hell in a cell. Taker had been banned from WWE for a while so his comeback was going to be well received. Although this was the first main event of the PG era, it still was a brutal and violent affair. The aftermath of the match still amazes me to this day.

1. Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin 
WWE Championship Match 
Summerslam 1998


-Hands down (in my opinion), the greatest match Undertaker has had at Summerslam. Undertaker was in the tweener stage as Austin was the bonafide babyface. It was going to be hard to follow what I feel is the greatest ladder match ever between HHH and The Rock (another story for another day), but they definitely did. Taker was on a mission to win the title and controlled most of the match. The leap from the top rope to the table still is an iconic moment. In the end, Austin stuns taker and wins the match while Taker shows Austin respect for beating him.

-C. Yates

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tagged under:

The WWE Draft Fallout

By @TrueGodImmortal



So... it happened. The WWE Draft has taken place... and man.... all I can say is that Smackdown got set up and fucked over. Now, don't get me wrong, Smackdown has some great wrestlers on the show and will likely continue to have some great matches, but they are lacking in the future of the WWE somewhat. The picks were no surprise, as similar to how it was done in 2002, the top two guys went to their respective brands. Seth Rollins is the no. 1 guy in the company, while Dean Ambrose is no. 2, and as expected, and still the WWE Champion. Going into Battleground, we prepare for a New Era in WWE so to speak. However, nothing really seems to be special about what WWE did with Smackdown. That's where we'll start on the draft. Smackdown.



So, Smackdown picked Dean Ambrose, the WWE Champion. Well isn't that special? They also picked AJ Styles with their 2nd pick, probably the most important pick of the entire draft on many levels. If you're looking for a possible WWE Title feud on Smackdown, look no further than that. AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose. Unfortunately, that's likely the only big feud for Ambrose on the show, as I expect Ambrose to lose the title to AJ in the fall, when WWE decides to make a 2nd World Title for RAW. John Cena definitely was a huge pick and adds a veteran element, as does Randy Orton to Smackdown. The logical thing that I wrote months ago was that Smackdown would feature two of the stars from the last era and mix them with rising stars of this next era. I was sort of right. Bray Wyatt, Ambrose, AJ are all solid choices and guys who can perform, while Cena and Orton bring name value and recognition. The most disappointing part of this whole draft however came from Smackdown getting a majority of the NXT picks..... AND wasting them.

*NXT Picks
-Finn Balor Goes To RAW
-American Alpha Goes To Smackdown
-Nia Jax Goes To RAW
-Alexa Bliss Goes To Smackdown 
-Mojo Rawley Goes to Smackdown 
-Carmella Goes To Smackdown 

Now.... really??? No Bayley. No Samoa Joe. No Nakamura. No Austin Aries. The whole concept of 6 NXT draft picks feels insignificant because you really only needed 2. Finn and American Alpha are the only important picks from NXT. The rest are irrelevant. Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax may seem big, but Nia is far from ready. Her family heritage and their love for her bigger look is all that fuels her push to the main roster and being that she went as one of the televised picks, you'd have to expect a push coming her way. MEH. Alexa Bliss isn't bad, but she's now on a show that has no women's title, unless the plan is to introduced a secondary women's title (I'd be up for a Women's TV Title instead of a whole new World Title belt), and let Alexa, Carmella, Eva Marie (ugh), Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Naomi battle for it. Not as valuable as the Women's Title, but valuable enough for Smackdown.

Now, onto the rest of Smackdown and its roster. Dolph Ziggler? I just don't care and while I suspect he will get some TV time and a significant feud, it's very unimportant. Alberto Del Rio? Kane? Zack Ryder? The Usos? WWE 2012-2013 is full fledged swing here at least. The Ascension? Fandango? Tyler Breeze? The Miz? Baron Corbin? Shit, it really feels like the B show after all. I like the Apollo Crews pick and if given the opportunity to run with the ball, he could become an interesting character for the show. However, there's a bit of a worry on my end that perhaps he gets lost in the shuffle even with only 40% of the roster on the show with him. Regardless, Smackdown got the short end of the stick, and lacks the depth on the roster it needs. One big injury to a star and the show is in terrible position. So, how did RAW fare out?



Much better.

The # 1 pick was Seth Rollins. The # 3 pick was Finn Balor. That right there is all you need to know as to why RAW fared better, but there's more to it. Charlotte was the # 2 pick and while I'm not a fan of hers, that was a big pick. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar were the 4th and 5th picks, and while I could care less about either one of those, Brock staying on RAW is honestly a big deal if only for the possible implications the rest of the roster brings (just keep him AWAY FROM ROMAN). The New Day are on RAW and will continue to carry the WWE tag titles, Sami Zayn was selected early on oddly enough, the most over female on the roster Sasha Banks is on RAW, Chris Jericho, Rusev, and Kevin Owens were all amazing picks for RAW as well. Take Enzo and Cass, Gallows and Anderson, Neville, Cesaro, and Sheamus, and you'll see that the Raw roster won big time over Smackdown. The non televised picks for both brands was horrible, and RAW would end up with some terrible picks like Braun Strowman, The Shining Stars, Curtis Axel, Summer Rae, Darren Young, and Jack Swagger.



What makes Raw even better is that it'll have its own Cruiserweight Division. So, along with the Women's Title, the Tag Team title, and the US Title, RAW has a Cruiserweight Division, and some amazing talents. It does seem a bit off that guys like Zayn, Cesaro, Owens, and a few others on a show without the world title or IC Title, but they could contend for the US Title at some point. Either way, Raw won this draft without question. Now the question remains, how does the fallout and the future play out? Well, there's some Smackdown feuds that are going to be exciting. Orton vs Wyatt, the continuing of Styles vs Cena, Cena vs Ambrose again, Ambrose vs Orton, Styles vs Ambrose, Styles vs Orton, and Styles vs Bray are all great possible main event feuds for Smackdown. Finn vs Seth, the reuniting of Finn with Gallows and Anderson, Seth vs Owens, Cesaro vs Seth, Brock vs Owens, Jericho vs Cesaro, Jericho vs Finn, and more could make RAW exciting as expected. The possibilities are endless. I just wonder if this will work well enough for the WWE to really have a new Era started, and if it won't get boring quickly. The WWE roster is pretty thin. Look no further than this draft for the proof. Will the Draft and Brand Split be a success? After this first night, I'd have to give it a resounding no, but time will tell. As always.

-True