Week of 4/9/2018 - 4/15/2018

Discussion in 'The Weekly Wrestling Review' started by klunderbunker, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Monday Night Raw
    Date: April 9, 2018
    Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
    Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Jonathan Coachman

    As usual, this could be the most interesting show of the year. Tonight could be filled with major angles, returns and surprises, all of which could become big deals in a hurry. Or it could be all about Roman Reigns, who managed to not win the Universal Title from Brock Lesnar last night. Let’s get to it.

    I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the upper deck on the opposite side from the hard camera, looking nearly straight down at the ring.

    Here’s Stephanie McMahon, walking very slowly and with her arm in a cast after last night, to open the show. Cole talks about how Ronda Rousey’s debut may be the best debut in Wrestlemania history. Does that mean the best wrestler to debut at Wrestlemania (As in she’s better than Fandango and Baron Corbin? Or the best ever first match at Wrestlemania? I’m thinking someone else has probably done it better before). Stephanie talks about the post Wrestlemania crowd having an international flavor (Is that an insult?) but she expected at least SOME sympathy.

    She did tap out last night but the fans have to admit that one woman did everything she could last night and made the transition. Yes Stephanie did make that transition and was amazing so she deserves all the praise. This brings out Rousey to a very nice reception (which she earned) and even Stephanie gives her credit for last night. Rousey is a role model and a superstar and with Stephanie guiding her, they can reach new heights. The fans tell Stephanie to shut the F up so Stephanie calls Rousey her friend….and offers a handshake.

    Now if you don’t know where this is going and yeah I’m not even going to finish that. Rousey hugs her and smiles before shifting to the death stare. Stephanie gets taken down by the bad arm and Rousey takes the brace off to crank it back all over again. Referees run in for the late save and Rousey is all smiles. She’s getting better at the facial expressions and really does come off like a star. Medics come out to check on Stephanie and the fans tell her that she deserves it. As she’s leaving, JoJo asks for a little respect for Stephanie. I was hoping that made the broadcast because it made me laugh in my seat.

    My issues with Stephanie are fairly well known but I LOVED this. The key to Stephanie is her being in on the joke and that doesn’t happen very often. This time she was in full on obnoxious heel mode but with a bit of a wink to the camera that she knew she was about to be destroyed. That made this workable because she was FINALLY getting what was coming to her. I know you can’t have it happen all the time, but once a year isn’t quite often enough.

    The announcers do their usual “this crowd is insane” speech. Good to see them cover themselves like that as the fans actually get through for a change.

    The Superstar Shakeup is confirmed, thereby making almost everything you see here tonight a lot less important.

    Nia Jax/??? vs. Alexa Bliss/Mickie James

    Here’s Nia Jax for a tag match with a surprise partner. The fans tell Nia that she deserves it but Bliss doesn’t seem to share the mentality. Apparently Nia is the real bully here, even bigger than Rousey. Bliss talks about Nia being so much bigger and running over someone innocent like Mickie. Last night Nia assaulted Mickie before the match and Alexa was competing under emotional distress. Everyone knows how horrible Nia is and that’s why she doesn’t have a partner tonight. Nia: “Shut up Alexa!” She did enjoy what she did to Mickie and Alexa last night and she’s the new Raw Women’s Champion. She does have a partner.

    Nia Jax/Ember Moon vs. Alexa Bliss/Mickie James

    Makes perfect sense (the fans knew too) as Ember clearly wasn’t going to get the title back in NXT and wasn’t going to evolve all that much more down there anyway. Nia throws Mickie across the ring to start (maybe Mickie wasn’t ready) so Mickie kicks her in the knee. Bliss comes in and Nia chokes both of them at once before handing it off to Ember.

    The announcers try to explain Ember but realize it’s not that easy because she doesn’t really have a character. Ember enziguris Alexa, slips a bit off a springboard (a quick camera cut protected it very well) and takes Bliss down with a spinning crossbody. A legsweep sets up the Eclipse to end Bliss clean at 3:00.

    Braun Strowman comes in to see Kurt Angle and blocks out Nicholas from Kurt’s view. As soon as he steps aside though, the fans go coconuts. Strowman hates to do this but they relinquish the Tag Team Titles. See, Nicholas has a scheduling conflict: he’s still in the fourth grade. As soon as he’s done with school though, they’re coming back to win the titles. Nicholas promises that someone will GET THESE HANDS. If Nicholas makes a cameo in ten years, I can die a happy man.

