Cubed Circle Newsletter #57: BIGGEST NEWSLETTER EVER, 3 New Japan Shows, All Japan, NOAH, Turning Point + So Much More!

Cubed Circle Newsletter

 

For a full-color PDF click here

 

It seems to be the new standard introduction to the newsletter, but it is in fact true – we have a gigantic newsletter for you this week. It isn’t just filled to the brim with TV reports either, this issue is essentially PuroTopia. We have reports from two New Japan house shows, Power Struggle, a NOAH Show, night one of We Are Pro Wrestling Love in Ryogoku and if that wasn’t enough: Turning Point, RAW, The Jerry Lawler Angle, RAW Ratings and interesting patterns, the follow up to Turning Point and Ben Carass covers NXT and SmackDown! The biggest Cubed Circle Newsletter ever!

 

This week’s newsletter is also special, because this week the site is going through some changes. Starting on Tuesday the cubedcirclewrestling.com will now feature regular news updates and videos. Don’t worry though; the site is not going to become another copy and paste site, no far from it. In fact, I am looking to make the website more of a hub for unique news together with big stories more than anything else. News and site exclusive content was the most requested change according to the recent survey.

 

News will display underneath the ‘newsletter slider’, as well as on the newsletter slider itself. I hope that the changes to the site bring enjoyable content for all readers, new and old.

 

– Ryan Clingman

 

All Japan Pro Wrestling/ New Japan Pro Wrestling 40th Anniversary We are Pro Wrestling Love! in TAIWAN October 27th 2012 

National Taiwan University General Gymnasium

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This was a really fun show from top to bottom. No match on the card was unbearable to watch and there was a lot of good stuff. Like most of the joint shows between NJPW and AJPW there weren’t really any revelations when it came to New Japan versus All Japan matches, but that was to be expected. Most of the matches played out like you would expect, apart from Liger/Hayashi where I didn’t expect Liger to win at all.

 

The Taiwanese crowd was hot, and although the show was three hours long there were a lot of Taiwanese tour videos, which were entertaining at points, but were really missable; resulting in the matches clocking in at just 90 minutes. As a whole this was definitely a thumbs up show, with a lot of unique and fun matches on the show. The mainevent and opener were particularly good.

 

1. Masakatsu Funaki, Masayuki Kono & Minoru Tanaka vs. Takao Omori, Manabu Soya & Hiroshi Yamato

 

Funaki and Soya started off with a chop battle. Funaki landed some leg kicks and a big kick knocking Soya to the mat. He locked in a knee bar; Soya made it up to his feet, but sold the legs. Funaki landed some more leg kicks, but Soya caught one and landed a scoopslam. Soya locked in a chin lock. Funaki was knocked down with a shoulderblock, but he caught Soya with an elbow. Funaki went for a punt, Soya moved and went for a lariat, but Funaki ducked. Omori was tagged in and they landed a double team to the delight of the crowd. Tanaka was tagged in. Omori challenged Tanaka to a test of strength; he couldn’t reach Omori’s hand and so landed some kicks. Omori knocked Tanaka to the mat and locked in a chinlock. Tanaka got out and landed a big kick to the knee. Kono was tagged in. He landed a big jumping knee and Yamato was tagged in. Kono landed an elbow, but Kono responded with a bodyslam. Yamato wouldn’t stay down and landed a flurry of forearms. Kono landed a couple of boots halting Yamato from landing something in the corner. Yamato landed a missile dropkick and tagged in Omori. Kono no sold a big boot from Omori and ate a leg lariat for his trouble. Omori landed a neckbreaker for two. Kono countered a lariat with a big knee. Funaki was tagged in and flew in with some kicks. However, he was caught with a half nelson slam. Soya was tagged back in. He landed a back senton and bulldog followed by a neckbreaker. Soya went for something, but the lights cut out for some reason. Soya landed a brainbuster. Funaki blocked a lariat and unloaded with strikes. Soya landed a lariat and tagged in Yamato. Tanaka and Yamato went at it. Tanaka landed some kicks and the crowd was really into him. Yamato caught him with a spear in the corner and a rolling senton bomb. He went to the top rope and missed a back senton. Kono and Funaki came in and they all landed strikes on Yamato. Tanaka missed a highkick and was caught with a German suplex followed by a northern lights from Yamato. Tanaka countered a German suplex and landed a dropkick. Funaki was tagged in, he unloaded with shots, but was caught with a dropkick. Yamato missed a lariat and was caught with a backdrop and hybrid blaster for the win in 12:20. After the match Soya and Funaki faced off. This was a really fun opener and quite frankly I don’t know why it wasn’t higher up on the card. I know this is news to everybody, but Funaki is a great champion and even better worker.

*** ¼

2. Tiger Mask IV vs. SUSHI

 

SUSHI dropped Tiger Mask down to the mat and worked on him for a bit. Tiger Mask fought out with a big armdrag. Tiger Mask landed some leg kicks. SUSHI locked in a headlock. SUSHI landed a shoulderblock and they had an athletic exchange. SUSHI was dropped to the outside, but evaded the Tiger kick. Tiger Mask landed some kicks to the chest, but SUSHI caught a kick and sent Tiger Mask to the outside. Tiger Mask was thrown into the post and SUSHI made his way back into the ring. Tiger Mask and SUSHI exchanged chest slaps. SUSHI slapped Tiger Mask and threw him down to the mat. SUSHI landed a lariat and was stood on in the corner. SUSHI went after the mask of Tiger Mask and landed a kick to the back. Tiger Mask landed a kick in the corner and the Tiger Driver for two. He went to the top, missed the moonsault, landed on his feet, but was caught with a leg lariat. SUSHI landed a superkick also for two. SUSHI landed a diving headbutt for two and landed a shortarm clothesline for two. He landed a backcracker also for two. He went to the top rope, but Tiger Mask evaded the dropkick. Tiger Mask perched SUSHI on the top rope and landed the top rope double arm suplex and Tiger suplex for the win in 10:15. Looking at the match I really wasn’t expecting much going in, but was pleasantly surprised at how much Tiger Mask busted out.

** ¾

3. Seiya Sanada vs. Hiromu Takahashi

 

Takahashi went straight after Sanada with forearms. Sanada landed a shoulderblock, but was knocked to the outside with a dropkick and caught with a missile dropkick off of the apron! Sanada landed a dropkick and locked in a chinlock. Takahashi made his way to the ropes. Takahashi landed a few shops, Sanada responded with forearms and knocked Takahashi to the mat with a flying forearm. Takahashi busted out a flying head scissors. He landed a missile dropkick for two and landed a few elbows. Sanada ducked behind him with sleeper, he was whipped off, but locked it back in. Takahashi landed a back suplex, but Sanada still found a way to lock it back in. Sanada landed a draping DDT for two. Sanada landed a backdrop, but Takahashi kicked out right before three. Sanada went for another sleeper, Takahashi grabbed a small package and they transitioned to an elbow exchanged. Sanada got the better of it, but Takahashi grabbed a rollup. Sanada landed an ace crusher for two, but then locked in a dragon sleeper for the win. This was short, but was worked in a really clever way and Takahashi, the young lion, really came off looking good

 

I see Takahashi in a similar position to a young Okada, a few months inMexicoor (God forbid) TNA would do him well. He is really progressing well.

***

 

4. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. KENSO & RyotaHama

 

KENSO landed some of his wacky slaps on Tenzan and they exchanged strikes. Tenzan landed his Mongolian chops and they knocked KENSO to the mat – the crowd was hot for this. Tenzan landed a brainbuster for two and tagged Kojima in. They traded shots on KENSO. Tenzan landed a diving headbutt andHamawas tagged in. Kojima tried to moveHama, but was soon run over by the immenseHama. Kojima landed a DDT, went for a lariat, but was grabbed by KENSO (something you do not want!) and killed in the corner with a splash (same concept). KENSO then landed his “weirdest dive in the world” dive onto both Tenzan and Kojima. KENSO removed his belt and landed a low blow behind the referee’s back.Hamawas tagged back in and he stood on the chest of Kojima, which the crowd was into. Kojima landed a big backdrop and couldn’t make the tag to Tenzan who had just been knocked off of the apron. Kojima had to stall forever, because KENSO was out of place. KENSO slapped Kojima who was in the clutches ofHamaand walked all the way up the ramp and did his dive into the ring! He only hitHama; Kojima moved and made the tag to Tenzan. Tenzan ran wild with Mongolian chops and boots in the corner. Tenzan landed a botched bulldog out of the corner for two; KENSO pretty much landed on his back. KENSO was caught with an almost equally strange backdrop for two and Tenzan locked in the anaconda vice.Hamabroke it up and Kojima was tagged back in.Hamawas knocked off of the apron and Kojima landed the machine gun chops in the corner – all the while KENSO gasped for air. Kojima landed his elbow drop for two. He landed a flurry of elbows, but was caught with a spear andHamawas tagged back in.Hamalanded his big pelvis splash in the corner and KENSO landed a brainbuster.Hamadropped an elbow, Tenzan broke it up,Hamawent for a splash on Kojima but struck KESNO instead. Kojima landed crusher onHamaand the 3D on KENSO. Kojima then landed three big lariats onHamafor the win in 13:35.

 

This was in fact an utterly bizarre match. KENSO is strange,Hamais strange and when you pair them together with TenKoji you get a strange match. KENSO isn’t all that great and neither isHama. Tenzan and Kojima can be good still against the right team, but suffice to say KENSO andHamaweren’t not that team. Still this match was a very unique novelty; I still don’t know if that was a good or bad thing.

* ¾

5. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kaz Hayashi

 

Liger locked in a surfboard and pulled back on the neck of Hayashi. Hayashi attempted to power out, but was forced back to the mat. He then shouted “come on baby”, but still Liger held on. Hayashi locked in a headlock and this time Liger was the one that struggled to fight out of the hold. They had a shoulderblock battle, which Liger won. Hayashi whipped him into the ropes and landed a lionsault. Hayashi landed a straight jacket backcracker and a knee to the gut. Hayashi landed some shots, Liger wouldn’t go down. He landed a flurry of shots, but was taken down with a spine buster. Liger landed a backdrop and a lariat in the corner. Liger landed a frankensteiner again for two. Hayashi landed a big tumbling high kick and a final cut for two. Hayashi went for a splash, but Liger got the knees up and landed a lariat for two. He then landed the Liger bomb for the win in 09:57. This was probably Liger’s best performance in a few months. After the match Hayashi struck Liger and walked off.

** ¾

6. Suwama, Keiji Mutoh & Shuji Kondo vs. Yuji Nagata, Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto

 

Suwama and Nagata started off. They had a battle of strength, Suwama overpowered Nagata at first, but he was able to fight back. They collided with shoulders, but Nagata bent down again. Nagata went for a suplex, but was pushed down by Suwama in what I think was a blown spot. Nagata missed a highkick on the ground and they both met with a faceoff. Kondo and Inoue were tagged in. Inoue knocked Kondo to the outside and allowed for a Kanemoto plancha and a flying knee off of the apron from Inoue. Kanemoto was tagged in and he landed a flurry of kicks knocking Kondo to the mat. Kondo landed a flurry of elbows, but Kanemoto fought back with a flurry of shots of his own. Kondo landed a big lariat in the corner and tagged in Mutoh who landed a dragon screw. He locked in a crossface and Suwama was tagged in. Suwama slapped his head and this led to Kanemoto landing a flurry of slaps. Suwama landed a diving elbow drop and a scoopslam. He locked in aBostoncrab and Kondo warned the referee to not let Inoue intervene; he did anyway, but was thrown out by Kondo. Kono was tagged back in and he and Suwama teed off on Kanemoto. Mutoh locked in a sleeper. Suwama was tagged back in; Kanemoto landed a shot to the chest, but was taken down with a double chop. Suwama landed a double arm suplex. Kondo was tagged in. He went for a suplex, but Kanemoto landed a knee and a diving shoulder in the corner. He landed a face wash on Kondo, which the Taiwanese fans were really into. Kanemoto landed a flurry of strikes and dropped Kondo down for a big boot. Inoue was tagged in, he knocked Kondo’s teammates off the apron and landed some big forearms. He landed the belly to back piledriver for two and locked in a crucifix armbar. He went for a German, Kondo landed one, but Inoue landed on his feet. Inoue was pulled over the head of Kondo and Mutoh was tagged back in. He dropkicked the knees of Inoue and landed a dragon screw. Nagata was tagged in. Mutoh locked in a figure four, Suwama locked in a figure four on Kanemoto and Kondo aBostoncrab on Inoue. Nagata made it to the ropes and Mutoh landed a big knee in the corner. Mutoh landed a shining wizard, Nagata landed a knee in the corner and an exploder for two. Mutoh landed a dropkick and tagged Suwama in. He landed a running powerslam for two and a belly to belly suplex for two. Nagata landed an exploder and a leaping highkick. He went for a backdrop driver, Suwama broke, but Nagata countered his backdrop. This stalemate was to be settled with an elbow exchange and it was. Suwama landed a belly to belly suplex and went for the last ride, but Nagata locked in a crossface. Kondo broke it up and the tags were made to Inoue and Kanemoto. Inoue landed a flying forearm, Nagata a knee and Kanemoto landed some big slaps. Kanemoto landed a rollup for two, but was caught with a lariat. Nagata broke it up and a light brawl spilled to the outside. Meanwhile, Kanemoto countered a last ride into a small package for two. Suwama landed a release German suplex and Mutoh landed a shining wizard. Suwama then landed the last ride for the win in 18:16.

*** ¾

 

After the match Kono jumped Nagata and this led to a big brawl between everyone in the match; New Japan and All Japan. Liger kicked the hand of the All Japan announcer. However, commissioners of both companies shook hands and everyone left.

 

NJPW 40th Anniversary Tour Road to Power Struggle October 28th 2012

New Sunpia Takasaki, Gunma, Japan

 

Overall Thoughts

 

Apart from the mainevent match, which was very good, the rest of the card on this October 28th show remained pretty much the same as other cards from the ‘Road to Power Struggle’ tour. Sure, there were a few different matches here and there; there were new guys thrown into a couple of other matches used on the tour, but for the most part it was more of the same. This isn’t to say that it was bad, but just that ‘Road to Power Struggle’ tour recycled a lot of old cards; something that wasn’t done on some of the similar tours over the past few months.

 

Some of the matches could have been really good, but guys like YOSHI-HASHI and Jado being thrown into the matches did bring them down a tier. It isn’t that I am complaining, because I enjoy the antics of both men, but at points it is rather limiting. The mainevent isn’t must see, but is a fun match none the less.

 

1. Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Negro Casas & BUSHI

 

Koslov took BUSHI down with a front facelock and then transitioned into a headlock. BUSHI shot Koslov off and both men had an athletic exchange. BUSHI landed a head scissors and teased a dive to the outside. The tags were made to Casas and Romero. Both men exchanged chops, but Casas got the better of the exchange with a kick to the gut. Casas strutted and landed a sloppy hurricanrana followed by a plancha onto Romero. Casas landed some kicks to the arm of Romero, but Romero gained controlling working off of Koslov’s distraction. Koslov was tagged in and they stomped Casas in the corner. Koslov unloaded on Casas on the mat and grabbed a quick cover. Romero was tagged in and he landed a lariat followed by an assisted knee. Koslov came in with a slingshot splash. Casas attempted to make the tag, but he was quickly dragged back to Forever Hooligans’ side of the ring. He landed some shots but they were not enough to escape. Romero landed a flurry of lariats and made the tag to Koslov. Koslov landed the Kazatzka kicks and double knees to the head of Casas for two. Koslov landed a flying forearm and Casas landed some fiery chops and forearms allowing for the tag to BUSHI. BUSHI landed a flying head scissors and a big missile dropkick. He grabbed a rolling cradle for two, but Romero broke it up. Koslov landed a big enzuigiri and made the tag to Romero who went at it with Casas once again. Casas ducked a lariat, but was thrown to the mat. Romero grabbed a rollup for two and then grabbed a small package for another two count. Casas went for something, but was caught with a superkick from Koslov. BUSHI landed a plancha on Koslov. Casas went for the La Magistral cradle, but Romero grabbed a cradle of his own for the win in 08:36. This was a fun opener.

** ½

2. Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, & Taichi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka

 

As always the match started off with a wild brawl. Taichi was thrown into an exposed buckle by Yano and was brutalized in the ring by Iizuka. Taichi was worn down with headbutts from Ishii, but he was soon saved by Archer and Smith who ran in with big double shoulderblocks and knocked Yano and Iizuka off the apron. Ishii was worn down in the corner. Ishii went for a suplex, but Archer blocked and landed a scoop slam. Archer then climbed onto the shoulders of Smith and was dropped onto Ishii with a splash! Iizuka broke the pin up and Taichi was tagged in to wear Ishii down further. Archer was tagged in and he landed some stomps on Ishii, Ishii fired back with elbows, Archer smiled in his face, but Ishii wiped away the smile quickly with a dropkick to the knee and a suplex. Yano was tagged in, but he repeatedly ran with a full head of steam into Archer. Yano pulled the hair of Archer and threw him to the mat. He did the Rob Van Dam taunt and offered Archer a handshake and he did the same grip spot as the night before. Yano grabbed the hand tight, Archer squeezed harder, Iizuka ran in, but he was overpowered by Archer. Taichi was tagged in and he Smith and Archer landed shots on Ishii in the corner. A brawl broke out on the outside leaving Taichi and Ishii in the ring. Taichi kicked Ishii in the knee; however he was caught with a shot with the glove from Iizuka, and Ishii pinned Taichi with Taichi’s own finisher, the Taichi clutch in 10:55. This was a good heel on heel tag match, but nothing compared to the Suzuki-gun versus Iizuka & Yano match from the night before. Yano was wearing an awesome necklace made out of his DVD though.

** ¾

3. Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Captain NewJapan

 

Suzuki teased starting off with Nakanishi, but instead Michinoku ran in to start the match off. Nakanishi dealt with him and tagged in New Japan. Michinoku fired back with a couple of eye pokes and both men exchanged shoulderblocks. Suzuki then knocked Nakanishi off of the apron and Suzuki-gun worked over both men on the outside. Michinoku clawed at the face of New Japan. He proceeded to kick and stomp his face and made the tag to Suzuki. He landed a big kick to the back and covered New Japan for two. Suzuki locked in a kneebar and Michinoku kicked his hands, preventing him from making it to the ropes. Eventually Suzuki broke the hold, but only to kick Nakanishi off of the apron. NewJapanand Suzuki traded shots; Suzuki didn’t take it seriously until he was caught with a shot to the throat. This led to Michinoku being tagged back in, landing a big knee in the corner and following it with a knee to a downed New Japan. Suzuki went after the mask of New Japan in the corner. Suzuki was tagged in and landed a slap on New Japan; finally New Japan landed a shoulderblock, Suzuki grabbed his leg, but he fought back with a flurry of shots and tagged in Nakanishi. Nakanishi landed a flurry of chops on Suzuki and a big lariat in the corner followed by a suplex. Nakanishi dropped a knee and went for the torture rack, but Suzuki fought out and landed a big kick to a grounded Nakanishi. Nakanishi sat up, he landed another, but Nakanishi didn’t go down, and as always Suzuki took the easy way out and landed a short kick and cover for two. Nakanishi took Suzuki and Michinoku out and made the tag to New Japan. Suzuki moved out of the way of the diving headbutt and New Japan landed an exploder for two. Nakanishi and New Japan both signalled for their finish and they both landed lariats. They then locked in double torture racks, which was an awesome visual. Suzuki locked in a sleeper and Michinoku slid off, Nakanishi broke the hold with a few shots, but Suzuki locked in a guillotine. NewJapanhit Nakanishi to break the hold for some reason, Nakanishi was knocked down and slid to the outside allowing for Suzuki to lock the sleeper in again and land the Gotch piledriver for the win in 11:47.

