Welcome everybody to what will be the longest blog I ever produce. As you may or may not have heard this past week has probably been the biggest in professional wrestling for some time. Maybe ever. On Monday we had the ‘season premier’ of Raw, Wednesday we had the debut episode of AEW Dynamite go head to head with NXT for 2 hours on the USA network in America, Friday we had the first SmackDown on Fox show and rounded off by Sunday’s Hell in a Cell PPV. And that’s just the main shows, I’m not even getting into NXT UK, 205 Live, Impact, ROH… Total Divas even… but I thought for fun I’d do one big review of what has been a pretty amazing week.
I’ll be writing these reviews pretty much right after I’ve watched each show. Never thought I’d complain about having to watch and talk about so much wrestling but wish me luck… and may the best team win…
RAW – 30/9/2019
The season premier of Raw sees a new intro package for the show, a new theme song and a new stage design. And also live from Phoenix, Arizona we of course now have the new commentary team of Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin and Jerry Lawler.
oh… and PYRO IS BACK!!!
Rey Mysterio segment
Ahead of his match against Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship later in the night, Rey Mysterio opened the show. They advertised the other upcoming matches and segments as Mysterio made his way to the ring. Rey cut a babyface promo and thanked his son Dominick, who was sat at ringside. He said he would bring the Universal Championship home… then Brock Lesnar came out with Paul Heyman. Dominick looked terrified as the Beast and his advocate made their way to the ring. Before Rey could speak Brock destroyed him, and then turned his attention to his son. Brock launched Dominick from his seat and threw him around ringside. Heyman screamed on in horror begging Brock to stop, Rey did his best to stop it but to no avail. Lesnar destroyed both Rey and Dominick with a series of suplexes and F5s. Brock then left the ring, but then came back again and gave both Rey and Dominick a vertical suplex. Officials came out to try and stop Lesnar, Heyman begged him to stop, but Brock cleared the ring before walking away. Rey and the officials tended to Dominick after. I certainly did not expect THIS!!! It was shocking for sure and really put over Lesnar as a monster heel, welcome to wrestling Dominick, that’s one hell of a way to take your first official bumps in WWE!!! Overall this was tremendous.
Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss
Becky Lynch came out just before the match got underway to join the commentary team. It was your average women’s TV match pretty much, with the large part of it being focused on Becky standing near or on the announce table and taunting and bartering with Sasha, who was in the ring. Sasha eventually got the win in a pretty average, nothing-happening match. Mid-way through we heard sirens, presumably from the ambulance taking away Dominick. The finish of the match came when Banks motioned for Bayley to come out and help her against Bliss, but she wasn’t there and Sasha kicked Bliss’ legs out and rolled her up for the win. This was such a lame finish and made Bliss look stupid. Lynch attacked Banks afterwards but Banks bailed into the crowd. The crowd liked Lynch. Afterwards Lynch ran down to the ring and chased Sasha off. Lynch cut a promo on her as Sasha made her escape through the crowd. Becky said that Banks wouldn’t be able to leave Hell in a Cell until she wanted her too. She added that Banks had made things personal and now retribution was coming around.
Roode & Ziggler made their way to the ring for their match. We then had a showing of The Rock’s instagram post stating he would be appearing on SmackDown this Friday on Fox.
Charly Caruso spoke to Seth Rollins backstage. Seth condemned Lesnar’s actions, and promised regardless of if it wasn’t against Mysterio he would be defending the Universal Championship tonight. They also recapped Bray Wyatt and The Fiend’s actions last week.
Raw Tag Team Champions Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler defending against Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker)
Roode & Ziggler retained in a decent match, without being spectacular. For the most part the champions got the heat on Tucker, who eventually got the hot tag to Otis and he then ran wild. The highlight of the match was Otis doing his worm spot followed by a double elbow drop on both Roode and Ziggler. The finish came when Otis had Roode up for a slam, Dolph gave Otis a superkick that dazed him, and eventually after Otis was sent packing Ziggler have Tucker a superkick and then Roode hit the Glorious DDT for the pin. Crowd were in to Otis. For a TV tag match this was fine, but again not spectacular.
They plugged…: Total Divas, NXT (with Adam Cole defending the NXT Championship against Matt Riddle), SmackDown (with Kofi Kingston defending the WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar and an appearance by The Rock), AND Hell in a Cell.
Miz TV with Ric Flair & Hulk Hogan
Miz came out and soon welcomed both Flair and Hogan, who bought Jimmy Hart with him. Hogan and Flair went back and forth at one another on the mic. It was pretty clear to me neither were that scripted, which in particular for the case of Ric Flair… I don’t know if was wise. They even got to the point where Flair took off his jacket and looked ready to fight Hogan! So… oh boy… I had heard they were on this show for a reason, but nobody said what the reason was… turns out it was the sort of shite I had feared… After they teased one more match against eachother, The Miz said that at Crown Jewel on October 31st (yes the next Saudi show…) Team Flair would take on Team Hogan in a 5v5 match. Hogan welcomed out his team captain, Seth Rollins! Rollins said his younger self would kick him if he missed this opportunity, the captain of Team Flair then came out … it was Randy Orton. Orton and Flair greeted each other like… well old friends… Orton said a funny line about Rollins needing to get out of Hogan’s ass. Orton and Rollins both said they wanted a match right now, and once the Miz TV set was cleared away a ref ran down. Before the match could get underway King Corbin then came out (apparently as the second member of Team Flair). Corbin and Orton beat on Rollins until Rusev ran down for the save. After clearing the heels away both Rollins and Rusev posed with Hogan at the top of the ramp………………..Urgh… I didn’t like this at all. I CBA to go into talking about it anymore. Flair and Hogan were good on the mic, albeit Flair had way more lines than he usually does or needed and Hogan did the usual Hogan thing. Oh and to the fans in the arena who chanted ‘one more match’… There’s a spot in hell for you guys. Don’t even get me started on the whole concept of the 5v5 and all that…
They recapped the aftermath of Lesnar’s beatdown on the Mysterio’s. Rey was with Dominick as he was taken away in an ambulance.
