By Steve Ward
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Sunday, August 6, 2023
By Steve Ward
WWE finally returned to the United States this evening following back-to-back Premium Live Events (aka pay per views) in Saudi Arabia and England as Summerslam emanated from a sold-out Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Tonight’s card was scheduled for eight bouts with four titles contested. As the show opened, Michael Cole proclaimed that there would be FOUR main events…really? In my opinion, stating four matches are main events is not only contradictory, but also, diminishes the luster of the final bout of the night. Nonetheless, the final match of the evening pit Roman Reigns against his cousin Jey Uso in a familial civil war with the Undisputed Universal Championship on the line.
Logan Paul vs. Ricochet
Winner: Logan Paul via pinfall
The evening kicked off with the polarizing Logan Paul, who made his way to the ring welcomed by an overwhelming chorus of hatred, to take on the high-flying Ricochet. In the closing moments of the contest, Ricochet seemed poised to claim victory as he ascended to the top rope to attempt the 630. Paul rolled out of harm’s way and as the referee checked on him, a member of Paul’s entourage slipped him a pair of brass knuckles which he used to drop Ricochet to solidify the victory.
Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes
Winner: Cody Rhodes via pinfall
Following Brock’s betrayal of Cody on RAW the night after Wrestlemania, the two have engaged in a bitter rivalry that has seen each man claim one victory a piece in each of their two previous meetings with the deciding match this evening. Brock Lesnar dominated the vast majority of this bout as he delivered everything in his arsenal only to have Rhodes continue to ask for more. Late in the match, Lesnar met the dreaded exposed turnbuckle with his head which opened the door for Cody to cinch in Brock’s own patented Kimura Lock on him. Brock managed to escape and attempt the F5 again only to have Cody slip out. Rhodes proceeded to deliver three consecutive Cross Rhodes to slay The Beast.
Summerslam Battle Royal
Winner: LA Knight
In an effort to pack more talent onto the card, an over-the-top battle royal was added to the card with nothing other than bragging rights at stake. The final four men in the bout were AJ Styles, Bronson Reed, LA Knight, and Sheamus. The first to go was Bronson Reed at the hands of LA Knight. Styles was eliminated next by Sheamus thanks to an assist by Karrion Kross. As Styles stood on the ring apron, likely setting himself up to deliver a Phenomenal Forearm, Kross grasped Styles’ leg allowing Sheamus to take advantage and kick him in the face. LA Knight then clotheslined Sheamus over the top rope to reign victorious.
MMA Rules Match
Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler
Winner: Shayna Baszler via submission
Following Baszler’s betrayal of Rousey during their tag team title bout at Money In The Bank, which cost them their titles, things have gotten ugly between the two former sparring partners. With a long-standing friendship dating back to their UFC days, the two have quickly become bitter rivals as Baszler has felt like she’s been trapped in Rousey’s shadow which has brought us to tonight’s match. Following a rather uneventful match, Baszler cinched in the Kirifuda Clutch to earn the submission victory.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Gunther (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Winner: Gunther via pinfall
Since Gunther overcame McIntyre and Sheamus at Wrestlemania to retain his championship, he has continued his torrid streak as the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of the 21st Century. Recently, McIntyre made his return to WWE television for the first time since Wrestlemania and immediately confronted The Ring General. That lead us to tonight’s hard-hitting encounter between the two as Gunther entered the night only 32 days from matching the Honky Tonk Man’s legendary reign as Intercontinental Champ. McIntyre gave Gunther a run for his money as he was perched on the top rope and appeared to be in dire straits as The Scottish Warrior seemed poised to deliver a superplex until he was propelled by Gunther onto the top rope in a quite precarious landing position. Gunther then capitalized and delivered the power bomb to solidify his title defense.