** ¾

4. Hirooki Goto, KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley vs. Kazuchika Okada, Gedo & Jado

Goto and Gedo started off. Goto landed a shoulder block, which sent Gedo cowering to his corner where he tagged in Okada. The two Power Struggle opponents went at it exchanging holds. Goto went after the arm of Okada, made the tag to KUSHIDA, but Okada fled to his corner where he tagged in Jado. KUSHIDA pushed Jado working out of a hold and this led to Jado firing off on KUSHIDA with chops. Jado ducked an enzuigiri and was very proud of himself letting off a big woo. KUSHIDA landed a slap and this led to Jado doing the Flair flop. Shelley and Gedo went at it. Time Splitters went after Gedo and gave Jado a couple of shots for good measure. Shelley caught Gedo with a few arm wringers, but Shelley was thrown to the outside where he was disposed of by Jado. Goto and Okada went at it on the outside while Gedo waited passionately in the ring. Finally Shelley was rolled back in and the tag was made to Jado. Jado went after the arms and legs of Shelley, landing stomps to the extremities; Okada was tagged back in. He wrenched back on the knee and Shelley fought his way out with a couple of strikes. He couldn’t make the tag, however and Gedo was quickly tagged in. Shelley landed a kick and dropped Jado into Gedo’s crotch. Okada and Goto were tagged back in and Goto fired at Okada with kicks. Okada went for his big dropkick, but was cut off with a lariat. Goto landed a leg lariat and went for a German suplex, but Okada landed a boot and over the shoulder over the knee belly to back neckbreaker. Okada landed an elbow and signalled for the rainmaker. However, Goto ducked and got Okada up for the Shouten Kai; Okada fought out and was caught with a German suplex. Okada landed a dropkick and tagged in Gedo who went at it with KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA ran wild, but was stopped dead in his tracks when Gedo got his knees up on the standing moonsault. Gedo and Jado landed tandem superkicks, but KUSHIDA kicked out. Gedo landed a back suplex, Jado a lariat, but Shelley landed a couple of leaping highkicks. This led to the Time Splitters running wild on Gedo. Goto killed Okada with shots and Shelley landed a leaping elbow, Goto landed the over the knee fireman’s carry neckbreaker, Jado was dropped to the outside and Time Splitters landed the sliced bread doomsday device for the win in 14:56.

*** ¼

 

5. Karl Anderson & Togi Makabe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI

 

HASHI and Makabe started off. HASHI landed some elbows and caught Makabe with an inverted x factor. He landed some more elbows, which fired Makabe up and allowed for him to land a lariat and make the tag toAnderson. Nakamura was tagged in. They had an athletic exchange andAndersoncaught Nakamura in an armlock. Nakamura missed a highkick, but caughtAndersonwith a low superkick.Andersonlanded a leg lariat and landed a chop, uppercut and back senton. Nakamura landed a flying knee in the corner and all four men went at it on the outside. HASHI attacked Makabe with his Dragon Ball pole and Anderson made it back in. HASHI was tagged in and he continued to wearAndersondown. Nakamura was tagged back in and he and landed a flurry of knees onAnderson. He went for the big running knee in the corner, butAndersoncut him off with an elbow. Nakamura landed a facebuster and went for the Boma Ye, but was caught with a spinebuster. Makabe landed some big lariats and unloaded with shots on Nakamura in the corner. He landed a northern lights suplex and was caught with a spinkick. HASHI was tagged in and landed a neckbreaker and powerslam both for two. HASHI landed his suplex, swivelled the hips and followed it with a neckbreaker. They went for a double team, butAndersonlanded his spinning fireman’s neckbreaker. HASHI landed a lariat on Makabe for two. He went for a German suplex, Makabe blocked and landed a big lariat. He then landed a scoop slam and landed the King Kong knee drop for the win in 10:12.

***

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Low Ki & Brian Kendrick

 

Takahashi and Tanahashi started off. Takahashi locked in a front facelock, Tanahashi fought out and they had a stare down. Tanahashi locked in a headlock, but just like on the other house shows, he bit the hand of Tanahashi. He followed the bite with a shoulder block, but Tanahashi landed a springboard bodypress. The tag was made to Low Ki and Tanahashi made the tag to Devitt. Taguchi caught Kendrick with a drop toe hold and Devitt landed a dropkick. Tanahashi tagged himself back in and everyone took a shot at Kendrick’s arm. Taguchi locked in a Kimura of sorts and continued to wear Kendrick down. Kendrick eventually landed a dropkick and Ki was tagged back in. He landed a chop on Taguchi and looked angrily at Devitt in the corner. Ki landed a big chop on Taguchi and tagged Yujiro in. Yujiro got in a bit of offense and tagged Ki back in. They had a chop battle and Taguchi landed a springboard dropkick. Devitt was tagged in, and he landed a big dropkick on Ki and went for his topé con giro, but was pulled down by Kendrick. He went for it again, but was this time halted by Yujiro. Tanahashi and Yujiro went at it on the outside, while Ki and Devitt went at it in the ring. Tanahashi and Yujiro had a thunderous exchange on the outside. Ki made the tag to Kendrick and he wore Devitt down further. Kendrick locked in a camel clutch on Devitt and pulled Devitt back to his corner for the tag to Devitt. Yujiro knocked Tanahashi off of the apron and they continued to wear Devitt down. Ki locked in an abdominal stretch and went to make the tag, but his partners were knocked off of the ropes by Kendrick. Kendrick went back to the camel clutch, but Taguchi ran in to break it up this time. This didn’t stop Kendrick for long however, as he went back to the hold. Devitt began to walk to the corner with Kendrick on his back, but he was cut off by Ki and this allowed Kendrick to drop Devitt into a sleeper. Devitt finally knocked Kendrick off of his back, landed a lariat, but once again Tanahashi was knocked off of the apron. Ki caught Devitt with a Liger kick, Kendrick landed a lariat, but Devitt shot off of the back of Kendrick with a dropkick. Devitt finally made the tag to Tanahashi and he fired off on Ki. Tanahashi landed sling blade on Ki and landed a senton for two. Tanahashi was caught with a kick to the gut, Ki missed a splash and Tanahashi landed a sling blade for two. Tanahashi went to the top for the high fly flow, he was halted by Yujiro and caught with a tumbling highkick from Ki. Yujiro was tagged back in and he landed some chops and a belly to belly suplex. Yujiro went for the Olympic slam, Tanahashi broke it, he went for Tokyo Pimps, but Tanahashi landed a dropkick to the knee instead. Taguchi was tagged in and he landed a fameasser. Apollo 55 landed an assisted elbow and dropkick. Taguchi landed a facebuster for two and landed two of  the three amigos. The third was blocked and Yujiro landed a fisherman’s buster. Devitt landed a topé con giro on Ki and Kendrick. Tanahashi went for a sling blade on Takahashi, but he missed and Yujiro landed an Olympic slam. Taguchi got a rollup for two, but Yujiro landed a lariat for two. Yujiro then landed bridging German suplex on Taguchi for the win in 18:29.

*** ½

 

Yujiro was left victorious in the ring cutting a promo on Tanahashi to close the show off.

 

NOAH Global League Tournament 2012 November 3rd

Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This show was a really fun way to kick off the Global League Tournament. My main problem wasn’t really with the show itself, but more the broadcast because the majority of the matches were clipped. I know that this couldn’t have been helped since it was only a two hour Samurai TV special, but it did make it difficult to judge the quality of a lot of the matches.

 

One good thing about the clipping was the fact, that for the most part, especially when moving up the card no significant spots seemed to be removed. Whenever the wrestlers were down, or on the floor for prolonged periods of time they would cut to when they were on their feet; something that WWE could learn for their Hulu deal.

 

The only real must see match on the show was the mainevent, which featured Yuji Nagata versus Go Shiozaki in an A Block battle. Nagata pulled out a lot of his big mainevent spots, and the work on Shiozaki’s hand was pretty good. All in all this was a fun opening round show, with a really good mainevent.

 

 

1. Ricky Marvin, Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Maybach Taniguchi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi

 

*Match Joined in Progress*

 

Kotoge landed a splash on Taniguchi and Ishimori landed a swanton. Kanemaru broke it up along with Hirayanagi. Kotoge went to the top rope, but was caught with a superplex from Hirayanagi. Taniguchi landed a double chokeslam and another on Kotoge for two. He then landed a big powerbomb for the win.

N/A

 

2. Eddie Edwards & Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Akitoshi Saito & Kotaro Suzuki

 

*Match Joined in Progress/Clipped*

 

The footage started off with an elbow exchange between Suzuki and Edwards, reminiscent of last year’s incredible match between the two. They had a chop exchange. Edwards landed a facebuster on Suzuki followed by a forearm and snap suplex. He landed a missile dropkick for two and they cut to another strike exchange between the two. Edwards landed a flurry of chops, but this only fired Suzuki up and he was dropped with some shots. They cut to a Sabre/Edwards double team on Saito. Suzuki took both men down with a dropkick and took Edwards out with a corkscrew topé. Sabre and Saito went at it. Saito landed a big lariat, but Sabre kicked out at two. He was caught with an enzuigiri for the win. This looked like a good match on paper; it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to see the entire thing.

N/A

 

3. B Block Match: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Shane Haste

 

*Partially Clipped*

 

Haste locked in a wrist lock, Marufuji grabbed one of his won, but Haste fought out and they had an athletic exchange. Marufuji landed a dropkick, Haste landed one of his own and they collided in the middle of the ring with dropkicks. They went to the elbow exchange. They did a quick cut to Marufuji landing a few elbows on Haste. Haste was fired up and landed a boot and big cannonball in the corner for two. Haste landed another big boot for two and landed a frankensteiner. They cut again, this time to Marufuji countering a powerbomb into a DDT. Haste pulled Marufuji off of the apron; they cut again, this time to Marufuji landing a springboard dropkick on a downed Haste. Marufuji went for sliced bread on the apron, but Haste countered and landed a double foot stomp to Marufuji who was in the tree of woe. He then landed a coast to coast dropkick and a powerbomb, but Marufuji kicked out. Marufuji and Haste worked up to their feet with elbows, Marufuji landed a superkick and dropped Haste down into a dropkick. He went for sliced bread, but was caught in what was pretty much a Shouten Kai for the win. I was extremely surprised at Haste winning.

~** ¾

4. A BLOCK Match: KENTA vs. Kento Miyahara

 

*Partially Clipped*

 

KENTA and Miyahara started off on the outside, KENTA landed a flurry of really stiff shots and slammed Miyahara on one of the empty stands and then on the floor. KENTA caught Miyahara with some kicks and then they cut to KENTA ramming Miyahara’s head into the post. Miyahara landed a shot off of the apron. They cut to KENTA in the ring and he rammed Miyahara shoulder first into the post. He landed a draping DDT for two and missed the yakuza kick. Miyahara landed a couple of lariats and a big boot. He landed a sitout powerbomb for two. He landed a flurry of elbows, but was caught with a lariat and kick to the chest from KENTA. He landed a bridging double arm suplex. He caught Miyahara with a boot in the corner and running dropkick in the corner. They then cut to KENTA landing his double foot stomp for two. Miyahara was caught with two superkicks and a deadlift German suplex, but once again KENTA kicked out. They exchanged elbows; KENTA landed some slaps and caught Miyahara with three big highkicks. He then pulled Miyahara up for the GTS for the win.

~***

 

5. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Takashi Sugiura & Mohammed Yone

 

*Partially Clipped*

 

Sugiura and Kojima went straight at it with an elbow exchange. They tried to move each other with shoulderblocks, neither man moved, but finally Kojima got the better of Sugiura. Sugiura landed some stomps and Tenzan was tagged in together with Yone. They too went to a shoulderblock battle, but Yone got the better of it and landed a boot. They cut to Tenzan landing the Mongolian chops and making the tag to Kojima who shot in with an elbow. They cut again to Kojima landing a neckbreaker for two. They cut to Tenzan landing a headbutt to the groin of Yone. They cut again to Tenzan landing Mongolian chops. Yone blocked a suplex from Tenzan and landed one of his own. Sugiura was tagged in and he kicked Kojima off of the apron and landed a spear. Sugiura landed two big boots in the corner followed by a knee; Tenzan landed a back bodydrop and made the tag to Kojima. Kojima landed the machine gun chops in the corner and was caught with elbows from Sugiura. Kojima landed his elbow in the corner and the crowd knew his gimmick. He landed an elbow for two and Sugiura caught him with a forearm, this led to another battle. Kojima got the better of the exchange with a hard elbow and DDT. Sugiura landed a German suplex and tagged in Yone. Kojima blocked his lariat, but he was taken down by a leg lariat. They cut to a Yone/Sugiura double team. Sugiura and Tenzan went to the outside and Yone landed a lariat for two. Yone then went for the muscle buster, but Tenzan broke it up. Yone went for a lariat, but was caught with the 3D; Sugiura broke it up. Sugiura landed some shots on Kojima, but was cut off with a lariat. Yone tried the same, but was caught with a big lariat for the win.

~** ¾

 

6. GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship Match

Shuji Kondo vs. Atsushi Aoki

 

*Partially Clipped*

 

Aoki offered the hand, Kondo turned his back and this led to a feisty Kondo running after Aoki and him being bridged to the outside. Aoki went after Kondo throwing him into the post and kicking the arm. They cut to both men in the ring where Kondo landed the tombstone. They cut again to an exchange between the two and Aoki going after the arm of Kondo. Aoki locked in a Kimura, but was caught with a back bodydrop. They cut to Kondo landing a DDT. Aoki and Kondo exchanged elbows, but Aoki couldn’t keep up with Kondo. They cut to Kondo missing a splash and being caught with a knee to the arm. The cut again to a dropkick from Aoki; Aoki followed this with a dropkick to the arm and they had a wacky predicament where Aoki couldn’t work out if he was going for a pin or kimura. They cut repeatedly. Aoki grabbed the arm of Kondo, but Kondo landed a big spear for two. Aoki grabbed a backslide and a schoolboy both for two. Aoki went for a head scissors, but slipped down into a very strange looking armbar instead. Kondo tried to power out, he couldn’t, but he made it to the ropes regardless. Aoki slammed Kondo and they cut to him landing a pelé. Both men were on the top rope and Kondo landed a powerbomb from the top, but couldn’t make it to the pin. He went for another, but Aoki blocked and was caught with a few knees. He was then brought up and spiked on his head for two. Aoki landed a few headbutts, but was caught with a short arm lariat; again for two. Both men collided with lariats, but Aoki landed a backdrop driver. He was unable to make the cover. Aoki dropped down from the top into an armbar, but Kondo made it out, landed a German suplex and the King Kong lariat for the win. This was a good match even if Aoki has a wacky armbar.

~*** ¼

7. A Block Match: Takeshi Morishima vs. Mikey Nicholls

 

*Partially Clipped*

 

Nicholls and Morishima exchanged shoulderblocks, Nicholls landed a dropkick that didn’t touch Morishima and he was dropped on the outside with a shoulderblock. Nicholls was placed in a chair on the floor, Morishima went for a boot, but Nicholls moved and landed a kick of his own. Morishima was pushed way out and caught with a huge body press from Nicholls. They cut to the ring and I assume only the points were both men made it into the ring were cut out. Nicholls landed a lariat and suplex followed by a lariat for two. Morishima reversed a bodypress and they cut to an elbow exchange. Morishima knocked Nicholls down with a highkick and they cut to Morishima landing a big lariat in the corner. Morishima went to the top and was caught with a superplex from Nicholls. They cut to Morishima being caught with a highkick and belly to back piledriver. Nicholls missed a shooting star press, Morishima went for a lariat, but Nicholls grabbed a rollup. Nicholls didn’t connect with a superkick, landed a few shots and was killed with two lariats from Morishima for two. Morishima then landed the backdrop driver for the win.

~** ½

8. B Block Match: Jun Akiyama vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

 

*Minute Clipping*

 

They started straight off with a strike exchange; Akiyama was dropped to the floor and was caught with a boot on the outside. They fought in the stands and Nakajima landed some big strikes, Akiyama sized him up, Nakajima slapped Akiyama, but was simply caught with a headbutt and knee. Akiyama attempted a choke on the floor, but landed a DDT. They cut to both men in the ring. Nakajima landed a flurry of big shots culminating in a spinkick. He landed a big elbow and both men went chest to chest. Nakajima attempted a headbutt exchange, but was no match for Akiyama. Nakajima caught Akiyama with a big front kick and landed a punt off of the apron. Nakajima went to the top rope and landed a big missile dropkick. He landed a yakuza kick and a highkick to the chest. Akiyama locked in a front facelock and landed a big knee. Akiyama landed a double underhook DDT and a knee to the back of the head for two. Nakajima landed a big exploder and three superkicks. Akiyama blocked a knee and suplex, but was caught with a front facelock from Nakajima! Nakajima landed a kick to the chest for two and landed a bridging German suplex for another two count. Akiyama landed a brainbuster and caught Nakajima with knee. Akiyama landed an exploder, Nakajima kicked out, this infuriated Akiyama and resulted in a flurry of knees and big running knee to the head for two. Akiyama landed sternness dust for the win. This was a good match, but really didn’t go long. I understand that it was in the first round of the tournament, but another five minutes would have made a lot of difference. All of the edits here were minute.

