Black Wrestla’ Recap 12/17

Ring of Honor

Final Battle opponents, Jay Lethal and Cody Rhodes, teamed with Dalton Castle to face his opponent, Matt Taven, and his Kingdom cohorts. Lethal and Rhodes left Dalton out to dry several times because they were busy fighting one another, but when Castle took Taven for a short walk, the two ROH Title contestants had do find some sort of common ground. This is pro wrestling so that never happened. Jay was crossed by Cody one final time before the American Nightmare sealed the match with a Crossroads.

WWE Raw

The preview for the semifinals of the Mixed Match Challenge pitted Alicia Fox against Bayley with Sasha Banks, Jinder Mahal, and the Singh Brothers at ringside. Just when it looked like there would be no shenanigans, Apollo Crew (Bayley’s new MMC partner) came down to limit the Singh factor. Sasha would request to get pressed and tossed by Crews into the other three men, and Bayley would put Fox away amid all the chaos. 

To avenge getting hit with a guitar last week, Lio Rush faced off with Elias in what we didn’t know would be a handicap match. Heath Slater would serve as the match’s ref for his first time in the new role, and his job was to do everything but disqualify Rush for Bobby Lashley’s blatant interference. Lashley was just what was needed to give the Man of the Hour a rather swift victory.

The face to face session between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey was never to be when the champ only wanted to engage in fisticuffs. Jax and Tamina declined unless they could get a two for one deal. Ember Moon made here appearance just in time for her match with Snuka and saved the champ. Moon would drop an Eclipse on her opponent when the outside action caught her attention. I’d be willing to bet Moon will get involved during the TLC title match.

SmackDown Live

There was no action from the men competing in the triple threat tag match this Sunday. They did have a very different rap battle between the Usos and the Bar with the New Day moderating.

The Vegas Boys jumped into an impromptu tag match against Shane McMahon and The Miz for $5K. Too bad Paige wasn’t going for that, and they got squashed.

Mixed Match Challeng

Now prepared to fill in, Apollo Crews jumped to help Bayley to the finals, but it would not be. I find a bit of solace in the fact that Crews didn’t directly cause his team to lose like Hawkins did for Ember Moon. It was more so Alicia catching Bayley off guard.

It was the dysfunction between Asuka and The Miz that was on display than anything related to R-Truth and Carmella. Truth was the opportunist who took advantage of the situation when their opponents finally fell apart.

NXT

The next challenger for the NXT Women’s title has yet to be named, and the plan is to do so through a Fatal 4-way match in a few weeks. Naturally, that has not gone over too well with the Un-de-feat-ed, Bianca Belair. She can hold true to the fact that she didn’t have to qualify like her opponents. The latest was Mia Yim after her test against an ampted Reina Gonzalez. Yim is back on the winning track, even though she was Belair’s latest victim.

The North American champ, Ricochet, defended his title in a treat of a match with Tyler Breeze. Breeze, the king of putting people over on NXT while never holding a title, received so much love from the crowd. Tyler once again did what he does in giving a solid performance to a worthy opponent, and Ricochet did not drop the ball. It didn’t seem like much considering Ricochet’s last few bouts, but this was a pretty good win to put on tape for future knowledge.

Impact

The show opening match was an X-Division qualifying match for the second week in a row. Rich Swann showed up with a bit more hare than he did a few months ago to take on Dave Christ. Christ and his oVe comrades tried use misdirection once more to their advantage, but it did not work out the same. Rich picked up a quick victory before any help could come to save Christ. oVe teamed up to show him how they felt until Willie Mack came to the defense of his old friend and to avenge his loss from the previous week.

It wasn’t until the end of the show and a brief Kiera Hogan appearance that there would be another Black wrestla‘ on the card. Moo$e challenged the machine of Brian Cage in what came to be a back and forth event. That is until Eddie Edwards came for his payback. Moose was blindsided and caned before he slide away from his former best friend.

Tables, Ladders, Chairs

I’ve mentioned how mediocre Bobby Lashley’s feuds have been since his return, and you can add this current one with Elias to the list. Their gimmick match found its way onto the pre-show. There were no spots to even mention from the warm-up. Elias picked up the win; Lio Rush took a drop from the ladder, but it was Lashley and Rush with the guitar by the end of the scene.

As much as I hate to acknowledge it, but Cedric Alexander’s Cruiser Weight match was hidden on the card. Even when drafting this recap, I forgot to address it several times. The build seemed lackluster compared to his earlier matches this year; matter of fact, I can name three other feuds on the brand that are hotter right now. It came as no surprise that Buddy Murphy would retain the title simply because of the lack of steam behind the match. 

The Mixed Match Challenge final brought together the most entertaining teams of the bunch, Mahalicia and Fabulous Truth. Call me biased, but the two most athletic performers were not to compete against one another but did get a moment to share the stage. Alicia Fox confronted R-Truth prompting him to take her captain’s hat. He would dodge Fox’s attempt at the Scissors Kick. Alas, it was Alicia who would tap to Carmella.

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