They showed a graphic which advertised Seth Rollins defending the Universal Championship tonight against a mystery opponent.
Charly Caruso spoke to Rusev backstage. She said she wanted to ask the question everybody had “where’s Lana?”… Rusev didn’t answer. She then asked about what had just taken place, and Rusev said Rollins owed him one, and he wanted to face him for the Universal Championship tonight.
There was another vignette for the AOP. They spoke in a mixture of English and their native dialect. This was basically more of the same from previous weeks. Be good to see them back kicking ass again soon.
It was confirmed it’ll be Rollins vs Rusev tonight! Only been back a couple of weeks and now he has a world title match!
The Viking Raiders vs The OC
The Viking’s won after a big splash by the one who used to be called Hanson. This was fun and everything they did was good, but it was kind of just there as a match. There was nothing at all wrong with it.
Charly Caruso (who I hope is being paid per appearance for this show) spoke backstage. She said Lesnar and Heyman were still hear and were demanding a chance to speak about what happened. She said some are calling Lesnar’s actions criminal. Cesaro interrupted her and said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with what Lesnar had done, and if anything the only thing was that he had taken that chance to beat on Rey Mysterio away from himself. As he continued to speak down on Mysterio… Ricochet interrupted him. Cesaro said he was literally twice Rey’s size, Ricochet said Rey was twice the man Cesaro was and if Cesaro wanted to prove how big a man he was he should meet him in the ring. After an ad break we got the match.
Ricochet vs Cesaro
Ricochet got a good babyface reaction when he came out. Cesaro was wearing his trousers and trainers. Ricochet won a really fun match with a West Coast Pop that was really good, but too short to be great. They did a tonne of really fun spots, such as Cesaro kicking Ricochet in mid air. Both men looked good here, but the eternal under-utilization of Cesaro continues.
All of the puppets were scared, Ramblin’ Rabbit said he was scared to death. Bray came to try and see if he was ok, but kind of just laughed it off when he couldn’t revive him. The pig puppet asked him what Hell in a Cell was like, and Bray said it was like a world without chocolate but worse. Bray said it was a place you could enter, but never truly leave and that Seth Rollins would be stuck in there with “him”. Wyatt said “he” ‘would always protect them (the puppets and the funhouse)’ and had a bad feeling that “he” couldn’t wait to hurt Seth. He said he’d go and ask The Fiend not to hurt Seth Rollins, then said he was only kidding. This was as brilliant as always.
AJ Styles defending the US title vs Cedric Alexander
AJ got a good pop even as a heel. Cedric got pretty much no reaction. This is what happens when you try and push a new babyface, but just beat them and have them come off as second best more often that not. Nobody will care about them. The match was fine and they did a lot of quick paced moves. Both got a few nearfalls throughout, AJ eventually won clean with the Styles Clash.
Street Profits did their usual backstage hype thing. They spoke about the next match too. They said they wanted the smoke, and Lawler said he wanted to see someone give them the smoke… JUST HAVE THEM WRESTLE ON RAW PLEASE!!!
Lacey Evans vs Natalya
Evans won with a roll up whilst holding the tights and then hit Natalya with the Woman’s Right afterwards. I don’t have anything at all to sat about this match.
They played a video about John Cena’s new foundation called ‘Fit Ops’. It is for former Military Veterans. Cena said on the Ellen Show that he would match any donations from people up to a million dollars.
They recapped the Mysterio segment. Paul Heyman was then interviewed by Sarah Schreiber (guess Charly was busy). Heyman said he blamed Vince McMahon and WWE for booking Brock for the season premier of Raw whilst he was in ‘fight mode’. He said Brock would become the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion.
CHARLY CARUSO spoke to Maria Kanellis backstage. Maria said Rusev wasn’t the father of her baby, and that he had enough problems at home with Lana. Is it just me that hasn’t heard any of these ‘rumours’ they are speaking of to do with Lana and Rusev? Once Maria had left Sasha Banks came in and snatched the microphone and cut a promo on Becky Lynch.
A white Limousine was shown pulling into the arena backstage.