    What doesn’t make me happy though is this whole thing. If they weren’t going to have Strowman keep the titles anyway, then why do the whole thing? Why have the Bar lose to a ten year old and then just drop the titles the next night? Give Strowman a partner who loses the fall and set up something with them. Or bring someone up from NXT to give them an instant rub. Just do ANYTHING but this and it’s an improvement. The more I think about this, the worse it gets, especially since the Bar is likely getting the belts back in Saudi Arabia, making this whole thing just a way to inflate their title count.

    No Way Jose debuts next. I’m a big fan and he could open house shows forever, but the same character didn’t work for Adam Rose.

    No Way Jose vs. John Skylar

    Jose has a Conga line and wins with the pop up right hand in 26 seconds. The entrance is all that matters anyway.

    The Bar comes in to say they’re ready to take their titles back. Not so fast though (Kurt: “You guys lost to a freaking ten year old!”) as they can be in the title match, but their opponents will be determined by a four team tournament over the next two weeks.

    Tag Team Eliminator First Round: Revival vs. Anderson and Gallows

    Joined in progress with Anderson throwing Dawson around and declaring him a NERD. Revival gets smart by taking out the knee with Wilder cranking back and bending the leg in various odd directions. Dawson dives over to prevent a tag as they’re trying to get that Revival formula going. A big boot to the face is enough to bring in Anderson though and that means HI YAH in the corner. Anderson dives onto Wilder but Dawson rolls through a high crossbody for two (with tights). Everything breaks down and Gallows gets sent into the barricade, leaving Anderson to eat the Shatter Machine for the pin at 3:41 shown.

    John Cena Make-A-Wish ad. Thankfully this earns applause, because even Wrestlemania fans have some heart.

    Here’s Seth Rollins for a chat. The fans are all about Rollins here with another YOU DESERVE IT chant. Seth says it’s been a long road back but that was the loudest BURN IT DOWN ever. After last night, he’s back and now a Grand Slam winner, just like the rest of the Shield. He talks about how special it was to complete the Grand Slam in front of fans like these but here’s Finn Balor to interrupt.

    Balor gets straight to the point: Rollins was the better man last night but there was someone who wasn’t the winner or a loser and that man wants more. He wants to be the first challenger for the Intercontinental Title and Rollins will shake to that. This brings out Miz and the Miztourage with Miz ranting about how Rollins doesn’t deserve to be champion. It was Miz who made the title what it is but he slips up and says he can’t win without the Miztourage backing him up.

    Miz is a changed man after becoming a father to his new daughter. Fans: “HE’S GOT KIDS!” Last night, his daughter watched the match in Maryse’s arms and when Miz lost, she started crying. Miz: “You made my little princess cry.” That made Maryse cry and Miz cried when he heard about it. Seth: “That’s what everyone does when they watch you try to wrestle.”

    Miz has a rematch clause and since Balor lost last night, he goes to the back of the line. Rollins is ready now but Miz isn’t wrestling in this suit. Instead he’ll do it at Backlash but if they want a fight tonight, a handicap match is fine. Cue the returning Jeff Hardy to even things up and the Miztourage bails.

    Back from a break with the six man being set for later.

    Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose

    Absolution and Bayley are at ringside. Sasha sends her outside for a baseball slide to start as the fans sing about Bayley. A suplex gives Sasha two as Corey is very glad that he gets to commentate both shows, meaning he always gets to see Mandy. Sasha gets dropped throat first across the top rope and we take a break. Back with Mandy holding an abdominal stretch until Sasha slips out and hits a knee in the corner. The top rope double knees get two and they head outside where Mandy….seems to mistime whatever she was supposed to be ready for. Mandy goes after Bayley, who hits Sasha by mistake in the next logical step. Back in and Mandy knees Sasha in the face for the pin at 6:55.

    Post match Bayley leaves and Paige talks about how hard it was to be on the sidelines yesterday at Wrestlemania. This ring is her soul but due to neck injuries, her in-ring career is over. The THANK YOU PAIGE chants start up in a hurry and Paige thanks the locker room for growing the division into something they never could have dreamed of. She also wants to thank Daniel Bryan for giving her hope that she might be able to come back some day as well.

    Earlier today Edge spoke to her and showed her that there’s life outside of wrestling. Edge has a family and acting career but now Paige has to go find something else. WWE has allowed her to do this for the last four years. She debuted here four years ago and won the Divas Championship so she wants to retire here as well.

