My All Time Favorite Match

One of the things I’m asked, once people find out I’m a wrestling fan is, what’s is my favorite match of all time? Before 2009 I would have had to think about it, but since Wrestlemania twenty five, there is only one match that still takes the cake for me. Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker at Wrestlemania twenty five.

That day is a day I will always remember, not so much because of the Wrestlemania pay per view, but of a phone call I received that day. Now anyone who know me knows to not bother me during my wrestling shows, especially Wrestlemania, but I kept getting a call from an old high school friend during the pay per view.

I tried to ignore it and planned to call him back as soon as the pay per view was over. However he was persistent and probably called me four or five times. Finally during the Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy match I answered the phone. When I did, I had learned that one of my good friends from high school was in a horrible automobile accident.

The accident put my friend in the hospital for months, nearly costing him his life. Luckily I didn’t lose my friend from the accident, but the accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. Next year marks ten years since that day, and my friend has been through a lot. But he’s a positive guy and a fighter who is thankful to be here.

The only thing that could take my mind off the news I had just learned was the pay per view. And maybe that plays a part into why Taker vs HBK is my favorite match. For most of the pay per view the only thing on my mind was my friend. Then The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels match started.

The Undertakers entrance was as dark and evil as always, and the reborn christian Shawn Michaels, descended from the rafters in all white and in angelic form. A true good vs evil scenario was about to play out. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that both men were in their 40’s at the time and still competing at a high level.

With the two veterans nearing the end of their everyday wrestling careers, I had a feeling we were going to see something special. Both HBK and Taker pulled out all the stops. We saw all the classic moves, including a spot where the Undertaker nearly ended his career performing a dive over the top rope.

Every now and then the Undertaker would do a move where he would run across the ring, hit the ropes, and run back to the other side of the ring leap over the top rope and hit his opponent with a clothesline or body press. I don’t know what went wrong during the move but The Undertaker jumped and missed badly.

So bad that I thought he was done, not just done like he’s going to lose, but done he will be lucky to walk again done. When he jumped over the rope, HBK moved and pulled the cameraman in the way. I think the cameraman was supposed to drop the camera and break his fall.

The cameraman was not able to break the fall and when I say the Undertaker dove over top rope, that is not an exaggeration. He dove over the top and fell probably ten feet to the floor and landed directly on his head. The Undertaker folded up like an accordion and would lay there for several minutes as referees checked on him.

Luckily, he was able to continue the match and man did that match live up to expectation. It was one of the first matches that I seen have so many false finishes. It was also one of the first matches I’d seen where finishers were kicked out off. No one ever kicked out of the tombstone pile driver but HBK did that night.

The Undertaker was still undefeated at Wrestlemania at that time and Shawn Michaels was known as Mr. Wrestlemania. It was the first time in many years where some thought The Undertakers streak might come to an end. If anyone was going to end it, it was going to be Mr. Wrestlemania.

False finish after false finish after false finish and still no victor. There were multiple sweet chin music kicks, moonsaults and elbow drops from HBK. And there were also multiple tombstone piledrivers, running clothesline’s and choke slams from the dead man. The fans were on a figurative roller coaster during the match.

But it was one moonsault to many that caught up with HBK. Literally. After about a twenty five minute match, Michaels climbed to the top rope and went for a moonsault. He leaped, did a back flip in mid air and was caught by the waiting Undertaker. Taker caught Michaels and Michaels was in the perfect position for the tombstone.

Taker hit the tombstone piledriver one more time, crossed Michaels arms on his chest and finally got the 1-2-3. The Undertakers winning streak at Wrestlemania would live on. I will say, it was the first time I’d seen the Undertaker vulnerable during a Wrestlemania match.

Shawn Michaels took Taker to his limit that night. I feel like after that match, both men started winding down their full time schedules in the WWE. As we would find out Michaels was only in contract with the WWE for one more year. And at Wrestlemania twenty six, these men would wrestle again.

This time the match was streak vs career, and to me it didn’t live up to the match the year prior. It would also be Michaels last match for nearly a decade as he would lose that night and was “forced” to retire. Although in wrestling retire usually means go away for a while and return when the time is right.

As for the Undertaker he would remain undefeated until Brock Lesnar finally broke the streak, much to the chagrin of most the WWE universe. Ten years later and the Undertaker still wrestles at Wrestlemania, defeating John Cena in record time this past year.

The match at Wrestlemania twenty five will probably always be one of, if not my all time favorites. It was a great match and for about a half hour, I was able to suspend my worries for my friend and enjoy my favorite program of the year. In the weeks that followed, my friends and I would make several trips to Columbus hospitals to see our friend and pray and wish him well.

A crazy night indeed, but a night I will never forget. If you get a chance get on WWE network and search for the match. It’s a really good match and probably a match I watch at least once a year. I’m sure someday, a match will come along and just blow my mind, but until then Taker vs HBK, Wrestlemania 25 is my all time favorite match.

Crown Jewel Review

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Crown Jewel took place from Saudi Arabia, much to the shagrin of a lot of fans.  I was able to watch it live at the noon start time.  Most of my predictions went as planned but I was unpleasantly surprised with the world cup.  Another controversial figure is the Babe Ruth of WWE, Hulk Hogan.  I don’t care for his choice of words a few years ago, but I will admit it was great to see the Hulkster in a WWE ring.

U.S. Title Defense

In the kick off show, Rusev went one on one with Shinsuke Nakamura.  I didn’t even know this match was going to be on the kickoff show, so I didn’t make a prediction on it.  But had I known, I would have predicted correctly.  A great match though, that went back and forth. And for a second, I thought Rusev may win this.  But in typical heel Nakamura style he connected with a low blow, followed by a kinshasa to win the match.  I wouldn’t mind seeing these two go into a rivalry after survivor series.

World Cup Tournament

The world cup tournament was actually something I was looking forward to.  I don’t think many fans expected the outcome, much like myself, but we were able to see some great matches.

