HITMAN: An evening with Bret Hart – Review

‘My career was everything to me.’

Those were the first words said by Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart on what would become an evening of honesty and even some real emotion as he recalled the run up to his WWE return; that being the Hall of Fame induction in 2006.

And that was the subject of this evening’s show (Bret’s WWE return and beyond) of what has been a several night tour of the UK for Hart, London being the final stop which was all well presented and put together by Inside the Ropes.

Just an hour or so before the audience like myself had the opportunity to meet Bret; although brief I did manage to tell him how much it meant for him to come over to the UK and the fact I don’t think professional wrestling got any better after him. He was softly spoken and truly thankful like he always has been for the fans.

‘That mean’s a lot,’ he said and of course he continued on with signing autographs and meeting the large turn out of fans.

For those not so in the know about the history of professional wrestling; I watched it religiously while growing up and even into my early twenties along with my brother who got us tickets to this event. The performance side of wrestling and the spectacle is what always attracted me to it, this is probably why I eventually joined a drama club and performed in shows. Wrestling is a performance art; it’s story telling and most punters who know me on here will know where I stand when it comes to stories.

Bret Hart is arguably one of the greatest ever, the 90’s was mostly a good decade for the Hitman while he became more and more popular. He won championships and was a staple to the industry and the then WWF. He really was (and still is) a Canadian hero who also inspired the rest of the world. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side you stand Bret’s career hasn’t been without controversy, of course the 1997 Survivor Series ‘screw job’ comes to mind (google it if you haven’t heard of it) – possibly the most fascinating piece of wrestling politics in it’s whole history. His rivalry on and off screen with Shawn Michaels cannot be ignored. Hart has also been through a lot more, he lost his own brother Owen, a fellow wrestler who tragically died during an event in 1998.

At the near end of the decade Bret who then wrestled for rival outfit WCW was forced to retire eventually due to a rather stiff kick to the head by Bill Goldberg; a person he referenced with the upmost contempt and now I have heard the real story, I don’t blame him. Not only did this kick cause a severe concussion; it took him a year to recover but it also led to a life changing stroke some years later. Goldberg apologised via the phone 8 months later.

We can all agree Bret Hart has been through a lot of misfortune; he lost a lot including the majority of a 16 million dollar contract he had with WCW after he got injured. His final payout via Lloyds of London – who he also regards with contempt, 1.6 Million and this included the a stipulation that he could never wrestle again.

His departure from the WWF in 97 wasn’t a good one. He’ll be the first to admit that he was angry and mad for a long time.

‘It doesn’t help to carry around a lot of grief,’ he says when tackling the subject of what he’s been through. 

There were a few moments when Hart had to stop, for a man who has been though so much and probably hardened by it he still manages to get emotional and this is when everything really sunk in to me. A lot of folks over the years have said he’s just a bitter former wrestler, he isn’t and he’s so damn proud of the career he’s had.

Bret even was determined not to be erased from Wrestling history and why should he? His family; the Hart’s are a famous wrestling family from Calgary; they deserve to be recognised. Vince McMahon of WWE, or the enemy back then called Bret whilst he was still in the hospital post stroke. They began to mend fences and Bret knew he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame which is what the subject of the phone call.

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The evening continued with a plethora of eye opening accounts of his return to the WWE and even his long awaited return to their flagship show Raw in 2010. This was indeed another emotional recollection but he had to do it, he had to bury the past and he did. Of course Bret went on to have a ‘match’ at Wrestlemania after seeing Donald Trump throw down with McMahon; of course Lloyds of London began a lawsuit but they did the match anyway even with Bret not able to take bumps.

After all these years Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart is still able to fill an auditorium just by telling his stories and they were worth every word. Even though he’s older he’s prouder than ever of what he has achieved and you can tell that by how emotional he got – something I never thought I would see, he let us in. You can still argue to this day that Bret is the excellence of execution, he admitted he never hurt anyone in the ring, so my belief sways towards him being just that!

This was my first Inside the Ropes show; I’m definitely going to be looking out for future shows especially if they were like this one! 

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WWE Super Show-Down Results Live

The WWE are down under and televised for the first time ever. Luckily for me as a UK resident I got to watch Super Show-down live at 10am…

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Melbourne Australia.

Match 1: Smackdown Tag Team Championship.

The Bar v The New Day (c)

Kofi and Xavier Woods choose to represent the new day and the action begins quickly with an assault to Cesaro. The bar fight back as the action heads outside for a brief ring post encounter. We see Sheamus and Cesaro dominate for most of the match with Kofi aiming for the hot tag… Xavier finally in for some high energy moves. Eventually the day team up on Cesaro to get the pin! A decent crowd warming opener that didnt drag.

Winner: The New Day

Match 2: Smackdown Women’s Championship

Charlotte Flair v Becky Lynch (c)

A physical start to the match which sees Lynch lean into her new tougher gimmick. We see her reverse into the arm bar but Charlotte lifts her way out of the hold and starts to build momentum. The Ric Flair chops begin as the tables turn. Next comes a series of near falls  which eventually turns into a spear from Flair seeing the first near fall. She misses a moonsault leaving Lynch able to capitalise but misses a top rope leg drop. Becky rolls out of the ring and grabs her belt.

Flair pulls her back in and converts into a Boston crab but Lynch finds the rope. Another spear by Flair followed by the figure 4. Becky reaches for the belt and hits Flair. The referee calls for the bell as Lynch is dq’d.

Good back and fourth match with a typical house show feel.

Winner: Flair via DQ but Becky retains.

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Next we see Elias and Kevin Owens in the ring over a spotlight. They talk trash and eventually Bobby Lashley emerges.

Match 3:  Tag Team Match: Elias and Kevin Owens Vs Bobby Lashley and John Cena

Lashley and Elias begin with some back and forth action. Lashley shows dominance early on. Owens makes his way in after a tag. Cena is kicked off the apron and so the double team begins. Now the match slows as both KO and Elias taunt Cena whilst working Lashley on the mat. Frogsplash from KO and a near fall. Cena frustrated in his corner and yet to feature. The hot tag builds and finally we see Cena in some high energy moves. 5 knuckle shuffle followed by AA to Elias and thats the match. Do0RjYjX0AAhNNE

Winner: Lashley and Cena

Match 4: Womens Tag Team match.

The Iconics V Naomi and Asuka

An action packed somewhat fun filled homecoming for the Iconics which saw the crowd come alive.

Winner: The Iconics

Match 5: WWE Championship match. No DQ and No Countout.

AJ Styles (c) v Samoa Joe

The fighting already starts on the ramp before the bell which eventually rings when they get in. Rights and lefts are exchanged. Kicks and slaps are laid in into what hopes to be a top match.

Joe finds himself on top and dives out of the ring onto Styles. Most of the action has been outside so far with AJ on the backfoot.

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Eventually the tempo slows with Joe dominating. AJ impressively fights back from an impressive moonsault into a reverse DDT. Joe is there to shutdown any offensive attempts. Powerslam by Joe and Styles answers to a 2 count.

Blood is trickling from the mouth of Styles as he appears dazed. Another near fall by the challenger who then brings in a steel chair but Styles throw up a kick into the weapon. He grabs the chair and lays into Joe.

Next we see Joe botch a slam into the unflolded chair. Next he goes under the ring to grab a table. The crowd roar. The pair head up to the top corner with the table set up. Joe goes for a superplex in which Styles reverses into an electric chair dropping Joe knees first through the wood.

We see a springboard 450 from Styles on to Joes knee but no pin attempt. They go out and Styles hits the phenominal forearm to an out of it Joe. Both of them are weary now and there are submissions back and forth. AJ hits the calf crusher and Joe submits!

Winner: AJ Styles retains.

Match 6: Six womens tag team match.

The Riot Squad V The Bella Twins and Rhonda Rousey

This appears to be the cool down/go grab some merch match. The Riot Squad dominated over the Bellas as the wait for Rhonda Rousey builds.

Rousey eventually gets into the action and as predicted dominates. Arm bar attempt on Sarah Logans arm but is broken. Rousey then reverses and gets two of her opponents into a double arm bar. They both tap.

Winner: The Bellas and Rousey.

Match 7: WWE Cruiserweight championship.

Cedric Alexander (c) v Buddy Murphy

Let me guess… there will be at least one spanish fly in this one. The crowd are vocal for their hometown hero Murphy who starts agressively. He makes a sucessful dive onto Cedric and continues his assault.

The pace slows with Buddy still on top with a rear neck hold. The champ breaks out the assault with a thunderous super kick. They go up to the corner and Cedric hits a thunderous slam. The dominant competitor still divided as they head out.

Up onto another top rope corner they go with Murphy converting into a sit down powerbomb which answers to a 2 count. Lumbar check by Alexander in which Murphy kicks out of this was preceeded by a spanish fly.

Anything could happen now as Murphy hits a finisher to pick up the win! Biggest pop of the night!

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Winner: Buddy Murphy new cruiserweight champion.

Match 8: Doplh Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman V The Shield

The match begins with a mass brawl. Rollins and Strowman which turns into the whole shield stepping in. They set up the announcers table only for Ziggler and Drew to break it up. The bell eventually rings.

The shield are on the back foot as McIntyre lays in an assault to Ambrose. Next we see Strowman enter followed by Ziggler who try to isolate Rollins.

The action spreads out with Strowman the front runner. Ziggler in again as this match is becoming a snooze fest.

Weirdly Braun heads to the top rope and fails to connect with a dive. This gives Rollins opportunity to tag in Ambrose who goes toe to toe with Ziggler.

Roman is tagged in and goes after McIntyre. DDT by Reigns but it isnt enough for a 3 count. Now we see a super man punch missed and into Ambrose.

Eventually Roman hits his scottish target but no pin. Roman and Rollins are surrounded until Ambrose rises and puts in the save. They clear the ring a go for a triple power bomb only for Strowman to take them all down.

In the ring Ziggler hits a finisher only for Ambrose to kick out. Outside Strowman is speared through the barrier. Back inside Ambrose hits the dirty deeds on Ziggler for the win.

Winner: The Shield

Match 9: No.1 Contenders match for WWE Championship.

Daniel Bryan V The Miz

A physical start to the match with Miz who attacks Bryan straight away.  He fights back with some yes kicks and the back and forth begins. Bryan rolls up the Miz and its a 3 count early on.

Winner: Daniel Bryan.

Match 10:  The Undertaker v Triple H

Before the bell it is announced that this match is no DQ. Both Shawn Michaels and Kane are in eachothers corner.

They tussle back and forth. Taker goes for old skool for HHH to block and try the same. Taker throws him into the corner for some big right hands. He hits old skool with sucess already we can see this going to be a slow burner.

The action moves outside with some brief interferance from HBK. A table is set up outside as Taker and HHH move near it. Kane is looming. Back into the ring they go. It appears the crowd is dead or muted currently as they head out again to the announcers table.

Into the crowd they go towards some wiring and tech equipment. Further they go deeper into audience. They loop around back to the ring. Taker gets out a steel chair. Eventually he lays HHH on the table and heads up to the apron. HBK interferes and is big booted.

Now Kane is on the table and HHH hits an elbow drop through it. Back in the ring Taker hits a chokeslam to HHH followed by tombstone. HHH kicks out at 2 and a half.

In a suprise turn Taker hits out at the referee. Theres no official in the ring as Taker lays a chair into HHH.

HBK dashes in and recieves a right hand for his efforts. Spine buster followed by a pedigree from HHH and Taker kicks out. The game sets up the chair around Takers neck and heads for the top corner. He jumps and hits. Goes for the pin. New referee in and Kanes pulls the ref out mid count.

HBK passes in the sledgehammer and Kane hands Taker a chair. Their weapons collide and they both go down. Hells gate from Taker with HHH still sledgehammer in hand. He begins to press it against Takers neck. They flop to the mat. No referee.

Something has to give here. Taker grabs the sledgehammer and is disarmed. They exchange move attempts and chokeslam from Taker. Second tombstone attempt for HBK to put in two superkicks followed by a pedigree from HHH for the win.

Winner: HHH

Overall PPV verdict:  Not bad. It dragged a little. Would have been better to see in person.

 

 

 

 

 

WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Live…

Firstly let’s take a moment to acknowledge all of the work WWE has put in towards gender equality over the past few years and ignore it like they have, for one night hopefully…Because…

The WWE are back with another several hour long extravaganza, we are less than a month removed from the last one, but this time it comes from Saudi Arabia for THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE, well It might ok…

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Kick off show – This started at 4PM UK time, therefore I had better stuff to do like make marmite crumpets and get some tea. It is worth noting there are conflicting reports from the presenting team that the Rumble will go up first or Cena V Triple H, who knows…

I will be adopting a simple bullet point system for each match, so here we go!

The show kicks off with pyro! Who paid for that? Not WWE, but the network special has began with a shot of the trophy which 50 Superstars will battle for and then the commentators talk about some culture plan Saudi Arabia has which we will hear more about later (I suppose this is what they will cram down our throats this time as opposed to ‘PAIGE HERE’)

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Triple H V John Cena

  •  The capacity audience received both competitors well, John Cena looks tired… (it is a long flight)
  • They spend the opening moments trying the get the less experienced audience going with the typical back and forth strength tests…
  • Saying that we’ve had no unnecessary chants so far, apart from ‘CENA SUCKS’ which makes a change…
  • Eventually we get into the match which stays in the ring and is the typical ‘exhibition’ type back and forth affair between two ‘faces’ to the crowd.
  • The first threatening move comes from Cena with an STF(U)
  • An Attitude Adjustment to HHH in which he kicks out at 2.99 seconds, was that the finish?
  • ‘Big Match John’ (Cena) goes for another in which the game converts into a pedigree. The referee counts to 2 and a half this time, we’re still going…
  • Roll up by HHH which is converted into another STF(U)…
  • HHH counters into a crossface in which Cena lifts into another AA. HHH is straight back up for Cena to slingshot him into a corner and then to another AAA, One, two, three!

