Thursday, July 31, 2014

TNA Impact 7-31-14 - Destination X 2014

I've been playing a ton of Super Mario World today, and I didn't watch much of the pre-show Cops. I caught an old-looking dude getting caught in what would seem like a lie about hitting a pregnant woman. First he didn't touch her, then he pushed her back in self-defense. He "downsized it". And he's got weed on him. The last story is about a trailer that apparently has 52 cats, rabbits, and rats. Old men lived her, got evicted, and left the cats alone. The trailer is just covered in waste. A KITTEN IS STUCK TO THE FLOOR. Everyone has to watch their step to avoid stepping on a live kitten. Wow. They've got a Comic-Con show on tonight after TNA that I'll probably check out. Now there are cats in the wall! The cops and the neighbors are doing a hell of a job getting all of the cats in cages.

Aries starts the show with a pre-show in-ring promo talking about how he'll cash in Option C to win the world title again.  Good promo. Spud in his red, white, and blue getup, Dixie, and EC3. They recapped THE MAN FORMERLY KNOWN AS BIG ZEKE and Snitsky's debut. Dixie's very echoey here. Zeke and Snitsky in Dixie Land shirts is funny, as is her saying the fans are living in the past. Rhino as a corporate suckup is shockingly funny. Dixie says if you want to chant EC-Dub, she'll let you - WITH THE TRUE EC-DUB. Good lord, this is shameless. She at least uses this to put over EC3. EC3 brings up his army of extreme. Buries Ezekiel Jackson's name coming out of a generator - his name is Ryclon. "EVERY TIME YOU CHANT ECW, YOU'RE CHANTING FOR GENE SNITSKY!" This was hilarious, and we've got a tag match. The Hardys-Wolves match is up, and the Hardys have Matt's shitty TNA theme for God knows what reason. At least use of Jeff's memorable themes. They go no reaction with that shit.

Matt looks really good wearing his '07 black, silver, and white gear. Eddie moves around a ton for Matt before Jeff comes in and they double team Davey. Arm wringer and tag sequences wears on a bit. Poetry in Slow Motion countered. Well, that Davey double rana sure is ri-goddamn-diculous. Double dive to the floor sends the Hardys down to the ramp. Davey lands a corner running forearm, while Eddie hits a flying back elbow - I'll need to adjust some FPR movesets later. Matt saves Jeff from a double suplex setting up a poetry in motion TO THE FLOOR! Side Effect sets up a swanton, but Davey saves. Matt nails a moonsault, but overshoots a tad and gets 2 thanks to Davey. HARDY LOCKS ON THE ICE PICK! DOUBLE ICE PICK WITH JEFF HELPING, but Davey drops Jeff on the pile to break it all up. Matt nails some forearms, but eats a double Alarm Clock. Double stomp from Davey, then Eddie for a 2.9! Eddie hits a somersault dive to Jeff, Matt gets the Twist for 2! Backslide gets 2. Matt goes for a Super Twist, but Eddie kicks him down into a super powerbomb>backstabber. This was good-ish, but I had this match in FPR twice and enjoyed it more there. The post-match was excellent, with the Wolves bowing, putting the belts down, and shaking hands. A Low-Ki hype video aired for the X Division 4-way later. Low Ki hasn't aged a day in 12 years. This was an excellent hype vid. Low-Ki and Joe exchanged looks, so I guess it's 2 singles matches and not just a 4-way.

They showed highlights from the tag title match to make it seem like an instant classic. DJZ's in the ring to face Manik. Manik's theme still sucks - they always should've kept the Suicide theme and just either changed or nixed the lyrics. Nope, it's a 4-way. Low Ki stomps his way out there like he's a seven footer. Like Ronda Rousey, he really projects being an ass-kicker. So it's a 3-way, why was Joe doing stuff with Low-Ki backstage? Are we getting 2 3-ways? Why is this so unclear!? They've got time for a graphic for goodness sake. I want Seth to steal that outside-in curb stomp that DJZ just did to Low-Ki. Tenay hyped up "the qualifiers". HOW MANY ARE THERE?! WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO EXPLAIN!? Manik did a wacky sliding stopping kick to Low-Ki before doing a spinning headscissors to Z. Manik locks on a Christo to Z before turning it into a Muta lock where he's kicked down by Low Ki. Northern lights to Low-Ki during the move. This is Nova-levels of wacky. Low Ki hits a dropkick to Manik that sends him into Z into the buckle. DOUBLE SLIDING KNEES FROM Z! Low Ki hits a handspring kick to the ass sending Z to the barricade. Ki counters a facebuster with the double stomp and a Ki Crusher for a win. Okay, so we've got three triple threats tonight setting up a 3-way next week.

Storm's out while they recap the Muta-Sanada deal. Storm calls himself THE LEGEND! Storm says he's Sanada's new mentor and friend. Storm as a hype man for Sanada works for me. Sanada walked with an arrogant stride...and he's facing some jacked up motherfucker. Brian Cage. And they're in a 3-way with Crazzy Steve, who came out with balloons and a tricycle. Cage hit some crazy shoulder-mount backbreaker>reverse DDT things on Sanada. Steve challenged Cage to a test of strength so he could stomp his foot. DOUBLE FALLAWAY SLAM FROM CAGE with Steve in a fallaway slam setup and Sanada on his shoulders in a fireman's carry. Delayed superplex from Cage was met with an ear clap by Steve. Goofy sunset flip from Steve to Sanada into the buckle. Euro uppercut from Cage. Uranage into a Hunico-style Angle slam. Sanada rakes the eyes to win with a Tiger Suplex. A moonsault finish would've made more sense. They replayed EC3's challenge to Team 3D and Dreamer, which was hard to hear due to Sanada's theme playing over it. OG ECW crew accepted backstage. Cage should've earned himself a contract here, and maybe with them being in a hiring mood - granted on per-appearance deals, he'll have gotten one. Dude was seriously impressive here.

They hyped up Xstravaganza on PPV, and this is the perfect time to air it. Roode and Aries talk about how Roode underestimated him. This was excellent stuff, and set them up as possibly having a friendly rivalry in the future. Stuff like this makes me really hope TNA makes it through the rough patch, because they've got some great matches brewing. TNA should really use crowdfunding to keep themselves going if they wind up with no TV - I want to see where this Aries-Roode stuff goes. 3D and Dreamer came out, with Bully being the thinnest guy there, and going back and forth on the ramp to milk the reaction. Devon looks fantastic with his shirt partially tucked in. It's a different look for him. Dreamer cut a promo on EC3 and shockingly didn't cry. Dreamer puts over how the TNA locker room has the same fire they did in THE ORIGINAL ECW! HARDCORE ISN'T ABOUT WEAPONS, IT'S ABOUT WORK ETHIC! Good promo from Dreamer, so I now assume we'll have a lot of hard-working action and not endless weapons, right? EC3 said the match would be on Carter Time - NEXT WEEK! Bully was annoying, but I did enjoy his "ETHAN, YOU'RE IN NEW YORK CITY, YOU'RE GONNA DIE!" AND HE CAN START A MOTHER TRUCKING RIOT. This actually got a mother trucking chant! Bully demanded an 8-man extreme hardcore weapons war. Bully guaranteed that Dixie was going through a table next week. OH MY BROTHER TESTIFY! This was damn near perfect for what it needed to be. Joe talked to Kurt, and Kurt said that Destination X would have no limits. So I guess we're getting an Ultimate X match with no hype.

Tenay hyped up the August 5-7 tapings. Those will be very interesting given the past week's events. Tenay announced the Team Bully-Team EC3 EXTREME HARDCORE WEAPONS match. Dixe cut a promo with King Mo as her backup next week. They recapped Gail-Taryn, and Angelina's tits cut a promo on them. A hype video for H and some wacky letters aired. Samoa Joe cut a promo about being pro wrestling and being the next X Division champion. And he's in the match against Uno and HOMICIDE! His black and white American flag shirt is fantastic. NY crew high-lowed Uno. Joe snaps an overhead belly to belly on 'Cide. Tenay told the history of Homicide and Joe in TNA - Joe last won the X Title from Homicide. Double open-legged legdrop from Uno was really really stupid looking. Joe prevents the Gringo Killah by saving Uno and chopping 'Cide. Joe avoids Uno's dive with the "fuck off you land on your face now" spot. Muscle buster on 'Cide for the win. This made me want to have this match in DoR 2. Sanada-Low Ki- Joe face off next week, which I'll have to do later in FPR. A surprisingly epic Bram/Magnus-Abyss recap airs. Abyss cut a promo on his Monster's Ball with Abyss next week. Abyss sang "My Girl" and held up Janice - THAT RULED! An Option C/Aries-Lashley hype video aired to set up the main event.

ShopTNA has a sale - 75% OFF GUITARS! The X Title qualifiers were recapped. Joe-Sanada-Low Ki should be amazing. Aries and Lashley came out and they had a cat and mouse game here. Lashley has really overdelivered as a signee in every way. He came back with no hype at Lockdown, and wound up having better matches than ever before, finally finding a role that fits him perfectly, winning the world title, and now being in a company-saving role with the Bellator fight. Lashley takes Aries out on the floor with a big suplex. They went to a break and came back with Lashley choking him out on the ropes. Fantastic shoulder blocks in the corner send Aries to the floor. Lashley did a really impressive deadlift reverse powerslam into the post ribs-first. Anderson and Rampage will be on the Comic Con show next. He did another deadlift into a rear gutwrench slam then clamped on a reverse bearhug. Aries elbowed out of it and is playing the Ricky Morton role perfectly here. Lashley recovers to lock on a bearhug while Taz digs the match so much he actually starts describing the advantage of the grip Bobby's using. Aries claps the ears to escape. Lashley countered with the Ultimate press slam. DISCUS FOREARMS FROM ARIES! Corner forearms! Right after Taz pimped the Bellator fight and how this was like that for Lashley, Aries did the corner mount punches. DOUBLE SLEDGE OFF THE TOP TO THE FLOOR from Aries! The over the rope neckbreaker shown in clips last week was done here. Missile dropkick from Aries! Lashley counters a corner leap into the powerslam! ARIES COUNTERS THE SPEAR WITH A DROPDOWN AND LAST CHANCERY! This was timed perfectly! Lashley gets up, so Aries knees the hell out of him. Aries goes for a brainbuster, but Lashley just chucks him with a gourdbuster. Spear misses into the corner dropkick! Discus forearm! RUNNING DISCUS FOREARM! ANOTHER CORNER DROPKICK! Brainbuster with a really nasty landing gets 2.9! Holy crap this rules! Lashley rolls out to avoid the 450. SUICIDE DIVE MISSES! Cripes! That was nuts. Spear with a twisting sell gets the win. This was a fantastic match. This show wasn't the best bell-to-bell show in TNA history, but it was an amazing overall show that made me feel good about TNA's future at a time when that is really needed. The show ends with them doing something super-weird - giving away that Dixie gets put through a table next week with clips.

