The NXT Report: 07/01/15 – Balor & Joe vs. Owens & Rhyno, Vaudevillians, Emma vs. Carmella, plus more!

Editor’s note: This article was submitted on July 2nd, 2015, but due to the holiday, was not edited until last night. -DK

Opening Package of Tag Team Match Main Event Tonight


FInn Balor/Samoa Joe vs Rhyno/Kevin Owens

Main Event for Tonight

Opening Match

The Vaudevillains vs Dash and Dawson

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WWE Advertises Final Card for “Beast in the East” Event from Tokyo, Japan

This is the latest card for WWE’s “Beast in the East” live event that will air on Saturday, July 4 on WWE Network.  The show will air live at 5:30AM EST, with several replays throughout the day.

Kevin Owens (c) vs. Finn Balor; NXT Championship

Nikki Bella (c) vs. Paige vs. Tamina Snuka; WWE Divas Championship

Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston

John Cena and Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane and King Barrett

New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. The Lucha Dragons

Chris Jericho vs. Neville

Cesaro vs. Diego

Also appearing will be NXT star Hideo Itami and WWE Hall of Famer Tatsumi Fujinami.

We will not be bringing live coverage when the show airs at 5:30AM, but will post a report at some point throughout the course of the day.  Check back for those updates.


WWE NXT Books SummerSlam Weekend Event for Brooklyn, NY

This morning, Triple H took to Twitter and announced that NXT will be running a live event on SummerSlam weekend at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.  The event will take place on August 22, the night before SummerSlam at the same venue.

The event will  be called “NXT Takeover: Brooklyn” and tickets will go on sale July 18.  Also, this event will be airing live on WWE Network as well so if you can’t get a ticket you can check it out via the Network.  WWE posted the following to their website regarding the airing of this special.

The Superstars and Divas of Tomorrow have set the wrestling world on fire with the NXT TakeOver live specials on WWE Network, which have all emanated from Full Sail University in Florida — until now. As announced by WWE COO Triple H, on Saturday, Aug. 22, NXT will invade the Barclays Center on the eve of The Biggest Party of The Summer for the seventh NXT live special.

It’s worth pointing out that this event will be in direct competition with the Ring of Honor “Field of Honor” event that will be taking place at MCU Park in Brooklyn on the same night.  So that dynamic will be interesting to watch play out.


Top TNA Talent Posts Video to YouTube Stating He Will Appear at Global Force Wrestling Tapings

Former TNA World Heavyweight Champion and multi-time tag team champion Bobby Roode posted a video to YouTube yesterday stating that he will be working at the Global Force Wrestling tapings in Las Vegas, NV.  The first taping will take place on July 24.  Roode points out in the video that he will be taking place in the Global Force Wrestling Title tournament.

This is interesting in that Roode is still under contract with TNA.  One can only assume that this is related to whatever arrangements that Jeff Jarrett and TNA have worked out regarding possible talent exchanges and such.

The taping in Las Vegas will be held at The Orleans Arena.  If you are going to the taping and want to send a report, drop me a line at bwentz@ring-rap.com.  Roode’s video is posted below.

Source:  ProWrestling.net


Wentz’s Blog: The Buzzards Aren’t Following Bray Wyatt Right Now

I am stuck in a conundrum regarding the character that is Bray Wyatt.

Nearly two years ago now, WWE introduced us to the dark and creepy feeling Wyatt Family. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper joined Bray on the main roster, but it was Bray who instantly grabbed the audience. The NXT call-up was something we hadn’t seen since the early days of the Undertaker.

Wyatt’s unique promo style works. He single-handedly built up the Wrestlemania 31 match that he had with Undertaker. The Deadman never appeared on TV, nor did he say a word in that time, yet Wyatt managed to create interest in a match most had written off. Because of his style, Wyatt creates a feeling with his promos that many wrestlers cannot.

Another key point to Wyatt is his in-ring skill set. Wyatt lacks the prototypical chiseled body type WWE looks for. Yet he possesses solid athleticism and has developed mannerisms that seem to be a mix of his own creation and borrowing from other wrestlers across other promotions as well.

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Chris Mordetzky on Working with GFW, Nearly Signing with TNA, Life After WWE, and more

Chris Mordetzky, formerly known as Chris Masters in WWE, sat down with PWMania.com to discuss a number of topics, including Global Force Wrestling, TNA, and WWE.  Here are a few highlights:

His time in WWE and post-WWE: From 2011 on I made it my goal whether push or no push whatever it was. I was on Superstars and I was given a lot of time then and my goal was just to prove the neigh sayers wrong and be a good in-ring worker and not just a body. To try and give WWE basically make them use me. If they weren’t going to use me, I was going to make them use me. I was going out there every night and used it as fuel. I’m going to be that damn good. I worked my a** off and everything started coming together, I really started getting it and anybody that’s seen my work from 2011 pretty much on will tell you and vouch for that fact. Even CM Punk said in the promo where he was quote unquote shooting, that I’m not the same guy that most people remember at least not from back in my earlier run, now I can go and I can go with anybody it doesn’t matter who it is. I’m looking forward to this opportunity with Global Force Wrestling because I think it will be a good platform working a lot internationally, I’ve had some of the best matches of my career over in the UK and Europe and now being with Jarrett I understand it’s Global Force but we’re kicking things off here domestically. It’s good for wrestling fans who want to see me out here to see me doing something and get that exposure and have that platform. Continue reading