WINNER: John Cena – who then gets on the mic to extend his thanks for being there…

Verdict: Standard opener to get the audience going, I’m getting standard house show vibes here…

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WWE Crusierweight Championship Match

Kalisto V Cedric Alexander (C)

  • Lucha! Lucha! Lucha! Having seen Kaisto live in london, I know how impressive he is in the ring and with the crowd…
  • Impressive flippy stuff to open the match with from both competitors. Again Lucha! Lucha! Lucha! A great double front flip from Kalisto onto Alexander from the ring to the outside.
  • This time Alexander dives impressively out of the ring into his opponent and manages to land on both feet.
  • Proceedings go down to the mat with Cedric out powering the Luchador.
  • Kalisto powers out and does some more impressive flippy stuff and we get a near fall.
  • An impressive michinoku driver from Alexander but Kalisto answers to a two count.
  • They go up on the top rope corner with a powerbomb set up which Kalisto turns into another awesome flippy thing (spanish fly). Alexander kicks out.
  • Lumbar check by the champion and the referee counts to 3.

Winner: Cedric Alexander retains WWE Cruiserweight Championship 

Verdict: Kalisto was better but he didn’t win… I guess that’s the difference. 

Raw Tag Team Championship Match – Belts currently vacant

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy V The Bar

  • Lets firstly acknowledge there is no Nicholas in this match #dissapointing
  • Secondly the crowd zero reacted to Matt Hardy’s ‘delete’ chant…
  • An early back and fourth between the teams, the crowd finally get into the whole ‘delete’ chant.
  • Commentary is awful, getting the names of moves wrong, hang you head in shame Byron Saxton.
  • Only notable move so far was Sister Abigail to Sheamus, the the eleveated Twist of Fate. They get the win.

delete.PNGWinner: Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy, new tag champs. 

Verdict: It was a bit boring and again I’m getting house show feels towards this basic show..

United States Championship Match

Jeff Hardy (c) V Jinder Mahal

  • Things get dare-devilish as they go outside early *edit I did run to the toilet so I missed the start..
  • The Audience are vocal in their distaste for Jinder as dominates early on with some powerful moves.
  • Hardy eventually counters out.
  • Whisper in the wind attempt but nobody was home… potential botch there.
  • Twist of fate by Hardy as he goes up to the top corner.
  • Swanton bomb and he gets the cover.

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Winner: Jeff Hardy retains US Title

Verdict: Basic title defence, ticked all the boxes for a typical good guy to win. 

And now we see a propaganda type tourism video package, then they get on to the whole awkward women subject….

Then we get an interview with the returning Chris Jericho as he bigs up the rumble match and reintroduces us to the list. The crowd no react… Then we get a Daniel Bryan interview and again the crowd no reacts!

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match

The Uso’s V The Bludgeon Brothers (c)

  • Eric Rowan begins off with a violent assault onto one of the USO;s and makes the tag to his partner. They tag in and out quickly.
  • This is looking like a squash early on.
  • The USO’s eventually get on top and fire up the flat audience. But the Bludgeons capitalize again.
  • Double super kick by the USO’s to Harper and then a splash for a near fall as Harper kicks out.
  • Again the Bludgeons take control and after a double team move they get the victory!

Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers retain

Verdict: Basic squash match to a flat audience. 

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Finn Balor V Seth Rollins (c) V Samoa Joe V The Miz

  • Rollins and Joe go into one corner whilst Balor and Miz go the other way as the bell rings.
  • Balor’s hand is already bleeding… he heads out and Rollins goes for a suicide dive. They land rather gently into the Saudi announce table. Seth runs back in and dives out the other side, we see the first ladder emerge and Balor runs in and dives out the other side. Good action to begin with here, let’s hope it gets the flat audience going.
  • Joe is the first to set up a ladder before Rollins heads in and puts a stop to it. They exchange blows as Rollins is drove face down into the ladder.
  • More attempts to climb the ladder come from the Miz, Rollins and Balor.
  • Its looking to be a ‘protective’ style ladder match with every risk move well executed and pulled off in a softer style again referring to the house show style of the event.
  • Samoa Joe slams Balor onto a ladder. Joe takes out Miz with the ladder next and starts to dominate.
  • Balor turns it around and pushes Joe into the ladder, he and the hardware go down. Balor up to the corner with Rollins running up to him for a superplex. Joe moves into the mix and slams them both onto the mat.
  • Good action so far, best match of the night currently.
  • Skull crushing finale from the Miz to Joe onto a ladder, he’s all alone with the ladder now. The Miz is looking for his 9th IC title. He climbs but Rollins arrives on time! Rights and lefts and the top of the ladder as Rollins falls. This time its Balor’s turn, they swipe for the belt and fight up high.
  • They go back down to the mat with the Miz still being dominant.
  • The audience come to life with a ‘this is awesome’ chant.
  • We see Balor kick the Miz and falls onto the ladder. Balor climbs up high in the corner and hits the coup de gras.
  • Balor is on top now as he kicks Joe and goes to climb.
  • Rollins out of nowhere springboards onto the ladder and snatches the belt away.

Result : Seth Rollins retains.

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Verdict: A good very unpredictable match. Anything could and did happen, even though it still represented the house show nature of the event.

So now we see a group of guys who spent the week doing WWE tryouts. They have an interview in the ring until Daivari and Daivari come out to an abundance of boos. This is the typical good guy bad guy segment to get the audience going. Turns out the heel pair are Iranian, not the best of moves, but we see the potential try out guys take down the bad guys.

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OUT NOW

WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles (c) V Shinsuke Nakamura

  • Lets hope this one is better than Wrestlemania
  • The arena falls silent as the two competitors lock up with AJ on top to begin with. They dynamic of the match is slow to begin with, as expected, lets hope it heats up to something more impressive than chops and lock holds.
  • The audience begin to get into the match as either competitor could threaten for the win. Nakamura goes for a front slamming suplex as he sets up for Styles to intercept. AJ hits the first big submission of the night in the middle of the ring.
  • Nakamura grabs the rope to break the hold. There’s way more action in this version of their match…
  • AJ goes for the phenomenal forearm only for Nakamura to evade. AJ almost hits the referee blocking his view for Nakamura to hit a low blow. Near fall as the title almost changes hands.
  • AJ intercepts again with a high impressive kick as Nakamura rolls out of the ring.
  • They both head out into the Saudi announce table as the referee begins to count. They continue to brawl and it looks like they are about to head into the ring but they dont, then the referee reaches 10!
  • The bell rings but the fight continues as AJ grabs a chair and attacks Nakamura.

Winner: Double Count out so AJ retains 

Verdict: Unpredictable match with some good action. Obviously a decent way to protect both performers by doing a double count out. 

Casket Match

The Underaker V Rusev

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  • Fun fact: This was originally the plan, then it changed to Chris Jericho V Taker then it changed back, many rumors circulating that Rusev said something untoward about Taker. You should also buy my latest book The Teleporter…
  • The bell rings and Rusev immediately bails, eventually Taker catches up and hits a devastating right hand.
  • They go back into the ring and proceedings move towards old skool taking down Rusev. We’re getting all the typical Taker spots here as we see the leg drop onto Rusev from the apron.
  • Rusev is rolled into the casket but Aiden English interferes enough for Rusev to roll out. Taker receives a kick from the Bulgarian and turns the tables. They exchange blows to the crowd’s enjoyment. This is less of a squash than the Cena match at Mania, Rusev is looking strong for the heel figure here.
  • The ‘acolade’ or cobra clutch by Rusev which keeps the Undertaker down. He signals for the casket to open as the Deadman sits up.
  • Chokeslam by the Undertaker to Rusev with the casket still open. He throws him in and just as he is about to close it Aiden English runs in and recieves a chokeslam followed by tombstone piledriver. He looks over to the casket and drags English into the casket with Rusev already in. They both fit as Taker slams the lid shut.

Winner: The Undertaker 

Verdict: This looked to be a typical squash which indeed protected Rusev although he lost, he didnt take a tombstone. I enjoyed it. 

STEEL CAGE MATCH WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Brock Lesnar (c) V Roman Reigns

  • The ‘Big Dog’ comes out first to a mixed but mostly positive reaction, that does depend on whether or not WWE production mute the audience.
  • Brock Lesnar is looking red already…
  • The cage is locked and the bell rings. They collide and its suplex city early on.
  • The first F5 comes and the weirdly quiet audience stir. He goes for another for Reigns battles out and hits 3 super man punches. He goes for a spear but is caught in an F5 position, Reigns grips the metal cage and climbs up. They are both on the top rope as Lesnar knocks Roman down. Lesnar climbs up and goes to escape.
  • Reigns pulls him down into a power bomb which rattles onto the mat.
  • Roman begins to use the cage as a weapon by throwing Brock against it several times before hitting a spear and then another.
  • Another spear and he goes for the cover for Brock to kick out at 2.
  • Roman calls for the cage door to open and moves towards it, Paul Heyman drives by and slams the cage door into Reigns. Brock is there for an F5 for Roman to kick out at 2. Paul Heyman throws a chair into the ring.
  • Brock removes his gloves to go bare knuckle he grabs the chair for Reigns to spear him down. Roman uses the chair on the beast several times and sets up for another super man punch which connects.
  • He then hits an impressive spear into the cage and both of them go through it and onto the floor outside.
  • We got ourselves a false cop out finish folks. Typical house show shenanigans.

Winner: Brock retains as the referees decide he got out first. 

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Verdict: A typical cage match with no real risk taking or anything new. This could have easily been a monday night raw main event. 

 

THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH

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Belt for the winner of the Rumble

Entrance order/ Notable stuff that happened: 

  • 1. Daniel Bryan ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’ if only the audience joined him in saying that.
  • 2. Dolph Ziggler
  • 3. Sin Cara – impressive flippy stuff, then eliminated…
  • 4. Curtis Axel
  • 5. Mark Henry – Hall of Famer oh hell yeah – eliminates Curtis Axel
  • 6. Mike Kanellis – Eliminated straight away by Henry #buried
  • 7. Hiroki Sumi – famous sumo wrestler faces off with Henry and gets eliminated by Henry, Ziggler and Bryan then eliminate Henry
  • 8. Victor – quickly eliminated
  • 9. Kofi Kingston
  • 10. Tony Nese 
  • 11. Dash Wilder 
  • 12. Hornswoggle! – first suprise of the night… helps eliminate Dash, delivers samoan drop to Kofi and then tries a tadpole splash but Ziggler superkicks. Then gets eliminated by Tony Nese.
  • 13. Primo
  • 14.  Xavier Woods – new day team to eliminate Tony Nese
  • 15. Bo Dallas 
  • 16. Kurt Angle – Well recieved by the audience, german suplexes for all, he eliminates Primo and Bo Dallas. He belly to belly’s Ziggler out for elimination.
  • 17. Scott Dawson 
  • 18. Goldust
  • 19. Konnor 
  • 20. Elias – comes out with a guitar and then runs in and eliminates Konnor and both of the new day.
  • 21. Luke Gallows – fantastic showdown between Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan, then Elias sneakily eliminates Angle.
  • 22. Rhyno 
  • 23. Drew Gulak 
  • 24. Tucker Knight – eliminates Gulak
  • 25. Bobby Roode 
  • 26. Fandango 
  • 27. Chad Gable 
  • 28. Rey Mysterio – eliminates Gallows
  • 29. Mojo Rawley – eliminates Fandango
  • 30. Tyler Breeze 
  • 31. Big E 
  • 32. Karl Anderson
  • 33. Apollo Crews – Eliminates Gable
  • 34. Roderick Strong 
  • 35. Randy Orton – eliminates Anderson, Mojo and Crews.
  • 36. Heath Slater 
  • 37. Babatunde 
  • 38. Baron Corbin 
  • 39. Titus O’Neal – trips over and slides under ring? WTF botch or work?
  • 40. Dan Matha 
  • 41. Braun Strowman  – no Nicholas this time  – eliminates Babatunde, Slater and Big E amongst others.
  • 42. Tye Dillinger – eliminated by Strowman , Elias eliminates Orton
  • 43. Curt Hawkins –  never enters match and Strowman chases him down. Throws him in the ring.
  • 44. Bobby Lashley – eliminates Elias after a botch slam, he faces off with Braun.
  • 45.  The Great Khali –  eliminated by Lashley and Strowman
  • 46. Kevin Owens –  Daneil Bryan breaks record for the longest time spent in a Rumble Match 1 Hour 5 mins
  • 47. Shane McMahon – coast to coast to Braun Strowman
  • 48. Shelton Benjamin 
  • 49. Big Cass
  • 50. Chris Jericho – Big Pop from the crowd. Eliminates Shelton Benjamin, gets KO into the Walls of Jericho.

The Finish: Bobby Lashley botches a suplex on Big Cass, Daniel Bryan is still in the mix along with Shane but Strowman launches him off the top corner and into an announcers table with an elimination.

Lashley eliminated by Strowman along with Jericho. Bryan and Strowman facing off as they battle to eliminate eachother. Big Cass still involved and eliminates Bryan.

Big Cass faces of with Strowman, the last two! Rights and lefts are exchanged. Cass tries to eliminate Strowman who converts. He eliminates Cass and wins.

Winner: Braun Strowman

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Verdict: Most of the under card talent were present here, or mostly NXT.  The usual rumble is way better, but overall the event was good. It needed women wrestling, but you know the situation there with the country they are in #backward… 

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moment of the night

 

 

 

 

 

Wrestlemania 34 as it happened…

It’s that time of year again, where the Wrestle meets the mania! So here are the results from the 34th showcase of the immortals with WWE Wrestlemania 34 as it happened…

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Wrestlemania 34 Kick off Pre Show

So proceedings kick off for us in the UK at 22:00. It’s going to be a long night, with around seven hours of wrestling planned, all of it coming from the WWE network in which the kick off is just an advert for.  Did you know Wrestlemania is free when you sign up to the network and get some days free… that’s what we keep getting told anyway.

After some talking about various matches we see Miss Money the Bank Carmella talking some trash about cashing in her brief case and then she leaves.