World Heavyweight Championship
Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor
Winner: Seth Rollins via pinfall
Their ongoing rivalry continued this evening as Balor received another title shot against Rollins after he was arguably cost a victory at Money In The Bank thanks to the distraction of his fellow Judgement Day stablemate, Damian Priest. Just as Rollins was building momentum late in the match, Priest made his way to ringside with Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley soon to follow. The distraction was enough to give Balor a temporary edge as he was able to land the Coup de Grace but could not capitalize. Priest then slid the Money In The Bank briefcase in the ring and proceeded to distract the referee. As Balor crawled over to retrieve it, Rollins stopped him with the stomp as he drove Balor’s face into the briefcase allowing him to secure the pinfall.
WWE Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair
Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall
Asuka looked to continue her title reign following her victory over Bianca Belair at Night of Champions as she engaged in a triple threat affair with Belair and Charlotte Flair who made her recent return. In the closing moments of the match, Flair had the Figure 8 cinched in on Belair. Asuka then sprayed the mist in the face of Flair and attempted to kick Belair in the head. Belair ducked and rolled up Asuka to become the new champion - for a few minutes.
WWE Women’s Championship
Bianca Belair (c) vs. Iyo Sky
Winner: Iyo Sky via pinfall
Just moments after Belair won the Women’s Championship, Miss Money In The Bank, Iyo Sky’s music echoed throughout Ford Field as she made her way to the ring with Bayley. Sky cashed in her briefcase and immediately hit a moonsault on Belair to become the new WWE Women’s Champion.
WWE Undisputed Universal Championship Tribal Combat Match
Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman vs. Jey Uso
Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall
Following Jimmy and Jey Uso’s election to turn on Roman Reigns, they have become embroiled in a bitter Bloodline civil war which led us to tonight’s Tribal Combat. Essentially this no holds barred match was not only for the Undisputed Universal Championship, but also to determine who would sit at the head of the table as the tribal chief. As Jey Uso seemed poised to pull off the unthinkable late in the match, Solo Sikoa emerged to turn the tides. Jey was able to remove Sikoa from the equation with a splash through the announce table and again turned his attention to Roman. After delivering an Uso Splash to Roman, Jey was pulled from the ring by his brother Jimmy who emerged from the crowd. Roman then capitalized and drove Jimmy through another table propped up in a corner of the ring with a devastating spear to retain his title.
Friday, July 7, 2023
Monday, July 3, 2023
Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City: Matchroom Boxing delivered another superb night of boxing to New York. On top of the card, popular super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga, Brooklyn, NY, faced Jason Quigley, Ireland. Berlanga garnered an undefeated record as part of Top Rank’s stable. Earlier this year, Top Rank and Berlanga parted ways. Both Golden Boy and PBC showed interest in signing Berlanga, but he chose Eddie Hearn.
Irishman Jason Quigley, 167.5 lbs., was brought in as the opponent to showcase Berlanga's,167.75 lbs., skills. A big draw in the Big Apple, Berlanga had a house full of cheering fans.
Anxious to end a four-bout drought without scoring a knockout, Berlanga went straight to work from the opening bell. In round three, Quigley hit the deck after absorbing a Berlanga right to the side of the head. During the fifth stanza, Berlanga scored a questionable knockdown after hurting Quigley with a left hook to the chin. To his credit, Quigley kept himself in the fight with some slick boxing while getting in his licks when he had his chances. As the clock ran out in the final heat, Berlanga got through with a left hook followed by a straight right to his foe’s cranium that resulted in Quigley eating rosin dust. Going for the kill, Berlanga dropped Quigley again with a barrage of punches.
The sold-out crowd roared in approval with the decision when ring Announcer Dave Diamante read the scores 116-108 twice and 118-106, all for Berlanga who’s record is now 21-0, 16 KOs. Quigley gave an admirable effort as his record dips to 20-3, 14 KOs.
A former junior middleweight champ Jamie Munguia and future Hall of Famer Gennady Golovkin are a couple of names that have come up as potential future adversaries for Berlanga. After scoring sixteen first round knockouts in first sixteen fights as a professional, Berlanga has become a "bombs away" headhunter at times, shots that negate his body attacks. During his streak of kayoes, Berlanga's mid-section assault was a precursor to him tagging his opponents with crushing shots to the head. Berlanga will have to revisit those techniques if he is going to compete against the elite of the super middleweight ranks.