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Chronicling the Clash - WCW Clash of the Champions XI - Coastal Crush

I was going through Youtube last night and came across a Flair-JYD promo, so I decided to watch this show to see the culmination of it since I remember the match being praised as an all-time example of Flair carrying a guy who couldn't do a thing. The show starts off with Les Thatcher doing a VO putting over Charleston, SC - I love the localized feel there. The Coastal Crush name doesn't do much for me though. Tony establishing three top matches in the NWA World Title Match between Flair and JYD and both the World and U.S. Tag Team Title matches gives you three pillars to pay attention to. The opener is the Southern Boys-Freebirds, starting with the Southern Boys saying that the Civil War wasn't nothing! Boy are these rebel flags interesting to see AGAINST the Freebirds. The clip of the Badstreet USA video playing out Hayes and Garvin just shows off how much Hayes aged in six years. Garvin's perm is out of control here. It looks like he's got a damned Chia pet on his head. The ring looks downright dark. In the late '80s, things were almost at ROH levels with that, but this is just a shade above that, and several shades beneath the bright lights you'd get in '92 and '93. Tracy eats a slew of offense from both Birds, but...just runs underneath them and Steve Armstrong dives on them. How very odd to do that without a real comeback from Tracy. Jim Ross puts over Mike Mooneyham for his articles and how resilient the community is. This kind of little thing really helps you feel like you're not just a town on a schedule. MICHAEL HAYES IS IN HIS LATE '20S here according to Ross. Holy shit. He looks at least 35. According to Wikipedia, he was in his early '30s here, which makes more sense. Hayes threw one of the fakest elbow drops you'll ever see for 2. Hayes goes up top for God knows what reason, but Steve attacks the gut and does a Flair slam off the top to him. Tracy's outside-in flying kick is awesome! Nice flying back elbow too! Tracy's got a style that doesn't quite work out in a video game since he's a great worker, but it's not all moves - it's the music between the notes. Hayes is illegal BUT HITS A CLOTHESLINE and good God the heat for this. The crowd went crazy for that. The heels cheated, so the faces cheat with a flying headbutt from Steve onto Jimmy, resulting in Tracy getting a cover and the win. Bigelow-Rich is next - having never seen Bigelow at this point in WCW, I'm intrigued by this, and also amazed that about half a decade later, they'd both be in ECW.

Tommy Rich has a SHINY BRONZE JACKET! Bigelow has his indy-riffic generic fireball gear on. Rich's gear looks like something he bought from a Greg Gagne garage sale with a weird tie-dye look to it. Bob Caudle picks Rich, while Ross picks Bigelow. Rich is so tan here. Wow. He could qualify as the first black NWA World Champion with this look. Rich gets a 2 off a corner charge misses and he moves from that into a corner mount punch that Bigelow turns into an inverted atomic drop. Bigelow gets a press slam and a Frankenstein monster choke that results in a DQ. Well, that's very shitty. The match itself wasn't all that good, and the finish didn't help anyone. Bigelow is moving around a bit like Cactus Jack here - it's very different from his usual stuff. Bigelow said I'LL KILL EVERYBODY. Nah dude, you lost to Tommy Rich. Captain Mike, hopefully as a boat captain and the Z-Man face the Samoan Swat Team next!

But first, a BIG VAN VADER HYPE VIDEO! Lots of New Japan stuff here to hype up his Great American Bash debut. Gary Capetta's introducing El Gigante, who will also make his in-ring debut at the Bash. He'll be in a 6-man with JYD, which sure seems to indicate that JYD won't walk out as champion. His shiny silver ninja getup sucks. Capetta does this interview in Spanish, which is a nice touch. It's a very generic happy babyface deal, and Capetta tripping over things didn't help. NEXT, Flyin Bryan vs. Mean Mark - well, which is it? It's the tag match!

The SSTs are Fatu and the Savage, while Captain Mike IS A BOAT CAPTAIN, and the Z-Man is just the Z-Man. The SSTs have Beefacke-esque gear with a mesh cutout on the side that just looks odd. Jim Ross puts over a nerve pinch as being painful, and something everyone's had done to them. A Samoan drop sets up a a flying headbutt, but Rotunda replaces Z-Man and they do a, the fuck!? Rotunda looks NOTHING LIKE HIM. NOTHING. The heels and the ref look like morons here, and the cradle used to win was terrible-looking. Brian-Mark is next.

We get clips of Mean Mark's heart punch, gut punch, flying elbow, flying lariat, and spinning toe-hold with slaps. Taker in just trunks doesn't flatter him in the slightest - the bodysuit-ish gear was a huge upgrade. Pillman is in blue trunks, blue kneepads, and white boots - I never remember him in anything but orange trunks. Pillman hits a dropkick, but it barely budges Mark, who boots him off the apron into the barricade. Pillman goes for a crucifix, but Mark backs him into the buckles - now there's a good counter that needs to be brought back. Mark hits a flying elbow that looks worlds better than the one Hayes did earlier. Jim Ross puts over how Paul E's hair is designed to cover up his bald spots - amazing! Seeing Paul E out there as his manager makes his epic streak-ending promo earlier this year seem that much more important. Sideslam from Mark, who's got a U.S. Title match with Luger at the Bash. Big legdrop from Mark misses. Pillman skins the cat on an over the top toss to prevent a DQ and hits a missile dropkick. Mark catches him off a crossbody and hot shots him for the win. RNR Express-Midnights are up next.

BUT FIRST, a Tony-Sting promo. He says DUDES WITH ATTITUDES ARE HERE and that's about it. The RNR Express cut a green screen promo in front of a moving train, which looks stupid, and then their graphic airs and it looks hilarious! The Midnights also get a train, and a far better looking graphic - I'd buy a shirt with it. Cornette's got a dark turquoise jacket, pink shoes, a pink tie, black slacks, and a pink and green racket cover. Wow. According to Caudle, he signs before matches because HIS PARENTS ARE DEAF AND DUMB! Well, that's definitely not politically-correct. You can't go wrong with an RNR-Midnights match. You can go wrong with a Doug Furnas-Barry Windham match though, and that's after this. Caudle puts over the U.S. Tag Titles being on the line between four-time World champions and the only team to hold both the World and U.S. Titles at once in the Midnights. I always loved the idea of having U.S. Tag Titles when you've got a talent-rich division - you get two on-paper draws instead of one. Ross puts over Flair training Stan Lane and Vanna White being a friend of Stan. This is a great back and forth match. They've done some striking with Stan, while the RNRs are keeping it mat-based. Ross buries Cornette's getup as being from a Miami Vice garage sale - nope, not even remotely accurate. The RNRs yellow and black gear is nice. MORTON FLIES OVER EATON ON A SUPERPLEX into an O Connor roll for 2. Holy Jesus that was terrifying. Nice stereo sunset/O' Connor rolls get 2 from the RNRs. Ross mentions that when the RNRs left the NWA that they'd been done, but that they came back and fans weren't impressed - but now they are. That's a great way to bury a face team for leaving, but still put them over. Spinning suplex from Eaton - basically a slingshot suplex minus the ropes, so it's right out of FPR and I really need to add it to my Eaton creation there. Eaton misses a corner charge and takes an amazing bump off the post before Morton tags Gibson! Punches and a kneelift from Robert! Cactus clothesline from Morton to Eaton. Morton tosses Eaton off the apron to the barricade. Stan shoves the Express together. Eaton nails a double axehandle off the top to Robert when he had a sleeper, BUT IT ONLY GETS 2! DOUBLE DROPKICK but Stan grabs the ref at 2.9! It's a DQ, but they keep fighting and the ref ducks a double clothesline in a nice touch. RNRs do the leaping high five bit. Really good match - not big on the finish though.

Windham and Furnas get jobber intros. Furnas has an amazing permed mid-length hairdo here. Furnas is jacked, oily, and darker than Tommy Rich. Windham was a great opponent for Furnas because he's so good as a base for him, but his physique just makes Furnas's look even better. Furnas botches a backflip counter in the corner, but still pulls it off and nails a military press. Jim Ross is amazed at the size of Doug's thighs, which are on display prominently during a corner mount punch. Furnas chops the daylights out of Windham in the corner. Windham hits a clothesline and does the intense Dreamer pose mid-ring. Small package gets 2 for Doug. Barry gets him up for what I guess is an atomic drop, but the camera doesn't show the landing. Doug gets a belly to belly, a wedgie, and a 2 off a 69 pin. Dropkick sends Barry over the top. Barry gets a German suplex with his feet on the ropes for the win. Not a fan of the cheating finish - a floatover superplex using the ropes would've done the same heelish thing, but put over his finisher and looked better. Luger-Sid is next.

Sid in a tux, and with a horse video says he's FUEL-INJECTED. He's definitely injected with something. Ole's out with Sid, and LUGER'S GOT HIS KICK-ASS THEME! This is easily the best theme he ever used - it gets you pumped instantly. Luger's the U.S. Champ, but doesn't have the belt. His hot pink gear isn't his best look. Luger jumps Sid while Ole's in, and Ole calls Sid over resulting in a clothesline for an instant win. Wow! This was brilliantly-booked in the sense that it was a surprise, but the right kind of surprise. Steiners face Doom next, and WCW's got SNME-style graphics for them.