We see that John Cena is in the crowd.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

The ring is full of superstars and we are introduced to hall of fame announcing duo of Jerry the King Lawler and Jim Ross. Most superstars are without a match later on in the night, familar faces include Kane, Goldust, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbyn, Rhyno, Matt Hardy and R Truth.

Highlights include a brief return of the Golden Truth, where Goldust then turned on his partner and throws him out, an impressive running knee from Shelton Benjamin to Tyler Breeze for an elimination, Ziggler doing the Shawn Michaels hanging on over the ropes multiple times, Zack Ryder getting eliminated from former parnter Mojo Rawley and a poorly timed commercial break right in the middle of proceedings.

Kane and Corbyn face off in the middle of now emptying ring who are then mobbed by remaining superstars. A super kick from Dolph Ziggler to Titus O’Neil. Audience chant DELETE as Matt Hardy rises to prominence followed by Kane who is eliminated.

The Last three are Mojo, Corbyn and Hardy, the other two ganging up on the latter. A video package interrupts and Bray Wyatt appears in the ring. He helps Hardy and eliminates Mojo, Hardy then eliminates Corbyn to claim the win.

Winner: Matt Hardy

That’s hour 1 over and the clock strikes 23:00. The Mercedes Benz superdome in New Orleans is filling up. We see John Cena in the audience again.

WWE Cruiser weight Championship Match

Cedric Alexander v Mustafa Ali 

The match begins with a back and forth between the two competitors with some impressive ground to air maneuvers. They exchange strikes and kicks in what is the typical warm up match for what will be a long night of ups and downs.

Alexander executes an daring dive outside to the floor and connects with Ali. They move back into the ring and things slow down with Alexander on the front foot. Ali is slowly coming back with an effective face buster for a near fall. The ‘spanish fly’ comes unexpectedly from Alexander and both of them stay down.

The both of them head up to a top corner and it looks as if its gonna go high risk. Mustafa hits Alexander with a spanish fly for a near fall.  We see another commercial type break with the action slowing down. Again it picks up Ali hitting a tornado DDT followed by his finisher the 5’4 only for Alexander to raise a foot onto the bottom rope.

Cedric Alexander hits an impressive move the Lumbar Check and manages to get the cover and the Cruiser Weight Championship.

Winner and new Cruiser weight Champion: Cedric Alexander

John Cena is interviewed in the audience and looks to be an audience member tonight.

Women’s Battle Royale

Lilian Garcia introduces the announce team which includes Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix and the injured Paige. Becky Lynch gets her own entrance and then the rest of the women make their way to the ring. Bayley gets her own entrance also.

Just before the match appears to start we see a preview trailer for a movie about Paige’s life story which just seems to be about the Rock. We come back to see the legit Boss Sasha Banks come down the ramp.

The bell finally rings for everyone to jump Carmella in which they then proceed to eliminate. Now they all gang up on Dana Brooke and do the same to her. Eventually a mass brawl ensues and everybody spreads out. The ladies of NXT take control of the ring and then another ad break comes.

Eliminations continue with Lana, Becky Lynch and Mickey James going out. NXT women seem to be dominating yet again and they gang up on Natalya who fights back but is eliminated by Sasha Banks and Bayley.

We’re down to the last two of Banks and Bayley. Banks offers a hand to shake and Bayley converts into an elimination to look like the winner but now Naomi appears and takes the win!

Winner: Naomi

Wrestlemania 34

The stage is set and we are ready for the 34th Wrestlemania…

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Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match

Seth Rollins V The Miz (C) V Finn Balor 

The opening bout begins with a scramble between the three competitors with Finn Balor going high risk early. He dives out to the floor onto the Miz and Rollins. Action quickly moves back into the ring with the continuation of back and fourths.

Seth Rollins takes his turn to execute two dives out of opposites sides of the ring and we then see a near fall for the Miz who then gets the figure 4 locked in with Balor. From out of nowhere Rollins hits an impressive top rope frog splash getting a near fall.

Action moves outside and then back into the ring with Rollins and Balor going against eachother. Balor hits Rollins with a slam for another near fall, he then heads up to the corner for the Miz to prepare for a superplex. Rollins converts into a buckle bomb and the Miz goes down.

Skull crushing finale from the Miz to Rollins for a two and a half count. Still no definitive looking winner with what seems like a three way game of tennis.

Finn Balor connects with coup de grace to the Miz followed by Rollins running in with a kerb stomp to pin the Miz.

 Winner: New Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins.

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Verdict: A good action packed opening match which really got the crowd going. Seth Rollins is now a grand slam champion in WWE. 

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

Charlotte Flair (c) V Asuka 

A great start with some serious lock holds and chain wrestling from either competitor. Asuka shows some superior strength against Charlotte. We pan to John Cena in the audience yet again.

Charlotte begins to show dominance with a moonsault that Asuka converts into an arm lock hold which Flair then reverses into a Boston crab. They break away with Asuka targeting Flair’s shoulder. They head out onto the apron with Asuka suplexing Charlotte onto the floor! This is by far a brutal and well put together match reflecting how far the women’s division has come in recent times.

Action moves back in between the ropes with Asuka continually targeting Charlotte’s left shoulder. They head up to the top rope and Charlotte hits a spanish fly! A near fall which almost broke Asuka’s undefeated streak. More ground based lock holds with Asuka placing pressure on the champion. Charlotte hits a spear and Asuka answers to a near fall. Charlotte hits the figure 4 followed by figure 8 one armed and impressively makes Asuka tap.

 Winner: Charlotte Flair Retains

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Verdict: Fantastic somewhat physical match. A token to women’s wrestling. 

A referee is seen running in and heads towards the audience and John Cena. He proceeds to run back up the ramp and go to the back. 

Fatal Four Way Match for the United States Championship.

Bobby Roode V Rusev V Jinder Mahal V Randy Orton (c)

Proceedings start with Rusev taking a dive into Orton and Mahal from the outside apron. He then moves back into the ring to go one on one with Bobby Roode. Mahal back in along with Orton who exchanges chops with Roode. A busy start to the match.

Jinder and Rusev face off with the Bulgarian dominating with an onslaught of boots.

Note: Aiden English is the incorrect way to spell Aidan. 

It’s Bobby Roode’s turn to assault Jinder who reverses the offence for Orton to run in. He gets a hold of Rusev for the rope DDT but fights his way out of it. Orton attempts it again an hits the DDT off the ropes. Randy is readying for an RKO but hits it on a running in Aiden English he then hits the RKO to Jinder. Next he tries to RKO Roode who converts into a glorious DDT.

Mahal manages to blind side Rusev and picks up a three count.

Winner: Jinder Mahal wins and becomes the new US Champion.

Match verdict: A great back and fourth fatal 4 way. Kind of a deflating ending but still good to watch, the crowd were in loud form.

Mixed Tag Team Match

Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle V Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

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Triple H’s entrance music hits and there are a bunch of bikes/trikes revving on the ramp. Both Steph and H appear on trikes and head down to the ring. Typical entrance for them with a lot of leather and green lighting.

Next comes the only Olympic Gold medalist in pro wrestling, Kurt Angle followed by Ronda Rousey.

The match begins with Stephanie getting a few cheap shots in before the bell. Rousey is pulled away and so HHH and Angle begin. The gold medalist takes his opponent down to the mat with an arm lock, showing dominance early on. There’s more foul play as Stephanie works the ropes for Kurt to fall out. Again Rousey is frustrated in what will be a slow burn all the way to a hot tag.

Kurt finally gets the tag and Rousey is in, the crowd pop big time as she lays into Stephanie. Into the corner they go with several strikes from the former UFC champ. She then throws Steph across the ring and then goes for an arm bar which McMahon somehow blocks. They wrestle on the mat with Steph managing to break away but Triple H is down outside the ring so she cant tag.

Stephanie hits a DDT on Rousey for a one and half kickout. Its all McMahon now as she puts in a submission move, then throwing her to the floor via a hair pull. Rousey fights back and lifts Stephanie up into a shoulder height slam. A certain victory is taken away as HHH pulls the referee out of the ring.

HHH then pulls Rousey out and faces Kurt Angle. HHH throws Angle across the announcers table and heads into the ring to check on his wife whilst Rousey is going to face off with Hunter.  Rousey shows some superior strength here and literally man handles the Game! Steph is back in the ring for Rousey to intercept and they head out.

Back in the ring HHH and Kurt go into it with belly to belly suplexes followed by German suplexes. The crowd are on fire as HHH goes for a pedigree which is reversed into an ankle lock which HHH wriggles out of. Angle slam to the game which he kicks out of. Entertaining and quick paced with a potential match of the night quality.

Stephanie and Angle face off as she goes for a kick which he catches. Ankle lock as HHH puts in the pedigree, Rousey breaks the pin. Now its HHH and Rousey and she reverses the pedigree into an arm bar. Its locked in as Steph breaks the hold with a rear naked choke. Rousey gets to her feet and flips her over into an arm bar. Kurt Angle gets HHH in the ankle lock at the same time. HHH thows Angle into Rousey and the holds are broken.

The power couple look to go for double pedigrees but Kurt throws HHH out and Rousey converts into arm bar on Stephanie. She is yelling ‘no’ and eventually taps!

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Winner: Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle

Verdict: Most likely to be match of the night. Great action. 

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match

The New Day V The Usos (c) V The Bludgeon Brothers

Before the Bludgeons can even get in the ring they are drop kicked back and Kofi Kingston hits an early trouble in paradise to no pin fall. The action moves outside as the Bludgeons target all of the new day. They hit the ring and continue to dominate.

Big E blasted off the apron as he tries to get in the ring and the match properly begins with the USO’s targeting Luke Harper. A big splash with Harper kicking out at 2. The tag champs efforts head towards the outside with a double suplex to Eric Rowan on the floor.

In the ring Kofi is facing Harper who dominates and heads into the corner. Kingston is powerbombed and then handed to Harper who powerbombs him off the top rope for the pin.

Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers, new tag champs

Verdict: A quick match putting over the new champs who mostly dominated. 

Next up is John Cena who heads down the ramp and into the ring. The referee heads down and talks to Cena who then gets out of the ring. The lights go out and Elias appears on the ramp. He walks down to ring with a guitar and sings. Cena heads out of the ring as Elias gets between the ropes and continues his song. Eventually Cena heads into the ring and puts the beat down on Elias and hits him with an attitude adjustment.

Cena heads back up the ramp with his music playing and then the lights go out. In the ring we see a hat and folded jacket whilst Cena watches on. Again the lights go down and the gong sounds.

He’s here, the Undertaker is here. Shrouded in purple and blue light he walks to the ring and faces John Cena.

The Undertaker V John Cena

The bell rings and they collide. Into the corners and against the ropes, Taker flies and claims early dominance. He then takes Cena old skool and the crowd are electric. Snake eyes followed by a big boot and leg drop combo. He reaches the sky for a chokeslam which Cena suplexes out of.

Taker sits up as Cena goes go for a five knuckle shuffle and recieves a chokeslam followed by tombstone. One, two, three. It was a squash, WTF?

Winner: The Undertaker

Verdict: Taker hasn’t looked this good in at least 5 years and essentially this was a squash match. 

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And now we see the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 class!

Tag team Match

Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan V Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

The capacity audience are on fine form with the mass of ‘Yes’ chants as he comes down to the ring. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn hit the ring with a surprise move from behind and the brawl begins. The dastardly pair power bomb Bryan onto the apron before the bell even rings.

Bryan is down and stays there with Shane left to fight alone. McMahon calls for the bell to ring and the match begins. He dominates with quick paced punches and high risk moves. Soon enough Zayn and Owens get the upper hand. They take it in turns to dominate but Shane fights back and manages to hit a coast to coast to Zayn.

Owens turns the tables and hits a frog splash and as he goes for a cover Daniel Bryan enters the match and puts in the save. Shane desperately struggles to reach for a tag to no avail. Daniel Bryan is beginning to stir and Shane eventually makes the tag.  Bryan hits the ropes and hits a thunderous clothesline to Sami Zayn. He then throws out a big missile drop kick from above. Bryan takes it turns to hit either of his opponents in their respective corners and targets Zayn for a hurricanrana which he executes successfully.

Owens faces off with Bryan and puts in a powerbomb which Bryan kicks out of. Shane is kicked off the apron twice. Now Zayn and Bryan are about to face off. Several kicks come from Bryan to Zayn and he converts the running knee into the yes lock. Zayn taps.

Winner: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon

Verdict: A decent return for Daniel Bryan and of course physical from Shane, Owens and Zayn. 

Raw Women’s Championship

Alexa Bliss (c) V Nia Jax

The match begins with Nia going after Mickey James who joined Alexa down to the ring. The bell finally rings in what will probably be some level of a squash match considering the size difference between competitors.

nia.PNG  Nia Jax throws Alexa across the ring with a huge slam. They head outside with Alexa trying to walk off with her belt only for Jax to plough into her. Back in the ring they face off with back and fourth action but Jax finds dominance as expected. Bliss does all she can to stop her being dominated by eye poking but again Nia slams her down to the mat.

She picks Bliss up onto her shoulders and climbs the second rope. She falls back and and slams Alexa in the middle of the ring. One, two, three.

Winner: Nia Jax , new Raw Women’s champion.

Verdict: Essentially a crowd cool down squash match. 

WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles (c) V Shinsuke Nakamura

For the first time ever AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura lock up with the crowd captivated and electric. Styles takes the offensive lead and looks to be in control during the early stages of this match. Nakamura fights back and they move into the corner. Forearms are exchanged between the two competitors.

The match slows down and the audience seems partially dead for now, its been a long night as we hit 04:00AM and hopefully the last hour of wrestling. Things continue to crawl along with the pace of this back and fourth flow affair. I’m not sure where its going.

Styles throws out a devastating kick taking Nakamura’s leg away. They move to mat based submission holds. The injured leg is focused on as Nakamura hits the turnbuckle with his knee, Styles hits the springboard forearm and goes for a pin. Kick out at 2.