WWE Monday Night Raw Coverage for 6/29/2015 – Fallout of Seth Rollins and The Authority Beating Down Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns, Ryback and Big Show, John Cena and Kevin Owens, and More

The road to Battleground continues tonight.  Last week, Seth Rollins (with some help from his Authority friends) got the better of Brock Lesnar.  Is he unstoppable now that it seems the family is back together?  Also, Bray Wyatt played more mind games with Roman Reigns.  Is Wyatt in the big Samoan’s head?  And John Cena and Kevin Owens have made their third match official for Battleground.  Is Cena running out of time as US Champion?

Editor Note:  You know the drill – it’s car show season, it’s Monday Night…we’ll do our best to keep up live but no promises.

Show Open, Live from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC

They open with a recap of last week’s show closing angle involving Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, Kane and the rest of the Authority.  Lesnar was left lying after a 5 on 1 attack.

Interesting thing I just saw cross my Twitter – Linda McMahon in a picture with Stephanie at the arena.

Seth Rollins’ music plays and he heads out with Jamie Noble, Joey Mercury, and Kane in tow.  Cole, JBL and Byron Saxton are the announce team tonight.  They talk about the angle at the end of last week’s show and how they left Brock Lesnar laying last week.  Rollins welcomes us to “Monday Night Rollins.”  There’s a table set up in the corner, and a picture under a cover.

Rollins says he showed true power by taking it when he conquered the Beast last week.  He says he took a trip to Suplex City and burned it to the ground.  Rollins says that everyone waiting for Lesnar to show will be disappointed because Lesnar is headed to Japan.  He says he hopes that Lesnar spends the flight thinking about what The Authority did to him last week.

Rollins talks about Noble’s broken ribs.  He calls Noble tougher than everyone in the arena.  Rollins tells the fans to show Noble the appreciation he deserves.  Rollins adds that Noble has the Slammy for “Most Inspirational Moment” locked up.  He continues, saying he has something for the three of them.  He walks to the table and presents all three men new Apple iWatches.

He turns to Kane and calls him “the glue that has held WWE together” for the last 17 years.  Kane actually got cheered here, and Rollins encourages more cheers.  Rollins then turns to the covered board and tells Kane that he will get his very first vacation.  Hawaiian music plays and a hula band and dancers come to the ring.  The covered board is a Hawaii-themed art piece.

Kane calls the moment speechless and says it’s the nicest thing anyone has done for him.  He says he has always wanted to toss an animal into a volcano.

Rollins turns back to J&J and talks about them arriving in a crappy rental car.  He says that his boys ride in style because they represent him, and he has a drumroll played.  He points to a model on the stage, and she reveals a Cadillac CTS that a man drives into the arena.  Rollins tells them to “go get it” and hypes the various features of the car.  Rollins is sure to point out the price of the car, and says that J&J represents him when they travel and he represents the best in life.  Rollins encourages Noble to start the car and blow the horn.

Big Show’s music hits and he walks to the stage clapping.  Show smiles at the Authority group then heads to the ring.  Noble keeps honking the horn.  They cut backstage and Mark Henry is heading toward the ring as Show’s opponent.  Show vs.  Henry is the first match.

God, they sucked the air out of the show right off the bat with this segment.  It went too long, and it’s far too repetitive as the Authority starts every show with a big talking segment.  The concept is that Rollins is sucking up to the rest of the “minions” to keep them on his side as he gets ready to face Lesnar and from that standpoint it was effective, but beyond that it made me want to change the channel.

Match #1 – Big Show vs. Mark Henry

The Miz joins the announcers for this match.  There’s not much to this one, as Show lands a punch that stumbles Henry into the ropes.  Show was waiting with the KO punch to pin Henry.

Afterward, Ryback’s music plays.  He charges the ring and takes Show down, but Miz catches Ryback with a kick and runs. Ryback jumps back up, then gets a mic.  He says he’s supposed to fight Miz later, but he wants him now and “feed him more.”

Is there a story here with Henry, or has he been reduced to a jobber?  Thud, thud opening to this show.

Match #2 – Ryback vs. The Miz

Ryback dominates Miz early, then picks him up and marches around the ring before hitting a suplex.  Miz kicks out and rolls to the floor to beg off.  Back in the ring, Miz attacks Ryback at the knee and hits a DDT for two.

Ryback begins a comeback, leading “Feed me more” chants while talking at Miz.  Miz hits Reality Check for two.  Ryback takes back control yet again, and Miz decides to run instead.  Ryback wins by count-out.  Cole reminds us that in the triple threat match, there will be no count outs or disqualifications.