***

9. A Block Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Go Shiozaki

 

Nagata and Shiozaki fought out of wristlocks. Shiozaki went after the legs of Nagata. Nagata slapped Shiozaki and this led to a forearm exchange, which culminated in Shiozaki landing a huge slap to the chest. Nagata did not take this lying down, but Shiozaki fired off on Nagata with neck chops. He landed another big chop to the chest, but Nagata landed a boot. He was caught with a dropkick. Shiozaki landed another chop on the outside and threw Nagata into the post. He then landed a knee to the head of Nagata, Nagata fired back with some kicks of his own and an elbow. They went into the crowd and Nagata took Shiozaki into the stand and opened the curtains for some reason. Nagata was thrown into the “East” sign, Shiozaki went for a chop, but Nagata moved and Shiozaki’s hand went full force into the wall. Nagata then pulled Shiozaki by the hand back into the ring, ramming it into objects where he saw fit. He bent the hand over his knee and landed some kicks. He locked in an armbar, but Shiozaki made it to the ropes. Shiozaki landed some chops, but sold the hand; this led to Nagata landing some kicks to the chest of Shiozaki. He landed an arm wringer, Shiozaki attempted a chop, but Nagata brushed it off and got this awesome smile across his face. Nagata landed another arm wringer; Shiozaki was still unable to chop. Nagata landed a knee to the chest, but Shiozaki was able to land a suplex. Nagata landed a boot, but Shiozaki responded with a chop from the other arm. He landed a diving shoulder tackle, but then sold the hand. He landed a suplex for two and was caught with some more big chops. Shiozaki went to the top, but Nagata made his way up top too. Nagata landed a forearm, Shiozaki fired back with shots, but Nagata refused to leave. Shiozaki sold the hand, and landed a headbutt, but there was no getting rid of Nagata! Nagata then landed a superplex and kick to the chest for two. Both men blocked suplexes, Shiozaki landed a superkick and German, but Nagata shot up with an exploder. This led to a forearm and chop battle. Shiozaki got the better of the exchange landing a big chop to the neck, but once Nagata was up he blocked a second attempt and landed some kicks. Shiozaki shot back with a lariat, but only grabbed a two count. Shiozaki went for another, but Nagata grabbed the crucifix armbar! Nagata landed a leaping highkick and went for a backdrop, Shiozaki fought out, but was caught with a German landing right on his head. He fired back with a big lariat for two and went for the fisherman’s buster, but for some reason only dropped Nagata half way. Nagata blocked the brainbuster and landed a spinning leg lariat and backdrop for two. Nagata landed a knee in the corner and another backdrop for the win. Nagata shot up after the pin with a delightfully happy smile on his face.

 

This was a really good match, with no noteworthy clipping. The arm work was really good and anything placing Nagata in some sort of control is bound to be good. The crowd, although small was into it; by far the best match of the night.

*** ¾

 

Nagata performed his awesome dance after the match – if you check out one match from this show it should be this match and Nagata’s post match dance, which is always incredible.

 

New Japan 40th Anniversary Tour Road to Power Struggle November 4th 2012

Messe Shizuoka, South Building, Shizuoka, Japan

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This was probably the all around best ‘Road to Power Struggle’ show. It was the only one that I have personally seen that had a great mainevent. It also featured the good Suzuki-gun/Team Nagata match and almost everything else was solid.

 

Again it wasn’t the most must see show, but it was fun for what it was; a New Japan house show. There was nothing must see on the card either. There have been numerous multi-man New Japan matches that were better this year, many of which were from the Best of the Super Juniors. Still the mainevent is worth a quick watch.

 

1. Wataru Inoue & Takaaki Watanabe vs. Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI

 

HASHI came out with his Dragon Ball pole and Yano with his DVD; it was great. Inoue and Yano started off. Inoue took Yano down with a shoulder block and made the tag to Watanabe. They landed double shoulderblocks, but Yano and HASHI quickly took control of Watanabe. Watanabe slapped the chest of HASHI, HASHI responded with a slap, Watanabe came running at HASHI, but was tossed to the outside. This of course led to some underhanded tactics from HASHI some of which included his Dragon Ball pole. Watanabe was sent into the exposed turnbuckle and Yano wacked Watanabe with his DVD! Watanabe sold this like he had just been scolded with a branding iron and was whipped back into the post for his trouble. HASHI locked in an Achilles lock stomping on the head of Watanabe. He whipped him back into the post and made the tag to Yano. Yano landed a big knee in the corner and Watanabe fired back with a big dropkick. The tag was made to Inoue and he landed a flying forearm in the corner. He landed his belly to back piledriver and cut HASHI off with an elbow. Yano raked the eyes, but was caught with a knee to the gut. Inoue was pulled down by his hair and Yano did his Rob Van Dam taunt. HASHI was tagged back in; he landed a couple of chops, which Inoue responded to with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Watanabe was tagged in and he was fired up. He landed a back splash in the corner and a release double arm suplex for two. HASHI landed an elbow, but he was caught with two flying forearms for two. Watanabe went for a lariat, but was cut off by one from HASHI. Inoue broke it up and was taken to the outside by Yano. HASHI went for a suplex, but was caught in a small package for two. Watanabe grabbed another to the same result. HASHI then landed a side slam and swanton bomb for the win in 09:37.

** ½

2. Takashi Iizuka vs. Captain NewJapan

 

The match seemed to have been joined in progress. Iizuka was beating New Japan down, choking him on the mat, and landing a couple of strikes. NewJapanfired back with a dropkick, but Iizuka dropped to the outside and fled into the crowd. Iizuka made it back in at 18. He landed an atomic drop and threw New Japan to the outside. He landed his regular chair shots on the floor and did his usual shtick. NewJapanmade it back in at 19. Iizuka then locked in his own version of theCaribbeanchoke, it was illegal and he was warned repeatedly. Iizuka landed a boot, this fired New Japan up, but Iizuka clawed away at his eyes. NewJapanwas thrown back out to the floor and we went through pretty much the same process again. NewJapanlanded a big shoulder block, a back splash and vertical suplex. Iizuka landed a boot, missed a strike and was caught with an atomic drop and body press. NewJapanwent up top for the headbutt, but Iizuka moved out of the way and landed a pedigree. He grabbed the claw, he was reprimanded by the referee, but Iizuka pushed him and landed the shot anyway. This led to a DQ, because everybody knows that chair shots to the back are legal but claws are not. If you were expecting a good match here you would have some sort of mental condition; it was what you would expect.

*

3. Alex Shelley, KUSHIDA & BUSHI vs. Gedo, Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov

 

Gedo and BUSHI started off. Gedo grounded BUSHI taking him to the mat and locking in a headlock. Gedo landed a big shoulderblock and BUSHI fired back with a flying head scissors. He went for a dive, Koslov missed a strike and instead he rolled through feigning a dive. Shelley and Romero were tagged in. Shelley landed an elbow, Romero went for a lariat, but was caught with an armdrag, atomic drop and lariat. KUSHIDA was tagged in and landed a knee to the face of Romero. Koslov was also taken out. Koslov went after the arm of Romero and tagged Shelley back in. Shelley landed a front kick and went for a topé, but Koslov caught him with a boot on the way out. Forever Hooligans picked Shelley apart on the outside and threw him back into the ring for the tag to Koslov. Gedo was tagged in and yelled “forever”. He landed a neckbreaker and tagged Romero back in. Koslov came in with a splash and landed the Kazatzka kicks. Romero landed his flurry of lariats in the corner; this of course led to your usual shoving match and three-way hug between Gedo and Forever Hooligans. Shelley landed a neckbreaker and tagged KUSHIDA in. He landed a handspring knocking Romero’s teammates off the apron, but Romero got the knees up on a standing moonsault. Shelley yelled “f*** you” and landed a splash onto Gedo and Koslov. They teed off on Romero in the corner, Gedo ran in, but was caught with a dropkick double team. They then caught Koslov with the double highkicks and set up for the doomsday, but Romero ran in to break it up. Koslov then landed a huge superkick and hurt his leg – the reason that their Power Struggle match didn’t go all too long. BUSHI was tagged in, but Gedo halted him from landing anything on Koslov. BUSHI landed a missile dropkick and did a rolling cradle on Koslov. Koslov was obviously in a lot of pain. Koslov, who was hobbling on one leg set up a knee drop from Romero for the win 12:12.

***

4. Prince Devitt, Ryusuke Taguchi & Negro Casas vs. Low Ki, Brian Kendrick & Jado

 

Taguchi and Jado started off. Jado landed some chops in the corner; wooing. He was then caught with chops from Taguchi and a dropkick. Jado grabbed a rollup, but was caught with a basement dropkick. Taguchi landed a leaping highkick and this led to Jado doing the Flair flop and tagging in Ki. The tag was made to Casas and they exchanged holds. They exchanged chops, but Casas got the better of Ki with a spinkick. Ki grabbed Casas in a headlock and made the tag to Kendrick. Devitt was tagged in and he was caught with a big chop. Kendrick went for a boot, Devitt caught it, but Kendrick did a flip and was awfully happy. Devitt tagged in Taguchi and they went after the arm of Kendrick. Kendrick and Jado’s tights were pulled down when Devitt and Taguchi attempted cradles, but Ki made the save. Devitt and Taguchi did their little dance, but Ki was having none of it and stomped Devitt in the corner. Ki landed a double foot stomp on Devitt and locked in an abdominal stretch. Jado locked in a headlock, Devitt fought back with strikes, but Jado stomped on the legs of Devitt. Kendrick was tagged back in and he went after the leg of Devitt. They did a very strange looking rolling cradle and Jado was tagged back in. Devitt landed a dropkick and made the tag to Taguchi. He landed two of the three amigos on Kendrick and followed it with a springboard back elbow. He went for the chicken wing facebuster, but Kendrick countered and both men collided with body presses. Casas and Ki were tagged in and had an awesome chop battle. Ki landed two kicks to the head and knocked Devitt off of the apron. Casas landed a spinkick, but Kendrick and Jado ran in for the double team. Kendrick was thrown to the outside and Casas landed a top rope back senton for two on Ki. Ki landed a springboard bodypress and Ki went for the Ki Krush, but Casas countered and grabbed a La Magistral cradle for two. Ki and Casas went back to the strike exchange. Ki landed his big dropkick out of the corner and landed the double foot stomp from the top for the win in:.

***

5. Yuji Nagata, Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV vs. Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, Taichi, Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer

 

Nagata and Suzuki started off, reigniting their long standing feud. Suzuki slapped Nagata off of a break and this led to an elbow/chest slap exchange. Suzuki landed a headbutt on Nagata and a big kick to the chest, Nagata sat up, Suzuki did it again, once again Nagata sat up. Suzuki went for another, but Nagata caught the kick and landed a flurry of kicks in the corner. It spilt out to the outside and Liger landed a baseball slide on Suzuki. Liger was the legal man at this point, but Suzuki locked in a facelock and the tag was made to Smith. He landed a big knee, and Team Nagata was knocked off of the apron by Suzuki-gun. A brawl broke out on the outside. Meanwhile in the ring Smith picked Liger apart. Archer and Smith landed double shoulderblocks and their legdrop splash combination. Smith body slammed Liger and tagged Suzuki back in. He stretched Liger, Tenzan came in to break the hold, but Suzuki grabbed his leg. A brawl broke out again, but Taichi retained his hold on Liger. Michinoku toyed with Liger’s mask and he was brought to the top rope by Taichi who began to unmask him. Taichi landed Mongolian chops on Liger, which got some heat due to it being Tenzan’s move. Taichi unloaded with Kojima’s chops. Michinoku landed a knee in the corner and Taichi a lariat for two. Archer and Smith were back in and Liger caught Smith with a lariat tagging in Kojima. Archer missed a lariat and this allowed Kojima to land his machine gun chops in the corner. Taichi was knocked off of the apron and Archer was caught with a top rope elbow. Kojima landed some lariats, they had no effect; Archer landed some of his own, but was finally knocked down by Kojima’s elbows. He and Tenzan landed the 3D, but he was caught with a full nelson bomb and the tag was made to Taichi. Kojima blocked a lariat and landed an ace crusher. He made the tag to Tiger Mask who landed a flurry of kicks and Suzuki-gun were knocked to the outside. Team Nagata landed their moved in the corner and Tiger Mask landed a Tiger driver for two. Taichi caught Tiger Mask with a kick and removed the tights. He was caught with a crucifix for two and the referee took a bump from Michinoku being knocked into him. Tiger Mask then landed a release double arm suplex on Taichi, but Michinoku was holding the referee down this allowed Suzuki to lock a sleeper in on Tiger Mask, land a Gotch piledriver and throw Taichi onto Tiger Mask with the Low Fly Flow for the win in 12:29!

***

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Karl Anderson & Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, Yujiro Takahashi & Tomohiro Ishii

 

Takahashi cut a promo on Tanahashi before the match. Tanahashi and Yujiro started off. Takahashi went after Tanahashi’s arm, Tanahashi grabbed the arm of Yujiro, but Takahashi pulled Tanahashi’s hair and bit his hand. Tanahashi landed a springboard bodypress. Makabe and Ishii were tagged in and they exchanged forearms for what must have been a minute. Makabe knocked Ishii down with a shoulderblock. The tags were made to Nakamura and Anderson.Andersonlanded a couple of armdrags, but was caught with an enzuigiri from Nakamura.Andersonfought back with a leg lariat and landed his back senton.Andersonrevealed his injured knee, but missed a knee drop and the tag was made to Okada. He knockedAndersonto the floor with a basement dropkick and this allowed CHAOS to pick him apart on the outside. Tanahashi and Goto went after Okada and this led to Yujiro going after Tanahashi. Okada and Anderson had a battle of strength, Ishii was tagged in and he landed a suplex. Nakamura, Ishii and Okada put their arms over their shoulders and landed triple boots in the sprit of CHAOS brotherly love. Okada and Nakamura then picked Ishii up and threw him ontoAndersonwith a back senton. Takahashi was tagged in and he landed a flurry of elbow drops. He proceeded to boot Tanahashi off of the apron and made the tag to Nakamura. Nakamura landed the running knee in the corner and grabbed a two count.Andersonlanded a couple of uppercuts, ducked a kick from Nakamura, but was caught with another. Nakamura signalled for the knee in the corner, butAndersonmoved and landed a highkick.Andersonnearly made the tag, but his partners were knocked off of the apron by Yujiro. Okada ran and landed lariat, butAndersonlanded a spinebuster tagging in Goto. Goto ran wild and Okada accidentally booted Ishii. This led to Goto landed a huge flying leg lariat and backdrop driver for two. Goto went for his neckbreaker, but Okada landed a boot and hangman’s neckbreaker. Goto went for his lariat, but was caught with a huge dropkick from Okada. The tags were made to Yujiro and Tanahashi. They exchanged strikes; Tanahashi landed a flying forearm, but was cut off by one from Yujiro. Yujiro dropkicked the knee, but was caught with a dragon screw and the cloverleaf was locked in. The rest of CHAOS broke it up, but Tanahashi was saved by his team. Yujiro ducked a sling blade and was caught with an Olympic slam. He went for the deadlift German suplex, Yujiro fought out and was caught with a sling blade. Ishii was tagged in and was caught with a dropkick from Tanahashi who made the tag to Makabe. He and Ishii went back to the elbow exchange, which Makabe got the better of following a snap powerslam. Makabe unloaded in the corner with shots to Ishii and landed a northern lights suplex. Ishii blocked a German, Makabe shouted “f*** you man”, but was caught with one regardless. Ishii landed a big snap powerslam, but Team Tanahashi broke it up. A brawl between CHAOS and Team Tanahashi spilt to the outside. Makabe and Ishii exchanged lariats, but Makabe got the better of it. He went to the King Kong knee, but was cut off by a dropkick from Okada. Ishii then landed a big superplex for two, due to a breakup from Goto. Makabe was left in the ring with the four members of CHAOS who teed off with boots and lariats. Ishii went for something, butAndersonran in with dropkicks. Goto came in and landed an elbow on Ishii, Tanahashi landed a sling blade and it spilt out to the floor again. Finally Makabe landed a lariat, scoop slam and King Kong knee on Ishii for the win in 17:26.

*** ¾

 

There were faceoffs all around after the match.

 

New JapanPro Wrestling Power Struggle November 11th 2012

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium,Osaka,Japan

 

Overall Thoughts

 

Power Struggle, the second New Japan internet-pay-per-view made available outside of Japan, was once again a great showing by New Japan. It wasn’t as good as ‘King of Pro Wrestling’ show, but then again that really wasn’t expected going in.

 

First of all ‘King of Pro Wrestling’ was more of a main show and less of a B-show, and secondly that show had the best match of the year by far on it, which this show didn’t have. Still from match four onwards all of the matches were really good and even before that there really wasn’t anything bad on the show.

 

There were four ****+ star matches on this show, which is practically unbeatable for most other promotions today. The crowd was into everything and what helped was that almost everything had a different feel to it, and so nothing felt stale (well except for the Yano/Iizuka match). I would highly recommend checking this show out from top to bottom.

 

1. IWGP Junior Tag Championship Match

Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) vs. Time Splitters (KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley)

 

Before the match Koslov got the announcer to tell all of the people to stand, they obliged and he proceeded to sing the Russian national anthem! The fans then clapped in approval – phenomenal. Koslov and Romero attacked KUSHIDA before the bell and landed a belt shot behind the referee’s back for two. KUSHIDA fought out of their corner, but there was no Shelley on the apron and he was soon sent back to the heel corner. Koslov shouted “who’s the f****** man?” and Romero called KUSHIDA an idiot in Japanese. Romero landed a basement dropkick for two and the fans got behind KUSHIDA. Romero then landed his flurry of lariats in the corner, but KUSHIDA shot out with a dropkick to the knee and a springboard forearm. Romero ducked a highkick and they exchanged some counteres. Shelley shot in with a leaping front kick and they landed some of their double teams on Koslov in the corner. They did their dropkick double team on Romero and went for the sliced bread doomsday, Shelley was pushed off the top by Koslov and Romero grabbed a rollup for two. KUSHIDA ducked a couple of enzuigiris and was caught with a set of diving knees. He landed a Michinoku driver for two and Shelley ran in with a dropkick. KUSHIDA countered sliced bread and Shelley landed a sliced bread of his own on Romero, Koslov was knocked off of the apron with a handspring and they landed their double highkicks and sliced bread doomsday for the win in. This was a fun opener, Koslov was limited due to an injury that he had suffered on a house show, but the match was pretty much on the same level as their match from the last show.

***

 

2. Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Captain New Japan & Negro Casas vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado

 

Well, you guessed it, the match started off in a giant brawl; it wouldn’t have been a Yano/Iizuka match if it hadn’t. HASHI and Casas started off. HASHI pulled at the hair of Casas, while Nakanishi was destroyed on the outside. Casas landed a spinkick and both men had a shoulderblock battle. Casas made the tag to Liger who landed a baseball slide on HASHI. Liger landed a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker and tagged in Tiger Mask. He landed a highkick and perched HASHI on the top for the release double arm suplex. Jado broke the pin up and the tag was made to New Japan. He missed a diving headbutt, Jado was tagged in and he landed some chops. Jado stomped on the limbs of New Japan and Ishii was tagged in whipping New Japan into the exposed turnbuckle. He unloaded with strikes in the corner and landed a big lariat for two. He was whipped into the post again and Iizuka unloaded with a few stomps. He proceeded to strangle New Japan with the buckle rope and Liger too stomped on NewJapan, it happened a couple of months ago and I am still not to sure what it is about. Yano was tagged back in and he landed a scoopslam, but Tiger Mask forced him to break the pin. NewJapanlanded a shoulderblock and made the tag to Nakanishi who ran wild. Nakanishi landed a big lariat on Yano and landed his big lariat. Iizuka was there to break it up and another brawl broke out on the outside. Nakanishi and New Japan then busted out their double torture rack spot that they have been doing on the house shows on Jado and Yano. However, Yano grabbed a low blow and a cradle for the win. After the match Iizuka and Yano destroyed Nakanishi with the claw and a chair, and he was looked on by trainers.