A spingboard 450 from Styles but Nakamura throws up his knees to block. The pace slows again. Styles clash to Nakamura and thats it, one, two, three!

Winner: AJ Styles retains WWE Championship

Verdict: A slow paced match, the crowd died down near the end, its been a long night, this match could have been a lot better. 

After the match Nakamura presents the belt with the champ and then proceeds to low blow Styles. A possible heel turn perhaps after he puts a beat down on Styles.

And now its time for yet another mid card match…

Raw Tag Team Championship Match

Cesaro and Sheamus (c) V Braun Strowman and mystery partner??

Ok so Braun heads out into the audience in search of a partner and brings back a kid called Nicholas. The match begins and Nicholas stands on the apron as Braun goes against the champs. He lays in a chokeslam to Cesaro but Sheamus intervenes.

The tag champs begin to gang up on Braun who easily kicks out of a pin attempt. Nicholas is tagged in but Strowman comes back in the ring. Strowman hits the powerslam and takes the pin.

Winner: Braun Strowman and Nicholas, new champs, WTF???

Verdict: Okay??? 

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The main Event…

WWE Universal Championship Match

Brock Lesnar (c) V Roman Reigns

The match quickly gets going with Brock taking Roman into suplex city times three followed by Reigns hitting two superman punches. Brock hits the third outside of the ring. He throws Brock outside opposite.

Belly to belly by Brock to Roman on the outside, they are both back up quickly. They head over to the announcers tables with Roman being thrown onto one. Back into the ring they go with more suplexes, the pace begins to dwindle with the crowd chanting ‘cm punk’.

Again they focus on the tables with Lesnar leading Reigns into the barricade. Roman battles back and spears Brock onto an announcers table. Again they get up and into the ring, a super man punch followed by two spears from the number one contender and still the champion kicks out.

An F5 from Brock but Reigns kicks out! ‘Put him down!’ Paul Heyman yells after a third F5 and again Roman kicks out.  It’s approaching 5am in the UK and the match is showing no signs of ending although anything could and will happen with Brock and Reigns.

F5 through the announcers table to Roman on the outside, that’s number 4 as Brock drags him back in the ring. The Beast incarnate is priming for the finish with another german suplex, Roman is dwindling here.  F5 number 5 and Reigns kicks out somehow, again.

Brock takes his gloves off and drives his fists into Reigns head, blood everywhere but somehow Reigns fights back with his face covered in red! F5 number 6 and that’s it, one, two, three!

Winner: Brock Lesnar retains WWE Universal Championship

 

Wrestlemania Verdict: Better than most from recent years. Many of the matches were good value and action packed. Some titles changed whilst others were retained. Great to see Kurt Angle back in a Wrestlemania Ring. Ronda was more than impressive. The whole Cena Taker deal seemed strange and of course ‘Nicholas’ was particularly odd. Paige looks as if she’s shot to pieces and been replaced by a drag queen, yep she looks that bad. 

The main event became a little excessive with the amount of finishers, and the blood was probably a step too far. That’s it for another year. Be sure to check out my next book The Teleporter which drops this month! 

Author Self Interview: Lee Hall pt2

Hello and welcome to the second part of my author self interview series. Today we cover book reviews, the ten year anniversary of the Christ Benoit murder suicide tragedy and a whole host of indie author questions…

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How important do you think book reviews are for an indie author?

Reviews are a doubled edged sword when it comes to books. They are very unique to any other product available on amazon simply because most of the reviews critique or praise the writers efforts. Clothes, electronics or even medications are reviewed for whether they fit or even work. Books really are unique to review as a product.

So do you think people have read a review of Open Evening and then decided to buy it? 

I would like to think so, even though a very small percentage of the people who did buy my first book left a review. So even though I am thankful for the praise and kind words I don’t take reviews massively seriously.

What are you currently reading? and is it important that a writer must also find time to read? 

Dragon Teeth by Michael Critchton and god yes! If you ever want to get better at every element of story telling you must read and then read some more. Our minds are constantly growing and books feed that growth. With reading you take something in as opposed to writing which works the opposite way!

How are you marketing yourself as a writer currently? 

I like to stay relatively active on social media and do try not to just talk about my books. When possible and if I have some material I like to blog. If I have watched a new film or TV show I may review it or maybe even whatever political situation is going on in the world right now. The first rule of selling books is not talking about selling books…

Being an indie writer means that I probably doesn’t pay the bills. So what do you do for a living? 

I work at the very forefront of cutting edge experimental science. My job involves working in the control room of a particle accelerator in Oxfordshire for the STFC. It’s a pretty cool place and there’s always something interesting happening or another challenge arising from science. I started out as an electrician and then moved into engineering which now nods towards physics, pretty cool right?

Feature Question: Lastly this week has seen the 10 year anniversary of the suicide murder case involving WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, what are your thoughts?

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Benoit (right) with his signature flying headbutt

Well where do I start? Back then I was a huge huge WWE fan! I was still a stupid 17 year old kid but even back then wrestling was everything to me. Chris Benoit was and still is to me the pinnacle of what a successful wrestler should be. He worked his way up for years and only really got rewarded later on in his career. I related to the guy because like me he was only 5’8 but he was tougher than anyone in that ring. Seeing him win in the main event of wrestlemania 20 was pretty special then some years later all of that went away.

Back then I used to record the WWE shows on a small vhs combo TV I used to plonk down next to our actual TV. So I had already watched and recorded the Sunday event where Benoit was scheduled to show up and face CM Punk in a championship match. Of course this never happened and obviously the events that unfolded at Benoit’s residence were tragic and horrific. He took his wife and son’s life before committing suicide himself.

The news broke initially with WWE officials not really sure what to do as the truth was still unfolding. So I put in the tape of Monday night Raw to see an empty arena and even stranger a tearful Vince McMahon. The context is previously McMahon died on screen in a story line which due to the events just got dropped. He spoke about what had happened with Chris but not to any detail. At that moment my heart sunk and everything felt distant for some time,  I was even numb perhaps. I knew back then wrestler deaths were common but a top guy like Benoit was a deep wound to the industry.

The three hour show that night displayed Chris Benoit’s best moments and it even contained some interviews of current WWE talent. Some of which were cagey and may could have actually known the circumstances, I remember both John Cena and William Regal holding their cards close to their chests. Little did anyone know this would be the last mention of Chris Benoit on WWE TV ever! They literally deleted him from the history of their company but for good reason.

It’s scary how quick time can go and I cant believe it has been ten years since the Chris Benoit tragedy. WWE changed that day. The investigation revealed Benoit used a lot of steroids, had some bad brain damage and had domestic issues with his wife Nancy. I guess we will never really know what happened over that weekend but my guess is the combination of lots of things caused this.

Soon after in WWE a new drug wellness policy got phased in. The next year they went PG and never looked back, they look after their talent a little more now but that doesn’t ever change what happened 10 years ago.

 

 

WWE Money in the Bank 2017 Results

And so I haven’t blogged in a while and the next WWE pay per view event just happened to be on. So here are my as it happened results from last night…

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First ever women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Charlotte Flair v Becky Lynch v Tamina v Carmella w/J Ellsworth v Natalya

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I get the whole historic thing about this being historic and all especially how women used to be seen in WWE. So after the competitors hit the ring we are shown a promo about the stakes and those who paved the way, nods are made to Moolah, Mae Young, Alundra and even Trish Stratus. All which have contributed to the history of womens wrestling!

The bell rings with a 5 way stand off. Everyone bolts out of the ring for ladders leaving Tamina. As everyone returns she defends her position and eventually holds the ring whilst showing some impressive dominance. Early on we see the usual ladder spots these matches are known for. Natalya takes a slingshot into a corner stuffed ladder. Becky Lynch eats ladder in another corner. Tamina eventually runs out of steam and is downed as both the Lass Kicker and Natalya wrestle either end of a ladder.

Lynch eventually receives a scoop slam onto the ladder for her efforts leaving Nattie to set up the first ladder under the brief case.

Audience half heartedly boo as she climbs and grips the case. Flair intervenes and eventually battes her way into an electric chair drop to Natalya. Woo’s all around as Flair positions the ladder. It’s Carmella’s turn and she pulls Charlotte down with one of her legs painfully going between a rung. They both exchange blows at the top of the ladder. Charlotte comes within moments of winning until Tamina hits the ring and pushes the ladder. Both Carmella and Flair go down.

‘This is awesome’ the audience chant as they come alive to see Natalya put in the sharpshooter to Becky Lynch. Carmella soon breaks them up along with Flair. Natalya proceeds to dominate and is whipped into a ladder by Lynch.

This match is a back and fourth between everyone #obvioustatement.

Carmella is looking impressive as she flips Lynch from a corner ladder and heads up the rungs towards being the first Miss Money in the Bank. Charlotte intervenes and cleans house as Tamina works on the outside.

Flair is up high with Tamina on the same side of the ladder. They both fall.

Action heads out of the ring with Charlotte half heartedly spearing Tamina into steel steps. She climbs up onto the apron and top rope to execute a high risk twisting flip into both Tamina and Natalya, #impressed .

Carmella is all alone as she climbs but Lynch puts in the save and converts Carmella’s position into a power bomb. The crowd chant Becky’s name as she reaches up but Ellsworth is there! He tip the ladder for her to fall in this no DQ match. He begins to clumb himself and grabs the brief case. Dropping it to Carmella the bell rings as we cut away to 3 referees arguing. ‘He’s not in the match’ one of them says repeatedly.

Ellsworth announces it on the microphone and her music plays. Is that it? Really? Where’s the damn GM? (apparently on paternity leave #fatherhood)

Result: Carmella is the first ever Miss Money in the Bank

Verdict: A decent standard ladder match with everyone going high risk. Long are the days gone of what the standard of women’s matches used to be and its for the better. Action packed and well paced. Shame about the ending, but it’s sports entertainment I guess…

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Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match

The New Day v The Uso’s (c)

Proceedings begin with of course a new day promo for the St Louis crowd. The match begins with Kofi Kingston partnered with Big E. For the first portion Kofi is essentially squashed by the champs. A few brutal moves including Kofi being thrown out of the ring and then going into the ring post. The Uso’s follow the typical heel regular tag work whilst keeping Kofi down but he eventually battles to a Big E tag.

Big E delivers a few big time belly to belly suplexes and turns the tide. Kofi recovers and tags in for Big E to pull off a middle rope dive.

Back in the ring Kofi is on his own and near to tapping. Jey Uso superkicks Big E as he hits the ring. Kofi modifies and reverses a kick into a reverse choke hold. Kofi hits the SOS only for Jey to kick out at two and a half.

Blind tag by Big E as Kofi receives a superkick but Big E is legal and puts in the big ending which gets broken up at two and three quarters.

Xavier makes the trumpet distraction as the Usos move to the apron. They block a Big E mid rope dive and he tags Kofi. Over the other side Kofi dives out of the ring into the Uso’s and the new day hit the midnight hour only for another kick out. They aren’t going to win this if the Uso’s are going to kick out of everything!

Both Uso’s are out of the ring as the referee begins to count. They are walking away towards the belts and ring bell area. The ref counts to 10 and the bell rings. Poor ending.

Result: Uso’s retain after being disqualified for a 10 count

Verdict: High octane and action packed from both equally matched teams. The Uso’s just kept kicking out and made the theme of this PPV probably an all heel affair.

Smackdown Women’s championship match

Naomi (c) v Lana

So we have the neon queen vs the russian prom queen? Lana seems to represent the traditional diva type WWE are known for recruiting in the past. I’m interested to see how she will wrestle in her second career ever match.

The ravishing Russian brutally dominates to begin with but Naomi is there to put in the reality check. There comes some annoying screaming from Lana as she evades a cross body and goes for a two count pin attempt.

They head outside which seems to be the formula for every WWE match everywhere! Lana continues to excert her dominance by moving the pair both into the ring for a lock hold. She takes down the champion with a spiteful slam and follows up with two suplex’s. Lana is targeting Naomi’s legs here with a knee bending hold over the bottom rope. Again the annoying screams are protruding from Lana’s mouth as she goes for the left leg once more.

Naomi reverses into an arm breaker and subsequent kick to Lana’s head as the tide begins to turn.  Naomi hits a series of high kicks to the blonde head of Lana whose just about hanging in there as she evades to the outside only to return quickly to get the upper hand again.

Commentary team are surprised at her resilience as she goes for a sit down spine breaker. Naomi kicks out at two as Carmella’s entrance music hits! She’s bringing the MITB briefcase with her and is about to present it but stops.

The match continues with Lana dominating again now with the obvious distraction outside.

Naomi hits the same submission she used to win the belt at Wrestlemania, the commentary team failed to name this move as Carmella is contemplating a cash in but eventually heads to the back.

Result: Naomi wins via submission.

Verdict: Impressive dominance and arrival from Lana. I expect her to eventually win some matches and even a belt.

Next up a surprise return of Maria Kanellis and some guy called Mike. Good to see her back! She cuts a promo about being the ‘first lady’ being back in WWE. They’ve got some kind of love angle which is immediately cheesy, but again this ‘sports entertainment’.

Next the boring trio commentary team discuss what’s happened already in the event. We then move into the heavily Indian fan catered for promo of Jinder Mahal’s first championship defence. They even used English subtitles. I guess the Indian fan base is a big money draw for WWE hence why this guy is champion whilst we still wait for several other countries with a more established following for their world champion.

After the promo we see a line-up of local legends sat in the front row including: Greg Gagne, Larry ‘the axe’ Hennig, Baron Von Rashcke, Sgt. Slaughter, Cowboy Bob Orton Jnr and of course the nature boy Ric Flair wooooooo!

Jinder Mahal’s sidekicks appear and introduce the angry champion to almost zero crowd reaction here at Heelmania… I mean money in the bank but there seems to just be a hige heel emphasis in WWE right now and even with the brand extension and amount of talent each roster has it’s not working. Bring back joint PPVS.

Orton appears to a big hometown pop.

