Impact Wrestling dominated TV this week in terms of quality, but sports entertainment as a whole was extremely fun to watch! The rundown is loaded this week, so let’s jump right into it!
ROH Best In The World(06/24/12) Reaction:
The Briscoes defeated the Guardians of Truth. Solid tag team action to start the show. I’m curious who the Guardians are; one of them had sporadic tattoos similar to Michael Cole(if Cole had a tan and fifty pounds of muscle, I’d be suspicious).
Homicide defeated Eddie Edwards. This match was straight up awesome. It’s exciting to see Homicide showcase his skills once again in ROH after being held down and misused in TNA. Edwards is on a quest to go after the World Title again, but I’m not sure where he stands after this roadblock. A possible rematch coming from these two?
Michael Elgin defeated Fit Finlay. Elgin got angry with Truth Martini after the match and shook Finlay’s hand. This was an awesome mix of brawling and technical wrestling. I definitely like what Finlay brings to ROH in terms of experience and putting over the younger talent. His style in the ring forces individuals to be well rounded in order to keep up pace with him. Elgin is on his way to huge success in ROH.
Adam Cole defeats Kyle O’Reilly. This was match of the night for me, hands down. These two had my attention from start to finish and showcased why they are the future of the independent scene. Adam Cole may have lost some teeth during this one, and I hope these two are able to go at it again in the near future. This match alone made the show worth purchasing.
Mike Mondo defeated Mike Bennett in an impromptu matchup. Mondo has a ton of talent, especially considering his roots as a member of the spirit squad in WWE. Bennett still doesn’t impress me, but this match was sound for two guys wrestling in streeth clothes. Good bonus material here. Apparently a fan tried to grab Maria’s ass at some point during the segment.
The All Night Express defeated Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions. Tag Team wrestling is treated with respect by ROH and it’s one of the reasons that ROH haters can stick it when they complain about the production value and lack of storylines to make the product “more entertaining.” True pure wrestling fans appreciate ROH for the quality of action and the emphasis they put on EVERY TYPE of match and STYLE of wrestling that you can list off. These four worked their asses off to put on a quality tag team title match.
Roderick Strong retained his TV Title against Jay Lethal and Tomasso Ciampa. Strong pinned Lethal after a backbreaker and help from Truth Martini. Solid triple threat action from these young guys. I’m not sure where ROH will take their story from here, but I wouldn’t object to another triple threat contest from these competitors if it’s booked that way.
Kevin Steen defeats Davey Richards with help from Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino to retain the ROH World Title. Ladders and chairs were used in this thing, and it was just an absolute brawl. I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t get more straight up wrestling from these two in their two matches, but the first match had enough of a mixture that I guess I’ll survive. The rivalry was just too personal to not involve an extensive amount of brawling and brutality, and that is exactly what we were given here. Steen is going to bring about a whole new era of wrestling in Ring of Honor, and I’m excited to see how it unfolds.
Final Thoughts: ROH has yet no disappoint me when it comes to their pay per views. The show is all about wrestling and is more product for less money than any WWE or TNA ppv that I’ve ever watched. The next ppv isn’t until September(Death Before Dishonor), and so we have some time to watch storylines develop until then.
Alexander Russev and Collin Cassady team up to take on the Ascension. The match is over in under five minutes when Cameron pins Russev.
Garrett Dylan with James Bronson in his corner goes one on one with Kassius Ohno. Ohno wins using the knockout blow around the seven minute mark.
Eric Rowan goes one on one with Benicio Salazar. Rowan crushes Salazar in under a minute. Salazar was unmasked for this match. He was cut by FCW just recently after this was taped.
Dean Ambrose challenges Seth Rollins in the main event for the Florida Heavyweight Championship. Rollins wins around the nineteen minute mark using the curb stomp on Ambrose.
Thoughts: The Ascension are on their way to big things in WWE. Ohno needs to just be propelled to Smackdown and skip over developmental. The guy has more quality matches in a month than most WWE regulars do in a year. Apparently Eric Rowan is another dominant squash guy to come up the roster. I wonder what WWE is going to do with all of these guys that can’t be beat; Brodus’ streak was just ended rather abruptly at least. Ambrose and Rollins tore down the house; both of these guys are a huge part of the future of WWE if they are used properly. It’s mind boggling to see what’s waiting to come up to the main roster in terms of talent in developmental.