 

This was a Iizuka/Yano match, apart from a few singles matches and the match with Suzuki-gun they really only have one match as a team, still it was fine for what it was.

**

3. Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Taichi

 

Taguchi and Taichi started off. Taichi called for kicks from Taguchi, but quickly fled to the ropes. Taichi offered a handshake, Taguchi accepted, but Taichi backed off. Taguchi prepared for an athletic exchange, but was caught with a kick to the posterior. Taguchi did his feign dive, Suzuki ran in, but was knocked to the outside by Nagata. Taguchi went for a dive, but was pulled to the floor by Michinoku on the outside. Suzuki-gun picked their opponents apart on the outside, both with chair shots and elbows. Suzuki locked in a single legBostoncrab on Taguchi, Taichi was tagged back in, and he too locked in aBostoncrab. Nagata was kicked to the outside by Suzuki and Taichi landed a lariat in the corner. Taichi covered Taguchi, while Michinoku slid onto the apron with a fast count; it was a really funny little touch. Suzuki was tagged back in and he landed some kicks. Taguchi slapped the chest of Suzuki, but Suzuki no sold and responded with a slap of his own. He was caught with a missile dropkick, Taguchi went to tag Nagata in, was caught with a back slap, but he landed an enzuigiri and made the tag. Taichi was kicked off the apron together with Michinoku and Nagata prepared to ignite the old rivalry. He unloaded with chops and landed the yakuza kick and exploder. Suzuki landed a headbutt and kick on Nagata, Nagata sat up, Suzuki landed another kick, for the same result, and in typical Suzuki-gun fashion he landed a simple back kick and cover for two. They exchanged slaps; Suzuki got the better of it and made the tag to Taichi. Nagata landed a kick to the chest and locked in the crucifix armbar. Suzuki broke it with a kick to the back, landed a few elbows and a big boot in the corner. He then threw Taguchi to the outside and Taichi tore off the tights. Nagata cut him off with a knee and landed a backdrop driver; however there was no referee. Suzuki locked in a sleeper on Nagata from behind, landed the Gotch piledriver and threw Taichi in for the Low Fly Flow for the win in.

 

This was a really fun match. It is always amazing to see Suzuki as leader of Suzuki-gun and then as a maineventer, because he has done both over the past month and they are completely different. There is a part of me that just gets a huge kick over the Low Fly Flow. Naturally in the post match there was a beat down – it is what Suzuki-gun does.

***

 

4. IWGP Tag Championship Match

 Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr.) vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

 

Archer and Smith went after TenKoji before the match, but were fended off with dual lariats to the outside. Kojima landed some chops on Smith, and Tenzan went after Archer. They went for the 3D on Smith, but Archer ran in and they landed dual running powerslams on TenKoji. They landed the sidewalk slam/legdrop combo and began to wear Tenzan down. Archer gave the crowd the middle finger and paid the price by eating a boot from Tenzan. However, Kojima was booted off of the apron, and Smith and Archer locked in aBostoncrab, crossface combo. Tenzan landed a few Mongolian chops, but was taken down once again. Smith was caught with a backdrop and made the tag to Kojima. Kojima landed the machine gun chops in the corner, followed by the flying forearm and diving elbow for two. The crowd was really behind Kojima; however he was cut off with a knee from Smith who shouted “f*** you” at the crowd. Kojima landed a DDT, but was caught with a powerslam. Archer was tagged in and he landed a flurry of forearms, but Kojima blocked a lariat and landed a roaring elbow followed by an ace crusher. Tenzan was tagged in and he unloaded with Mongolian chops. Tenzan landed a big shoulderblock and some boots in the corner. He was able to land the bulldog out of the corner, Archer landed a few shots, but Tenzan landed a leg lariat for two. Tenzan locked in the anaconda vice, and Smith was cut off by Kojima. They went after Archer and landed the 3D. Smith was sent to the outside and Kojima landed his big lariat. Tenzan went for the moonsault, but Archer moved. Archer landed a forearm and inverted crucifix powerbomb, which is his finisher, but Kojima kicked out. Smith powerbombed Kojima and Archer then landed a moonsault on Tenzan for two! Archer went crazy complaining to the referee. Tenzan landed a headbutt and a flurry of Mongolian chops, but Michinoku grabbed his leg allowing for Archer and Smith to perform the Killer Bomb for the win in.

 

I originally said that the Kings of Pro Wrestling exceeded my expectations, well if that was the case then this match shattered mine. All four men busted out absolutely everything to make this a good match and they succeeded, and while the two teams don’t always have good matches, they have a unique chemistry together, which results in good matches.

*** ¼

5. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match

Low Ki vs. Prince Devitt

 

Ki and Devitt were both itching for the bell to ring and started off with a really intense elbow exchange. Ki was knocked to the floor, caught with a dropkick on his way in and Ki evaded a dive. This led to an elbow exchange on the entrance ramp. Devitt landed some big chops on the outside, but was whipped into the guardrail and onto the announce table. Ki went for a double foot stomp through the table, but Devitt threw a monitor at him, which was super creative. Ki blocked a leaping highkick and locked in a dragon sleeper in the ropes. Ki landed another chop and locked in a body scissors. Devitt was thrown back out to the floor where Ki landed a couple of big uppercuts. Devitt landed a flurry of forearms in the ring, but was cut off by a lariat and Ki went back to the body scissors. Devitt landed some more forearms, but was caught with a kick to the back of the head. He locked in an abdominal stretch. Devitt landed some big chops, they had an exchange and Devitt won with a dropkick and topé con giro. This time Ki was placed on the table, but he cut Devitt off with a forearm. Ki shot in with a flurry of strikes, but Devitt cut Ki’s tumbling kick off in midair and landed a brainbuster. Ki landed a mule kick and a highkick to the back of the head for two. Ki went for the Ki Krusher, Ki was catapulted into the post, but he shot back with a double foot stomp! Ki went for the Ki Krusher again, Devitt went for Bloody Sun day, but Ki countered and landed a chop; however Ki was caught with a pelé. Both men were down. Devitt was caught with a tumbling highkick on the top rope, he was then caught in the tree of woe, but he pulled Ki down and landed a double foot stomp of his own to the back of Ki! Devitt landed a highkick and went for a brainbuster, but was caught with a Liger kick. Ki went for a German suplex, but Devitt landed Bloody Sunday for two! Devitt went to the top, Ki moved, Devitt rolled through, but was caught with a big dropkick. Ki went to the top and landed a huge double foot stomp catching Devitt right on the back of the head. Ki then landed a double foot stomp to the gut also for two! Ki went for the Ki Krusher, but Devitt grabbed a small package for the win.

 

This was a great Junior Heavyweight title match. Devitt and Ki really brought a lot of intensity, which was already evident from some of the New Japan house shows. There were a few unique spots in the match, namely the monitor and catapult spots. I don’t like how the title has changed so often over the past year or so, but hopefully the title stays on Devitt for a while, because as everyone knows he is a great champion.

****

 

6. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue

 

Both teams went straight at. Makabe and Shibata started off. Makabe landed a big lariat on Shibata and the tag was made to Inoue. Inoue landed some big chops and forearms, Shibata took no notice and landed some knees and a couple of stomps. Makabe was booted off of the apron and Shibata locked in a sleeper and landed a big kick to the chest. Sakuraba landed some slaps, Inoue responded with some of his own and this led to an intense scuffle. Shibata went for a suplex, but Inoue landed one of his own. Shibata landed a few more strikes and Sakuraba pitched in from the apron. The tag was made to Sakuraba, Shibata was knocked off of the apron and Inoue fired off on Sakuraba with elbows. Sakuraba made it to his feet, but was caught with a spear. Inoue attempted a German suplex, but Shibata locked in a sleeper. He was taken out by Makabe, Sakuraba landed a few shots and attempted a Kimura. Shibata and Makabe continued to brawl and Sakuraba attempted an armbar, Inoue tried to power his way out, but was dropped back down. Inoue grabbed a quick cover, but Sakuraba responded with some shots on the mat. Sakuraba then locked in a Kimura as the announcers referenced Renzo Gracie. Inoue then tapped out. Shibata and Makabe continued to brawl after the match and they were pulled apart numerous times.

 

I understand that Sakuraba is really beaten down and his matches can never be what they were; I doubt he can even have a long match. However, from what I saw here he was perfectly fine, he didn’t take any big bumps so I don’t know how his match with Nakamura will work, but it should be at least decent. I was sceptical of the Shibata/Sakuraba invasion at first, but I am really enjoying the matches and it is being booked really well.

*** ¼

 

7.TokyoDome IWGP Heavyweight Championship Number One Contenders’ Match Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto

 

The crowd was behind Okada. Okada executed a clean break and this led to a great series of counters. Goto went for the big lariat, Okada went for the rainmaker, but was eventually caught with a lariat. Okada was clotheslined over the guardrail and to the floor. Goto took Okada into the crowd and landed a big kick. Okada was thrown headfirst into a post and caught with a kick to the back. Goto landed an elbow drop for two and went to a chinlock. Okada perched Goto on the top, he was caught with a boot, but Okada responded with a flapjack. Okada landed one of his super fast basement dropkicks. Okada booted Goto over the guardrail on the outside and landed a draping DDT. This led to Gedo screaming in happiness on the outside. Goto made it in at 19. Okada locked in his three quarter facelock, but Goto made it to the ropes. The crowd chanted Okada’s name. He landed his neckbreaker. Goto landed a few shots, Okada went for the rainmaker, but Goto landed a German suplex. Goto landed some kicks to the chest and a big leg lariat followed by a backdrop. Goto landed a bridging German suplex for two and Gedo cheered Okada on. Okada caught Goto’s lariat attempts with the belly to back over the shoulder over the knee neckbreaker. He then landed Heavy Rain for two. Okada landed a diving elbow signalled for the rainmaker, Gedo followed along with the pose, Goto attempted the Shouten Kai, Okada countered, Okada missed a dropkick and Goto landed a big lariat. Gedo continued to cheer on Okada. Goto landed a big elbow and this led to a forearm exchange. Goto got the better of it and knocked Okada to the mat. He landed an Olympic slam for two. He went for the Shouten Kai, Okada blocked, was caught with a slap, but Okada responded with a big dropkick. He went for the tombstone, Goto blocked, he got him up, but Goto landed the fireman’s carry over the knee neckbreaker! Goto went for the Shouten Kai, Okada went for the rainmaker, Goto went for it again, Okada fought out, but Goto was only able to land a headbutt. He went for the Shouten Kai, but Okada landed a dropkick and the tombstone piledriver followed by the rainmaker for the win. No one kicks out of the rainmaker.

 

This was another great match, every time I see Okada he has improved, it is actually scary to think how good he could be in five years when he reaches the age of 30.

****

8. IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karl Anderson

 

Andersonlocked in a body scissors, Nakamura fought out and they had a faceoff. The crowd chanted forAnderson.Andersonlanded an uppercut off of a break and caught Nakamura with a couple of armdrags and locked in a hold on the arm of Nakamura. Nakamura landed some kicks to the chest and an enzuigiri; once again they worked up to a faceoff.Andersonlocked in a headlock. Nakamura was caught with a back elbow and some boots in the corner.  Nakamura moved out of the way of a back senton and landed some knees in the corner and mimickedAnderson’s taunt. Nakamura landed some kicks on the outside and bootedAndersonto the floor.Andersoncaught a boot and threw Nakamura into the barricade.Andersonstood along with Nakamura on the announce table and landed a gun stun from the fireman’s carry onto the guardrail! Nakamura made it back in andAndersonwent back to work on the arm. Nakamura landed a few knees, but was caught with a dropkick for two. The announcer then called Nakamura “very good” and “very strong”, which sounded great.Andersonlanded two back sentons making up for the one he missed earlier. Nakamura caughtAndersonwith a leaping highkick, a knee on the apron and a huge guillotine kneedrop to the back of the head. Nakamura landed a flurry of strikes,Andersonducked a highkick, but was caught with another. Nakamura missed his knee in the corner, butAndersonhung himself up and was caught with the big running knee to the gut. Nakamura landed some knees on the mat and a front suplex; working on the midsection ofAnderson. Nakamura landed a few strikes, but was caught with a neckbreaker.Andersonwent for a shoulderblock, was caught with a knee, but was able to land a big step up kick and sitout powerbomb for two.Andersonwent to the top, but was caught with one of Nakamura’s insane martial arts kicks. Nakamura locked in a front facelock and landed an inverted front suplex. He went for the Boma Ye, but was caught with a AA spinebuster and the swinging fireman’s carry gunstun for two.Andersonwent to the top rope again, this time landing a diving gun stun for two.Andersonwent for a tombstone, but was caught with a highkick. Nakamura went for a top rope Boma Ye, but was caught with a boot.Andersonwent for the gun stun, but Nakamura landed a back cracker and big knee. Both men were down. They went to a forearm exchange.Andersonlanded an uppercut to the arm and another big uppercut turning Nakamura inside out.Andersonwent for a scoop slam, but was caught with a boot.Andersonthen landed a hybrid blaster for two.Andersonwent for the Gun Stun, but was caught with a flurry of high knees and the Boma Ye granting Nakamura the win.

 

This was a great intercontinental championship match that really made the intercontinental championship seem like one of the most important titles in the company – something that has made it great since its inception. After the match Nakamura revealed who he wanted to face next; he started off with “Sa” and then went to “Ku” and the place popped. He said Sakuraba, Sakuraba came out in his mask, bowed and then walked back to the back – this was great.

*** ¾

9. IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi

 

Tanahashi took Yujiro to the mat and they battled in and out of holds to a faceoff. Tanahashi locked in a headlock, but Yujiro fought out with a hair pull and of course, bit the hand of Tanahashi. Tanahashi landed a couple of dropkicks and an armdrag. Yujiro raked the eyes of Tanahashi, but Tanahashi responded by going after the leg. Takahashi pulled at the hair of Tanahashi, but Tanahashi simply responded with a kick to the leg. Tanahashi was flapjacked into the corner and Yujiro landed a bucklebomb. Tanahashi was dropped to the outside with a clothesline. Takahashi landed a big lariat on the outside and pulled Tanahashi back in at eight. Takahashi landed some elbows to the back of the head and a boot. Takahashi locked in a chinlock and wrenched back with Tanahashi over his knees. Takahashi landed a couple of chops and a lariat for two. Yujiro dropped some elbows and covered Tanahashi again for two. They went to a forearm exchange, Tanahashi got the better of it with body shots, but Yujiro landed a belly to belly suplex. Yujiro landed another suplex and locked in a double underhook. Tanahashi made it to the ropes. Yujiro missed a legdrop, was caught with an elbow, and responded with some ground and pound. Yujiro cut Tanahashi off with some elbows and pulled his hair in the corner. Tanahashi landed some slaps to the chest, Yujiro responded with a chop, but was caught with a flying forearm. Tanahashi landed a few forearms and a splash out of the corner. Tanahashi skinned the cat, Takahashi attempted to catch him in a deadlift German, but Tanahashi got out and landed a dragon screw. Tanahashi landed a massive high fly flow to the floor. Tanahashi went for a sling blade, Yujiro went for Tokyo Pimps, Tanahashi went for a dragon sleeper, but was caught with a front suplex and a topé! Yujiro dragged Tanahashi up the entrance ramp and landed a fisherman’s suplex on the ramp. Tanahashi made it back in at 19, which probably helped Yujiro in terms of reactions. Takahashi landed a belly to belly suplex from the top rope and followed it with a fisherman’s suplex. He went for Tokyo Pimps, but Tanahashi countered and landed two dragon screws. Tanahashi locked in the cloverleaf. Takahashi made it to the ropes and was caught with another dragon screw. Tanahashi ducked a few lariats and landed a sling blade. Tanahashi landed a Michinoku driver went to the top rope for the high fly flow, but Yujiro caught him right on the knee and landed a deadlift gut wrench slam. Takahashi caught Tanahashi with a big lariat, he went for the Olympic Slam, Tanahashi fought out, but was eventually caught with one for a two count. Takahashi landed a moonsault and Tokyo Pimps for two, which was a spot that a large portion of the crowd actually bought. Takahashi attempted a deadlift German, but Tanahashi grabbed a dragon screw. To make matters worse for Takahashi he was caught with a dropkick to the knee. Takahashi went for a lariat, but was caught with a straight jacket suplex for zero! He caught Tanahashi with a big lariat, but he was in turn caught with a sling blade. Tanahashi landed a flurry of slaps, all the while ducking the slap attempts from Yujiro. He landed a dragon suplex and went to the top rope, Yujiro willed his way up, but was caught with a standing high fly flow and another on the ground for the win.

 

As I hoped and expected Okada came down to the ring with Gedo after the match. After all Okada is officially the next challenger. Gedo cut a promo and brought out the contract and it was signed by a commissioner and locked back in the briefcase. Gedo went on with his promo and gave the mic to Okada, and he cut a short promo. The crowd popped for all of it. Tanahashi said something, Okada pointed to the belt, Tanahashi did the rainmaker pose and so did Okada! This was a really good challenge to close off the show.

 

This was another great Tanahashi mainevent, but credit also has to go to Yujiro, who actually can perform pretty darn well in a title situation. I wouldn’t say that he should be a constant maineventer, but like other guys on the roster he can easily be moved up to that position for weaker shows, which speaks for the depth of the New Japan roster.

**** ¼

 

TNA Turning Point November 11th 2012

Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This was a thumbs up show, but mainly due to the mainevent and opener. Everything that followed Magnus/Joe and came before Hardy/Aries really wasn’t all that great; in fact there was a lot of bad stuff on the show. The crowd was dead for a lot of the matches, even the triple threat, which should have been good, but was pretty much killed by the crowd.

 

However, the opener was really good with Joe and Magnus looking like stars and the mainevent was good in its own way. It wasn’t the most flashy ladder match in the world, but some of the bumps that both men took were absolutely brutal. Hardy took the brunt of most of the damage landing on his head from the top of a ladder and jumping in between an upside down ladder.

 

You shouldn’t go out of your way for the show as a whole, but the first and last matches are definitely worth a watch.

 

The show opened with Taz talking about Hurricane Sandy. He said people could help and he brought out Bucket Head and Bully Ray. Bucket Head, anOrlandoradio presenter thanked everyone incuding the Red Cross. He wanted to set a world record with the most people texting simultaneously on pay-per-view. They would all be charged 10$ and they all texted at the count of three. Ray started a TNA chant and all three men walked off for the opening video package. Aries’ main point was that he used to destroy his body for 50$ and so he would be able to do the unthinkable with this much on the line. It was good. Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay and Taz were the commentators for the night.