Seth Rollins defending the Universal Championship vs Rusev
Rusev was already in the ring after the ad break, as Orton and Corbin stood at the entrance ramp, I’ve no idea why… Rollins came out after. The match was again, fine but way too short. I checked the clock and we had about 10 minutes left of the show when this got underway. Both had a few nearfalls and the crowd seemed to be relatively enjoy it. As the match got underway Rusev offered Rollins a handshake, but went for the Accolade only for Seth Rollins to get out of it. Not long after Rusev hit a big Fallaway Slam that sent to the outside of the ring. They then went to an ad break. But just before this The Fiend’s face flashed on the screen and he said “let me in”. Rollins fought back when the show came back on, Rollins would hit a slingblade and a pair of dives to the outside. They got a nearfall each and after this Rollins hit a Falcon Arrow for a close nearfall. Rusev then caught Rollins who came flying off the ropes with a big kick to the head.
And then suddenly shit got absolutely RIDICULOUS…
Bobby Lashley’s music played and he came out looking very happy. Rusev looked on in bemusement, and Lashley seemed to be gesturing and waving somebody out. Lana eventually came out. Lashley came her a twirl and held her hand. The two then kissed, and when I say kissed I mean Hollywood movie kiss, they were absolutely all over one another. They kissed very passionately for what felt like forever… then after they had put eachother down the lights faded in the arena for The Fiend. Rollins looked in shock on the outside, the lights went out and The Fiend put the Mandible Claw on Rollins. The match seemingly had no finish, and the show closed with the lights all out and the sound of Bray laughing.
and THAT was Raw. Well… that was eventful wasn’t it? If they were going for different this was it! The commentary, the opening and the new stage were all good. All of the matches were way too short to be any good, but the show as a whole was fun without being an amazing show. I would presume that both Rollins and Kingston are fucked, or at least that’s what they want us to think… But this show was… I honestly don’t know what to make of it. There were parts of it I loved, parts I hated and parts (particularly the return of Bobby Lashley with LANA) I’m really not sure about… this was one of the most eventful Raw’s for a LONG time, for better or worse.
SHOW RATING: ***1/4
NXT – 2/10/2019
Mauro announced before the first match that the first 30 minutes of the show would be shown in its entirety with no ad breaks.
Adam Cole defending the NXT Championship vs Matt Riddle
Cole won after hitting Riddle with his cast (he has a legit wrist injury) and then the Last Shot knee strike. How amazing that this went on FIRST?! Obviously this was to Counter ‘the other side’ but this match was awesome! I’ve seen A LOT of wrestling this week already, with much more to come, and this was the best match I’ve seen so far. They both did all their big moves, we had no Undisputed Era involvement, and they just both went out there and had a GREAT match. The main story here was what happened after the match… with Cole celebrating in the ring FINN BALOR came out to confront him. He then announced he had returned fully to NXT! Naturally this got a HUGE reaction from the crowd at Full Sail, but what an amazing get for NXT this is! A genuine worldwide superstar is now a part of NXT and looks to be next up for Adam Cole… maybe… lets move on…
They played a great video ahead of Shayna vs Candice later
Velveteen Dream came out for the most Velveteen Dream promo you’ve ever seen. He challenged Roderick Strong for a rematch for the NXT North American Title.
They played a hype video for a match taking place next week… for the ‘NXT’ Cruiserweight Championship with Drew Gulak defending against Lio Rush… yes the NXT Cruiserweight Championship… that’s interesting isn’t it?
Io Shirai vs Mia Yim
Io won a good match that was hurt by adverts. This was probably the best Mia Yim match in WWE. Io is an absolute STAR. What I liked the most in this was Nigel McGuinness explaining on commentary that with Shirai hitting her moonsault at a lower trajectory than the usual moonsaults you see from others, it means she hits her target faster and lower and such the impact on them is more. It’s the small details it really is. But Io was her usual excellent self here, and Yim kept up with her all the way. Really good match.
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were pictured in the front row of the crowd.
We were shown Angelo Dawkins and his Street Profits partner Montez Ford arriving at the arena. Ford was arm in arm with his irl with Bianca Belair. So that’s a thing they’re acknowledging on TV now.
They played a Tegan Nox hype video. This made me very very happy and given she got beat by the NXT UK women’s champion on that show this week, it looks like she’ll be NXT USA bound soon enough. Yay.
Johnny Gargano vs Shane Thorne
Very much like Shirai vs Mia Yim this was a good, good match hurt by ad breaks. What they did for this show (and AEW) was do the split screen thing so you got to see all the action, but was in the corner much smaller than the adverts. ANYWAY, this match was really good and Shane Thorne’s best yet by a mile. Gargano was fantastic as always. He won with the knee strike from his DIY days.
They promoted SmackDown on Friday.
Shayna Baszler defending the NXT Women’s Championship vs Candice Lerae
Duke and Shafir came out with Shayna, but left as she was stood on the entrance ramp. Again this was another good match where one person was exceptional, and the other who is just ‘good’ kept up with them at every step and we got a great match out of it. We got more adverts during this match. This was one of the better Baszler matches. Shayna retained the title with the clutch. I am a little surprised they didn’t put the belt on Candice here, wonder who next for Shayna now? Maybe a girl from Wales perhaps? …
Mark Henry, Stephanie McMahon and Alundra Blayze were in the crowd. That sounds like a great night out to be fair.
They promoted Hell in a Cell.
They played a hype package for Walter and Kushida. Their match is next week.