The first match of the tournament was Randy Orton vs Rey Mysterio.  After Shane McMahon said on Smackdown Live last week that if the winner of the Smackdown side losses in the finals they will be fired, I thought for sure Randy Orton would win the tournament.  Orton and Rey had a good match that ended with a surprise roll up pin by Mysterio.  Immediatly my pick was eliminated from the tournament, but he didn’t leave without doing some damage.  He beat up on Rey, weakening him for his second round match.

gohomepwb.com pick: Randy Orton  Winner: Rey Mysterio (PPV prediction record (11-7)

The second match of the tournament was Jeff Hardy vs The Miz.  A pretty good match with The Miz picking up the victory, clean…yes clean.  I was right in the injury angle but I was wrong on the matches and participants.  I expected Hardy to win, and then be beat up, but it happened to Mysterio in the prior match.  Nonetheless The Miz won the match, and took a nasty kick to the throat that caused his voice to be strained.

gohomepwb.com pick: Jeff Hardy  Winner: The Miz (PPV prediction record 11-8)

Now we go to the RAW side of the tournament.  The first match was Seth Rollins vs Bobby Lashley.  This match was much like the Lashley, Finn Balor matches on Raw, Lashley dominates, but ends up losing in the end.  What shocked me was how he lost.  A curb stomp finsher to Lashley and a clean win for Rollins.  This puts Lashley on a little bit of a losing streak, but I think he will rebound in a big way on RAW Monday night.  I did expect Rollins to win however, just not with a clean finish.

gohomepwb.com pick: Seth Rollins  Winner: Seth Rollins (PPV prediction record 12-8)

The last first round match was Kurt Angle vs Dolph Ziggler.  Ziggler and Angle put on a really good match, but I had a feeling that Ziggler would win this match.  Probably most people would think this would be an upset, as most of us expect Ziggler to be enhancement talent again soon.  I certainly hope not, he is a great heel especially with his insurance policy Drew McIntyre.  As predicted Ziggler picked up the win with a clean finish.

gohomepwb.com pick: Dolph Ziggler Winner: Dolph Ziggler (PPV prediction record 13-8)

The finals of the Smackdown side was The Miz vs the injured Rey Mysterio.  I really expected Rey to win this, but I was wrong.  The Miz picked up a clean win against Mysterio putting him in the finals of the World Cup tournament.

gohomepwb.com pick: Randy Orton  Winner: The Miz (PPV prediction record 13-9)

The finals of the RAW side was once again a match between Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler.  I could watch these two wrestle every night.  This was the best match of the night in my opinion.  A classic Rollins, Ziggler match with a lot of false finishes.  I picked Seth Rollins to win this match and after The Miz won his match, I fully expected to see him win.  However, as many of you know by now, I am a Ziggler guy and was pulling for him to win the match.  And after a back and forth match, and a slight involvement from Drew McIntyre, Ziggler was able to hit his superkick and get the win putting him in the finals.

gohomepwb.com pick: Seth Rollins  Winner: Dolph Ziggler (PPV prediction record 13-10)

The World Cup finals, The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler.  What a swerve we got in this one.  Shane McMahon and Baron Corbin were at ringside for the finals match.  The match started out with Drew McIntyre being kicked out of the ringside area, then The Miz playing the part as the heel, in the heel vs heel match, attached Ziggler from behind.  Ziggler was thrown out of the ring, and when The Miz jumped down from the ring apron fell to the ground clutching his leg.  As we would find out this was kayfabe, but bravo to The Miz, for selling this like nothing I have ever seen.  I, along with just about everyone else thought this was a legitimate injury.  Ziggler was back in the ring and the referee was going to award him the match, when Shane McMahon said that he was filling in for The Miz…so, enter McMahon.  A very fresh McMahon went after the surprised Dolph Ziggler and beat him up pretty quick.  McMahon hit a slingshot into the turnbuckles, and then a patent coast to coast finisher to beat Ziggler and be crowned the best in the world.

It will be interesting to see how this story goes, it looked to me as if Shane McMahon may be turning heel soon.  The way he acted after beating a worn out Ziggler was very Daniel Bryanesk at the start of the YES! chants.  I also believe this will catapault Ziggler into a Universal title picture soon.  He put on a great show at Crown Jewel.  I was not crazy about the finish to the World Cup tournament.  I think they kind of made a mockery of it having Shane come in at the last minute to win it.  But like I said, I believe this is the start of a heel turn for Shane.

gohomepwb.com pick:  Randy Orton  Winner: Shane McMahon (PPV prediction record 13-11)

The Bar Retain

The Bar took on the NEW DAY! in a Smackdown Live tag team title match.  The match was ok, put probably the one that people will most forget about when they think of the show.  The match was stiff and quick and ended as predicted with interfernce from the Big Show when he punched Big E.  The Bar was able to win the match and retain their tag team championship.  I hope that the Uso’s are next in line for a title shot.

gohomepwb.com pick: The Bar  Winner: The Bar (PPV prediction record 14-11)

AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe one more time

In an almost impromptu match, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles renewed their rivalry for about 10 minutes. The match was probably not their best and AJ Styles won clean with a phenomenal forearm. Now that he has beaten Joe by every possible scenario, it’s safe to say this rivalry will be put on the shelf. I look for Orton to be in the title picture after Survivor Series. So a very predictable match and a very predictable finish.

gohomepwb.com: AJ Styles Winner: AJ Styles (PPV prediction record 15-11)

A New Universal Champion Crowned

Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman went one on one for the vacant Universal championship. Before the match started Baron Corbin hit Strowman in the back of the head with the championship. Lesnar went on to hit about 6 F5’s to beat Strowman and become the first ever two time universal champion. His is what I hoped and picked would happen. Strowman needs to rejuvenate his baby face momentum. I think Lesnar and AJ will have a great match at Survivor Series and then we will see Strowman chase Lesnar for the Universal championship until Wrestlemania.