Rick's got black, pink, and yellow cosmic-looking gear, while Scott's dressed like a bee. Simmons and Reed are unmasked, and their graphic says DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOM. Their theme is awesomely-bad. It's like bad background music from Miami Vice. Rick's gear looks so much better than Scott's here. They talked about Ole costing Sid the match, and that sets up kicking Ole out smartly. A fan holds up a TBS - Tough Body Scotty sign. Teddy is basically 1991 in a nutshell with his silly getup. Nice slam from Scott to each Doom member. Nice toss into the buckle leading to a rabbit lariat to Ron from Scott. Simmons by this point already had his jersey retired - wow! Reed and Scott do a shoulder charge pissing contest, but Reed pusses out by doing a leapfrog, leading to a backslide. I loved that, and the struggle from Scott to do the move. Rick Steiner with a perm looks weird. Reed's punches, clubs, and kicks look awful - and they're all he's doing. Reed begs off in the corner, so Rick does the rug pull bit on him. O'Connor roll gets 2 on Butch from Rick. More clubbing and axehandles. Ross puts over how important an education is, and how smart the Steiners were to get their degrees early on. A fan holds up a light blue-text on whiteboard "Doom is Doomed" sign that is nearly impossible to read. Reed misses a corner knee leading to a Rick double sledge. Each guys gets a tag. PERFECT dropkick from Scott. Wow. Butch has a chain and hits Scott with the INTERNATIONAL OBJECT after a superplex for the win. Tony's with JYD, who looks at least 325 pounds here. JYD looks like his own father here compared to even his WWF run. He'll have THE DUDES WITH THE ATTITUDES with him to look after him. Arn faces Orndorff next. I only remember Orndorff from '92 and on, so this will be fun.

Orndorff's promo was rather bad, and here is where it's clear that WCW's production values are beneath even the early Abrams UWF days where they at least had good lighting. The 4 Horsemen graphic looks terrible, and has the hand in the wrong direction. Arn's ring jacket has the far superior Horsemen logo that was used through the '97 run of the team. Onrdorff grabs the TV Title, which he would go on to hold, but not this particular belt, so I enjoyed seeing him wear it briefly here. Arn telegraphs a monkey flip leading to Paul raking the face with his boots. They exchange really basic wrestling holds here. Paul's backslide gets a 2.5, and he outpunches Arn! Paul locks on "THE SLEEP HOLD!" Was Ross watching some World Class before this? Headbutt to the gut from Arn doesn't do much, as Paul drops a knee on Arn's knee before doing a figure four. I remember him having an epic counter war with this move in MSW in a match with Ted DiBiase. Paul does a sunset flip with the tights, resulting in a big pop and a variety of moon jokes from Ross and Caudle. Arn does an abdominal stretch with the rope. Ross puts over Mr. Wrestling II being a ref at the Omni in possibly his last match at the Omni. Arn denies using the ropes, resulting in Ross saying he's done a lot of reffing himself, and he's never heard anyone actually admit to cheating! Ross puts over Flair versus the "over 300 pound JYD!". Well, at least he's honest. Paul hits a crappy atomic drop knocking Arn into the buckle, and knocking Arn's head into his face for a double-down. They trade punches in the corner, with Paul winning that with some shuffling blows before going to mounted punches in the corner. Paul hits a jumping forearm after a leapfrog and gets 2. Big running kneelift from Paul leads tot he wacky elbow for another 2 due to the lack of holding the leg. Arn gets the knees up for a pump splash before locking in a small package for 2 that Paul turns into a better-looking one for 3! Good match here, but nothing too exciting. Visually, this made perfect sense since Paul's cradle looked so much better. Horsemen interview is next.

Ole talks about the losses, but hypes up Flair tonight. Flair says that Barry destroyed Furnas, and Double A did the same to Orndorff. JYD gets a big band intro, which sure would look cool if the area was actually lit well. A really nice Big Gold graphic airs setting up a goofy-lookinig Flair airbrush next to it. Flair is a six-time world champion at this point, which is just amazing given how he'd be a ten-time champion by '93 and now, seemingly everyone is at least a five-time champ. Flair gets a lot of cheers during his intro and some woos, cited as being due to him being a legend in his own time. They exchange slaps and JYD wins that battle. Flair's yellow and black gear looks surprisingly good. Ross talks about how thick JYD is. Flair drops down, but eats a JYD headbutt! JYD punches Flair to the ramp! Flair's giving JYD time to catch his breath mid-ring. Flair begs off before an eye rake and chest chop. JYD no-sells and Flair moves all around him before some corner mount punches. Flair eats a clothesline coming out of the corner. JYD eats corner chops and punches that result in some wincing before a snapmare and knee drop are no-sold because Flair hit his head. Huge JYD chant broke out. Ross puts over how much JYD eats. More punch exchanges lead to JYD throwing some fiery right hands. That's as close to a flash of the old JYD as we've gotten here. He just didn't have much in him physically. Flair snaps the neck on the rope and JYD doesn't even go down for it. Flair hits him with a chair to the head, which isn't a DQ, or even a verbal warning, and it's no-sold. More corner punches from JYD. He does the flip, goes off the to, but eats a punch. Flair begs off, but gets thrown into the buckle and goes back for a backdrop. Flair hits a knee to the back resulting in ONE BUMP. Flair goes up and it's slam time. JYD'S WALKING TALL! Big headbutt and mounted punches. Ole's in for a DQ, and now the Horsemen are out. They bully refs, and the Dudes take their sweet time coming out to save. PAUL ORNDORFF IS A DUDE WITH ATTITUDE. I'm sure this made some sense at the time, but wow does he just not fit in with this group. Sting brawling in bike shorts is just odd. Rocky King cuts a fired-up promo on the Horsemen. Sting calls Ross "Rossy!'. Yikes. Sting wants a GAB title match and with the Dudes, it'll be an even match. I'M FIRED UP NOW, ROSSY! The Horsemen run down the ramp and Gigante...just stands there and lets them. The show ends with Sting running wild on Flair and IF YOU CALL THE HOTLINE, YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

WWE Raw 7-28-14

With all the TNA stuff going on, I really don't care about Raw. Maybe they'll announce Devitt's signing, but they've yet to even do KENTA's. The show-opening video focuses on THE REAL MAIN EVENT ANGLE - the Bella drama! OVERLY DRAMATIC MUSIC! This is so bad, it's good. Okay, the Hunter bit does make this amazing. And then there's Brock in clip form kicking Cena's ass from 2012 to hype up the 2014 match. Well what the hell, might as well just act like that's the build for this match. Cena's out. The top two world titles of the past 50 years are just jewelry. Cole's "WE WANT TO STIR YOUR INTEREST INTO WHAT'S GOING ON AT THIS MOMENT IN RAW!" was so smooth... Cena said Plan C was the man he hoped it would never be. Why? HE BEAT HIM! "THE MEMBERS OF THE WWE UNIVERSE! THOSE WHO GET TUCKED IN AT NIGHT, AND THOSE WHO DON'T!" Fuck. This. Promo. Why. Is he. Talking. Like. This!? Cena wonders what could happen to the title!? IT COULD BE JEWELRY! Paul Heyman saved this just by saying his name is Paul Heyman. Heyman says HE'S GOING TO BE VICTIMIZED! Rock and Roll Express sign too. Heyman says no one's heard from Taker since WM. Brock's not just going to F5 Cena and pin him, HE IS GOING TO VICTIMIZE JOHN CENA WITHOUT MERCY! After Summerslam, Cena won't be champion - he'll be beaten, victimized, and CONQUERED! CENA WANTS TO TALK REAL. Amazing. Cena brought up ECW chants. YAY MORE ECW CHANTS IN 2014! Cena says that HE HAS PASSION, BUT BROCK DOESN'T HAVE HEART! HE'S HEADED TO SUMMERSLAM AS CHAMP AND WALKING OUT WITH THE SON OF A BITCH! Cesaro comes out to hug Heyman. He said he's not with him, but Heyman's his friend. Cesaro insults Cena's K-Mart shoes. I'M SURE THAT'LL MAKE THEM HAPPY. What a burial of WWE too since they just said K-Mart was low-end and they were overjoyed to be partnered with them. And Cena can't wrestle either. Cesaro-Cena is the opener.

Cena "outwrestled" Cesaro with a shitty monkey flip and chinlock. Cena's rana is genuinely terrifying. Proving that Cena can wrestle is just showcasing his weaknesses. The TNA roster should start tweeting about Raw tonight. Might as well try and get on the Twitter crawl. Cena takes Cesaro out with a shitty clothesline/running punch-ish thing. Saying that Cena can't wrestle just to have him go out "and wrestle" has backfired terribly. Predictably though. They came back with flying tackles but Cesaro hits a DDT for 2. CENA'S CORE STRENGTH counters the swing for 2. Batista bomb gets 2. DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX GETS 2! Cesaro counters a flying tornado DDT into the swing and then a weird ankle lock/Edgeucator combo! Protobomb! Fist drop. Cena rolls through a crossbody for an AA that is countered into the lifting uppercut for 2.9! They traded boots and Cesaro went back up, but ate a SUPER AA FOR THE WIN! This got really good after the break, but was basically every other match they've had minus the Super AA. That finish will likely be used at Summerslam to tease a nearfall, making this match a major part of the story if that happens. Steph told Hunter that she couldn't GO BACK THERE - she can't stand her daughter's looks anymore. Stephanie...acting like a total babyface here. Orton's pissed about not being in the main event - well, the poster shows Brock-Cena, so yeah, that ain't happening. They yelled about all of the important plot details. If Orton wants his shot, he needs to take Reigns out. BUT HE CAN'T DO IT TONIGHT BECAUSE REIGNS FACES KANE. WHY!?

THE NWO TOOK OVER THE WWE NETWORK PLUG! Paige and her ass skipped down to ringside. Paige said she's young and MIGHT HAVE crossed the line last week. AND SHE'LL NEVER ACT THAT WAY EVER AGAIN! AJ called her a Casper-looking crumpet. AJ said Paige has been wanting the divas title her whole life. She worked her entire life for a title that's been around for six years!? Paige said she was crazy. Aw snap, SHE CALLED HER THE C WORD! AJ attacked, and this was pretty good stuff.

The Authority is out. They recapped the jail stuff with some terrible audio mixing. HHH IS STILL ANGRY ABOUT THE JAIL THING! Nice jailbird chant. Steph's charges were all dropped except the assault charge. They've invited Brie here to put things behind them. Steph kind of spoke into a mic about Brie coming down, BUT JERICHO DID INSTEAD! Jericho the rock star showed up looking all dapper. Jericho expressed sympathy for Steph by singing the Cops theme. COPS - AIRING RIGHT BEFORE IMPACT! Amazing. Jericho brings up why HHH didn't leave with Steph immediately. Rollins jumped him and HHH made a match. So you can call his wife a ho and only face one guy? Nikki facing 5 people seems really disproportionate.

