Ring of Honor
Kenny King is working his way through the ROH Bullet Club roster during his slow heel turn. Since not doing the deed against Austin Aries, King has been doing what it takes to pick up wins. The fans have not been feeling his nefarious tactics, and this week was no different. He slid through his contest with Chase Owens to make it 3-0 against the BC Elite.
Dana Brooke found herself entangled with three of my favorite women for a special tag match; this match was accompanied by the announcement of a women’s battle royal at the upcoming Evolution event. Brooke and Ember Moon opened the match giving us the opportunity to see Moon still a bit hesitant in executing her moves as not to go too fast. They’d tag in their partners, Nia Jax for Ember and Tamina for Brooke, and we would immediately see two of the more powerful women on the women’s roster. From the trading of headbutts to an attempted Samoan drop by Jax and successful one by Tamina, we were given the imagery of two women who do not like one another. Ember gets back in to hit Dana with an Eclipse for the pin, which Dana didn’t seem to sell, and win. Tamina ruined the winning celebration with a superkick to Nia; the awkward moment came when Ember and Tamina shared a glance before tossing Nia over the top rope. Tamina and Moon couldn’t best one another but forgot about Dana, who would deposit both of them over the top rope for symbolism.
Last week, I found out that Vince McMahon pushed for the sudden heel turn of Bobby Lashley for business reasons. I also learned that he is said to have fed Lio Rush lines via an earpiece. This week that seemed true because Rush was back with a noticeable earpiece. He continued to bark praises and commands while Bobby flexed and put Tyler Breeze away. The actual match time was probably two minutes; the total time was somewhere around ten.
Maybe it’s time for Apollo Crews to get a more serious push. His interruption of Elias ended with him posing with the Drifter pressed high above his head. There was no Titus and no endless amount of smiling. Let’s turn this corner with Apollo.
There have been 1000 episodes of the SmackDown brand since its inception, and the introduction for the milestone is the once-canceled Truth TV hosted by R. Truth and Carmella. The guests of the night were the members of the McMahon family. After a moment of bickering between Shane and Stephanie, Vince came down to co-sign the trademark dance break to kick off the night.
Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles followed up the cornball segment in a Teddy Long-styled tag team match with them facing the Usos. Separately, the two WWE Title competitors held their own against the brothers. Cory Graves called it when he said that tag teams are not built overnight. The Daniel and AJ wouldn’t mesh and give the Usos a chance to steal the opening match win.
Paige, with the help of the former GMs of SmackDown, booked the New Day in a title match with the Bar once again. Big E, Xavier Woods, Sheamus, and Cesaro would dance the dance that we’ve come to know. It would seem that the New Day would get the upper hand only to have a member of the Bar break the pin and vice versa. The match climaxed when Kofi Kingston pushed Sheamus’s feet off the ropes during a pin attempt. He and Woods would be attacked at ringside; then, the Big Show’s music hit. The giant made his way to the fight while staring directly at the Bar. His motive became apparently real quick. Kofi went up, up and down into the New Day announce table. The stunned Big E turned into a Brogue Kick that would seal the deal for the new tag champions.
Mixed Match Challenge
The trio of Lashley, Rush, and Mickie James are back with a new demeanor. The smiling Bobby Lashley has been replaced with this new, more focused fella. He strong, silent type with the loud mouth manager has put so many acts over; why not do this for the stature of Lashley? The group was too much for the likes of Natalya and Bobby Roode. Country Dominance outsmarted Roode to a victory. Lashley landed one of his signature moves, the spear, to put Roode away for the night.
Drake Maverick sought to appease top performers on his brand by booking them in a fatal five-way for a shot at the Cruiserweight Title. It was a given that the former champ, Cedric Alexander, would be involved. The surprise was seeing the undefeated Lio Rush among Tony Nese, TJP, and Gran Metalik. They didn’t take long to feed me Rush and Alexander on the main stage. The speed at which Rush dodges contact coupled with the fact that it seemed like Cedric seemed to be swinging with a great deal of force impresses me even more. One miscalculated move would mean someone could get smacked pretty hard. Alexander put up a great challenge to get his opportunity at Buddy Murphy again. Rush won over his hometown crowd and hit some big-time spots. LR hit a huge Final Hour on Alexander that required a great amount of coordination. Alexander was in the process of releasing a hold when Rush landed. Neither performer would get the win; Alexander may take a back seat for a moment. Rush may be headed up the ladder via his association with Lashley.
The second half of the big main event could have taken everything that we had left. It was the continuation of the unfinished scuffle between Bianca Belair and Nikki Cross. Because this match was used as a part of a bigger story that did not include Belair, I’m just going to say that Belair is super impressive with the powerbomb lifting Cross flat from the mat. This contest was one that words can do no justice, so if you haven’t seen it, it is worth it.
Mae Young Classic
The last Black woman in the tournament made her 3rd round appearance this week when Lacey Lane took on Mieko Satomura. The veteran, Satomura, came out hot and was all over the upstart. Lane made attempts to separate from Satomura’s aggression was met with more aggression. The fact that I felt like Lane would eventually rise up to put her opponent away was proof that they put a solid story on display. Lacey would be put away in not so grand a fashion, but to me, it was pretty devastating.
Dante Fox returned to a huge pop when he was announced as one of the participants in the battle royal for a shot at the Gift of the Gods champion. Although he lasted to be the final elimination, it really was unceremonious.
Scorpio Sky stuck around Nashville long enough to open in a fatal four-way elimination match. Even though Colt Cabana and Sam Shaw are not high flyers, this match had plenty of bodies soaring through the air. The gave Sky the opportunity to eliminate a competitor, but it was short-lived. He received a kick to the head and was pinned before the announcer could tell the crowd who Scorpio had pinned.
The second qualifier for the National Championship title match featured Willie Mack. I’ve got to say that I really want that shirt highlighting the luchador with the afro. During the match, he did all his competition pretty badly. Jay Bradley didn’t take too kindly to being pinned and displayed that anger by attacking Mack immediately following the match.
Mack would overcome the beating to make his scheduled appearance versus Sam Shaw for the NWA National Championship. Willie would learn something from his previous match; Shaw didn’t even make it off the stage good before Mack jumped. I did believe they were about to put Shaw over especially after he kicked out of a pin following a stunner. Mack drove it home with the salute tribute to Stone Cold before sealing his title run with the win.
It’s still more the same for Jazz these days. It was her vicious style of attack defending the Women’s Title against the ground, pound, and finesse of Penelope Ford. The put Ford up to the challenge but made sure she had no chance to take the title off Jazz. One could easily deduce that the ref blew a 3-count, but Jazz, the saavy vet, transitioned in to a submission that resulted in a quick tap.