Monday, February 22, 2021

WWE Elimination Chamber 2021

By Steve Ward

Despite the remainder of Florida essentially being completely open, WWE continues to utilize their virtual Thunderdome at Tropicana Field in what I’ve again rebranded the WWE Dystopian Era. Perhaps a blessing in disguise will be that the WWE will need to locate a new home following MLB Spring Training as the Rays will be taking over the facility - perhaps they have secured an outdoor venue where they will allow limited attendance since they are already believed to be allowing fans to attend Wrestlemania. On another significant note, this evening would also mark the final WWE pay per view on the WWE Network for those residing in North America as all of the WWE library and future pay per views will be exclusively streamed on Peacock beginning in March following a multi-billion dollar deal that was agreed upon recently. Nonetheless, we continue on the Road to Wrestlemania with the first to last pay per view stop in the form of Elimination Chamber. This event should solidify the world title picture for The Showcase of the Immortals, Wrestlemania, as both world championships were on the line among the five scheduled bouts on the card - including two elimination chamber contests.

Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. King Corbin vs. Jey Uso vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro
Winner: Daniel Bryan

The opening contest of the main card delivered the first chamber match of the evening and would determine Roman Reigns opponent for his Universal Championship later in the show. The bout commenced with arguably the two most talented combatants, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro. After trading some vicious blows for several minutes, the men were finally joined by King Corbin who was the first to be released from his pod. Corbin managed to gain the upper hand on the two competitors using his size advantage to manhandle Bryan and Cesaro until the fourth Superstar entered the fray in the form of Sami Zayn. The first elimination of the match was delivered by Cesaro as he cinched in the Sharpshooter on King Corbin to secure the submission. Just after Corbin’s departure from the match Kevin Owens entered the fray and introduced Sami Zayn’s skull to the chamber door before delivering his patented cannonball to each of the three men in the chamber.

With Owens in control of the contest, the final competitor, Roman Reigns’ cousin Jey Uso, entered the match. Owens continued to dominate the bout as he delivered a moonsault from the top of one of the pods that left the other four competitors in a pile of visceral carnage. Owens then delivered a slew of Stunners including one to Zayn who he subsequently pinned. As Zayn left the chamber, Uso achieved the upper hand on Owens from behind and immediately capitalized with a Frog Splash for another quick elimination. As Cesaro seemed poised to attain his second submission elimination of the evening as he cinched Bryan in the Sharpshooter, he was unceremoniously greeted with a super kick to the jaw from Jey Uso who immediately scaled the turnbuckles to deliver another Frog Splash to solidify the pinfall. Uso quickly attempted another Frog Splash, this time from the top of one of the pods, to Daniel Bryan, however, he was met with a pair of knees to the stomach. Daniel Bryan promptly delivered the running knee to punch his ticket into the Universal Championship Match with Roman Reigns.

Universal Championship Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns (c) w/ Paul Heyman
Winner: Roman Reigns via submission

A bruised and battered Daniel Bryan had no opportunity to recover as the chamber immediately ascended to the rafters and Roman Reigns music echoed through the Thunderdome marking the beginning of the Universal Championship Match. Roman attempted to spear Bryan at the opening bell, however, Bryan sidestepped him and cinched in the Yes Lock. Bryan just didn’t have enough left in the tank to maintain the hold as Reigns broke out and pummeled him unmercifully before he finally choked him out for the submission victory. As Reigns celebrated in the ring, Edge emerged to deliver a spear to the champion and proclaimed that he would be challenging him for his title at Wrestlemania.

United States Championship Triple Threat Match
Bobby Lashley (c) w/ MVP vs. Matt Riddle vs. John Morrison
Winner: Matt Riddle via pinfall

Keith Lee was originally supposed to be a participant in this match, however, he suffered an injury on Monday Night RAW and needed to be replaced. John Morrison fought his way in as he emerged victorious over Ricochet, Mustafa Ali, and Elias in a Fatal Four Way bout on the Kickoff Show. Bobby Lashley absolutely dominated this entire contest and was seemingly poised to earn a submission victory as he had John Morrison trapped in the Hurt Lock until Riddle procured MVP’s crutch and shattered it over Lashley’s back before tossing him from the ring. This opened the door for Riddle to take advantage of Morrison as he executed the Bro Derek allowing him to earn the pinfall crowning a new champion.