    Paige starts to cry so we get a THIS IS YOUR HOUSE chant. This will always be her house and she takes the shirt from around her waist, leaving it in the ring before walking up the ramp. I know she’s had some issues over the years but there’s no denying that she played a big role in the Women’s Revolution. It’s a shame that she’s done at such a young age and I hope she gets to do this again someday.

    The announcers recap John Cena vs. Undertaker.

    Here’s Elias for a song. The fans get that WWE stands for WALK WITH ELIAS and last night they paid for an Elias performance. That means an OH WALK WITH ELIAS chant but Elias calls them scumbags. Fans: “WE ARE SCUMBAGS!” The song is about how he wants to punch the clapping fans in the face….and here’s the returning Bobby Lashley. House is cleaned in a hurry and Lashley hits a delayed vertical suplex (with one arm free at times) to drop Elias. Lashley won’t be around long but let him make an impact while he can.

    Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn come to see Kurt Angle to ask for a job. Sure they had a falling out with their management but that won’t happen here. Angle: “My tag team division is full, but I hear that TNA is hiring.” After the line of the year, Angle says he can’t hire them both. He has one spot available so they can wrestle for the contract tonight.

    Here are Heath Slater and Rhyno to issue an open challenge. Oh man that’s never a good idea on this show.

    Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Authors of Pain

    Pounding abounds and the Last Chapter ends Slater at 49 seconds.

    Post match the Authors walk away from Paul Ellering. Maybe he just didn’t want to do the full schedule?

    Here’s Roman Reigns for a chat. He took a beating last night but he’s here while Brock Lesnar isn’t. When he got to the Superdome yesterday, no one could look him in the eye. As of this past Wednesday, Lesnar was done and going to the UFC. Now though they have another match in a cage in Saudi Arabia later this month. That means Reigns can win the title there in a match he found out about on the internet. This brings out Samoa Joe to say Reigns exposed Lesnar last night.

    For over a year, Reigns has been saying he’s the only one who can beat Lesnar. It doesn’t matter who couldn’t look at Roman because he’s a failure. It also makes him a liar because he can’t beat Brock Lesnar. Every time the Beast meets the Big Dog, the Big Dog gets conquered. After Lesnar makes Reigns fail again, Samoa Joe will be waiting at Backlash to put him to sleep. As usual, Joe was great here with the commanding voice and fire in his eyes. Joe as the new #1 contender could do some great things, especially if he eventually wins the title.

    Tag Team Eliminator First Round: Titus Worldwide vs. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt

    Before the match, Hardy talks to the Andre the Giant trophy, saying it’s time to start on the expedition of gold. Bray shows up and laughter ensues, allowing them to appear in the ring. Matt and Titus have the required pose off and Matt hammers away. Bray comes in and the fans give him a little He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.

    The announcers discuss whether these chants are more like football games or soccer until Apollo comes in with a flip. Matt and Bray find this WONDERFUL but beat on Apollo anyway. A series of rams into the buckle have Apollo in trouble but he gets in a dropkick to stagger Bray. That just earns him a release Rock Bottom as Titus is knocked to the floor. Bray tosses Apollo into the Twist of Fate (called Sister Abigail into the Twist, which is nonsense) for the pin at 5:08.

    We recap the opening sequence.

    Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

    The winner gets a Raw contract. Cole points out that the loser here will NOT be allowed in the Superstar Shakeup, which could make things more interesting. Sami misses the Helluva Kick at the bell and he has to explain the attempt at the fast start. Owens gets low bridged….to the apron as Sami doesn’t get the rope low enough and Owens goes through the ropes instead. He’s smart enough to hammer Sami in the head but gets knocked to the floor for a big flip dive.

    A hard right hand breaks up a springboard but Sami catapults him face first into the post. Back in and Sami gets crotched, setting up a Vader Bomb elbow for two. We take a break and come back with Cole sounding like he’s talking to production and Sami getting two off the Blue Thunder Bomb. They head outside again with Sami’s dive through the ropes eating a superkick.

    Back in and the frog splash gets two and Owens follows it up with a corner clothesline. He tries another but Sami is right behind him with the Helluva Kick to send him to the apron. There’s the Pop Up Powerbomb but Owens falls to the floor for some reason. Back in and Owens goes up, only to get kicked in the face again. Sami superplexes him down and neither can get up, meaning it’s a double knockout at 10:18.

    Post match, the fans chant TNA.

    Matt and Jeff run into each other with Matt saying he was glad to hear about Jeff getting over being broken. Jeff left him a message but it must have been DELETED. Matt must have been preparing for Andre’s battle of the giants. Indeed he was, and he won, thanks to the help of an old foe. Bray comes in and hugs Brother Nero, who is glad that Sister Abigail has been rendered OBSOLETE. Bray is now feeling wonderful and walks off with Matt. The camera pans over to Balor and Rollins, who are very confused. Jeff just shrugs and leaves.

    Great little segment here, as just putting normal people (Rollins and Balor qualify here) into this strange world that is wrestling makes things all the better. That’s a guaranteed way to get a chuckle in wrestling as these are crazy people doing crazy things but when you live in the wrestling bubble, everything seems fine. Looking at it through the eyes of the normal people makes it all the funnier.

    Next week: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks.

    Jeff Hardy/Finn Balor/Seth Rollins vs. Miz/Miztourage

    Before Finn’s entrance, the production crew replaced a piece of the stage, which I thought would be a Rey Mysterio entrance but turned out to just be for the smoke in Balor’s entrance. Miz and Rollins start but let’s hand it off to Axel instead. Rollins kicks both lackeys in the face and it’s off to Jeff for some Poetry in Motion to Axel and Dallas. Finn and Seth play decent Matt’s actually.

    Back from a break with Balor coming in and forearming all three villains. Miz offers a distraction though and Dallas decks Balor from behind. Now Miz is glad to come in with a chinlock, followed by the Hennig necksnap from Axel. Dallas drops some knees and grabs a chinlock of his own as we’re not exactly setting any new standards here (as they shouldn’t be here). Balor finally dropkicks Miz down and the hot tag brings in Jeff to clean house.

    A Whisper in the Wind takes down the Miztourage as you can see Rollins getting all charged up on the apron. The diving tag brings in Seth with a springboard clothesline to Miz. Rollins suicide dives onto all three of them for a big crash and we hit a BURN IT DOWN chant. Back in and the superplex into the Falcon Arrow (Cole: “Tonight he hits it!” He hit it last night too.) gets two on Miz with Dallas making the save. Finn dives onto Axel and Dallas and the Stomp finishes Miz at 13:56.

    Post match Dallas takes a Twist of Fate, Coup de Grace, Swanton and Stomp. Axel gets a similar treatment and a Stomp to Miz ends the show.

    The dark segment saw Rollins telling the fans to throw in their beach balls. Several fans obliged and the good guys batted them around for a few minutes to wrap up the night.

    Ember Moon/Nia Jax b. Alexa Bliss/Mickie James – Eclipse to Bliss
    No Way Jose b. John Skylar – Pop Up Punch
    Revival b. Anderson and Gallows – Shatter Machine to Anderson
    Mandy Rose b. Sasha Banks – Knee to the face
    Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. Titus Worldwide – Twist of Fate to Apollo
    Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens went to a double knockout
    Seth Rollins/Finn Balor/Jeff Hardy b. Miz/Miztourage – Stomp to Miz


    Date: April 10, 2018
    Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
    Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton

    It’s the last major show of the week and after Raw, Smackdown has a lot to live up to. There were a ton of surprises, debuts and returns on Monday and I’m not sure how many more will be showing up tonight. If nothing else we might get more wrestling as that tends to be more of a Smackdown focus. Let’s get to it.

    I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the upper deck and looking down on the ring with the Titantron on my right. The majority of the upper deck was tarped off and there were large sections of empty seats around the arena.

    Here’s Shane McMahon, announced as the Commissioner. That would still be accurate, even though he’s on a leave of absence at the moment. He thanks the fans for coming from all over the world to be here for such a big week because WWE couldn’t do it without them. He’s had a lot of great Wrestlemania moments but none of them topped teaming with Daniel Bryan.

    Now since Bryan has returned to full time competition, Shane has accepted his resignation as General Manager. Therefore, we need a replacement so Shane is proud to present….Paige. I would have bet on Jeff Jarrett so this is a VERY nice surprise. Paige hits that I’m back line and says Shane was the first person waiting on her after her retirement speech last night. The Superstar Shakeup is next week but tonight we can do something special. It’s been a long time since Daniel Bryan and he needs an opponent. Fans: “RUSEV DAY!” Paige isn’t sure. Fans: “AJ STYLES!” Paige: “AJ STYLES!” Works for me!

    Non-traditional audience disclaimer.