WWE Championship Match

Jinder Mahal (c) V Randy Orton

Orton starts off strong and threaten with an early RKO only to evade and head outside within a minute. He heads back in only for the challenger to take him down and then suplex the champ onto the top rope. Game on Randy as he stomps on Mahal a few times and dominates. Even when the champion tries to come back he is shut down and sent out again, this time with Orton following. He delivers a clothesline and keeps Jinder’s sidekicks at bay who stay back.

They head back into the ring with no breathing room for Mahal. Orton goes for the middle rope DDT only for the sidekicks to get up on the apron and distract thus getting Orton thrown out. Mahal capitalizes outside the ring now as they go at it.

Orton is sent shoulder first into steel steps and they replay Orton being thrown out and somewhat damaging his leg/knee of course Mahal begins to work the injury. Didn’t we see this in the last match?

Mahal is thrown over the barrier and into the local legends. Ric Flair just smiles as the action moves to the announce table. Jinder sends Orton knee first on top of the table and gets tangled in wires before they both head back into the ring for perhaps some actual wrestling.

Orton finds his way back to domination and again they head outside.

Upon getting back in the ring theres another RKO attempt which Mahal converts into a deadly superkick. He has Orton down in the middle of the ring as he places a hold on the knee. Slowly the chapion is working his way back and just to insult the audience Mahal puts in the figure 4 leglock to Orton. The challenger flips the hold and reverses the effect but Mahal soon breaks the rope.

Again Mahal find his way to domination. They head up in the corner and set up a superplex which Orton prevents and then attempts himself and pulls it off. Mahal comfortably kicks out at 2 as they now begin to exchange big right hands. The crowd vocal in their exchanges of ‘boo’ and ‘yeah’. Orton gains momentum into a powerslam. This time he pulls off the mid rope DDT to Mahal and finds some rest as he taunts his hometown and looks to setting up for an RKO.

He hits the RKO on Mahal. One, Two…. The ‘singh’ brothers pull Mahal’s foot onto the bottom rope but the referee see’s it. He sends them out and on their way they parade past the legends but stop there. Words are exchanged and Cowboy Bob Orton is grabbed by the scruff for Randy to make the save. He throws them both individually into the announcers table in a brutal beatdown which is an an obvious distraction…

Orton heads back into the ring but is immediately targets by Mahal as he hits his signature move.

Result: Jinder Mahal retains WWE championship

Verdict: A predictable turn of events with Orton obviously going to be hustled in some way. He was. End of.

 

A promo plays of the next Raw PPV, are they actually calling in great balls of fire?

 

Undercard tag team match featuring Tyler Breeze and Fandango v the Ascension.

Why is this match going up after the title match? Strange booking which is probably a crowd cool down so they can go to the souvenir stands and get some beers in. That’s what I would have done.

Result: Breezango

Verdict: None

 

The money in the Bank ladder Match (men if you can call them that)

Kevin Owens v AJ Styles v Dolph Ziggler v Sammy Zayn v Baron Corbin v Shinsuke Nakamura

mitb3Proceedings begin early as Nakamura makes his entrance Baron Corbin attacks him from behind thus taking him out of the match. Perhaps a perfect opportunity for someone to return…

Referees are discussing stuff and the bell rings as five men begin to brawl.

Action spreads wide as Ziggler, Owens and Zayn head out. Corbin begins his assault of Styles and then goes for the others. It looks like Nakamura wont be involved as he is assisted to the back. Our first dive comes from Sammy Zayn into Kevin Owens and reignites their famous rivalry. Both Ziggler and Corbin look to team up which is quickly dashed by the nature of a ladder match.

The Zayn Owens face off continues as AJ makes his presence known in the ring. He pulls a ladder in for Ziggler to pull it away and is pushed back for his efforts.

Sammy Zayn hits another high risk manouver with a springboard flip into Corbin.

Owens hits a the 200th superkick of the night to AJ styles. He goes to swing the first ladder in the ring to the slowly recovering Styles but receives a drop toe hold for his efforts. They exchange shots. Styles clash attempted but he’s sent over the top by Owens who is now alone in the ring with a ladder. He begins to set up and leaves the ladder open but not up. Zayn enters the ring only to be shot back whilst Owens heads up to the top rope with a view of the others outside but in the last minite Zayn grabs hold of Owens and sends him into the open ladder!

Zayn discards the obviously twisted ladder and grabs another. He begins to set it for Ziggler to knock him and the ladder down and sets it up in the corner. He then throws Zayn into the ladder and goes to set it up. Dolph Ziggler climbs looking to be a two time MITB winner but Sammy Zayn stops that. They brawl momentarily before Zayn hits the thunder bomb on Ziggler. Zayn climbs for Baron Corbin to halt his efforts and sends the ladder down. AJ styles is in now and dominates Corbin with a view to grab a ladder.

Style and Corbin are at the top with the usual cliché of exchanging blows. Ziggler joins them before going above them he grabs the briefcase but his efforts are thwarted. He hits the zigzag from the ladder to Corbin.

Ziggler and AJ Styles climb with Zayn on the other side. All of them grasp high with Styles being knocked down. Sammy Zayn comes out on top and executes a flip powerbomb disposing of himself and Doplh Ziggler.

The audience think it’s awesome…

No clear winner is obvious right now as Sammy Zayn and Kevin Owens brawl on the apron. Zayn manages somehow to flip Owens back on the apron. An impressive feat for a small guy on the wider guy. Zayn heads into the ring and begins to climb but AJ Styles hits the phenomenal forearm from the top rope. Text book AJ.

Baron Corbin and AJ are now out of the ring brawling, everyone else appears to be down. Corbin catches the highflyer that is Styles and chokeslams him into a ladder, this crowd reaction is priceless!

money in the bank reaction

Best reaction Ever! 

Corbin heads in for Zayn to hit a kick and set up the ladder. He climbs up towards the brief case. Ziggler appears only to be kicked off by Zayn. Owens appears and hits a low blow to Zayn. Owens climbs for AJ Styles to appear. They go back and forth and move to the apron. Owens sets up for a powerbomb but AJ reverses and lifts him onto both shoulders. He then throws Owens through the set up ladder outside.

It’s AJ styles eyeing up the briefcase as he climbs. Dolph Ziggler pulls the ladder away but Styles is holding on up high. He’s swinging in the air but eventually falls to a hard bump.

Corbin throws Ziggler out and Shinsuke Nakamura is back and angrier than ever. He hits the ring as audience sing his song. He dominates Corbin impressively and knocks Corbin out of the ring. Here comes Ziggler but Nakamura has the momentum to not only take down Dolph but Sammy Zayn also.

Nakamura heads out and grabs a ladder which Kevin Owens is attached to. They wrestle for it a Nakamura hits a deadly kick and goes back to proceedings.

AJ faces of with Nakamura as they stand each side of the ladder. They put it aside and look to lock up.  There can only be one winner. Rights and lefts exchanged between them with Nakamura getting hold of Styles from behind. He hits a suplex and moves to the corner. AJ counters with a deadly diving right hand.

Both competitors are down. Eventually they come to and climb the ladder simultaneously. Both of them are weary and also high up, probably the best view in the house. Corbin returns to push the ladder down. He climbs and grabs the brief case. The bell rings for the end of Heel Mania!

 

Result: Baron Corbin wins MITB

Verdict: Really an all heel winning PPV. Good match but really?  

 

PPV Verdict: I would be pissed if had stayed up to watch this event. It’s flawed in so many ways and just felt like a middle film or book to a series with everything held back! Most of it was predictable and somewhat half cooked, especially as all of the heels won.  Speaking of books, you should buy mine here on amazon….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrestlemania 33 as it happened review

WWE presents what the ultimate thrill ride! Or what seems like endless hours of wrestling fun (I hope) as I went the duration to stay up until past 4am to watch Wrestlemania 33. Here’s my as it happened blog of the biggest wrestling event of the year… 

(this may contain typos and of course spoilers, duh)

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Kick off pre-Show (10pm UK time)

Things begin with Renee Young amongst three WWE hall of famers which include Shawn Michaels, Booker T and the King himself Jerry Lawler. There’s talking and a live Q&A session planned with Paul Heyman. Next comes a few promo vignettes featuring the Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton match/ Seth Rollins and Triple H fight/match. Looks like a long night of build up ahead.

First Match for the Cruiserweight Championship

Austin Aries vs Neville (C) 

The purple ropes are set up for our first bout of the night. Audience are still arriving but that aint stopping the show from going on. They chant for Aries as the two competitors lock up. We get a little stand off between them which is of course an attempt to warm the crowd. Early on there’s a lot of mat based moves which is quick fire, back and forth they go with Aries coming out on top with an impressive range of aerial attacks. Neville scraps back and then comes a commercial break… We come back to see Neville with Aries in a lock hold which breaks up the pace. They go high risk with a series of impressive assaults outside the ring. Near fall as Neville kicks out. Aries continues his assualt with an impressive missile drop kick from the top rope. Neville finds his way back into the match with a snap German suplex. Another near fall comes by way of another snap suplex from Neville. Aries come out on top with a crashing right hand to Neville who slips out of the ring and from danger of being pinned. He recovers and goes for the red arrow but Aries jumps up onto the top rope and delivers a crashing hurricarana type move which he then follows through with a 450 splash. Neville rakes the eyes of Aries and hits the red arrow. 1, 2, 3.

Result: Neville Retains

The second hour of the kick off begins with the same hall of famer panel and Renee Young…

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

The two headline competitors Big Show and Braun Strowman get entrances, the rest just trail down the longest ramp used in Wrestlemania history. Braun gets started straight away by eliminating several competitors. The Big show replies with the treatment to several superstars. They face off and then separately become mobbed. Braun breaks away and eliminates Big Show. The mob then move to Strowman and eliminate him! Its gang warfare folks! The competitors slowly trickle out over the top rope with Dolph Ziggler doing that same hanging on for dear life rope spot at least three times.

Down to the last few and there’s an altercation outside the ring between Jinder Mahal and audience member/NFL football player Rob Gronkowski. Gronk comes up into the ring and tackles Mahal. He gets eliminated by Mojo Rawley and we have our winner! Not a bad start and of course the celebrity contribution means this is Wrestlemania.

Winner: Mojo Rawley

Paul Heyman Q&A Session which is mainly a set up for the Goldberg Brock match later. I’m sure we’ve seen this before last year…

Final kick off match 

Intercontinental Championship match 

Dean Ambrose (C) v Baron Corbin 

A quick and physical start to the match which quickly spills out of the ring . Ambrose takes the lead as he takes a dive out into Corbin. They get back into the ring with Corbin quickly capitalizing. They head out of the ring again utilizing the barriers around the ring making this a brutal theme for the match so far. Corbin continues with the offensive with Abrose sporadically fighting back and going for the dirty deeds. Abrose commits to another dive out of the ring and seems to be desperate in stopping corbin.  He builds some in ring momentum but every time Corbin blocks him. Somehow Ambrose finds the momentum and hits the dirty deeds which is enough to grant the win!

Result: Dean Ambrose Retains the IC championship

Wrestlemania 33

Midnight has quickly rolled around and here we go. Its a jam packed match card for this years showcase of the immortals. America the beautiful is sung by Tinashe ( I don’t know who she is either) and we see a fly by of some jets!

Wrestlemania hosts the New Day appear and hit the ring. They make a penis reference and talk about starting the show.

Shane McMahon V AJ Styles

Interesting choice to start with this match. Things begin with the traditional lock hold style which goes back and forth. Styles seems to be outsmarting Shane with every move so far. But saying that Shane shows off some impressive moves in his arsenal with a pair of arm drags forcing Styles to retreat out of the ring. They brawl back in the ring with Shane being the more brutal of the fighters. He’s botched out of the ring and AJ delivers a powerful sliding kick forcing Shane back and over the German announcers table.

A slugfest ensues back in the ring with AJ dominating but Shane isn’t out of this yet. Again Styles is being cocky by taunting the crowd and goes for a two count pin. He seems to be on top with Shane battling back to be shut down every time. McMahon counters and blocks AJ’s spring board attempt.  Some boxing style jabs come from Shane as he appears to fight back. This match is enjoyable so far with both Shane and Styles being impressive.

AJ tries to make Shane tap but he maneuvers out of it for a rear naked choke which he then converts into an arm bar. Double clothesline as they both get up and charge to each other. The audience applaud in approval for their joint efforts. Styles goes for a springboard 450 dive onto the downed Shane who catches him and turns it into a triangle choke. AJ tries to break free and converts into a modified styles clash! Shane kicks out. Eventually they get onto their feet and exchange blows, AJ accidentally hits the referee and he goes down. Styles brings a bin into the ring and sets it up for a coast to coast by wedging it between Shane and the bottom rope. Shane jumps up and hits AJ with the bin to counter. He sets AJ up into the corner and uses another bin to set up coast to coast. He hits it with perfection, that’s got to be it. And the referee is up in true cliche style but its only a 2 count. The crowd are loving this as Shane dismantles the German announcer table and lays AJ on it. He climbs the top rope. Shane jumps for AJ to move at the last minute. This match could go anyway.

Both back in the ring as Shane converts another springboard attack by Styles. He impressively goes for a shooting star press! But AJ moves out of the way! Where is this match going, who cares but its great. Styles eventually hits a springboard right hand and goes for the cover to win

Result: AJ styles wins via pin fall but both of them deserve the credit of a win. Highlight was definitely the fact they matched each other in every aspect including Shane’s shooting star press attempt! Potential match of the night!!!

United States Championship

Kevin Owens V Chris Jericho (C) 

The match quickly spills out of the ring with Jericho on top to begin with. Getting back into the ring Y2J continues with his onslaught until Owens hits a kick to regroup and floor Jericho. It’s Owens turn to ensue with a beat down which slowly wears his opponent down. They go back and forth with a slow pace until Owens hits a package style sit down style power bomb, Owens forehead is bleeding slightly as he goes up to the top rope but Jericho is there to block and force an impressive hurricanrana which is followed by a near fall.