Bombs away! Nothing better than watching two heavyweights with limited defensive ability take turns clocking one another. Thirteen-year veteran heavyweight Joe Cusumano, Danville, VA, scored the biggest win of an up until now ordinary career. Sadly, Cusumano crushed the hopes of one-time heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki, Brooklyn, NY, resurrecting his livelihood. A Cusumano, 238.25 lbs., right to Kownacki’s face dropped the Polish hammer in round one. Kownacki, 251.75 lbs., found his way back to his corner and continued his losing struggle until he was brutally finished at the two-minute mark of round eight. With the win, a big payday awaits Cusumano, 22-4 20 KOs. Falling to 20-4, 15 KOs, Kownacki has lost his last four fights, three of those by ugly knockouts. Popular consensus agrees Kownacki should never again step foot in a boxing ring.
Sunday, June 18, 2023
Saturday, June 17, 2023
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ: On June 17th, Bally’s Hotel and Casino hosted a night of boxing promoted by Sal Musumeci with Renee Atkins handling the matchmaking.
A crowd of four hundred spectators cheered on Philadelphia, PA heavyweight Joey “Tank” Dawejko, 266.5 lb., as he starched Dennis Vance Jr., 277 lb., West Branch, Michigan in under one round.
Dawejko started out quickly and scored solid jabs to Vance's face. A well-placed left hook by Dawejko to Vance's body had a delayed effect. Moments after the blow landed, Vance took a knee. Upon rising Vance went down two more times from left hooks to the mid-section. Showing a huge heart Vance rose and continued to trade punches. Finally, after being allowed to continue after three trips to the canvas, the coup de grace came when Dawejko feinted a left to the body and scored a booming left hook on Vance's chin. After Vance hit the deck for the fourth time, he attempted to regain his footing as the referee waved things off at 2:01 mark of round one.
Raising his record to 25-10-4, 14 KO’s, Dawejko is scheduled to fight on September 15th at the Live! Casino in Philadelphia, PA. In a post-fight interview, Dawejko said he is staying in the gym to be ready if a bigger opportunity arises. Vance goes back to the Midwest with a stomachache and a record of 4-10, 2 KO’s.
J Russell Peltz of Philadelphia is guiding Dawejko's career.
Monday, May 8, 2023
By Steve Ward
WWE made it’s pay per view/premium live event debut this evening as they emanated from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tonight’s card seemed to be overshadowed with the buildup to Night of Champions later this month where a new World Heavyweight Champion will be crowned for the RAW brand as Roman Reigns will be confined to Smackdown with his Undisputed Universal Championship following this year’s WWE Draft. With Reigns out of the picture for tonight, the show would be headlined by Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar. In addition to the colossal main event, the show featured seven matches in all, and three titles were contested.
WWE RAW Women’s Championship Bianca Belair (c) vs. Io Sky Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall
Despite being drafted to Smackdown last week, Belair still holds the RAW Women’s Championship and would put it on the line this evening against Damage Ctrl’s Io Sky. Sky seemed poised to upset the champ in the closing moments of the match, but one could argue the late appearance by her Damage Ctrl stable mates cost her the title. Belair was laid out on the canvas as Sky ascended to the top turnbuckle for a moonsault attempt, however, Bayley decided to grab the hair of Belair and hold her down only to be caught by the referee. This distraction was enough for Belair to recover and roll out of harm's way as Sky leaped from the top rope. Belair then executed the KOD to retain her title.
Seth Rollins vs. Omos w/ MVP Winner: Seth Rollins via pinfall
Following the announcement recently of a soon-to-be-crowned World Heavyweight Champion on the RAW brand, Seth Rollins made his intentions known for targeting the new title only to be interrupted by Omos. Omos and MVP proceeded to challenge Rollins to a match this evening as a way for Omos to secure a signature win over “The Architect.” Omos proved to be quite the formidable opponent for Rollins in this contest. The Nigerian Giant withstood the frog splash and multiple stomps (the first of which he stopped with his neck), however, Rollins finally overcame the odds in the end as he delivered the Stomp from the top turnbuckle which allowed him to cover Omos for the victory.