    New Day vs. Usos

    Winners get the Bludgeon Brothers at Greatest Royal Rumble. Woods punches away at Jimmy to start but Jey gets in a blind tag for a double boot to the head in the corner. It’s off to Big E. for an overhead belly to belly and Woods lifts Big E. onto his shoulders (dang) for a splash. The Unicorn Stampede takes us to a break and we come back with Big E. missing a splash onto the apron.

    Jimmy comes in off the hot tag and gets in some uppercuts to Woods, followed by an enziguri on Big E. The Samoan drop gets two but Woods grabs a DDT for a breather. Woods’ legdrop gets two and we actually go back to tagging. Jey charges at Big E. in the corner but gets Rock Bottomed into a Backstabber from Woods. A double superkick drops Big E. but Woods comes in with a missile dropkick for two more. One more superkick sets up the Superfly Splash to end Woods at 10:25.

    Post match the Bludgeon Brothers come out for the staredown.

    John Cena Make-A-Wish video.

    Earlier today, Naomi was proud of winning the battle royal but Natalya came in and was all catty to her, which is the chosen path every time we need a thrown together women’s match. Naomi’s entrance is so seventh grade or something.

    Naomi vs. Natalya

    Naomi headlocks her down to start and then snaps off a hurricanrana for good measure. Natalya gets sat on the middle rope and taken down with a slingshot legdrop (cool spot) as we take a break. Back with Natalya holding an abdominal stretch, including some of her traditionally lame trash talk.

    Naomi finally slips out and tries a sitout Stunner but just pulls Natalya’s hair instead. A Scorpion kick works a bit better but Natalya plants her with the always good looking Batista Bomb. The Sharpshooter is broken up and the discus clothesline gives Natalya two more. Naomi is sick of this though and kicks her in the face, setting up the split legged moonsault for the pin at 7:28.

    Renee Young asks Shinsuke Nakamura why he attacked AJ Styles on Sunday. Nakamura is rather sad about his actions and says the emotions got the better of him. He’s very, very sorry for what he did but Renee thinks he’s being disingenuous. She wants a more specific answer, but Nakamura remembers that he can’t speak English. Maybe it was just me but a lot of Nakamura’s accent went away in the first half of his talk and came back when he couldn’t remember English. The last line was funny too.

    Here’s Charlotte for a chat. This Sunday, Asuka made her work harder and dig deeper than she ever has before and for that she has to thank her. The match was different and they left it all in the ring. That was magical, and the question is who does she make magic with next. Cue the Iconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, formerly the Iconic Duo) to make their full time debut.

    They’re willing to do some magic by making that title disappear. They’ll give her some credit for her Wrestlemania match being good but not iconic. Peyton mocks Charlotte’s speech, by thanking her second grade math teacher, the Uber driver who brought her here, and air for allowing her to breathe. You know that’s getting some cheers from this crowd.

    The brawl is on and Charlotte can’t fight off the numbers game for very long. They throw her over the announcers’ table and then throw her in the other direction just to keep things even. Charlotte gets posted and double powerbombed on the floor as the fans chant for Carmella. Anytime now would be just fine. They throw Charlotte back inside (with Peyton struggling with the dead weight) and strike the pose. That’s enough for them and HERE’S CARMELLA! After a long time of asking if she’s sure (Carmella: “COME ON!”), the referee rings the bell.

    Smackdown Women’s Title: Carmella vs. Charlotte

    Carmella is challenging and wins with a superkick in 7 seconds.

    So this is a mixed bag overall. The Iconics make an awesome debut and instantly look like threats (they can do what even Asuka couldn’t by laying out Charlotte). It makes this feel like a big deal and Charlotte has multiple directions to take now. At the same time though, KILL MONEY IN THE BANK WITH FIRE AND PITCHFORKS. This makes the whole Charlotte vs. Asuka match seem like a waste of time because “oh never mind Carmella wins anyway”. But hey, at least Money in the Bank, a match that took place about ten months ago gets a payoff. If that has to take away from a classic match, eh who cares. Shock value and all that.

    Carmella teases coming back to the ring but poses on the ramp more instead.

    Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton vs. Rusev

    The winner gets Mahal, at ringside, for the US Title at Backlash. Joined in progress with Roode having to block an RKO but getting hammered down in the corner by Rusev. A Blockbuster drops Rusev for two but Orton throws him to the floor. The Machka Kick gets two on Orton and all three head to the floor. We get the required announcers’ table abuse before Roode elbows Orton in the face a few times.