Women’s Tag Team Championship
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (c) vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks
Winners: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax via pinfall

Following the events of Friday Night Smackdown, Belair found herself teaming up with one of her potential Wrestlemania opponents with the women’s tag team gold on the line. In another “exhilarating” Sasha Banks match, the conclusion came shortly after Reginald made his way to ringside with a bottle of celebratory champagne. Reginald passed the bottle to Sasha with the intention of her using it on Nia Jax. As Sasha lashed out at Reginald for such a suggestion, Jax seized the opportunity to hoist Banks up in the Samoan Drop to retain the tag team titles.

RAW Elimination Chamber WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. A.J. Styles w/ Omos vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
Winner: Drew McIntyre

Unlike the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, the stakes were even greater for this one as Drew McIntyre was one of the participants with his WWE Championship on the line. One last minute change occurred for the lineup in this match as The Miz removed himself on Monday night and was subsequently replaced by Kofi Kingston. 

The first two men pitted against each other were ring veterans Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy. Jeff Hardy surprisingly brought the fight to the Viper and controlled much of the opening of the match until the champion, Drew McIntyre, entered the fray and immediately asserted himself. Kingston entered the match next and quickly trapped Orton in a surprise pinfall. Before departing the chamber, Orton delivered a pair of RKOs to Kingston and Hardy. Seeing a window of opportunity, Styles directed the towering Omos to rip the outer wall of his pod off so that he could prematurely enter the match with hopes of stealing a pinfall on one of the incapacitated participants. Unfortunately for Styles, his plan did not go as he intended and WWE officials removed his muscle, Omos, from ringside. The defending champ then proceeded to reestablish his dominance as he laid waste to all of the other participants. With bodies scattered around McIntyre, Sheamus made his way into the match as the final entrant released from his pod. 

Shortly thereafter, Kingston seemed to be in prime position for at least one elimination as he took out the other four competitors with a dive from the top of one of the pods until his head was blasted with a Brogue Kick from Sheamus for the elimination. Jeff Hardy was the next victim of the match as he was met with a Claymore Kick from McIntyre who was able to easily pin him leaving us with three participants. The next elimination arrived after Sheamus leveled McIntyre with a Brogue Kick only to be surprised with a Phenomenal Forearm that lead to his swift exit from the match. Styles then attempted another Phenomenal Forearm on the champion but this time found himself on the receiving end of a Claymore Kick which allowed McIntyre to retain his title.

After the chamber was lifted from the ring, Drew McIntyre was ambushed by Bobby Lashley who cleaned the arena up with him in a vicious assault. With an apparent deal in place between The Miz and The Hurt Business, Miz promptly made his way to ringside with his Money In The Bank briefcase in tow.

WWE Championship Match
Drew McIntyre (c) vs. The Miz
Winner: The Miz via pinfall

As soon as the bell rang, The Miz pounced on the champion and immediately delivered a DDT followed by a failed pinfall attempt. With his hopes of winning the title appearing to be in dire straits, The Miz unrelentingly followed up with a Skullcrushing Finale to shock the WWE Universe and walk out of the pay per view as the newly crowned WWE Champion!

WWE Elimination Chamber Results 2/21/2021

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Monday, February 1, 2021

WWE Royal Rumble 2021

Despite relocating the Thunderdome from Orlando’s Amway Center to the significantly larger Tropicana Field, despite the state of Florida exhibiting some of the lowest COVID infection rates in the country, despite AEW continuing to host fans for the past several months, and despite several NHL and NFL teams welcoming back fans, the WWE continues to utilize the dystopian setting of virtual fans. All ranting aside, the 34th annual Royal Rumble and official beginning of the Road to Wrestlemania emanated from the aforementioned Thunderdome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida. This evening’s card featured five matches including the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches with the respective winners securing championship opportunities at Wrestlemania.