gohomepwb.com pick: Brock Lesnar Winner: Brock Lesnar (PPV prediction record 16-11)

An attitude era Main Event

Triple H and Shawn Michaels, together known as DX took on the team of Kane and the Undertaker. This match was mostly controlled by Kane and the Undertaker. Triple H was choked slammed through a table, so HBK was by himself for most of the match. Which I believe was the plan, so that we could see all the classic HBK moves. We were not disappointed either, as we saw everything he could offer. Including a moonsault from the top rope to the floor. It looked as though HBK landed on his face, but hit the move nonetheless. The match ended shortly after that with some sweet chin music and a pedigree on Kane for a DX pin fall win. I called the finish to a tee, as I fully expected Kane to take the L in the match.

gohomepwb.com pick: DX Winner: DX (PPV prediction record 17-11)

Outside of the World Cup tournament, this was a pretty predictable show. I can only imagine how happy the WWE is to have this trip over with. I kind of hope that they are done with the overseas pay per views for a while. I like the traditional ones and we are getting close to the road to Wrestlemania already. I look for a good Survivor Series and then we will start to see a couple Wrestlemania angles take shape.

It will be interesting to see what happens on RAW tonight with the crowning of a new Universal champion. Also, it will be interesting to see if Ziggler gets into an angle with Shane McMahon for a Survivor Series elimination tag match. Thanks for checking out gohomepwb.com.

The Montreal Screw Job

img_0198Typically I like to reserve my Monday’s for my favorite wrestlers, but after the finish to the Bound for Glory PPV main event last night, it reminded me of the infamous night in Montreal almost twenty-one years ago.  As was much of the discussion on Sirius XM’s Busted Open radio show, I want to give my thoughts on what happened at Survivor Series in 1997.  But first, what brought up the thoughts of the this event some two decades later.

Bound for Glory last night, Impact Wrestling’s version of Wrestlemania, the main event was a world title match between Johnny Impact and Austin Aries.  The match was for all intents and purposes a great match, but the finish was what left everybody wondering, is this a work or a shoot?  Johnny Impact hit his finisher on Aries, and picked up the 1,2,3 winning the Impact world championship.  However, immediately following the pin fall Austin Aries got up and left the ring, “no selling” the finisher.  On his way out Aries, proceeded to flip off the crowd and the powers that be in Impact wrestling.  That’s not something we would typically see at the finish of a match, unless there was some real heat going on.  There appeared to be some confusion as the show ended.  Regardless of whether it was supposed to happen or not, it has every wrestling fan and critic talking about it today.  So if Impact was trying to get some attention… well done.

Although, the finish to last nights Bound for Glory main event was filled with controversy, nothing compares to the ending of the main event of Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, Canada.  Late 1997 was a transition period for the then WWF.  They were losing in the Monday night ratings war, and was beginning to take their product in a more edgier direction.  Late ’97 was the birth of the most polarizing era in WWE, the Attitude Era.  The lead up to the Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart main event was a heated one.  These two men despised each other at the time.  They had real life hatred for one another, and I would like to say it culminated at the ’97 survivor series, but I don’t believe that to be the case.

Bret Hart was to be leaving the World Wrestling Federation, for rival World Championship Wrestling.  I have watched the Bret Hart documentary: Wrestling with Shadows, multiple times.  In the documentary, Bret clearly did not want to leave the WWF.  However, WCW offered him an incredible amount of money to come work for them.  Even with the lucrative offer, Hart was loyal to the WWF.  Owner of WWF Vince McMahon had offered Bret a long-term deal, which Bret had accepted.  In the following weeks/months Vince rescinded his offer, saying he would not be able to afford it.  WWF in 1997 was nowhere near the worth of WWE in 2018.  So I think there is some validity to McMahon’s concerns of being able to honor the contract.  So, Hart accepted the offer from WCW and was set to leave the WWF in late November 1997.

The idea that Vince had, was for Bret to drop the title to Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series PPV.  Bret, a proud Canadian wrestler, pleaded with Vince that he not drop the title to Shawn in front of the Montreal crowd.  According to the Wrestling with Shadows documentary, Vince gave Bret the opportunity to call the finish of the match.  Bret could be heard stating in be a smoz, (the match ends without a clear winner) and then relinquish the title the following night on Monday Night RAW.  You could hear Vince say “Whatever you want.”

When Shawn Michaels received word of the finish he was supposedly livid.  Triple H who was with Vince and Shawn during the meeting, has been quoted as saying “If Bret doesn’t want to do business, we do business for him!”

Vince was left with a decision to make.  I think he trusted Bret to drop the title, the next night on RAW, but at the same time Bret had possesion of WWF’s most prized title.  Vince already had a wrestler leave and put one of his championships in the trash on WCW television, and if it happened again, it would not only bury him as a promoter, but quite possible bury his company.  I personally think that Vince did the only thing he could do that night.

The Match

The match was about to begin and the Montreal crowd was hot that night.  Very vocal and ready for a great main event.  A lot of smart fans in attendance were intrigued, but probably expected a Bret Hart loss as they knew he was leaving for WCW.  But, at the same time, Bret Hart does no lose in Canada.  Bret was the clear fan favorite on that night, and Shawn who was a heel in both the U.S. and Canada at the time, didn’t need much help getting booed.  Triple H accompanied Shawn to the ring, and for some reason Vince and Sgt. Slaughter were at ringside for the match.  It was not a custom for Sgt. Slaughter and especially Vince to sit ringside for a match.