    The Glorious pose is struck but the Glorious DDT is blocked. Rusev pulls Orton to the floor though and drops him onto the table to give the fans some hope. The spinwheel kick drops Roode (he’s taken a beating tonight) and there’s the running superkick. The Accolade goes on but Orton makes the save and posts Rusev. That means the RKO to put Roode away at 7:07.

    Post match, Orton stares down at Mahal. After the show went to break, Orton posed for a very long time, to the point where the referees were practically yelling at him to leave and then giving a frustrated look when he wouldn’t leave. Maybe a goodbye to Smackdown?

    Carmella talks about being the princess that threw Charlotte off of her throne. She took 287 days to set up the perfect moment to win. She’s almost overcome with emotion and then congratulates herself with a big smile. Carmella has no idea who Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are either. She’s good in the role, but this feels like a major step down after what we had been getting for the last few weeks.

    AJ Styles isn’t worried about Shinsuke Nakamura because he’ll put a fist down that throat when he gets the chance. Tonight, he’s across the ring from Daniel Bryan. Daniel may be great, but he’s not phenomenal.

    AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan

    Non-title. AJ takes him to the mat to start and it’s an early standoff. A shoulder block works a bit better and things speed up. Bryan fights out of a test of strength and starts in on the arm with the hard kicks. It’s off to a hammerlock with Bryan bending the arm in a variety of unnatural manners. AJ fights up and it’s the drop down into the dropkick as the fans aren’t sure who they like more. The slingshot forearm to the floor drops Bryan again and we take a break.

    Back (after Bryan misses a Swan Dive in the break) with Bryan hitting the running clothesline to set up the YES Kicks. AJ counters the big one with the dragon screw legwhip but Bryan moonsaults over him in the corner. That’s fine with AJ, who moonsaults over him right into the reverse DDT to drop Bryan for two. The Phenomenal Blitz is reversed into a cross armbreaker but AJ rolls over for the break.

    Instead it’s the Calf Crusher to work on Bryan’s bad knee but Bryan reverses that into the YES Lock, which is reversed into a rollup for two. A hard clothesline gives AJ two and they’re both winded. Bryan is back up with some hard kicks and it’s time to load up the running knee.

    Thankfully AJ is smart enough to realize that the YES chants mean something is coming and he ducks the knee, only to get pulled into the YES Lock. Dang Bryan will get you one way or another. AJ gets the rope so Bryan puts him in the Tree of Woe for more kicks. A belly to back superplex is reversed into a crossbody….and here’s Nakamura to knee Bryan in the head for the DQ at 12:42.

    Post match Nakamura abuses Styles’ groin and hits Kinshasa to end the show.

    Usos b. New Day – Superfly Splash to Woods
    Naomi b. Natalya – Split legged moonsault
    Carmella b. Charlotte – Superkick
    Randy Orton b. Bobby Roode and Rusev – RKO to Roode
    Daniel Bryan b. AJ Styles via DQ when Shinsuke Nakamura interfered


    Date: April 11, 2018
    Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
    Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson

    This is one of those slow walking shows with the two matches taped before this weekend’s Takeover and a bunch of highlight packages in between. It’s not clear how many of these stories will actually see advancement but things will really pick up next week. This show is more about taking a breather from last Saturday’s masterpiece. Let’s get to it.

    I was in the arena for this show, sitting in the lower arena with the Titantron and hard cameras on my left.

    We open with a long recap of Takeover in all its glory.

    Opening sequence.

    Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans

    I could listen to that YO HO song for at least a few minutes straight. Evans is rather disliked here, which isn’t the biggest surprise in the world. Lacey grabs Sane by the waist to start before switching over to a wristlock. Evans sends her into the ropes but Sane stands on the middle rope and drops back down, just because she can. The pace quickens with Sane getting two off a dropkick but a slingshot elbow gives Evans the same.

    We hit the cobra clutch to keep Sane down and a chinlock actually gets two on Sane. Back from a break with Evans hitting a slingshot Bronco Buster but Sane comes back with some chops. We go old school with a shoulder breaker on Sane until she spears the heck out of Evans. Sane’s running Blockbuster sets up a top rope clothesline, followed by the Insane Elbow for the pin at 11:49.

    Video on the insane ladder match.

    Stills of the Tag Team Title match.

    After the match, the Undisputed Era was very smug about their win. Roderick Strong whispered something to Adam Cole and no explanation was forthcoming.