WWE Championship
Goldberg vs. Drew McIntyre (c)
Winner: Drew McIntyre via pinfall
This match came to fruition several weeks ago when Monday Night RAW hosted Legends Night. After McIntyre defeated Keith Lee in the main event of the evening, Goldberg confronted the champion in the ring and told him the one thing he didn’t have was the respect of the other wrestlers as he proceeded to challenge him for his coveted belt. In my opinion, this was WWE’s answer to the recent AEW signing of the legendary Sting - but I digress. This contest started with a bang as McIntyre speared Goldberg propelling him from the ring. Goldberg quickly turned the tables first Irish-whipping him into the steel ring stairs and then delivering his own spear putting the champ through the ringside barrier. Goldberg withstood the first Claymore Kick from McIntyre and answered with a pair of spears followed by his patented Jackhammer. This was not enough as McIntyre kicked out of Goldberg’s pinfall attempt. McIntyre then dodged a subsequent spear attempt by Goldberg and answered with another Claymore kick to secure the pinfall and retain his title.

Smackdown Women’s Championship
Carmella w/ Reginald vs. Sasha Banks (c)
Winner: Sasha Banks via submission
The most entertaining part of this match occurred when Sasha Banks delivered a hurricanrana to Reginald that subsequently lead to his ejection from ringside by the referee. The merciful conclusion of this bout arrived when Banks withstood a kick to the jaw by Carmella and answered with the Bank Statement for the submission victory.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match
Winner: Bianca Belair
Bayley and Naomi found themselves as the unlucky recipients of numbers one and two. While the two women made solid 30+ minute showings for themselves, neither made it to the final four. This match was rather short on surpises with only three in the form of Jillian Hall, Victoria, and Torrie Wilson while the field was supplemented with NXT stars to compliment those from RAW and Smackdown. The final four contestants were Bianca Belair, Natalya, Rhea Ripley, and Charlotte Flair. As Natalya taunted Ripley instead of finishing off the elimination, Belair dumped Neidhart over the top rope. Flair was then muscled over the top rope by Ripley and subsequently knocked off the ring apron by Belair and Ripley. This left Belair and Ripley as the final two combatants. Belair then punched her ticket to Wrestlemania as she clotheslined Ripley over the top rope.

Here is the complete list of the entrants:

1 Bayley
2 Naomi
3 Bianca Belair
4 Billie Kay
5 Shotzi Blackheart
6 Shayna Baszler
7 Toni Storm
8 Jillian Hall
9 Ruby Riott
10 Victoria
11 Peyton Royce
12 Santana Garrett
13 Liv Morgan
14 Rhea Ripley
15 Charlotte Flair
16 Dana Brooke
17 Torrie Wilson
18 Lacey Evans
19 Mickie James
20 Nikki Cross
21 Alicia Fox
22 Mandy Rose
23 Dakota Kai
24 Carmella
25 Tamina
26 Lana
27 Alexa Bliss
28 Ember Moon
29 Nia Jax
30 Nataly

WWE Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match
Roman Reigns (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Kevin Owens
Winner: Roman Reigns
The next chapter in the ongoing rivalry between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens was written this evening as the two men stood toe to toe again with championship gold on the line under Last Man Standing rules. For those in need of a refresher, this means that the winner would be decided after beating his opponent to the point where he would be unable to answer the referee’s 10-count. Roman Reigns faced a close call late in the match when he was handcuffed to a portion of the entrance scaffolding that left him in a seated position unable to get his feet beneath him. As the referee reached the count of nine, Reigns grabbed him by the collar and launched him headfirst into another part of the scaffolding knocking him out in the process. Owens then sought to capitalize on the situation but was met with a shot between the pipes. Paul Heyman then came to the rescue with a handcuff key and as Roman was freed, he proceeded to put Owens in a guillotine choke leaving him lifeless as the referee completed his 10 count.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match
Winner: Edge 
After suffering a torn triceps in a match with Orton that put him out of action for seven months, Edge found himself face to face with the Viper as they drew numbers one and two to start the match. The two combatants broke out into a brutal confrontation that eventually saw Edge seemingly take Orton out of the match after he laid waste to his knee with a steel chair. Unlike the women’s match, the men’s featured some great surprises including Kane, Christian, Carlito, and The Hurricane, as well as, the return of Seth Rollins from paternity leave. The closing moments of the match was a vicious flurry of action. First, Braun Strowman and Christian were knocked off the ring apron and eliminated by Seth Rollins. Edge then quickly avenged Christian as he tossed Rollins over the top rope. At this moment Orton returned from the trainer’s table and stunned Edge with an RKO Outta Nowhere but Edge reversed his attempt to throw him out and launched the Viper from the ring to punch his ticket to the main event at Wrestlemania!!! 