Pete Dunne vs Danny Burch
Pete Dunne is a member of a faction named and utilizes the fighting ways of ‘British Strong Style’. This was the most BSS match you’ll ever see. Hard hitting, great wrestling and just really good stuff. Dunne got the win in another match hurt by ad breaks way too much. Dunne eventually got the win with the Bitter End. This was really really good. After the match Dunne was in the ring and the lights went off with just a spotlight on the ring. Damien Priest jumped Dunne from behind. Priest then posed and his music played as he went back up the ramp. Priest looked like a badass here. This should be great fun to watch as a feud.
Adam Cole (with the rest of Era with him) was interviewed by Cathy Kelley backstage.
Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly defending the NXT Tag Team Championship vs the Street Profits
They played a really great hype video for the match beforehand. The rapper Wale came out with the Street Profits and played hype man. This was like a TakeOver entrance and was really really great. This was a good match and as you would expect from these two teams. They got the heat on Ford for a while until he finally tagged in Dawkins. In an amazing spot with 3 men on the outside, Montez Ford was in the ring and he ran diagonally from one corner of the ring to the other and leaped over the turnbuckle and flew onto everyone on the outside. This was awesome. Ford went to the top rope, but Roderick Strong came out to try and pull him down, only for Ford to beat him away. With the distractions and some help from Strong soon after Fish and O’Reilly hit their double-team finisher for the win. The three of them celebrated in the ring with their belts after, and then their leader Adam Cole came out and stood at the top of the ramp with his NXT Championship.
and then I very nearly was reduced to tears…
TOMASSO CIAMPA came out to make his return and starred down with a shell-shocked Cole. Ciampa was focused on ‘Goldie’. The crowd went APE SHIT for this.
Ciampa is my guy, but if you don’t watch this and think it was absolutely incredible then you’re dumb.
WOW! WHAT A SHOW! Good wrestling all round, great stuff set up for future shows, and we not only have FINN FUCKING BALOR in NXT but the former NXT Champion Tomasso Ciampa is BACK! WOW! This was an EXCELLENT show and Triple H and co should be very happy. This was their big night to shine and they did just that. The negatives were only minor, the main one being I think they need to get out of Full Sail as it just makes them seem so small time compared to… ‘them’… but overall this was a really, really, really good 2 hour live show.
SHOW RATING: ****3/4
AEW Dynamite – 2/10/2019
I didn’t like the intro song or video. Was a bit cringe to me.
What I did like though was the announce team of Jim Ross, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone. They opened the show and ran down some of the matches for the show.
GREEN SHIRT GUY, HIM WHO SITS MIDDLE OF THE FRONT ROW OPPOSITE THE HARD CAM AT WWE SHOWS, WAS SAT FRONT ROW HERE!!! WHAT A FUCKING JUDAS!!!!!!!! 😉
‘The American Nightmare’ Cody with Brandi Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara
Really good hype video beforehand. Cody’s entrance was similar to that from the last PPV so it gave the match and occasion a big-time feel. This was a really good match. Cody took the early stages, with Sammy showing him disrespect when he could. One good spot saw Cody go for a Tope through the ropes onto Sammy on the outside, but Guevara moved and Cody collided with Brandi instead. This got a big crowd reaction. The finish came when Sammy came off the rope, only for Cody to get his knees up and then roll Guevara over and got the win. Really good match.
After the match Cody appeared very emotional after as Tony Schiavone was in the ring to interview him. Tony has a long history with his father and the Rhodes family. As the interview was beginning Guevara grabbed Cody… but instead of striking him he shook his hand. Chris Jericho then came out and attacked Cody from behind. Jericho held his title belt up… and then AEW cut to an advert (much like NXT they did the split screen thing). As the adverts were still on the Jericho beatdown of Cody was still happening. The stuff he did looked fun, but I’m not sure how I feel about getting the heat on your top babyface when there’s adverts on… When the ads stopped Jericho powerbombed Cody onto two chairs (that were very padded) and the dumped a load of stuff on him. He cut a promo after as he walked back up the ramp.
Brandon Cutler vs MJF
Story here is a pretty simple yet good one told mainly on Being The Elite and online. Cutler is a long time friend of the Bucks, a family man and a dungeons and dragons player. Maxwell Jacob Friedman is a young, cocky, mouthy, heel asshole. MJF cut a really good heel promo as he came out. Match was pretty short. Cutler was fine and MJF played asshole heel well. Cutler came off the top and seemed to jar his knee, and MJF won with an armbar immediately after. I don’t know if the ‘injury’ lead to them going home, or if this was always the plan. But it was dreadfully too short to be really good.
Chris Van Villet interviewed two actor guys I’ve never heard of at ringside. Jack Evans and Angelico came out and they trash talked them. Private Party were out too. I didn’t really get the point of all this.
They showed the ladder for the upcoming World Tag Team Championship Tournament.
SCU (Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) appeared on a video with the White House in the background (the show itself was in Washington). Sky spoke like he was the president, then they did their ‘worst town’ gimmick. After this we came to Tony S interviewing the three back in the arena. Scorpio Sky explained that Daniels and Kazarian would represent the team in the tag team tournament due to their experience. The Lucha Bros (Pentagon and Fenix) came out to confront them and eventually they did a big brawl. This was good. These two teams are on opposite sides on the tournament so maybe this could be the grand final?