    Clip of the Authors of Pain arriving on Raw and leaving Paul Ellering.

    The Authors, who can speak English, don’t want to talk about Ellering. Paul comes in and asks what they’re doing. He developed the strategy but Rezar says Paul’s chapter has ended.

    Long video on Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa. What a performance.

    Video on Shayna Baszler winning the Women’s Title.

    Baszler is sure she’ll get congratulated but doesn’t want people jumping on her war wagon. She knows who has been here since the beginning. To people like her and Ronda Rousey, this is just another weekend because winning is what they do.

    Quick look at Ember Moon debuting on Raw.

    Moon and Nia Jax are ready to start something new.

    Video on Aleister Black becoming NXT Champion when Zelina Vega interfered once too often.

    Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss

    Knight throws Sabbatelli around to start and it’s time for some laughing. It’s off to Moss for an early staredown and everything breaks down in a hurry. We get a little Bushwhackers from Heavy Machinery and Sabbatelli’s head gets crushed between the bellies. Sabbatelli decks Knight from behind though and we take a break. Back with Moss hitting an impressive fall away slam on Moss and handing it off to Sabbatelli for two.

    The slow double teaming continues with Knight taking more of a beating, including a front facelock. Knight finally sends them into each other though and rolls over for the hot tag to Dozovic. Some running splashes in the corner rock Sabbtelli and Moss and the Worm into an elbow gets two on Tino. Knight and Moss clothesline each other and cue the WAR RAIDERS (War Machine) for the no contest at 9:36.

    The War Raiders destroy all four, including Fallout to Moss.

    Kairi Sane b. Lacey Evans – Insane Elbow
    Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss went to a no contest when the War Raiders interfered


    Impact Wrestling
    Date: April 12, 2018
    Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
    Commentators: Josh Matthews, Sonjay Dutt

    We’re past Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground and that means we need to hit the hard push towards Redemption. Now that being said, there’s the whole fact that Alberto El Patron has been dropped from the main event due to being Alberto. Hopefully they’ve had time to record something to address the situation, as otherwise a big chunk of this show will be a big waste of time. Let’s get to it.

    We open with a long recap of the Impact vs. Lucha Underground show, including the announcement of Alberto no showing and the new Redemption main event of Austin Aries defending the World Title against Fenix and Pentagon Dark. Really, that’s better for everyone all around.

    Opening sequence.

    Here’s Eli Drake with both briefcases….and an apology? He didn’t think much of the Tag Team Title briefcase but now he realizes he could have all the titles in this company in no time. At Redemption he’s picking up the Tag Team Titles but here’s LAX to interrupt. Konnan gets straight to the point of asking who Drake’s partner is going to be. Drake brings out Scott Steiner, looking like a grandfather more than anything else.

    Steiner talks about how awesome the Steiner Brothers were and brags about being a World Champion on the NWO (wrong stable). They’ll win the titles but LAX doesn’t want to hear about it. Konnan laughs all of this off and says Steiner might beat Drake down before they even get to the match. Eli doesn’t care and says they’ll win anyway, but Konnan says play the LAX music so everyone can leave. Bringing Steiner in makes my head hurt, as it costs money and ignores the rest of the roster, many of whom could benefit from something like this.

    The announcers talk about how awesome WrestleCon was and plug the rest of the card.

    From December 1, 2016, Rosemary defeats Jade in a Six Sides of Steel match to win the Knockouts Title.

    Sami Callihan vs. Moose

    Moose wastes no time in hitting some running splashes in the corner, followed by a running hesitation dropkick. He can’t suplex Callihan to the floor though and gets clotheslined outside instead. A suicide dive sends Moose into the barricade but he’s right back with a weak apron powerbomb. The second attempt looks a little better so Sami is right back with a low blow to send us to a break.

    Back with Sami hitting a running boot in the corner and walking into a powerbomb for his efforts. The chokebomb out of the corner gets two as the crowd is almost eerily quiet for this. Sami eventually pulls him down into a sunset bomb but walks into the Game Changer for two. Not that it matters as Sami hits him with the baseball bat for the DQ at 14:10.

    Post match the beatdown is on until Eddie Edwards runs in for the save. He’s beaten down as well so here’s Eddie’s wife Alisha to cover him up. The lights go out and it’s Tommy Dreamer (ERG) coming in for the real save with the kendo stick. Dreamer talks about fighting a war for his entire career so it’s a six man House of Hardcore match at Redemption. Cross promotion is fine, but my goodness why does it have to be Dreamer?