Miz's new gimmick is so amazing. And he's teaming with Rybaxel! They're facing Dolph and the Usos, so I guess that'll be the IC/Tag PPV match setup. Miz should really get white gear that matches the rest of his getup. They talked about Woods's group. Woods as the talker in a black militant group with Truth likely being in it seems very wrong. Nice Uso dive off the barricade to set up the break.  Woods, Big E, and Kofi look fantastic in business attire. Miz tags in, cheapshots an Uso, and tags in Ryback! The crowd wants Dolph and gets him...and he does nine billion things at 10,000 MPH. Flying Uso as Cole referenced The Poseiden Adventure in 2014. Zig Zag wins. The Nation of Education did nothing. Truth's out. Did the NoE come out in the wrong segment? Bo's out. We've seen this match at least a few times before, right? Bo says he's lost a lot of matches - BUT ONE DAY HE'LL WIN, IF HE BO-LIEVES! Bo did the victory lap. I have a bad feeling Truth's winning this. Yup. Schoolboy. Bo attacked with the mic and shitty-looking offense. He did a ring skirt beating, and that is one shiny red ring skirt. Nice double arm DDT. Can't wait for Mick to bitch about not getting mentioned with it. HHH-Steph-Jericho recap.

WWE.COM SHOWED A SHELL SHOCKED VIDEO AND RYBACK WASN'T IN A TMNT SKIT TONIGHT!? Rusev and Lana are out with #Russia as their deal. Lana cut an anti-America promo and knocked Obama. This gimmick will never end just so Vince can get out his frustrations with Obama. Zeb put over the flag with 50 stars and 13 bars! Zeb as a babyface patriot is amazing. AMERICA REPRESENTS PICKUP TRUCKS, PRETTY GIRLS, AND BEER! A massive USA chant broke out during all this, then they brawled and the chant got louder.  Rusev's sent out with the ankle lock and a pair of boots to the face. King said we've got the U.S. and Russia in a Mexican standoff.

Cole said Houston, we have a problem, leading to Sandow saying the same thing dressed as an astronaut. Rose and the Rosebuds came out. The bunny is the best part of the act. Rose calls him a sour little spaceman. Rose won with a Party Foul that looked worse than a bear's snapmare. Ambrose isn't on the show tonight due to promotional work, but he'll face ADR on ME tomorrow. Why is Ambrose, an enemy of the Authority, doing WWE Corporate work? Orton and Reigns brawled in the crowd before he Superman punched Kane off the apron, and then ate a chokeslam. Orton's right eye is all busted up, and he looks old in the face. "Roman cost Orton his shot" makes very little sense. THEY BRAWLED, which is enough to nix a planned match for that night - but not weeks in advance. JBL spewed bullshit about how you only get to main event Summerslam once in a lifetime. They brawled and brawled. Draping DDT on the floor off the barricade - that should be a special in 2K15. Then Orton talked smack for nine hours. RKO on the table, but it didn't break, so he redid it. Wow, it's only 10:08. This dragged on for ages.

They recapped the angle, and showed off JBL's bright tan shoes. Fandango's dancing mid-ring. Summer Lay came out in hot matador outfits with whatever Primo's character is. Diego. Cole tried to get Slayers over as the Summer/Lay team name. #THEBULLSTWERKINMAGGLE led to a sunset flip distraction win. They kissed the bull and he fainted. JBL said he was molested and King laughed. Nikki and Steph met so Nikki could say she hoped Steph liked the taste of a plate of crap. Well, that's pleasant. It's also a WWE NETWORK EXCLUSIVE! LOL. After Domino's buries the cookie pizza in ads, Pizza Hut brings it back. Stardust did a goofy blackboard gag. WHAT. THE FUCK. IS THE POINT. OF ANY. OF THIS! Naomi and Nattie had a bad match against Alicia and Cameron. Naomi won with a headscissor choke.

The Summerslam card of TWO MATCHES was recapped and Jericho came out to face Seth. Jericho and Seth brawled while they talked about Jericho taking credit for everything. This led to of all things an Al Gore joke in 2014. Astonishing. Jericho was a fine surly old man here, just kicking Seth whenever he could. Seth took an amazing bump for the triangle dropkick. They came back to a post-break resthold and showed the over the top bump Jericho took on the app. Turnbuckle flatliner. They teased a sunset bomb, but it turned into a super backdrop from Jericho. Flying crossbody gets 2.9! SETH TOOK A FLIP BUMP FOR A BACK ELBOW! This ruled! Schoolboy got 2. Seth spun out of the walls on the rope and hit a kick. Seth springboarded into a codebreaker! Hillbilly teleport! Bray was in a new wacky Hawaain shirt! Abigail to Jericho! HHH and Steph walked backstage. PURE SPORTS BUILD CENA-BROCK VID!

 Steph talked about representing FOUR GENERATIONS OF MCMAHONS, and now she's just a common criminal. HER DAUGHTERS DON'T UNDERSTAND IT! Steph's kids are being bullied! THEIR FRIENDS AREN'T BEING STARS! Brie came out through the crowd...sorta with her theme. Brie caller her a rich bitch. Brie's married to a multi-millionaire and her sister is a rich bitch. "I may have taken advantage of your sister Nikki in some regard. Well, who hasn't? Steph agreed to give Nikki a raise, and Brie said sure, IF SHE GETS HER JOB BACK. Didn't she quit? Oh, and Brie will drop the charges to get her job back, agreed, and wants a match. They are moving at a Ziggler-like pace through this angle. Steph said she can't wrestle - she's too devoted to her kids right now. Brie threatened legal action if she didn't get a match. Steph cried yes yes yes for the match. Loved Steph giving her a rich bitch slap and saying she'd make her her bitch. Steph got a huge chant for this. IT'S JAMIE NOBLE, BOY and Finlay tried to end the catfight. This got awesome and then Steph did the yes bit. I  think she's the face now.

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NJPW 2014 G1 Day 4

Going through day 4 now and I'm loving it! Fale-Kojima was just about perfect for a Fale match. DBS Jr-Shelton was fine, although it's odd seeing Jr. with so much hair. SUZUKI-TENZAN IS THEM JUST HITTING EACH OTHER. And it's glorious! Tenzan blocks the Gotch piledriver, so Suzuki's all like "okay, fuck you AND YOUR JAW!" and knees the hell out of him! Suzuki makes the mistake of running into a Mountain Bomb though. SUZUKI GETS HIM UP FOR THE PILEDRIVER BUT TENZAN SHIFTS HIS WEIGHT! Tenzan hits...what can generously be called a spinning wheel kick. Big Daddy V honestly got more height on it, and it was nowhere near the face even with Suzuki leaning down...yeah just never do that again. This was overdelivering a ton until that point, then I just got sad. Diving headbutt misses, so Suzuki nails him with a running kick and then does a neck crank suplex into a chokeout for the win. I so want to make Suzuki in FPR after this! Yano-Goto is non-stop action with some fast forearms, kicks, a corner spinkick, and backdrop for 2.9! YANO WINS VIA LOW BLOW AND CRADLE! This ruled!

Honma-Ishii starts off smartly with Ishii winning a shoulder block war. FOREARM TIME! Now Honma wins the shoulder block war! He misses a headbutt though, so it's headbutt/elbow time! He chops Honma down hard and cockily kicks his face - that won't end well. MID-RING CHOP EXCHANGE! Ishii gets a chain of headbutts before a suplex back and forth spot is won by Honma with a Cesaro-style deadlift! Honma lands some corner chops, running corner forearm, and a Jericho bulldog before ANOTHER MID-RING CHOP EXCHANGE! This one's got sweat flying off so it looks awesome too. Damn - even the ref is getting into this! HONMA LANDS THREE CHOPS AND WINS THE BATTLE! HE FINALLY HITS THE FALLING HEADBUTT TOO! A huge Honma chant broke out before some standing forearms were landed, but Ishii responds with ONE and takes Honma down! Backdrop into a cover gets 2 for Ishii. An Ishii corner lariat is met with a corner-bouncing one from Honma. A snap piledriver from Honma gets 2! They exchange elbows before Honma SPIKES HIM WITH A DDT! They lariat each other three times in a bull run before Honma wins on the third. Diving headbutt misses and opens Ishii up to deliver a delayed superplex for 2. A scary Ishii powerbomb results in a small head drop, so they ditch that for some headbutts and a folding powerbomb for 2. Honma gets an SOS for 2 and a throwing German suplex! Running lariat>brainbuster for 2.9! Honma goes a shouldermount powerslam, but Ishii gets out leading to MACHINE GUN SLAPS AND ELBOWS! Ishii hits a running lariat for 2.9! Delayed brainbuster from Ishiii gets the win! Good God that was one of the best matches I've seen all year.

Archer-Makabe is up. God, Archer looks so gigantic in New Japan. It's amazing that he went form being reasonably-pushed in TNA to a nothing act in WWE to a very well-respected act in New Japan. Good little match here, which Makabe wins with a sick flying kneedrop off the top. SWAGSUKE-NAGATA! The Anti-Aging Hero is out after Swagsuke and they exchange basic holds to start. Swagsuke gets up from getting knocked down in the most charismatic way possible - his body language is easily the best in the business. Nice running PRIDE knee to Nagata from Swagsuke. Nagata is eating knees to the gut, but his face says DO NOT FUCK WITH ME BOY! Nagata fights back with a running knee to the gut when Nakamura tries to do a running knee in the corner - nice! Corner Yakuza kick from Nagata! Nice elbow block from Nakamura for an exploder. He finally gets it! AND ANOTHER ONE GETS...2! Nagata can't get a suplex, so he knees the gut before Nakamura does the same. Cocky kicks and slaps from Swagsuke! DO NOT SNAP NAGATA! There you go - kick the gut! Oh no, COCKY KICKS! Nagata has taken exactly enough of this shit! IT'S HARD SLAP TIME! KNEES TO THE GUT! NAGATA RULES! Flying knee from Nakamura, but he's too hurt to follow up! Corner kicks to the ribs from Swagsuke! Running corner knee, but a ground knee is countered into the crossface Nagata lock! Nakamura counters into an armbar, and then a triangle! OMAPLATA COUNTER! Tons of kicks from Nagata! Nakamura fights off a suplerplex, BUT NAGATA WON'T STAY DOWN! He finally gets taken down and a flying knee hits! BACK AND FORTH ELBOW EXCHANGE! Nagata ducks kicks and hits a pinwheel kick! O CONNOR ROLL INTO A GERMAN SUPLEX! Namaura blocks a backdrop driver! Not for long though! 2.9! A wrist clutch exploder is countered with a knee and another knee hits! 2.9! The play by play guy is marking out! BOMBYAE WINS! This ruled!