 

1. TNA Television Championship No Disqualification Match

SamoaJoe vs. Magnus

 

Both men started the match off with a big elbow exchange, Joe got the better of it and they spilt out to the floor. Joe threw Magnus into the guardrail and teed off. Magnus landed some shots of his own and raked the back of Joe. Magnus locked in a headlock, but was thrown into the stares. Joe landed some more shots, while Tenay went on about how Joe held the ROH World Title; something that I found pretty interesting. Joe landed a big flying boot and a headbutt, but he was cut off with a clothesline from Magnus. Magnus landed a flurry of elbows and chocked Joe in the corner. He cut Joe off with a big knee and taunted in the ring. Joe landed a back splash and big highkick, followed by a big face wash. Magnus grabbed a chair from underneath the ring, Joe went for a topé, but was caught with a big flying chair shot. There was barley any emphasis put on the fact that the match was No DQ up until this point. Magnus went after the arm of Joe. Magnus went for a splash, but was caught with an atomic drop. Joe missed the back senton, Magnus went for something, but he was caught with a snap powerslam for two. Magnus went for a head scissors, but was powerbombed and Joe transitioned into a crossface. Magnus made it to the ropes, which shouldn’t really matter in a no DQ match. Magnus went for the rear naked choke, Joe countered, but Magnus locked in a wrist lock. He locked in an armbar, but Joe blocked. Magnus was caught with a really big high kick and went for the muscle buster, Magnus fought Joe off with shots, but Joe landed a big chop. Joe followed Magnus to the top, but Magnus raked Joe’s eyes and landed a knee. Magnus landed a big elbow for two; Joe landed a front kick and a flurry of shots. Joe went for a powerslam, but was caught with a Michinoku driver and another elbow again for two. The fans dual chanted. Magnus landed a couple of shots, but Joe responded with some jabs. Magnus went for a clothesline, but was caught with a huge uranagi from Joe. Magnus grabbed the chair again, but instead of coming at Magnus with a topé he landed corkscrew topé over the chair. Joe then landed the muscle buster for two in a phenomenal nearfall. Magnus called Joe and gave him the middle finger. Joe fired back with chops, Joe locked in the rear naked choke, Magnus grabbed the referee, but he faded.

 

This was not what I expected at all. For one I didn’t even know that it was a No DQ match, but apart from that Joe and Magnus were really on tonight. Joe in particular was really on form, but Magnus has also improved a lot. I really liked the chair spots and the way that one played off of the other. I hope they put over the fact that Magnus wouldn’t submit and he kicked out of the muscle buster, because it really got Magnus over as tough. This was a really good opener.

*** ¾

 

Jeremy Borash was backstage with ODB. She said that Young was not there and she was still embarrassed. All of a sudden Young came by and said a shark ate his phone. He and Aqua Man saw what happened, they then embraced. Borash interrupted and Young said he would show them who the real power couple was. I care so little for this act.

 

2. Tara & Jesse vs. ODB & Eric Young

 

ODB and Jesse started off. She landed an atomic drop and Young and her traded shots on Jesse. Young was tagged in and he and ODB met with a kiss before landing a double elbow. Young landed a dropkick and ODB was tagged back in. She landed the bronco buster and Young called for one to be performed on him. However,Tararan into break it up. Jesse landed shots and taggedTarain. She was blowing kisses to ODB and Young kicked out of a pin. Jesse was tagged back in and he landed a powerslam.Tarawas taken down by Young and so Jesse was tagged back in. Young was thrown into the corner, but did a Flair strut on the apron. They both collided with a clothesline and ODB drank some whiskey on the apron. Instead of their being a conventional hot tag,Taradistracted the referee and Young. ODB landed a low blow behind the referee’s back allowing for the tag to ODB. She ran wild with a Thesz press,Tararan in, but she was knocked down by some clotheslines. She landed the swinging fireman’s carry neckbreaker, butTarawasn’t legal and Jesse landed some shots. Young tagged himself in and landed the Macho Man elbow for the win. I can simply not think of many things I care about less than these two teams – I just have no tolerance for this.

* ¾

 

They aired a recap of the Doc/Sting beat down. Borash was backstage with James Storm. He said it was a turning point in someone’s career he had prepared for more than a year and he didn’t claim to know all the answers. However, he was winning the match. They showed the Ryan/Hogan segment from Impact again.

 

3. TNA X Division Championship Match

Rob Van Dam vs. Joey Ryan

 

Joey Ryan grabbed a mic. He said that the odds weren’t against him just because Morgan wasn’t there. They didn’t answer to anyone, especially Hogan. He had been defying odds since he got there and it was time for him to make the X title X rated.

 

Van Dam got a quick rollup, Ryan pushed him and this led to Van Dam landing a flurry of kicks on Ryan. Van Dam landed a spinkick in the corner and a legdrop. Ryan was hung up in the tree of woe and was caught with a dropkick. Ryan was caught with a big monkey flip, Van Dam went for rolling thunder, but Ryan rolled out of the ring. Van Dam landed a highkick and went to the top rope, but was pushed off where he was hung up on the barricade. Ryan then caught Van Dam with a topé suicida. Van Dam blocked a tornado DDT, but was spiked with another DDT. Ryan landed a shot to the back of Van Dam and landed a topé rope swinging neckbreaker for two. Ryan was caught with a springkick, spinkick, rolling thunder and a standing moonsault for two. Ryan went for a rollup, he had to move in mid-move due to the ropes, he then got a rollup with his feet on the ropes for two. Van Dam then landed a scoopslam and five-star frogsplash for the win. Just like that Van Dam retained.

** ¼

 

Van Dam was caught with a carbon footprint on the apron. Joe Park was with Borash backstage. He wished Sting better and he talked about why he wanted the match. He talked about how they committed “indescribable acts” and deprived him of his basic human rights. It was about being a man for him tonight and he was going in and out as a man. A recap of the Aces & Eights angle aired.

 

4. Joe Park vs. DOC (Director of Chaos)

 

The crowd chanted “you can do it”. Park went for a takedown, but DOC moved and mocked him. DOC threw Park, Park swung, but was caught with a leg kick. Park finally caught DOC with a shot to the face. DOC chased Park around the ring and Park backed off on the outside. They played a cartoonish came of cat and mouse. DOC swung with a chair, but missed. He ran at Park and landed arm first. This led to Park slamming his hand into the steps and DOC practically rammed himself into the barricade. DOC pulled off his studded belt and went for a shot. The referee pulled it away and DOC grabbed a hammer. DOC went for a shot, but Park shot a double leg and landed some ground and pound. Park grabbed the hammer, he hesitated and was caught with a shot from behind. DOC landed a legdrop for two and was caught with some good looking shots to the face. DOC continued to wear Park down and landed a splash. Park kicked out. Taz called Park “Abyss” instead of Park, which was a mistake. DOC landed some more shots on the ground and taunted for his finish. The fans were behind Park and he unloaded with shots. He landed some shoulderblocks, but was caught with a belt shot behind the back of the referee. Park bladed and was mystified by his own blood. This led to Park going crazy landed a clothesline, big splash and black hole slam. Park then acted like he snapped out of a trance. Park then landed a splash for two. Park was caught with a shot, rolled to the outside, DOC was caught in the ropes and the referee was distracted with the belt allowing for a chair shot from Park for two. DOC then landed a chokeslam for the win.

 

After the match DOC continued the beat down. DOC then grabbed the hammer and the referee was chased off. This led to Bully Ray running down and chasing DOC off. Ray then pulled Park up. This match was a Joe Park match and as such had to be worked like Park didn’t know how to wrestle. It wasn’t good, but it told a story; I wasn’t thoroughly entertained, but I enjoyed it.

* ¾

 

Borash was backstage with Bobby Roode. He said he would get back in the game that night. He was in the ring with two men that knew how it felt to be champion, and he would prove that he was the better man. He had pinned both men and Storm would be out for another year. He would be one step closer to be regaining his World Heavyweight Championship.

 

5. Tag Team Championship Match

Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian

 

They aired a great video package before the match. Daniels and Chavo started off. Chavo busted out a Thesz press and landed a flurry of shots. Kazarian was caught with a shot from behind by Kazarian and Hernandez was knocked off of the apron by Daniels. Daniels landed a gutbuster and Kazarian a springboard legdrop. They went for a double team, but Hernandez ran in with a double shoulderblock and back bodydrop. Hernandez slammed Chavo onto Kazarian. Hernandez landed a huge hip toss and landed a brainbuster. Chavo came in with a senton and Hernandez landed a splash and big gutbuster for two. Chavo was tagged in, but Kazarian wasn’t home for the frogsplash. Daniels was tagged in and he landed a big boot to the chest. They tagged in and out wearing Chavo down. Chavo was dropkicked to the outside and Kazarian and Daniels busted out double Gangnam Style! Kazarian locked in a bearhug wearing Chavo down. Chavo landed a tornado DDT out of nowhere and made the tag to Daniels. The tag was made to Hernandez and he ran wild. Hernandez landed his bearhug belly to belly suplex and a splash in the corner for two. Hernandez went for the border toss, but was Kazarian fought out and landed a missile dropkick. They landed a flurry of shots in the corner, but he came flying in with a double slingshot clothesline. He landed a gutwrench backbreaker on Daniels and a huge border toss on Kazarian. He went for the big dive, but was hung up by Daniels. This allowed for Daniels and Kazarian to land the total elimination style high low. Hernandez landed a double suplex and the tag was made to Chavo who flew in with a double missile dropkick. He started to land the three amigos on Kazarian, was halted by Daniels, but landed all three on him. Chavo went to the top rope and was caught with flying highkick. Kazarian was body pressed to the outside and Daniels landed an STO on Hernandez. He went for a superplex on Chavo, but Chavo fought out and they landed a crossbody doomsday device for the win.

***

Borash was with Styles backstage. He talked about all the distractions he had gone through. He said it had been three years since he had been champion and that was the only motivation he needed. A new chapter would start with him being the world champion.

 

6. Number One Contender’s Triple Threat Match

AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm

 

Styles caught Roode with a pelé at the start of the match and Styles and Storm worked in and out of some wristlocks. Storm and Roode traded shots on the outside allowing them to be caught with a topé suicida from Styles. Styles landed a big kick to the back of Roode and landed a kneedrop. Storm came in and landed some shots. Styles was dropped onto the apron, but his leg buckled and he slipped. Roode knocked him out to the floor, but he was soon back in with a splash and a backdrop. He missed a splash on Storm and took a Ziggler style bump to the floor hitting his head really hard. This led to a heated chop battle between Storm and Roode. Storm landed a neckbreaker for two and Storm landed a leaping highkick. Styles came in with a flying dropkick and didn’t look okay at all. He performed perfectly fine, but he just didn’t look okay. Roode was thrown to the outside also landing badly, but certainly not to the same extent as Styles. Styles went after the legs of Storm and locked in a figure four. Roode was on the apron, but was elbowed off by Styles. Styles went back to the leg, he went for the Styles Clash, but Storm countered. He went for eye of the storm, but Roode came in with a DDT. Styles was thrown back out to the outside; “splat” once again. Roode then threw Styles into the steps knee first. Roode taunted for the spear like Edge, but he missed and Storm landed a code breaker. Storm went for the superkick, but Styles came in with a springboard uppercut. Storm was dropped to the outside and Styles went at it with Roode. Styles was thrown off of a tornado DDT and he and Storm landed a double team suplex. They did the Beer Money Taunt, but went after each other. Storm caught Roode with a big shot, Styles went after Storm, but he was shot into Roode with a frankensteiner. He then landed his springboard into inverted DDT on Storm. Roode landed a neckbreaker on Storm and went for a lariat on Styles; however, Styles landed a pelé. Storm and Styles went to the outside with a Foley style clothesline. Styles missed a springboard 450 splash on Roode and Roode landed a spear for two. He locked in a crossface, but Styles worked his way out. Roode pulled out a uranagi and spine buster. Roode went for the fisherman’s suplex, but was caught with a backcracker from Storm. Storm then landed the superkick on Styles for the win.

 

I enjoyed the match, all three men worked really hard; the only problem was that the crowd was dead for most of the match and didn’t react too much. I am interested to see where they go with Styles and the presumable chase for the title next year. Eleven months is a long time, but I am pretty confident that TNA will stick to the plan; at least until Hulk Hogan changes it at the last minute.

*** ¼

 

There was a video with Hogan and Dixie Carter for Hurricane Sandy. It was nice and all, but at the end of the package Hogan gave the most wacky fake grin and thumbs up.Devonwas backstage in “the club house” for a promo. His turning point was when he was revealed as a member of Aces & Eights.Devonsaid that Angle was at the wrong place at the wrong time; it was just “club business”

 

7. Kurt Angle vs.Devon

 

Devonwas in control of Angle following some melee at the start of the match.Devonsent Angle into the post shoulder first and then sent him into the guardrail.Devoncut Angle off with a flying elbow for one. He worked over the neck of Angle. Angle then landed a missile dropkick of all things. Angle ran wild with a flurry of flying forearms and belly to belly suplex for two. Angle went for an Angle slam, butDevongot off of the shoulders and cut Angle off. Devon went to the top, but Angle sprang to the top catchingDevonwith a release belly to belly suplex. He locked in the ankle lock, butDevonmade it out.Devonlanded a belly to belly takedown for two. He went for a powerbomb, but Angle dropper down awkwardly with what I think was supposed to be a drop toehold. Angle landed the three rolling German suplexes and went to the top again.Devonlanded a running last ride style powerbomb out of the corner. Angle went for a German suplex, but was caught with a spinebuster fromDevon.Devonmissed the flying headbutt and Angle pulled the straps down. He landed an Angle slam andDevonkicked out. Aces & Eights surrounded the ring and this led toDevonlanding a spear off of the distraction for two. Angle locked in the ankle lock out of nowhere for the win and fled the ring before the Aces & Eights ran in. DOC kept yelling “you’re dead”.

***

 

Styles was caught backstage. He was asked what he would do, but he just looked into the camera and walked off. Borash was backstage with Austin Aries. Aries said that they would write the final chapter of the Hardy story. He would shove the deck that was stacked against him down everyone’s throats. He would go out and be himself, because that was all he needed. He would beat Hardy at his own game and regain the TNA world championship. They aired another video package for the mainevent and it was great.

 

8. TNA World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match

Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries

 

Aries threw Hardy to the outside and went to grab a ladder. He was met by Hardy and he ran back into the ring, catching Hardy with a boot in his pursuit. Hardy was thrown into the post and Aries went for a Christian esque shot on the outside, he never touched him, but Hardy bumped anyway. They traded some shots in ring. Aries was sent to the outside with a hurricanrana into a ladder that he tripped over. Hardy came over with a pescado and inadvertently hit his hand on the ladder. Hardy flew at Aries over the step with a leg lariat. Hardy landed a clothesline off of the apron and started to climb the ladder. However, Aries climbed over Hardy’s back and took him down with a Russian legsweep. A ladder was placed between the rail and apron. Aries came over with a springboard forearm to the gut and a kneedrop. He then pushed him onto the steps. Aries was thrown off of the ladder and caught with an enzuigiri. Aries went for a bodypress, but was sent into an upside down ladder landing in the supports. Aries then came over with a senton. Aries grabbed another ladder and landed a topé suicida. Aries then wedged Aries in-between the ladder and placed the steps on top of him, which was really clever. Aries went to climb, but decided to check if he was still there, but he was gone and climbing the ladder. Aries then ran into the ladder and Hardy took a terrible bump landing right on his head. They fought on the top of the ladder, Hardy was pushed off, but the ladder was broken and Aries landed some shots on Hardy. He then dropkicked Hardy who was slouched against a ladder in the corner. He went for a twist of fate, but Aries countered and Hardy armdragged Aries full speed into the ladder! Hardy landed a facebuster. Hardy who was teetering on a broken ladder then landed a big splash on Aries. Hardy placed the ladder on top of the post and Hardy grabbed another ladder. Hardy climbed andAustinclimbed to the top rope and missile dropkicked the supports out of the ladder and Hardy took another hard fall, but not as hard as the first by far. Aries shoved the ladder into the throat of Hardy and caught him with another big dropkick in the corner. He then landed a brainbuster and slid Hardy to the outside. Aries had to climb and reposition another broken ladder. Hardy slid back in and started to climb. They traded shots and Hardy rammed Aries into the ladder and landed a twist of fate off of the ladder. Hardy then landed a swanton forcing Aries to roll to the outside. Hardy started climbing another ladder, but the titles moved up. Aries threw some expletives around, and revealed that he had the control. Hardy ran to him and threw him to the floor. Hardy pulled out a huge ladder and both men met at the top. They then both toppled over onto a ladder leaning on the top turnbuckle! Hardy then landed a twist of fate on that ladder! Hardy then grabbed his belt and there was a very long awkward pause before he grabbed the second.

 

This was a really good main event. The bumps weren’t as over the top as early TLC matches, but they were a different kind of dangerous. Jeff Hardy took some really stupid bumps, namely landing on his head from the top of the ladder (twice) and taking a bump in-between an upside down ladder. I am not quite sure what I think of the finish with Aries pulling the belts up; I didn’t have a big problem with it, but it didn’t really need to be there either. After all if Aries could make it to the control to lift the belts up why couldn’t he make it into the ring? Wouldn’t that just be making it harder for himself?

**** ¼

 

WWE Monday Night RAW November 12th 2012

Columbus, Ohio 

 

Overall Thoughts

 

I don’t want to say that I hated this week’s addition of RAW, because I didn’t. However, I haven’t been this anti an episode of RAW in many weeks. The Lawler stuff was awful, there was nothing all that great on the show and they didn’t build all that well to Survivor Series.

 

Sure, they made some matches and announced Miz as the final member of team Foley, but there was nothing on this show that really made me care about Survivor Series, in fact I probably care less now than last week. A large portion of my dislike for the show was probably due to the Lawler segment, but I didn’t hate it as much as most people.

 

Looking through my notes on the show the only thing that sticks out is Lawler, the mainevent and the Maddox match; none of which made me interested in Survivor Series. This show wasn’t the worst of the year, but it was certainly a terrible go-home show.

 

The show started with a Veteran’s Day video package. Then we cut to a soap opera style opening for the Lawler return, Cena/Vickie segment, Brad Maddox/Ryback and Cena versus Punk. It really makes the entire show seem like a giant parody.

 

1. Randy Orton vs. Dolf Ziggler

 

Orton landed a bodydrop and a slingshot suplex from the apron. Ziggler landed a dropkick and a neckbreaker. Ziggler dropped what must have been eight elbow drops. Orton hit a back suplex and landed a snap powerslam. Orton took Ziggler in with a draping DDT, butDel Rioran up onto the apron. Ziggler went for a knee, but Orton got a rollup for the win. After the match a beat down ensued, butKingstonran down to make the save.