    Josh Matthews vs. Petey Williams

    Before the match, Josh blames Petey for the loss the Grand Championship and preventing Matt Sydal from being the World Champion. Tonight, he destroys the Destroyer. Josh hides in the corner to start and then bails to the floor and there’s no contact in the first two minutes. Sydal offers a distraction and Josh forearms Petey in the back so the chase is o again. Another distraction lets Josh forearm him down again but Petey is right back up with the Sharpshooter as Dutt is in stitches. That’s broken up with a distraction so Petey loads up the Destroyer, drawing in Sydal for the DQ at 3:57.

    Petey gets beaten down post match.

    Video on Brian Cage beating Bobby Lashley twice in a row.

    Johnny Impact is tired of Kongo Kong and Jimmy Jacobs interfering so here they are again. Impact wants a fight next week and it seems to be set.

    We recap KM insulting Richard Justice (who is TOTALLY above being mocked) and setting up a six man tag tonight.

    KM/Cult of Lee vs. Fallah Bahh/Tyrus/Richard Justice

    Bahh cleans house to start by running Lee over and rolling over him for good measure. Justice comes in for some lefts and rights as we seem to be firmly in the comedy match zone to start. A few shots keep Justice in the wrong corner but it’s off to Tyrus in short order. Tyrus gets two off a Big Ending and everything breaks down. The Tongan Death Grip into a Banzai Drop puts KM away at 5:26.

    Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary

    This is a Demon’s Dance match, which seems to be another anything goes match. They waste no time in starting the brawl and head straight to the floor. Taya can’t hit the Road to Valhalla on the ramp but Rosemary can’t get the Red Wedding there either. Back to ringside with Taya throwing a bunch of chairs inside.

    One gets wedged into the corner but Taya puts a second onto Rosemary in the corner, setting up some running knees. Another shot drives a chair between Rosemary’s legs for two but she’s right back up with a Sling Blade onto another chair. Now it’s ladder time but Taya gets in a suplex instead of being thrown into the steel.

    The second attempt works better for Rosemary though and now it’s time for a table. Back in and Rosemary misses a charge into the chair to give Taya two. They head to the corner and neither can hit a super version of their finisher through a table. Instead Rosemary PILEDRIVES HER OFF THE MIDDLE ROPE THROUGH THE TABLE, which thankfully is good for the pin at 10:13.

    Here’s the same video that opened the show.

    We wrap up the show with nearly ten minutes of highlights from Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground. I’m guessing this was all they could do to replace an Alberto segment. If so, that’s perfectly understandable.

    Moose b. Sami Callihan via DQ when Sami used a baseball bat
    Petey Williams b. Josh Matthews via DQ when Matt Sydal interfered
    Tyrus/Fallah Bahh/Richard Justice b. KM/Cult of Lee – Banzai Drop to KM
    Rosemary b. Taya Valkyrie – Super piledriver through a table







    Quick Results

    Monday Night Raw
    Ember Moon/Nia Jax b. Alexa Bliss/Mickie James – Eclipse to Bliss
    No Way Jose b. John Skylar – Pop Up Punch
    Revival b. Anderson and Gallows – Shatter Machine to Anderson
    Mandy Rose b. Sasha Banks – Knee to the face
    Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. Titus Worldwide – Twist of Fate to Apollo
    Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens went to a double knockout
    Seth Rollins/Finn Balor/Jeff Hardy b. Miz/Miztourage – Stomp to Miz

    Usos b. New Day – Superfly Splash to Woods
    Naomi b. Natalya – Split legged moonsault
    Carmella b. Charlotte – Superkick
    Randy Orton b. Bobby Roode and Rusev – RKO to Roode
    Daniel Bryan b. AJ Styles via DQ when Shinsuke Nakamura interfered

    Kairi Sane b. Lacey Evans – Insane Elbow
    Heavy Machinery vs. Tino Sabbatelli/Riddick Moss went to a no contest when the War Raiders interfered

    Impact Wrestling
    Moose b. Sami Callihan via DQ when Sami used a baseball bat
    Petey Williams b. Josh Matthews via DQ when Matt Sydal interfered
    Tyrus/Fallah Bahh/Richard Justice b. KM/Cult of Lee – Banzai Drop to KM
    Rosemary b. Taya Valkyrie – Super piledriver through a table

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