Raw 6/25/12 Final Thoughts: The show was filled with entertainment. It got high marks from a lot of viewers. I wanted more wrestling, but people seemed pleased with what they were given for a show. I’ve rewatched it and I still feel like there could’ve been more time for some of the matches. That’s just my take. I’m not as optimistic for three hour Raws as most people, and I’m more optimistic that I get to enjoy wrestling on a bunch of other shows during the week.
The NEW Season of WWE NXT 06/27/12
Seth Rollins opens the show with one on one against Jiro. Rollins wins the match in under two minutes using the curb stomp.
Jinder Mahal and Jason Jordan go one on one in our next match. Mahal wins the short match using the camel clutch.
A video promo is shown for former Florida Heavyweight Champion in FCW, Leo Kruger. Kruger then goes one on one with Aiden English. Kruger forces English to tap out using a sleeper hold in a short matchup.
A video package is shown for Richie Steamboat.
Jimmy and Jey Uso take on the Ascension(Kenneth Cameron and Conor O’Brian). O’Brian lands downcast on one of the brothers to get the three count victory.
Rick Victor and Richie Steamboat go one on one. Steamboat gets the pinfall in about four and a half minutes using a jumping takedown maneuver. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat was shown watching in the front row.
A video package is shown for Antonio Cesaro before he goes one on one with Dante Dash. Cesaro wins the match using a spinebuster followed up by his neutralizer finisher.
A video package is next aired for Bray Wyatt(formerly Husky Harris).
Johnny Curtis and Derrick Bateman renew their old rivalry for our main event of the night. Bateman wins the match using a modified DDT where he sets up for a bulldog headlock and then drives Curtis’ head into the mat.
Thoughts: Rollins squashed Jiro; this gave the fans nothing to remember him by. Poor booking choice in my opinion(reminds me of CM Punk’s ECW debut in 2006, and I complained back then as well). Jinder Mahal is still developing his skills; I’m not sure if this is a good idea or if it’s just WWE’s sad attempt at not wanting to cut a guy that has “such a good look.” Leo Kruger has tons of talent, and the African heritage gimmick seems to work well for him. Again, I don’t care for the squash matches but I guess I understand WWE wanting to fit a lot of talent into a short amount of time. Victor and Steamboat put on a clinic. Victor hasn’t impressed me as of late, but WWE officials are high on his look and his talent. I suppose I could see him being a potentially solid heel with a little bit more character development. Cesaro’s domination is good, but I wonder what WWE plans to do with him on Smackdown as he continues to just pop up sporadically on the show. I like the Bray Wyatt(Waylon Mercy, anyone?) video package, and I want to see it take off into something regular. Curtis and Bateman showed off their skills as two of the top guys on NXT, but I’m curious as to what WWE plans to do with both of these men. They wrestle okay matches, but neither has a standout gimmick or personality to do anything with. Mind you, they have lots of talent in terms of wrestling, but what does an ENTERTAINMENT company do with guys that they can’t market into decent gimmicks? Jack Swagger anyone? Good show overall in terms of fitting a lot of content into forty five minutes.
WWE Superstars 06/28/12
Kofi Kingston defeats Michael McGillicutty using trouble in paradise in a match that goes for more than ten minutes.
Darren Young defeats Epico using the gutcheck(gutbuster).
The Usos take on Hunico and Camacho. Hunico is pinned after a superkick from midair by one of the Usos.
Kane destroys Heath Slater in a short match and wins using the chokeslam.
Thoughts: McGillicutty and Kingston will be one of the most underrated matches to happen this week. McGillicutty is on his way to big things, and I think Kofi Kingston could appear in the World Title MITB match as a dark horse contender. Darren Young and Epico were fun to watch one on one; their styles are quite different but both men have a lot of talent in the ring. I loved seeing the Usos for a second time in a week(they were on NXT). The duo should have carried tag team gold before now, but just seeing them team together is quite the privilage as a fan. I’d also like to see Hunico and Camacho become contenders for the tag titles. Kane in the main event of Superstars? Insert Booker T quote here. Solid squash to cap off a solid show.
Impact Wrestling: Thursday 06/28/12
RVD defeats Mr. Anderson in a BFGS match.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode have an encounter to hype their title match at Destination X. Roode walks away after teasing a physical altercation.
Dixie Carter is shown throughout the night with Claire Lynch(rehab chick) and they are clarifying the story that Claire told last week.
Sonjay Dutt defeats Rubix in an X Division Tournament qualifier for Destination X. Dutt wins using a double foot stomp off the top rope on Rubix.
Taz, Bruce Prichard, and Al Snow are shown backstage discussing Taeler Hendrix. The decision will be made later tonight in the gutcheck segment.