Here is the complete list of entrants:

1 Edge
2 Randy Orton
3 Sami Zayn
4 Mustafa Ali
5 Jeff Hardy
6 Dolph Ziggler
7 Shinsuke Nakamura
8 Carlito
9 Xavier Woods
10 Big E
11 John Morrison
12 Ricochet
13 Elias
14 Damian Priest
15 The Miz
16 Matt Riddle
17 Daniel Bryan
18 Kane
19 King Corbin
20 Otis
21 Dominik Mysterio
22 Bobby Lashley
23 The Hurricane
24 Christian
25 AJ Styles
26 Rey Mysterio
27 Sheamus
28 Cesaro
29 Seth Rollins
30 Braun Strowman


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Monday, December 21, 2020

WWE TLC 2020

By Steve Ward

WWE’s new home for the Thunderdome, Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, was the site for this evening’s final Quarantine Era pay per view of 2020 - Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. One would have to wonder if WWE would step their game up amidst a continued decline in their RAW and Smackdown viewership, losses in the ratings by NXT for several Wednesdays to AEW Dynamite, and after AEW also unleashed a bombshell earlier this month in the signing of the legendary Sting. Nonetheless, this evening’s card featured six matches with five titles contested and featured two Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches.

WWE Championship TLC Match  
AJ Styles w/ Omos vs. Drew McIntyre (c)  
Winner: Drew McIntyre
The main card wasted no time getting off the ground this evening as “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles found himself in the middle of the title picture as he scored a shot at champion, Drew McIntyre. McIntyre has been riding a monumental wave of momentum for the duration of the year including a win in the Royal Rumble and two world title reigns. Halfway through the bout, McIntyre launched Styles out of the ring and through a table on the arena floor. As McIntyre ascended the ladder, an opening was created for The Miz as he made his way to the ring with John Morrison and cracked Drew in the back with a chair. The Miz proceeded to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase turning the bout into a triple threat match and then scaled the ladder, however, he was stopped by Omos who carried Miz to the edge of the ring and dropped him through a table set up on the floor. Morrison tried to avenge The Miz by striking Omos with a chair, however, the chair shattered leaving only it’s legs in Morrison’s hands. Omos proceeded to chase Morrison out of the arena leaving McIntyre, Styles, and now The Miz to vie for the title. In the closing moments, McIntyre shoved the The Miz and Styles off of the ladder as they battled each other to retrieve the title. Styles was propelled out of the ring and The Miz was soon eliminated from the picture as the recipient of a Claymore Kick. An easy opening manifested that allowed McIntyre to scale the ladder to retrieve and retain his title.

Smackdown Women’s Championship
Carmella w/ Reginald vs. Sasha Banks (c)
Winner: Sasha Banks via submission

Following a hiatus from television, Smackdown color commentator Corey Graves’ real life mistress Carmella made her return and found herself quickly in line for a title shot that culminated this evening. Sadly the time off didn’t improve Carmella’s wrestling skills much but luckily the WWE Universe wasn’t subjected to an excessively long match as Banks halted her title hopes with the Bank Statement to retain her title.

RAW Tag Team Championship
The Hurt Business (Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander) w/ MVP vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Winners: The Hurt Business via pinfall

MVP’s Hurt Business sought to add more gold to their ranks this evening as Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander challenged for the RAW Tag Team Championship. Following a frenetically paced match, Shelton Benjamin had Kofi squared up when Alexander blind-tagged his way into the match much to the displeasure of The Gold Standard. Alexander proceeded to execute the Lumbar Check on Kingston to earn the pinfall and crown new tag team champions. Another note of significance was this marked Benjamin’s first tag team title reign in 17 years since he last held the tag team gold with Charlie Haas as one half of The World’s Greatest Tag Team.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Asuka & Charlotte Flair
Winners: Asuka & Charlotte Flair via pinfall

Asuka was originally scheduled to tag with Lana until she was brutalized at the hands of the tag team champs on Monday Night RAW leaving the Empress of Tomorrow in search of a new partner. The virtual WWE Universe was stunned as Asuka’s mystery partner was revealed to be “The Queen” Charlotte Flair. A  much leaner Flair showed no signs of any ring rust as her full arsenal was on display - most notably a beautifully executed moonsault she delivered from the top turnbuckle to the arena floor. In the closing moments, Flair hit the Natural Selection on Baszler allowing her to capture the pinfall victory and crown new tag team champions.

