Cubed Circle Newsletter #58: KENTA Wins The Global League, Taiwan Tour Day 2, NOAH 11th/17th Shows, Survivor Series and more!

Cubed Circle Newsletter

 

For a full colour PDF click here 

 

We have another big newsletter for you this week (redundant I know) covering quite a bit of puro that has surfaced over the past week, in the November 11th and 17th NOAH shows, KENTA winning the Global League and the NJPW/AJPW show inTaiwan. Then we cover Survivor Series, the fallout from RAW, RAW Ratings Blues, A Thanksgiving Edition of Impact, and Ben Carass covers SmackDown and NXT.

 

New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro-Wrestling We are Pro Wrestling Love! in Taiwan October 28th 2012

National Taiwan University General Gymnasium

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

There was nothing overtly wrong with this show, it was a fun two hours, but it really wasn’t a must see show to any extent. The pretty small crowd was into most of the matches, but much like the New Japan house shows everything was either a six-man tag or completely inconsequential (apart from the Nagata match of course).

 

The opening match was a decent tag, but the great workers of the six namely Suwama, Sanada and Soya were greatly offset byHamaand KENSO. Liger and SUSHI had an acceptable match, but it wasn’t nearly as good as their match the night before, which was really able to surprise me with its quality. Liger pinned SUSHI with a Liger bomb in pretty unremarkable fashion.

 

I thought the idea of the Kanemoto/Tanaka match was pretty interesting with both men being tag team partners and all; and even with Kanemoto not being what he used to by any stretch of the imagination, he is still able to perform at a reasonable level. They had a good, competitive match with Kanemoto submitting Tanaka with an ankle lock.

 

Kondo & Yamato versus Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi was a decent little match. I got the feeling that Tiger Mask was trying much harder than usual for whatever reason; whether that is true or not I don’t know. I am continually impressed with Takahashi’s improvement.

 

Nagata and Kono had probably the only match that was relevant to anything outside of the show, with further development for the Stack of Arms/Nagata feud. Since the feud is still on going I am sincerely hoping for Nagata/Funaki at the Tokyo Dome for the Triple Crown – a match that would really put the Tokyo Dome card over the edge as one of the most stacked cards I have seen in a long time. It was a hot match with a lot of brawling and some decent crowd heat.

 

Finally the mainevent match was a very fun way to end the show; although the New Japan side of Kojima, Tenzan and Inoue was lacking compared to the All Japan side of Funaki, Mutoh and Hayashi, which was a theme throughout theTaiwantour. Still they went nineteen minutes and the closing sequence was fun. Mutoh is getting progressively slower and more immobile, but for this match he was fine. I still think that Funaki as champion is a great idea, and I am excited to see if they go with Nagata at some point; I would think that they have to.

 

Match by Match:

 

1. Suwama, Takao Omori & Manabu Soya vs. Seiya Sanada, Ryota Hama & KENSO

 

Suwama and Sanada were chosen to start the match off. They had an exchange of holds and made the tags to Soya and KENSO. Soya landed some chops following a clean break and knocked KENSO to the mat. KENSO slapped Soya, and was his usual bizarre self. They exchanged chops, but KENSO slapped Soya down to one knee. Omori andHamawere tagged in. Omori attempted to toppleHamawith shoulderblocks, but was obviously unable to and was knocked down with a shoulderblock fromHama. Sanada landed a plancha onto Suwama, asHamaand Omori spilt to the floor. KENSO then landed his wacky dive onto Soya and Omori. KENSO touched a women sitting at ringside and she squealed.Hamalanded a pelvic smash in the corner and tagged in Sanada. Sanada ducked a lariat, but was caught with a big leg lariat from Omori. Suwama was tagged in and dropped team Sanada off of the apron. KENSO and Sanada went after Suwama, but he fought both of them off. He then landed a belly to belly suplex onHama! Sanada grabbed an abdominal stretch and followed it with a head scissors take down. Soya andHamawere tagged in. Sanada landed an ace crusher and KENSO an elbow,Hamathen landed a splash on Soya, but Suwama broke it up. Soya then pickedHamaup in a fireman’s carry and landed a Samoan drop, which really must have been hard to take forHama. Soya then landed his big lariat for the win in 13:32. A decent opener, but apart from the big power spots a really missable match, which was fine.

** ½

2. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. SUSHI

 

SUSHI attacked Liger before the bell and stomped a mud hole in the corner. The fans got behind Liger as he was thrown onto the entrance ramp. SUSHI landed a bodyslam on the ramp. SUSHI did an impersonation of Liger with his jacket. Liger landed a big lariat and a powerbomb for two. He then landed a splash to the outside, something that you don’t see all too often from Liger anymore. SUSHI grabbed a couple of rollups, but Liger landed another lariat for two and a Liger bomb for the win in 03:08. It was nice to see Liger bust out the splash to the floor. Liger and SUSHI did all of their nearfalls the night before, and instead of doing the same this night they had a very straight forward match, which was fine with me, because the type of match that they did the previous night wouldn’t have worked as well this time around.

** ¼

 

SUSHI slapped Liger’s hand after the match; rejecting the handshake.

3. Koji Kanemoto vs. Minoru Tanaka

 

Kanemoto went after the leg of Tanaka with a hold, but Tanaka made it to the ropes pretty easily. They had a forearm exchange, but Kanemoto fired off on Tanaka with a flurry of kicks. Kanemoto was dropped to the floor and was caught with a plancha. Tanaka landed a missile dropkick for two. Kanemoto caught Tanaka with a dragon screw and went to work on the leg. Kanemoto landed a big knee in the corner and landed three facewashs. Kanemoto landed a frankensteiner for two. Tanaka caught Kanemoto with a highkick out of nowhere and landed a German suplex followed by another highkick for two. Kanemoto caught a kick, was caught with another, but landed a belly to belly suplex followed by a big piledriver for two. Tanaka grabbed a rollup for two, but Kanemoto locked in an ankle lock for the submission in 09:16. After the match Kanemoto went to check on Tanaka and they shook hands. Both men usually have pretty good matches and are tag team champions together after all.

***

4. Shuji Kondo & Hiroshi Yamato vs. Tiger Mask IV & Hiromu Takahashi

 

 Takahashi and Yamato started off with a fiery slap exchange. Yamato got the better of Takahashi and Tiger Mask and Kondo were tagged in. Tiger Mask landed an enzuigiri and walked over the back of Kondo. Yamato landed some shots but was cut off with a kick to the chest. Takahashi came in with some elbows on Yamato, but Yamato fired back with a spear. Yamato landed a few chops to the chest, Takahashi fired back with slaps, but was overpowered by Yamato. Kondo was tagged back in. They wore Takahashi down. Yamato landed a spear followed by a top rope back senton for two. Takahashi caught Yamato with a flying head scissors and Tiger Mask landed a body press and dropkicked Kondo to the outside. He landed a tiger driver, jumping tombstone and went for a diving headbutt, but Yamato moved. Tiger Mask grabbed a crucifix, but Kondo broke it up. He and Yamato stomped Tiger Mask, but Takahashi wasn’t there to make the save. They landed a double delayed vertical suplex for two. Tiger Mask landed a mule kick and tagged Takahashi in. He flew in with elbows and landed a flying forearm for two. Takahashi caught Yamato with a bridging vertical suplex, Kondo broke it up and was caught with a topé from Tiger Mask. Takahashi then landed a fisherman’s suplex for two on Yamato. They set up a double team, but Takahashi struck his partner with a missile dropkick. He was the caught with a King Kong lariat from Kondo and straight jacket suplex for Yamato for the win in 12:02.

** ¾

5. Yuji Nagata vs. Masayuki Kono

 

This was obviously a match progressing the still ongoing Stack of Arms versus Yuji Nagata feud. Kono couldn’t wait for Nagata to get to the ring and so attacked him on the entrance ramp. Kono took Nagata into the crowd and they traded some elbows and brawled. Nagata was caught in a chinlock once both men made it back into the ring. He was unable to make it out of the hold after numerous attempts. Nagata finally made it to the ropes, landed an elbow, dropkick to the knee, pointed to his head in an awesome manner and then cut Kono off with a boot. He landed some kicks to the chest and followed them up with a yakuza kick and exploder for two. Kono blocked a suplex attempt and dropped Nagata with a vertical suplex of his own. Kono went to the top rope, but was met with a slap. Nagata was caught with elbows, but refused to go down. He smiled in the face of Kono, who landed another flurry and Nagata fell off in the most dramatic way possible. Kono landed his big running knee and a chokeslam for two. Nagata was caught with a backsuplex for two. The fans got behind Nagata, Kono locked in a full nelson, but Nagata grabbed the crucifix armbar. Kono made it to the ropes, he landed an elbow, was caught with a German, no sold, but Kono was caught with an enzuigiri and backdrop for the win in 08:05. I don’t even know if the Triple Crown is being defended at theTokyodome show, but if it is I can think of no better match than Nagata and Funaki for the title – a match that would truly cement the card.

*** ¼

6. Masakatsu Funaki, Keiji Mutoh, & Kaz Hayashi vs. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Wataru Inoue

 

Mutoh and Kojima started off. Kojima went for an armbar, but was caught with a kneebar. Kojima made it to the ropes. Kojima blocked a shining wizard and Mutoh blocked a lariat. Tenzan and Funaki were tagged in. Funaki slapped Tenzan and this led to a chop battle. Tenzan went to the Mongolian chops, but Funaki blocked with forearms. Tenzan landed a headbutt and Inoue was tagged in together with Hayashi. They too had a chop battle, but Hayashi broke it up with a few strikes. Inoue knocked Hayashi to the mat. However, Hayashi landed a corkscrew backsplash in the corner and tagged in Mutoh. Funaki was tagged in and he landed some strikes. Hayashi landed a senton and Kawada kicks. Inoue landed a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker and made the tag to Tenzan. TenKoji teed off on Hayashi. Tenzan landed a headbutt and Kojima an elbow for two. Kojima landed a neckbreaker for two. Kojima locked in a cravat, the fans got behind Hayashi, Kojima landed a DDT and the tag was made to Inoue. Hayashi landed a slap to the chest, Inoue fired back with an elbow, Hayashi landed a flurry, but was cut off when the tag was made to Tenzan. Tenzan landed a few Mongolian chops, but was cut off with a lariat. Funaki was tagged in and he landed a flurry of kicks, and locked in an armbar. Tenzan fired back with Mongolian chops and landed a big leg lariat. Kojima was tagged in and he landed the machine gun chops in the corner. Kojima dropped an elbow, landed a flurry of forearms, but was dropped to the mat by Funaki. Mutoh came in with some dropkicks to the knee and delivered dragonscrews to the entire team. Double figure fours were locked in on Kojima and Tenzan by Funaki and Mutoh. Mutoh landed a shining wizard in the corner and a dragon screw. Kojima went for his lariat, it was blocked, Mutoh landed a shining wizard, but Kojimano sold and landed a lariat leaving both men down. Hayashi ran in with a superkick. This led to all the men in the mat being knocked down after a brief series of exchanges. Mutoh landed another dropkick to the knee and landed the ace crusher for two. Inoue was tagged back in. They all teed off on Mutoh in the corner. Inoue landed a backdrop, but Funaki broke it up. Inoue landed a spear on Mutoh, went for another, but was caught with a knee and shining wizard for two, which the crowd popped for. Mutoh then landed the moonsault for the win in 19:07.

***

 

Mutoh thanked the crowd and cut a pretty long promo to close off the show.

 

NOAH Global League Tournament 2012 November 11th

Sapporo Teisen Hall

 

Overall Thoughts

 

In some ways this was the better of the two NOAH shows in this report. On the one hand there were better matchups on the show, and a lot of good matches, but then on the other hand the crowd was absolutely dead. This was a really small crowd, but as we have seen with a lot of house shows they can sometimes be very hot – not this crowd, they failed to react to almost everything on the entire show. Not even the mainevent was spared, and that brought the show down a couple of tiers.

 

Other than the crowd this was a good show, apart from the Marvin match there wasn’t a bad match on here, and even that match wasn’t the worst thing in the world. The Akiyama tag and mainevent could have been leagues better if the crowd wasn’t so dead. The Akiyama tag didn’t have a bad worker in it and everyone worked really hard, and the mainevent was what you would expect from Shiozaki and Morishima in a tournament match.

 

In some ways I would have to choose the November 17th show over this one simply due to crowd reactions, and the amount of good matches that resulted from them. The show was fun as a whole, with even the KENTA/Yone match, which I wasn’t expecting to be all that great really paying off.

 

As a whole this was a fun show, even if it was killed off by the crowd.

 

1. Kotaro Suzuki vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

 

Sabre locked in a wrist lock and he and Suzuki had an exchange, which culminated in a double dropkick spot. Sabre locked in an inverted surfboard, Suzuki transitioned into an armhold out of a front facelock, he attempted an armbar, but Sabre grabbed a rollup. Sabre flipped his way out of a double armlock, and Suzuki got a couple of bridging pins. Suzuki landed a running knee in the corner and was caught with a diving knee for two. Sabre landed a big European uppercut and hung Suzuki up leg first. Sabre landed a highkick to the arm and locked in a full nelson. Suzuki made his way out with an elbow, this led to a brief elbow exchange, which Sabre used to grab an armbar. Suzuki made his way to the ropes, but Sabre landed a springboard DDT into a guillotine, which was a great spot. Sabre landed a kick to the chest and was caught with a tiger kick. Suzuki landed a single knee gutbuster and inverted vertical suplex. Sabre attempted to fight Suzuki off with some headbutts, he dropped down into a pin and they went into a rolling pin exchange spot. Suzuki landed a flurry of strikes and caught Sabre with a big jab to the gut. Suzuki landed a widow’s peak for the win in 08:28. This was a fun opener, they didn’t do anything really spectacular and it was clunky at points, but Sabre and Suzuki are both really good.

** ¾

 

2. Ricky Marvin & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi

 

Kotoge and Marvin went after Kanemaru and Hirayanagi before the match. Hirayanagi fought the two off and executed a double testicular claw. The match settled and Kanemaru and Kotoge went at it. Kotoge locked in a headlock, Kanemaru fought out and landed a dropkick. Kotoge and Marvin tagged in and out on Kanemaru. He fought Kotoge out with some strikes. Hirayanagi and Kotoge had an elbow exchange. Hirayanagi landed an atomic drop, the tag was made to Kanemaru and he landed a guillotine leg drop on the guardrail. He landed a DDT on the floor and the crowd was still completely dead. Kanemaru knocked Marvin off of the apron and locked in a head scissors, Marvin in turn locked in a head scissors on Kanemaru and Hirayanagi locked one in on Marvin. Kotoge landed a few kicks and tagged in Marvin. They had another forearm exchange, Marvin was cut off by Hirayanagi, but he still was able to land a springboard moonsault on Kanemaru. Hirayanagi knocked Kotoge off of the apron and landed a back suplex on Marvin for two. The referee lifted Marvin’s arm, he was confronted by Hirayanagi, but he pushed him off allowing for a rollup for two. Kotoge ran in, he slide to the floor and landed superkick on Kanemaru followed by an ace crusher on Hirayanagi. He landed a springboard frogsplash for two. He went to the top; Kanemaru held the leg and this allowed Hirayanagi to land a powerbomb and pelvic thrust. Kotoge grabbed a rollup on Hirayanagi for the win.

**

3. Eddie Edwards & Mikey Nicholls & vs. Takuma Sano & Masashi Aoyagi

 

Aoyagi and Edwards started off. Edwards landed some chops and Aoyagi responded with leg kicks. Aoyagi landed a big leg lariat, Edwards bowed and the tag was made to Sano. Nicholls was tagged in along with Sano. Nicholls landed a dropkick, Sano no sold, Nicholls went for a senton, but Sano moved. The tag was made to Edwards and he locked in a wrist lock. Sano and Aoyagi wore Edwards down and dropped him to the outside. Aoyagi landed some kicks to the chest, threw Edwards into the post, dropped him on the outside and set up a foot stomp off the apron from Sano. They exchanged elbows; Sano caught Edwards with a shot to the gut and locked in a figure four. Aoyagi locked in an armbar at the same time, but Nicholls ran in for the break. Aoyagi landed a really strange hyper protective piledriver. Sano went to the top and landed a big double foot stomp. They had a forearm exchange and Edwards landed a lariat. The tag was made to Nicholls and he too had an elbow exchange with Sano. Sano got the better of it, landed a boot, but was caught with a lariat and sliding D for two. Nicholls landed a leaping highkick. They battled with lariats, Sano landed a German, but Nicholls knocked Sano to the mat with a lariat. Edwards and Aoyagi were tagged in. Edwards landed a fisherman’s suplex for two. Nicholls landed a big lariat, Edwards a leaping highkick and a backpack chinbreaker for two. Aoyagi landed a kick to the chest of Edwards for two and followed it with a leaping highkick for two. Nicholls and Sano slid to the outside. Edwards ducked a highkick and grabbed a small package for two. He then grabbed a pin with a bridge for the win in 11:06.

** ¾

4.  Jun Akiyama & Atsushi Aoki vs. Takashi Sugiura & Taiji Ishimori

 

Aoki and Ishimori started off. Ishimori went after the leg of Aoki. Sugiura was tagged in and locked in a headlock. Sugiura landed an elbow and this fired Aoki up, which allowed him to get the better of the exchange with a headbutt. Akiyama was tagged in and he locked in a very loose Kimura. They had a forearm exchange, but Akiyama kicked Sugiura’s leg out from under him. Akiyama went after the leg, but was met with a slap. Ishimori was tagged back in. Aoki was caught with a head scissors, but was out of range for the tiger kick. Aoki met him with a shoulder tackle but he was caught with a spinning leg lariat. Akiyama was knocked off of the apron, and Ishimori landed what was basically an up and over into a double foot stomp; it looked very painful. Ishimori was bridged to the outside and was caught with a DDT on the floor from Akiyama; payback for being knocked off of the apron. Akiyama shoved his head into the ring post and was tagged in. Aoki was tagged back in and landed a big knee and a butterfly suplex for two. They exchanged forearms. Akiyama slid in with a big knee, but was caught with a springboard dropkick. Sugiura was tagged in and landed some big knees on Akiyama. They went to the elbow exchange, but Akiyama grabbed a front facelock. Sugiura powered his way out, but was met with a boot to the arm. The tag was made to Aoki who landed a dropkick and backdrop. They traded strikes once again, Aoki used the opportunity to grab the arm, but Ishimori ran in to break the hold. Aoki went for an armbar, Sugiura transitioned to the ankle lock, but Aoki made it to the ropes. Ishimori landed a senton and Sugiura went back to the ankle lock. Aoki made it to the ropes, but was met with a springboard dropkick. This allowed Sugiura and Ishimori to pick up the submission victory in 13:16. This was the first match on the crowd that the crowd was even the least bit into, and it was a really good match. It got 13:16 and with four great workers in there it would be difficult for it not to be.

*** ¼

 

5. B Block Match

Akitoshi Saito vs. Shane Haste

 

They had a shoulderblock exchange, which broke down into a forearm exchange. Haste landed a yakuza kick and spear in the corner and followed it up with a sitout powerbomb for two. Haste went to the top rope, went for a frogsplash, but Saito got the knees up and landed a big lariat. Saito landed a DDT on the apron and followed it with a piledriver. Saito implored the crowd to cheer, they obliged, but then went right back to silence. Haste made it back in at 16. Haste attempted to exchange elbows with Saito, but fell to a single forearm. Saito landed a delayed vertical suplex. Haste was whipped into the post face first, and Saito ran from the other side of the building into Haste with a lariat. Haste made it onto the apron, but Saito pulled him in with a side headlock and brought him down to the mat for two. Haste landed a German suplex and landed a delayed vertical suplex of his own. He clipped Saito with a running knee, but was caught with a lariat and a backdrop driver. Saito landed another lariat for two, Haste perched Saito up on the top, Haste went for a frankensteiner, but couldn’t grab the head of Saito. Saito laughed and landed a uranagi from the top followed by a final cut for two. Haste landed a lariat, followed by a leaping highkick and another lariat for two. Haste went to the top rope and landed a frogsplash. He went to the other and landed another frogsplash for the win in 12:29.

***

 

6. A Block Match

KENTA vs. Mohammed Yone

 

They had a forearm exchange, which Yone got the better of through leg kicks. KENTA and Yone went back to the exchange. Yone threw KENTA to the floor. KENTA responded with some strikes and threw Yone into the barricade. Yone responded by throwing KENTA in turn. KENTA locked in a body scissors. Yone landed some kicks, KENTA responded with a slap, Yone landed some elbows and this resulted in a slap exchange. KENTA was knocked to the mat and rolled to the floor. KENTA landed some kicks, Yone landed an elbow, but KENTA knocked Yone to the mat with a dropkick. KENTA landed a top rope lariat and locked in an STF. Yone made it to the ropes and landed a lariat in the corner. Yone landed a top rope legdrop. KENTA fired back with a snap powerslam and landed a missile dropkick. He landed a running dropkick in the corner and another with Yone crouched down. He then landed a double foot stomp for another two count. They went back to the forearm exchange, KENTA landed some kicks, but Yone fought through them and landed a lariat. KENTA locked in an armbar, but Yone broke it with a kick to the face. Sugiura was shown watching in the crowd. Yone landed a backdrop for two, KENTA landed some slaps and a boot, but Yone cut KENTA off with a big lariat for two. Yone landed another lariat for two. KENTA was perched on the top rope, but he dropped Yone down into a crossface for the win in 13:08. I am really not the biggest Yone fan in the world, but this was a really fun match, with a good finish.

*** ¼

7. B Block Match

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Maybach Taniguchi

 

Marufuji landed a couple of big boots and they went to a forearm exchange. They exchanged some boots, but Marufuji cut Taniguchi off with a dropkick. Taniguchi was dropped to the outside and Marufuji was whipped into the guardrails. They brawled in the crowd. Marufuji attempted to drop Marufuji off of the balcony, but Marufuji turned the tables and attempted the same thing. Marufuji rammed Taniguchi’s head into the ringpost really hard on the way back. Taniguchi dropped Marufuji down to the outside from the top rope. Taniguchi worked over the leg of Marufuji. Marufuji dropkicked the leg of Taniguchi, but was strangled in the corner. Taniguchi landed a scoopslam, he was met with a couple of boots from Marufuji, but responded by going back to the choke. Marufuji locked in a cloverleaf, but then transitioned to an STF. Taniguchi went for a suplex, but Marufuji blocked it and landed two knees followed by a superkick that missed by quite a lot. Taniguchi responded with a couple of lariats and went for a chokeslam, Marufuji blocked, but was met with a spinebuster. He went for the chokeslam again; once again Marufuji landed one of his superkicks and followed it with sliced bread. Taniguchi grabbed a chair on the outside and landed a few shots. The referee pulled the chair away, which probably got the biggest reaction out of anything. Marufuji then landed a springboard dropkick to Taniguchi with the chair wrapped around his head. Marufuji went for the Tiger Flowsion, but Taniguchi countered, he then blocked a head scissors and landed a big powerbomb. Taniguchi landed a chokeslam, but Marufuji kicked out at two. He landed a big crucifix powerbomb for the win in 14:05.

** ¾

8. A Block Match

Go Shiozaki vs. Takeshi Morishima

 

Morishima went for a topé, but was cut off with a strike and Morishima booted Shiozaki over the guardrail. Morishima landed a pelvis smash on Shiozaki on the outside. Shiozaki was knocked off of the apron into the guardrail. Shiozaki made it back in at nine and was stood on by Morishima. Morishima caught Shiozaki with a knee to the gut. Morishima landed a lariat and a few shots on Shiozaki in the corner. Shiozaki caught Morishima with a chop out of nowhere, he went for a suplex, Morishima blocked, but he was knocked down with a shoulderblock from Shiozaki. This allowed Shiozaki to land the suplex. They exchange chops, Shiozaki was knocked down with a shoulderblock, Morishima went to the top, but was caught with a superplex. Shiozaki went for a powerbomb off of the apron, but Morishima fought his way out and hung Shiozaki up on the guardrail. Morishima continued to work Shiozaki over in the ring. Morishima landed a lariat for two and followed it with a spinout side slam and splash for two again. Shiozaki landed a German suplex and discuss lariat for two. Shiozaki landed a German suplex, Morishima an exploder, Shiozaki responded with a superkick and both men were knocked down. Shiozaki landed a fiery chop, Morishima was fired up and this led to a forearm/chop exchange. Shiozaki roughed Morishima up with shots to the side of the head, he attempted to topple the giant with a highkick, but Morishima responded with one of his own knocking Shiozaki to the mat. Morishima landed a backdrop for two. Morishima went for another, but was caught with a DDT. Morishima landed a lariat, Shiozaki responded with one of his own, he was met with another, but finally knocked Morishima down with a big lariat. He landed a vertical suplex for two and followed it with the Limit Break for the win in 17:43.

*** ½

 

NOAH Global League Tournament 2012 November 17th

Nagoya International Conference Hall, Chūbu, Japan

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

While the undercard of the show was heavily clipped and some of the matches weren’t as good as the matches from the November 11th show, I still found this show to be more enjoyable. It was probably due to the Nagoya crowd actually reaction to the matches, as apposed to the November 11th  crowd who were completely dead.

 

One thing that I found strange not about the show itself, but more about the production, was the fact that entrances were kept intact while many matches were clipped, which seemed strange to me. The clipping only really affected the first five matches of the show, and from what I saw they seemed to be pretty missable anyway.

 

The Shiozaki, Saito and Nagata matches all delivered with the mainevent being the best match on the show. It was a pretty brutal affair, with Nagata and KENTA going back and forth with vicious slap exchanges – slap exchanges so vicious in fact, that KENTA had a haematoma form above his right eye. The strength of the slaps was probably unnecessary, but that is just the mentality a lot of the time.

 

Sugiura also had a good match as he has been doing throughout the tournament. He is beaten down, but he can still go and he is a really hard worker. The Nakajima match was probably one of the most disappointing matches that I have seen from Nakajima, but that was probably due to the fact that Taniguchi really doesn’t have good matches most of the time.

 

I had a fun time watching this show; probably one of the best shows coming out of the Global League Tournament.

 

Match by Match:

 

1. Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya

 

*clipped*

 

They went straight to the mat and exchanged some holds. They worked their way up to the feet after around a minute. Sabre kicked the arm of Kitamiya and landed a back splash. He was caught with an incredibly loose spear and they cut to Sabre grabbing a backslide for two. Kitamiya grabbed a sloppy rollup for two and landed a couple of elbows. Sabre landed a big elbow and kicked in the arm of Kitamiya. He then locked in an armbar for the win in 06:33.

~** ¼

2. Masashi Aoyagi vs. Genba Hirayanagi

 

*partially clipped*

 

Aoyagi went after Hirayanagi before the break. They cut to Hirayanagi in the ring failing to land anything on Aoyagi after running at him. They awkwardly cut to an Aoyagi piledriver. Aoyagi bumped into the referee and Hirayanagi grabbed a rollup in 05:27.

~* ¾

3. Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Akito & Nori da Funky Shibiresath

 

*heavily clipped*

 

Akito and Kotoge started off. Ishimori was tagged in and he landed a double team. They cut to him landing the up and over double foot stomp, and then again toAkitalanding a bulldog. They cut to the Shibiresath tag and again to a double arm suplex from Shibiresath. They cut toAkitalanding a suplex and then to Shibiresath landing a spear. Akito landed a full nelson slam, but Ishimori broke the pin up. Kotoge landed a superkick and they cut to both men landing moonsaults on Akito. Ishimori landed a 450 splash to the back of Shibiresath for the win in 09:32.

N/A

4. Eddie Edwards vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

 

*clipped*

 

Both men exchanged pins and met with a double dropkick. Kanemaru grabbed a headlock, Edwards attempted to power out with a backdrop, but Kanemaru held on. They cut to multiple spots still with Kanemaru holding on. Edwards made his way out and landed a topé. Kanemaru landed his guillotine on the guardrail and a bodypress for two. They cut to Kanemaru landing a fisherman’s buster and then to Edwards’ backpack chinbreaker. Edwards missed the double foot stomp and Kanemaru landed a DDT. Kanemaru landed a DDT for two, he went for a suplex, but Edwards rolled him up for the win.

N/A

5. Naomichi Marufuji & Mohammed Yone vs. Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste

 

Haste and Nicholls went after Yone and Marufuji before the bell. Yone landed a running dropkick on Haste and followed it with a scoopslam and legdrop. Yone cranked away at the neck and locked in a head scissors. Haste made his way to the ropes. Marufuji was tagged in and Haste landed a dropkick to the back of the head for two. Nicholls was tagged in and he locked in a chinlock. Marufuji took Nicholls out to the floor and Yone ran from all the way across the arena with a lariat. Yone went once again to a body scissors. Marufuji landed some leg kicks and went after the leg of Nicholls. Nicholls fought Marufuji off with an eye rake, but was caught with an elbow for his trouble. Marufuji landed a leaping highkick. Marufuji couldn’t get Nicholls down with a lariat. He landed a flying elbow in the corner, but Nicholls responded with a lariat on the ground for two. Nicholls landed a running powerslam for two. Haste took Yone to the floor and Marufuji caught Nicholls’ superkick and landed one of his own. He landed sliced bread and both men made the tags. Haste landed a big leaping highkick, an elbow exchange ensued. Haste landed a yakuza kick and a great cannonball in the corner. Haste landed a falcon arrow for two. Yone fought both men off with lariats. Marufuji landed dual knees to the face and Nicholls was thrown to the floor. Yone landed a lariat on Haste for two, he went for the muscle buster, but Haste grabbed a rollup for the win in 09:27.

** ½

6. Jun Akiyama, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki vs. Takeshi Morishima, Super Crazy & Ricky Marvin

 

Akiyama and Morishima started off. Akiyama landed some big shoulder blocks, Morishima wouldn’t budge. Morishima knocked him down with one shoulderblock, but Akiyama was out of range for a dive. Marvin and Suzuki were tagged in. Suzuki went for a tiger kick, but Marvin ducked. Crazy and Aoki ran in and went at it. Aoki got the better of Crazy and Marvin, and landed a couple of double teams. Marvin landed two superkicks, Suzuki went for an elbow, but was caught with another kick. Morishima and Akiyama were tagged back in. Morishima knocked Akiyama’s teammates off the apron. Akiyama landed a sliding knee that missed its mark by miles for two. Morishima landed a spinout powerslam and missile dropkick for two. Akiyama landed an exploder, but was taken out with a lariat. Super Crazy and Aoki were tagged in. Aoki landed a running elbow. Crazy landed a dropkick to the knee, but was caught with a backdrop for two. Crazy’s teammates were taken to the outside. Aoki landed a frogsplash for two. Crazy and Marvin then garnered double pins on Suzuki and Aoki for the win in 07:20.

** ¾

 

7. A Block Match

Go Shiozaki vs. Kento Miyahara

 

They started off with an athletic exchange. They had a fiery elbow exchange. Miyahara got the better of it. He landed a boot, and this fired Shiozaki up. He landed some big chops and a lariat in the corner. Miyahara landed a dropkick, but was caught with a dropkick and a slap to the face. Shiozaki then dropped Miyahara down onto the bottom rope leg first. He proceeded to pick Miyahara’s leg apart against the post and by dropping him on the leg. Miyahara shot up to the apron to land an axe handle. Shiozaki made it back in at 14. Miyahara landed a flying forearm, high knee in the corner and a northern lights suplex for two. Miyahara dropped Shiozaki with a body drop and went for a powerbomb on the apron. He landed a few lariats, but Shiozaki countered and dropped Miyahara into the ring with a front suplex. Shiozaki landed some chops, Miyahara responded with a couple of elbows, but Shiozaki dropped him on his leg and locked in a single legBostoncrab. Shiozaki landed a fisherman’s buster for two and signalled for the big lariat. Miyahara had different plans landing a superkick and sitout powerbomb for two. Shiozaki landed a chop, Miyahara responded with a superkick and a deadlift German suplex for two. Miyahara rolled Shiozaki up, but Shiozaki brought Miyahara up in a go crusher for two. Shiozaki then landed a big lariat for the win in 10:29. This was a very fun tournament match.

*** ¼

8. B Block Match

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Maybach Taniguchi

 

Nakajima landed a flurry of kicks, but was halted with a spinebuster. Nakajima landed a flurry of strikes, but cut Taniguchi off with a lariat and booted him off of the apron. Taniguchi caught Nakajima’s boot and whipped him into the guardrails. He then landed a chair shot and the referee warned him; Taniguchi is basically a toned down NOAH version of Iizuka. Taniguchi landed a powerslam for two. Nakajima landed some chops to the chest, but was strangled for his trouble. Nakajima landed some kicks, but was dropped with a scoopslam. Taniguchi strangled Nakajima with a boot in the corner, and dropped Nakajima from the top to the outside. Taniguchi landed another chair shot to the back, and was warned again. Nakajima whipped Taniguchi into the guardrail on the outside and went to the top rope. He landed a missile dropkick and a dragon screw. He stomped on the knees of Taniguchi, Taniguchi ran at him, but was cut off with a kick and suplex. Nakajima landed some palm slaps, but Taniguchi threw the referee into Nakajima and landed a choke. Taniguchi landed some chair shots to the back and landed a chokeslam on the chair and then another on the mat, but Nakajima kicked out! Nakajima landed a hurricanrana and highkick for the win in 09:58. There is only so much you can do with people like Taniguchi and Iizuka. However, I really liked Nakajima kicking out of both of the chokeslams – still it was an awfully limited match.

** ¼

9 B Block Match

Takashi Sugiura vs. Akitoshi Saito

 

They went straight to the elbow exchange. Sugiura got the better of Saito and stomped him in the corner. However, Saito caught Sugiura with a big shot knocking him to the mat. This led to Sugiura going for the spear, but being sent into the ringpost. Sugiura was dropped down on the apron and Saito landed a piledriver on the floor. Saito locked in a headlock and grabbed a two count. He caught Sugiura with an axe kick and they exchanged strikes once again. Saito knocked Sugiura back down to the mat and landed a big lariat, but Sugiura kicked out at one! Sugiura blocked a suplex and landed a suplex of his own. Sugiura landed a couple of yakuza kicks and a big knee in the corner. Saito was caught with a spear from Sugiura, and this led to a forearm exchange; this time Sugiura got the better of Saito. However, Saito fired back with a flurry of shots and a snap suplex out of the corner. Saito landed another big lariat and chokeslam for two. Saito landed another lariat, signalled for his finish, was caught with a flurry of shots, landed a highkick, but Sugiura no sold and landed a German suplex. He went for another; Saito fought out, but was German suplexed into the bottom turnbuckle. Sugiura continued to land forearms to a grounded Saito. Sugiura landed a German suplex and running knee. Saito landed a few more forearms, but was cut off with a shot to the back of the head. Sugiura landed a full nelson suplex, ran at Saito, but was caught with a leaping highkick. Saito landed a couple of Germans for two, Sugiura landed a flurry of forearms, but was caught with another leaping highkick. Saito landed a couple of lariats for two; finally the crowd was starting to show some life. He landed a running boot to the back of the neck and signalled for his finish. He then landed the vertical suplex piledriver for the win in 12:36. This could have been a great match with a hotter crowd; the problem was that as hard as both men tried the crowd was having none of most of it. Sure, they would pop for some of the big stuff, but didn’t really react to the match as a whole.

*** ¼

10. A Block Match

Yuji Nagata vs. KENTA

 

KENTA slapped Nagata off of a break and this leg to a slap battle, and as was to be expected it was awesome. Nagata got the better of KENTA with a really hard slap, they went straight back to the slaps and then went to an elbow exchange. KENTA headbutted Nagata and knocked him to the mat with a kick. Nagata was booted to the floor as soon as he made it up to his feet and was caught with kicks to the outside. KENTA caught him with a big slap, which sent Nagata to the floor. Nagata was whipped into the guardrail and caught with a boot. Nagata landed a boot to the gut, and a couple of knee strikes in the ring. These fired KENTA up leading to another slap battle, and KENTA slid to the outside. Nagata landed an armbreaker. KENTA landed some big elbows, and Nagata fired back with some of his own. He landed a big kick and KENTA dug into Nagata with slaps. Nagata halted KENTA with a front facelock. KENTA landed some headbutts, Nagata landed some kicks to the chest, KENTA fired back with strikes of his own, but was knocked to the mat with a boot. They exchanged slaps/elbows once again, but KENTA dropped Nagata with an exploder. KENTA landed a boot and locked in an STF. Nagata landed a big yakuza kick, but it only fired KENTA up. KENTA sent Nagata crashing into the ringpost and he landed a draping DDT for two. KENTA landed a yakuza kick and a big dropkick in the turnbuckle. KENTA landed a big double foot stomp and Nagata landed an exploder. Nagata landed a high knee and perched KENTA up on the top rope setting up a top rope exploder. KENTA made it up quickly, but was cut off with a kick to the chest. Nagata landed an enzuigiri, but KENTA took Nagata to the mat and attempted a crossface, but Nagata made it out and locked in the crucifix armbar. KENTA made it out and almost locked the cross face in, but Nagata made it to the ropes before he could do so. KENTA landed some chest kicks, Nagata fired back with elbows and this led to an elbows change. KENTA caught a highkick and got him up for the GTS, but Nagata countered and landed a backdrop. KENTA landed a flurry of slaps, and kicked the legs of Nagata. This led to a flurry of highkicks, which Nagata kicked out of at two. Nagata landed some big slaps and they had another exchange. Nagata knocked KENTA silly with a hard slap and then kicked him to the mat. KENTA could barely move, but still managed a slap and was backdropped for his trouble by Nagata for the win in 16:21.

*** ¾

 

KENTA Wins the 2012 Global League Tournament

 

KENTA secured a GHC Heavyweight championship title shot on November 23rd when NOAH hosted their final night of the Global League tournament from Korakuen Hall inTokyo. He met Takashi Sugiura in the finals after winning Block A by submitting Go Shiozaki in 11:03 with his omoplata crossface. Sugiura went through Naomichi Marufuji in his last Block B match pinning him with a frankensteiner. Sugiura and KENTA wrestled for twenty one minutes before KENTA pinned Sugiura with the GTS.

 

KENTA has been one of the most consistently over wrestlers for NOAH ever since his days as a junior heavyweight; most realistically from his big matches with Marufuji, maybe even earlier. In all honesty he has still retained his junior heavyweight size and build, but he does have a tough guy aura and is able to perform as a heavyweight at that size This makes sense, given the fact that since 2010 NOAH has been booking him as a tough junior heavyweight chasing the heavyweight title.

 

He will most likely get his shot at NOAH’s Sumo Hall show on January 27th, but current GHC Heavyweight Champion, Takeshi Morishima, still has to defend the championship against Satoshi Kojima, which allows for a few interesting situations. Some people have speculated of a match at the Tokyo Dome, but considering how this match could very well be the one that NOAH pulls the trigger with, I can’t see it being on a New Japan show, especially given the fact that they will have one of their biggest shows of the year only a few weeks later.

 

I believe that this will be the time that NOAH pulls the trigger on KENTA, which probably is the best choice for the company. It probably won’t help business to any measurable extent, but KENTA seems like the logical choice as champion at this point. Plus there is also the fact that fans have been ready for the change for quite some time.

 

People probably expected the title change to take place on last year’s November 27th show, when KENTA challenged Shiozaki for the title inTokyo. However, Shiozaki retained over KENTA, in what I remember to be a very good match. It was probably for the best at the time, considering the fact that KENTA was put out of action with an ACL injury a few weeks later.