Cole hypes the tag team main event between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. Kane and Seth Rollins in a no-DQ tag match.

Match #3 – Paige vs. Alicia Fox (w/The Bella Twins)

JBL talks about how Paige has turned on every partner she’s ever aligned with and how she defeated her mother (Saraya Knight) in her first match.  Early on, Paige hits a Thesz Press and lands punches on Alicia, and she rolls out to get a break.  Paige follows, but the Bellas distract her at ringside.  Fox attacks from behind heading into commercial.

Alicia dominates the action through the break with an assist from the Bella Twins according to Cole.  Alicia hits a nice bridge suplex for two, and also a nice backbreaker for a two count.  Paige comes back with a running knee, then delivers several more knee shots in the corner.  Paige catches Alicia with a superkick for two.  Nikki gets on the apron and that draws Paige’s attention.  Alicia tries a roll-up, but Paige rolls it through and gets the win.

So the Bellas are heels again, or at least tonight.  A good match that got enough time.  Cole did his part by selling Paige’s emotions.  If WWE would do this kind of stuff more regularly, with good consistent story support, and they could MAYBE, just maybe, resurrect the Divas.

John Cena’s music hits and he heads to the ring after talking to the camera.  He says Raw is the place to be, and he’s the man to beat.  He tells viewers to not touch the dial, and tell their friends that the US Open Challenge starts now.

I liked the hook of Cole asking who Cena’s opponent would be going into the break, and the brief promo by Cena into the camera was good too.

Back live, they hype that John Cena is up for some humanitarian sports award.

Cena is waiting for his opponent when Kevin Owens’ music hits.  The place lights up a bit for that (at least the adult males anyhow).  Lilian Garcia gives us the in-ring introductions.  Kevin Owens rolls out afterward though.

“On second thought, I think I’ll just wait for Battleground.”  He says if anyone will take the US Championship from Cena it will be him.  “Or, maybe it’s this man…”  Cesaro’s music hits and he comes to the ring.  Cole calls Cesaro “very powerful and crafty.”  Dumb call, Cole.

Match #4 – John Cena (c) vs. Cesaro; WWE United States Championship

Owens joins the commentary team. He says he felt like teasing Cena with the match, so that’s why he did it.  Cole puts over the Owens vs. Finn Balor match for Saturday’s Japan special.  Owens says it will feel great to go to Japan and beat Balor in his second home.  Dueling chants get underway early on as the match starts.

Cesaro catches a leaping Cena and slams him for an early two.  A bit later, he hits a gutwrench suplex to get another two count.  Cena comes back and gets a two count of his own, but Cesaro blasts him with a boot to the face.  Cena comes back with a drop kick.  Cesaro ducks a charging Cena then scores a couple more two counts going into commercial.

Cole tells us Cesaro controlled the action through the break.  Cesaro keeps scoring near falls, then sets up the Swing but instead catapults Cena to the ropes.  Cena comes off with a springboard Stunner and gets two.  Cena botched it this time, and didn’t get his arm around Cesaro’s head.

Cesaro comes back with an uppercut after tossing Cena high.  Another near fall out of a cool spot.  Cena comes back with an STF that Cesaro counters to the Sharpshooter.  Cena breaks it in the ropes as DC tells them it’s awesome.

Cesaro hits his deadlift suplex as Cole calls this a match of the year candidate.  Owens says he is going to call Cole a fanboy.  Cesaro catches Cena with a running  uppercut in the corner.  He goes for it again, but Cena catches him and hits a tornado DDT.  Cesaro comes back with a cross body off the ropes, but Cena catches him and powers him up and puts him down.  Owens yanks his headset off at commentary and swipes at Cole.  Owens puts the headset back on and says Cole should consider that a warning for disrespecting him.

Cesaro sets up his Neutralizer finish but Cena backdrops out of it.  Cena comes back with a sunset flip bomb for two.  Owens says Cena has been watching his matches and picking up new moves.  Owens says that Cole says Cena has been bringing the best out in Owens but JBL called it right when he says that Owens has been bringing the best out of Cena.

Another near fall.  Cesaro throws some uppercuts and hits the Swing.  Cesaro locks on the Sharpshooter again, but this time Owens rips off the headset and charges the ring.  He attacks Cesaro first, hitting the pop up powerbomb on him.  The match ends in DQ.  Owens then hits a pop up powerbomb on Cena.

Owens gets a mic and tells Cesaro that if anyone is going to take the US Championship from Cena, it’s him.  He stands over Cena and says that at Battleground, it will be him.

That was a great TV match, with a logical finish.  Owens kind of left a tell about his interference in the match with how he talked before the match, but it was fine given the match quality.  I would love to see this be something that leads to a Cesaro/Owens program because I think that could  be great.  It might end up being forgotten though.

The announcers talk about Dolph Ziggler and Lana “going public” about their relationship later and they hype the main event again.

The announcers hype the Jerry Springer show on WWE Network.  They then move to a replay of Brock Lesnar getting beaten down by the Authority last week at the close of Raw.