The match started and it was a typical Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels match.  I use the term typical lightly, because these two, despite their dislike for each other, worked phenomenal well together.  They worked a crisp, yet stiff looking match.  About ten to fifteen minutes into the match, Shawn put Bret in his own finisher the sharpshooter.  Once the move was locked in, you could see Bret reach back to try to reverse the hold, however to the surprise of everyone in the arena that night, the referee called for the bell.  The referee that night was Earl Hebner, and he was told by Vince to ring the bell at that spot.  To be clear Bret did not tap and he did not say “I quit!”  Both Shawn and Bret sat at the ring apron looking puzzled before Shawn was awarded the winner and the new WWF champion.  Shawn, Triple H and multiple WWE officials left the ring in a hurry.  The Montreal crowd was livid, and so was Bret Hart.  Vince stayed at ringside expecting to be retaliated against by Bret.  Bret in the ring and Vince on the floor were having words when Bret then spit in the face of Vince.  Vince left the ringside area, and Bret went on to basically throw a fit, destroying the table and monitors at ringside.  Bret then went on to air paint WCW in the WWF ring before he went to the back.

The aftermath

In the Wrestling with Shadows documentary, it was filmed with Shawn and Bret in the locker room and Bret asked Shawn “Did you know anything about this?”  Shawn denied, denied, denied of any knowledge of the finish, as instructed by Vince.  Vince was to take all the blame per his instruction.   The filming of the documentary stopped when Bret and Vince had their meeting, but the filming resumed when Vince was walking down the hall-way clearly disoriented.  Bret punched Vince right in the eye, and Vince sported a black eye for the next few weeks.

In the documentary, Bret was stated as saying “Being a wrestler, is a lot like being a circus animal.  Once your job is done and there is no worth to you, they take you out back and kill you.  And that is what they did with the Bret Hart character.”  Bret Hart went on to wrestle a couple of years for WCW, but it was forgettable.  He didn’t seem to fit, and he will be the first to tell you he hated his time there.  You can kind of feel for Bret at this point.  How many of us have put many years into a job, only for it to go south and feel like a complete waste of your time.  You give and give and when your services are no longer needed, they spit you out.  No thanks or we appreciate all you did for us, but a harsh abrupt end to your relationship.

As for Shawn following the “Montreal Screw Job” he went to hold the title for several month.  The next night on RAW, Degeneration X went on to further humiliate Bret, by having a “little person” come out and be harassed by Shawn and Triple H.  They even slapped a WCW logo on his back side when he left the ring.  Bret could be seen watching it on TV in the Wrestling with Shadows documentary in complete disgust.

Shawn’s run as champion was on borrowed time, because at the January 1998 Royal Rumble he hurt his back in a casket match with the Undertaker.  He was in a lot of pain in the lead up to Wrestlemania 14 in March of the same year.  Shawn was able to suffer through the pain and get to the Wrestlemania 14 main event match with Stone Cold Steve Austin.  The match was great despite Shawn being in excruciating pain.  You could see during the match he was in a lot of pain.  Mike Tyson was the special enforcer for the match and was supposed to be a honarary member of DX, but turned on him in a swerve and counted the 1,2,3 as Stone Cold won the match and his first of many WWF/E titles.  Also launching the Austin/McMahon rivalry into wrestling history.  That was Shawn Michaels last match with the WWF/E for over four years before he returned in the summer of 2002.  Shawn took the time off to turn his life around and was clearly a different person when he returned.  Honestly, the injury to his back probably saved his life.

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have since buried the hatchet.  They even sat down together to do a documentary about their rivalry and the Montreal “Screw Job”.  Bret was even able to get some revenge on Vince in a match at wrestlemania.  All parties have seem to put it past them.  Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels both are now WWE Hall of Famers.  Vince someday will be inducted, but he will not allow it until after his death I’m sure.

If you get a chance check out Bret Hart: Wrestling with Shadows, Shawn Michaels Heartbreak and Triumph and the Rivalry documentary.  This long rivalry could be a movie, it was so interesting.  Obviously, it still is as twenty-one years later it is a topic of conversation.  It will go down in wrestling folklore as one of the most controversial nights in wrestling.

Thanks for checking out gohomepwb.com, check us out tomorrow as I give my Monday Night RAW review.  I will get to my fourth favorite wrestler on Friday this week.  Some of you may be surprised as to who it is, unless you were in my fifth grade classroom in the 1992-93 school year.  Which is only about fifteen people.  But, I am happy to share my thoughts on this wrestler.  Feel free to comment or like this blog, and let me know your thoughts on the Montreal Screw Job.

RAW Review

Monday night RAW is back!  I can’t say enough great things about the show last night.  One of the best shows of the year, and of course it was in Chicago.  Chicago is a great wrestling city, and always makes the show a little better with their crowds.  The show was great from start to finish, and it started with…

The Return of DX!

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I think we could all agree that the writing was on the wall with this one, after the ending of Super Show-Down.  Triple H started the show by saying his respect for the Undertaker and Kane is long gone.  HBK made his way to the ring and was livid about what happened at Super Show-Down.  He has been retired out of respect to the Undertaker, but the respect is now gone.  So…Are your ready?!  DX vs The Brothers of Destruction at Crowned Jewel.  I can’t wait for this one, and I personally think this will lead to a third Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker match at next years Wrestlemania.

Bobby Lashley turning heel

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Thank you RAW writers for getting this one right.  Bobby Lashley with his hype man Lio Rush in his corner, took on Kevin Owens last night.  Owens, was heavily cheered by the Chicago crowd as expected, and in turn Lashley was booed.  But Lio Rush was encouraging the boo’s.  He had a microphone throughout the match and would chime in from time to time to irritate Owens and the Chicago crowd.  Lashley was not going anywhere as a baby face, and I think the powers that be finally recognized it.  Lashley clearly turned heel last night, and in return I think Kevin Owens may have become a babyface.  Lashley and Rush incited an arena full of boo’s, when Lashley attacked Owens well after the match was over.  Lashley pulled an already injured Kevin Owens to the ring post corner and repeatedly crushed his knees into the ring post.