WWE United States Championship Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory (c) Winner: Austin Theory via pinfall
This bout created another interesting dynamic with the recent roster shake-up from the 2023 WWE Draft as new Smackdown Superstars, Theory and Lashley, competed with RAW’s Bronson Reed in a three-way dance for the United States Championship. In the closing moments of the match, Lashley speared Reed after he missed a moonsault attempt on Theory. The defending champ then snuck up on Lashley and tossed him out of the ring allowing him to easily cover Reed and steal another victory in familiar Theory fashion.
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega Winner: Rhea Ripley via pinfall
In another situation where the defending champion was recently drafted to the brand opposite of the title which she holds, RAW Superstar Rhea Ripley would defend the Smackdown Women’s Title she just won a few weeks ago at Wrestlemania against Zelina Vega who represented the newly reformed Latino World Order, LWO. Despite the overwhelming crowd support for Vega, who’s family was seated at ringside, the size and power of Ripley was too much for her to overcome as she finally dispensed of Vega with Riptide to successfully defend her title.
San Juan Street Fight Match Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest Winner: Bad Bunny via pinfall
In a battle of Puerto Rican natives, The Judgment Day’s Damien Priest went toe to toe with multi-platinum recording artist and ally of the LWO, Bad Bunny, in a San Juan Street Fight. Late in the match, Finn Balor and Dominik Mysterio came to the aid of Priest until Rey Mysterio, a surprising appearance by Carlito, the LWO, and Savio Vega all evened the odds and restored order to the match. Bad Bunny, moments later, was able to dispense of Priest with a Bunny Destroyer (a variation of the Canadian Destroyer) following a barrage of chair shots.
The Bloodline (Solo Sikoa, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso) vs. Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens, & Sami Zayn Winners: The Bloodline via pinfall
The ongoing feud between The Bloodline and Undisputed Tag Team Champions, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens (with the recent infusion of Matt Riddle in the fray), continued tonight in a six-man tag team encounter. The Bloodline was able to overcome several disagreements amongst themselves to dispense of the tag champs and Riddle in the end. The closing moments of the match saw Solo blind tag himself into the match without Riddle’s awareness. Riddle proceeded to focus on Jey Uso as he executed the Bro Derek only to be ambushed by Solo from behind and put down with a Samoan Spike.
Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes Winner: Cody Rhodes via pinfall
Following his betrayal of Cody Rhodes, the night after Wrestlemania, a bitter feud has embroiled between Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes. In the closing moments of tonight’s main event, a bloodied Brock Lesnar seemed to have a victory in his sights after he dropped Rhodes with the F5 and immediately followed it up with the Kimura Lock. Rhodes who appeared to be in dire straits, drove The Beast back onto his shoulders while still trapped in the submission hold to shock Lesnar with the pinfall victory in a rather abrupt match.
Monday, April 3, 2023
By Steve Ward
Saturday, April 1, 2023
By Steve Ward
Friday, March 31, 2023
By TWI Staff
Congratulations to boxing writer Frank Bartolini on his induction to the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame!
For those of you who are not familiar with Frank's writing career, here is a snapshot of his accomplishments.:
Frank Bartolini grew up in Jackson, New Jersey, where he graduated from Jackson Memorial High School. He was a boxing columnist, feature writer, and reporter for the The Observer, an Ocean County daily newspaper, from the early to mid 1990s. Frank covered numerous fights in the tristate region, including Atlantic City's biggest fights during this period. Frank went on to contribute to a number of print and online boxing media outlets. His feature stories can be found in boxing media outlets such as the USA Boxing News, Boxing Insider, Boxing Action 24, Philly Boxing History, and The Weigh-In. He is a press row staple at big fights across the tristate area and Florida. Frank is also the president of FB Roofing & Siding, Inc. in Jackon.
Stay tuned to The Weigh-In for information on the 2023 New Jersey Boxing Hall Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony.