Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Loose Cannon Fodder #27 [07.08.16]

We missed an episode of ROH TV, but that's okay because we usually do.    I learned that there would be a new episode featuring the Women of Honor and that became my priority over the episode which came before it and also came before Best In The World.   I really didn't want to watch an episode hyping up BITW after I already watched it and was disappointed at best.    I was looking more forward to the Women of Honor episode so we started our week with that.  

WOH kicked off with a six woman tag team match with AK-47, Amber Gallows and Veda Scott defeating the team of Sumie Sakai, Mary Dobson and Thunderkitty.   I really like all six women in this match except for maybe Veda Scott, but even seeing her get dropkicked by Dobson pleased me for some reason.   Any of these six women should be in WWE right now, though of course Allysin Kaye is in TNA and "Crazy" Mary Dobson has had appearances in NXT (which, after watching this match, has made me wonder why WWE has yet to sign her)   Amber Gallows is also the husband of Luke Gallows, who is back in WWE, so there's that.   

Also, I'm not sure who is doing commentary with Nigel but it isn't Kevin Kelly.  I think he said he was Ian something.  (No, not Vampiro)  During this match when he said "elbow" I thought he said "Elmo" so that was awkward.  

Next up was ODB vs. Faye Jackson.   Faye Jackson is making her in ring debut but is from the ROH Dojo while ODB has- at least as far as I remember- not been seen for quite some time.   She still came out as "One DIrty Briscoe" though, which was odd because then the question is why doesn't she appear with them on ROH TV and PPVs anymore?   Faye Jackson wears a full body suit like Nia Jax but she has more of a Beth Phoenix style in the ring.   ODB got the win, but Faye Jackson still had a decent enough showing that I'd like to see more of her in Ring of Honor.  

Hania was out next to face Mandy Leon.   The two had video packages before the match where Mandy Leon liked to talk about how she isn't just an interviewer and she can actually wrestle as well.   This is probably the transition into the ring that one girl would have got in NXT if she wasn't released.    Hania comes out wearing a bear on her head like earlier days Alicia Fox or King Cuerno.   This felt like one of the matches the women had on the most recent season of "Tough Enough" only with a few more moves.   Hania literally howled at one point during the match and, yeah, this gimmick is just not working for me.   Perhaps she could be renamed Henna and give out temporary tattoos.    This match seemed to go on forever and neither woman really impressed me but I'd watch more of their matches I suppose.  

Taeler Hendrix vs. Kelly Klein is the main event.    BJ Whitmer had a video package putting over Kelly Klein to show that she is the heel and yet Taeler Hendrix comes out with Jay Lethal who was also recently a heel, so...   Taeler Hendrix cuts a pre-taped promo saying she wants everyone to know her name.   Should be easy enough when you consider Jimi Hendrix.   She also says "This is my ring... blah blah blah... Ring of Honor is my house!" and now I can only see Taeler Hendrix as a cheap rip off of Paige.   Hendrix comes out with Truth Martini first.   Klein comes out with BJ Whitmer.     Kelly Klein made Taeler Hendrix tap out and that was a pretty weak showing for Hendrix.

Raw this week began with a food fight, which is a typical way to start a throwaway episode of Raw.   I'm sure WWE just figures if they do low numbers they can blame it on the holiday as to why people didn't watch live, though, you know, you could always DVR it or suffer through it on Hulu like I do.    Speaking of which, I just went to WWE.com and they have a countdown clock for the draft so I'm hoping that comes to Hulu.  It's an episode of Smack Down! though and not a special event so I'm pretty sure it'll be there for me on Wednesday.    I will say though that we sometimes struggle to finish Raw on Tuesday night so having Smack Down! to watch on Wednesday and then NXT on Thursday might complicate things a bit, but we'll see how it goes when that time comes.

The first match on Raw this week saw Rusev defeat Titus O'Neil to retain the United States Championship.   Titus O'Neil came out in full Apollo Creed gear and even wrestled in the pants.  Say what you want about him looking patriotic but I think he looked ridiculous.   Titus tapped out and since this was his at least second title shot and hundredth match overall with Rusev I'm hoping this means that their feud is finally over and Rusev can move on and fight someone else now.