The match continues to build slowly with Jericho hitting a bulldog and then an unsuccessful lionsault. He attempts it again after thwarting an Owens frog splash which Jericho counters. Owens then goes for a swanton bomb only for it to be blocked. Y2J attempts the walls for Owens to counter into a two count fall. This is a reversal fest so far. Jericho finally connects with a lionsault which is answered by a two count pin fall attempt. The crowd are with Jericho here all the way.

Owens modifies his way into the walls of Jericho on his opponent in the middle of the ring. He springs out of it and into the corner which Owens then goes for the cannonball but Jericho converts into the walls eventually. He’s going to tap at any moment but gets to the rope!

Pop up power bomb by Owens but Jericho kicks out at two. 70,000 strong are mostly behind Jericho here. Then comes the code breaker by Y2J and he crawls to the cover but Owens’ finger hits the rope. They head out and Owens powerbombs Jericho into the apron. He bumbles Jericho into the ring to pick up the three count.

Winner: Kevin Owens new US champ. Good match full of reversals/ back and forth action. Both competitors used each others signature moves.

Raw Women’s Championship 

Bayley (C) V Charlotte Flair V Nia Jaxx V Sasha Banks (Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match) 

Nia Jaxx is targeted straight away but powerfully fights off the much smaller competition. She eventually clears the ring and shows her dominance. Its looking like a 3 on 1 handicap match now as the other three circle her upon entering the ring. They impressively triple team her down and she kicks out at a two count. Again they triple team her off the top rope into a power bomb and all three of them cover her for three and the first elimination.

Its now a triple threat match but Charlotte steps out and urges Bayley and Sasha to fight. Bayley heads out and then Sasha somersaults out of the ring into her. Next comes Charlotte’s high risk as she corkscrew dives into the other two. Action moves quickly into the ring as Banks goes for the bank statement on Charlotte, she breaks out. Sasha goes for a roll up for Charlotte to kick out at two. It’s just them in the ring.

Sasha Banks is thrown into a partially exposed turnbuckle which Charlotte was responsible for, she is out and gets pinned by Charlotte.

Down to two, Charlotte and Bayley. Figure 4 then figure 8 by Charlotte who is determined to win but Bayley reaches the rope. Charlotte continues to target her opponents knee as she is hung in the tree of woe. They fight up on the top turnbuckle which results in a sloppy botch style slam to Charlotte with Bayley staying up on the rope. She turns and lays in an elbow to Charlotte to get the three count.

Winner: Bayley (Retains Raw Women’s championship). Good quickfire match, a good wrestling match doesn’t have to be long to be effective and good.

Hall of fame inductees were then introduced. A good class this year with a real mix of old and recent. Of course Kurt Angle made the headline entrance. You suck!

Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match

Enzo & Big Cass V Cesaro & Sheamus V Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (C)

As the match is about to start the New Day’s entrance theme hits and they announce the match to be a fatal 4 way and its the return of the Hardy Boys!!!!

Enzo & Big Cass V Cesaro & Sheamus V Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (C) V The Hardy Boys!!!

The match begins with a mass brawl. The Hardy’s start impressively with a series of well known double team moves. They clear the ring but Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson stop them them from getting the belts. Cesaro attempts to climb but Big Cass shuts hit down. He big boots a flying Jeff Hardy. It’s chaos early on.

Enzo and Big Cass send more ladders into the ring as there are more set up outside. Two ladders are laid out along the ring apron and security wall. Inside the ring Sheamus and Gallows battle. Cesaro puts in the save as they work as a team on the tag champs. Jeff goes for a spring board to the outside but receives a kick from the celtic warrior. He and Gallows climb and battle each other with Enzo pushing over the ladder.

Enzo is up and begins to climb slowly. Big Cass comes in to help him up higher but Gallows and Sheamus work to put Cass into a ladder. Anderson and Enzo battle up high with the belts between them, they hit each other right and left. Matt Hardy is back in and goes up the ladder with Anderson as Enzo is down and out. Twist of fate from the top of the ladder meanwhile Jeff climbs up high and swantons though Cesar and Shemus who were laying upon ladders outside.

Matt climbs and reaches for the belts. He pulls them free.

Result: The Hardy Boys are new tag team champions. Great to see them back and what a shocking return, well done wrestlemania. Moment of the night so far.

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John Cena & Nikki Bella V The Miz & Maryse 

Okay I’ll admit if I didnt actually watch this story line unfold but basically two couples have beef which ties in with the Total Divas TV show so I guess this match gives other WWE shows validation.

The match starts with some cat and mouse from the Miz and Cena, The crowd seem to respond to the Miz well as he taunts them trying to be a heel. Eventually the Miz gets on top and dominates oddly. Cena manages to dodge a corner turnbuckle assault and tries to sway momentum his way.

Maryse pulls Nikki from the apron and runs for it as the Miz dominates again. Cena kicks out at two after a thunderous DDT from the Miz. We have a Bella hot tag brewing. The Miz begins to mock Daniel Bryan with a series of Yes kicks. Full credit to Jerry the King Lawler and his awesome commentary.

Nikki is tagged in and begins the attack on Maryse. Both her and the Miz are down and here comes a double five knuckle shuffle. This is followed by a double finisher for Cena and Nikki to get the win.

Result: John Cena & Nikki Bella. After the match Cena grabs the microphone and talks about some stuff. He proposes to her and pulls out a ring. Nikki says yes.

Seth Rollins V Triple H (Unsanctioned Match, if that makes sense for a wrestling match)

Of course we see an elaborate entrance from Triple H involving police bikes. The game himself is riding a motor tricycle with Stephanie on the back. Blazing sirens welcome him down the ramp.

The bell rings and immediately the bout spills outside and over the security barrier. Rollins has the upper hand early on and he springboards off the barrier onto Triple H. They brawl in and out of the ring with Seth taking an announcers table apart. The table doesn’t break as Triple H DDT’S him into it. The game is targeting the story line knee injury of Seth Rollins with a steel chair.

Triple H continues to work the knee with a range of lock holds and kicks as Rollins is wedged into the corner. He fights back and they climb up with Triple H trying to go for a superplex but Rollins diverts it and tries a sunset flip; he cant pull it through due to his knee much to the Games advantage as he smiles. Triple H looks over his downed opponent and they move into pedigree attempts equally are both thwarted. Rollins buckle bombs triple H.

More action out of the ring as Rollins dives off the top rope onto the Game who is outside. Seth begins to turn his fate on his opponent by throwing him into the ring post. Seth goes under the ring and pulls out two chairs and a table which he sets up outside the ring.

Rollins attempts a chair shot but again his knee is targeted. Spine buster by the game and he sets the chair up with Rollin’s knee inside it. He stamps on it hard and then heads to the top rope.  Seth is up and throws the chair into HHH who stays up on the corner. Superplx by Rollins and there’s a near three count.

Stephanie McMahon gets involved in the match and trips Rollins who is up top. Triple H puts in a leg lock onto the knee. Rollins gets out and moves into a lock hold of his own but has to break away due to his knee. More back and forth as the sledgehammer makes an appearance.

Rollins grabs the weapon but Stephanie jumps up onto the apron and snatches it away. Its enough to distract Rollins and Triple H pedigrees him. He kicks out at two and a half. Things go the other way as they climb up onto the ropes and Rollins goes for a phoenix splash but it only results in a two count.

Triple H goes for another pedigree but Rollins reverses and then Triple H reverses, they exchange reversals until they break away. Stephanie goes up onto the apron and is in the line of fire as triple H unintentionally hits her off and she goes through the table. He turns and Rollins hits the pedigree. One, two, three.

Result: Seth Rollins wins via pinfall after a pedigree and Triple H actually puts someone over, the first time since well Wrestlemania 23…

Music break featuring Pitbull Featuring and Flo Rida… Enough said…

WWE Championship Match 

Bray Wyatt (C) V Randy Orton 

Quick offensive starts the match in Orton’s favor and he goes for an early RKO but to no avail. Bray soon dominates and everything goes dark, maggots seem to be projected onto the mat. The referee bolts…

Lights resume and both competitors exchange finisher attempts. Now the ring goes dark again and we see worms projected onto the mat. I haven’t seen anything like this before.

Again the lights resume and action continues. Wyatt attempts his finisher sister Abigail again but Orton battles out. They go outside the ring and this time Wyatt hits sister Abigail on the floor. They both go back in with Orton exiting from the opposite side. Now Orton hits the RKO on the outside.

They eventually get back in the ring with an Orton punt kick attempt which Wyatt converts into a failed attempt of his finisher. Orton comes out on top with a back breaker. Again Wyatt comes back and hits sister Abigail but Orton kicks out at 2.

It goes dark for the third time and more bugs are projected. Randy battles his demons and the lights resume for him to hit the RKO. The referee counts to 3.

Result: Randy Orton is a new WWE Champion. Strange match but still entertaining, felt rushed considering how late in the night it is and how many matches are left…

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WWE Universal Championship 

Goldberg V Brock Lesnar 

I’m expecting the entrances to be longer than the duration of this match and at this point 03:52 am there is twitter talk of the smackdown women’s title match being shelved.

The bell rings and Lesnar hits a series of German suplex’s followed by Goldberg laying in two spears! Brock rolls out and Goldberg stalks his opponent into another spear through part of the security barrier. They head back into the ring and Lesnar converts a jackhammer attempt into an F5, Goldberg converts into another spear. He then hits a jackhammer which Lesnar kicks out of. Its balls to wall here!

Goldberg readies for a spear, Brock leapfrogs and german’s him. Suplex city with Goldberg in trouble. Ten german suplex’s completed. Brock is sweaty and red/purple. He hits the F5 and gets the win.

Result: Brock Lesnar wins and is new WWE universal Champion.

Smack Down Womens Championship 6 pack Challenge (1 pinfall for 1 win) 

Alexa Bliss (C) V Becky Lynch V Mickey James V Carmella V Natalya V Naomi 

The cool down match for what is preparing for the main event which is the Undertaker Vs Roman Reigns…

The entrances were rushed but things kicked off with the running theme of this mania, chaos. Some gimmicked up guy called Ellsworth interferes which has been the only real highlight so far. Becky Lynch has been the standout competitor with Naomi looking promising. Natalya goes for a double sharp shooter on both Naomi and Carmella but is broken up by Mickey James.

Naomi makes Alexa tap.

Result: Naomi wins and is the new champ. Quite a sloppy match and these women have a long way to go if they want to be seen as equal to the men. Either way it was good and all of them were impressive.

The New Day announce a new attendance record for the citrus bowl. Not sure the actual number, google it because I write this at 04:20am…

The Undertaker V Roman Reigns – Main Event of Wrestlemania 33

It’s the big dog V the Deadman. The video package plays out and then the good ol JR comes out to be a guest announcer of the match. This feels like the Undertaker’s send off and Jim Ross returning is indeed another great moment.

The bell rings and the Undertaker immediately sends Roman out and claims it to be ‘his yard’. Roman gets back in and delivers a series of right hands before pushing Taker out. The Deadman pulls him out and sends him into the steel steps.

They spend the next moments in and out of the ring much like many of the matches tonight. The typical Undertaker spots go through the motions with him finding some dominance. Snake eyes followed by a big boot and leg drop. They go back outside and make use of an announcers table. Taker chokeslams Reigns onto it but it doesn’t break.

They both climb up onto another table with Reigns delivering a thunderous spear to Taker and the table gives. Eventually the Deadman rises to his feet and gets back in the ring with Reigns continuing his attack of kicks. The audience boo but its clearly muted.

Next comes in a steel chair which Taker uses on Reigns. Its a pleasure to hear JR on commentary again, old skool feels. They both head out and back in with Reigns hittig a series of superman punches until Taker grasps his neck and chokelsams him onto a chair. Two count.

Undertaker gives the sign that the end is near and goes for the tombstone. He hits it and goes for the pin but Reigns surprisingly kicks out! He goes for another and Reigns botches a reversal and then hits the superman punch again. Reigns sets up for a spear and it hits, he goes for the pin but Taker puts in hells gate! Reigns gets to the rope and its broken up.

Both competitors are down and slowly try to get up. Roman is first and stops Taker from grabbing a chair. He lays into the already downed Taker with several hits! Reigns hits another speak and the Deadman breaks out at two and a half. Roman is unable to pin the Phenom this time.

Reigns sets up again for the spear, Taker is on the ropes. The spear hits and again Taker kicks out. Where is this going? Now comes the superman punch from Reigns with the Undertaker flat on his back until he half sits up and then flops over.

They both get up with Taker dwindling. Reigns goes rope to rope and hits a thunderous final  spear. One, two, three.

Result: Roman Reigns wins.

Final Wrestlemania Verdict: Very good show although long like last year. My only complaint was the result of the last match, everything else was actually good for a Wrestlemania. The Hardy’s returning was a personal favorite moment for me and of course hearing Jim Ross on commentary, he’s still as good as before! 

 

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Wrestlemania 32 Results: A stange long night

It’s that time of year again. The showcase of the immortals is here with WWE Wrestlemania 32! Right here is where you can find all the results from the pre-show and actual show.

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Kick off show (Duration 2 hours, actual wrestling time, at least 45 mins, so not bad)

In the age of social media WWE like to think they can give away as much as possible for free. So here we were watching mainly talking, to big up the already pretty lame built up matches. A short interview with Kevin Owens basically saying he didn’t ask for a ladder match at wrestlemania but hey ho, isn’t that the vow you take when stepping between the ropes?

Paul Heyman joins some guy and a woman showing off way too much leg in an interview Q and A session from twitter. These questions are clearly scripted in the social media lounge.

1st WM Kickoff Match – Kalisto (ch) v Ryback : United States Championship

So for the six audience members arrived in the AT and T arena we were treated to the first match of the night. A true underdog seen it before story. This match as predicted started off rather one sided with Ryback dominating easily and taking advantage of his size. Saying that Kalisto showed promise with his impressive lucha style and highflying ability. They seemed to always use Rybacks dominance as a reference point. Then oddly we were shown a VT promo during the match, presumably for the actual network tv adverts.