The Wyatt sounder cuts in.  He holds up the “Anyone but you” sign again.  He says life isn’t always fair, and he thought he should have been his father’s favorite but he threw him aside like trash.  Wyatt says it’s different now because he is awake.  “Look Daddy, I got my wings back!”

Wyatt asks who it is that deserves all that Reigns has.  “Anyone but you, man.”  He says Reigns knows the horrible things he is capable of, “and you’re mine now.”  Wyatt says Reigns is caught in the web and the fun is just starting.  He says that he will be Reigns’ crown of suffering for as long as he walks the earth.

The Lucha Dragons come to the ring.  Cole hypes the eight man tag that will be next when Lucha Dragons team with the Prime Time Players.

Match #5 – Lucha Dragons and Prime Time Players vs. Bo Dallas and New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)

The early action is pretty forgettable.  The legal men end up tumbling out to the floor, and that brings both teams of four together at ringside.  They all bicker and push and shove going into the commercial.

The heels isolate Darren Young, but he eventually makes the hot tag out to Titus.  He goes on a run that wakes the live crowd up a bit and he does his seal bark thing.  The Lucha Dragons clear out the other New Day members, then Young takes down Dallas.  The Dragons dive on New Day at ringside, and in the ring Titus hits Kofi with a sit out slam to get the victory.

Formula filler.  I would like to have seen them do something to stage Lesnar vs. Kofi – if indeed that match is happening over there.  Kinda make it worth getting up at 5:30 in the morning to watch?

They show Dolph Ziggler and Lana heading to the ring, smiling.  They run an ad for the Saturday special.

They show footage of Summer Rae helping Rusev last week, and telling him that Lana isn’t worth it.

In-Ring Segment:

Dolph and Lana come to the ring, all smiles.  She waves to the fans.  Ziggler says it’s confession time.  He says their relationship didn’t start off as love at first sight, and she was using him to get back at Rusev.  He called it a win-win to be making out with a smoking hot woman.  He stammers and says he can’t believe the situation has changed.

Lana says she didn’t know what a real man was for years.  She says she did whatever Rusev told her to – how to talk, to dress, and how to think about America.  She says that she and Ziggler have become good friends.  She corrects herself and says that isn’t true and they’ve become more than friends.  She says Dolph is very, very passionate.

Rusev hobbles down to the ring on crutch with Summer Rae.  In the ring, Rusev says he doesn’t care about Lana and never did.  He calls her a cold fish and compares kissing her to kissing the ring post.  Ziggler cuts him off and says “Enough.”  He asks Rusev what kind of scumbag he is for trash talking Lana.  Ziggler and Rusev square off, even though Rusev still has a boot on and stuff.  The fans chant “USA” and Rusev eventually backs down.

Summer gets the mic and says there’s nothing she hates more than a gold digger.  She talks about how Rusev was on top of the world at Wrestlemania, but Lana dumped him when Rusev lost.  Summer puts over Rusev, saying he is kind and gentle and cared about Lana.  She tells Lana to tell everyone what she’s always thought – that Lana is a two faced conniving phony.

Summer slaps Lana, and she sells it.  Lana dives at Summer and tackles her!  Catfight!!! They roll around in a really ugly attempt at brawling, and Summer ducks out of the ring.  Rusev barks at Lana and consoles Summer as Lana and Dolph stare at them from the ring.

That was awful  There is no chemistry between anyone here, and the only thing that drew a reaction was the ugly catfight.  Terrible segment.

Backstage, Dean Ambrose talks about getting knocked down and getting back up and moving forward.  He looks at a Terminator replica and says “you know what I’m talking about, man.”  Reigns walks into the picture and Ambrose asks him if he’s ready.  He asks if Wyatt is getting Reigns angry, and Reigns says yes.  Ambrose says that’s good because he wants Reigns angry.

Reigns says he wants to pull out some toys and tear the house down.  Reigns gets fired up then leaves.  Ambrose looks back to the Terminator replica and says he’s ready.

Match #6 – Neville vs. Sheamus:

Cole calls Neville “the closest thing WWE has to a comic book hero.”  He shows a clip of Neville in comic book form.  Early on in the match, Neville grabs the early advantage and cues up a dive on Sheamus at ringside.  Sheamus moves out of the way before Neville can pull it off.  Sheamus grabs his MITB briefcase and holds it going to commercial.

Sheamus takes over out of break.  DC gets restless and chants “boring” but it fades.  Sheamus hits three straight Irish Curse backbreakers, but Neville bounces back with an elbow and some punches, followed up with some kicks.

Neville pulls the top rope down and Sheamus tumbles to the floor off a charge.  Neville comes back with an Asai moonsault on Sheamus.  A bit later, Neville takes Sheamus down with a kick and sets up the Red Arrow.  Sheamus crotches him with a kick.  Neville dodges the Brogue Kick and rolls up Sheamus for two.  Sheamus comes back moments later with a Brogue Kick to get the win.

The match was solid, but there’s no storyline support.  It was just tossed out there with no promo time, no history, nothing.  Even a short promo by one or the other (or both) would have lended to this match so easily.

