Raw opened this week with all six participants in the MITB Ladder Match on top of ladders in the ring for some reason. After Raw is Talk, they were put into a tag team match or something by Teddy Long, who was then told to leave by Stephanie McMahon who set up singles matches for the night including our first match, Cesaro vs. Chris Jericho. Considering Ambrose-Owens has been done a lot and Alberto Del Rio should have no trouble with Sami Zayn, this was the match I was looking forward to-- especially since I think Cesaro could really benefit as a character by having a feud with Chris Jericho after the MITB PPV. (Cesaro vs. Jericho at Summerslam would be great)
While Cesaro defeated Chris Jericho in a decent match, Rusev def. Jack Swagger via count out did not make the Hulu cut. AJ Styles confronted John Cena on RAW is TALK while Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains was also cut from the Hulu replay. Alberto Del Rio defeated Sami Zayn- and rightfully so- and ADR has a new tattoo on his side. Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens and after the match when Ambrose was on the ladder showing how he'd win, Owens pushed the ladder over and the commentators sold it like Mick Foley being thrown off the Hell in a Cell.
We saw the women confront each other but we didn't see R-Truth vs. Tyler Breeze. In the main event, The Club defeated New Day and it's kind of strange that New Day came out before to help John Cena. I understand that New Day has beef with Gallows & Anderson, but it just seems like New Day would make fun of John Cena, not be friends with him. At least this wasn't a six man tag with Xavier Woods sitting on the sidelines. But overall, this was a rather forgettable edition of Raw.
After Raw we watched the new ROH TV episode from last week. It had ACH defeat Lio Rush- the only part of the match which was funny to me was when Nigel McGuinness said that you could tell by looking at Lio Rush that he was going to be a huge star... so then what if he didn't win the Top Prospects Tournament?? Silas Young attacked ACH after the match and that should set up a match I don't want to see at the next ROH PPV which is soon. BJ Whitmer vs. Steve Corino was announced for the PPV in a Fight Without Honor while Jay Lethal will main event against Dijak... Yes, really. This PPV could be a stinker, folks, but if they don't have the same poor ending as they did in the Cabana-Lethal match then who knows. I kind of wish, looking back at it now, that they had Dijak vs. Lethal end with Adam Cole joining The Bullet Club so then this month they could give Lethal vs. Colt Cabana a clean finish. Not that I think Lethal-Dijak is going to have a clean finish.
The Addiction was also shown since winning the tag team titles and they said that if Motor City Machine Guns or RPG Vice could beat them in a triple threat match they would defend the titles against them and as such we have The Addiction vs. MCMG for the next PPV now, which should actually be a good match. I'm glad the tag titles are off of The Warlords, so I might be a little bit partial here.
The main event saw Bullet Club Elite vs. Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu. I will admit, I didn't really watch WWE when Yoshi Tatsu was there, but I've always felt like WWE had to have that one Japanese guy on their roster for when they went to Japan. They actually are guilty of doing this with a lot of races because, well, WWE looks pretty white for being *World* Wrestling Entertainment. I just hope that with Shinsuke Nakamura and Hideo Itami both being in WWE they can start pushing Japanese talent respectfully and not just feel like they have that token Japanese guy. Anyway, Yoshitatsu should make his way back to WWE one day simply because he has a debt to repay AJ Styles, who is there now. This was a good match because even though we saw Young Bucks we also saw Kenny Omega. Dijak was on commentary- which didn't add a lot- and I'm sort of excited for the next ROH PPV but not too much.
For some reason I thought that NXT Take Over: The End was on Friday but it was actually on Wednesday night live. Oh well. Shows how well I'm paying attention, yeah? I'll try and do something quick about each match since I wasn't live-tweeting as I didn't get out of work in time anyway.
First off, the idea of this being "The End of the Beginning" is just ridiculous. Are we sure Billy Corgan isn't booking WWE?
Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Tye Dillinger, which was rather expected. I'm going to say this, and I likely won't be the first to say it, but it needs to be said. First off, I don't like the name Andrade "Cien" Almas. It's a mouthful. I prefer to just say- and type- La Sombra. Why can't WWE have come up with something more concise? I'll just refer to him as ACA for now I suppose then. So... he came out in these white pants, suspenders and white hat with a huge white feather in it. It was all rather... Umm... white. I'm sure newer fans won't remember it, but this look reminded me of when John Cena had Aaron Aguilera (aka Jesus) as his bodyguard. So, then, ACA took off this rather ridiculous looking get up just to wrestle in sort of normal tights. I get that he's a luchador and he doesn't have a mask, so WWE is trying to do something with him to make him stand out, but this debut just fell so flat with me-- even inside the ring. And I'm a fan of La Sombra. Word going around the internet is that WWE is interested in another non-masked luchador known as Volador Jr. I fully expect him to come out selling churros at the rate WWE is going. It has been said that HHH is trying to redeem himself from the failure of the original Sin Cara with La Sombra here and, well, it's not looking so good based upon this first match. It's not just clicking for me yet the way that I feel like it should be, but I'll give him time.
In the first rematch of the night- and perhaps Match of the Night- The Revival regained the tag team titles from American Alpha. Everyone is saying that now American Alpha is going to the main roster but a month ago they were saying the same thing about The Revival so who knows. Maybe The Revival drops the tag titles to Gargano & Ciampa and then both teams go up to the main roster? I don't know. But the Authors of Pain came out after the match with none other than Paul Ellering and destroyed American Alpha. Here is to building to the future.