Result: Kalisto retains and makes use of an exposed turnbuckle to impressively claim the win.

 

2nd WM kick off Match – Team Total Divas vs Bad and Blonde (10 diva tag match)

After the hour turned it was time for the next match. That being 10 divas in one ring. Slowly the divas division is slowly becoming fight relevant. The breast implants have slowly gone along with the very suggestive outfits and you can see the WWE trying to class them up quite a bit and deep down I think it’s working. Again we were faced with a oddly placed ad break. We come back to a now filling AT and T stadium booing a red haired Eva Marie. The UK’s very own Paige impressed with a shining wizard kick and Emma ensured some dominance until Lana was tagged and made her official in ring debut. Paige makes a daring cross body from the top rope and out of the ring, knocking down most of her opponents. An impressive and somewhat violent exchange from both sides.

Result: Brie Bella puts in the yes lock giving Team total divas the win.

WWE hall of famer Lita unveils a new Divas championship belt. A positive step towards bridging the gender gap.

3rd WM kick of Match – The Usos v The Dudley Boyz

The tag team division has had a somewhat rebirth with the introduction of traditional style teams and of course the return of the Dudley’s. Match begins aggressively with the record 9 time WWE tag team champions the Dudley’s taking charge. The Uso’s slowly come back but are snubbed everytime by the veterans. High octane tag team action early on and throughout the match with back and forth stuff.

Result: Uso’s clinch the win even thought they were under attack most of the time. Dudley’s remain stood up after and get the tables. But the USOs turn it around and top rope attack both of D-von and Bubba putting them through a table each.

 

Kick off Verdict: Of course this was a VT haven, building up the lesser matches and bigger ones. But the matches, all three of them were wrestlemania worthy!

 

Wrestlemania 32

 

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship : Kevin Owens (CH) V Stardust V Zack Ryder V Sami Zayn V The Miz V Sin Cara V Dolph Ziggler

 

Chaotic beginning of the match with the ladder used as a weapon. Zack Ryder gets the nearest first and receives a barrage of boos for his efforts. Zayn goes high risk early by jumping through mid rope and taking out a handful of opponents followed by a DDT to the outside to Owens. He is so over with the crowd its unbelievable.

Sin Cara pushed off the ladder and out of the ring onto four superstars. The crowd chant ‘holy shit’ but money in the bank ladder matches have been more hardcore. Ziggler and Owens take each other out with simultaneous super kicks and Stardust gets out his own custom ladder. A huge frog splash from Owens onto Zayn who is laid out on a ladder. An impressive elbow drop from Ryder off of the ladder. He then proceeds to climb but Ziggler jumps up and they both hit the mat.

Sin Cara from Scooby doo wrestlemania fame goes througha ladder and Stardust, leaving Zayn and Owens to battle it out. Zayn capitalises and he climbs. The Miz ruins his efforts and climbs. Takes his time and Ryder pushes him away.

Result : Ryder makes a shock win and grabs the belt. Not a bad opener.

Chris Jericho V AJ Styles

Yes AJ Styles makes his mania debut against one of the most decorated WWE stars ever. If you told me a year ago we would see this match I would take it any damn day. Starting off we saw a back and forth with Styles putting in some quick action packed moves, making Jericho the perfect advocate for this match and feud. Quickly the heel Jericho gets on top and works the crowd with a series of sleepers and lock holds. Styles eventually powers out and impressively kicks up to his feet. More to and fro action as Jericho locks in the walls of Jericho.

Rope break by Styles followed by some more impressive aerial action via way of a springboard back flip. They go high risk together on the top rope with Jericho landing face first and AJ going down also. Quickly they are both back up for Styles to kick which is then impressively converted into the walls again. It’s all Jericho now as Styles goes for another aerial offensive which is converted into a code breaker.  Styles barely kicks out and Jericho tries to go for a Styles clash to no avail.

AJ hits the clash with Y2J kicking out. The crowd are now awake. Lionsault comes out of Jericho’s arsenal there isn’t much left for either competitor now. The next finisher will claim victory.

Result: Jericho pulls off a botched codebreaker and claims the win. Unimpressive win and its questionable whether or not that was the right thing for AJ’s progression with in WWE.

The New Day Vs The League of Nations – Six man Tag Team Match

Quick in and out action from the new day as they plough into Sheamus in their corner. It doesn’t take long for the league to get the upper hand as Alberto Del Rio punishes Xavier Woods. Sheamus is tagged in and continues the assault followed by Rusev. The hot tag builds with Woods as he tries to claw his way to a tag but the Celtic Warrior makes sure there is no tag.

Finally the tag is made and Kofi makes an impressive high flying display. He makes his mark and then Sheamus capitalises with an assist from Rusev. Woods breaks up the pin but is still recovering. Big E enters the ring and dives between the ropes taking out 3 members of the league.

Result: Brogue kick to Xavier by Sheamus gets the win here. Not a great match, maybe it would have been better to be in the kick off show.

King Barret after the match got on the microphone and then we are treated to he return of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold. Michaels and Foley both look match ready and better than they ever have.

In the ring they go and the brawl begins, Mr Socko appears followed by a sweet chin music and off course the stunner. A decent end to a shitty match.

The new day return to the ring and begin a dance off. Stunner to Xavier woods, oh helllllll yeah.

oh hell yesh

Brock Lesnar V Dean Ambrose

One of the main events of the night for me. Interesting choice to put it this early on the match card. Brock comes out first to a big pop from the crowd. I’m not sure who’s supposed to be the heel here but its mixed from the audience as Brock arrives with Heyman. We are treated to him on the mic introducing himself as usual and Brock. Dean Ambrose comes out and things are about to start.

Suplex city begins and within seconds Ambrose is suplexed twice. Out of the ring he rolls to regroup whilst Brock stands tall. The weaponry use begins with a Lesnar taking a kendo stick, but Brock over powers for German number five.

Brock snaps tow kendo sticks in half and pulls off suplex number six, Dean shows no signs of giving up with a thumbs up to the referee. After a considerable beat down Ambrose hits a low blow and gets on top. He strikes with the kendo stick and forces the beast out of the ring. Ambrose takes a dive through the ropes and makes contact.

Ambrose reaches under the ring to pull out a fricking chainsaw. Brock recovers whilst he’s trying to start it and delivers a belly to belly outside. They go back in and Ambrose climbs to the top rope, Lesnar intercepts and jumps up. He throws Ambrose over himself with deadly effect.

More weapons come out here as Ambrose sprays the beast with a fire extinguisher followed by several chair shots. This culminates to a drop kick onto a placed chair. Ambrose is doing all he can to get the advantage and make Brock pay. He gathers more chairs (more than 5) from under the ring and piles them up. Lesnar breaks into a suplex but as he lands, he goes onto the chairs.  An F5 attempt reversed by Ambrose into a DDT onto chair. Near fall.

We see the emergence of the barbed wire baseball bat but Lesnar intercepts and delivers a powerful F5 onto chairs.

Result: Brock Lesnar wins via F5 . A short but brutal match especially for the PG era standards.

WWE Women’s Championship Match – Charlotte V Becky Lynch V Sasha Banks

So a new belt introduced by Lita, new direction for the Divas. One of classiness and so HHH’s three daughters haven’t got to get boob jobs if they decide to enter the business.

Quick three way action to begin with resulting in Charlotte and Sasha being one on one. Becky reappears and Charlotte disappears this time. The others head outside as Ric Flair stands there looking awkward.

All three back in the ring exchanging various moves. Good action at the beginning. Continual exchanges and impressive moves as Sasha dives out onto Charlotte. Ric Flair begins to woo and is then taken out Lynch. This is followed by a high risk moonsault by Charlotte onto the other two divas. Awesome action here so far.

All three divas are going high octane and risk from the top rope. Becky tries to make Charlotte tap but Sasha locks in the bank statement.

Charlotte then gets Sasha in the figure 4 leg lock which is then reversed. Becky looks on from outside and breaks the hold. Saving it.  The match gets to the point where any move from anyone will be enough.

Charlotte makes Becky tap whilst Ric Flair holds Sasha bank out of the ring.

Result : Charlotte wins

 

Shane McMahon V The Undertaker – Hell in a Cell

I’m not sure what the WWE are going for here. In a sense they have cornered themselves. If Shane wins we lose taker at mania and if he loses the Authority continue to reign ( no pun intended).

Shane comes out and brings his three kids with him. A bold move and a statement nodding to the future of WWE. I’m expecting some level of interference in this match to say the least. Then of course the bell tolls, the lights kill and the Deadman arrives, maybe for the last ever time!

A boxing style start, with Taker and Shane quick on their feet and standing off each other. Taker finally grabs hold of McMahon and the onslaught begins. A last ride early on but Shane kicks out. He’s circling the drain early but manages a triangle choke. The steel steps are in the ring and Shane is choke slammed onto them. He kicks out at 2.

McMahon bates out taker and goes for a DDT onto the steel steps. Taker kicks out. Things are slow for now. Hells gate comes and Shane survives and converts into a sharpshooter. This all seems to be about survival for Shane, the longer he lasts the more chance he has got.

He goes under the ring to fetch a foil trash can and sets it up for coast to coast which is successful. A big impact on what has been quite an extreme night so far. Taker kicks out at 2. A weird atmosphere coming from the audience. Is someone coming out? Will this just be it?

Shane goes outside and from under the ring he gets a set of bolt cutters. He proceeds to cut away at one of the cage fence panels as the undertaker comes out. They slowly exchange blows and lifts him into the cage wall and out they both go and into the German announce table. The fight spills out to the announcer’s tables and both of them go through a table. Shane seems to be better for it and grabs a tool chest. He drives it over takers head and lays him out on the table. Shane is heading up. He climbs the side of the cell and goes to the top.

Crowd chanting ‘please don’t die’. He stands and is ready to jump on a laid out taker. As he lands Taker rolls out of the way. Shane is down, taker is somewhat out of it also. What a moment.

Shane begs for more, seriously? They get back into the ring as Taker toys with him and hits the tombstone.

Result: Taker Wins

shane

Shane takes a dive!

 

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

 Diamond Dallas Page returns to the ring and is about the only good thing so far about the placement so late on in the night of this battle Royale which is just jobber city. Big Show comes out followed by Shaq O Neil? WTF.

Shaq and Show face off. It doesn’t last. DDP impresses, the outcasts get outcast and Kane gets screwed.

Winner Baron Corbin from NXT

The Rock’s entrance music hits and out he comes to be a part of what has been a rather weird night. Seeing how late it is in the night I’m not sure what this is all about. Having rather just see the main event we are watching the Rock use a flame thrower to ignite a sign of his name instead.

thr rock

So he jees up the crowd a little by throwing out a few catchphrases. Then he announces the attendance numbers and that’s it. I could have done that via skype.

Then the arena goes dark and out comes Bray Wyatt with two other mask wearing folk. Bray threatens to ruin the Rock’s moment. The Rock talks well and this then turns into an actual match!

The Rock V Eric Rowan

Rock Bottom, 1 ,2 ,3. He wins in 6 seconds!

Good times. Now the Wyatts circle the ring.

John Cena’s music hits. He’s back. Fruity pebbles. Together Cena and the Rock put the beat down on the Wyatt’s and we see an Attitude Adjustment and Peoples elbow. From what started out weird actually was pretty good.

HHH V Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Championship- Main Event

So we made it. Just after 4am UK time the promo hit for the main event. Late nights aren’t a problem for me considering I work nights a lot. But saying that I did want to see the final pyro hit for this thing to end.

Okay so for HHH’s entrance we see Stephanie McMahon without trousers on, being a supreme being or something like that. A typical master race entrance for the game.

Roman enters from the stage to a mass of boos, there was even a moment you could tell it had been muted.

More boos throughout the arena for Roman. Maybe they should have booked the main event differently because the audience prefer to see HHH a known and loved wrestler as champion. What are they thinking?

Back and forth action from the two, in and out of the ring. Soon enough things get slow as they exchange rights and lefts. HHH low blows Roman whilst Stephanie is distracting the referee.

They head out and go after the only remaining announcer table. Things continue slowly as HHH performs a neck breaker to Reigns who is laying on the table. They hit the floor and then soon after head back into the ring. HHH remains in the driving seat.

Its been six hours or so since the kick off started and this match is extremely low energy along with the sleepy audience. Both competitors aren’t exactly big show calibre so why so slow.

Finally a big impact move as Reigns spears HHH through the audience dividing wall.

Other than that this main event has been terrible so far. People are all over it on twitter.

Stephanie comes into the ring to order the Referee about. She is speared by Reigns, things have taken off. Pedigree by HHH and Roman kicks out at 2 and a half.

A superman punch to HHH but her kicks out. Stephanie hands HHH a sledgehammer but Reigns continues to barrage him with superman punches. A final spear ends the match.

Although the ending was ok, the premise and final product was terrible.

Result : Roman Reigns is the new champ! But not a person in the arena cheered him.

roman

So that’s it. Strange night, but there were some gems there. Especially from the arsenal of legends on good terms with the company they can use and roll out. Not the worst wrestlemania but saying that it was weird.

 

 

 

 

 

The Royal Rumble: As it happens review

It’s one versus all and by way of the WWE network myself, Matt Streuli and Aidan Parr tuned in at the wee hours of Monday morning. For the first time in history the stipulation of the thirty man battle royal changed and Roman Reigns puts his WWE world heavyweight championship belt on the line .

Seeing as my last wrestling related blog post gets at least a handful of views weekly, I decided to report the action from Orlando FL as it happened.

 

rumble pic 1.PNG

The Royal Rumble Kick off show

To begin with were presented with a panel that consisted of both Jerry the King Lawler and Booker T, I couldn’t remember the name of the blonde lady and guy with a tattooed throat but for some time they talked about the statistics of the rumble. Then we saw a video clip probably for the first of five times in the evening as predicted by Mr Parr. Next up we were promised a fatal four way elimination tag match where the winners go into the rumble.