Enzo & Big Cass defeated the Social Outcasts but they left that off the Hulu replay.   We did however get to see Charlotte and Dana Brooke come out, run down Sasha Banks and then Sasha Banks came out and responded.  So yeah, we traded a tag team match for a women's in ring segment, but whatever.   I'm sure we can find more tag team matches like that on Main Event-- which we haven't watched for a few weeks.

Dean Ambrose defeated The Miz and Seth Rollins defeated Dolph Ziggler because they are both involved in the title match at Battleground (Along with that other guy... I forget his name) while Dolph Ziggler has been stuck in a feud with Baron Corbin that will likely find its way to the BG pre-show and, well, The Miz doesn't quite have a match yet either, so no wonder why they're losing.

Vickie Guerrero returned to Raw and The Golden Truth defeated The Vaudevillains but those parts were both cut from the 90 minute replay as instead we got to see The Club attack John Cena only for Enzo & Cass to come help Cena.   So it'll be a six man tag match at Battleground then, which I'm actually kind of looking forward to for some reason.

Becky Lynch defeated Summer Rae but that was left off the Hulu replay (I'm not complaining) but we did get to see the New Day segment where they decided to go see The Wyatt Family at their compound.  Xavier Woods has been the star of this feud, saying they should take the Wyatt Family seriously or else there won't be a New Day.   It'd be interesting to see something happen like Kofi gets kidnapped by the Wyatts and then Xavier has this moment with Big E where he tells him that he tried to warn them but they didn't listen.   Yeah, I really like the possibilities here.

The final match had eight men on each side and was billed as Team USA vs. Team Evil Foreigners (or something like that).   Mark Henry and Jack Swagger both were eliminated which made me sad for the USA day.    It was awkward though to see the Lucha Dragons, Sami Zayn and Cesaro on the "heel" side as they aren't really portrayed as evil foreigners.   This could be confusing to children.   It's not like they took a heel who was from the USA and put them on the good guys side because the good guys side was made up of all wrestlers you would think of as good guys (even the demon Kane)   Big Show and Zack Ryder stood tall at the end of the match, the flag came down and everyone puked red, white and blue.    It wasn't the worst match to end Raw with but it was far from the best and I can only assume Big Show and Ryder will go back to being barely on television after this.

Impact opened with a strange segment at Maxel's birthday party slash fiesta.    Maria and Mike Bennett were in the ring and Mikey wanted to cash in his X Division Title for a World Title shot but instead Dixie Carter came out and put him into an Ultimate X match against everybody, which was ultimately won by Eddie Edwards.    This was a good match as well as a chance for me to sing the praises of DJ Z.    Eddie Edwards winning the title does make me wonder whether or not he'll cash it in for Option C at Destination X, which is the first time I've been interested in such things in a while.   I can't stand Mike Bennett, but the idea of Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards is somewhat interesting to me.

Marti Belle and Jade fought in a street fight which was one of the better matches on this show (It came after a stinker between Eli Drake and James Storm) but all I can think of now is when Impact Wrestling tweeted about it and tagged Sienna she replied with something like "Ew don't tag me in this" which is HILARIOUS.

Maria, Mike Bennett and Dixie Carter have yet another in ring segment only this time Billy Corgan is also involved.   Maria goes into this "me or you" loop which makes me want to reach through the TV and somehow punch her.   I mean, right there Dixie Carter could have slapped Maria and I might have actually liked Maria.   Mikey and Maria threaten to quit but when Billy Corgan called their bluff they decided not to quit after all.  They quit quitting.  Damn quitters.   Mike Bennett vows to ruin Destination X, which I assumes means he'll either wrestle on it, talk through the whole thing, do commentary or just hide the production crew's paychecks again.   Either way, Bennett pretty much ruins anything just by being involved in it, so you know, all he has to do is show up.