Styles-Naito time. Naito's ring jacket looks ridiculous. Nice basic matwork before strikes are involved. AJ's getting older, but his flying kneedrop is still beautiful. He's fucking up Naito something fierce with kneeling elbows to the forehead. Naito gets some elbows before an eye poke. Naito takes an amazing bump for the springboard Misawa elbow! Pendulum backbreaker from AJ gets 2. Naito backdrops AJ to the floor and AJ whips his face onto the apron. Double clothesline on the floor! Naito lands a snapmare, a sliding kick, and a gorgeous somersault senton before going up top for a missile dropkick. AJ slides out of a superplex attempt to take him down on the ropes. SNAP SUPLEX INTO THE BUCKLE! I demand that make it into the games! Naito avoids the Clash, but eats the Pele kick! Bloody Sunday! Another Clash attempt, but Naito's locked his hands to prevent it. Nice corner dropkick from Naito! SUPER RANA COUNTERED INTO A CLASH, but Naito counters and hits AJ with a dropkick coming off the top. Everest German gets 2! AJ's KENTA combo gets countered by an enzuiguri! Naito hits an elbow and a pumphandle sideslam! STARDUST PRESS WINS FOR NAITO!

Anderson-Okada is up. Anderson will have none of Okada's wackiness and just beats him and his ally to start. Sliding kick from Okada. Apron pump kick from Anderson sends Okada to the floor. Karl dumps Okada chest first on the barricade. Okada beats the count but eats a single-armed camel clutch and a chinlock. Okada's flapjack gets a nip up and he dropkicks Anderson off the top after putting him up there. Bernard Driver hits for 2! Okada and Anderson get into an elbow/Euro uppercut exchange before a tombstone leads to a crazy Rainmaker>Gun Stun counter exchange and Anderson finally hits it for the win!

Shibata-Tanahashi time! They've got a cat and mouse game to start, with Tanahashi as the mouse avoiding the cats strikes. He eats some sick kicks after a while though. Tanahashi lucks out with some corner counter kicks, clubs, and a flying forearm. Somersault senton off the second rope gets 2. Shibata nails a knee to the ribs to keep him down. Tanahashi counters a kick into a dragon screw and the cloverleaf! MORE DRAGON SCREW ACTION! Tanahashi's bright yellow, black, with red and white trim gear looks great. ELBOW EXCHANGE TIME! Shibata wins that, hits a G2S, and nails a running kick for the win! This was an amazing show!

Examing the Future of TNA Wrestling Following Impact's Cancellation

Sunday night's announcement of the cancellation of TNA's Impact Wrestling was a huge surprise. TNA has been a regular part of the network since 2005, when it debuted there after the end of the company's own deal with FSN and the end of WWE's Viacom contract as well. The timing was perfect, but if things hadn't worked out, the company would have been folded. TNA being on Spike gave them a much stronger network home than FSN and saw them bring in well-known current names like Christian Cage in addition to names that had worked there in the past like DDP, Randy Savage, and Jeff Hardy. Now, after a period of reshuffling that has seen them finally get some rock-solid TV back on the airwaves, the company's entire future is in doubt.

TNA's financial woes have been well-documented in both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly publications, and they've been bleeding money since day one. The company's original business model of weekly pay-per-views was highly-flawed, as Jerry Jarrett's book outlines and led to them losing a lot of money. The inclusion of a crooked staff member led to them getting incorrect estimates for PPV buys, and within a few months, the company was in dire straits. Fortunately, Dixie Carter convinced her family to buy the company outright.

This move gave the company some financial stability and it steadily grew after a Jeff Jarrett-Raven match that was built up well and break all prior buyrate records for TNA. In 2004, they made their debut on Fox Sports 1 with TNA Impact. The show saw the debut of a six-sided ring in the United States and dramatically-increased production values. The weekly PPV concept died off in the fall of that year to set the stage for the company going with monthly PPVs starting in November of 2004. Their FSN deal ended in the summer of 2005 and their shows became internet-exclusive streams via Real Player until the fall, when they debuted on Spike.

Sunday's cancellation of TNA Impact Wrestling means that the group's future is once again uncertain. To make matters worse, the company's owners were looking for buyers last year, with Toby Keith reportedly being interested until an edict from Bob Carter stated that anyone who wanted to buy TNA had to use his daughter Dixie as an on-air character. This offer ended, and then the announcement came of Jeff Jarrett, the one-time part-owner and friend of Keith, leaving TNA and starting Global Force Wrestling.

The end of Impact on Spike could lead to Jarrett's group getting a slot, but they don't have much more than a logo and a bare-bones shop right now. While TNA Wrestling itself was started up in very little time, the standard of what you can throw on a weekly PPV and what you can put on national TV is a bit different. They could do things on the cheap for PPV if they needed, but that's not going to fly on national TV. If the Carters are looking to sell and Jeff's looking to buy, then perhaps he'll own the company once again and with the Carter-owned stink off of the company, maybe Spike will bring it back.

The recent news of Vince Russo sending an e-mail to Mike Johnson of PWInsider instead of Mike Tenay, along with Dave Meltzer reporting on Wrestling Observer Radio that Spike doesn't like Russo, would seem to indicate that the timing is more than coincidental. Spike losing its ability to trust TNA would definitely give them a reason to cancel TNA Impact under its current ownership, and that single e-mail could have accelerated the end of TNA. TNA's overspending has gone on for the better part of 12, with it only really getting reigned in over the past year.

Higher-priced contracts came due and the company didn't renew them. This led to AJ Styles being considered one of the greatest workers in the world in New Japan Pro Wrestling, instead of being used in a crack-addict storyline in TNA, while Kazarian and Daniels tear it up in ROH instead of wrestling comedy acts, and Sting is more newsworthy as a part of WWE 2K15's roster than he's been as an active member of TNA's roster.

Spike's had a strong history of pro wrestling on its station for 15 years now, starting with ECW, and the recent rumors from Jim Ross about Sinclair Broadcasting looking to sell ROH could be a boon for that company if Spike's in a buying mood. The company has no real stink on it like the TNA name does, and a move to Spike would remedy their production issues - especially if they're completely-owned by the company. ROH is also a serious product that makes for a slightly easier sell when you've also got an MMA property you want to sell. While using TNA Impact as a vehicle for Bellator made sense since Impact was the station's top-rated show, it was too big a tonal shift to work perfectly. Trying to sell a real sport on a show that treats everything as a joke is tough, but doing so on a show like ROH that takes things seriously would be an easier sell.

TNA's future would largely rely on another station being interested in them. Before WWE re-signed with NBC Universal, Dave Meltzer spoke of SmackDown being a good fit for FS1 since it has a lot of viewers and the show is always able to retain its audience. With that off the table, but TNA suddenly being available with over one million viewers each week, FS1 could be looking to add more programming that can give them more reliable viewership. UFC programming saturates the station to the point where ratings for individual shows can be scarily-low.

The future of the roster is in question as well. It's easy to imagine WWE legacy acts like the Hardys, Kurt Angle, Lashley, and MVP coming back in some form. The Hardys coming in for one last run is easy to imagine, while you can bring in Lashley and MVP right now and do that group as a wrestler/manager combination against Brock Lesnar and Heyman, with Angle coming in as a trainer for NXT and perhaps having a career-closing match at a WrestleMania alongside a Hall of Fame induction.

The status of homegrown TNA guys like James Storm and Bobby Roode is far less certain though. In the case of the former, you've got someone who felt like as close to a mainstream breakthrough star as TNA has ever had. Steve Austin endorsed him, used his theme for his own TV show, and he had a ton of momentum. TNA then destroyed it by not having him win against the evil-doer Robert Roode, who remains one of the best workers in the company and among the best wrestlers in his age bracket in the world today. With WWE in talks with Sting and Sting wanting one last match, Bobby Roode is by far the best option as he had several very good ones in TNA with Sting, and both would be more motivated to have better matches in WWE.

WWE could also be in the market to buy it in a fire sale, largely for the tape library. Doing that would give them a definitive set for Kurt Angle, Sting, Christian, and Mick Foley should they ever get on the same page again. Bobby Roode not getting a shot in WWE at some point would be a shame, so hopefully he's at least brought in as a trainer. Storm would be great as a promo coach there as well since it's unlikely they'd bring him in as a worker. Given his age, physique, greying hair, and lack of quality singles matches since his de-push, that's probably for the best.

It's a scary and uncertain time for non-WWE wrestling in North America, but with the launch of AAA on El Rey and some kind of shakeup happening with at least two other companies in the U.S., it should be exciting to see unfold. AAA will have Myzteziz as their primary act and it's easy to see them eventually getting Rey Mysterio Jr. to have a Mistico-Rey dream match that thankfully never happened in WWE. Hopefully the shakeup to the industry is minimal and TNA winds up with a new national deal, because pro wrestling in the U.S. has still never fully recovered from WCW's closure, and while TNA never reached its heights in any way, it's still a reasonably high-profile place to work and a lot of people are relying on that company staying open to provide for their families. The end of TNA has been rightfully predicted since day one, but they've been able to survive everything up until this point - hopefully they can get through this rough patch as well.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

WWE SD 7-25-14

Raw recap opens the show before a generic SD intro. Usos face Rybaxel while JBL says that the APA were friends first, but these guys weren't. They had a long, but nothing match until Axel rolled the wrong Uso in and lost via a cradle. Miz TV was wacky. He interviewed his parents about how great it is to have a Hollywood star as a son, but he was shocked that "Ramen Reigns" was her favorite WWE superstar. Bo and Dolph came out to say words before Bo attacked Dolph. So after being a face-ish thing on Raw, he's a heel again. Dolph is facing Bo, and Miz is on commentary saying HIS INTERVIEW WITH HIS PARENTS WASN'T SCRIPTED! Bo pins Dolph with an O'Connor roll after Miz distracted him. So Dolph's an idiot.