The Elite and Jericho and his partners Santana and Ortiz were shown preparing for their match backstage. Jim Ross apologized afterwards for them eavesdropping on Jericho’s ‘team-talk’. Nice touch.
‘Hangman’ Adam Page vs PAC
Great match. Both guys were super over and bought their A game tonight. They simply beat eachother up in a pretty good ‘rasslin match. Page came across as a really big star and PAC was a great heel. Towards the end PAC hit a low blow to Page with the ref blindsided, then the Black Arrow splash and the Brutalizer submission for the win. In his two matches with AEW PAC had defeated Kenny Omega and Adam Page. With AEW being all about numbers etc. (they showed each person’s win/loss record before each match on this show) you’d think PAC would be in line for a world title shot soon.
They played an advert for the next AEW PPV, Full Gear on November 9th.
Dr Britt Baker D.M.D came out to join commentary for the next match. She’s a star.
Nyla Rose vs Riho to crown the first ever AEW Women’s World Champion
The wrestling wasn’t perfect, but this ended up being a really good and fun match particularly towards the end. Surprisingly perhaps was that the crowd were more into this match than any on the show, mainly down to just how great Riho was as a sympathetic babyface. The story of the match was as you would imagine if you saw what these two women looked like. Riho as the smaller, faster good guy and Rose as the giant, monster heel. One spot I loved was Riho doing a dive off the top to the outside, only for Nyla Rose to catch her with ease and and slam her on her own knee. Bizzarely though Nyla grabbed a chair from under the ring and went to hit Riho, only for the ref to grab it from her. Why you’d want to risk DQ in a match for the title I don’t know… Rose slammed Riho about some more outside and then got a load of chairs from under the ring (again not a DQ…) and she put them all in a pile and put Riho on it. Rose then hit a senton off the ring apron, only for Riho to move and Rose crashed into the chairs. They went back and forth back in the ring, Riho hit a double foot stomp and got the 1,2,3. Crowd were really loud towards the end and were delighted Riho won. Rose looked to kick out on three, classic monster heel move.
Comedy figure Michael Nakazawa came out to interview Riho after the match in the ring, in Japanese. But before he could start Rose jumped him and Riho. I was convinced it would be Britt Baker making the save, but instead it was Kenny Omega… this may seem odd to you but Omega and Riho have a lot of history. Omega has tagged with Riho for a number of years in Japan, and I don’t know about you if I see my mate in trouble man or woman I go and help them. So this seemed very realistic to me so it was cool.
The Elite (The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega) vs Chris Jericho and Santana & Ortiz
The Elite came out to the BTE theme song. Jericho by the way is clean shaven and looks his best shape since WWE. Omega started and wanted Jericho, who tagged out. Eventually Omega held Jericho and The Bucks superkicked him which the crowd loved. Both Matt and Nick Jackson then dived to the outside onto the heel team. With Omega in the ring suddenly JON MOXLEY slid into the ring and began a brawl with his future Full Gear opponent. Bizzarely this WAS NOT a DQ and the match would go on as a 3 vs 2 with only Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson on The Elite team… Omega and Moxley brawled right into the arena as the match continued in the ring. The big spot was Mox hitting the Death Rider DDT (essentially a tad-more aggressive Dirty Deeds) on Omega through a glass table. Ouch. The match itself was still pretty good and the Young Bucks vs Santana & Ortiz stuff was magic. Jericho eventually got the win for the heel team with the Judas Effect.
After the match the heels ganged up on the Bucks, but Cody came out to go after Jericho. Sammy Guevara came out to go at Cody, Dustin Rhodes came out to a big pop and took all the heels out.
And then the big surprise as the end… NXT had Tomasso Ciampa return… AEW…
Jake Hager (yes JACK SWAGGER) came out and took down all the good guys. He did get a big reaction, but he’s a WWE reject… despite the AEW announce team calling him the ‘undefeated MMA fighter’… ‘we the people’ and all that… ok then… But the crowd did react to him big so lets see… the heels led by Jericho stood tall to close the show.
This was a good show. Not quite as excellent as NXT but it certainly had a more big-time feel. I guess being in a big arena as opposed to a 400 seater will help that. The production of AEW was really good. NXT set up a lot of angles and excitement for the future, AEW… I don’t really know all of what we see going forward… It appears AEW has won HUGE in the ratings battle, but for me NXT was a GREAT show, AEW Dynamite episode 1 was… good.
SHOW RATING: ****
Before Friday Night SmackDown on Fox got underway, they had a ‘blue carpet’ and a kick off show before it too. They were certainly going ALL IN for this launch.
SmackDown – 4/10/2019
Vince and Stephanie McMahon came out to introduce everyone to the show… because, you know… McMahons…
They have a brand new opening video and song. This was very much as OTT as you’d expect, but I liked it though as it gave it a very big-time feel. Michael Cole and Corey Graves are on commentary. Renee Young the ‘special contributor’ wasn’t on the main show.
