Best Fight: Cormier vs Gustaffson
Best performances: Sage Northcutt, Albert Tumenov
This was a pretty solid card up and down. Prelims had a lot of decisive fights which were very entertaining and some potential new prospects pending how they do once they step up in competition.
I think we need to give Rashad a break after having such a long layoff due to injuries. His next fight will be the one to judge of where he really stands. Maybe he should get Texeira or Saint Preux next.
Benavidez vs Bagautinov was a big disappointment. Can’t see Benavidez getting a title shot after this performance even though he is ranked #2. It is time for Johnson to move up a weight class but I would be interested in seeing John Lineker get one more shot after his last performance but he may have trouble making weight and keeping weight at that division.
Gustaffson vs Cormier was a good display by Cormier of imposing his will to dominate how this fight was going to be fought. Gustaffson stayed competitive. I would like to see Gustaffson rematched with Rumble Johnson next to see if it was just nerves infront of the hometown crowd in that first fight between them. Not really any exciting matchups next for Cormier but I guess it may be Bader if Jones isn’t back in time. Can’t see that drawing anything.
I like the concept of the live house shows as specials. Liked the one from Japan and liked this one. It is different from the norm with less production which makes it unique.
Best Match: Cena vs Rollins
Worst Match: Nothing was really that bad in my mind as I had the mentality going in of being entertained with a house show. Girls match by default.
Liked how the ladies match has the storyline continuing with the Paige dissention although why they teamed with Paige in the first place in this one after what went down on Raw doesn’t make sense. Good finish in that match.
Was hoping that they would have given Jericho vs Owens a bit more time than what they got. That had the potential of being the show stealer. Good match for the time they got. Liked the pre match promo by Jericho.
Brock vs Show was good for what it was. Was worried a couple times the way Show was landing on his shoulder taking those Germans that he may do some damage to himself. Great power by Brock F-5’ing Show. Botched ending but liked that Brock threw the belly to belly in there before attempting the F-5 again instead of going right back to it.
Solid main event for Cena & Rollins to end the show. We know it is coming but hope we don’t get a Rollins vs Kane title program out of this. Does anyone else get the feeling that this new Kane character is a copy of the Abyss/Joseph Park story?
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Wrestling Observer Index
WWE @ MSG
Thumbs Down: For a house show fine but nobody outside of MSG needed to see it. Not a single person in the world would buy the Network for a show like this instead of the upcoming Hell in a Cell, so there was no real purpose to show this on TV. A total overexposure of the product, which is one of their big problems.
Best Match: Cena vs Rollins
Worst Match: Neville vs Stardust
1. Orton & Ziggler vs Rusev & Sheamus. Average match. The face team won by a referee distraction, go figure. **
2. Neville vs Stardust. This was cool the first 300 times. Now nobody cares. *3/4
3. Bellas & Fox vs Becky, Charlotte & Paige. UFC did a better job with a five minute video for the Rousey vs Holm fight that WWE would ever do with their women division and their crappy revolution. Match was fine. **
4. Owens vs Jericho. Good while it lasted. For a 25th anniversary celebration a 7-minute match was kind of a joke. If I was Jericho I'll quit the company and just dedicate the rest of my life to talk trash about the McMahons on the podcast. ***
5. Dudley vs New Day. Lame finish but the Dudleys need to win the title in a Tables match, so this feud would go until December. **1/4
6. Lesnar vs Show. The world's greatest five-minutes match. **
7. Cena vs Rollins. Good but clearly below their previous matches. The escape the cage is such a lame stipulation, it kills the purpose of the cage gimmick. ***3/4
Leonardo II Mendez
San Sebastian, PR
Thumbs down Best match: Tag titles Worst match: Gauntlet for Gold match.
Initial impression: TNA didn't tell the PPV company that Matt was added to the ME. Whoops.
Building looks pretty full for a show that was probably 90% papered. Still looks like they're barely using a quarter of the arena. It looks like someone dusted off the old WCW Thunder stage too.