Samoa Joe defeats Bully Ray with the rear naked choke after Joseph Park slaps Bully Ray across the face when the referee is distracted. Park challenges Ray to a match in two weeks on Impact.
Kazarian tells Hogan that he made a mistake trusting Daniels and that he wants to redeem himself. Hogan tells him to prove it.
Madison Rayne is shown asking Garet Bischoff about somebody, but she only whispers the name in his ear. I assume it’s Devon.
Rashad Cameron defeats Mason Andrews to be the next person to qualify for the Destination X tourny.
Hogan books Hardy and Storm in the main event of Impact next week.
Taz, Bruce Prichard, and Al Snow have their gutcheck segment with Taeler Hendrix. Snow says no, but the other two say yes. Taeler gets a contract. Joey Ryan interrupts the middle of the segment from the crowd and gets ejected after a confrontation with Taz.
Daniels and Kazarian win back the tag team gold after Kazarian teases a face turn but turns on Styles by hitting him with a steel chair. Daniels gets the three count and then announces that Claire(storyline rehab chick) is now pregnant with Styles’ baby.
Thoughts: Five solid matches with a range from good to awesome. Zero complaints in that aspect. The X Division always shines around this time of year because of the ppv; I wish it was a more consistent thing throughout the calendar year. If Sonjay Dutt decides to stick around, you could easily see him become the next Austin Aries heading into the ppv next year. I love the continuation of the Joseph Park character; I’m glad they didn’t just choose to dump it and bring Abyss back full time. It shows the versatility of Chris Parks and has the Cactus Jack/Mankind/Dude Love feel to it. The tag main event was solid and I liked the twist, and I also enjoyed the gutcheck segment. As far as the Dixie Carter storyline goes, I’m just tired of it. The show can be done without the drama, but TNA will do whatever it is they want to do. Overall, I enjoyed Impact a lot and I hope the viewers out there will start to realize just how good the show is becoming every week.
WWE Friday Night Smackdown 06/29/12
AJ Lee goes one on one with Layla in a non-title match. Daniel Bryan runs around the ring and distracts AJ; Layla rolls up AJ for the three count. AJ attacks Layla after the match. Bryan tries to tell AJ that he wants her banned from ringside at Money In The Bank. Vickie Guerrero comes out and announces that AJ will be the special referee between DBry and CM Punk at Money In The Bank.
^Finally! Some divas wrestling on TV. I love the Bryan/AJ story. You just have this feeling that a twist is coming soon with it.
Zack Ryder loses to Damien Sandow in World Title MITB Qualifying match. Sandow wins using the snap-neckbreaker finisher.
^I had high hopes that Zack Ryder would qualify for MITB. Ryder has a bright future if WWE would just use the guy properly. Are they completely blind to the following that he has? Sandow has made an impact, and I’m impressed with how he’s made the most of this opportunity. Unfortunately for Sandow, the fact that he’s nowhere near star level yet means he stands little to no chance of actually winning the MITB match.
Daniel Bryan is shown looking for AJ. Kaitlyn tells DBry that AJ is a bit unstable.
^I’d like to see Kaitlyn wrestle a little bit more.
Tyson Kidd defeats Jack Swagger in the second World Title MITB Qualifier tonight. Kidd wins using the neckbreaker after flipping off the top rope to catch Swagger and then scores the three count.
^Kidd qualified! Unfortunately, Lightning has a theory that I think could be correct involving Kidd being pulled from the match in place of a returning Wade Barrett. Kidd hasn’t been used properly thus far, so why should I believe this situation will be any different?
Backstage, Ziggler demands Vickie Guerrero ban the brogue kick and cross armbreaker in the World Title match tonight. She slaps him across the face. He makes her promise that she will raise his hand in victory when he wins the World Title tonight.
^I can’t wait for the Ziggler/Vickie official split. I hope it makes Ziggler a face, or at least puts him in that in between heel/face category that Edge was once known for. The guy could turn heel or face on a dime, and I feel like Ziggler could do the exact same thing(all the greats usually can).
Santino Marella and Christian defeat David Otunga and Cody Rhodes to qualify for the World Title MITB Ladder match. Christian pins Otunga after spearing him.
^Let’s not limit our options for midcard title matches by placing the IC Title holder and US Title holder in the MITB matches. I suppose this means we’ll be given a few squash matches and a tag match along with the Divas, World and WWE Title matches at MITB.
Sheamus is asked by Matt Striker if he is worried about losing his title tonight. Sheamus says he doesn’t worry; he just kicks ass(arse).