DEAN AMBROSE FACES CESARO IN A NO DQ MATCH! Loved Dean stomping a mudhole into Cesaro, then standing on his shoulder. Cesaro boots Ambrose off the apron when he tries to grab kendo sticks and chairs. Dean went for an axehandle smash with the kendo stick ala WWF No Mercy on the N64, but Cesaro countered with a cane shot to the gut! Cesaro chokes him with a stick before getting bonked by the Nigel lariat. Dean nails him with the stick a few times before doing the White Russian legsweep and getting 2. CESARO EATS A SNAP SUPLEX ONTO A CHAIR! OUCH! Ambrose nails New Jack's 187 off the second rope for 2. Dean throws nine billion chairs into the ring! Seth attacks, but gets sent over the timekeepr's area by Dean. DEADLIFT SUPERPLEX ONTO THE CHAIRS! 2.9! That move should be a finish anyway, but THAT SHOULD'VE BEEN A FINISH! Small package wins - offering up the second small package pin tonight. Seth attacks anyway, so why not just wave this off and make it a no contest? Neutralizer to Dean.

Paige and her cute ass skipped down to face Naomi. Cameron distracts Naomi leading to the Rampaige DDT and the PTO. The Dust Brothers did goofy bullshit. Bray killed Truth. Roman came out to face Alberto in a long-ish match for Roman. Alberto destroyed both arms on the post, which I liked. Roman powers out of the draping armbar by lifting him to the top and uppercutting him down. Alberto misses a shoulder charge, eats a Superman punch and a spear.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

TNA Impact 7-24-14

The first 8:30 Cops segment features a parolee stealing a car. Also, BLACK PEOPLE LOVE DENNY'S - AN ABSOLUTELY NOT RACIST COMPANY IN ANY WAY. The second part is a slightly older couple fighting, the guy's father is involved, and it's just a cluster since neither can really tell a story that makes sense. A guy is driving a car with burnt out plates, but he doesn't have his license, and the passenger owns it, but it's in his cousin's name - he's going to be gifted the car. Oh this will be fun. The driver's got a heroin needle on him and a crack pipe. The driver won't let him search, and still won't even when he's told doing so will likely be resulted in it being impounded. His brother needs the car for work, but the guy still won't let him do it. He agrees and there's black tar heroin. Wow.

Aries is shown walking backstage, and the opening video is all about Bully-Dixie. So much for the World Title being the most important thing. Roode's falls count anywhere match with MVP starts the show. The building is still lit horribly and it looks so small. OH MY GOD, there's a fan with wacky blue shades and and attached plastic mustache! A really fat, white tattooed chick is dancing to MVP's theme but MVP isn't coming out. MVP doesn't want to work - okay, why is he in his gear?  Roode goes to the back and they brawl. This is just awkward. There's a good way to do this and this isn't it. They brawl backstage to the ringside area. MVP can barely move. MVP and Roode brawled into an area at ringside that closely resembled the empty area in the Vincent-Stevie Ray street fight. Taz couldn't think of what chairs are called and blamed it on head shots. I guess Bully didn't teach him the "right way" to take them. MVP straddles the guardrail to do comedy spots. MVP hits a low blow and it sends Roode 10 feet into the air like a Mortal Kombat uppercut. Roode and MVP battle over a suplex on the ramp, which Roode executes before King comes out. EY takes him out. MVP nails a couple of chairshots to Bobby. MVP stops to try and kick a chair into Bobby, but Roode avoids it and kicks the leg. Roode attacks BOTH LEGS WITH A CHAIR. Roode locks on the shittiest sharpshooter ever done by a Canadian for the win. Lashley-Hardy recap. The crazy step bump only got one replay here. Hardy's up next to talk. Well, better that than WILL-OW!

They recapped the Bully/Tommy tag from last week. Dixie looked like a grandmother in a backstage interview talking about the 3D/Dreamer 6-man tag tonight. DIXIE SAID SHE'D STAND OVER BULLY'S DEAD BODY TONIGHT. Wow. Tenay's commentary is left channel-heavy for some reason. Jeff came out looking like a walking corpse. They showed two replays of the insane swanton on the steps. Hardy said we haven't seen the end of Willow - which drew some boos. Jeff says he's brought in someone for TNA'S FUTURE. HE'S 3 YEARS OLDER THAN JEFF, HE'S COLD-BLOODED, GOT A GREAT MIND FOR PRO WRESTLING - MATTHEW MOORE HARDY! Matt got a polite applause - he needs a new, non-shitty theme. Matt said their goal as kids was to be tag champs and they've done that. Matt had to fix himself the past couple of years though. Matt thinks that 2014 is THE YEAR OF THE HARDY BOYS! He wants to win the gold at Destination X. Wolves-Hardys should be quite good - well, if it was the Wolves versus the Hardys of around 2007 when they were solid workers in every way, it would be even better. Eddie looks nice. Davey looks ridiculous in a shirt that's a few sizes too big and a skinny tie. Match is on for Destination X, and Aries is backstage teasing that he won't cash in the X Title. Why bother? Really now.

Robbie's back, and the Bro Mans have bright pink and white gear. Great promo work from the Bro Mans leading to DJZ AGAINST LOW-KI!? His black, blue, and white bodysuit matches the color scheme of the show perfectly and freshens his look up nicely. Totally forgot about Low-Ki. God, what a case of a guy being his own worst enemy. Unlike Teddy Hart, this is sad since he's actually ungodly great. Ki Krusher got the win - this was a fun squash. Bram and Magnus face Gunner and Anderson next. Shaw and Gunner joked about Shaw being normal by NYC standards. ANDERSON WAS A COMPLETE DICKHEAD.

EC3, Rhino, and Spud (in blue) met. EC3 said he's from the MEAN STREETS! Dixie brought Mo in to say that he didn't take Rampage out, AND HER CREW NEEDS TO TAKE OUT BULLY'S CREW! Mo's got Dixie's back. This is a tad random, but I loved Rhino's line about a normal street fight having cops and this one not having any. Gunner vs. Bram here is like a mirror match. Magnus hits the Mark of Excellence/Spine Shaker on Anderson for the win. And then they just kept fighting, so why bother doing a finish then? Shaw saves Gunner from being hit with Mr. Turnbuckle. Bram hit him with it a few times, and then Gunner and Bram brawled until Abyss came out. You've got like five angles in this one mid-card deal. Aries makes his decision NEXT!

BUT FIRST we have to hear from Team 3D and Dreamer. They recapped Option C. Wow was the second X Title about a billion times better than the current one. Kurt came out as the "execlutive director of TNA." Aries got 2 sentences in before Lashley and MVP came out. MVP's shiny blue suit is amazing, and he's fantastic at putting Lashley over as a world-beater. A nice chant for Aries broke out. MVP told him to not cash the title in and just stick to flippy-doos. Aries bragged about Option C helping the division. It's true enough - the title means something for one night of the year instead of before, when it meant nothing 365 days a year beforehand. Aries says Lashley's not tougher than him. Factually incorrect. Aries cashes in to fuck with MVP. So...then he did the predictable thing. Aries says if he wins the title, he'll make Option D where the World champ gives the X Champ a shot any time he wants - basically enforcing the old U.S/IC Title is the default top contender - I like that.

We got an awesome recap of the first two Terrell-Kim matches, which were star-making - or at least as much as a match can be now. They recapped the Hardys-Wolves bit from before. There sure has been a lot of talking for a show hyped up as not being about talking. Taryn's out and her rack is amazing. Gail's is pretty rocking too. Gail and Taryn had another really good match. They started off exchanging cradles really quickly, and brought things up a notch with a flying Hart Attack from Terrell and a super arm drag from Gail. Nice corner charge from Gail into the missile dropkick for 2. Double crossbody into each other. A "you screwed Bret" chant broke out in 2014. Snap suplex led to Taryn doing a Moore-style neckbreaker. BPs attacked for a double DQ. Velvet's Misfits pants rule. MUTA IS NEXT!

Dixie talked with SOMEONE. JB, and his face that is as round as Dreamer's is square came out to introduce MUTA! Muta got a really good chant here and has fantastic gear on. Poor guy cannot move at all. Hulk Hogan is honestly more mobile. Robbie E came out to interrupt, and I suddenly wish the TV Title was on him, resurrected, and just killed off so Muta could hold it. Mist, power drive elbow, dragon screw, shining wizard. He got a "you still got it chant". Love him, but he doesn't. Storm's theme has a new whistle before it. Storm called him a washed-up wannabe legend. Storm spit beer in his face and hit Yasu. Sanada ran down with a chair before Storm leered at Sanada and he hit Muta with a chair and mists Yasu! MOONSAULT TO MUTA! Between all of this and Storm looking like Satan, this ruled!