Ultimate X match - great opener. Fast paced. Camera missed a few .major spots. Uno retains after knocking some local off the rope. Local guy looked great too. At the end Shane Helms came out and raised his hand. Helms has let himself go too.
EC3 comes out for a boring 20 minute promo and the crowd does not give a shit.
Gauntlet match is next which is an 12 man Royal Rumble sort of. Our first is Anderson who awkwardly stands around for a minute looking for his mic. Jessie Goddards is second, and fucks up a press.
The timer than stars at 2 seconds as Christy Hemme starts counting from 10. Eli Drake is out next.
Out #4 is Al Snow who brings out Head to the ring. A call back to a better time in his length.
No countdown for #5 is a bad Sheamus knockoff named Aiden O'Shea. Still no eliminations, #6 is Robbie E. Usually Rumble ring filling up spots going on. Boring.
Eli Drake is eliminated by Head. Out #7 is Shera. His music wont stop. This is the worst cover of Natural Born Killers I've ever heard off. Everyone does the dance. Why is everyone doing the dance.
Sheamus ripoff knocked off by Shera. 20 seconds after the countdown finishes out comes Gyrus. Out 9th is Chris Melendez. Tyrus eliminates Snow, Melendez, and Shera.
Out 10th is Tommy Dreamer wearing Dusty polka dots.
11th is Abyss. Abyss and Tyrus knock everyone out and then entering 12th is... The Pope. Who then proceeds to Mil Mascaras himself. That was pointless. Apparently this was the final entrant, so I imagine imagine Rockstar Spud as at gorilla heard Popes music and turned around and went back to the locker room.
Tyrus eliminates Abyss. Jessie eliminates Robbie E. Kennedy throws out Dreamer. Kennedy throws out Goddard, and were down to Kennedy vs Tyrus for #1 Contender. Whoever wins we all lose. Tyrus pins Anderson.
It should be noted that the countdown were utterly fucked. Graphic would never show, Hemme wouldn't announce it, it seemed to be of a variable length, or wrestlers would just come out.
That was a waste of a half hour. Tyrus turns on EC3.
Minus Six Stars.
Tag Title match - good match. Slowed down at times, but a lot of good spots and a good story.
Galloway comes out to remind us this is triple threat tonight and he has a 141 and 2/3% chance to win tonight.
KOTM title match in a straight singles match. Ho hum. Lashley dominated for most of the match. Eventually Roode gets some offense, every does their finisher and the opponents finisher, and Roode wins with a Roode bomb.
Matt Hardy comes out for a promo. Great promo.
Billy Corgan is out to remind us that last night was the greatest night of Earl Hebners life. First 20 years of his career is not shown.
Knockouts Title - HOF referred missed blatant use of chairs because Robert Irvine was arguing with him because Kong was grabbing chairs. Fail eventually managed to kick out and get a small package on Kong for the win. They've had better.
Jeff Hardy comes out looking like Willow has bred with a referee.
Angle/Young - Hemme announced it as a no DQ match. Apparently Kurt didn't get the memo because he cuts a promo shocking Young that its a no DQ match. Young pilesdrives Angle and the doctor comes out to check Angle. Dr and Angle say he's in no cpnditi9n to continue, but the ref doesn't ring the bell so I guess theres no ref stoppage. Young threatens a piledriver on conceete and Christ this match is just really uncomfortable. Retire Kurt. Angle counters gets some offense and wins after an ankle lock in a match that was stopped for medical reasons 10 minutes prior. Not a great match.
World Title match - The end of the match happened when EC3 attempted to get himself DQd in a Triple Threat match. Where there were no DQs. EC3 threatens to injure Matt with a folding chair with a nice padded seat. HOW FUCKING STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO BE FOR THIS ANGLE TO MAKE SENSE IN A MATCH? Jeff has enough, attacks EC3, Matt gets the pin on Galloway for the title.