The League of Nations cut a promo pledging their allegiance to their team even though it’s clearly all against all. I quite like the premise of this stable, with both Wade Barret and Sheamus taking this group a little bit tongue in cheek and simply humouring Rusev. I think Alberto Del Rio has a little better poker face but the League of Nations is simply the Rusev humouring society.

Next up Kevin Owens was interviewed and talked about beating John Cena on his WWE debut and then going on to make history tonight with his last man standing match with Dean Ambrose for the IC title.

Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match – Winning team goes into the Rumble

Dudley Boyz vs Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs The Ascension

It didn’t take long until the referee was overrun and everyone was in the ring after some quick tags and no action from the Dudleys. Then it cut to commercial break? Strange move by the WWE in my honest opinion. Are we showing wrestling or selling the shit that can be found around the network. Advertising to people about the network to an audience who are mainly on the network seems a bit baffling to me.

So we come back and D-von Dudley in being worked over by both of the Ascension. There’s clearly a build up here to Bubba Ray’s hot tag. He comes in and takes out pretty much everyone including a big boot to Mark Henry which is followed up by a ‘wassup’ and then 3-D to one of the Ascension. Out of nowhere Mark Henry gets back in and takes advantage of the downed 3D’d Ascension member and picks up the pin fall.

Result- Mark Henry and Jack Swagger to enter the royal rumble match.

Verdict- We weren’t quite sure the actual rules of this match and Mr Parr did state that Mark Henry may not have been legal. Guess the WWE make their own rules up as they go along. In all honesty the match was too short to really judge it as any good.

rumble pic

The Royal Rumble

Before the promo hits a limo turns up at the arena and its Vince McMahon and his daughter. After a rather pointless and incoherent interview with JoJo they continue into the arena, although we know they have been there all afternoon.

First Match – Intercontinental Championship – Last man standing

Dean Ambrose (C) vs Kevin Owens

It didn’t take long for this fight to boil over and plough through the announcer team. To my pleasure Owens was thrown into Michael Cole. This then eventually resulted in Ambrose crashing into the timekeepers area collapsing the well-padded wall. The kendo stick made an appearance as both competitors made it back into the ring. Owens then proceeded to take out at least 5 steel chairs and put his feet up in the ring. An arrogant move for the fighter but a show of who was in the driver’s seat early on. Seeing as it’s PG the weapon usage was minimal and impacts were controlled early on.

Both competitors teeter over two set out chairs which eventual results in Ambrose back body dropping Owens onto them. Yet another 4 or five count that both answer to. Crowd chanting ‘this is awesome’ but compared to the Shawn Michaels and Triple H last man standing matches this is pretty tame so far. That is until Owens brings out a table from under the ring or as JBL calls it, home depot. Another table comes out and they are stacked on one another in one corner outside the ring. This is looking like a series of weapon placed spots setting up and eventual win.

Dirty deeds by Ambrose after an impressive back and forth. Owens get up at an eight count but is looking pretty out of it.  Another dirty deeds onto the steel chair but the table set up outside suggests this isn’t over. This time Owens rolls out of the ring at nine and stands on his feet. Ambrose follows and yet another table comes out. Not sure where this is going. Ambrose hits elbow drop through a downed Owens who is on the table. Both are up at eight.

Back in the ring where Ambrose yells his hatred for Owens who replies with the same. Another table set up in the ring and Owens reverses a superplex into a hybrid type slam and sends Ambrose through the wood. Several chairs are set up and Owens lays Ambrose onto them. This happens in the corner where the double stack table is situated. He goes for the top rope and Ambrose rises and pushes him off and through both tables.

Result – Dean Ambrose retains after Owens couldn’t answer a ten count after going through a double stack of tables.

One word verdict – Tabley (if that’s a word)

Second Match -WWE Tag Team Championship

The New Day (c) vs The Uso’s

The New Day emerge with microphones and are in mourning of the loss of their trombone. Then the trumpeting begins, gets the crowd going anyway. Two of the many teams responsible for bringing the tag division back to relevancy do their thing and bring us a traditional back and forth affair. There were high risk out of the ring diving manoeuvres from all involved. Xavier Woods kept the crowd warmed up with Francesca 2.0 making this match a crowd pleaser. All of the tag team boxes were quickly ticked by the six minute mark . Big E picks up the win with the big ending which Aidan enjoyed very much.

A time defying match where you never really felt its length as there was always something going on.

Result- The New Day retain

One word verdict – Fun

Third Match – The United States Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Kalisto

As a casual part time viewer this seems to be some level of grudge match between the two Mexicans. This also appears to be an underdog story. A very much one sided battle early on with Kalisto breaking out every now and then. This feels somewhat like squash match to me.

As expected a lot of lucha libre stuff. Kalisto taking advantage of his size and high flying ability and started to build some forward momentum. It feels like a matter of time until del rio hits the right move but captivating on his momentum Kalisto pulls off a shock win!

Result- Kalisto new US champ

One word verdict – Lucha!

Fourth Match – The Divas Championship

Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch

Personally I think Ric Flair is selling himself short for trying to beef up this exposure to this storyline. Not much has changed in the last twenty years in terms of women’s matches. It’s sad to say that most fans probably are indifferent to how this will go. Saying that Becky Lynch seems to have more get up and go than Charlotte, let’s hope the Dubliner wins.

An energetic start with Becky leading the charge. They head out of the ring where Ric Flair gets involved funnily and kisses Lynch then proceeds to woooo!. Having seen Charlotte perform a few times I’m still not convinced by her in any way. Saying that her athleticism cant be faulted and neither can Becky’s. A longer match for a divas contest and there were a few good high risk moves

Result – Charlotte retains after a spear

One word verdict – Wooooo!

After the match Charlotte continues a beat down and is then interrupted by the emergence of Sasha Banks. She then knocks the already downed Lynch from the ring and looks to be siding with Charlotte. Then she attacks her and gets her into some kind of submission hold setting up a next possible feud.

Fifth Match – The Rumble 

Roman Reigns music hits and the big dog makes his way through the crowd. It’s one versus all and has been 18 years since a back to back winner of the rumble. The odds are truly against the champ. Let’s hope they make him look strong.

The number 2 entrant is Rusev with the lovely Lana alongside him. Before entrant three emerges the champ makes easy work of him. Then OMFG AJ Styles makes his WWE debut.

 

styles

Shock moment of the night to see AJ Styles head into a WWE ring

Early on AJ and Reigns are looking like they will need to band together in order to survive. They work together in eliminating Curtis Axel. The ring slowly fills up with Y2J, Kane and Goldust.

R-Truth comes down to the ring and oddly pulls out a ladder. He climbs to the top thinking it’s a ladder match and is then quickly eliminated by Kane.

The league of nations appear from the crowd with Vince McMahon and snatch Reigns out of the ring. They take it in turns to beat down on him and eventually results in Rusev splashing him through a table. Looking like they are really showing that the odds are stacked against him. Reigns is carried away by officials and taken to the back.

Kevin Owens limps to the ring after two of the Wyatts are in the ring. AJ styles eliminated by Owens (disappointing). AJ started impressively and took some punishment, impressed with his perfomance overall.

Sami Zayn returns to eliminate Kevin Owens.

At number 21 comes Erik Rowan, so the Wyatts are filling the ring, I can sense they will be involved in the finish. Harper eliminates Neville with a powerful apron clothes line. Stardust quickly follows and hits the outside.

Number 22 is Mark Henry in his eight royal rumble match. He goes after the Wyatts but is slammed to the ground and then in a group effort they dispose of him in less than a minute. Its only a matter of time until they complelty clear the ring, that is just Dean Ambrose and Jericho.

Brock Lesnar the neat incarnate comes out at 23. He eliminate Erick Rowan and hence suplex city beings.

Jack Swagger comes in at 24 and is subject to an F5 and then eliminated by Lesnar. So much for the tag match he won with Henry.

Awesome! The Miz is here at 25. He goes to the commentary table and puts on a headset. He’s clearly stalling his eventual journey to suplex city.

Luke Harper eliminated by Lesnar.

Alberto Del Rio is at 26 and goes straight for the dominant Brock. Ambrose soon locks into them both.

The other Wyatt is eliminated by Lesnar taking out my prediction of them being involved in the finish. Although Bray is yet to arrive and he comes in at 27.

The Wyatts return and enter the ring quickly ganging up on Lesnar. He quickly fights back and faces Bray. Suplex city! Harper and the others come back in breaking up the chance of an F5 to Bray who then delivers sister Abigail. The Wyatts then proceed to eliminate him.

Dolph Ziggler is at 28

The Miz enters and no sign of Reigns. 42 minites have passed. He deliveres the skull crushing finale toe Ziggler.

Sheamus comes in at 29 and during his walk down to the ring the big dog returns and gives a superman punch to the celtic warrior. He runs into the ring.

The last entrant is HHH for his 9th rumble.

Him and Reigns exchange blows and the threat of a pedigree is imminent. Sheamus finally enters and chaos now enuses. Y2j throws in the lion-saults and Ziggler with the Zig Zag.

Dolph is elimated for his efforts and we are down to 5. Trips and Bray face off.  Bray hits the uppercut. Attempts sister Abigail but is brogue kicked and then eliminated.

Jericho with an aerial assualt followed by the code breaker to HHH. He’s then eliminated by Ambrose. Down to 4.

It’s Sheamus, Ambrose, Reigns and Ambrose.

A superman punch to the celtic Warrior and he’s gone. Then Triple H capitalises on Reigns and he is eliminated. The big dog is out of the Royal Rumble

There will be a new champion!

HHH or Ambrose!

They face off. I get a feeling that Ambrose is just a small time rookie compared to the chief operating officer of WWE. Saying that I would take Ambrose as a champion any day,  but nope the Game does it. Over the rope Ambrose goes, although a commendable effort HHH is the new champion. Authority rules the day.

Result – Triple H is the new champ!

One word Verdict – Authority (with Styles coming in at a close second)

Full Rumble Verdict – Not a bad PPV considering its one the big 4. The actual rumble itself felt watchable throughout and didnt seemed to be filled with needless spots. Although they did focus on Reigns quite a lot, after all it will be him at Mania. Some other feuds were set up tonight and AJ Styles is finally in WWE. This will probably be the final chapter of the saga that is the authority, I feel after mania it will be stale.

 

That’s all for this edition of Lee’s Hall of information.

 

hhh

The Authority Reign supreme

 

The Problem with Wrestling : The Wrestling edition

This week were pulling on the Lycra and stepping into the ring.

“The following contest is a wrestling themed blog…….”

flying

Chris Benoit performing his famous diving headbutt

As a prolific wrestling fan during the last decade I remember exactly where I was when the shocking news became apparent of a high profile death with in the business.

I am talking about an accomplished Canadian wrestler who in 2007 was found dead in his Atlanta home along with his young son and wife. (later to be a confirmed as a murder suicide)

It was a Tuesday evening when I put in my VHS that recorded Monday night raw and was met by the chairman of the world wrestling entertainment standing. There he stood in the ring. But the surrounding arena empty. Something was wrong, very very wrong. (to me at this point was my world)

As a trembling Vince McMahon announced that Chris Benoit was dead I immediately said out loud “No”

Here was a wrestler that I had come to like and seen him achieve the greatest of feats within his organisation. Entertain and captivate so many, but then he was gone, and would never be seen again.

The wrestling industry has always interested me on many levels. Whether that be the whole pageantry of the show or the politics behind the scenes. As well as being pure theatre there was something I always admired about it and there were many instances I considered pursuing a career that way. But the most intriguing thing is also a deterrent. That is the amount of wrestlers that have died.

You don’t have to look that far under the surface of this industry to see that so many of these people that have died were under the age of 50.

A worrying statistic is that the Ultimate Warrior who passed earlier this year (heart related) is the 12th wrestler who competed at WWE’s annual show Wrestlemania VI (1990) to have died.

To compare, the Superbowl held that year between the 49ers and Broncos, only one of those players is dead (reference here).

I did speak about this in a podcast earlier this year (off the radar).

ultimate

The Ultimate Warrior earlier this year before his passing

So why is the death rate alarmingly high?

Is it the combination of drugs/rock and roll life style plus a gruelling schedule? Even more worrying so that the WWE is now in a ‘PG’ era. Meaning more and more kids are looking up to these superstars. I do remember a year or so ago I caught an interview (youtube) with Rowdy Roddy Piper who said back in the 80’s everyone was on drugs, whether that be to pick you up before a show and take you back down afterwards.

My favourite wrestler when I used to watch religiously was Jeff Hardy. Even he and his brother have had drug problems in the past, and resulted in his sacking. But they are both still around and working.

More to the point many of wrestler deaths occurred after their tenure in WWE. Of course there are exceptions such as the late Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. So does that leave Vince McMahon with or without blood on his hands. Even after the investigation of Chris Benoit, the findings stated that at the time of his suicide and murder of wife and child he had the brain of an 85 year old alzheimer’s patient. The common factor with both of these deaths was indeed steroids.

McMahon publicly said he didn’t support these findings but to me there is a large amount of blood on his hands.

jeff

Jeff Hardy atop of a ladder in one of his last WWE appearances

Since some of these higher profile deaths a wellness drug policy has phased into WWE but it still isn’t enough. Yeah sure you can pay for someone’s Rehab but once an addict always an addict right? So they acknowledge there’s a problem but it seems the policy is there to protect the game and not the player.

Until Vince McMahon and the WWE start introducing a retirement health plan, wrestlers will keep on dying young.  I hold a great amount of respect for people who step into the squared circle but they do so at a risk. Not so much of injury but of being consumed by the lifestyle it provides.

A good documentary about this can be found on youtube and it centers around Chris Benoit’s story

For all of Chris’ achievements which are many there is never a mention of his name once in WWE programming since his untimely death. I would like to see if that would be the case if someone like Triple H met the same fate.

What do you think? Wrestling fan or not, there is definitely some level of problem.

 

 

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have signed up to follow my Hall of information.