The BroMans defeated Decay in a six person tag when they showed footage before the match of Rosemary kissing Bram and Josh Mathews said since that Decay never got on the same page.   Ugh.  BroMans needs to go away already.    Speaking of going away, Eddie Edwards is about to make his decision on Option C when Lashley comes out and offers him a Title vs. Title match for next week.   So either Lashley or Eddie Edwards gets both titles after next week's show unless, you know, the match ends in a DQ.   It would be funny though to see Lashley hold both titles.

With all of the segments leading up to it, the match itself between Matt Hardy and Brother Nero felt a lot like a B Movie.   It was so terrible it was almost tolerable.   My favorite parts were when someone would get fireworks or some other weapon and the other brother would be like, "Oh damn" and kind of sound like they were breaking character.   If you expected this to be some sort of Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer match or something along similar lines of being both hardcore and amazing then you're watching the wrong promotion.   TNA's new motto should be "So bad it's actually kind of good".    Since Matt Hardy won this match somehow (Even after pinning his, um, butler in the Willow costume- which asks a whole other level of questions) and now he gets the Hardy name while Brother Nero will either stick with that name or go under the Willow mask.   At this point it doesn't even matter I'm just glad that I kind of think this feud might be over and, well, the idea of "Broken" Matt Hardy challenging Lashley for the TNA Title could be of interest to me.

Lucha Underground presented Ultima Lucha Dos this week (the first of three parts) and the opening match was Cage vs. The Mack.    They said this would be a tournament of sorts but I thought it was going to be a Fatal Fourway so whatever.   Apparently these four guys will be in three matches which will likely take up all of this show.  I'm guessing.   Cage and The Mack had a Falls Count Anywhere match and The Mack somehow won it, which was surprising to me since LU seems to love Cage so much.   It's much more exciting- to me- to know that The Mack will be moving on to the match later on in the show than Cage because I just still don't like Cage.

Texano and Son of Havoc were booked into a Bar Fight by Dario Cueto because he says when he thinks of bikers and cowboys he thinks of bar fights.   Sorry, Village People.   You are not welcome in The Temple.    This was the fight you'd expect it to be and the commentators kept emphasizing how these two men were killing each other for some mystery prize which kind of made me think it was going to be awful like, "Your unique opportunity is to be my assistant for a day!   Son of Havoc won- which was another surprise win to some extent- and I do look forward to see The Mack vs. Son of Havoc because it really feels like either of them could win (or take the loss).  Texano's back was a mess from all that glass.  

Matt Striker runs down the card as I'm left wondering how they're going to fit all of these matches into two hours over the next two weeks.    Dario Cueto says that the main event will also be a Falls Count Anywhere match because he liked it so much the first time.   Guess he didn't really care about the bar fight then, huh?   I really feel like these two would fight harder if they knew what they were fighting for exactly which also makes me believe it might not be a fair prize.

Son of Havoc won the match and then Dario Cueto said he could either take a briefcase with $250,000 in it or a title shot at Ultima Lucha 3.    Son of Havoc took the title shot- which is probably better overall, since it gives him some hope for being part of Season Three- and then Dario Cueto gave him the twist.   Cueto said Son of Havoc would have to defeat one more man before he got his title shot and if this mystery man won he would get the $250,000.   So either the title shot or money are going to waste.  Great.

When Famous B came out I thought Son of Havoc was in for an easy win until he announced his newest client as Dr. Wagner Jr, who doesn't really need a manager.    Dr. Wagner Jr wins in his debut and gets the money and now Son of Havoc has got to be pissed.   This was certainly a strong way to debut Dr. Wagner Jr. but if it is at the cost of Son of Havoc you have to wonder whether or not it is worth it.   Still, it would be interesting to see Dr. Wagner Jr. somehow work his way to becoming LU Champion and then Son of Havoc somehow otherwise earning a title shot at Ultima Lucha 3 to bring this full circle.   