Thumbs in the middle
Best Match - Gail Kim vs Awesome Kong
Worst Match - Gauntlet Match
This was a very thumbs-in-the-middle show as there was nothing that was really good, but there also wasn't anything bad on the card. The presentation was affected by both a mostly subdued crowd and lighting that was so low that at times it was difficult to identify wrestlers. That appeared to be the case live as well with Josh Matthews misidentifying wrestlers all night (or he just doesn't care).
Gail Kim vs Awesome Kong was my favorite match on the show, obviously it wasn't anything like their matches 8 years ago, but they can still have a good match and the crowd was awake for this one.
The Matt Hardy title win was both nice and sad. I'm happy for Matt that he appears to be in a positive place right now both personally and professionally, but it was kind of sad to see the family celebration in a dark arena, with no one watching at home, and no idea when (or if) we'll see this followed up of television.
Decided on a whim to drop $50 on TNA tonight. I'd say thumbs slightly up. Typical TNA. Some good action. Some really bad acting. Some questionable calls.
Best Match - 3 Way World Title Worst Match - #1 Contender Gauntlet (Not even close)
1) Ultimate X - Big spotfest but that was the goal. Nothing wrong with that, got the crowd going. Couple of cool spots.
2) #1 Contender - And kill the crowd dead with this. Definition of minus five stars. I've never hated a match more. The worst punches/acting/stupidity/surprise entrants I've ever seen...and to become the top contender for the world title. Way too long, way too awful. I could go on for days how bad this was.
3) Tag Title - Really liked this. The fact that I miss watching the Wolves was one of the reasons I ordered.
4) Roode / Lashley - Another solid bout. This ppv would've been so much better if they cut the gauntlet, threw the KOTM title in the trash and just made this the #1 contender.
5) Kim/Kong - Didn't mind this. Kong reminds me of Andre in the 90's but Gail worked hard.
6) Angle/Young - Don't buy Young as a threat at all. Didn't do it for me.
7) 3 Way - Really liked this match. Making Matt the champ is questionable for a company trying to make new stars but maybe they try to pop whatever number they can putting the title back on EC3 on tv.
Adam Hicks, Ohio
AAA Heroes Inmortales
Best Match: Garza Jr./Psycho Clown/Rey Jr. vs. Hijo del Fantasma/Myzteziz/Texano Jr.
Worst Match: nothing down right bad on the show
Nothing that was blow away (as I felt Rey de Reyes was an overall better show despite others not liking it) but certainly right there with the WWE, TNA, and NXT shows. Aerostar deserves a much bigger push. The three way tag title match was a real surprise since I’m not a fan of three way matches and Joe Lider was involved in the match. Watching the PWG BOLA DVD’s this weekend, along with this show, makes it clear that Jack Evans has really grown as a wrestler. If this were 1999/2000, he would be praised big time for incorporating MMA kicks and submissions, along with his usual good high flying. Still waiting for that blow away Rey Jr. AAA match but he continues to be really solid.
Thumbs in the middle just because the live crowd was great and my son was into it. Best match was Roode vs Lashley Worst match was a tie between the X division botch fest and the Gauntlet match where the rules were not explained to the live crowd and there were loads of technical glitches.
The building was almost full and the crowd was into it the whole night. These weren't necessarily TNA fans, but that area is a wrestling hot bed. The size and energy of the crowd was a pleasant surprise.
Christy Hemme announced the Young-Angle match as No DQ before they even entered the ring so Angle's promo was anti-climactic. I was surprised to read results that said the match had been stopped as there was no mention of this to the crowd. We just saw the medics come out. Everyone in our section was put off by this as it has been so overdone recently. Kurt Angle looks rough in person.
No mention of the third announcer.
Everyone in the live crowd assumed this was it for TNA as the ending felt like a finale with the locker room emptying to celebrate with Matt Hardy. No fan I spoke with had any idea if or when TNA was filming more television. The crowd, Along with referee Jeff Hardy, had no idea the title match was no DQ. We could not hear most of the backstage spots and rarely did they have a live feed on the entrance screens.
Thanks, Heath Mullikin