Universal Championship TLC Match
Roman Reigns (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Kevin Owens
Winner: Roman Reigns

Following an extended period of title picture irrelevancy, Kevin Owens was put in a prime spot this evening as he challenged Roman Reigns in a sadistic TLC match for the Universal Championship. KO was able to get the jump on Reigns early as he emerged out of nowhere while Roman watched his title hoisted to the rafters. Owens was then able to dispose of Jey Uso who came to his cousin’s aid allowing him to maintain some early momentum. Owens momentum was short-lived as Uso returned again later in the match to distract KO’s attention away from Reigns. This advantage was seized by Reigns as me maintained control until the closing moments of the match. Roman attempted to spear KO on the arena floor, however, Owens moved at that last moment as Reigns launched himself through the ringside barrier. Owens again seemed in a prime position to become the new champion as he scaled the ladder in the ring only to be met again by Jey Uso. After Owens disposed of Uso yet again, Roman recovered and made his way up the ladder where he unceremoniously delivered a low blow to KO which created the opportunity for him to cinch in a guillotine choke. Reigns did not release the hold until Owens body went limp and fell to the canvas. Reigns then slowly removed the title from it’s hook above the ring to complete his retention. 

Firefly Inferno Match
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Winner: Randy Orton

This match marked the rekindling (pun intended) of the previous rivalry between these two combatants that stemmed back to Bray’s time at the head of the Wyatt Family. One may ask, what’s a Firefly Inferno Match? It’s simply an Inferno Match involving Bray Wyatt so the winner would be declared when one man sets any part of the other’s body on fire. In the closing moments of this match, which received a very negative response from the virtual crowd, The Fiend attacked Orton with the Mandible Claw. Orton was able to push Wyatt into the flames at ringside while his fingers were still shoved down his throat and then rolled him into the ring where he delivered an RKO. Orton then decided to douse The Fiend in gasoline and  dropped a lit match leaving Wyatt engulfed in flames to close the show (note it was rather evident that they swapped The Fiend out for a dummy).


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Monday, November 23, 2020

WWE Survivor Series 2020

By Steve Ward

The month eight pay per view of the Quarantine Era emanated from the Thunderdome in Orlando, Florida as WWE presented the 34th annual Survivor Series. This evenings card was labeled Best of the Best as each contest pit RAW against Smackdown meaning there were several champion versus champion matches with nothing at stake. The most significant event of the evening, however, was the Final Farewell of The Undertaker after 30 years with the company. Personally, I think its a metaphorical slap in the face to the Deadman to commemorate the legendary career, of arguably the most loyal performer who is largely responsible for keeping WWE alive during the Monday Night Wars, in front of the dystopian virtual WWE Universe instead of in a sold out arena.

5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Match

Team RAW (AJ Styles w/ Omos, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Braun Strowman, & Sheamus) vs. Team Smackdown (Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, Otis, Seth Rollins, & King Corbin)

Sole Survivors: Team RAW


The first elimination of the match came in bizarre fashion as Rollins “sacrificed” himself to a Brogue Kick from Sheamus leading to his pinfall. Team RAW continued their momentum as a series of Stunners delivered by Kevin Owens was abruptly halted by AJ Styles with a Phenomenal Forearm followed by a pinfall. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Team Smackdown, King Corbin fell victim to a moonsault delivered from the top turnbuckle by Matt Riddle for the third consecutive elimination of a member of the Blue Brand team. Otis then gave Strowman a run for his money but it wasn’t enough as The Monster Among Men hoisted him up before he could propel himself from the top turnbuckle and delivered a ring shaking power slam leaving Jey Uso alone. Jey Uso under the impression that Styles was the legal man had not seen the blind tag made by Keith Lee. As Uso dove off the top rope with Styles in his crosshairs, Lee intercepted Jey by catching him on his shoulders and proceeded to break him in half with a Spirit Bomb to solidify a clean sweep for Team RAW.