 

I know that it doesn’t matter at this point, but Ziggler losing again in this fashion was so stupid. He had the benefit of a distraction, yet Orton still beat him so easily. What purpose did this serve? The least they could have done was have the match go longer. I know that we have seen so many run-ins and DQs, but at least then Ziggler wouldn’t have been hurt further. After all it set up a tag, having a run in would make perfect sense.

 

Teddy Long came out and said that Vickie was preoccupied with Cena. He said that it was a super show and he would “do something super”. This super feat was in fact a tag team match between the four – ingenious right?

 

2. Randy Orton & Kofi Kingston vs. Dolf Ziggler & AlbertoDel Rio

 

Kinstonlanded a big dropkick on Ziggler. After the breakDel Riowas in control ofKingstonworking over the neck.Kingstongrabbed a backslide for two and was caught with a dropkick for his trouble. Orton broke the pin up and Ziggler went to a headlock. Ziggler missed a splash in the corner and the tags were made to Orton andDel Rio. Orton ran wild, but was caught with a kick to the gut.Del Riowent for the cross armbreaker, but was caught with a powerslam. Orton went for his draping DDT, was caught with a kick, butKingstontagged himself in and landed a missile dropkick.Kingstonlanded the SOS and the referee pretty much counted three, but Ziggler broke it up.Del Riolanded an enzuigiri in the corner following the distraction from Ricardo for the win.

 

A graphic aired for Jerry Lawler’s return to RAW. Vickie was shown walking to the ring backstage.

 

Ziggler was back in the ring with Vickie Guerrero and gave the definition of “scandal”. He only wanted the truth and showed the same pictures and video evidence from two weeks ago and last week. Vickie said she wouldn’t be threatened by a “love struck little girl”. She wasn’t vengeful and she had evidence that AJ couldn’t talk her way out of. Vickie called AJ out and out she came.

 

Vickie said she didn’t cost AJ anything, AJ did something wrong and had to admit it. AJ said she wasn’t going to lie and said she didn’t care, because she was talking to Vickie Guerrero. Vickie said she was more than just Vickie Guerrero, she was her boss and nothing would matter with the new evidence. Vickie asked for AJ to admit her affair. This went on and on and finally AJ admitted it. She admitted that they were “just friends” nothing inappropriate ever happened between them. AJ wanted Vickie to admit why she was actually doing this. It was about Vince choosing her and about Vickie embarrassing her in the ring and the fact that he could do it again. AJ made fun of Vickie’s weight (be a star everybody) and Vickie said she had incriminating voice mails. It was basically a vague voice mail about mistakes. AJ then said that it wasn’t her! They then played another with AJ talking about how she lost control and they went to another. These were obviously AJ voice clips strung together. AJ went off on Vickie, but Ziggler cut her off. Ziggler said “you can’t see him” and she asked what was more embarrassing the nights in Cena’s hotel room or the fact that Cena wouldn’t go out with her.

 

Cena came out and AJ slapped Ziggler. Cena knocked him down with a right hand and kicked the briefcase out of the ring.

 

It seems pretty blatant at this point that someone in WWE creative I “borrowing” ideas from Impact. I don’t really see the point of the angel at this point. Nothing ever changes, Vickie comes out with evidence that means nothing, Cena and AJ get upset and then they set up another reveal for the next week; it feels like a never ending cycle that has no rhyme of reason.

 

They aired a clip of Show going crazy in a bar. Another Veteran’s Day package aired. Cena and AJ were backstage and Cena asked if AJ was okay. Cena talked about how it was something that would never happen. AJ asked if it really was something that wouldn’t happen and John Cena corrected himself saying that it simply didn’t happen. There was some awkward silence, Cena couldn’t speak and they went off. This is sure to draw in millions of female fans, right?

 

3. Big Show vs. William Regal

 

Show landed a huge chop in the corner and unloaded with shots to the mid section of Regal in the corner. Regal attempted to fight back, but was knocked back down. Show pushed Regal around, he responded with shots, but was caught with a body slam. Show missed an elbow and Regal was fired up landing big shots. Big Show cut him off and landed a chokeslam for the win. It only went about a minute and a half, but I really enjoyed this; Regal was a really great fiery veteran. Big Show got ready for the KO Punch, waiting awkwardly for Sheamus to come out, finally Sheamus ran out and cleared the ring of the Big Show.

 

4. Layla vs. Kaitlyn

 

Eve was on commentary. Both Kaitlyn and Layla were wearing the same gear practically; thankfully JBL wasn’t there. Layla landed an elbow and was caught when going for a bodypress. Kaitlyn then landed a final cut for the win. Kaitlyn stared Eve down. This was rushed to say the least.

 

Cole said that King would make his return next and they went to a video package for the return. What followed baffled me. They cut to footage backstage of King being revived. This meant that they were filming a man on death’s door being revived, just in case he lived and so they could pop a big rating by placing it in the 10PM segment. How sick can you get? This wasn’t an angle; this was a man’s life. They even showed them driving off in the ambulance like it was some kind of angle. It’s one thing to have Lawler interrupted on his return, because Lawler could have asked for that. However, no one knew if Lawler was going to make it or not and so the WWE could have been sitting with footage of a deceased man. This angered me to such an unbelievable extent – worst promotional tactic of 2012.

 

JR and Cole brought Lawler out and it was really nice to see. Lawler talked about how much it meant to him. He talked about the movie it’s a Wonderful Life and got really emotional. He thanked everyone from the “bottom of his heart” and out came Punk.

 

Punk said he was glad that he left the ring when he did, because he would have beat him to death again. He said that Lawler was a real life zombie, but his behaviour was disrespectful. A 62 year old man trying to relive his glory days was in bad taste. The result was a hard attack and he was angry at the fans that sent him hate mail for it. Punk said everyone was talking about how long Lawler was dead, but he said the only number that mattered was 358; the number of days he held the title for. He was now the ninth longest reigning champion. He would have held the title for one year by Survivor Series. He was glad King was back and that he had a front row seat to watch him retain the title. He just wanted him to not “croak” before the pay-per-view. Lawler said the only thing on life support was Punk’s reign as champion. Heyman then started faking a heart attack and Punk held up the X sign. Heyman then sat up and was fine. He laughed at the fans and out came Foley.

 

Punk asked Foley to respect Heyman, because he had a heart attack. Punk said they had no business together. Foley said that the fans would be picking the last member of team Foley. Punk said that he didn’t care what the fans thought and wanted Foley to change the team name to “Team Worthless”. Foley told Punk to shut up and Foley started screaming how Lawler was actually dead at one point, and went crazy. He wanted to be part of a team that taught Punk a lesson. However, Punk didn’t care about lessons and the only way he could be taught a lesson would be by losing his title; and that was what would happen at Survivor Series. Punk said that it didn’t involve Foley, but Foley said it did, because he was the special gust enforcer for the mainevent.

 

I wasn’t as upset with Heyman faking the heart attack as most people. It was in poor taste and unquestionably made the company look bad, plus it didn’t really serve any purpose; however it wasn’t agonizing, because it was probably perfectly fine with Lawler. Sure, I would have loved to have had the great return continue, because Lawler’s Wonderful Life speech was honestly one of the best moments on RAW in a very long time. However, even though it was a terrible decision they sent Punk out there. The Heyman heart attack was hard for me to watch, but at least here you could get Lawler’s consent and everything was fine. However, showing footage of someone dying for the purpose of ratings is inexcusable. I am not saying Heyman faking a heart attack was right, because it simply wasn’t. However, it wasn’t an atrocity either.

 

Maddox was shown warming up backstage. Punk was talking to Heyman after the break. He wanted Heyman to fix it, fix Survivor Series, fix everything. Heyman said that he couldn’t.

 

5. Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Titus ‘O Neal, Darren Young, Primo & Epico

 

Gabriel and ‘O Neal started off. Young was front suplexed onto Gabriel and the heel team went after Gabriel. Ricardo walked down to the ring and gave Rosa Mendez a letter. Mysterio was tagged in on Primo and he landed a big hurricanrana. He set up for the 619, Primo countered, but he was caught with a sloppy hurricanrana to the outside followed by an Asai Moonsault. ‘O Neal landed a few big backbreakers and locked in a bearhug. Primo locked in a front facelock on Mysterio, but Mysterio fought out and landed a highkick. However, Young came in. Mysterio caught him with a head scissors into the post however and make the tag to Kidd, who ran wild. He landed a flurry of kicks, a big highkick and a float of neckbreaker from the top. Primo ran in with a backstabber, Gabriel ran in, he was thrown to the outside by ‘O Neal, Mysterio took him out, Epico tied Mysterio up, but Sin Cara landed a pescado. Kidd finally set the 619 up for Mysterio who landed it and Gabriel landed a 450 splash for the win. This was a pretty nothing match up until the final stretch where everything broke down, which was really fun.

 

There was a National Guard commercial. Maddox was backstage when he was approached by Heyman and they walked off into the distance. Fandango video, they decided to drop an O for some reason. Ziggler walked by Miz and said that it was just a matter of time before Miz came begging back. Miz said he only saw Ziggler get slapped by a girl. Foley came by and they set up a tag team match. Ziggler picked the Road Scholars and Foley chose Kane and whoever the fans chose. Miz asked for Foley to put him on the ballot. Foley put him on the ballot. I guess this means Miz has turned babyface.

 

6. R-Truth vs. Tensai

 

Cesaro came out before the match and said that Truth became a joke and that is why he talked to an “imaginary friend”. Just like theUSA, which used to be a proud country, but is now a joke.

 

We joined the match in progress with Tensai beating Truth down. Truth landed a few elbows, but was brought down to the mat by Tensai for two. Truth landed a dropkick and hung Tensai up. Truth landed a missile dropkick. Cesaro asked if Lawler spokeMemphis, which was awesome. Truth landed the Little Jimmy for the win after coming off of the ropes.

 

After the math Cesaro said there was no way Truth would beat him at Survivor Series. Truth grabbed the mic and told an incoherent knock knock joke and said he would knock Cesaro’s teeth down his oesophagus. They showed a WWE13 match between Ryback and Maddox. Maddox was a actually a pretty good looking CAW. A recap aired of the Vickie/AJ segment.

 

7. Brad Maddox vs. Ryback

 

Maddox came out with no music and was met by an ambulance that drove into the arena. A Maddox inset promo was then shown. After Ryback’s entrance a stretcher was brought out by the EMTs.

 

The match started and Maddox slid to the outside Maddox had a metal cast looking contraption on his one arm. Ryback pushed Maddox across the ring and pulled him off of the ropes. Maddox was slammed to the mat over and over again. Maddox was thrown hard into the turnbuckle and Ryback said “you’re dead”. He landed a running powerslam and he was taken to the outside with an extremely stiff clothesline. Ryback landed three stiff powerslams. He landed another huge clothesline and landed the marching Samoan drop for the win. Ryback then placed Maddox on the stretcher and pushed it over. Maddox was then thrown into the barricade and taken down with a huge lariat on the outside. He carried him all the way to the ambulance that was parked whereDel Rio’s car normally his. Ryback rammed Maddox into the side of the van Steve Williams style and threw him into the ambulance.

 

One thing that kind of bothered me with the way the match went was the fact that there was no plan. Heyman met with Maddox backstage, so wouldn’t that imply that something was set up? No, instead they just beat him and off he went in the ambulance that was placed there by magic.

 

8. Sheamus vs. David Otunga

 

Otunga went after Sheamus wearing him down with some shots. He was cut off with a clothesline. Otunga taunted and Regal together with Michael McGillicutty and Aksana of all people were shown watching backstage. Sheamus landed a lariat and some knees. He landed the over the shoulder belly to back piledriver and landed the brogue kick for the win.

 

After the match Sheamus cut a promo saying that he hoped Big Show was watching. He would smash his brogue into Big Show’s skull and take his World title back. Big Show was backstage and he beat William Regal up. He said that “this” was what would happen to Sheamus and he knocked Regal out.

 

After the break Matthews was in front of a locker room door, he said that Regal had suffered a concussion and broken jaw. It’s pretty amazing how quickly they determined that; in one commercial break.

 

Kane was backstage and was approached byBryan.Bryanwished him luck with his new partner. Kane shouted that they had already been through it. They had a new team mate he said.Bryansaid that he would have refused the team mate and they could go to Foley and tell him that they would only team with each other. When he turned around Kane was gone and he screamed “no”.

 

9. Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Kane & Miz

 

The results were shown with Miz winning with 60% Ryder with 34% and Marella with 6%. I can’t believe that the majority of the audience didn’t vote for Ryder. Although they kind of threw the Ryder and Marella in their out of the blue.Bryaninterrupted Miz’s entrance.

 

After the break Kane landed a big suplex on Sandow andBryanwas at commentary. Miz was tagged in with a boot. Miz unloaded with shots in the corner and landed his big clothesline for two. The tag was made to Kane and he landed a basement dropkick.Rhodeswas tagged in and Kane and Miz doubleteamed him. The crowd chanted “this is awesome” and it infuriatedBryan. Miz came off of the apron with a double axe handle and Rhodeslanded a disaster kick. This led to Sandow and Rhodes working over Miz. Miz landed his backbreaker neckbreaker combo and the tags were made to Kane and Rhodes. Kane ran wild. He landed a diving clothesline and clotheslined Sandow to the outside. Miz tookRhodesout on the outside and Kane landed a chokeslam for the win.Bryanran into the post when Miz went after Rhodes and Miz andBryanargued over Kane after the match.

 

There was a Tribute to the Troops commercial.

 

10. CM Punk vs. John Cena

 

Cena locked in a hold on the arm, Punk got to the ropes and slid to the outside. After the break Punk landed a double sledge to Cena on the outside. Punk locked in a cravat and transitioned to a sleeper. Cena fought out by ramming Punk into the corner. Punk and Cena traded shots, Punk got the better of Cena with a spinkick to the gut, but Cena ran wild regardless. He landed his spin out powerbomb and went for the five knuckle shuffle, but Punk grabbed a rollup for two. Punk landed a big knee in the corner followed by the bulldog. He went for an elbow, but Cena moved and he landed awkwardly on his legs. Punk moved out of the way of the five knuckle shuffle, they traded counters, Cena landed the five knuckle shuffle, but Punk landed a spinkick again for two. Punk went for the GTS, Cena countered and went for the AA, but Punk locked in the Koji Clutch, which Cole called the Anaconda Vice. Cena made it to the ropes, he went for a clothesline from the top, Cena locked in the STF, Heyman slid in, Cena broke the hold, but Heyman was pulled to the outside by Foley. Punk landed a highkick for two and went for the GTS, but Cena locked in the STF. Punk made it to the ropes and walked off. Ryback walked down to the ring and this led to Punk being thrown back in. He went for the GTS, but Cena landed the AA for the win.

 

Ryback was in the ring after the match. They had a faceoff over the title lying in the ring. They both grabbed it and Punk jumped up on the apron, Cena and Ryback dropped it, but then went back to a tug of war.

 

Given the fact that Cena pinned Punk clean with the AA, albeit off the distraction from Ryback, I can only assume that Punk is pinning Cena at Survivor Series. There would be no point in having Ryback win the title now, as then they would have to do three or more title changes in the next few months; so that is out of the question. Plus in this stage of the game having Punk lose the title just seems rather pointless.

 

I was fine with the mainevent segment; Punk isn’t hurt off of the loss and having Ryback and Cena have a tug of war over the belt was perfectly fine; even if it was mundane to some extent.

 

WWE Sours Lawler’s Sweet Return

 

The biggest talking point coming out of RAW from Monday night was the return of Jerry Lawler. The fact that it was talked about came as no surprise, people expected it to be noteworthy going in, but it turned out to be noteworthy for all of the wrong reasons.

 

Jerry Lawler, who suffered a heart attack on air during the September 10th edition of Monday Night RAW fromMontreal, was set to make his big return. The heart attack will probably go down as one of the most news worthy events in the last few decades of professional wrestling, so naturally the return garnered some interest.

 

They had aired commercials for it weeks in advance, something that they don’t normally do, and the very fact that Lawler was there in decent health was extraordinary. However, the entire 21:00 segment certainly wasn’t what anybody expected or hoped for.

 

The first thing that went blatantly wrong was the video shown before Lawler’s return to the arena itself. It was basically a collection of video from the night of his heart attack, featuring the EMTs trying to revive a man that was clinically dead, Lawler’s wheezing, snoring into the mic turned up to a nauseatingly high level and updates from Michael Cole, all set to dramatic music.

 

While the events that followed Lawler’s promo gained the most interest, I found the video beforehand the most insulting part of the entire segment. Namely the fact that a man who was clinging onto his life, clinically dead, was filmed in such an exploitive manner and the fact that they showed it on air; simply to pop a rating made it even worse.

 

Even if the filming was justified, the showing of the video and what could have been Lawler’s last moments, were exploitive and in very poor taste. If this was for a ‘Best of Jerry Lawler’ DVD I could possibly understand, but not for the man’s return weeks after the heart attack.

 

Lawler made his entrance and gave an extremely heartfelt speech about how his experience had mimicked that of ‘A Wonderful Life’. The segment was set to become one of the best RAW moments in recent memory, but WWE were not overly concerned with making that kind of moment.

 

Instead of letting the situation be, Punk and Heyman cut Lawler off and in extremely poor taste Heyman faked a heart attack. Foley came down to make the save and cut a promo on Punk, but the damage had already been done, and one of the best segments in the history of RAW was no more.

 

This was far less of a business opportunity than it was a moral one. The fact of the matter is that wrestling amongst the general population has negative connotations attached to it, and it probably always will have. However, every now and again WWE is granted an opportunity to change the perception, even if it only is on a small scale. That’s what unique moments do, especially when they are feel good moments, but WWE did quite the opposite.

 

When they had Heyman fake the heart attack, they immediately made themselves and the wrestling business look bad. They confirmed people’s previous thoughts about wrestling and that really isn’t a good thing when so many people attach negative connotations to it to begin with.

 

The fact that WWE partners with Susan G Komen and other charities is good and all, even if they do it for the wrong reasons; however, when they pull stunts like these, all of the charity work they do doesn’t really help them one bit.

 

WWE hasn’t just upset its hardcore fans either, they experienced a tangible drop as the segment progressed and although a lot of the viewers did come back, the overrun segment performed rather poorly this week. This isn’t going to kill business or anything close, but it does point towards many people being offended by the angle.

 

The angle gained 745,000 viewers at the start, but then quickly lost 876,000, which is a massive drop in one segment.

 

This isn’t a completely new thing in professional wrestling. There have been angles that were far worse than this one, because naturally they were coming off of the deaths of wrestlers within a company; making them far more offensive. The angles that originated from the passing of Eddie Guerrero spring to mind and that was only seven years ago. There was also the famed Fritz Von Erich heart attack angle that was badly received.

 

One of the even more blatant criticisms of the angle is the fact that it is simply going to lead nowhere. It was simply a way for CM Punk to get some cheap heat, and cheap heat almost never helps business; so what was WWE’s reasoning behind it? It’s simply they had to do it and that is one of the major problems in the company. They have no restraint, conception of when to stop, or when to not use something in an angle; sometimes you have to let things be and this was one of those times.