J&J Security are shown waxing the car Seth Rollins gave them earlier.

Let’s face facts, that car is FUCKED tonight.

They hype a “Where are they now” segment in Sports Illustrated where Hulk Hogan will recreate his cover from the 1980’s.

King Barrett comes to the ring cutting a promo.  He says that he is issuing a royal decree that all of his opponents will bow down to him and pay respect.

Match #7 – King Barrett vs. Jack Swagger:

No televised entrance for Swagger, nor did he bow for Barrett.  Swagger teases the Patriot Lock early on, but Barrett gets in the ropes to break it then retreats to ringside.  Swagger gives chase, only to be run into the barrier a couple times.  Back in the ring, Barrett cues up and hits the Bull Hammer to win.

The king thing is awful.  Barrett is being completely wasted in it.

Cole says that the main event is presented by Terminator: Genisys, and it’s up next.

Match #8 – Seth Rollins (w/J&J Security) and Kane vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns; No Disqualification Tag match

Reigns and Ambrose get their entrances first, then Rollins and Kane with Noble and Mercury driving their car to ramp side.  The announcers talk about Rollins “buying loyalty” with the minions with JBL objecting and saying Rollins is rewarding loyalty.  This starts quick, with Reigns and Ambrose going right after Rollins and Kane as the bell rings.  As the early action continues, Rollins and Kane take control of the match before they cut to a commercial.

The heels work over Reigns coming back live.  He gets a hot tag to Ambrose who goes off on Kane, Rollins, and Mercury.  Reigns checks back in and works on Kane but Mercury hits him with a kendo stick.  Reigns grabs the stick and beats everyone with it – Kane gets some, Mercury gets some, then he smashes it over his leg.

Reigns goes off, hitting everyone with Superman punches.  He lands one on Rollins as he comes off the top rope.  Wyatt sounder flashes and out of nowhere Bray Wyatt appears at ringside.  He attacks Reigns, roughing him up and hitting a uranage on the announce table.  Referees come out and they send Wyatt away.

Back in the ring, Kane cues up a chokeslam on Ambrose.  He escapes, hits his pendulum clothesline thing, then tries for Dirty Deeds but Rollins breaks it up.  Ambrose escapes his Pedigree attempt and tries for Dirty Deeds on Rollins, but Kane chokeslams him.  Rollins cues up the easy-peasy Pedigree and gets the win.

The announcers give Bray Wyatt credit for costing Reigns and Ambrose the match.  Meanwhile, J&J Security put a table in the ring, and Mercury and Rollins set it up in the corner.  J&J holds Ambrose up against it, Rollins mocks Reigns’ war cry, and cues up a spear.  Reigns gets in the ring and fights all of them until Kane hits Reigns with a chokeslam.

Rollins slaps Reigns around, then Reigns trips Rollins and throws some punches.  He fights off Kane and Mercury and stands in the ring.  The heels surround the ring, then put the boots to Reigns.  He gets in some shots but Rollins clips the knee and the beatdown ensues.

Rollins has J&J pick Reigns up and they powerbomb him through the table in the corner.  Reigns starts to get up though.  Rollins asks if he has more life and what he doesn’t understand about this.  Rollins hits the Pedigree on Reigns then poses with the title belt over him.  The Authority leaves, but here comes Wyatt again.  He hits the ring and hits Reigns with Sister Abigail, then poses over him crucifix style as the show ends.

I know, I know…heat on the heels, Bill…heat on the heels.  Yes, that’s true and it’s necessary I agree.  However, this all just feels so re-run to the days of the Corporation (oddly enough with Vince and Triple H and Stephanie at the helm just like they are today) conducting numbers game beatdowns.  Can you tell I’m tired of the Authority?  I know there’s nothing new in wrestling really, but surely there’s got to be some fresh way that this same thing could have been accomplished.

Also, I’m just waiting for Reigns to mow through Wyatt.  That story needed what Wyatt did tonight, but I can’t help but have that sinking feeling that come Battleground, Reigns destroys Wyatt.  That character had promise, but I just don’t see that changing now after what he’s been through.

Overall, this show started out flat, sluggish, and just not interesting.  The Cena/Cesaro match was fantastic, and Kevin Owens interjected himself into that situation in a way that leaves possibilities should he win at Battleground.  But the rest of this show was pretty missable.  I was shocked they didn’t do more to hype the weekend live special from Japan to get some more subscribers.  It’s a really half-assed approach they’re taking right now and it’s a shame.  I realize there’s major time differences to overcome, but it should be available on-demand and it’s a nice selling point and perk for current subscribers.

I’ll be by tomorrow on Around the Ring to talk Raw, Slammiversary, and other news and notes.  Thanks for bearing with us with our less-than-live coverage notes!



TNA “Slammiversary” Notes and Reactions for 6/28/2015 – Bram vs. Matt Morgan, King of the Mountain Match, Jeff Jarrett Returns, Ethan Carter III and Tyrus vs. Lashley and Mr. Anderson, More

This is an abbreviated “live coverage” series of notes and observations regarding TNA’s “Slammiversary” pay per view event that is taking place tonight live in Orlando, FL.  Refresh the page for updated opinions!