The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)

Winners: The Street Profits via pinfall


The second bout of the main card pit the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The Street Profits, against the RAW Tag Team Champions, The New Day. If Im being honest, the most entertaining aspect of this match was when it dragged on way too long and it became apparent that fake crowd noise was being filtered in as the audible reaction did not match that of the demeanor of the virtual fans. The conclusion to this clash commenced as the Street Profits executed a Blockbuster on Xavier Woods which allowed Angelo Dawkins to seal the victory for his team with the pinfall.


Sami Zayn vs. Bobby Lashley w/ The Hurt Business - MVP, Shelton Benjamin, & Cedric Alexander

Winner: Bobby Lashley via submission


The third contest of the evening saw the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley, square off with the Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn, in yet another non-title contest. The majority of this match was comprised of Zayn complaining to the referee about The Hurt Business at ringside in between spurts of Lashley absolutely dominating the Intercontinental Champion. Lashley finally trapped the constantly fleeing Zayn in The Hurt Lock for the submission victory.


Asuka vs. Sasha Banks

Winner: Sasha Banks via pinfall


The struggle for brand supremacy continued as the RAW Womens Champion, Asuka, battled the Smackdown Womens Champion, Sasha Banks. The primary question posed by this match would be if Banks could finally conquer the Empress of Tomorrow - a woman she had never pinned or submitted dating back to their days in NXT. In a match riddled with a plethora of knee strikes and submission attempts by each competitor, the conclusion arrived after a flurry of pinfall attempts by each woman which ended in Banks finally rolling up Asuka for the victory.


Womens 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Match

Team RAW (Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, & Lana) vs. Team Smackdown (Bayley, Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, & Natalya)

Sole Survivor: Lana


The first elimination of the match finally arrived as Peyton Royce hit the Déjà Vu on Bayley for a rather shocking pinfall. Next, Natalya promptly evened the odds as she cinched in the Sharpshooter on Royce for the submission elimination. Natalya then became distracted by Baszler which allowed Lacey Evans to hit the Womans Right on Neidhart for yet another elimination. Shayna Baszler next tied up Ruby Riott with the Kirifuda Clutch during which she passed out allowing The Queen of Spades to pin her. Another quick elimination evolved as Liv Morgan quickly pinned Lacey Evans with a Crucifix rollup. Morgan, unable to carry any momentum moving forward, was no match for Nia Jax who then entered the bout and quickly laid waste to Liv with a Samoan Drop. Belair, now on her own, was quickly trapped by Baszler in yet another Kirifuda Clutch. Belair proceeded to carry Shayna on her back to the ropes to prompt a break. Baszler refused to break the hold by the referees five count hence leading to her swift disqualification. Following Baszlers dismissal from the match, Nia Jax and Belair proceeded to brawl outside the ring and ended up being counted out so Lana, who had been banished by Jax and Baszler to stand on the ring steps and not participate in the match, ended up as the sole survivor.


Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman vs. Drew McIntyre

Winner: Roman Reigns via submission


Drew McIntyre shocked the WWE Universe this past Monday on RAW when he defeated Randy Orton to regain the WWE Championship he just lost last month at the Hell In A Cell pay per view. This set the stage for the main event of the evening as WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre, went toe to toe with the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. Reigns appeared to be in dire straits late in the bout as he was met with a Claymore Kick when attempting another spear, however, he was propelled into the referee who was knocked out of the ring. Romans cousin Jey Uso then made his way to ringside causing enough of a distraction for Roman to hit McIntyre with a low blow. Reigns then cinched in a guillotine choke that knocked out the WWE Champion and solidified the submission victory.


The show concluded with the final farewell to the Undertaker. Before the Deadman made his way to the ring, several legends were introduced including Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Kane, Triple H, Rikishi, The Godfather, Savio Vega, Mick Foley, and The Godwinns, in addition to a few words offered by Vince McMahon. The Undertaker spoke briefly, said it was time for The Undertaker to rest in peace and slowly exited the arena. In my opinion it was rather anticlimactic and, while he made his debut at Survivor Series, one could say a more fitting farewell would have been in front of a record-setting crowd at Wrestlemania - the event that made him famous with the streak. With that being said, one can never say never in the world of professional wrestling.