 

Punk isn’t captaining a team in a match against Team Foley at Survivor Series this Sunday, so it doesn’t even make sense that Foley came out for the save, after all shouldn’t it have been Ryback or John Cena – the men that are actually facing Punk at Hell in a Cell?

 

When I see stuff like this on WWE TV it makes wonder how it actually made its way onto TV. Did somebody just come and suggest this heart attack angle, or was it the idea of somebody higher up? Either way it was a pointless, self-gratifying, exploitive, uncalled for and inappropriate angle, that shouldn’t have ever seen the light of day, because it honestly did ruin something special.

 

WWE Monday Night RAW Rating November 12th 2012

 

This week’s RAW rating, much like the show itself was noteworthy. It didn’t break any records, but the patterns shown in all the big segments were interesting. They were up against the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs football game, which did a 9.51 rating or 12.82 million viewers. This was almost identical to last week’s game, which did a 9.54.

 

The opening run off segments, which all featured Dolf Ziggler lost 74,000 viewers. However, the Vickie Guerrero/AJ segment gained 468,000 viewers together with the Big Show match. This was to be expected as angles like the AJ/Vickie angle often draw ratings, but rarely draw real money.

 

The Diva’s match lost 234,000 viewers, which is to be expected and the gain that the Divas did last week in a segment further up the card was simply not there.

 

Then we had an extremely interesting pattern. The start of the Jerry Lawler segment gained an excellent 745,000 viewers to a show high of a 3.38, which was even stronger compared to last week’s gain. However, as the segment degraded with the fake heart attack they lost 876,000 viewers; meaning that people were tuning out in droves.

 

This shows that the angle did in fact have a direct impact on your regular viewer and not just the people that were complaining on the internet. They returned later on for the Mysterio tag, left for the Truth match, but then 755,000 came back for the Ryback/Maddox match, which was the first time that Ryback really drew a rating.

 

Sheamus and Otunga then lost an extraordinary 910,000 viewers, which could be indicative of three things. Number one is that people are not interested in Otunga, which is definitely the case to some extent. The second is that the show is too long, which is indeed true. The third is that people that were upset with the Lawler segment returned for Ryback, but didn’t care for anything else and left again – something that could be true considering that the exact amount of people that tuned in for Ryback and Mysterio left.

 

Then the other big news coming out of the ratings was that the mainevent match between Cena and Punk lost 313,000 viewers, which should have been a large turning point leading to the overrun gain. This is a one week thing, but if the people are sick of Punk, because of the Lawler segment we could have a problem. The quarter did the lowest of the entire show; a measly 2.42 rating.

 

Finally the latter portion of the match only gained 528,000 viewers, which really isn’t that many considering the gains in that segment over the past few weeks. The show average was a 2.86 rating and 4.19 million viewers, which really should have been higher.

 

The trends on this show were definitely indicative of something, but as we have seen in the past, one week’s rating means nothing; it is long terms trends that count. We could see a long term pattern develop, but this could just as easily be a one time deal – regardless we will find out over the next few weeks.

 

WWE –NXT

November 14th 2012 – Full Sail University, Florida.

Ben Carass.

 

 

Tony Luftman greeted us backstage and introduced Jinder Mahal; Tony asked Jinder what being the number one contender meant to him. Jinder claimed being the number one contender was nothing to brag about, because he “embarrassed a nobody” last week; Bo Dallas over heard and entered to challenge Mahal for a rematch. Jinder said if Bo wanted to be “beaten unmercifully” he would accept; Bo then proposed the idea of making it a number one contenders’ match. Jinder asked why he would put his title shot on the line and Bo stated, “because I’m a nobody and so easy to beat” and accused Mahal of being scared. Jinder told Bo, “you’re on” and the intro package rolled.

 

So that’s what Tony Luftman looks like, I must admit he doesn’t look anything like I imagined at all; a less than riveting set up for an uninspiring main event.

 

The Ascension were in the middle of their intro as we joined the NXT arena; the bizarre team of Yoshi Tatsu and Percy Watson came out to face the fearsome heels.

 

Yoshi Tatsu & Percy Watson vs. The Ascension

 

Percy hit Cameron with a dropkick early; however O’Brian made the blind tag and dropped a big leg on Watson, after Cameron executed a drop toehold.The Ascension made frequent tags and stomped Percy in their corner; O’Brian got the heat, while working over his opponent’s arm. Watson fought to his feet and delivered a belly-to-back suplex for the separation then made the tag to Yoshi, while O’Brian tagged in Cameron.

             Yoshi landed a dropkick, followed by a Japanese armdrag and a backdrop; O’Brian took out Tatsu from behind, after making another blind tag. Watson took a ride over the top rope then O’Brian caught Yoshi with a flapjack; Cameron tagged in and The Ascension took home the victory with total elimination.

 

The Ascension defeated Yoshi Tatsu & Percy Watson via pinfall, at 2:54.

 

This was your average Ascension quasi-squash match; Yoshi & Percy got just enough stuff in to not appear completely pathetic and inferior. I would like a little more character development from O’Brian and Cameron, the intro is impressive, but if we knew a little more about the characters it would have more resonance.

 

Layla was doing her make-up backstage; Aksana showed up and told her, she had terrible hair that was so bad, it made Aksana look good. Layla said she wasn’t going to take grooming tips from, “Eastern Euro-Trash” then told Aksana, she would give her a make-over in the ring later.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Corey Graves came down for his debut match after the break; Oliver Gray was already in the ring and was introduced to the crowd.

 

Corey Graves vs. Oliver Gray

 

After the bell, the two traded armringers and Gray performed a nice European-style escape;Gravestook control with a cheap shot, following a rope break in the corner.Graveshung up his foe’s leg in the ropes and delivered some stomps to the knee; the crowd got behind the heel, with chants of, “let’s go Corey”. Gray momentarily countered the assault on his leg with a school boy, howeverGravestook over again and attacked the leg.

              Gravesrepeatedly drove Gray’s knee into the canvas and wrenched the injured body part; Gray managed to kick himself free then tried for a suplex. Gray’s knee was unable to support the weight of his opponent andGravesapplied the Fuller Leglock for the victory.

 

Corey Graves defeated Oliver Gray via submission, at 4:12.   

 

A less than “sterling” (cheap pun) debut for Graves; it was fine, but considering we get new guys debuting every other week, it would take something extraordinary to make an impact in the ocean of new faces this audience is exposed to.

 

A video package putting over Big E. Langston aired.

 

Tony Luftman was on the stage; he introduced Big E. in an extremely underwhelming manner. Luftman asked Big E. if he was worried about the $5000 bounty put on him by Vickie Guerrero; Big E. said he was only worried about anyone who was dumb enough to try claim the bounty. Big E. explained the “E” in his name, stood for “end”, as in the “end” of anyone that gets into the ring with him. Big E. began to chant “five”, when Camacho nailed him with a forearm from behind; Camacho apparently had no desire to earn the $5000 and nonchalantly walked away.

 

I said last week, we haven’t had a good bounty angle in a while and judging by this segment, we may have to wait a little longer still. How is Camacho hitting one cheap shot and leaving going to get this concept over? Having a group of heels talk backstage about how they would spend the $5000 would have been much more effective and I came up with that in about 30 seconds.

 

A graphic hyping the Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal main event rolled.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Layla’s abhorrent music hit and she tried her best to mimic a babyface’s entrance; Aksana came out to her stripper theme.

 

Layla vs. Aksana

 

Aksana got caught with a quick schoolboy; she kicked out and took Layla down with an atrocious looking waistlock. After some stalling, Aksana crawled across the apron and was sent to the floor with a dropkick; for some reason she no-sold the spot and immediately got back in the ring.

             Aksana tried in vain to get some heat with some horrible looking stomps and a head scissors; Layla showed some fire but was shut down with a clothesline.  Aksana missed a second clothesline and Layla began her comeback; Layla hit her springboard crossbody for a two count, but Aksana countered a backdrop with a boot. Layla landed a Trish Stratus-style chick-kick for the three count.

 

Layla defeated Aksana via pinfall, at 5:22.

 

This match, as you might have suspected, was a crime against choreographed violence. Aksana’s offense was embarrassingly poor and her heat spots would have been laughable, if only they didn’t drag so much. I’m often critical of Layla; to be fair, this time she had no chance out there with Aksana; having this thing go 5 minutes was also asking for a disaster.

 

Some “earlier today” footage of Bray Wyatt preaching in a field aired; he prophesised about being unstoppable and referred to himself as “the king of this jungle”. Wyatt delivered his sermon while Luke Harper sat amongst the grass.

 

A graphic hyping Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Roman Reigns appeared for a match after the break; Chase Donovan, who apparently had been to Tommaso Ciampa’s stylist, was introduced in the ring.

 

Roman Reigns vs. Chase Donovan       

 

Roman quickly overpowered Chase then grabbed a cravat, before delivering two big modified body slams; Chase fought up from a nervehold, but was shut down with a forearm. Roman charged at his opponent in the corner, however Chase moved and landed some shots; Roman wasted no time in shutting down Chase again and hit the Ore Ga Taue for the victory.

 

Roman Reigns defeated Chase Donovan via pinfall, at 2:37.

 

After the match, Reigns told Byron Saxton to announce the winner as, “the Thoroughbred Roman Reigns”; Saxton obliged, however Roman was unhappy with what he heard and told Byron to do it again. Saxton made the announcement with enthusiasm and appeased Reigns.

 

The match an average squash and was nothing special; the stuff after was nice and gave Reigns the heel edge he needed after a lacklustre promo last week. Roman could face the same problem as Corey Graves and become just another new guy who squashed geeks every week until they are given a real programme.

 

A graphic of Bo Dallas vs. Jinder Mahal aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

After the break, Jinder was already in the ring; Bo appeared to a subdued reaction from the crowd.

 

Number One Contenders Match: Jinder Mahal vs. Bo Dallas

 

Jinder worked a top wristlock early, which was countered into a side headlock takeover; Jinder got to his feet, butDallastook him back down with a drop toehold then floated over into a headlock. Mahal stalled in the ropes and landed a few shots; Bo delivered an inverted atomic drop, followed up by a backdrop; Jinder swatted a dropkick and went for the Camelclutch. Bo escaped and nailed Jinder with some shots, before Mahal rolled to the outside.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Bo was still in control after the break and scored with a short-arm clothesline for a two count; Jinder took some blows in the corner, but caughtDallaswith a boot to the arm as the ref called for the break.

                Jinder hit a running knee strike and proceeded to get the heat; Bo fought out of a seated abdominal stretch to score a school boy and a backslide for near falls. Mahal cut off Bo with a kick to the knee and a boot to the head;Dallasfought from underneath, only to be shut down with a knee.

                 Bo rolled to the apron, where he nailed Jinder with a boot to the skull;Dallasstarted his comeback and landed a belly-to-belly suplex for two.Dallaswent for a spear, however Jinder moved and Bo’s head collided with the second turnbuckle. Mahal locked in the Camelclutch and got the tap out.

 

Jinder Mahal defeated Bo Dallas via submission, at 9:01.

 

After the bell, Jinder went to lock in the Camelclutch again; Seth Rollins made the run in and chased off Mahal. Rollins and Mahal starred each other down and Jinder headed up the ramp, making the universal sign for aspiring champions.

 

The main event was better than I thought it would be, but was nonetheless painfully mediocre. I liked the pacing and story they tried to tell, with Bo controlling for most of the match until Jinder cheated; the finish was puzzling as Bo has tapped out clean two weeks in a row. This seems counterintuitive, as they clearly see something in Dallas and are trying to elevate his position on the card; I realise he doesn’t need to beat “established” guys to get over, but tapping clean on two consecutive shows is a bizarre way to get over his desire and determination.

                On a whole, the show was disappointing and was the most uneventful episode of NXT in a while; unless you are a major fan of Corey Graves I wouldn’t go out of your way to see this show.

 

TNA Impact November 15th 2012

Impact Zone, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Thoughts

 

This was a severely watered down show, in fact it was so watered down that if you skipped through the recaps you could make it through in around an hour. It was a baffling show in some ways, mainly due to the fact that they took the number one contenders position off of Storm; something that made absolutely no sense.

 

There was nothing awfully good on the show, in fact nothing really passed beyond the passable level. There was a lot of Aces & Eights on the show, DOC made it into the group, but no one cares. The Jeff Hardy/Austin Aries segments were fine, but having the fans read Hardy’s mind is more than wacky. None of the matches were anything special and it looks like they are going with Daniels/Styles, which should be good.

 

This was a taped show, but the differences weren’t all that noticeable, which is to be expected given the fact that it is only the first week and they are moving back. As a whole this was a pretty nothing show; even if there were some big angle developments.

 

The show started with James Storm coming out. He talked about how it had taken him so long, but he had become number one contender. He thanked the fans, family and the people that said that he couldn’t do it, because they were his driving force. He was interrupted by Bobby Roode who came out with beer in hand.

 

He said he was there to join the celebration and not to ruin it. He toasted Storm and pointed out that he pinned Styles and not Roode. He toasted to gaining something off of Roode’s hard work, he toasted the fans who would see him lose the title, his family and especially his daughter. They were the ones that would have to pick up the pieces again, he knocked the bottle out of Storm’s hands and Storm cleared the ring. Roode wouldn’t fight Storm unless he would put the number one contender’s spot on the line, Storm wouldn’t accept, but Roode then asked Storm to tell his daughter to give him a call when she turned eighteen. Storm then accepted.

 

Hogan was backstage talking about how he felt bad for Styles, but called him his own worst enemy. A recap of the Sting beat down was shown again. They cut to the Aces & Eights; DOC said that he would do whatever he had to do. The leader said that he would find out where DOC fitted in, but he was being cut if he wasn’t successful. He removed his jacket andDevonthrew another dart and said “that prick disserves it”.

 

1. X Division Championship Match

Rob Van Dam vs. Kid Kash

 

Kash jumped Van Dam before the bell. Both men teed off, Kash ducked a spinkick, but was pinned with a leg scissors for two. Van Dam caught Kash with a highkick. Kash took Van Dam to the outside with a head scissors and dropped to the outside with another. Kash landed a forearm, he went to the top, Van Dam went for a monkey flip, but was caught with a stiff body press in mid air. Kash missed a moonsault. Van Dam landed a spinkick and rolling thunder for two. Van Dam went for another spinkick, Kash locked in a sleeper, but was caught with a highkick to the back of the head. Van Dam landed a monkey flip and five star frogsplash for the win. This wasn’t a terrible match, but there was a lot of miscommunication, especially early on.

 

Young was backstage with ODB and shred some ridiculous fishing stories. They talked about how they would take Tara and Jesse out. They then talked about their “celebration” after the show and kissed.

 

Angle said he wanted to find a tag tem partner to Wes Briscoe and Garrett Bischoff. Wes was more fired up than Garrett, but he chose Garrett. Angle assured Wes that he had major plans for him. This will probably lead to the Aces & Eights/Wes Briscoe reveal.

 

2. Eric Young vs. Jesse

 

Young grappled with the referee before the match. Jesse landed a couple of 12/6 elbows. He landed a big snap powerslam and dropped a legdrop. He continued to wear Young down. Jesse landed a dropkick and kissedTara. The fans got behind Young, he landed a shoulder to the gut, but Jesse locked in an abdominal stretch. Young fought out with an armdrag and was fired up. He pulled down his trunks to reveal a Speedo and landed a clothesline.Tararan into the ring, but was taken down by ODB. Young landed a powerslam and attempted to go to the top, but was thrown to the outside.Tarathrew Young back in and Jesse landed a stunner for the win. This went too long.

 

There was a recap of DOC versus Joe Park. Park was with Hulk Hogan and asked for another match. Hogan was fired up and talked about how he was facing liabilities. He said that Park was a lawyer and he had been conned the first time. Park asked if Hogan was insinuating that Park go to wrestling school; Hogan thought it was a bad idea, but Park said that he was going to train to be a wrestler.

 

Magnus came out for his match, but was attacked from behind byDevonand the Aces & Eights.Devonattacked him with a baseball bat, DOC landed shots with the hammer with Magnus being held down and Magnus yelled out expletives that were bleeped out.Devonwent to kill him with a baseball bat, but Ray ran out and they called for help. After the break they carried him out on a stretcher. There was a recap of the ladder match.

 

Aries was backstage and he went to get a massage. He said that he wasn’t finished with Jeff Hardy. Hardy was having a massage instead of him. Aries said that he wasn’t going to complain, because Hardy raised his game to such a high level. Aries was the litmus paper; he made Hardy raise his game. Hardy still had something Aries wanted, and he said that Hardy needed the message more than him. Hardy didn’t say anything and they cut to Jeff Hardy’s mind! He talked bout his “dimension” and how Aries came in and left without the title. What?

 

Angle and Bischoff came out. Angle said he didn’t need a dart to figure out who he needed to challenge, nobody threatens Kurt Angle and he calledDevonout.

 

2. Kurt Angle & Garrett Bischoff vs. Devon & Mask Man

 

Angle attacked Devonbefore the match and landed a really sloppy belly to back suplex. Devonhad an injured ankle and this wasn’t even taped on the 15th; so I don’t know what condition he was in. Angle and the masked man went at it and the tag was made to Garrett. He landed a big shoulder block and a dropkick. Angle was tagged back in and he went after the arm of the masked man.Devon caught Angle with a cheap shot and he was tagged in.Devon landed some shots in the corner and tagged the masked man in. The fans got behind Angle who was caught in a front facelock. He landed a German suplex,Devon ran in, but he was caught with the same and was dropped to the outside. Another member of the Aces & Eights dropped Garrett off of the pron. DOC distracted Angle, he was caught with a full nelson and DOC threatened a hammer shot. However, Wes Briscoe ran in and landed a low blow again with the referee distracted and grabbed a rollup for the win. How could this make anyone care about this angle?

 

Tarawas talking with Jesse backstage and they walked into Hogan’s office. Brooke Hogan was with Bully Ray and he ran off.Tarasaid that she found out about the battle royal through twitter. Brooke complained about her privacy being invaded andTarasuggested that Brooke lock the door; a novel suggestion. Brooke once again came off as a terrible general manager here. We really don’t need another affair angle in pro wrestling.

 

Dixiewas being interviewed about AJ. She said that she knew about his problems, but they couldn’t reverse the decision.

 

3. Number One Contender’s Knockouts Battle Royal

Gail Kim vs. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne vs. ODB vs. Brooke Tessmacher

 

The only way that this match can be described is as a Knockout’s battle royal. It was fine for what it was Brooke Tessmacher was eliminated first, Madison Rayne second due to whiskey being spat into her face, next was ODB by Kim and finally Kim by James with a superkick.