^Sheamus’ interviews and attitude continue to be the same as they have been. I’m looking for a bit of a changeup soon, otherwise Sheamus can expect the crowd to turn on him within a couple years(Cena anybody?).
Daniel Bryan is shown asking AJ if she wants the number to a doctor who can help her. She starts a yes chant and then skips away. Bryan looks concerned.
^Psycho AJ should find Sycho Sid and see what happens…terrible idea. I just love her gimmick, and I love not knowing for certain what WWE is going to do next for booking with it(I’m not sure they know either given their lack of long range planning).
Dan Barone and Brendan Burke are squashed by Ryback.
^Another Ryback squash? Nooooo, that doesn’t happen in WWE. Can this guy do something else? Please? Anything else? I’d rather watch him be in a “Droz push Hawk” segment and have him play Hawk. Look it up if you honestly don’t remember(it was storyline, so don’t you dare say I’m being harsh). Here’s an idea: Ryback wrestles a five minute match against a legitimate superstar on the roster. Too innovative? Thought so.
Backstage, Teddy Long informs Aksana and Antonio Cesaro that he is running both Raw and Smackdown next week. He books them in a mixed tag match on Smackdown with The Great Khali and Layla.
^Can I say I told you so? I’m wrong a lot, but I’m glad Teddy Long is back in a role of being in power. I expect WWE to do the smart thing and have a separate GM for each show eventually. I’m looking forward to seeing what Cesaro can do in the ring with someone as limited as Khali.
Tensai defeats Justin Gabriel in another MITB World Title qualifier.
^Justin Gabriel would’ve made that MITB match a lot better. Tensai doesn’t do much for me. You can probably thank Vince and his love for big guys for this decision.
Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler and ADR in the main event to retain his World Title.
^Solid main event. Will Sheamus face both of these guys again at the ppv or will it be somebody new? Lightning thinks Cody Rhodes could be his opponent at MITB. I hope he’s right. Good match to close out a good show. Smackdown once again impresses me far more than Raw and I’m not at all surprised. I can’t wait to see Long running the show live this coming Tuesday.
ROH Wrestling Saturday 06/30/12
Mike Mondo goes one on one with Davey Richards. They wrestle to a time limit draw and the ref offers to give them five more minutes. Mondo limps away and declines the extra time.
Adam Cole and BJ Whitmer face Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly. Cole pins Roderick Strong to win the match.
Jay Briscoe goes one on one with Charlie Haas in a Texas Death Match. Briscoe scores the first fall in under thirty seconds with a sunset rollup. Haas scores his first fall a few minutes later and then a second. Briscoe ties up the match later on after hitting Haas in the head with a can. Haas can’t make it to his feet for the ten count and Jay Briscoe wins the match.
Thoughts: Mondo and Richards had surprisingly good chemistry. I wasn’t sure how Mondo would match up with a guy like Richards, but it was a very entertaining match. The tag team match makes me think Adam Cole will be going after the TV Title in the near future, and the main event was more of an impressive hardcore brawl than a wrestling focused matchup. Solid all around show from ROH yet again!
Maxine quits: She had talent. WWE doesn’t seem to appreciate or utilize female talent much anymore. She’d be better off in TNA, but she says she is done with wrestling. I hope for her sake and TNA’s that she’s pulling a 2006 version of Kurt Angle with this.
Golberg wants Lesnar: Goldberg expressed interest in facing Lesnar. I hope WWE isn’t foolish enough to subject us to that ever again. Does Goldberg realize that people don’t care about him? Nobody wants to see the guy wrestle again. No one really wanted to see him in WWE the first time for that matter.
WWE Main Event on ION: WWE gets more programming on a major network? Sounds good to me. More wrestling to keep up with during the week? Sounds tough to me, but I’m sure I can fit it in. More exposure for the talent that gets overlooked on the major shows? Again, I like the idea for that reason. I don’t see how this could possibly be considered a bad thing.
DirecTV doesn’t want WWE Network: This hurts. Direct would represent thirty percent of viewers from what I read. If they don’t want it and won’t change their minds, WWE might be hurting bad when it comes time to launch. Time to pitch a new marketing plan or go back to the drawing board for WWE? I think so.
Cena’s divorce: John Cena has always seemed like a standup guy. Maybe I’m just being a naive fan by believeing that, but I don’t care. Cena signed a prenup to protect his assets, and I don’t blame the guy. I find it sad that someone would go to such great lengths in an attempt to destroy his reputation and take half his money. The woman just needs to accept the marriage is over and back off. Again, we have to assume what we’re being given on the dirt sheets is true, and that’s a risk in itself.
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