The crowd in Chicago was going to boo Lashley regardless of his tactics, so why not give them a legit reason.  Well done writers, well done!  It will be interesting to see the direction they go with Kevin Owens, I think if he kept the same attitude, and even the same tactics, but didn’t say anything bad to the crowd, he would be a great baby face.  He is already loved as a heel, so don’t change his character, just be nice to the crowds, get those cheap pops and watch Owens be one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster.

WWE World Cup

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WWE has announced they will be holding a World Cup Tournament at Crowned Jewel in Saudi Arabia.  John Cena was automatically entered into the tournament because, well… he’s John Cena.  On RAW last night acting general manager Baron Corbin put on a global battle royal, with a bunch of jabroni’s supposedly from different country’s around the world.  One of those contestants was the Conquistador from Spain.  When the match started the Conquistidor immediately jumped out of the ring and sat on the floor until there was only Corbin left in the ring.  The Conquistador got in the ring and performed several familiar moves, a triple german suplex and an angle slam.  Corbin was eliminated from the battle royal and we saw that when the Conquistador unmasked, it was Kurt Angle.  Thus, Kurt Angle and John Cena are the first two competitors in the World Cup, which appears to be a revamped King of the Ring.  At first I thought, not another tournament.  Then when I see the first two entries are John Cena and Kurt Angle, I suddenly am more intrigued by this tournament.  The Big Show and Randy Orton will do battle tonight for another spot in the tournament.  This is shaping up to be a star-studded tournament, I think we could see a couple more legends enter the tournament before it’s all said and done.  Perhaps a Rey Mysterio and Batista who are returning for Smackdown 1000 next week.  Or maybe a Goldberg, Sting or The Rock.  It’s probably a long shot, but it would make the tournament much more interesting.  I can’t wait to see who ends up in this tournament.

The Bella’s turn on Rhonda Rousey

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In a rematch from Super Show-Down, The Bella Twins and Rhonda Rousey battled The Riott Squad last night.  The match was pretty good until the end when it appeared that Sarah Logan and one of the Bella’s missed a spot at the finish, and Sarah Logan fell awkwardly not even being tripped.  Regardless Rousey locked in the arm bar on Ruby Riott and Riott tapped almost immediately.  During the winners celebration the Bella’s turned on Rousey, throwing her into the steel steps and the ringside barricade.  And though not official, it would appear Nikki Bella will battle Rhonda Rousey for the Women’s title at Evolution.  This should be an interesting match, especially with Brie in her corner.  Rousey vs Nikki one on one is not that intersting, as no one really thinks Nikki could beat Rousey one on one, but add Brie, now there’s a chance.  I think it would be a good time for Rousey to pick up her first loss.  The Bella’s are great heels and they could have a good run with the title.

Mixed tag match

Another week of mixed match challenge promos, where we see Team BnB and Team Majalicia for the third week in a row.  A very predictable match where Team BnB picked up the victory.  I can’t wait for this mixed match challenge to end, and we see Finn Balor in some meaningful segments and matches.  I am not a fan of the mixed match challenge, with the exception of The Fabulous Truth.

Balor is another wrestler I would like to see in the World Cup tournament.  He is a wrestler that can have a great match with anyone, and who wouldn’t want to see a Finn Balor vs John Cena match.

Ember Moon picks up an upset victory

Ember Moon took on Nia Jax last night in a one on one contest.  A quick, but decent match that saw Ember Moon pick up the win via count out.  Nia had a nasty collision with the L.E.D. board, that is now the ring apron, and was unable to return to the ring before the ten count.  The two women’s division wrestlers embraced at the end in a show in a sign of friendship and sportsmanship.

Trish and Lita now a tag team

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In a bit of a surprise, Lita made her return last night to help Trish fend off Alexa Bliss and Mickie James.  Alexa vs Trish, and Mickie vs Lita were supposed to be singles matches at evolution, but now Alexa and Mickie will wrestle Trish and Lita in a tag team match.  Alexa and Mickie fought Trish and Lita last night with Trish and Lita getting the better of their foes.  Lita went to the top to hit the moonsault, but Alexa was able to pull Mickie out of the ring before she could hit it.  Great to see Trish and Lita again and I can’t wait to see them wrestle at Evolution.

Roode and Gable get a win

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable picked up a much-needed win over The Ascension last night.  But, it would appear as if Roode is getting tired of Chad Gable.  Thank you!!  I can’t stand this pairing and I hate the character that Chad Gable is portraying right now.  I hope that in the very near future Roode turns on Gable or vise versa.  It was also the first time I heard CM Punk chants.  That kind of tells you how much the WWE universe is interested in this pairing as well.  The real story came after the match, when A.O.P. came out and punished both teams, continuing their dominance.  I think A.O.P. will be tag team champions very soon, and I would love to see it.  I like Ziggler and McIntyre but they are singles guys, I am a fan of traditional tag teams representing the division as champs.  A.O.P. would be great representatives.

Paul Heyman

Is there anyone better on the microphone than Paul Heyman?  Heyman came out before the Shield, Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre match last night.  He of course put over his client Baarockk Lessssnaarr!  And at the same time verbally violated both Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.  I don’t think that Brock will win the Universal title at Crowned Jewel, but Heyman can sell you anything on the mic.

The Shield cracked?

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Another great match between The Shield, Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre.  Earlier in RAW it would appear that Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre were the team that was in disarray, but they came together last night to pick up a huge win over the Shield.  The match was very even going back and forth until the end when McIntyre hit the Claiborne kick on Dean Ambrose for the win.  After the match, Ambrose left in anger leaving Reigns and Rollins in the ring to wonder what he was doing.  In a WWE.com exclusive, Dean Ambrose was interviewed and said he “isn’t sure he fits in anywhere anymore.”  I think Ambrose is headed for a heel turn.  As much as I had hoped it would be Roman Reigns, it would appear as if the writers are planting the seeds for a heel turn of Ambrose.