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Sunday, November 8, 2020

AEW Full Gear 2020

By Steve Ward

All Elite Wrestling returned to pay per view this evening as Full Gear emanated from Dailys Place in Jacksonville, Florida. As has been the case for the past couple months, AEW continued to make WWE look bad as they allowed a limited number of fans to attend - whereas WWE continues with their dystopian virtual fans. Aside from the impressive card for this evenings event where five titles were defended, rumors have also run rampant as of late that The Villain Marty Scurll and/or the legendary Sting could make their presence known. This is yet another reason why AEW has continued to build momentum - they have successfully maintained a strong blend of veteran stars while still developing younger talent all while treating fans to the element of surprise, something that is quite difficult today with everything spoiled on social media.

The Buy-In Pre-Show

NWA Womens Championship

Serena Deeb (c) vs. Allysin Kay

Winner: Serena Deeb via submission


Following Serena Deebs shocking victory over Thunder Rosa in a non-televised event a couple weeks ago, AEW again elected to have the NWA Womens Title showcased on pay per view. Deebs challenger this evening was former Impact Wrestling Womens Champion and recent NWA star Allysin Kay (formerly known as Sienna). It was noted by the commentators that Kay recently parted ways with the NWA hence providing her with a strong platform to put her in place for a potential signing with AEW. Kay put forth a solid showing in this contest, however, Deeb was able to cinch in the Serenity Lock allowing her to walk away with the submission victory.


Following the match, former champion Thunder Rosa made her way to the ring for a face to face with Deeb as one would expect an eventual rematch between the two.


Main Card


AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals

Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Adam Page

Winner: Kenny Omega via pinfall


As was expected when the bracket was released for this tournament with these competitors on opposite sides, they made their way through the field of eight to face one another in the finals. The stakes were high in this contest as the one to emerge victorious between the former co-tag team champions would earn a future world title opportunity. In a phenomenal opening match to the main card, Adam Page gave Kenny Omega everything he could handle. As the match approached its conclusion, Page hit the Deadeye and then attempted the Buckshot Lariat. Unable to connect on the Buckshot proved to be his fatal flaw as Omega countered with the One Winged Angel to seal the victory.


Orange Cassidy vs. John 4Silver

Winner: Orange Cassidy via pinfall


In what has become a newly budding rivalry the past couple weeks, Freshly Squeezed Orange Cassidy was pitted against John Silver of Brodie Lees Dark Order faction in a huge spot on pay per view for #4. John Silver put on what was quite possibly his best match in his AEW career but it wasnt enough as Cassidy finished him off with the Orange Punch and Beach Blast to earn the pinfall victory.


TNT Championship

Cody Rhodes (c) w/ Arn Anderson vs. Darby Allin

Winner: Darby Allin via pinfall


These two men met each other this evening for the fourth time with Cody prevailing in each of their previous three encounters. This time was different, however, as it was for Codys newly regained TNT Championship. Cody also hoped to not only retain his title but also silence Allins claims that he could never be the face of TNT. Prior to the beginning of the match there were two significant occurrences. First, Mike Chioda was introduced as the referee - making his second appearance for AEW since falling victim to WWEs budget cuts in April (despite being with them since the late 80s). Second, Cody was finally able to be introduced as Cody Rhodes as WWE finally dropped their trademark on his name. Cody absolutely dominated this bout, however, he was unable to put away the relentless Allin. Rhodes allowed Darby to hang around too long and it ended up costing him in the end. The final moments of the match saw a series of back and forth rollup pin attempts that finally saw Allin shock the fans in attendance and win the title.


Following the match, Rhodes presentation of the title to Allin was interrupted by Taz. As Taz belittled Rhodes and Allin, Brian Cage and Ricky Starks of Team Taz ambushed them from behind and laid waste to the men until Will Hobbs came to their rescue with a steel chair in tow.


AEW Womens Championship

Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero

Winner: Hikaru Shida via pinfall


These two women finally met again this evening following Shida leaving victorious with Roses title in a no holds barred match months ago. Hikaru Shida put forth an impressive display against The Native Beast. After overcoming a kendo stick strike to the knee at the hands of Vickie Guerrero early on, Shida demonstrated exceptional strength headlined by not one, but two, Falcon Arrows - one of the avalanche variety off the top turnbuckle. After executing the second Falcon Arrow, Shida finished off Rose with several knee strikes to the head.