The third match saw Shinsuke Nakamura defeat Austin Aries and while I enjoyed the idea of this match on paper, it didn't seem as great watching it. It just didn't feel like it lived up to the hype. We also now have Shinsuke Nakamura at 2-0 for big matches (And undefeated in NXT as well), so likely he will be going on to face the champion, while Austin Aries drops to 1-1 in big matches with a forgettable rollup win over Baron Corbin. I feel like Austin Aries needs to have a big win over Sami Zayn to get back on the right track, but who knows what's going on in NXT right now because I feel like there is just too much talent and they don't know what to do with it because someone has to lose. But this match didn't leave Austin Aries looking strong in defeat. Nakamura-Zayn was much, much better and that says a lot since this was a dream match for many people. Watching Nakamura is never a bad time and there were a few good spots in this match but Austin Aries needs to just go to the main roster now and start crushing the competition up there.
As far as title defenses go, Asuka defending the title against Nia Jax was excellent. I'm really loving everything about Asuka right now and dare say she is the best wrestler in the world right now. Her and Nia Jax just have a chemistry about them that I wouldn't mind seeing them fight through the summer. Could we somehow get Bayley her rematch against Asuka, only for Nia Jax to interfere and steal the title? Asuka wants the title back and so at NXT Take Over: Brooklyn Asuka vs. Nia Jax is booked as a ladder match? A boy can dream.
I'm not sure what is going to happen with a lot of our regular wrestling this week. We skipped Smack Down! last week and might do the same this week. I'm also contemplating passing on Impact this week simply because Slammiversary is this Sunday and so we would dedicate that time to TNA instead (plus, the go-home shows are usually boring and given the way TNA has been lately...) There is just so much else going on right now outside of our normal WWE-TNA-LU-ROH world that I don't feel like we have time for it all. PROGRESS has started a tournament that looks cool. WWN has an all woman lucha libre event up I want to watch. Lucha Libre AAA is doing their World Cup 2016, which is long but strong. And NJPW completed their annual Super Juniors tournament which I might go back and watch but also am just looking forward to Dominion. So, yes, there is a lot of wrestling out there to watch, so we will likely skip Smack Down! until it goes live and Impact for at least this week. Whether or not I write about all of this other wrestling we'll be watching remains to be seen.
The first match on Lucha Underground was between Marty The Moth and Killshot. Marty The Moth stole Killshot's dog tags, so Killshot came to get them. They fought a lot, even outside the ring and were eventually came out. Matt Striker said they had at least half a minute out there before they were finally counted out because no one wants to see a match end this way. I'm hoping this leads to some sort of Bootcamp Match which turns Marty The Moth into a proper soldier. At the very least, I expect the dog tags to end up above the ring with a ladder coming into play. Maybe.
In the second match PJ Black & Jack Evans took on Drago and Aerostar in a Nunchuck Match. We're *soooooooooo* close to seeing Steve Blackman in The Temple. This match was kind of odd and pointless, as Black & Evans are the Trios Champions with Johnny Mundo, but it was fun for what it was and perhaps it will lead to more strange match ideas from Lucha Underground. At one point, when Jack Evans was in the ring he did the Bill & Ted guitar thing and they dubbed the sound effects over it which was kind of funny.
The third and final match was six on six with the winning team getting put into a match against each other next week- if my understanding is correct- with the winner getting a title shot. So, basically, they have to work together this week and then they can fight each other next week. The, I guess, rudo team was to have Chavo Guerrero Jr. on it until Pentagon Jr. came out and broke Chavo's arm- which the crowd loved- and so Pentagon Jr. went into the match instead. Is it strange to anyone else that Pentagon Jr. is perhaps the biggest star in LU right now but has yet to be champion? I really feel like he is just so perfect for LU though because WWE and anywhere else just wouldn't use him right. So one team was Prince Puma, The Mack, Texano, Sexy Star, Son of Havoc and Rey Mysterio Jr-- which was the technicos I suppose-- and it raises questions like where was Ivelisse if Son of Havoc is in here? And why Rey Rey but not his apprentice? The other side had Fenix, Ivelisse, King Cuerno, Taya, Johnny Mundo and Pentagon Jr. Oh, so Johnny and Taya get to be on the same side but not Son of Havoc and Ivelisse? Whatever. I feel like there was a better way this match could have been booked in the six on six sense of it all, but I'm not Dario Cueto. The team of rudos won, which means Ivelisse could be in line to get another title shot but so could Johnny Mundo and of course the odds on favorite here has to be Pentagon Jr. even though Vampiro keeps telling him he's not ready yet.
Lucha Underground ended with Catrina awakening Mil Muertes and The Temple is about to explode with a new Number One Contender next week and Mil Muertes returning soon enough. Wow. This is really good.
To sort of update the earlier paragraph, it does seem as if- for time reasons- we'll be skipping Smack Down! until it starts going live or we read about something worth watching happening over there. I'm typing this on a Monday morning and we have Slammiversary on tap to watch tonight, though we should also watch Impact this week probably, and last night we watched EVOLVE 62 and there is just so much more catching up to do. So, whether or not I decide to write about EVOLVE 62 or even Slammiversary, Loose Cannon Fodder will return next week with WWE Monday Night Raw which is on tonight and we will likely spend the next three nights watching.