Raw Women’s Champion ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch came out to open the show. Which given she’s the biggest star in the company makes sense. The crowd loved her, obviously. She said SmackDown had a special place in her heart as this was where she broke the glass ceiling. OF ALL PEOPLE she was interrupted by KING CORBIN!!! He talked down to Lynch, and she dared him to take one more step. He did… and then THE ROCK came out!!! The Staples Center went absolutely wild. Rock and Becky greeted eachother and the fans chanted ‘Rocky’. Rock said he once told a Jabroni that he was going to ‘layeth the SmackDown’, and now it’s a show. He said Corbin was like the Burger King, he said he looked like a 35 year old virgin at comic con and as Corbin tried to come back at him, Rock asked Corbin if that was what he thinked… and of course Becky then chimed in saying “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK”. Rock and Becky between them called Corbin a ‘Super Tough Dude’ and Rock tried to get the crowd to chant ‘STD’ to Corbin. Rock said Becky calls herself ‘The Man’ yet she doesn’t walk around with giant testicles. Lynch added that they’d still be bigger than Corbin’s, Corbin said he had perfectly adequate testicles. This was funny. Eventually Rock and Becky beat Corbin up, ending with The Rock hitting the People’s Elbow and the Rock Bottom. The fans loved this, and it was really good and fun stuff.
Charlotte Flair & Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley & Sasha Banks
This was a decent match. Charlotte did the moonsault to the outside spot, and not long after hit the Figure Eight on Bayley for the win. Sasha got her mouth bloodied I think from Charlotte’s foot off the moonsault… All 4 women looked good and this was a good showcase match to begin SmackDown on Fox.
Erin Andrews (she’s someone who is a sportscaster person apparently) interviewed The New Day backstage. Kofi said he wanted to do it on his own tonight… BAD idea Kofi, BAD!
Seth Rollins walked backstage. He’ll face Shinsuke Nakamura after the break. Cool.
They recapped the Blue carpet from before SmackDown, featuring a host of stars from wrestling and sports.
Tyson Fury was shown at ringside.
Seth Rollins made his way to the ring. We were immediately shown a new Firefly Funhouse episode. The story of this one was that Ramblin Rabbit was dressed as Seth Rollins and Bray put him in a red cage and said Mercy The Buzzard would play the role of ‘him’. Mercy literally tore the Rabbit to shreds. Bray said ‘oh well’ and laughed.
Shinsuke Nakamura came to the ring. We were shown Hogan and Ric Flair taking their seats at ringside.
Seth Rollins vs Shinsuke Nakamura ended in a no contest
They had an ok enough match. The the lights went out and The Fiend came out. By this point Rollins was stood on the top of the entrance ramp and The Fiend came at put him in the claw and threw him off the ramp.
Kevin Owens beat Shane McMahon in a ladder match. Shane is now FIRED
This was good fun. They did all the usual spots and it didn’t go too long. If anything it may have been a little rushed. Owens got a huge pop when he won.
Kayla Braxton was waiting backstage to speak to Lesnar
They showed a montage of some classic SmackDown moments from history.
They showed more ‘Blue Carpet’ stuff
Kayla interviewed Paul Heyman backstage. They recapped what happened on Raw. Heyman basically said Brock would win.
Braun Strowman, The Miz & Heavy Machinery defeated Dolph Ziggler, AJ Styles, Randy Orton & Robert Roode
Well this seemed random didn’t it? Well it soon became clear… so they had… a match and it was fun enough. Then as Braun was kicking ass on the outside he caught the attention of Tyson Fury who was front row. They posed against one another with their fists raised, soon after Braun threw Ziggler into the barricade right near Fury and this made him fallback. Braun quickly pinned Ziggler with the running powerslam. Braun looked towards Fury and Tyson jumped over the barricade. A load of security soon came towards Fury and led him away. TYSON FURY AND BRAUN STROWMAN?!?! WHAT IS LIFE?!?!
They played a video of the 24/7 title stuff for the evening. The DJ Marshmello won the title, and soon after Carmella won it back with the help of R Truth.
Roman Reigns beat Erick Rowan in a Lumberjack Match
So yeah it’s a lumberjack match now… because everyone has to get a spot on the show right? Daniel Bryan joined commentary. The match was fine but was quicker than you’d think. Rowan took most of the earlier part of the match, Roman got back into it with a Samoan Drop and went for a Superman Punch but Rowan caught him and slammed him down. Luke Harper came down to ringside, only for Daniel Bryan to go at him. The Lumberjacks joined them in a huge brawl, until Roman did a huge dive over the ropes onto everyone that looked awesome. After this Erick Rowan picked up Ali and threw him onto Roman. Harper broke up a nearfall, Bryan hit him with the running knee, Rowan went for the Claw and Roman came in and hit the Spear for the win. This was good and maybe even better than I expected.
Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Championship
Kofi ran at Brock as soon as the bell rang. Lesnar caught him and gave him the F5 and pinned him in about 6/7 seconds.
As Lesnar celebrated with the belt after, suddenly Rey Mysterio’s music hit. He came out… with… CAIN VELASQUEZ!!!! Who’s that? Well he’s Mexican, so I saw a very funny gif on twitter that said this was like at school when you really did bring your big brother to beat up the guy who was bullying you. Cain is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion who beat and DESTROYED to win that title? Oh yeah, BROCK LESNAR! Cain looked real mean and Lesnar and Heyman sold it so well. Lesnar’s face was like he’d seen a ghost. Commentary did a great job of explaining the story here to those who didn’t know. Velasquez came into the ring and took Brock down with a double leg takedown and unleashed a load of rights and lefts, and when he could Brock rolled out the ring and escaped. The two stared off to close the show.