A great show last night.  A lot of surprises, twists and turns.  I understand it is hard to have a three hours show and deliver every week with no summer break, but RAW continues to surprise me.  That’s why I have watched for over 25 years, and will continue to watch for as long as I can.  One thing RAW lacks is a mega baby face.  Watch out for Kevin Owens as a baby face, I think he could be the guy to reach Stone Cold popularity.

Check out gohomepwb.com tomorrow for my Smackdown Live review.  Let’s hope it’s as good as RAW was.

Super Show-Down Review

I set the alarm for 4:45 a.m. this morning so I could get up and watch WWE Super Show-Down from Melbourne, Australia.  Yesterday, I offered my predictions of the matches and with the exception of a couple matches, I was spot on.  All in all the PPV was very entertaining and I am glad I set the alarm to watch it.

New Day Retains Smackdown Live Tag Team Titles

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Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston were the two members of the New Day that defended the tag team championship against The Bar.  The Bar was in control for most of the match, with Cesaro and Sheamus or (Big Red) as one of my friends prefers to call him, dished out a significant amount of punishment.  However, after a grueling match, it was not enough to defeat the reigning tag team champions.  The New Day debuted a new finisher tonight, a backstabber and flying double stomp from the top rope!  An impressive looking double team move that was enough for The New Day to get the win.

gohomepwb.com pick: The New Day  Winners: The New Day

Charlotte vs Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship

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In one of the most anticipated bouts of the night, Charlotte and Becky Lynch added another chapter to their rivalry.  A great match from bell to bell, and a finish that left us wanting more.  Becky Lynch was clearly the fan favorite even in Australia.  The match went back and forth with Charlotte locking in the Figure eight.  However, Becky was able to reach for her championship belt and use it to break the hold, thus getting herself disqualified.  Charlotte technically won the match, but Becky would retain the title.  It was announced later in the show that the two superstars will have a rematch on Smackdown Live this Tuesday.

gohomepwb.com pick: Becky Lynch  Winner: Charlotte

John Cena Returns

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Elias and Kevin Owens took on Bobby Lashley and the returning John Cena in a tag team match.  Cena came out to a great ovation, but when his music stopped, you could hear the Cena Sucks chant.  Which at this point in his career, is more a term of endearment.  Much like the you suck chant during Kurt Angle’s music.  For the majority of the math Bobby Lashley was in, until the ending when he finally got the hot tag to Cena.  Cena entered the ring and hit all his classic moves and even gave us a new finisher that he used to pick up the win.  He then got the mic and said “I don’t know what the future holds”.  Which leaves us to wonder if he will be returning full-time or not anytime soon?  Either way, it was great to see the sixteen time world champ.

gohomepwb.com pick: Cena and Lashley  Winner: Cena and Lashley

IIconics win as predicted

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The IIconics picked up a big win in their home country.  Defeating Asuka and Naomi in a decent match that saw the IIconics get cheered throughout.

gohomepwb.com Pick: IIconics  Winners:  IIconics

AJ Styles gets his revenge

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First, I still wonder why the WWE championship is never in the main event anymore?  I think we all assumed that Undertaker and Triple H would go on last, but I can’t recall a time in the last year when the WWE title closed the show.  Especially on a dual branded PPV.  AJ Styles always puts on a great match, so when will he get the respect of going on last?

Ok, on to the match.  AJ Styles and Samoa Joe started on the outside in this no disqualification and no count out match.  When the two competitors finally entered the ring, we were gifted a great technical match.  For the first half of the match no weapons were used.  When the chairs and tables were finally introduced into the match, it was a table spot that was the turning point.  Samoa Joe was on AJ Styles shoulder and he turned awkwardly and dropped Joe through the table.  Joe immediately grabbed his knee, and you could hear him say “something popped”.  I am not sure if Joe was selling the injury or if it was legit, but the injury played an important part in the match as it was the focus for AJ Styles the rest of the match.  Eventually leading to AJ locking in the calf crusher for the submission win.  This seemingly ended the feud between the two.

gohomepwb.com pick: AJ Styles  Winner: AJ Styles

Riott Squad vs The Bella Twins and Rhonda Rousey

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In a match that I think even the novice of wrestling fan could have predicted.  The Bella Twins and Rhonda Rousey took on the Riott Squad.  Rhonda Rousey was given a great ovation when she made her entrance.  It was noted that this was the first time she had been in Australia since her UFC undefeated streak came to an end.  At the beginning of the match Nikki and Rhonda seemed to be a little confused as to who would start the match.  Nikki starting the match and she would only tag her sister Brie for much of the bout.  At one point during the match we had a Brie, Liv Morgan show-down.  The crowd was into this match up, as everyone is aware of the Brie Bella botched kicks by now.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, I would love to see a Brie Bella vs Liv Morgan one on one match at Evolution, but I digress.  Brie and Nikki were in the match the most saving Rousey for the hot tag.  As expected once getting the tag, the Australian crowd went crazy!  Rousey dominated the match from then on, even finishing the match with a double arm bar.  Both Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan of the Riott Squad tapped out when Rousey applied the arm bar on both of them at the same time.  A little overkill in my opinion, making the Riott Squad look weak.

gohomepwb.com pick: The Bella’s and Rhonda Rousey  Winners: The Bella’s and Rhonda Rousey

A New Cruiserweight Champion

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In a non traditional entrance the champion Cedric Alexander was introduced first.  Alexander is typically one of the most popular guys in the WWE, but no one received a louder ovation than his opponent at Super Show-Down.  Buddy Murphy who hails from Melbourne Australia, came out second and was cheered non stop, from his entrance to the finish of the match.  Another great match on the card, that really looked as if my prediction of Buddy Murphy being crowned new champion would be wrong.  Alexander hit Murphy with a barrage high impact moves including his finisher, the lumbar check!  Murphy was able to kick out right before three.  Murphy quickly rebounded, and was able to hit his finisher on Alexander getting the victory and the cruiserweight championship.  This marks the first loss for Alexander this year, which is an amazing feat.  Don’t be surprised if Alexander regains the championship soon, once WWE gets back to the states.