This week NXT was perhaps the weak link other than Raw (and parts of Impact).    There were only three matches, the first two of which were somewhat confusing.   Alexa Bliss- I believe- recently picked up a win over Carmella, as if to push Alexa Bliss up the ladder (And to build her up with some wins and have her face Asuka for the title might be fun) but she lost in a long, hard-fought battle with Bayley and it just makes me question why.   Bayley could have easily taken the loss and blamed it on coming back too soon, as her feud with Nia Jax should continue, and then the win could have helped elevate Alexa Bliss but why build up anyone to face Asuka other than Nia Jax and Bayley, right?

The second match saw BAMF reunited and while I know they were taped at different times and aired in order it feels like these were taped all at the same time some months ago and are being aired out of order for some reason.   No one really did a good job explaining why BAMF were back together since they didn't have Alexa Bliss and seemingly broke up weeks ago.   The Hype Bros. came out and I thought for sure this would be a victory for them and the final-final straw from BAMF but the match ended when Rhyno came out and gored everybody.    So, first Rhyno is in NXT.   Then he's gone.   Now he's back.   Whatever.  I blame the draft/brand split for Rhyno being back in NXT but I'm not going to complain because Rhyno has proven that he can still go so having him in NXT can only bring about good things.   Rhyno was the last ECW Champion- something you can never take away from him- but I've always wondered why WWE never gave him a run with the World Heavyweight Championship when they seemed to let almost anyone hold it for a day or two (With apologies to Dolph Ziggler and Christian)

In the main event American Alpha lost to The Revival who retained the tag team titles in a two out of three falls match.   It was strange because The Revival won the last two falls and usually it's win/lose/win and not lose/win/win unless you bring about the first loss as a DQ as I liked to do in the old video games.    I'm not sure where this leaves the NXT tag team division since The Revival are still obviously on top of it, American Alpha will likely go feud with the Authors of Pain before/while being drafted to the main roster and, um, so who will challenge The Revival next?   I don't know, but there are certainly enough choices in NXT right now that I'm not worried about it.

TNA announced that Impact Wrestling will be making the move to Thursdays.   This comes with Smack Down! going live on Tuesdays and, well, it's funny because I was just thinking about how after Wednesday all of the weekly wrestling would stop so this is a nice way to sort of spread it out a bit more, even though I rarely watch anything other than WWE PPVs "live".    Lucha Underground is on the same night as NXT and you don't see them asking El Rey to move nights.   So I just believe if the product is good people will find a way (like DVR) to watch it.   But I can still see why Impact would move, I guess.   Smack Down! going live- for me- means that I'll start watching Smack Down! again but not on Tuesdays-- probably not likely until Wednesday or even Thursday night, though right now Thursday is reserved for NXT.

Speaking of Smack Down! it was announced that Brock Lesnar will face Randy Orton at Summerslam.   I understand the whole idea of Randy Orton coming back so it feels like a "can't lose" situation for him and yet he's facing Brock Lesnar who really doesn't lose, so that adds to the intrigue of it all.   But couldn't WWE have found someone on the active roster- not someone returning- for Brock Lesnar to face?  And why couldn't Brock Lesnar face the WWE Champion?  And what's going to happen by the time Summerslam comes around with the brand split?   Ah well, I'm sure WWE has got it all figured out!

Our last bit of wrestling this week came in the form of the CWC Bracketology special on The WWE Network.   It was a nice introduction to some of the participants and perhaps most interesting of them all was Brian Kendrick.    The former Spanky had this profound statement about how if he can't win this thing then everything he has done up until this point has been for nothing.    I've always looked at Kendrick and Tajiri as being in this tournament as a kind of veteran way-- like whoever wins it all will have those victories of sorts over some of the greatest cruiserweights of all-time-- so hearing Kendrick being in it to win it kind of threw me off guard.    It was just a very well done piece with him and it truly makes it feel like anyone can win this CWC tournament because all who have entered are deserving.  

Next week (It's Sunday as I type this) we begin the CWC- which I'm most looking forward to- and as that begins Lucha Underground inches closer to the end of its second season with the second out of three parts of Ultima Lucha Dos.    It just feels like it's going to be really exciting all around this week and with the draft coming up I hope that the rest of WWE can live up to it and Impact can continue to get better as it did last week.  

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