 

Morishima is set to defend the GHC Heavyweight Championship against Satoshi Kojima on December 9th in Ryogoku, in what is another one of NOAH’s bigger shows. I can’t really see Kojima winning the title, it is possible, but I don’t see Kojima as a GHC Heavyweight Champion at this stage – then again I didn’t think that All Japan was going to put the championship on Funaki and they did.

 

Regardless of what happens in the Kojima we are looking at an extremely stacked January in terms of Japanese pro wrestling. There is the Tokyo Dome show, which should be colossal, the bigOsakashow from NOAH, hopefully a Funaki/Nagata match and more.

 

WWE Survivor Series November 18th 2012

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

This was an underwhelming card in every sense of the term; it had boring matches, an uninspiring title match, dusty finishes and even a RAW segment thrown in for good measure. There is a rule that should always be followed when it comes to pay-per-view and TV, and that is “if the show feels like work you are doing something wrong” and that is exactly what it felt like here.

 

The show opened up with a completely unannounced midcard Survivor Series match, which was fine as a showcase, but really wasn’t all that good as an actual Survivor Series match. It was basically the faces running wild for the majority of the match, which really doesn’t make for that good of a story.

 

Next came the Diva’s title match, and that was of course a bad match. Kaitlyn just isn’t good enough to be champion, but we are going to see much more of her from now on, because the Diva’s division is atrophying at a phenomenal rate.

 

Antonio Cesaro versus R-Truth was the payoff to the build, which really speaks for the quality of the match. It was boring and completely unremarkable in every way; Cesaro is a great worker and Truth is good, but the match just didn’t work. After the match we were treated to a horrendous AJ/Vickie segment, which had no place on the pay-per-view.

 

Big Show and Sheamus probably had the third best match on the show, but they had a dusty finish with Sheamus knocking a referee down after Big Show threw him in front of a brogue kick. Big Show then knocked Sheamus out from behind. It definitely wasn’t as good as their match at Hell in a Cell, which had all of the great nearfalls; this match had none.

 

We then went to the best match on the show, Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler. Once again a pretty unremarkable match up until the final stretch and Ziggler’s win with a superkick, which was very good. The match wasn’t bad up until that point, but was probably at the level of your average SmackDown six man.

 

Finally we had the mainevent, which was about as good as it could have been. Punk retained the championship with the help of Rollins, Ambrose and Roman Reigns, who ran in and incapacitated Ryback. I have been hearing for months that they were waiting for a creative direction for Ambrose before they brought him up, and I guess this was it. They had them do another run in on RAW, so hopefully they will be on the show in a larger capacity next week.

 

As a whole this was probably one of the worst WWE pay-per-views of the year.

 

Match-by-Match:

 

The show kicked off with your usual Survivor Series retrospective.

 

1. Traditional Survivor Series Match

 

Rey Mysterio, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Sin Cara & Brodus Clay vs. Tensai, Primo, Epico, Titus ‘O Neil & Darren Young

 

They could have at least attempted to announce this match before hand. Kidd and Epico started off. They had an athletic exchange, Kidd went for a boot off of the apron, but was dropped onto the apron by Epico. Gabriel was tagged in, and he came in with a rollup. Gabriel landed a moonsault, Kidd was tagged in and Mysterio came in with a basement dropkick. Young was tagged in, but he was caught with a drop toehold and a dropkick to the groin. Sin Cara and Mysterio landed a tag team X-factor and the tag was made to Primo. Cara landed a handspring back elbow and a flying head scissors followed by a crossbody for two. Sin Cara landed a big sunset powerbomb for two and Tensai was tagged in. He landed a couple of big scoopslams to Albert chants. JBL said that Tensai was “the only mad to hold the tag team titles for two different competing companies inJapan” – suffice to say this was wrong. Ask Misawa, Kojima, Tenzan, Mutoh, Nagata, Akiyama and so many more. Sin Cara landed a highkick and made the tag to Clay who came in with a big splash. Clay landed an exploder on Young, and Primo and Epico were dropped to the outside. Kidd and Gabriel landed dual topé suicidas and Mysterio and Sin Cara landed dual Asai moonsaults to the floor. Back in the ring, Clay yelled “big splash”, went for an exploder and dropped poor Tensai right on his face. Clay missed a splash and was caught with a back senton for the elimination. Gabriel flew in, but he was cut off with a shoulderblock. ‘O Neil locked in an abdominal stretch, Gabriel fought out, but was caught with a fall away slam. Tensai was tagged back in and landed a back senton. He went for it again, but Gabriel moved and caught Tensai with a rollup for the elimination. On his way out he caught Gabriel with a big clothesline. Epico was tagged in and landed a double arm suplex for two. Kidd landed a springboard dropkick and landed a flurry of kicks. Primo was dropped to the floor and Primo dropped off of the apron with a stomp. JBL talked about how Carlos Colon still owed him money. Kidd landed a few more boots and ‘O Neal was tagged back in. He was dropped with a gut wrench; for some reason ‘O Neal just dropped everyone from a completely vertical position, which is not safe. Kidd hung ‘O Neal up and caught him with a leaping highkick and rollup for the elimination. Young came in and made the tag to Epico. Kidd locked in the sharpshooter and the crowd popped really big – since it was Survivor Series after all. Advantage babyfaces. Primo was caught with a dropkick while going for a missile dropkick. The tag was made to Mysterio and he ran wild. Mysterio landed a highkick for two, and followed it with a seated senton. He went for the 619, Primo ducked and went for the back stabber, but Mysterio grabbed a rollup for the elimination. Mysterio then landed a 619 on Young, and Sin Cara landed his senton, Gabriel a springboard moonsault, Kidd an elbow and Mysterio a splash for the win.

 

I know it is what they do, but having advantage babyfaces for almost the entire match really doesn’t make for all that great of a story. Still, I think they realized how good the segment with Kidd, Gabriel and Kidd was from RAW and so they decided to go with it. Kidd came off looking really good after the match, especially followed the sharpshooter spot. It was a fine showcase, but not that great of a match.

** ¾

 

Kaitlyn was walking backstage when she was attacked by somebody in a WWE13 hoodie wearing a blond wig – it was in fact Aksana. Eve came to check on Kaitlyn and she was pushed down. They didn’t make it all that clear that Eve had sent Aksana there.

 

2. Diva’s Championship Match

Eve vs. Kaitlyn

 

The match started off in a catfight. Kaitlyn kicked Eve and she crawled to the outside. Kaitlyn shoved Eve’s head into the mat and let out a war cry. Eve caught her with a front kick, and shoved Kaitlyn’s head into the mat. Eve slapped Kaitlyn and picked her up by her neck. Eve did a royal wave and landed an elbow for two. Eve locked in a head scissors. She went to the top rope, but was pushed onto the apron and down to the outside. Eve begged for mercy, Kaitlyn pushed away Eve’s grovelling hands and caught her with a shove to the face. Kaitlyn threw Eve around, landed a shoulderblock and a flapjack. She then landed a single knee gut buster for two. Eve hung onto the ring apron, and dropped Kaitlyn down to the floor on her way out. She then landed the neckbreaker for the win. I find the Kaitlyn character so unbearably annoying.

*

 

A clip aired from the YouTube pre-show withDel Riotalking about Ziggler being eliminated in the first five minutes. They cut to the Team Foley locker room and everyone apart from Orton was bickering. Foley came by and called for silence and he called for them to “bang bang” on three. Everyone accept Orton agreed, butBryanwas the only one that yelled “bang bang”. Orton said he hated Foley, but Foley simply whispered toKingstonthat it meant Orton was ready.

 

3.United StatesChampionship Match

Antonio Cesaro vs. R-Truth

 

Cesaro talked about how Thanksgiving made no sense. He said they could be thankful for a skyrocketing obesity rate or terrible economy. The only thing they could be thankful for was that he is theirUSchampion.

 

Truth grabbed a quick rollup, Cesaro went for a boot, it was caught and this allowed Truth to land some shots. Cesaro caught Truth with a headbutt and landed a clothesline. Cesaro went after the arm of Truth and the crowd chanted “USA”. Cesaro landed a big clothesline in the corner, and followed it with a double foot stomp for two. Cesaro locked in a bearhug on the mat. Then came an extremely bizarre conversation between Cole and JBL. JBL referenced the All Blacks, Cole said they were fromSouth Africa, JBL was disgusted and said the Springboks were fromSouth Africa. Cole then said that he knew because he “watched the Nelson Mandela movie”! JBL then freaked out calling Cole a parrot, and gave Cole the geographical location ofNew Zealand. JBL finally got the right Gotch. Truth grabbed a rollup and Cesaro landed an uppercut. Cesaro went back to the bearhug. Truth landed a front kick, and unloaded with clothesline. Cesaro caught Truth with a knee, but Truth landed his spinning heel kick for two. Truth landed his jaw breaker. Truth missed the scissors kick; Cesaro caught him with an uppercut and landed the neutralizer for the win.

**

 

There was a TLC commercial with David Otunga at a law firm – it was wacky. There was a recap of the AJ segment from RAW and they showed a tweet from AJ saying that she had her own evidence.

 

AJ came out and got the what treatment right from the start. She called Vickie a witch, or “something that rhymes with witch”. She said that Vickie had a secret and that is why she was accusing AJ. Vickie came out asking who AJ thought she was. She showed Vickie a photoshopped photo of Vickie eating a burrito with Ricardo. There was one shown with JR and his barbeque sauce. There were some more photoshopped shown – this time with Brodus Clay. AJ called Vickie ridiculous; she wanted reality to slap Vickie in the face. Vickie shouted saying that she would slap AJ. AJ said she didn’t want to fight, because she would lose her job. AJ said that if Vickie touched her she would lose her job too and Tamina Snuka ran in with a Samoan drop on AJ. She then landed a superfly splash. Vickie cackled and left. I wasn’t expecting the Tamina run-in, but this angle just isn’t doing it for me; and it really wasn’t a pay-per-view segment.

 

There was an Attitude Era DVD commercial. Heyman was backstage with Matthews. Matthews referenced Punk’s “bag of tricks”. Heyman said that Punk was the eighth longest champion of all time and talked about how Punk was prepared to survive and thrive. He said that Punk was the best out of the three men; and not only that he was the best in the world.

 

4. World Heavyweight Championship Match

Big Show vs. Sheamus

 

Big Show unloaded with some big strikes, he missed the chop in the corner, but still managed to knock Sheamus to the mat. Show landed a chop in the corner, but was caught with a spear to the knee. Show was tied up in the ropes and Sheamus caught him with his clubbing strikes. Big Show rolled out of the ring before the brogue kick, but Sheamus dived off of the apron and landed some big shots. Sheamus went to the top rope, went for a shoulderblock, but was caught with a spear in midair. Show was caught with a scoopslam and caught Sheamus with a big knee. Big Show went after the arm of Sheamus and threw him into the turnbuckle. Big Show landed a chop to the back and stepped over on the stomach of Sheamus. Sheamus hung Show up and flew in with catapult shoulderblock, but he was cut off with a big boot and elbow drop. Show locked in a nerve hold. Sheamus landed a few shots to the knees, but was caught with a sidewalk slam for two. Big Show landed some strikes, but Sheamus locked in a sleeper hold. Big Show broke the hold, was caught with a flurry of shots, but threw Sheamus into the post. Show landed a final cut for two. Show went for his splash, but was caught with an electric chair for two! They traded strikes on their knees and Sheamus got the better of the exchange. Sheamus landed a big knee and a clothesline. He went for the brogue kick, Show went for the choke slam, but Sheamus landed the belly to back over the shoulder piledriver for two and both men were down. Sheamus went for the brogue kick, but Show pushed referee Scott Armstrong into the line of fire and he was knocked down. Sheamus checked on the referee with EMTs and other officials. Sheamus turned around and was caught with a KO punch for the pin. It was then announced that Big Show was disqualified. Sheamus then unloaded on Big Show with chairshots. Sheamus went after the leg of the Big Show, Show begged off, Sheamus asked for Big Show to beg and he did. He then caught Show with a brogue kick – what a babyface!

 

This was a really fun match up until the finish. I could even understand the finish, because they had to keep the championship on Big Show without beating Sheamus, but it was a really stupid way to end the match.

** ¾

 

5. Traditional Survivor Series Match

 

Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Kane, Kofi Kingston & The Miz vs. Dolf Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow & David Otunga

 

Kingstonstarted the match off with a small package on Otunga, followed by a flurry of kicks. Otunga dropped to the outside, but was caught with a bodypress.Bryanwas tagged in and was caught with a scoopslam. Sandow was tagged in and he landed his elbow.Bryanchanted “no” and landed his running dropkick. He landed the no kicks. Sandow prepared to flee, but Kane threw him back in. Why would he do that? Kane the landed a chokeslam, eliminating Sandow. Bryan and Kane argued, pushed and shoved. Kane then droppedBryanto the floor and was caught with a Zig Zag for the elimination. Miz and Orton argued over who would come in. Orton went after Ziggler and landed a slingshot suplex.Kingstonlanded a huge monkey flip on Ziggler; he basically did a 450 splash out of a monkey flip. Ziggler tagged Barrett in and he was caught with a drop toe-hold.Bryanmissed a dropkick in the corner and was caught with knees.Del Riolanded a superkick from the apron andBryanwas dropped to the floor. Otunga was tagged in and he landed a clothesline and shoulderblock.Bryanlocked in the no lock and Otunga tapped.Del Riowas caught with a foot stomp and caughtBryanwith a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker.Del Riowent for the enzuigiri and was dropped to the outside hard.Kingstonwas tagged in and he unloaded with a flurry of shots and landed the boom drop. Ziggler was knocked off of the apron serving as a distraction, butKingstonwas still able to land a bodypress. Barrett was tagged in, landed a big spinning sideslam and the short arm forearm for the elimination. Orton landed a dropkick for two.Bryanwas tagged in and they were teasing animosity with Miz still remaining fresh.Bryanlanded a missile dropkick for two and landed the no kicks; however he was dropped to the outside.Del Riowas tagged back in, butBryanalmost locked in the no lock, but was caught with a kick to the leg and enzuigiri.Del Riolocked the cross armbreaker in for the elimination. Miz came in for the first time and he went at it withDel Rio. He offered the tag to Orton and Orton pickedDel Rioapart.Del Riocaught Orton with knees to the arm and tagged Ziggler in. Orton landed a headbutt and a bodydrop. The tags were made to Miz and Barrett. Miz ran wild. Miz was killing everybody, he knocked Ziggler off of the apron, took Barrett out andDel Rio. He was caught with a kick to the gut, however, Barrett went for the waste land, but Miz landed the skull crushing finale for the elimination. Miz cutDel Riooff with a DDT, butDel Riolanded a bridging German suplex for two.Del Riowent to the top, caught Miz with a kick, but fell of his face. Miz missed his clothesline and was caught with an enzuigiri for the elimination. Orton andDel Riowent at it. Ziggler was knocked off of the apron, butDel Riolanded an enzuigiri for two. They picked Orton apart in the corner.Del Riolanded a double foot stomp and went to the top rope. However, he was caught with a dropkick. Orton landed some clotheslines, knocked Dolf off of the apron, landed a powerslam onDel Rio, butDel Riolanded an enzuigiri off of the distraction from Ricardo. Foley gave Ricardo Mr. Socko. Ziggler dropkickedDel Rioand was thrown into the post,Del Riolanded a heel kick, but Orton landed an RKO for the elimination. Ziggler fought off of the RKO and landed a Zig Zag for two. Orton landed the draping DDT. He signalled for the RKO, but hesitated and decided to go for the punt. Ziggler caught Orton with a superkick however for the win!

 

It was nice to see Ziggler win the match as the sole survivor over Orton. As far as I can remember Orton has been the sole survivor in just about every Survivor Series match he has been in, and so to have Ziggler win finally shows that they at least have some confidence in him. One thing that I always find strange about Survivor Series matches is how everyone gets pinned by the most mundane moves, and the same can be said for this match. Ziggler won with a superkick of all things, but by the time the finish came along the crowd was heavily into the possibility of a finish coming at any time – so I was fine with that. As a whole this was a good Survivor Series match, but only the last five minutes or so was worth watching; before that it really wasn’t anything special.

*** ½

 

They aired some tOuts and they were pretty well put together, and not as embarrassing as you would have expected.

 

6. WWE Championship Match

CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Ryback

 

Punk dropped to the outside, Cena made the chase, Punk slid back in and Ryback chased after him. Eventually Ryback and Cena went after each other and Punk took advantage. Ryback threw Punk against the mat and Cena landed a bulldog. Punk was dropped to the outside, and Ryback and Cena stared each other down. The fans dual chanted “lets go Cena” “Cena Sucks”. Cena went for the AA, but Ryback got off and was dropped to the floor. Punk ran in and landed a suplex on Ryback, he no sold and landed a fall away slam. Cena ran in with a belly to belly suplex and locked in a headlock. Punk came in breaking the hold. Punk came down with a double axe handle on Ryback, he went for a top rope elbow, was caught, he knocked Ryback to the outside, but Cena came in with a rollup. Cena went for the AA, but Punk landed a DDT for two. Punk was dropped to the outside, Cena landed his spinout powerbomb, but Ryback no sold and this led to a strike exchange. Punk threw Cena into the steps and landed a springboard clothesline for one. Punk locked in a chinlock. The fans chanted “feed me more” and this led to Ryback breaking the hold landing a couple of shoulder tackles and a spinebuster. Ryback landed a big clothesline, he went for the marching Samoan drop, but Cena came in with an STF. Punk broke the hold with an elbow, which looked like a pretty painful bump. Punk went for the GTS on Cena, but this led to a strike battle. Ryback cut them both off with a double clothesline and threw both men to the floor. He went for the double Samoan drop, but Cena and Punk beat Ryback down. Punk and Cena then cleared the table for the WrestleMania XX style Beniot/Triple H double suplex on Michaels through the table. Cena landed his shoulderblocks and landed the five knuckle shuffle. Cena went for the AA, but Punk caught him with the GTS for two. Cena shot up with an AA for two. Punk landed some legkicks and a few to the chest, but Cena attempted an STF. Punk fought his way out and landed a running knee. Punk went for his bulldog, but Cena locked in the STF. Ryback pulled Cena to the floor and landed his big clothesline. He landed the marching Samoan drop, but Cena was there to break it up. Cena got Ryback up, but Ryback countered it and landed the marching Samoan drop. Just then three member of security ran in and cleared the ring of Ryback. They were Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. They then sent Ryback through the announce table. Punk then covered Cena for the win.

 

This was just about as good as this three way could have gotten. They had to have a dusty finish, which came across as a bit cheap especially considering the fact that they had already done one in the world title match. However, they at least brought three guys up at a mainevent level, and I know that the WWE are high on Ambrose and Reigns together with Rollins to a lesser extent, so I can’t see them just having Ryback destroy them on the next show. It was basically you usual WWE three way, one man goes in the other goes out, only with Ryback. They had two big announce table bumps to compensate for it, and it could have gone worse – still this was not a WWE mainevent quality match.

** ¾

 

WWE Monday Night RAW November 19th 2012

Dayton, Ohio

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

This week’s edition of RAW was once again mediocre. The AJ/Vickie segments have long past their welcome to a very large extent. The angle didn’t make sense from its inception and has been getting progressively worse. Cena and AJ kissed on this show, which really didn’t make sense, considering the fact that Cena and AJ are trying to disprove an affair!

 

I liked the way that they did the Cena injury, because it really came across as real. What didn’t come across as realistic however was AJ’s questioning of Vickie and demand that she do something about Cena’s injury. The one thing that I want to know is what exactly Vickie could have done about the injury. Nobody hurt Cena, he rolled his own ankle; is Vickie some sort of miracle healer?

 

There was no point in doingDel Rioand Orton again, especially in a two out of three falls match. Last year’s feud between Orton and Christian went on too long, but the Del Rio/Orton program is on a completely different level.

 

Most of the matches on the show really dragged, with Sheamus and Sandow’s match not being an exception. They had a match a few weeks back that was really good, and almost put Sandow in an elevated position, but there was no such situation in this match.

 

One match that did not drag was the ninth match on the show with Titus ‘O Neal and Darren Young on commentary; ‘O Neal probably came out as one of the most entertaining people on the show, and they definitely have something in him. I have heard that Vince is high on ‘O Neal, at least as a guest on commentary, so hopefully they will do something with him at some point.

 

They built to the Punk one year celebration throughout the show, but it really wasn’t much of a celebration; in fact it was more of a drawn out promo segment. They talked about how long Punk had held the title, and aired an awesome video package of his reign, but where was the actual celebration? Heyman was looking for balloons backstage, why didn’t he get them?

 

Still the segment came off well, with Punk saying that he would beat Sammartino’s reign and hold the championship until 2018, which was an awesome line. They had Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns come out, and destroy Ryback, but they didn’t look like world beaters or anything. It will be interesting to see what they do with them going into TLC, logic would dictate a three way tables match; although I can’t really see the three men coming off all too well after that. Having three guys go through a table and one be the survivor would not be a smart move.

 

Segment by Segment:

 

The show opened with yet another soap opera/Impact style video package.

 

Ryback came out. He cut a promo and boy was it something. He made numerous references to his hunger. He talked about how Punk was his prey and implored Punk to come out. He said that he was going to tear everything apart if they didn’t come out. He chanted “feed me more” along with the crowd.

 

Vickie came out and said that he would not tear anything apart. She said he blew his opportunities, and if he destroyed anything he would be suspended. She wanted to “find out how big his apatite really [was]” and out came Tensai.

 

1. Ryback vs. Tensai

 

Ryback landed a clothesline, but was cut off with splash in the corner. Ryback, however, caught Tensai with a Thesz press. Ryback powered out of a choke, but was caught with tree slam and senton for one. Ryback sat up and landed a big powerslam. Tensai landed some chops to the head, but was caught with a spinebuster. Tensai was dropped to the outside and thrown into the barricade. He then landed his big clothesline, and he got Tensai up for the marching Samoan drop this time.

 

Sheamus was freaking out on the referee that counted to three backstage. There was a graphic for Punk’s one year celebration, andKingstonand Barrett were shown walking to the ring.

 

2. Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston

 

They showed an inset promo of Barrett callingKingstonan embarrassment.Kingstonlanded some leg kicks, but was caught with a shoulder block. Barrett missed a splash in the corner and was caught with some shots in the corner. He landed an uppercut for two and some shots in the corner.Kingstonlanded some kicks, but Barrett tookKingstondown.Kingstonfought back with some shots, but he was taken to the floor with a clothesline. After the breakKingstonhad a headlock locked in. They showed Barrett sticking his finger in the eye ofKingstonduring the break. Barrett caughtKingstonwith a knee to the gut and he landed some knees.Kingstonwas booted to the outside. Barrett continued to wearKingstondown.Kingstonfired back with some shots, Barrett went for the spinout side slam, but was caught with a rollup.Kingstonlanded a dropkick and Barrett slide to the outside. On his way back into the ring, Barrett was caught with a flurry of strikes on the ground.Kingstonlanded the boom drop, but Barrett landed the spinout side-slam for two.Kingstoncaught Barrett with a highkick to the eye and a crossbody for two.Kingstonlanded the SOS for two and Barrett went after the eyes ofKingston. He then landed the shortarm forearm for the win.

 

A recap of the Maddox match aired. Heyman walked through the back with a picture of Punk. He greeted Punk and said that he would throw him a celebration. Matt Striker, who was growing a moustache, came by. He asked him about Ambrose and Rollins. Punk wouldn’t answer. He asked about Ryback and Heyman said even Ryback was invited. Punk was not happy with this and requested to speak with Heyman.

 

3. Kaitlyn vs. Aksana

 

Aksana took Kaitlyn down on the floor and rammed Kaitlyn’s head into the mat. She locked in an armbar in the ropes and landed some really lacklustre offense. Kaitlyn fought back with some kicks and threw Aksana around. She landed a terrible flapjack and gutbuster for the win. This was an atrocious match.

 

4. Antonio Cesaro vs. Brodus Clay

 

As soon as I saw both men come out I was convinced that they were determined to get two of the most impressive power spots of the past few weeks on one show. Truth was on commentary. Clay went for a splash, but was met with a flurry of strikes and a kick to the gut. Cesaro landed his foot stomp, but Clay landed a headbutt and splash. Clay missed his splash out of the corner and was caught with a diving European uppercut. Cesaro then landed the neutralizer for the win.

 

They showed yet another Cena Make A Wish milestone; three hundred wishes! Say what you want about Cena’s gimmick, but he is a great guy. Vickie was speaking to two people backstage.

 

Vickie Guerrero was brought out with the two people. She talked about how AJ made a fool out of everyone. That is where the two people came in; they were witnesses. The waitress lady (Claire Lynch) said that they requested a private table, and said they were probably discussing more than business. The man was a parking attendant, and he said that they were in a car for over an hour and a father came to complain about what was happening in the vehicle. AJ came out.

 

She said that Vickie could fire her, but only if she “shut the hell up”. They bickered back and forth. Vickie promised supposed X-rated content of Cena and AJ in the car. Cena came out and the witnesses fled.

 

He said he would give them something to talk about and they kissed. He talked about how it was real evidence, when he was embraced by AJ again. Ziggler ran out and Cena prepared to deliver the AA, Ziggler fled to the floor and Cena worked an excellent ankle injury and limped after Ziggler.

 

5. 2 out of 3 Falls Match

Randy Orton vs. AlbertoDel Rio

 

We all know that this had to be done again. Orton landed a dropkick,Del Riothrew him into the post and landed a snap suplex. Orton landed a suplex of his own, but was caught with a bodykick and dual knees to the arm.Del Riowent for the cross armbreaker, but was thrown to the floor. Orton was hung up arm first, andDel Riowent after the arm ramming it into the post. This led toDel Riobeing disqualified and Orton winning the first fall. Orton caughtDel Riowith a back bodydrop and fired back with a scoopslam.Del Riolocked in the cross armbreaker for the second fall. Orton grabbed a rollup for two, butDel Riowent after the arm again. Orton landed his backbreaker and sold the arm. Ricardo grabbed the leg of Orton and was thrown out. Orton was still distracted and was caught with a backcracker for two.Del Riodid Orton’s taunt. He went for the RKO, but Orton grabbed a draping DDT. Orton went for the RKO, but was caught with a cross armbreaker. Orton countered it into a rollup for two and landed an RKO for the win. There was no reason for them doing this match again. Hopefully it is over by now, because it has basically been a feud based on Orton winning every match.

 

Cena was shown getting his leg taped up and he was with AJ.

 

6. Great Khali vs. Primo & Epico

 

Hornswoggle came out with flowers and high fived Khali before the match. He waited at ringside and gradually moved his way closer toRosa.Rosawent to smell the flowers, but was squirted with water. Primo was then caught with a chop and Epico with a tree slam.

 

Heyman was backstage making sure that the celebrations were in order. Balloons weren’t on the list and Heyman lost his mind. Miz was shown walking to the ring.

 

7. The Miz vs. David Otunga

 

Otunga stomped Miz in the corner, but Miz fired back with some strikes. Otunga threw Miz into the post and landed a Russian leg sweep for two. Otunga landed an elbow drop. Otunga locked in a chin lock and landed a shoulder tackle. Otunga landed a couple of clotheslines. Miz grabbed a rollup, but was cut off with another clothesline. Otunga locked in a headlock and took Miz back down to the mat. Miz grabbed a sunset flip. Miz landed a big clothesline in the corner and an axe handle for two. He then landed the skull crushing finale for the win. This match felt like it dragged on for years.

 

Sheamus came out with a steel chair. He said that his feud with Show was originally about a battle between two warriors. However, he made it personal you see. He knocked Regal out and attacked him from behind. He pushed the referee in front of the brogue kick and prevented him from regaining the title. Big Show revealed what kind of person he is. He wasn’t smiling anymore and called Show out. Show limped out. Show said that they had nothing to settle. Show told Sheamus to shut up and listen to him. Show said he was not the champion anymore, because he didn’t deserve the title. He called him barbaric like his Irish ancestors. Sandow interrupted.

 

8. Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow

 

Sheamus overpowered Sandow. Sandow stomped Sheamus in the corner. Sheamus responded with shots in the corner. Sandow landed a headbutt, but was quickly knocked down by Sheamus. Sandow was thrown to the outside by his beard. Sandow worked Sheamus over on the mat. Sandow went for his elbow, but was caught with a backbreaker. He landed the clubbing blows on the apron followed by a suplex. He followed them with the top rope shoulderblock and over the shoulder belly to back piledriver. Sheamus then landed the brogue kick for the win.

 

AJ approached Vickie and Tamina backstage. Vickie introduced them. AJ said she wanted to get to know her better in the near future. AJ asked what Vickie was going to do about Cena’s injury. If she wasn’t going to do anything about it she would. How would Vickie fix it anyway?

 

AJ was gallivanting backstage when she was approached by Layla. She told Layla to leave her “the hell alone” and she walked into the men’s locker room. She approached Ziggler and he said that she came from nothing and was nothing. Ziggler said she would be all alone and she was pathetic. He called her sad and weak. He then called her trash. AJ attacked Ziggler, Cena ran in and a brawl ensued. Cena injured his knee and was speared by Ziggler through the bathroom stall.

 

Matthews was standing by the trainer’s room with an update.

 

9. Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara

 

The Prime Time Players were on commentary – they were so amazingly great. Cara kicked the legs of Kane and landed a leaping highkick. The crowd chanted “yes”.Bryanlanded some kicks on Cara, but missed a knee and was caught with an armdrag. Mysterio was tagged in, but was cut off with a big kick. Kane was tagged in andBryancalled for him to get out. Mysterio landed a seated senton, but was cut off by a knee fromBryanoff the apron. Cara landed a topé onBryan. After the break Kane had a headlock on Sin Cara. Kane landed a side slam for two.Bryanlocked in a surfboard. Bryan and Kane wore Cara down while the Prime Time Players bickered with Lawler and Cole; it was great.Bryanwent for his running dropkick, but was caught with a boot and a tornado DDT. Kane and Mysterio were tagged in and Kane landed some big splashes. Lawler couldn’t stop laughing on commentary. Kane caught Mysterio with an uppercut in midair. Mysterio then landed the 619, but when he went for his splash he was caught in a chokeslam position. Titus and Young then ran in. However, they were caught with a double 619 and a senton bomb. The Prime Time Players made this segment; it would have been even better if they weren’t destroyed by two beaten up teams after the match.

 

Heyman was with Punk backstage. He wanted this night to make it worth it and no one would tarnish the night for Punk. He said that Punk’s celebration awaited and a recap of the kiss aired.

 

Heyman was in the ring, with pictures of Punk and the top ten longest reigning champions. Heyman asked if they were angry with him, because Punk retained the title, or because they made fun of Lawler. He said they cry for the Attitude Era, but when they get Attitude they don’t like it. They chant ECW, but when they get a taste of the extreme they don’t like it. The problem was that they couldn’t handle Punk’s greatness and his raising of the bar. He called the current environment the “most hyper competitive in history”. False! He brought Punk out.

 

Punk hugged Heyman and he whispered “I love you”. Heyman was crying. He said that Michaels, Triple H, Bret Hart, Undertaker, and the Rock couldn’t do it. A CM Punk video package aired. It had every single one of his defences and all of the numbers – it was pretty great. He said it was also about looking to the future and reaching the top. He wanted to hold it until July 25th 2018, where he would surpass Bruno Sammartino. When Heyman was a kid he was a fan of Bruno Sammartino, Heyman said that he belonged in the WWE Hall of Fame (something that might never happen), and he said that Punk would be a first ballot Hall of Famer, which I thought was a subtle reference to the Observer Hall of Fame (after all in a sense everyone is a first ballot Hall of Famer in the WWE Hall of Fame). He said that Sammartino, Hogan and Austin couldn’t beat Punk and not even the Rock could beat Punk. He talked about how he had beaten Ryback and Cena. The only people that believed that he could win were in the ring. He cemented his legacy. Ryback came out, but Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns jumped Ryback. Ryback fought them off and the crowd chanted “feed me more”. They then decided to send him trough the table again and they powerbombed him through. Punk then walked down slowly and posed over Ryback’s body to close the show off.

 

RAW Ratings Blues November 19th 2012

 

This past week’s edition of Monday Night RAW did another very disappointing ratings, a rating that was in fact in the top five lowest rated non-holiday editions of RAW in the last 15 years. The main reason that this came as a surprise was the fact that it was the RAW following Survivor Series, which should in principal mean something.

 

The show also didn’t go up against strong competition with the 49ers vs. Chicago Bears football game doing a 9.22 rating and 12.47 million viewers, down from last week’s game which did 12.82 million viewers and a 9.51 rating.

 

There were some other big surprises coming out of the ratings, with one of the biggest coming from the opening segment. Ryback, who hasn’t really been all that big of a draw in the ratings, had the highest rated segment of the show with his promo and match with Tensai, which I would have expected to open low. The show didn’t open strong, only doing a 2.91, but still this is the second week in a row that Ryback has performed comparatively well in the ratings.

 

The Kofi Kingston/Wade Barrett match that followed lost 298,000 viewers, which wasn’t a surprise. The Diva’s match and Heyman backstage lost 80,000 viewers. The Antonio Cesaro/Brodus Clay match together with the Make A Wish segment gained 376,000 viewers, which was probably due almost entirely to Make A Wish.

 

Then in the 21:00 big growth spot, with the kind of segment that normally shows big growth, the Vickie/Dolf/Cena/AJ segment in the ring only managed to gain 195,000 viewers. It would be difficult to compare with last week’s Lawler segment, but the gain was down from that segment and probably most every 21:00 segment in recent memory.

 

Randy Orton versus Alberto Del Rio in the two out of three falls match lost 122,000 viewers, which comes as no surprise given the fact that everyone has seen the match a thousand times. The Great Khali segment with Epico and Primo lost 186,000 viewers. Then it what was a pretty big surprise, Miz versus David Otunga of all matches gained 223,000 viewers. It was probably just an anomaly, but still I would have expected some kind of loss in that segment.

 

Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow gained 105,000 viewers, which would come as a surprise, but it was in the 22:00 segment. The segment where AJ walked into the men’s locker room and Cena and Ziggler went through the bathroom stall lost a very surprising 241,000 viewers. Segments like these normally gain a large amount of viewers, so the fact that they lost viewers twice on the show should tell you something. Sadly, the tag match with the Prime Time Players on commentary lost 266,000 viewers to a 2.50 quarter, which was in fact bad.

The Punk mainevent segment gained 419,000 viewers to a 2.87 overrun, which was disappointing even when compared to last week’s abnormally low gain of 528,000 viewers. The weeks before last did pretty great gains so this really shows something. The show did a 2.73 rating and 3.83 million viewers average.

Having one of the worst non-holiday editions of RAW is one thing, but when they come in the span of a few months all after a significant move to three hours then it is time to take notice.

WWE –NXT

November 21st 2012 – Full Sail University, Florida.

Ben Carass.

 

 

Todd Phillips stepped off WWE’s generic announcer conveyor belt to kick off the show with an interview with Kassius Ohno and asked about the rubber match with Trent Barreta. Ohno said he would giveTrentthe “Richie Steamboat treatment” and end his career then declared Barreta would feel more pain than he ever had before.

 

Inside the arena Alicia Fox came out for the opener; Jim Ross and Tony Dawson were on commentary.

 

I can’t keep track of all the indistinct announcers on this show.

 

Paige made her entrance and received a good reaction from the live crowd.

 

Paige vs. Alicia Fox

 

Paige took Fox over with a Japanese armdrag after the tie up then landed a dropkick; Alicia countered a monkeyflip by landing on her feet and grabbed a waistlock. Paige tried to fight out, but Alicia delivered an atrocious looking bodyslam; even with some editing tricks this looked horrendous.

              Fox hit her northern lights then went for some heat; unfortunately, the only thing the crowd reacted to was Paige’s backside being spanked. Paige started her comeback and delivered a snapsuplex; Alicia performed a sunset flip out of the corner for a two, however Paige hit the lightening spiral for the three count.

 

Paige defeated Alicia Fox via pinfall, at 5:12.

 

An abysmal match; their timing was off and nobody really cared when Paige was selling (apart from the ignominious spanking), which is strange considering she is one of the most over pieces of talent they have; maybe the crowd just didn’t buy Alicia’s offense. Why do 90% of Diva’s matches need to include a spanking spot?

 

A graphic hyping Trent Barreta vs. Kassius Ohno aired, followed by a second hyping Big E. Langston vs. Camacho.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Camacho made his way down to the ring after the break; footage of his lazy attack on Big E. last week rolled. J.R andDawsonput over the five grand bounty then Big E. hit the ring; J.R compared him to King Kong Bundy, JYD and Ivan Koloff.

 

Big E. Langston vs. Camacho

 

Camacho tried to get the jump on Big E., but got trapped with double overhooks and ate some headbutts. Big E. pounded away at his opponent, however Camacho retaliated then locked in a front facelock; Big E. powered out and scored with shoulder blocks in the corner. Camacho caught Big E. with both boots then came off the second rope with a big forearm; Big E. fired back with a hard body check and nailed his inverted front powerslam for the victory.

 

Big E. Langston defeated Camacho via pinfall, at 2:03.

 

The crowd urged Big E. to hit his move once more and he obliged then counted to five; Big E. went to leave, but changed his mind on the apron and repeated his finish and five count gimmick.

 

The match was your typical Big E. squash; this bounty angle is going nowhere and it’s a shame, because it is simple to book. We’ve got a couple more weeks until the TV catches up with the current Managing Supervisor angle, so until then we’re forced to pretend Vickie still cares about what happens on this show.

 

Tony Dawson said there was a “commotion” backstage; Trent Barreta was down, selling his ribs. Some referees showed up to help and when the camera panned out, Leo Kruger was crouched against a wall “looking sinister”, asDawsoncalled it.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Todd Phillips was in the back; he claimed to have spoken with the doctor and saidTrentmight be out of the main event.

 

Back in the arena, Bronson came down to face Nick Rogers, who was already in the ring.

 

Bronson vs. Nick Rogers

 

 Bronson was all overRogersafter the bell and backed him into the corner;Rogersscored some punches, but Bronson no-sold every one. Bronson began to land strikes then worked over Roger’s leg; after beating up his opponent some more, Bronson delivered a big STO then locked in a heel hook for the victory.

 

Bronson defeated Nick Rogers via submission, at 2:00.

 

My analysis of this match may seem a little scarce, but it’s hard to stretch out, “he beat him up for 2 minutes”.

 

A graphic of Barreta vs. Ohno rolled;Dawsonspeculated whetherTrentwould be able to compete.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Bray Wyatt appeared on the stage; he did his preacher routine then stated, “Nothing in your pathetic little life could ever prepare you for this night”. Wyatt said he would give the people’s lives purpose for the first time ever and claimed he would make his “little lamb famous”. Luke Harper headed down to the ring to face Mike Dalton, who didn’t even get introduced; Wyatt sat in a rocking chair and watched from the stage.

 

Mike Dalton vs. Luke Harper

 

Daltonattempted to use his speed to get the advantage, but Harper took control with some shots. Harper continued to land strikes and worked like a total heel; he used a double fishhook, as well as using the ropes for an advantage.

           Daltonfought up from a rear chinlock, but was charged into the corner and ate a clothesline; Harper starred at Wyatt, which gaveDaltonthe opportunity to land a kick and go for a tornado DDT. Harper countered then hit the Traylorslam for the three count.

 

Luke Harper defeated Mike Dalton via pinfall, at 2:43.

 

After the match, Wyatt got on the mic again and said, “When I decided it’s time to start hurting people, there will be none of you left”.

 

Todd Phillips was with Seth Rollins backstage; the two appeared to be going over an interview, when Jinder Mahal jumped Rollins from behind. Seth fought back and delivered some mounted punched, before the referees showed up to stop the brawl.

 

The Raw Rebound aired.

 

It was strange seeing Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns in this package, on this show, considering we just saw the babyface champion Rollins in the previous segment; of course we got no explanation of anything. When Rollins defends his belt against Jinder in a couple of weeks, I hope the trio have not been destroyed too much by Ryback; especially Ambrose and Rollins.

 

Kassius Ohno came down to the ring; Ohno asked, “Where’s Trent?” then said he heardTrent had a mishap and was left with no opponent. Ohno told the ref to ring the bell and count to ten; Dusty Rhodes music hit and the interim GM came out on to the stage. Big Dust stated he knew Ohno had something to do with the attack on Barreta and announced he found a replacement. Richie Steamboat appeared and hit the ring to face his rival.

 

Richie Steamboat vs. Kassius Ohno

 

Steamboat showed some nice aggression after the bell and unloaded on Kassius with some shots then scored with a crossbody after a leapfrog transition for a two count. Steamboat kept the advantage with some chops and Ohno backed off; Richie did the classic babyface “c’mon you S.O.B” spot then sent Ohno over the top to the floor. Steamboat went up to the top rope and wiped out Kassius with a crossbody.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Richie was still in control after the break; Ohno rolled to the apron and Steamboat followed, but Kassius sent Richie into the ring post then took the fight back inside.

             Ohno got the heat with stomps and his patented cravate; Richie fought up, only to be sent into the turnbuckle, in an identical manner to how he hit the ring post. Steamboat showed his fire, but was cut off and took a belly-to-back suplex for a two count; Ohno locked in another cravat and Richie fought up again. Steamboat countered a backdrop with a sunset flip then reversed a belly-to-back into a crossbody, for a nice double hope spot and a near fall. Ohno delivered a cravate suplex for a two count and went to follow up with a big forearm in the corner; Steamboat countered with a double chop then scored with a clothesline. Ohno dumped Richie on the apron, however Steamboat went up to the top rope; Kassius caught Richie with a headbutt in mid-air then hit his big forearm in the corner. Steamboat hooked a quick school boy for a two count and Ohno went for his rolling elbow smash; Steamboat countered into the sling blade for the three count.

 

Richie Steamboat defeated Kassius Ohno via pinfall, at 13:47.

 

JR hyped Team HellNo’s appearance on next week’s show and Steamboat celebrated his victory, as the show went off the air.

 

The main event was excellent and I assume that will be the end of the feud; of course nothing is guaranteed with WWE booking. The rest of the show was more or less a bunch of squashes; I suppose if anyone tuned into NXT this week after seeing Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns on Raw then they got a great match and saw guys creative are high on looking strong: Big E. went over a “main roster” talent and Paige did also. I would like to see Ohno brought up in the near future, he’s been ready for years, however I have a feeling Big.E may be the next to be called up to Raw.

 

TNA Impact November 22nd 2012

Impact Zone, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

This was a nothing Impact much like everyone expected. One thing I did like was the addition of the Gut Check contestants since we haven’t see any of them on TV yet. The opener was terrible and the either botched the finish in a major way or booking bared complete ignorance when it came to mentioning the fact that both men’s shoulders were down didn’t help matters.

 

The Sam Shaw match was perfectly fine and I liked Eric Silva as a heel. It was nice to see Christian York in a match against Jeff Hardy, the fact that they let him get so much offense in and have a relatively competitive TV match shows that they at least have some faith in him.

 

The Eric Young match was what it was, and it might just be the fact that I am a grouch, but I am never a big fan of the turkey suit match. I am fine with the Aces & Eights destroying people, but the “oh, we are out to have fun ad injure people, because we have nothing better to do” direction they are going in simply doesn’t cut it for me – the story simply has no direction.

 

AJ Styles and Kazarian had a perfectly fine TV match, although it really wasn’t anything spectacular. Styles has a terrible haircut, and an “I don’t care” aura, but that is probably a gimmick more than anything else.

 

I liked Aries in the closing segment, his Hogan speech was really good, but do we really need another romance angle in pro wrestling right now? I cringe at the very thought. Plus the fact that this is going to probably be a repeat of the Claire Lynch angle also doesn’t help things. I see both Brooke and Ray being innocent and the angle going nowhere, like all of these romance angles do.

 

As a whole this show wasn’t bad, but it really was completely missable.

 

Segment by Segment:

 

The show kicked off with Borash in the ring with Wes Briscoe. His hair was still ties up in a bun, which I would suspect is an attempt to hide the fact that he is a member of the Aces & Eights.

 

1. Garett Bischoff vs. Wes Briscoe

 

Briscoe took Bischoff down with a takedown, Bischoff responded with one of his own, and they met in a stalemate. Angle came down to the ring. Briscoe landed a monkey flip. They exchanged forearms and Briscoe landed a neckbreaker for one. Bischoff landed a clothesline, Briscoe fought out of a sleeper hold and took Bischoff down with a strange looking corkscrew body press. Bischoff landed a flapjack, but Briscoe landed what looked likeKingston’s SOS, but both men had their shoulders down. This really was a match between two really green wrestlers, which resulted in a lot of mistakes. I can’t see the ending where both men’s shoulders were down not being a storyline element, simply because it would take a massive miscommunication or lack of awareness for that to happen, something that I don’t think happened here. Still it should have at least been mentioned either directly or indirectly on the show and it was not.

 

Angle and Bischoff celebrated after the match, and the double pin was never mentioned. Snow was backstage with all of the Gut Check winners, he said they could challenge whoever they wanted that night. Angle was backstage with Bischoff and Briscoe. He congratulated them both.

 

Joey Ryan came out and said that he didn’t need to win Gut Check. He said that Hogan couldn’t divide him and Morgan. He said they would become tag champions and he called out Chavo Guerrero. He made a sexual innuendo.

 

2. Chavo Guerrero vs. Joey Ryan

 

Guerrero landed a few uppercuts, but was cut off with a shot to the gut. Ryan cut Guerrero off with a dropkick and went after the shoulder of Guerrero. Chavo landed a dropkick of his own, a head scissors and senton. Chavo landed the three amigos and went for the frogsplash. However, Morgan ran in and landed a big chokeslam on Chavo from the top rope. Hernandez ran in and Morgan fled.

 

Aries was backstage and said that he could call anyone he wanted out. He would call out someone who needed a reality check and not a gut check; it would be a family affair.

 

Sam Shaw was brought out. Shaw called Alex Silva out.

 

3. Sam Shaw vs. Alex Silva

 

Silva went after Shaw before the bell and is officially a heel. Tenay and Taz explained the concept of a developmental system. Silva missed a legdrop and locked in a sleeper hold. Silva continued to wear Shaw down and started singing the Canadian national anthem. Shaw was supposed to land on his feet off of a backdrop, but landed on his backside CM Punk Money in the Bank 2011 style. He landed a spear, ground and pound and a neckbreaker. He then landed a legdrop for the win. I don’t mean this with any ill intent, but Sam Show looks and works like a living breathing create a wrestler. From the tattoos to the offense, to the attire, that is just the way I see him. Still the crowd was into this and it was far better than the opener.

 

Young and ODB walked into Hogan’s office. Young wanted a turkey suit challenge match. Hogan said it was open fight night and Hogan told him to “watch out for the Aces & Eights” because they were “everywhere”. Robbie E and T wanted Young to call him out. Jesse walked by and Young said that he would call them both out. Robbie E and Jesse seemed to have a bonding experience of some kind. Tenay talked about a pattern developing with the Aces & Eights – it has been six months! There was an Aces & Eights recap.

 

They cut to the club house and revealed a turkey.Devonsaid they had strippers for later on. The big guy then threw a dart and they all laughed. There was a Christian York vide package.Yorkcame out, talked about how he had luck on his side, he called someone out that he respected; Jeff Hardy.

 

4. Jeff Hardy vs. Christian York

 

Yorklanded a sidekick, highkick and dropkick. After the break Hardy missed the whisper in the wind and was covered for two.Yorklanded a clothesline and big knee for two. Hardy landed his enzuigiri, but missed his kick out of the corner.Yorkmissed his double foot stomp, butYorklanded a half nelson suplex and cannonball in the corner.Yorklocked in a body scissors of some kind on the mat. Hardy made it to the ropes, missed a clothesline, Hardy went for the twist of fate, butYorklanded one of his own!Yorkwent for a neckbreaker, but Hardy landed a facebuster. He went to the top rope, but was hung up byYork. He went for superplex, but Hardy landed a sunset powerbomb. Hardy landed a twist of fate and swanton bomb for the win.

 

Bobby Roode ran out after the match, landed a spinebuster onYorkand a spear on Hardy. He then yelled that the title would be his and he lifted it above his head.

 

Taeler Hendrix was confronted by Brooke Hogan backstage. Brooke complimented her on being the only female Gut Check winner, which really isn’t that hard. Hendrix came out and called outTara.

 

5.Taravs. Taeler Hendrix

 

Taraslapped Hendrix’ hand before the match and dropped her face first.Tarakissed Jesse and was caught with a dropkick and small package for two.Taramissed some strikes and was caught with a side slam. Hendrix landed a headbutt and a flurry of strikes. She landed a bodypress for two and Jesse jumped on the apron.Tarawas distracted and was caught with a highkick for two.Taralanded a big slap and widow’s peak for the win.

 

6.TurkeySuit Match

Eric Young vs. Jesse vs. Robbie E

 

Young locked up with the referee and caught his opponents with a double clothesline. Jesse landed a dropkick and this began a game of one-upmanship. E and Jesse pulled each other off of the cover and this led to their partnership dissolving. This allowed Young to land a missile dropkick and a belly to belly suplex on E for two. ODB ran in and this led to a catfight. Jesse was thrown to the outside and T was accidentally speared off of the apron by E. Jesse ran in, but Young grabbed a rollup on Jesse for the win.

 

Jesse put the suit on and walked off. The Aces & Eights then ran out to confront Young. Young attempted to fight them off, butDevoncaught him with a shot to the knee with a baseball bat and ODB was handcuffed to the ring. DOC then went after Young’s ankles with the hammer. Young was carted off.

 

Daniels and Kazarian came out. He talked about how he was right there for Styles. Kazarian said that Styles proved them wrong and Kazarian called Styles out.

 

7. AJ Styles vs. Kazarian

 

They exchanged rollups. Styles landed a dropkick and went for a plancha, Kazarian slid back in, but was caught with a head scissors. Kazarian landed a big clothesline and the fans got behind Styles. Kazarian landed a gutwrench suplex, hung Styles up and caught him with a boot. Kazarian then did the Gangnam style dance. Styles landed a flurry of kicks and almost collided with the referee, and this allowed Kazarian to land a big DDT. Kazarian attempted a rollup with leverage, but was pushed by Hebner. Styles then landed the pelé for the win.

 

Aries said that he was going to shake things up and open Pandora’s Box. Aries came out in street clothes. He said that he wasn’t being treated fairly and the deck was being stacked against him. He said that there was one man that was holding him down and that man was Hulk Hogan. He called Hogan out, but then reiterated that it was Brooke Hogan he was calling out.

 

She came out and Aries said that he didn’t want to wrestler her. He said she was a Hogan, daddy’s little girl and he was tired of the name “Hogan”. Everywhere he looked for 25 years all he has seen is the name “Hogan”. He bet that Brooke was just as sick of the name as he was. He bet that her life wasn’t private and as a girl she dreamed of giving the name away. Possibly becoming Brooke Trump, Brooke McMahon, but now it would be Miss Bully Ray. He showed clips of them together from two weeks ago and then last week. Brooke yelled “how dare you” he said that she didn’t have to settle for the turkey, Aries would have given her all the stuffing she could handle. Hogan and Ray stormed out and Hulk Hogan said that Aries was a dead man. Brooke walked off to close the show off.

 

WWE SmackDown – November 23rd 2012

Van Andel Arena: Grand Rapids, MI.

Ben Carass.

 

 

SmackDown began with the voiceover man recapping the main angles from Raw and the finish to the Big Show/Sheamus match at Survivor Series; a graphic hyped Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler as the main event.

               Inside the ring, the Miz TV set had been prepared for the opening segment; Miz said he had a lot of questions for his guest and introduced John Cena. Cena got in the ring and sat on one of the couches; Miz told Cena his life had turned into a TMZ story then brought up the “shocking actions” from Raw. Footage of the repulsive AJ/Cena kiss rolled then Miz sat on the opposite couch and asked Cena how the kiss was. Cena got up off the couch to illustrate he was not interested in swapping guy’s stories with the host; Miz changed the subject and asked how Cena’s knee was doing. Footage of Cena injuring himself like a complete bumbling moron aired; Cena said he had an MRI and he was having problems with “lateral movement”, but was still able to compete. Miz wanted to know if Cena and AJ were “more than friends”; Cena explained he kissed AJ because he was tired of Vickie and Dolph’s accusations, so he gave them what they wanted to put an end to it. Cena stated he enjoyed the smooch then claimed AJ was “a good kisser”; Miz persisted to question if the two were more than friends, when AJ came down to the ring.