This was a great angle and a blockbuster way to close this much hyped show.
Overall I liked this show. Not perfect but it was fine. The Rock segment was great. The wrestling on the show seemed a bit rushed at times, but they had so much to fit in. One thing was they advertised Undertaker, Sting and Austin for the show and none of them appeared in the ring. Taker wasn’t even there full stop, which was odd. Kofi… did they really NEED to do that? 7 SECONDS? For god sake. But overall this was fine. Cain vs Brock is in Saudi by the way. And Fury is going to be on Raw. How bizarre.
SHOW RATING: ***3/4
HELL IN A CELL 2019 – REVIEW
Oh boy… so I’m FUCKING furious right now so forgive me if this review is even shorter than all the ones I’ve done this week and a lot shorter than my usual PPV reviews. The mood I’m in right now I don’t even know if or when I’ll review another WWE show again. They say it’s the hope that kills you… no FUCKING SHIT!!!
Anyway… Here’s Hell In A Cell 2019…
Apparently Natalya beat Lacey Evans in what feels like their 3746563858th match against eachother recently… and GUESS FUCKING WHAT??? THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE A LAST WOMAN’S STANDING MATCH ON RAW…….. YAY……….
Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defeated Sasha Banks in a Hell In A Cell match to retain
This was really good. BY A FUCKING MILE the best match on this show. Becky won after a Bexploder onto a load of chairs and then the Dis-Arm-Her. Sasha was almost in tears looking back at Becky after.
Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan defeated Erick Rowan & Luke Harper in a Tornado Tag match
A good tag team match. Reigns hit the Superman Punch to Harper, Bryan hit the running knee and Reigns hit the Spear. Bryan and Reigns hugged after. Good stuff.
Seth did a promo backstage with Kayla. Apparently the people in the arena were booing Rollins. Here we go…
Randy Orton defeated Mustafa Ali
Exactly the match you’d expect these two to have with no build at all (some good spots but a little boring). Orton won with the RKO that Ali flipped in to. Crowd was dead aside from the finish.
The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) defeated Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss (C) to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
A fine match but the heel/babyface dynamic was so confusing throughout. For the finish Asuka spat GREEN MIST into Cross’ face and hit her with a spin kick to win the titles. This made the ref look so stupid as Asuka had mist all over her face for crying out loud. So Asuka and KAIRI SANE are heels now??? Well, at least they’re the champs, and that’d otherwise make me so happy but this was not how I wanted it to happen. I guess you can’t win them all, or EVER on this show…
The Viking Raiders (Ivar & Erik) and Braun Strowman defeated The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) by Disqualification
Braun was the mystery partner. Match was fine but ended when all three of The OC beat on Braun in the ring at the same time. BULLSHIT finish. After the match Braun knocked out AJ with one punch as he flew up for the Phenomenal Forearm. They played this up to the Fury – Strowman thing set for Raw. AJ did a comedy sell job after. Decent match with a completely TERRIBLE ending.
Street Profits did their thing backstage. Tamina rolled up Carmella to win the 24/7 title. Truth and Carmella ran off. Whatever.
Shorty Gable defeated King Corbin
Shorty Gable? Yeah that’s a Corbin thing that he said before the match and so it stuck. Fuck off. Fine match. Gable won with a roll up. Greg Hamilton the ring announcer announced the winner as ”Shorty Gable’. Fuck off. This match was shite, just when Corbin looked to have turned a corner in recent weeks in-ring wise and now he has a stupid gimmick and Gable, who at one stage looked an up and coming babyface is just… there now…. and this SHORTY bullshit… what the actual fuck is that????
KAYLA BRAXTON (AKA NOT A TALL WOMAN) INTERVIEWS SHORTY GABLE. GABLE SAYS CORBIN CAME UP SHORT AND THEN CORBIN BEAT HIM UP… WHATTTTT?!?! THE POINT OF ALL THAT WAS…….?????????? FUCCCCCKKKKKK OFFFFFF!!!!!!!!
AFTER Flair and Bayley came out for their match they went to the various different language announcers and they did a thing where Carmella kicked Tamina and told Truth to pin her so R Truth is the 24/7 champion again…
Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley (C) to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley beat Charlotte in Charlotte so Charlotte had to beat Bayley in California. Fuck off. Fine match, Charlotte won with the submission. Bayley played babyface the whole match pretty much. She was throwing a fit after her loss and looked real upset. Charlotte is now a 10 time champion.
Seth Rollins (C) defending the Universal Championship against ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt ended… WHEN THE REF RANG THE BELL TO END THE MATCH AFTER ROLLINS USED A SLEDGEHAMMER FOR A NON FINISH IN A FUCKING HELL IN A CELL MATCH?!?!?!?!?!