gohomepwb.com pick: Buddy Murphy  Winner: Buddy Murphy

The Shield Stronger than ever

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Before this match even started, The Shield, Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre had a big battle outside the ring.  The Shield attempted to put Strowman through a table with a triple powerbomb, but their efforts were halted by Ziggler and McIntyre.  Once the match started Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre put a beating on Rollins for most of the match.  It wasn’t until the 285 pound Strowman attempted to jump off the top rope onto Rollins, but failed miserably.  Rollins finally made the tag and the Shield started to regain momentum, with Reigns getting booed heavily while in the match.  Reigns went to hit McIntyre with the superman punch, but McIntyre moved and Reigns hit Ambrose.  After Ambrose recovered it looked as if he may turn on his brothers, as he joined Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre as they all climbed up onto the ring apron.  Reigns and Rollins were in the ring and it looked as if Ambrose may want to exact revenge on Reigns for hitting him with the superman punch.  Ambrose entered the ring and ran towards Reigns and Rollins, but ran right past them hitting a drop kick on McIntyre, clearly not turning on his brothers.  More back and forth between the teams, before Strowman went to hit Ambrose with a running shoulder tackle on  the outside, but Reigns intercepted him with a spear through the ringside barricade!  Back in the ring Ambrose hit Ziggler with dirty deeds finisher for the win.  The match ending exactly as I predicted, with the Shield winning by getting a pin on Ziggler.  Should be interesting to see what happens on RAW Monday Night.

gohomepwb.com Pick:  The Shield  Winner:  The Shield

The Miz vs Daniel Bryan

The most disappointing match of the night goes to The Miz and Daniel Bryan.  The quickest match of the night ended when Bryan won with an inside cradle in under five minutes.  It was announced that Daniel Bryan will go one on one with AJ Styles in Saudi Arabia at Crowned Jewel.  Clearly this is the cool down phase of Miz and Bryan, but this rivalry is far from over!

gohomepwb.com pick: No Contest  Winner:  Daniel Bryan

Last time ever?

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Being billed as the last time ever, The Undertaker and Triple H went one on one in a no disqualification stipulation, that was added just prior to the match.  The no DQ was added most likely so Kane and HBK could get involved.  This match was BRUTAL!  But in a good way.  Triple H and The Undertaker channeled their attitude era repertoire during this match.  A lot of chair shots, tables and sledgehammers!  A lot of outside interference from HBK and Kane as well.  A great match that went back and forth, with HBK seemingly taking most of the bumps.  We saw all the classic moves from all four wrestlers, but in the end it was sweet chin music from HBK, and a sledgehammer shot from Triple H that proved to be too much for the deadman.  Triple H picked up a hard-earned victory, and in a sign of respect helped The Undertaker up to his feet.  The four men then went on to hug and raise each other’s hand, in what felt almost like a Kliq goodbye over twenty years ago.  However, the love and respect for one another was short-lived.  The Undertaker and Kane turned and hit the “DX” members.  Triple H was the victim of the tombstone piledriver and Shawn Michaels was chokeslammed through the announcer’s table.  There is no way this is over.  No Way!  I think the four men will do battle as a tag team in either Saudi Arabia, or at Survivor Series.  Survivor Series is where the Undertaker made his WWE debut in 1990, and they always seem to have something for him at that PPV.  I cannot wait to see where this goes, and hopefully we get something form Triple H on RAW Monday night regarding a DX vs Brothers of Destruction match very soon!

gohomepwb.com pick: No Contest  Winner: Triple H

Super Show-Down was well worth getting up at 4:45 for.  A great show, and even better crowd.  I love that the WWE network airs these shows live.  My wife thought I was crazy for getting up to watch it, and even rolled her eyes at me as I began blogging about it immediately after it was over.  What can I say, it’s still real to me dammit!  Thanks for checking out gohomepwb.com for the Super Show-Down Review.  Check out what I have to say about my third favorite wrestler on Monday, the late great Ultimate Warrior.  Until then, feel free to comment on this post so I don’t have to take a break from talking pro wrestling.

RAW Review

Braun Strowman vs Dean Amborse

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Monday night raw opened up with Braun Strowman vs Dean Amborse.  The match was physical, but towards the end we expected Strowman to get the upper hand, and that was the case.  Reigns interrupted to help out Ambrose, causing Ambrose to lose via disqualification.  This irritated Ambrose and set up the storyline of Amborse turning on the shield.  Throughout the rest of the show there were several segments that hinted at Ambrose turning on the shield.  Rollins came into the trainers room where Ambrose was being treated for injuries, and Ambrose told Rollins “If I wanted to, I would be Intercontinental champion.”  and walked off.  Later in the night he said the same thing to Reigns regarding the Universal championship.  In my opinion Ambrose is not turning anytime soon.  I think the shield will remain a team for a while.  If one of them turns on his shield brothers, it will not be expected.  And lets hope it Roman Reigns!

Reigns continues to hear boo’s

Dolph Ziggler vs Roman Reigns was the next match, and before the match started, it was hinted that the match was going to be a Universal title match.  The crowd was excited to see the Universal title match, but Baron Corbin came out and said he was not allowing the match to be a title match.?  What!?  Lets be honest, we all knew who was going to win that match.  No chance Ziggler beats Reigns, but that didn’t hinder the match.  Ziggler rarely has a bad match, and for a second he made us believe that he could get a win over Reigns.  But in the end, Reigns hit the spear and Ziggler lost.  A great match that was the only of the three shield member match’s that ended clean.  The crowd was booing Reigns throughout the match, until Ziggler was able to get the crowd into it with a few false finishes.  Ziggler continued his dirty tactics, to try to get Reigns over as a heel.  It worked as the crowd was cheering a Reigns victory by the end of the match.