Dixie and Mo chatted with JB in the balcony. The TNA owner is all but encouraging ECW chants. Amazing. Loved her saying that Dreamer's been-a bitchin' and she gave in years ago. Dixie's team came out to EC3's theme, while Dreamer started things off for his team - 3D got their own intro. Spud in his fantastic blue and silver gear were chucked right onto EC3 on the floor. They went to a break to show some clips of Destination X from next week. Cheese grater to the chest of EC3. Unlike at Slammiversary, it got blood here. Trash can lid to the head and an assisted cane shot to the balls to EC3. CAPTAIN SPUDDY ATTACKED DEVON! This leads to the Doomsday Device with Spud attempting to take a flip bump. Dreamer did the E-C-W! basement dropkick. Whazzup time for Rhino. Snitsky debuted with no name as Taz didn't know what to call him. Bully attacked. Dreamer did the White Russian legsweep to EC3. "BIG ZEKE HE USED TO GO BY" debuted. I love the idea of Dixie countering the original ECW with the REAL ECW - Vince McMahon's vision of it. Maybe Steph will give her a retweet. Heels won, and Zeke and Snitsky looked really fat in the black hoodies. Snitsky looks like Big Show now with a giant beard.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Raw 7-21-14

After WWE Dishwater underwhelmed last night, and Lana's promo caused a shitstorm because WWE wanted one while having some plausible deniability, Raw is going to be kind of exciting tonight in theory. The Fast Five credits theme is hilarious. DIS HOW WE ROLL. WE ROLL LIKE DIS! Oh yeah, we get Flo Rida tonight on Raw. Lots of Brock signs in the crowd to start. HHH, who wasn't on the PPV, starts the post-PPV show. HHH is going to name Cena's opponent for Summerslam tonight - well that sure comes out of nowhere. Cole said that you can talk about this with #kingofkings REALLY!? HHH IS VERY MAD TODAY, HE IS MADDER TODAY THAN HE'S BEEN IN A LONG TIME. But he has options! HE'S GONNA TWEET HIS DISPLEASURE! HE MIGHT EVEN SEND AN INSTAGRAM OR A VINE! AND BY GOLLY, IF HE AND HIS FRIEND MARK DON'T GET WHAT THEY WANT, THEY'RE GONNA RIOT! HHH said he's patient, and he can wait four weeks to ensure - nay, GUARAN-DAMN-TEE that Cena won't be WWE Champion. Orton bitched about being owed a one on one rematch - IT'S DAMN TRUE! HHH said he's the front-runner, but the whole roster will be able to pitch their case. I can't wait for Ryder's skit - Woo woo...NEXT! Orton said he would have won if Kane had done his job, leading to Kane coming out and saying HE KNOWS HE CAN BEAT JOHN CENA! He's tired of BABY-SITTING, leading to Roman coming out. Women going nuts over Roman here. Wow. Roman buried Kane-Cena or Orton-Cena 9000 - everyone wants Cena-Reigns! Roman shoved Kane. Great schoolyard shove there from Roman there. HHH made Roman-Kane/Orton RIGHT NOW. So Orton causes Kane to lose then. They showed the Superman Punch - it was that and not a shove. Damn they did a shitty job of shooting that before.

Roman and Orton punched. Then Roman and Kane punched. Kane hit some shitty back clubs to set up PUNCHING. Kane hit a slow basement dropkick leading to a nerve pinch. According to JBL, KANE IS ALL MUSCLE! BWAHAHA! Reigns got some control and they went to a break. VINTAGE POST-BREAK HEADLOCK brought the show back. Kane comes in. PUNCHES and a corner clothesline from Reigns. Sliding rev-up kick from Reigns to Kane. Thanks to one fan's Tweet, they tried to get The Roman Empire over as a thing. Randy abandons Kane, leading to a Superman Punch and a spear for the win. Bray will be a guest on the Highlight Reel. Bray should not be on these goofy things. THE HANDICAP MATCH TO END ALL HANDICAP MATCHES IS COMING! It's 4-on-1 against Nikki - there's a gangbang joke in there somewhere. Wasn't there a 6-on-1 match?

BATTLEGROUND WAS THE MOST SOCIALLY-ACTIVE SHOW ON TV! Oh, that chick I couldn't remember was Rosa. Wow has she done nothing in her career. Nikki has a new Fearless shirt. IT'S BRIE! In the crowd. Okay then. Steph blamed Brie for what Nikki was going through. Brie called her a bitch, and Steph told her to sit down. Brie then got a mic, because you can do that, and STEPH IS A VINDICTIVE BITCH! God that was shit - and the match hasn't even started! Alicia won with an axe kick to the back. They rolled Nikki out, and she must've popped out of her top because they went to a black screen. YAY IT'S BO! He's facing Sandow as Lebron again. They had a nothing match that peaked with Sandow saying "CLEVELAND, I'M COMING HOME!" and eating a Bodog for a loss. Cole plugged Jericho's ROCK METAL BAND Fozzy's new single. It actually seems okay.

WWE STAR SHEAMUS guest-stars on Royal Pains saying GET DA HELL OUTTA MY PEWL! No Highlight Reel due to SOMETHING ON THE WWE APP! Fuck right off with this shit. Thanks for telling us about this beatdown Cole. Sure beats ACTUALLY SEEING IT. Bray ran footage of the App COURTESY OF THE WWE APP! They beat him and Bray hummed. Okay then. Bray babbled like a brook until saying that losing a battle means nothing - WINNING THE WAR MATTERS! AND HE CREATED WAR, MAN! Bray said tons and tons of words before they saw him backstage. Truth had no idea what happened. CLEARLY HE HAS NOT YET DOWNLOADED THE WWE APP - THE GATEWAY TO THE WWE NETWORK! Flo-Rida met with Big E and Kofi because they're all black, and then Miz came out with a revamped intro and basically looking like Sonny Crockett without a shirt on underneath the blazer. He's basically playing what Don Johnson was - a minimally-talented guy who believed his own press.

The first thing we actually see from Battleground recaps the battle royal. Miz in all-black gear doesn't fit the white-heavy entrance getup. Changing the design up with some stars on it would be a little better. They did some stuff before botching a backdrop over the top, and then a flapjack on the post that missed the post. Post-break chinlock brought things back. Dolph hit a couple of Hart Attacks and a backslide for 2. Miz got a shitty Side Effect for 2. Figure four countered into the leaping DDT for 2. Miz hit the kneeling DDT for a 2.9. Miz locked on the figure four for 90 years. Dolph sounds like he's either passing a stone or is experiencing a very painful bowel movement. ONE GUY SHOUTED SU-PER DRA-GON! Fameasser got 2! Camera missed a Zig Zag for the win. We're reminded that MIZ IS STILL THE IC CHAMP. So he's basically aping another part of Tyler's act too. Granted, it's been a wrestling trope for eons, but still. HHH told Seth he's not the guy to face Cena since he's got all the cards, so why show the hand? Cesaro met with HHH. ZERO reaction for Cesaro there. He doesn't want to be a Heyman guy - HE WANTS TO BE HHH'S GUY! We get Cesaro-Ambrose! AJ and Paige team up next.

After the break, they show Paige-AJ clips. Paige and AJ come out. Nattie and Emma are...heels now? Emma hits an elbow and goes YES! They had a fun little match here. LOLed at Paige attacking Nattie with her ass, and tagging AJ in during the sharpshooter leading to a nice shining wizard. Paiged officially turned on AJ afterwards. Paige just destroyed her - IT WAS AWESOME! AND THEN SHE SKIPPED! Fandango came out to face Ryder. Zack gets a Summer Lay - good for him! Ryder's new black and silver gear is awesome. JBL buried Ryder - HE'S A TECHNIC NERD! Ryder was able to eek out a win here thanks to Layla pushing Fandango's foot off the ropes. LOL @ Cole burying JBL's Twitter feed. They recapped Brie being slapped. This is all leading to Brie suing Steph, right?

Flo Rida acted badly with Renee and Slater. Flo Rida may be a worse actor than he is a singer. SHEAMUS FACES RUSEV ON MAIN EVENT! Why give that away with no build? Steph introduced Flo Rida - of course! No one cared about this in the crowd. It's like the TRL-truncated versions of the songs. WHY PAY HIM FOR THIS!? Some people met with Steph. They're cops, and they're arresting her for assaulting Brie. After about 500 hours, a cop yelled about Steph striking Brie. So why is Brie out of the crowd now? Steph was all wacky here. Quite the titty gap on Steph here. This was delightfully wacky.

JOEY MERCURY MET WITH HHH about making his decision. HHH says IT'S THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN...but hey, the lawyer's on the way and his car's ready - once he's got his decision made, he'll get there. THIS WAS AMAZING! Rybaxel are up against Big E and Kofi. According to JBL, STEPHANIE BROUGHT TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE ECONOMY! Kofi hit the worst SOS ever - not even cradling the leg, for 2. Ryback rolls through a crossbody for the win. Xavier Woods came out in a Brother Love outfit about how you can't get ahead by being a wacky happy guy. Woods as a militant black man kinda works here - this was the best promo he's cut to date in any company. WE ARE THE NATION! OF EDUCATION!

SD beat TBS. TAKE THAT TED TURNER! Rusev and Lana came out. Lana was interrupted by Khali. Good! Rusev shouldn't be selling for Khali. The guy can't move, so just have Rusev kick him and put him in the Accolade. Royal Pains clip aired. Oh God the state of the acting in this. Stardust spun around with a glitter ball. I HATE THIS. The gimmick is they're both retarded, right? Is Bayley going to join this group? THE FUCKING TITTY MASTER CAME OUT to a huge pop.

Steph recap. STEPH'S RELEASE, EXCLUSIVELY ON THE APP! Cesaro's black and red gear still rules. Authority watched the match, except for HHH - who was on the phone. They had a simple back and forth match early on before an uppercut laid Ambrose out - his glassy-eyed look was perfect. Snap German with a bridge from Cesaro gets 2. Nice running boot to the shoulder from Cesaro. Nigel's lariat got 2 for Ambrose. Ref said "Gotta go Ambrose, gotta go." Cesaro goes for a shoulder throw, but Dean throws him in three times! CHAIRSHOT TO CESARO'S ARM! DQ! Renee asked HHH if he should be with his wife, and got stared down.