AEW Tag Team Championship

FTR (c) vs. The Young Bucks

Winners: The Young Bucks via pinfall

The Young Bucks earned their shot this evening after prevailing in a four way dance with The Butcher and The Blade, The Lucha Bros, and Private Party on a recent edition of Dynamite. The Young Bucks, who have yet to taste championship gold in AEW, proclaimed they would never challenge for the titles again if they could not win this evening. Another substantial factor in this bout was the banning of Tully Blanchard from the corner of FTR as he often serves as a significant distraction, if nothing else. This match started slow but certainly didnt end that way. In the closing moments, The Young Bucks overcame the Mindbreaker as Nick Jackson first executed a 450 splash and then Matt Jackson avoided a subsequent springboard 450 splash from Cash Wheeler and answered with a super kick to earn the pinfall and the tag team titles.


Elite Deletion Match

Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara

Winner: Matt Hardy via pinfall


After months of feuding between these two men, including their match at All Out where Hardy took an ugly bump, this evening should prove to be the climax of their rivalry. What is an Elite Deletion Match? Your guess would have been as good as mine as no details were divulged in advance of this encounter. The match kicked off at the Hardy Compound in Cameron, North Carolina as Sammy drove his golf cart onto the grounds only to have it run over by a monster truck driven by Hardy. This then immediately turned into hardcore, backyard brawl before it spilled into the wrestling ring in Hardys yard. The bout quickly turned to a three on three melee as Sammys Inner Circle cohorts Santana and Ortiz came to his assistance, however, Hardys protégés Private Party soon assisted him. As Hardy appeared primed to put away Guevara, he was distracted by a masked man attacking The Hurricane! The masked man was then revealed as Gangrel - make it a four on four affair as The Hurricane sided with Hardy and Gangrel with the Inner Circle.


Hardy and Guevara then found themselves segregated from the other men inside the shed on the Hardy Compound which contained yet another ring with a ladder and table set up within. Guevara found himself in control briefly as he laid Hardy out on the table. Sammy then proceeded to scale the ominous ladder and propelled Matt through the table with a Swanton Bomb. This couldnt put Hardy away as he got back to his feet and hit the Twist of Fate. Sammy also kicked out of this so Hardy proceeded to brutalize Sammy with several chair shots before he finally covered him for the pinfall.


Chris Jericho vs. MJF w/ Wardlow

Winner: MJF via pinfall


This match held significant implications as the stipulation indicated if MJF were to come out victorious, he would earn membership in Jerichos Inner Circle. Jericho pulled out all the stops and then some as he continues to amaze in the ring at age 50. Jericho executed a perfect Lionsault and Frankensteiner, however, MJF was able to cheat his way to victory in the end. MJF had Wardlow make his way to ringside and distract the referee as he attempted to strike Jericho with the Dynamite Diamond ring. After MJF missed, Jericho was tossed a baseball bat by Jake Hager who emerged at ringside. MJF saw the strike coming and preemptively dropped to the canvas to make the referee believe Y2J struck him. As Aubrey Edwards reprimanded Jericho, MJF rolled him up for the pinfall to become a member of the Inner Circle.


AEW Heavyweight Championship I Quit Match

Jon Moxley (c) vs. Eddie Kingston

Winner: Jon Moxley


In arguably the biggest match of his 18 year career, Eddie Kingston found himself in the main event of the evening vying for the AEW Heavyweight Championship against Jon Moxley. This match became personal due to the extensive history between the two dating back to the independent scene and Kingstons claim that he never gave up in their previous encounter (as he passed out from the submission hold applied by Moxley) - hence its evolution into an I Quit match. This was a brutal, bloody affair complete with barbed wire, tacks, and chairs - Kingston even poured a full bottle of rubbing alcohol on the back of Moxley after it was punctured with tacks as the result of a suplex into a pile of them. The conclusion of the match saw Moxley wrap his forearm in barbed wire and proceed to cinch in a chokehold that prompted Kingston to utter the words, I Quit.



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