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Later in the show, we have a segment with Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman and it was hinted of Ziggler being kicked out of the faction.  Strowman said he didn’t want any weak links.  I am not sure what direction this angle will go.  The obvious angle would be for Strowman and McIntyre to turn on Ziggler and kick him out of the group.  I think it is more likely that Strowman turns on Ziggler and McIntyre and return to his babyface status.  I never really understood the Strowman turn anyway.  The third is kind of long shot.  Turn McIntyre to a babyface.  Ziggler is a natural heel and Strowman could turn at anytime the fans would accept him.  I could see Ziggler and Strowman turning on McIntyre.  McIntyre is over with the fans, has a great look and would do great as a babyface.  RAW has planted seeds for a turn in both the Shield and the Strowman faction.  Better writing this week on RAW, they have me more interested in the angles.

Rousey gets another win

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Is Rhonda Rousey undefeated in WWE?  I can’t remember her ever losing a match.  I don’t like her as a Womens champion, but that’s another story for another day.  She had a single’s match with Ruby Riott on RAW last night.  Her match was actually pretty good.  Ruby was in control most of the match, but Rousey won with an armbar in the end.  This is probably unpopular, but I am not a fan of Rousey as a WWE superstar.  I know she is putting the work in, but it’s too much, too soon.  I feel like Rousey would probably agree.  I’m not sure if she has a short-term contract or Vince really wants Rousey to be the face of his product, but it’s defintley too much, too soon.

As for the Bella’s, it seems that Brie has been scrutinized for her botched kicks last Monday.  It’s wrestling, it’s dangerous.  The superstars are highly trained, but accidents happen.  I hope this doesn’t derail Brie’s comeback as she is my favorite of the two Bella’s.  She could also use this, to turn heel.  It would be the perfect time as most fans don’t like her due to the reality shows.  Throw in the botched kicks and she could get Alexa Bliss heat.  I would like to see a rivalry between Liv Morgan and Brie Bella grow from this.

Konnor on a winning streak

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First off, let me start by saying I absolutely hate the pairing of Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.  As soon as Roode’s music hit, I immediatley rolled my eyes.  Please, please, please, please have Bobby Roode turn on this guy and turn heel.  Bobby Roode and Konnor went one on one in a decent match, with Konnor picking up the win.  Yes, you read that right, Konnor wins again!

Alexa Bliss great even when not in the ring

Alexa Bliss cut a great promo on Trish Stratus saying she was her hero when she was younger.  When Alexa was younger, she had the opportunity to meet Trish.  She went on to say how Trish was very rude to her, burping in her face, ripping up her autograph book and stepping on her foot.  Alexa is great in and out of the ring.  When WWE is ready to turn her babyface she will be, without question, the most popular wrestler on the roster.

B-Team back on track

The B-Team got a much-needed win last night over the Revival.  I am worried this team is headed for more dark matches.  Obviously, they are not as hot as they were when they were Tag Team champs, but the crowd in Seattle seemed to be behind them.  After the match A.O.P. came down and attacked the B-Team.  Setting up a rivalry that will probably culminate in a PPV pre show match.

Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre

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Seth Rollins is another guy, that could wrestle anyone and have a great match.  That is not a knock on Drew McIntyre, because he is great as well.  This match was a really good match, continuing the Shield storyline.  The match went back and forth, before Rollins started getting the upper hand.  At that point Ziggler’s music hit, and he ran down to the ring and slid under the ropes never touching Rollins.  The distraction was enough for McIntyre to load up and hit the Claiborne kick for the win.  After the match it was a typical may lay from both the Shield and Ziggler, McIntyre and Strowman.  The Shield was beat by their foes, setting up an almost guarantee that they will be victorious at Super Show Down.  Check out gohomepwb.com on Friday, when I give my predictions for the show.

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Don’t mention basketball in Seattle

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Kevin Owens vs Bobby Lashley was the next match.  But before the match was started, Elias and Owens were in the ring and Elias was giving his patented mini concert.  At one point Elias made a comment about the Seattle Supersonics leaving town.  That caused the crowd to boo, like I have never heard before.  It made Reigns getting booed on the RAW after mania, in which he beat the Undertaker, seem like cheers.  These boo’s went on for minutes, probably five or more minutes of steady boo’s!  Elias and Owens had a very hard time getting through the rest of the segment.  Even shouting into the mic, yet he was still hard to hear.

Lio Rush came out to “hype” Lashley, but no one cared what he had to say.  The crowd was still booing from the Supersonics comment.  Lashley came out and had a match with Owens in which Owens won with a school boy after the distraction on the outside.  The match was ok, but the boo’s stole the show last night.

Bayley beats Alicia Fox

Quick, lame and predictable.  Bayley won the match with a Bayley to belly.  Honestly, I feel like the match was a cool down before the HBK segment.

A blast from the past

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Yes.  That is Shawn Micheals.  He’s bald now!  A bit of a surprise, but not as surprising as DX vs The Brothers of Destruction.  HBK was in the ring hyping the match between HHH and The Undertaker this Saturday.  HBK told the Seattle crowd that “if Kane got involved he would brush him back with a little sweet chin music.”  Then Kane’s music hit!  He came down to the ring and stared at HBK, when the lights went out.  We hear the GONG!  The lights come back on and Undertaker is in the ring!  HBK is surprised by this, turns around and gets knocked down by Kane.  HHH to the rescue!  HHH comes running down to the ring to help his friend, but is overpowered by the Undertaker.  Kane and Undertaker lock both HBK and HHH in the throat, and perform a double chokeslam.  Undertaker then picked up HHH and but him in the tombstone piledriver.  This closed the show setting up what I think will be a great match this Saturday!

Be sure to check out gohomepwb.com tomorrow for the Smackdown Live review.  Alot of hype heading into Super Showdown this Saturday at 5am!