Show Open, Live from Universal Studios in Orlando, FL

They showed the King of the Mountain competitors arriving earlier.  They then rolled a video package that featured events in TNA’s history like Hulk Hogan’s arrival, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe brawling, Sting, and more.

Three man commentary booth tonight featuring Josh Mathews, D’Angelo Dinero, and Mike Tenay.  Nice to see Tenay come back to commentary.  Sadly he was the voice of a bad product for quite a while, but for this event it feels fresh.

Match #1 – Tigre Uno (c) vs. Manik vs. DJ Z; Elimination Match for the X-Division Championship

Uno eliminated Z at about 9 minutes in.  Manik hit Uno with a frogsplash for a good near fall, but Uno came back with a springboard backflip into a double leg drop to get the win.

Winner – Tigre Uno to retain the X-Division Championship

The effort was there, but these guys haven’t been handled that well on weekly TV, so it made it hard to care.  A small step in the right direction though for Uno, so let’s see where it goes.

Backstage, JB thanked fans and business partners, then interviewed Robbie E.  He spazzes, then talks in a calmer voice.  He said that Jesse tried to take him out.  He called Jesse nothing, and the fans don’t think he’s the man.  He says Jesse will always be his bitch.

A kind of a “meh” promo.  It didn’t make much sense to cut Jesse down before the match – I mean, if Robbie wins, then he beats a guy he called ‘nothing.’  If he loses, then he looks terrible.  Also, if Robbie E is changing characters, change the name too to drive home that “new man” point.

Jesse Godderz made his entrance and cut a promo.  “Look at me.  Look at the man that I am.”  He talked about being stuck with “the bro, the boy Robbie,” then insults the fans by calling them triple digit heart attacks.  He said that you can’t sit at a keyboard and drink coffee and look like he does.  Robbie’s music interrupts.

Match #2 – Robbie E. vs. Jesse Godderz:

Jesse controlled it early and posed quite a bit.  Robbie comes back with a boot to the head and a cross body looking move off the ropes.  Late, Robbie counters a press slam and hits what Josh called a reverse DDT for the win.

Winner – Robbie E

Robbie definitely isn’t connecting as a babyface.  Also, this match went on far longer than it needed to.

JB interviewed Matt Hardy backstage, and he said he will always be known as one of the greatest tag wrestlers in history.  He said tonight he has a chance to become known as one of the great singles competitors too.  He said King of the Mountain is important and he plans to add that title to his list of nicknames.

Matt Morgan and Bram made their entrances.  Morgan gets a mic and told the fans the reaction made him feel good.  He said he knows the fans want to see a fight, not wrestle.  He challenges Bram to a street fight.  Tenay said this plays into Bram’s hands.

Match #3 – Bram vs. Matt Morgan; Street Fight Rules:

Morgan got the early advantage by hitting some clotheslines.  Tenay pointed out Morgan’s basketball history in the NCAA Tournament.  The fight fell to ringside where Bram got out weapons.  He beat up on Morgan with a cookie sheet, trash can, and a can lid.

Back in the ring, Morgan caught Bram with a Carbon Footprint.  Bram took control back, but Morgan threw punches.  Bram fought him off with a knee.  In the end, Morgan hit a chokeslam for two, but Bram came back with a low blow and a DDT onto a chair to get the win.

Winner – Bram

This isn’t a shock to me.  Morgan has a great life outside of wrestling now and came back so his son could see him work.  I wonder if this was a payoff moment or if they’ll bring other guys back to face Bram next?

JB interviewed EC3 and Tyrus.  EC3 said he looks and feels like a champion but everyone will see him become a champion on Impact this coming Wednesday.  Tyrus told EC3 to worry about Kurt Angle, and he’ll worry about Lashley and Mr. Anderson.  Tyrus tugs at JB’s hair, and JB said it is real.

Match #4 – Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards; Winner picks stipulation for final “best of five” match for the vacant TNA Tag Team Championship

Aries focused his early offense on the left arm of Richards.  He stayed aggressive and picked up a couple two counts in the ring.  About ten minutes in, the two exchanged kicks, then Aries poked the eye.  Richards tossed him ringside then hit a suicide dive.  Back in the ring, Aries boxed the ears then hit a missile drop kick.  Aries hit a suplex then locked in Last Chancery but Richards broke it in the ropes.

Aries teased the Brainbuster, but Richards broke it with a knee to the head.  He followed with a running forearm, but Aries came back with a running drop kick.  Richards hit a gutbuster for two.  A brief “This is awesome” chant got started.

Aries pulled his elbow pad then the two exchanged shots mid-ring.  Richards popped up and Aries kicked him on the way down.  Richards went up top and howled before hitting a double stomp.  Bobby Roode comes out and stands on the ring apron.  Eddie Edwards came out and pulled Roode down, but the distraction allowed Aries to roll Richards up for the win.