They announced Roman-Alberto for SD for some reason. HHH is out for the announcement. Orton came out. Cena-Orton gives me that not-so-fresh feeling. Thank God this isn't the actual match. Roman was like fuck that, and attacked him. Crowd chanted "WE WANT LESNAR!" Heyman came out. Heyman points out that Roman is preventing Plan A in Orton, while Plan B is being taken out by Ambrose. SO IT'S TIME FOR PLAN C! The look of joy on Heyman's face as he brought out Brock ruled. I could really go for Brock just throwing dudes around right now. Heyman called everyone who likes Cena a bunch of pussies. Heyman pointed out that he uses HISTORY TO BACK UP FACTS! He showed off an awesome Streak-Conquering clip. Heyman said that Brock, unlike some, would not accept a title being handed to him - BROCK WILL TAKE JOHN CENA DOWN! Brock looks really old facially. Heyman says Brock takes offense to Cena being called the best world champion of all time. 15 world titles in 10 years - that sounds like something WORTH CONQUERING! I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE GREATNESS OF THE CONQUEROR WHO STANDS BEFORE ME! Heyman deserves Brock's pay for these promos. He has actually possibly toppled Heenan as the greatest manager of all-time - and he's certainly the best main event-level one ever at this stage in his career.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

WWE Battleground 2014

Brawl For All gets the Best of The Worst nod before the pre-show. The cropping showing just the top of the F is terrible. The set is literally just the regular HD set. Christian's back on the panel and has a greying beard. None of the panel can be heard easily - they're all being drowned out. Booker named Naomi-Cameron as his SHUCKY DUCKY QUACK QUACK MOMENT OF THE NIGHT. VINTAGE SHUCKY DUCKY QUACK QUACK! In a surprise, Fandango-Rose is on the pre-show and not on the PPV as was expected. Probably a good move. Summer Lay are out with Rose. The express dances around like goofs taking all attention away from the actual match, leading to Fandango being slapped on the floor by Summer Lay. Rose hits a spinebuster and the Party Foul. THIS SUCKED. Didn't they just do this exact thing on SD?! An awesome Shield hype video set up Rollins-Ambrose perfectly - this should've aired on TV. Cameron's out as a wrestling schoolgirl.
Good to see Cameron get gear that works as both ring gear and fetish gear for after the show. Cole pimps that this match came about DUE TO SEEDS PLANTED ON THE HIT E SHOW TOTAL DIVAS. Naomi's checkered flag gear is blinding. They exchanged a variety of terrible strikes while a mild CM Punk chant broke out. Cameron runs FACE FIRST INTO THE ROPES to bounce off of them. Cameron gets a schoolgirl and wins. Good God this was terrible. Well, they did a great job killing the crowd before the opener. According to Booker, KOFI'S LOOKING TO BREAK THROUGH TONIGHT. BY WINNING THE IC TITLE FOR THE 90TH TIME! WWE Title issue recap. Tonight, JOHN CENA WILL HAVE TO OVERCOME THE ODDS! God, Roman's hair in the pre-show closer shot is amazing! He's letting his soul glo.

The Battleground video hypes up ONE MAN'S RISE, AND HOW ONE MAN SEEKS HIS FALL! For reasons that have never once been explained over the past month. Cena could lose everything without losing anything. The video stated that Plan B would be Seth with the case. Usos came out with different paint than they had backstage before the show, and the Wyatts still have their shitty theme. One of the Usos is really trim, and the other has a tummy. Nice corner chop and eye rake from Harper to an Uso. JBL, the ABSOLUTELY NOT GAY COWBOY, grading the Usos' appearance. Harper is such a modern-day Brody, it's amazing. Sure, guys have looked more like Brody, but none of them have had the versatility like Brody that Harper has. Big boot gives Harper the first fall. Uso gets up and eats a corner avalanche before Rowan comes in. Missed corner boot results in Harper eating a cradle for a loss despite Harper's shoulder being up. USO CRAZY DIVE! ONE TOWARD THE TABLE. ONE TOWARDS THE AISLE! DASHER BOARD DIVE TO HARPER! CROSSBODYOFF THE TOP GETS 2.9! Uso comebacks are so awesome!

Assalanche hits, but Harper eats it and nails him with the avalanche! CORNER BIG BOOT SENDS JIMMY OVER THE TOP! HARPER TOPE! A second one gets a kick counter and a schoolboy for 2.9! We've already had two schoolboy finishes on the show. Flying couch dive from Rowan misses! BIG SPLASH FROM AN USO GETS 2.9! He's in disbelief, but waits too long for another dive...and it rewinds! Uso gets prevented by Harper, leading to a blind tag, then ROWAN HITS A SUPERPLEX TO BOTH USOS! They set up the double crucifix bomb, but a superkick prevents it. SPINNING LARIAT MEETS A SUPERKICK, BUT HE EATS IT AND HITS THE MOVE ANYWAY FOR 2.9 THANKS TO A SAVE! Superkick! DOUBLE SUPERKICK! DOUBLE SPLASH FROM THE USOS GETS THE WIN! Holy crap this was incredible. Goddamn! That developed into one hell of a match!

Seth-Dean is up next with that awesome hype video before it. Seth cut a promo backstage that didn't really do anything for me before Dean showed up and attacked since he brought up the MITB case. Agents take Dean away. Steve Keirn makes TV. HHH apparently threw Dean out, so that does something to the match. Paige-AJ is up. Paige came in to show off her cleavage while entering the ring. Paige dominated and kept getting frustrated about AJ not offering a challenge. AJ gets the black widow, but a hiptoss saves her. Paige Turner gets 2! AJ countered the PTO with a cradle, and then hit the shining wizard. There was a lot of story here, but it wasn't the best match out there. A nice Summerslam hype video aired. Orton and Kane had a badly-acted bit backstage. Cole hyped up the kickoff, leading to a panel bit where they DISSECT THE ACTION. They recapped the Swagger-Rusev deal.

Rusev's out. Putin photo is still in the tron. The Russian flag colors in the gear really help the overall look - before, it was super-basic. Now, it looks like some effort was put into it. Lana brought up RECENT CURRENT EVENTS, and then brought up the war. Well, they're not toning this down. Swagger and Rusev went at it as Lana slapped Zeb.They had a God-awful match that went on for ages with nerve pinches, DOUBLE NERVE PINCHES, and other shit. The countout finish was intense...until they did the camel clutch anyway. Seth came out to get a forfeit, so Dean attacked him. Loved Seth's "CMON YA PIECE OF SHIT!" This brawl ruled, but I'd have rather had the match.

An incredible Wyatt-Jericho hype video made their feud seem far more epic than it should've. They tied the SAVE_US bit into everything far more here than they have on TV, and it made the whole thing more compelling. Bray came out. They've now added a phone light look to his tron - dig it. The lights led to a bit of a LOL here with a car visible. Gigantic Y2J chant before Jericho's intro. Bray's eye is still destroyed. Cole pimped SLAM CITY. This is the wrong match to plug Slam City on. Rose-Fandango, sure - SEMI MAIN EVENT - no.  Jericho and Bray had a good little match early on before Jericho DOVE OFF THE TOP ON ALL OF THE FAMILY! Basic moves once again set up an axehandle off the top from Jericho. Spinning gutbuster from Bray gets 2. That gutbuster was not exactly a thing of beauty - it was better as just a swinging facebuster. Jericho got the knees up for the senton and hits the enzuiguri for 2. I was hoping this match would save the show, but it's not going to be doing that. Some drunk guys sang "He's Got the Whole World in His Hnads" before Bray did the corner charge that was countered by a boot. Bray counters the Lionsault with knees to the gut. Corner charge lands from Bray. Bray talks smack resulting in a corner charge when he runs into the other corner for it. Jericho schoolboys Bray's head into the ropes - FINALLY, A NEW WRINKLE TO THAT! Abigail is set up, but countered into a Walls attempt that is also countered. Big bodyblock hits for 2.9 from Bray. CODEBREAKER! And that's it. Okay then. Normally, I'm all for a single finisher getting a win - but that's been a setup move for years now and tends to only be a finish as a counter.

Seth and some dudes walked around a very buzzy part of the building. Maybe it's where Nikki keeps all her vibrators. He sent security away, and then they stayed on him FOREVER before revealing Dean in his trunk. Seth and Dean brawled a bit and then Seth drove off and hit his luggage. They showed Barrett on Instagram saying goodbye to the IC Title. It's time for the BATTLEGROUND BATTLE ROYAL! I love the wacky shade of blue on Ryback's gear, and the enlarged heart. On the gear of course. Sandow came out, then Slater did, with the 3MB theme. Xavier Woods gets his own theme and it's on this show - so he got no reaction. Dolph came out. Miz didn't get the Hollywood intro here. Sin Cara's new red, white, and blue gear sucks. Barrett came out to DELIVER SOME BAD NEWS! The winner gets the IC Title. Oh, and when he returns, he's taking the title back. Ryder and Woods took great bumps for Khali to the floor. Guys did moves. Sandow was taken out. Sheamus kicks Ryback over the top. Miz goes under the bottom rope. Bo kneed Titus in the back and took Titus out! Cesaro and Kofi did some goofiness to avoid elimination. Cesaro belly to belly suplexed Big E over hte top - it reads as more impressive than it was. KOFI WAS KNOCKED ONTO BIG E'S SHOULDER FOR A CHICKEN SPOT. Cesaro suplexed him back in before he took him out. Heath eliminates Cesaro! Sheamus and Dolph are the final 2 in the ring, but Miz is still on the floor. Sheamus and Dolph brawled, but Dolph went a billion miles an hour. Sheamus shoulder charged him right in the balls in the corner. Sheamus landed right on Dolph's head during a sunset flip counter. Dolph superkicked Sheamus on the apron after countering Sheamus's attempt to do White Noise off the the hell would that have worked? Miz tosses Dolph out and wins. I look forward to his "I'M THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION, DAMMIT!" promo.

Summerslam hype vid again. Fatal 4 way guys came out. Russo's dream has come true - the world title truly is just a prop now. ORTON HAS NEW GEAR. It's dark blue with black text and white trim. Black and OLIVE GREEN are not a good combo for Roman. I do like the newer look though. Cole being shocked about Kane and Orton's pre-arranged alliance being an alliance astounds me. Lots of punches and kicks here. Things got plodding. Crowd chanted for Daniel Bryan, and the Kane-Orton alliance broke down. Shitty AA to Kane, but Kane rolls out to the floor. Cena locked in a nine hour STF. Reigns pulls Orton out so he can't tap - smart. Reigns and Cena did a boo-yay punch spot. Cena counters the Superman punch into the Protobomb! SUPERMAN PUNCH, SPEAR GETS 2.9 thanks to a Kane save that Cena was on the lookout for. Sliding kick from Reigns to Cena. Spear to Orton through the timekeeper area. Spear to Kane after a chokeslam escape gets 2 thanks to a Cena save. Good AA hits for 2 before REIGNS MAKES A SAVE! Cena breaks up a pin at 2. Cole has the gall to say this is nail-biting. AA to Reigns...wait for it - TWO COUNT THANKS TO A SAVE! Spear to Kane - 2-SAVE! AA TO KANE AND CENA WINS! Thank Christ it's over! Cena's jump for joy is amusing.

Usos cut a promo on the post-show about every other team needing to get a number to get a shot. Cole CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR WHAT THE AUTHORITY HAS TO SAY ON NITRO...ERR RAW! Cena said that tonight was a BATTLEFIELD OF CHANGE! WHAT IN THE FUCK!? And that's it for the post-show.

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