For the whole match they had this red lighting in the whole arena, which was… interesting… Bray no sold everything Seth did for the whole match pretty much, and Seth sold like heck whenever The Fiend was on offence. Towards the end Seth used every weapon you could think of to try and keep The Fiend down, but he kept getting up. Rollins hit Curb Stomp after Curb Stomp and the crowd booed VERY LOUD. Rollins hit the Pedigree but Bray kicked out and the crowd cheered. Rollins hit a load more Stomps and the fans booed VERY LOUD. Bray was just laying on the floor motionless, Seth grabbed a chair and hit Bray in the face for a nearfall. Seth put a chair on Bray’s face and used a ladder to smash the chair into his face, for another nearfall. Rollins went under the ring and got a toolbox and smashed Wyatt with that too. He then put everything on top of The Fiend and got a sledgehammer from under the ring. The referee begged Rollins not to use it and told him that wasn’t who he was. Fuck off ref I thought, this is HELL IN A FUCKING CELL?!?! Rollins eventually did hit Bray with the hammer…
AND THE FUCKING REFEREE RANG THE FUCKING BELL!!! YOU CAN USE ALL THE WEAPONS THEY DID BEFORE: LADDERS, CHAIRS, TOOLBOX, A GIANT FUCKING MALLET THAT THE FIEND BOUGHT OUT (the one that Bray smashed the rabbit up with), YOU HAD THE WOMEN USING A CHAIN EARLIER, MANKIND USING THUMBTACKS 20 ODD YEARS AGO, CACTUS JACK PULLING OUT A BARBED WIRE BAT AND SETTING IT ON FIRE IN THE YEAR 2000… BUT THE REF FELT A SLEDGEHAMMER WAS ENOUGH FOR A DQ IN A HELL IN A CELL MATCH AFTER ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED BEFORE?!?! YOU FUCKING WHAT!?!?!?
The fans booed this loudly and chanted ‘BULLSHIT’ and ‘AEW’ as a load of medics and officials ran in to try and treat THE FUCKING FIEND as they raised the cell. Rollins stood over The Fiend and he suddenly sat up and put Seth in the mandible claw. He then gave Rollins a Sister Abigail on the exposed floor outside the ring. The fans chanted ‘RESTART THE MATCH’ (GOOD LUCK GETTING THESE MOTHERFUCKERS TO LISTEN TO THEIR FANS). They chanted ‘AEW’ again as Bray hit another Sister Abigail. The Fiend put the claw in again and blood came from the mouth of Seth. The show closed with the behind shot of The Fiend with the lights flashing (as was after the Balor match) and the lights went out as we heard Bray laughing as the show closed. The fans were booing very very loud.
WHY COULD HE NOT HAVE DONE THAT BEFORE WHEN THE MATCH WAS STILL GOING????????
WHY DID WE HAVE THE MAIN EVENT FOR THE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP INSIDE HELL IN A CELL FOR THE SECOND FUCKING YEAR IN A FUCKING ROW END WITH NO FINISH?????????
This would’ve been insane but acceptable had you done ALL OF THIS, but NOT rung the bell and kept the match going and then as Seth stands over a lifeless Fiend he gets put in the claw again and match ends and Wyatt wins the title. That would’ve been great. Instead we got THIS UTTER FUCKING BULLSHIT.
This was WCW 2000 levels of idiocy booking. HORRIFIC beyond comprehension. A good match with a really unique and fascinating story utterly MURDERED, BRUTALIZED AND CASTRATED by an ABORTION of a finish. Seth looks stupid and weak as he used a GAZILLION FUCKING FINISHERS AND THEY DID FUCK ALL BECAUSE BRAY KEPT GETTING UP, THE FUCKING FIEND (the ONE the ONLY guy on both shows right now who the fans ADORE) looks like an idiot because he was dead and then when the bell rang and after that he got up and beat Seth up as if nothing had happened, and you utter FUCKING MORONS have absolutely KILLED Hell In A Cell FOREVER.
I try. I really fucking try my absolute best to see the best in the WWE. I always try and give them the benefit of the doubt. I do my best not to get as riled up and annoyed by some of the stuff they do. In 2019 it’s been so up and down being a fan of WWE. I was starting to think they’d turned a corner, that they were looking good again and that with the big move to Fox for Smackdown and NXT going live and Heyman running Raw it was all going to be great.
But THIS… THIS UTTER BULLSHIT IN THE MAIN EVENT OF A PAY PER VIEW WHICH UNTIL HOURS… FUCKING HOURS BEFORE IT GOT UNDERWAY HAD FOUR MATCHES PRE ANNOUNCED!!!! And the matches they did announce were like 3rd hour of Raw filler shite!!! FUCK OFF.
This was a great pay per view two matches in. But got worse and worse. The main event finish was amongst THE DIRT WORST FUCKING BOTTOM OF THE BARREL DOGSHIT booking I’ve seen for a LONG LONG TIME. This was a one match show, and they FUCKED UP the ONE FUCKING MATCH THEY COULDN’T POSSIBLY FUCK UP on a level even I didn’t think possible.
It’s such a massive shame that such a monumental week in professional wrestling, and on the whole one I really enjoyed watching, had to end the way it did. I wont lie it really has took away any excitement I had coming out of it. I’m not even going to try and predict what next. I called this the biggest week in professional wrestling ever, and for good and now some VERY VERY VERY VERY BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD reasons it’ll certainly be one I will never forget.