Aries cracked that he challenged the Wolves to a bra and panties match, but then got serious and said the stipulation would be a 30-minute Iron Man Match.

Winner – Austin Aries

Liked the match, finish was lame.  They should have just had Aries go over strong rather than the distraction/roll-up finish.

Backstage, JB interviewed Eric Young about King of the Mountain.  Young said he’s ready to be the new King of the Mountain.  He said he will do whatever it takes and said he has held every title except the new KOTM belt.  He said he’s not afraid of anyone, but Jarrett should be.

They ran a video to hype the Knockouts match.

Match #5 – Taryn Terrell, Marti and Jade (the Dollhouse) vs. Awesome Kong and Brooke:

Taryn cut a promo about how the Dollhouse are the sexiest women on the planet.  Can’t argue it too much.  Brooke came out and bent over to show off her ass.  Yeah, well, that’s a statement-maker too.

Anyhow, late in this one Kong went for Taryn but Marti cut her off.  Marti took a chokeslam for her troubles.  Brooke hit a facebuster from the top on Jade to get the win.  Taryn cradled her Knockouts title, smiling, then scolded the other two.

Winner – Awesome Kong and Brooke

Probably a better match than we get on WWE main roster, but admittedly my lack of touch on the current storytelling made me pretty disinterested.

Backstage, JB interviewed Magnus who talked about it being the 13th anniversary of the little company with big dreams.  He talked about the stars being out tonight and that the smart money is that two of TNA’s biggest stars shine on pay per view for the last time.  He said people can say what they want about TNA, but it’s been  his home for six years and he’s proud of that.  He talks about the horrible angle where Storm shoved Mickie James in front of a train.  He said be doesn’t hate Storm though he wants to.  He said he loves his family and has to believe love is stronger than hate, even though he loves how hate feels.

Embrace the hate, Magnus.  Dude tried to kill your wife.

They aired a video package to recap the Magnus/James Storm/Mickie James story.

Match #6 – James Storm vs. Magnus

Storm got the early advantage.  He pulled out a wine bottle.  One of the announcers said he was going too far and Storm took exception.  That distraction let Magnus get control. A table got set up in the ring, and Magnus catapulted Storm into the bottom of it.  The two fought to the stage and around the back of it.  The video board messed up, but once they came back Magnus powerbombed Storm through the table in the ring.  Storm came back with a hanging DDT and got out another table.

Storm shoved Earl Hebner because he can, and Magnus took back control of the match.  He ran Storm face first to the ring post, then put Storm on the table.  Magnus hit an elbow drop from the top, but Storm moved and Magnus crashed and burned.  “Holy Shit” chants ensued.  Storm pulled out powder but Magnus shoved his hand and it blinded Storm and Hebner instead.  Magnus had a visual pin but Hebner was blind still.  Storm somehow hits Last Call, and suddenly Earl can see.  Magnus kicked out on two.

Storm grabbed a bullrope.  Magnus stopped him from using it once but not the second time.  He followed with Last Call for two.  Storm goes back under the ring for a guardrail section.  He set it up on chairs, but Magnus superplexed Storm onto the guardrail.  Production went to a replay so you never got a sense for the near fall that happened.

Both men grabbed beer bottles, then simultaneously hit each other.  Storm fell on Magnus and got the pin.

Winner – James Storm

This was a memorable brawl, for sure. There’s rumors flying that both men are leaving the company, so if this was their last match in TNA, then they went out on a good one.  They worked hard.

Backstage, JB interviewed Drew Galloway about the final battle between The Rising and Beat Down Clan.  He then moves to talking about the KOTM match.  Galloway said it’s his first Slammiversary, first TNA pay per view, and first main event.  He called it the biggest night of his career and said he will be the King of the Mountain.

Back to the announcers, Josh said “uh” then they show crew members cleaning up in the ring, then the sound cut out.  Mathews asked if the power went out and if it had something to do with what happened during the Magnus/Storm match.  He stopped talking and we continued to watch the clean-up crew.  Mathews acknowledged the difficulties as music played and we looked at the ring.  He asked if we were back but the music played on.  Finally, order is restored and we’re ready for the next match.

Match #7 – Ethan Carter III and Tyrus vs. Lashley and Mr. Anderson

Anderson tried to do his self-intro but the mic failed.  Early in this one Anderson impressively got Tyrus up on his shoulders but EC3 tripped him.  Lashley hit a couple of good suplexes on EC3 and powerslammed him for two.

Later, Tyrus hit a clunky double suplex on both opponents.  Lashley hit a spear on Tyrus, and EC3 hit One Percenter on Lashley in follow up and pinned him.  After, he held up a replica TNA title belt.

Winner – EC3 and Tyrus

A bit of a strange call there, regardless of what happens this Wednesday (we know, and spoilers are posted…).  You would have thought they would protect Lashley since he seems to be a logical challenger to whoever wins on Wednesday.

The announcers discussed the King of the Mountain Match.  Mathews said that Jarrett represents Global Force Wrestling, and will be fighting four men from TNA who won’t let him win.