 

Storm was backstage and he went on about how the opportunity was his. Styles walked by, looked Storm in the eyes and both men walked off. There were the Aces & Eights in the “club house” and they kicked DOC out, there was a tense face off, but then he walked towards the door and was presented with a jacket; there was celebration all around.

 

Styles came out. He talked about what happened at Turning Point. He talked about how he was accused of “having a baby with a crack head”. He said that the people didn’t believe in him and he was points away from Bound for Glory. He would have been the world champion, but the year wasn’t over yet and Christmas and thanksgiving were around the corner. However, he was not thankful for anything. This led to Daniels and Kazarian coming down to the ring.

 

They mocked AJ. Daniels said that AJ Styles was 100% accurate, but to find the source of his problems he had to look at himself. It was all because AJ was a “broken, flawed little man”. They called the fans hobos and vagrants. Daniels said that AJ was nothing but a complete and utter failure. AJ said that he had beaten Daniels more than Daniels had beaten him. Styles said that Daniels needed “a reminder” and asked for a match one last time. Kazarian interrupted AJ and said that Daniels had nothing to gain. He said that Styles was stale and he didn’t know who AJ Styles was anymore. They were still the real world tag team champions of the world, Daniels cut him off. He said it was the perfect time to do it one last time, because they would find out who the real failure is. I am fine with the match, but is the “who is the biggest loser?” premise really going to help anyone any bit?

 

Aries was backstage and said his favourite psychology class was none verbal communication. Next week he was going to start pushing buttons and he was calling someone out who would provide him with the answers. There was a commercial for Open Fight Night with the Gut Check contestants next week. Angle approached Snow, D-Lo and Pritchard backstage. He wanted Wes Briscoe for Gut Check,  he said Taz loved the idea, but they weren’t happy with it.

 

4. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm

 

Storm went straight after Roode from the get go, landing shots. He landed some shots in the corner and a clothesline. Storm was knocked to the outside and Roode removed the turnbuckle. Storm was caught with a shoulderblock and Roode landed a flying armbar. Roode rammed Storm’s arm into the ring post. After the break Roode landed a legdrop on the arm and a knee for two. He continued to work over the arm. Storm landed a few shots, but was thrown down to the mat and Roode stomped on the hands of Storm. He was whipped into the corner and continued to sell the hand. Roode continued to wear Storm down with a top wristlock. Storm fought his way out and they traded shots. Roode got the better of Storm, but was cut off with a boot and legsweep. Storm landed some clotheslines and an atomic drop followed by a neckbreaker. Storm landed a leaping highkick and went to the top rope, but was hung up by Roode. Roode went for a superplex, Storm countered and landed some headbutts followed by a powerbomb for two. Storm went for Eye of the Storm, but he sold the arm and was caught with a spinebuster. Roode locked in the crossface. Roode went for a scoopslam, but was caught with a backcracker and codebreaker. Storm went for the superkick, but the referee was thrown in the way and Roode threw Storm into the post for the win.

 

Even though I read the spoilers for this show this baffled me. Why have Storm pin Styles if you were just going to change the challenger? It would have done far less damage to Storm if they had just had Styles pinned anyway. I get that they are trying to prolong the Storm title win, but the bloom has been off the rose for so long now. They could be going somewhere with this, but it really doesn’t matter at this point.

 

WWE SmackDown – November 16th 2012

Quicken Loans Arena: Cleveland, OH

Ben Carass.

 

 

Back in its’ usual antisocial Friday night timeslot, SmackDown began with a video recap of the three big angles for the Survivor Series.

             Sheamus was shown pacing around in the parking lot; Josh Matthews said he had been there for “several hours” waiting for The Big Show to arrive.

              Inside the arena, Tony Chimel introduced The Miz, who came out to kick the go home show off with the ever tedious Miz TV; Josh and JBL welcomed viewers from ringside and a graphic hyping Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler rolled.

              Miz said he was on Team Foley because of the WWE Universe, but he would not fall in line behind any team captain; he then introduced Foley as his guest. Mick got in the ring and told Miz he had some reservations about him being on the team; after some cheap pops and a book plug, Foley made an extraneous Dickens reference and asked what kind of Miz would show up on Sunday. Miz informed Foley he should be worried about, “the Tag Team Champions that don’t like each other”, “an Apex Predator that doesn’t play well with others” and “a cheap shot artist that stole the Intercontinental title”. Foley stated he organised a “team meeting” and introduced all the members of Team Foley.

               With all five teammates and the captain in the ring, Foley wanted the lines of communication to be opened up; nobody wanted to break the silence, so Mick urged someone to talk. Kane and Daniel Bryan began to speak;Bryansaid Kane wanted to apologise for constantly insinuating he was the weak link of the team. Kane thanked Miz for being a great partner on Raw and claimed his back felt better for not having to carry someone; the Tag champs argued some more, until Kofi Kingston tried to bring the team together. Miz was sceptical of the IC champ; he brought up Kofi shunning the handshake last week and the kick to the face that followed. Kofi threatened to do it again if Miz didn’t back up out of his face; Foley stepped between the bickering pair then claimed Randy Orton might turn out to be the “voice of reason”. Orton reminisced about his feud with Foley eight years ago and told Mick he still liked him more than anyone on the actual team. Randy then proclaimed he didn’t trust any of his teammates and shoved over the Survivor Series poster set up in the ring.

                Dolph Ziggler’s music hit and he appeared on the stage with his team, minus Cody Rhodes; he called Team Foley the “definition of dysfunction” then professed Team Ziggler was made up of “elite superstars, united behind one charismatic leader”. Apparently Alberto Del Rio didn’t agree, as he was engaged in a separate discussion with Ricardo Rodriguez; Ziggler inquired as to what the problem was and Del Rio replied, “you don’t have what it takes to be the team leader”. Alberto then stated there was only one person who was deserving of being the captain and it should be the former WWE Champion. Dolph replied, he would rather be a “future champion than a former anything”.

                 Foley interrupted the dispute and said when he used to run this place he made “some pretty good matches”; Mick explained that Booker T had given him the power to make “some pretty good matches” tonight, but only with Team Ziggler’s blessing. Dolph agreed and Foley booked Miz and Orton vs.Del Rioand Ziggler; Dolph told Mick that was fine, because he replaced The Miz with someone “way better”. Wade Barrett claimed Ziggler replaced a “quitter” with a “winner”; Foley then booked Barrett vs. Kane. Daniel Bryan became enraged and started yelling “No!” Damien Sandow called for “silence” then heeled onBryanand explained how Kane was the reason for Cody’s absence; next Sandow called Kofi, “a braded neon mute” who claims he can fly. Kofi stated he would be more than happy to show Damien how good his flying abilities were and Foley booked the two in the opening match.

 

This opening segment was 18 minutes long and felt even longer to sit through. Having said that, I’m not usually a fan of long in-rings with multiple guys coming out one after another, or Miz TV for that matter, but at least everyone had a reason to be out there this time. Regardless of my repulsion of Miz TV, I thought parts of this segment were enjoyable and the thing as a whole was a decent effort to build for Sunday. Foley getting the book for a night seems relatively pointless; Booker is a babyface GM anyway and could easily have booked the same matches. I guess Mick has to do something non-physical on the shows and seeing a brief flash of the old “commish” may induce some nostalgia from older fans.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Kofi Kingston (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Damien Sandow

 

Sandow escaped to the floor afterKingstonused his speed to nail a dropkick; inset footage of Cody Rhodes’ horror bump on Main Event aired. Back in the ring, Kofi took over with some armdrags; Sandow went for a hiptoss, which was countered into a monkeyflip and the heel went to the outside again. Kofi chased Damien at ringside, but was lured back inside the ring and cut off with some stomps;Kingstonused the ropes to leapfrog over his foe then landed a dropkick for a two count. Kofi worked over the arm and scored some kicks; Sandow hit a shoulder block to the stomach, however Kofi sent Damien over the top rope to the floor.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Kofi was in control after the break with some shots in the corner; Sandow fought back with some right hands, but again Kofi fired back and maintained the advantage. Damien scored with a boot to the knee then followed up with a neckbreaker for a two count; Sandow went for the heat and took a bow, before dropping the Cubito Aequet for two.

                 Kofi fought back and went for a backdrop; Sandow caught him with a kick, howeverKingstonstarted his comeback with some chops then hit the boom drop. Kofi set up for trouble in paradise; Sandow retreated into the corner, grabbed the ropes and delivered a cheap shot as the referee called for a break. Kofi ducked a clothesline then came off the top with a big crossbody for a near fall; Damien caughtKingstonwith a jawbreaker and again Kofi came back with a backdrop. Sandow rolled to the ropes, where he tookKingstonout with a boot to the knee then hooked a school boy with a handful of tights for the victory.

 

Damien Sandow defeated Kofi Kingston via pinfall, at 9:38.

 

This was fine; Kofi looked stronger than ever, as he controlled more or less the entire match and constantly came back from Sandow’s offense. The finish was a little flat, but I’m fine with a heel cheating to win, however I would bet Sandow doesn’t even mention he beat the IC champion next week.

 

Sheamus was still in the parking lot waiting for The Big Show.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Footage of the Vickie, AJ, and Cena angle aired from Raw.

 

Eve, Alicia Fox and Aksana were shown in one half of the ring; Natalya, Layla and Kaitlyn were in the opposing corner.

 

Natalya, Layla & Kaitlyn vs. Eve, Alicia Fox & Aksana

 

Nattie performed a nice escape from an arm ringer and school boyed Aksana for two; Layla tagged in to slap Aksana’s backside then delivered a booty pop to the face.

 

I can’t believe I just typed that; to make things worse, Layla got a near fall after the butt to the face.  

 

Alicia tagged in and took Layla over with a northern lights suplex for a two count; Eve got the tag and continued the heat. Layla kicked herself free and made the tag to Kaitlyn, who came in with some back elbows for Eve; Kaitlyn scored with a flapjack and a tackle, but Aksana broke up the pinfall. Nattie sent Aksana to the outside and Kaitlyn dropkicked Fox into Eve, who fell off the apron. Kaitlyn hit Alicia with an inverted DDT for the victory.

 

Natalya, Layla & Kaitlyn defeated Eve, Alicia Fox & Aksana via pinfall, at 3:40.

 

This was… I can’t say terrible, because technically the girls were as solid as they could be, however any women’s match that involves a spanking spot and a butt-shot to the face, is automatically relegated to worthless status in my book.

 

A graphic hyping Randy Orton & The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler aired; Josh said the match was up next.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Sheamus was once again shown in the parking lot; Booker T approached him and told the Great White he was putting him in a difficult position, because The Big Show was refusing to show up while Sheamus was outside. Sheamus agreed to move if Book would tell Show to meet him in the ring when he arrived; Book asked Sheamus to wait 48 hours and to keep his cool tonight. Sheamus said he couldn’t promise anything and Booker stated there would be “serious consequences and repercussions” if anything happened tonight; Sheamus replied, “you got that right” then walked away. Booker appeared confounded with bewilderment.

Inside the arena, Randy Orton made his entrance and was followed by his partner The Miz; Dolph Ziggler was out first for the heels then Ricardo introduced Alberto Del Rio.

 

Randy Orton & The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler

 

Miz took Ziggler down with a flapjack after the opening exchange; the two traded shots and Dolph sent Miz over the top to the outside.Del Rionailed Orton from behind and sent him off the apron to the floor.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Orton fought up from a chinlock after the break, but Ziggler shut him down with a knee;Del Riocame in off the tag to stomp down Randy in the corner. Orton tried to fight back, howeverDel Rioscored with a double knee armbreaker for a two count. Ziggler tagged back in and continued the heat on Randy; Orton fought back with a flapjack then made the tag.

                Miz came in with some aggressive shots then hit his flying clothesline in the corner and came off the top with an axe-handle smash for two. After an Irishwhip transition, Miz went up to the second rope, butDel Riosent him crashing to the floor. Ziggler dropped Miz over the barricade then taggedDel Rioafter taking the fight back to the ring. Alberto delivered some stomps in the corner and Ziggler caught Miz with a cheap shot;Del Riohit a step up enziguri to the arm for a two count. Miz fought up from an armbar then dumpedDel Rioover the top with a backdrop.

               Orton got the tag and started his comeback; Randy drilled both heels with powerslams then gave Alberto the hangman’s DDT. Orton set up for the RKO, however Miz made the blind tag and scored with the skull crushing finale on Del Rio for the win.

 

Randy Orton & The Miz defeated Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler via pinfall, at 10:35.

 

After the match Miz celebrated like an arrogant heel and a seething Orton hit him with the RKO.

 

The match was ok; the false heat on Randy went a little too long and the actual heat on Miz wasn’t long enough; other than that, there was not too much wrong with this match. Miz is a strange babyface at the moment; he buried his partners like a heel in the opening segment and here he acted like a cocky idiot. It will be interesting to see where his character goes after the PPV.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Sheamus came down to the ring after the commercials; he said Big Show had crossed the line in attacking his friend William Regal from behind. Sheamus announced he didn’t want to wait until Sunday and stated, “the time for talking is over; it’s time to fight”.

                 Big Show appeared on the ramp and told Sheamus that calling him out wouldn’t achieve anything, apart from Regal getting knocked out again. Show claimed he was scared of what he might do to Sheamus at Survivor Series then told his challenger he should thank him. Sheamus said he would thank Show personally and headed up the ramp to confront the giant.

                  Booker T showed up just in time to hold back Sheamus; Book said this was not Monday night where everything is out of control and told Sheamus he had to leave the building. Sheamus told Book he respected him, but couldn’t do that; Book said, “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you as GM to leave the building” then escorted Sheamus out of the arena.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Big Show was in the back with Booker T; Show said he loved how Book handled the situation out there. Booker told him he appreciated that, because Show would be in the main event against an unnamed opponent. Show asked if it was against Sheamus and Book replied, “Remember, no one is bigger than the Show”.

 

Kane’s pyro hit and he emerged for his match; Wade Barrett appeared to face the Big Red Machine.

 

Kane vs. Wade Barrett

 

Wade landed some quick blows then hit a Traylorslam for a one count; Kane scored with a boot to the face and sent Barrett over the top rope. Back inside, Kane came off the top with a clothesline and set up for the chokeslam; Team Ziggler hit the ring and began to beatdown Kane.

 

Kane defeated Wade Barrett via disqualification, at 1:06.                          

 

Daniel Bryan ran in to help his fellow Tag Team Champion, but was overwhelmed by the heels; Foley came out on the stage and waved down Kofi Kingston. Kofi took Barrett out with a springboard overhand chop; Randy Orton’s music hit and he made his run in. The babyfaces took over and cleared the ring then Orton nailed Sandow and Ziggler with a pair of RKOs. The faces stood tall in the ring and Miz appeared on the stage, selling the RKO from earlier; Miz and his team stared each other down, as Josh and JBL put over the team’s dysfunction.

 

A standard brawl we see ever year prior to a multi-person match like the Rumble or a Survivor Series tag. The babyface team appeared strong heading into the PPV, but I feel a little more emphasis on the individual feuds between the teams, as opposed to the dysfunction on Team Foley would have made this match more significant.

 

A graphic of Big Show vs. a Mystery opponent aired then a graphic of the Punk, Cena and Ryback deal from Raw rolled.

 

Commercial Break.

 

A video package recapping the WWE title picture since Hell in a Cell aired, the package also hyped the three-way for the WWE title on Sunday.

 

R-Truth came down for commentary on the next bout, while Josh put over theUStitle match at Survivor Series. Antonio Cesaro’s music played and he made his way to ringside; Josh said he would be facing Sin Cara.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Sin Cara made his entrance and Josh hyped Team CoBro vs. 3MB for the Survivor Series pre-show.

 

Sin Cara vs. Antonio Cesaro (US Champion)

 

The action started out fast and Sin Cara scored with an armdrag then a springboard hurricanrana; Cesaro landed a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker and a gutwrench suplex. Sin Cara fought out of a cravat with a lucha-style armdrag then took Cesaro over with a tilt-o-whirl head scissors; Antonio dumped Cara on the apron, but ate an enziguri and a second springboard hurricanrana for two. Cesaro landed a massive flapjack/European uppercut of death then hit the neutraliser for the three count.

 

Antonio Cesaro defeated Sin Cara via pinfall, at 4:02.

 

After the bell, Truth stood on the announce table and said he would like to quote another famous Jimmy; “Jimmy Duggan”. Truth began to chant, “USA” and the crowd joined in; Truth got in the ring and Antonio back away from his challenger.

 

Cesaro is one of the few guys who can have a match with Sin Cara and not have it fall apart; saying that, this time it felt like they tried to cram as much stuff into 4 minutes as they could. The stuff with Truth was fine, but it is way too late to try and get people to care about a US title match at this stage.

 

Commercial Break.

 

The Big Show came out for the main event and a graphic hyping Show vs. Sheamus at the PPV aired. The Great Khali’s music hit and he emerged as Show’s mystery opponent.

 

The Great Khali vs. The Big Show (World Heavyweight Champion)

 

Khali overpowered the World Champ at the tie-up; Show scored a few shots then went for his overhand chop in the corner. Khali reversed and delivered a big chop of his own; Khali landed more weak blows to Show’s back, but Big Show hit a spear for a two count.  Show went for a chokeslam, however Khali countered and nailed a big overhand chop to the skull, which earned a two count. Khali tried for a treeslam and Show blocked with body shots; Big Show flawed Khali with the K.O punch for the three count.

 

Big Show defeated Great Khali via pinfall, at 3:29. 

 

Yes, that was your main event ladies and gentlemen; a 3 and a half minute, slow motion display of immobility and laughably weak looking offense.

 

Sheamus’ music hit after the match; Show appeared worried and looked around for his challenger, but nobody appeared and Show left with his title.

               After some replays of the dire main event, Show was backstage, heading towards the parking lot. Matt Striker tried to get a word with the champ, but Show chased him off and approached his tour bus.

               As Show opened the door, Sheamus burst out from inside and the pair began to brawl in the parking lot; some referees and other useless people showed up to try stop the fight. Show threw Sheamus threw a windshield of one of the conveniently parked cars and stumbled away to safety; Sheamus then came over the top of the car and sent Show into another windshield (there was a comical sound effect of glass breaking used here). Sheamus beatdown the World Champion some more until the officials got their cue to break up the brawl; the refs and Booker T escorted Sheamus away from the scene and the show went off the air on a downed Big Show.

 

I seem to say this every month; for a go-home show, this was pretty lacklustre. There were some good parts, such as the build for the 5 on 5 match and the way the show closed was a great way to head into a PPV in my opinion. There are two major PPV’s this weekend, and I know which one I’m looking forward to the most and sadly Survivor Series is second fiddle to a returning French-Canadian.

 

Next Week’s Issue

 

Next week we cover WWE’s Survivor Series pay-per-view, RAW, the rating and if any pattern if beginning to emerge, thanksgiving edition of Impact, hopefully some New Japan, SmackDown, NXT and more!

 

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Ben Carass’s Twitter Account: @BenDosCarass

 

 

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