               AJ told Cena he didn’t have to answer that question and said she understood he only kissed her to make a point to Vickie. Miz acted like a sixteen year old girl and asked if the two were “in love”, but Dolph Ziggler showed up on the stage. Dolph blamed AJ for Cena’s “injury” and stated if he were John Cena, the only feelings he’d have for AJ would be hatred. Footage of AJ bursting into the men’s locker room on Raw and the subsequent brawl aired.

               Vickie Guerrero joined Ziggler on the stage; she claimed Dolph knew how to kiss someone who is “authoritative, confident, decisive and passionate”. Cena called Vickie a liar, because nobody could medically prove she was a woman; Vickie informed Cena she is “all woman” then said she wasn’t talking about herself. Vickie said Cena and AJ deserved each other because they are exactly the same, “both losers”. Cena told Vickie, she and Dolph deserved each other, because “one eats a lot of nuts and the other was still looking to find his”.

 

The new babyface Miz seemed amused by Cena’s philistine humour; I remember when he’d come out and bury Cena every week for the terrible jokes he’d regurgitate. Although that’s not the important thing here; why on earth is Cena vs. Ziggler being built around this nonsensical angle? I have no idea what Vickie was talking about when she said Dolph knows how to kiss someone with authority and frankly, I’d rather not find out. Cena and Ziggler should not be feuding over who kissed whom.

 

A graphic hyping Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow for the IC title rolled.

 

For some reason Ryback came down to the ring for a match, before the Miz TV set had been removed.

 

Commercial Break.

 

The Prime Time Players music hit and they did there millions of dollars gimmick on the ramp; Darren Young was dressed to compete and Titus joined the announce table.

 

Ryback vs. Darren Young

 

Young landed a few jabs, but Ryback overpowered him with a bigbielthen scored with a big boot, which sent Young to the outside. Titus got up from his chair and began to blow his penalty whistle on Ryback; Young charged at his opponent, but ate a back elbow.

              Back in the ring, Ryback delivered a spinebuster; JBL and Josh talked about Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns. Ryback hit the meat hook clothesline then followed up with shell shocked for the victory.

 

Ryback defeated Darren Young via pinfall, at 1:21.

 

Titus got on the mic and entered the ring; he said, “that boy worth millions of dollars, what’s wrong with you?” then blew his whistle again; Ryback took out Titus with the shell shocked.

 

This was a nothing match, I guess Ryback needs to look strong after losing in two straight PPV main events.

 

A graphic of Orton vs. Ziggler rolled, followed by a second hyping R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro; JBL said the latter would be up next.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Truth was in the middle of his entrance after the break; Cesaro appeared on the stage with a microphone. He buried Thanksgiving and all the “obese” people inAmericafor celebrating a holiday which is about “gorging yourself and laziness”.

 

Non-Title Match: R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro (US Champion)

 

Cesaro took Truth over immediately with a gutwrench suplex then delivered a bodyslam and a double stomp to the gut; Truth fought up from a waistlock to land a forearm. Cesaro countered a suplex by landing on his feet, however Truth came and countered the neutraliser with a backdrop; Truth scored with his jumping reverse STO for the three count.

 

R-Truth defeated Antonio Cesaro via pinfall, at 1:41.

 

So Cesaro wins clean at Survivor Series, we get a rematch for no reason whatsoever and Truth goes over in one and a half minutes. This is WWE parody booking at its illogical finest.

Sheamus arrived in the back; Booker stopped him and stated he wasn’t going anywhere. Book was unhappy with how things broke down at Survivor Series and said Big Show was “banged up” from all the chair shots.

 

He looked fine to me on Raw.

 

Book told the Irishman he was not allowed to compete on the show; Sheamus was not pleased, so Book told him he deserved a rematch because Show got disqualified on purpose. The GM booked a chairs match at TLC and Sheamus thanked him; Book wanted Sheamus out of the way so he offered him his “personal suite” to watch the rest of the show from. Sheamus asked if The Big Show had a match and Book announced that Show would face Team HellNo in a handicap match.

 

This segment was literally one of the most ludicrous things I’ve seen in a long time and made me laugh out loud at the duality of Booker T. He was unhappy with Sheamus for assaulting Show with a chair, so he booked a chairs match at the PPV and essentially rewarded Sheamus with a night off, drinking beer in his “personal suite”. Then he books the “banged up” World Champion in a handicap match against the Tag Team Champions; this was so incomprehensible it was hilarious.

 

Sin Cara was shown walking in the back; Josh said he would face Alberto Del Rio after the break.

 

Commercial Break.

 

A graphic hyping the Kofi vs. Sandow IC title match aired; Josh put over Sandow’s pinfall victory last week and called Kofi, “the Wildcat”.

 

Sin Cara made his entrance then Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio; JBL said he wished Ricardo could introduce him and compared him to Pavarotti.

 

Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez

 

Del Riocharged at his foe, but was sent through the ropes after Sin Cara moved out of the way; Ricardo andDel Riowere taken out by a topé from Sin Cara. Back inside,Del Rioscored with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker then sent Cara’s shoulder into the ring post.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Del Riowas in control after the break and worked over Cara’s back; Sin Cara fought up from a rear chinlock and delivered a hurricanrana for a two count, but was cut off by a boot to the gut then a second to the head. Alberto took Cara over with a suplex then went for a splash in the corner; Sin Cara moved, howeverDel Rioexecuted a huge double-leg takedown for a two count. Alberto worked over the back again and Cara fought up to land an armdrag; Sin Cara was dumped on the apron, but landed an enziguri then hit a springboard crossbody for two.

               Sin Cara caught Alberto with a handspring elbow then went up to the top rope; Del Rio recovered and delivered an armdrag off the top, before locking in the cross armbreaker for the victory.

Alberto Del Rio defeated Sin Cara via submission, at 8:48.

 

The match was nothing special, however I did like the finish; I don’t know why Alberto worked over the back after sending Cara’s shoulder into the ring post. Still, Del Rio needed to go over if he is to get some heat back, before jobbing to Orton again.

 

Kane was seated in the locker room; Daniel Bryan entered and told his partner to stay out of his way, because he beat the Big Show in 45 seconds. Kane said, years ago when he was Tag Champs with Big Show, Show was a “whining, oversized baby” and he and Bryan should team up, as they are so similar.Bryanasked Kane if he was upset because he didn’t get invited to Thanksgiving at theBryanhouse; Kane sheepishly replied, “maybe” andBryanexplained he had “vegan turkey” and Kane would not have enjoyed it.Bryantold Kane he was welcome to come to his house for Christmas, if they won their match against Show; Kane asked if he could “beat up Santa” andBryanagreed.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Daniel Bryan came out first for the Tag Champs and Kane soon followed; Big Show was out last, and appeared to be suffering no side effects from all those chair shots last Sunday.

 

Handicap Match: Team Hell No (Tag Champions) vs. The Big Show (World Heavyweight Champion).

 

Bryanlanded a few leg kicks, but Show took over with some shots; Sheamus and Regal were shown watching from Booker’s suite. Show took a few more kicks then cutBryanoff with a headbutt and worked over the arm. Show came off the second rope with an elbow drop, howeverBryanmoved and Kane called for the tag.Bryanshook his head, before unloading with kicks to the chest and one to the head for a two count; Show went for a chokeslam, which was countered into a guillotine. Show powered out again andBryancame off the second rope, but was caught by the giant.Bryanmanaged to transition into a sleeper, but Show countered with a sidewalk slam; Kane came in off the tag with clotheslines then scored with a basement dropkick and came off the top with a clothesline, before going for the chokeslam. Show fought back with some body shots then Kane executed a DDT;Bryanmade the blind tag and told Kane to get out of the ring.Bryanlocked in the No lock, as his partner walked up the ramp; Big Show powered out of the hold then scored with a chokeslam for the three count.

 

Big Show defeated Team HellNo via pinfall, at 8:02.

 

Kane headed back down to the ring and checked onBryan; Show went for the K.O punch, but Kane ducked and went for a chokeslam. Show snatched Kane’s throat in retaliation thenBryancaught the giant with a kick to the knee; Kane hit a big boot to the face and Show escaped up the ramp. Big Show got on the mic and told Sheamus, “at TLC the giant is going to have a chair in his hand this time”; Sheamus was fired up in the GM’s personal suite.

 

The World Champion beat the Tag Champs, big surprise; at least Kane walked away so it was left one-on-one. Show’s post match promo was a little flat, and added little to the feud with Sheamus and even less buys for TLC.

 

A graphic hyping Kofi vs. Sandow aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Wade Barrett joined JBL and Josh after the break; Kofi Kingston came out to defend his title then footage of Wade’s pinfall over Kofi on Raw aired. Damien Sandow made his entrance and got in the ring to challenge for the belt.

 

Intercontinental Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (Champion) vs. Damien Sandow

 

Sandow gained the advantage early with some strikes; Kofi quickly came back and sent Damien over the top with a clothesline. Kofi went for a slingshot plancha, but Sandow rolled back inside and Kofi landed on the apron then was sent into the ring post.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Sandow was in control following the commercials and delivered a Russian legsweep then the Cubito Aequet for two; Kofi fought up from a rear chinlock, only to be shutdown with a forearm. Sandow rolled to the floor and ate both boots ofKingston, however the heel quickly recovered and sent Kofi into the apron.

              Sandow rolled back inside and took a crossbody off the top for near fall then landed a boot to the knee and a roll up for two; Kofi came back with the SOS for a two count then went into his comeback. After landing the boom drop, Kofi hit the trouble in paradise for the three count.

 

Kofi Kingston defeated Damien Sandow via pinfall, at 7:58.

 

After the bell, Barrett cut a promo on the IC Champ; he said the next time Kofi defends the title, it will be the last and he will be another victim of the Barrett barrage.

 

The match was fine; a standard title defence. Kofi needed to look strong heading into a programme with Barrett, after looking at the lights for Wade two nights in a row.

 

A graphic of Orton vs. Ziggler rolled then another of CM Punk’s one year title celebration from Raw aired.

 

Commercial Break.

 

The Raw Rebound aired then JBL and Josh talked about Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns attacking Santino and Tyson Kidd on Main Event; Josh said Michael Cole would have an exclusive interview with the trio this week on Raw. Dolph Ziggler hit the ring for the main event.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Randy Orton made his entrance after the break.

 

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

 

Orton unloaded with some shots after the bell and Dolph stalled in the ropes; Ziggler turned the tables on Orton in the corner then commenced with a beatdown. Randy scored with a dropkick after the ref called for the break and Ziggler rolled to the apron; Orton brought him back in with a slingshot suplex, which got a two count. Dolph delivered a neckbreaker, however Randy recovered then sent Ziggler to the outside and Dolph tried to escape into the crowd; Orton caught his opponent and clotheslined Ziggler over the barricade onto the concrete.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Orton still had control when we joined the action again; Dolph took a belly-to-back suplex then got hung-up underneath the bottom rope with a slingshot. Both guys rolled to the outside and Ziggler sent Randy into the announce table, before hitting a nice dropkick; Dolph sold his knee then got back in the ring to take the count out victory. Orton beat the count, but Ziggler took over with shots and began to get some heat; Randy fought up from a rear chinlock to get a two count off a roll up out of the corner. Ziggler shut Orton down with a flying clothesline then worked another chinlock; Randy fought up again and hit his reverse headlock backbreaker for a two count. Dolph executed a jumping DDT then went up to the top rope, however Orton cut him off and delivered a superplex.

              Randy went into comeback mode, which culminated in the hangman’s DDT and set up for the RKO; Ziggler countered into a schoolboy with a handful of tights for the victory.

 

Dolph Ziggler defeated Randy Orton via pinfall, at 13:33.

 

Ricardo Rodriguez immediately hit the ring, but Orton caught him with an RKO;Del Riowas on the apron, however the aristocrat wanted no part of Orton. Ziggler headed up the ramp, when John Cena drilled him from behind and slapped on the STF; a bunch of referees tried to pull Cena off Dolph as the show went off the air.

 

The main event was a good, entertaining match; I would be stating the obvious if I said it’s about time Ziggler started beating top guys, as he’s been made to look inferior for months now. A (more-or-less) clean victory over Orton is definitely a step in the right direction, however I don’t see Cena losing to Ziggler yet, so Dolph could be right back to where he was before somebody on the booking team realised he had to start winning matches.

            The overriding theme of this show seemed to be rebuilding guys that needed a win after recent defeats: Ryback, Kofi, Del Rio, Ziggler, so for that reason I enjoyed the show this week, as it was logical story telling. There were a few poor segments, such as Truth winning an unexplainable rematch with Cesaro; I’ve made my feelings about Miz TV perfectly clear in the past, but I could have done without this horrendous angle from Raw encroaching its way into Friday nights.

 

Next Week’s Issue

 

In next week’s issue we cover the follow-up to the Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns beatdown on RAW, the rating, Impact, undoubtedly more puro, we preview the next New Japan internet-pay-per-view, we could start taking a look at the Wrestling Observer Year End Awards, SmackDown, NXT and more! For news, videos, editorials and more during the week head over to cubedcirclewrestling.com.

 

Contact

 

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Ben Carass’s Twitter Account: @BenDosCarass

 

 

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