Backstage, JB said that if someone told him seven days ago he would be interviewing his next guests he would have said they were nuts.  He welcomes in Jeff and Karen Jarrett.  Jeff said the wrestling world is buzzing, and it’s all about this moment and the KOTM match.  Jarrett told JB “one last promo.”  He said he is about to take one last walk down the aisle, and if he can pull this off then the championship will go to ” a whole other global level.”

Main event time.  Mathews explains the rules of KOTM.

Match #8 – Jeff Jarrett (w/Karen Jarrett) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway vs. Eric Young; King of the Mountain Match for the King of the Mountain Championship

Jarrett brought his trademark guitar with him.  JB handled the ring introductions, and the audio was pretty sketchy.  The fans chanted “thank you Jarrett” and Karen motioned for them to continue.

Early, the four TNA guys battled while Jarrett watched.  The fans chanted for him  and told him he still had it.  Roode rolled him up and pinned him though, making Roode eligible to win the match by hanging the belt.  Jarrett went to the penalty box.  Young then pinned Jarrett to become eligible, and Jarrett went back into the penalty box.

Young made a play up the ladder with the belt, but Hardy shoved the ladder over.  Hardy pinned Roode and Galloway pinned Young, so both men became eligible to win and Roode and Young are in the box.  Hardy tried for the Twist of Fate around ten minutes, but Jarrett countered to The Stroke.  Hardy is down, but Galloway broke the pin up.

Tenay explained that Hardy went for a finish because it would send Jarrett to the box for two minutes.  Good announce work there.  Roode and Young conspired together in the box, and paid tribute to Team Canada.  No reaction other than from Tenay.  Young turned on Roode.  About 12 minutes in, Galloway and Hardy got pinned by Roode and Young.  Galloway and Hardy went to the box, leaving Jarrett to face the heels.  Pope threw out a comment that Jarrett had a 33 percent chance of winning.  Roode and Young team up on Jarrett, who fired back with chops of his own.

Karen slapped Young, who grabbed the guitar and chased her off.  Young brought the guitar in but took a low blow from Jarrett.  Jarrett hit Roode with the guitar and pinned him.  Roode off to the box, everyone in the ring is able to win.

They had a spot where Hardy and Galloway tugged on the belt and Jarrett shoved a ladder over that landed between the two men.  The fans chanted “TNA” at that point.  Young hit a piledriver on Jarrett  off the apron onto a ladder set up on the barriacade.  Galloway hit a flip from the top and landed on everyone at ringside.

Galloway up the ladder with the belt, and Hardy met him there with a Twist of Fate off the ladder.  Hardy made a play, but Roode stopped him and hit a powerbomb.  Jarrett hit Young with The Stroke off the ladder, grabbed the belt, and hung it from the hook to win.

Winner – Jeff Jarrett to win the King of the Mountain Championship (?)

Afterward, the announcers asked what this meant for the KOTM Championship.  Jarrett celebrated with the belt, then had Karen and his kids join him in the ring as the show ended.

This was pretty much a clusterfuck of a match, despite the fact that everyone tried really hard.  This is just a bad concept of a match – something I’ve never been a fan of.  The title belt never mattered at all, and now they repurposed it and introduced it into this match so I’m betting no one cared, despite the surrounding drama around Jarrett, the head of Global Force Wrestling, winning it.

This was a really inconsequential pay per view.  The talent worked hard, in most cases, but nothing felt like it mattered and I watched a lot of this show on “fast forward” getting to the end of it.  Hate to say it, but for the good things TNA has been doing on weekly television, it didn’t feel like it carried over into this pay per view event.  I certainly don’t recommend paying for a replay.


Ring Rap Audio: 06/27/15 – An in-depth discussion about TNA: What is Jeff Jarrett really doing there? Do they have a future in the industry? What is the next step? Why is talent leaving? Plus more!

iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | MP3

It’s been a month since the last episode of Ring Rap Audio, due to circumstances out of the control of both Drew and Bill.  But, now that internet has been restored, the show is back, albeit with a bit of a format change.

Going forward, Ring Rap Audio records and airs on Saturdays, and will be more conversational and opinion driven.  We really enjoyed recording this new format, and we hope you do as well.

And what a topic it was, with TNA being a major driver in the news these days.  Jeff Jarrett is back for (at least) one more match.  Talent is leaving the company in droves.  Paychecks are still late.  Is it a sinking ship?  Or is there still hope?

Join Bill and Drew in an hour of discussion, and let us know your thoughts on the topic at hand.  We would love to get this conversation going with our listeners.  Let us know what you think and we’ll discuss it on the air.

And, be sure to tune in to our shorter, more frequent news podcast, Around the Ring with Ring Rap! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow us on Twitter: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Drew is on Twitter @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

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TNA Impact Results for 07/08/15 (Spoilers)

TNA taped a round of matches for some upcoming episodes of the program.  Below are the spoilers for the show airing on July 8th, 2015, plus some additional dates.  There are some major spoilers in this update, so please do not read on if you do not want to read spoilers.

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