offical wwe thread

famicommander

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Death Before Dishonor is tonight (Friday the 22nd), live on PPV and iPPV.

The card looks fantastic

Chuck Taylor vs Marty Scurll
Street Fight: Jay White vs Punishment Martinez
Last Man Standing: Jay Lethal vs Silas Young
The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O'Ryan, and Vinny Marsegila) vs The Briscoes (Jay and Mark) and Bully Ray for a spot in the title match match
ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship: Bullet Club/The Hung Bucks (Adam Page and the Young Bucks) (c) vs the winner of Kingdom vs Briscoes and Ray
ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) (c) vs the Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley)
ROH World Television Championship: IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion Kushida (c) vs Kenny King
ROH World Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs NEVER Openweight Champion Minoru Suzuki

Some notes:
-If the Guns win the tag titles, they'll become the only team to have ever won all three of the ROH, TNA, and IWGP Jr tag team championships
-This show is in Las Vegas, which is Kenny King's home town, so it's possible he gets the belt here. But Kushida is still booked really strong, so who knows.
-The Addiction isn't on the card, so look for Daniels and Kaz to interfere in a match or cut a promo or something
-Austin Aries is legitimately in Vegas this week for a vegan convention. He can't appear on TV for 90 days after his WWE release, which means he probably won't be at the PPV but he could show up on screen like Matt Hardy did at Final Battle.
-This is the first time Minoru Suzuki has wrestled in the US in over two decades, when he wrestled Ken Shamrock in 1992.

This should be the best ROH PPV of the year. Every match looks great on paper as far as in-ring quality, and this one seems to have more heat on the feuds than any so far.
 
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JoeAwesome

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I don't know if bent out of shape is the right phrase. More like a constant state of mild irritation whenever I think about wresting.

And it's not because they suck, but rather because they keep signing grest talent away from better promotions and then squandering them.

Maybe it was the wrong the phrase, but it seems like you want to find (and hear) the worst about WWE, ignoring any positives it might have on the industry as a whole. For one, imagine how many people would not see the talent you mentioned because they don't watch a different promotion. I doubt my wife will ever watch Shimmer or Shine, but she's all for the MYC.
 

Syn

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Most of the guys like the money and exposure too.

More than a few (Punk, Cody, Aries) will move on. Cody's better off, not sure about Punk and AA.
 

famicommander

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Maybe it was the wrong the phrase, but it seems like you want to find (and hear) the worst about WWE, ignoring any positives it might have on the industry as a whole. For one, imagine how many people would not see the talent you mentioned because they don't watch a different promotion. I doubt my wife will ever watch Shimmer or Shine, but she's all for the MYC.
If it weren't for WWE scooping everybody up, those other promotions would have grown.

The only thing keeping WWE (barely) profitable is raiding other promotions in the first place.

They seriously haven't produced a star of their own since 2003-2005 when Lesnar, Cena, Orton, and Batista hit the scene. They're bleeding the rest of the industry of its talent to prolong their own sad existence.

Nobody that came up through their own system is a legitimate star. They don't make stars anymore because they don't know how. They wait for someone else to make them, sign them, fuck them up, and then move onto the next guy.

Funny that you would mention women's wrestling, because WWE are precisely the ones who made it a joke in the first place. They spent decades telling their audience that women's wrestling is a sideshow attraction somewhere between softcore cable porn and Jerry Springer episodes. And after promotions like TNA, CMLL, AAA, STARDOM, Shine, Shimmer, and more recently Lucha Underground built women's wrestling into something actually entertaining, WWE just signed all their stars and called it a revolution.

And where is that revolution now? Every damn women's match on the main roster is a six person title match with no stakes, no feuds, nothing.
 

famicommander

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Most of the guys like the money and exposure too.

More than a few (Punk, Cody, Aries) will move on. Cody's better off, not sure about Punk and AA.

Aries will be back in ROH when his non-compete expires. And he definitely won't be jobbing on the preshow for three or four pay per views in a row.

CM Punk could walk into any promotion in the world tomorrow and get signed. WWE, ROH, NJPW, GFW, AAA, CMLL, your local indie... doesn't matter. He can play MMA for as long as he wants because he knows he'll always be a star in wrestling.
 

famicommander

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Lots of shit goin' on

First up, Women of Honor Wednesday:

Throwback Thursday:

No Future of Honor Friday this week.

Now, onto the news:
-Kenny King pinned Kushida for the ROH World TV Title last night, winning his first ROH singles title in front of his home town crowd.

-Motor City Machine Guns won the ROH World Tag Team Titles, becoming the first team to win the ROH, TNA, and IWGP Jr belts

-ROH has rented a 10,000 seat venue for Supercard of Honor next Wrestlemania Weekend in New Orleans. The biggest crowd in ROH history was 3,500, so this is a huge step up.

-Kenny Omega has been added to the other three Global Wars shows for ROH; he had previously only been announced for the Chicago show

-Cody Rhodes again teased a program with Bryan Danielson, mocking his signature "yes" chant during his World Title match with Minoru Suzuki.

-WWNLive (parent company of Evolve, Shine, Full Impact Pro, Style Battle, and a few more indies) is being sued by its iPPV distributor, FloSlam, for falsifying buyrates. As a result all WWNLive events have been pulled from the service permanently. This could be a deathblow for these promotions.

-MGM and El Rey Network can't agree on a budget, which is the hold up for a fourth season of Lucha Underground. No word on if they're making any progress.

-AAA is doing a free show on Twitch tonight to raise money for earthquake relief in Mexico.

-No Mercy is not sold out yet

-
 

famicommander

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Check out this email from Gabe Sapolsky to the Evolve locker room that leaked out:
Hey everyone,

This is an important email so please read it through.

We are about to enter a transition period. I want to use this weekend to prepare for that. A major part of this will be the in ring work. You are all awesome, obviously, or you wouldn't be booked. However, I want to change some things you do in EVOLVE to make EVOLVE different and also prepare for what's next.

I will explain more in person, but this weekend please concentrate on these things:

-Make every lock up on the show count. I saw Regal last week and he was at BOLA. I was surprised for him to say that he didn't see many good lock ups there. Honestly, he said he barely saw one good lock up. I know this might be surprising, especially since some of you were on the show. This is a major thing. It's about starting your match up with believability. Please let's put on emphasis on lock ups where you fight for position rather than go into a spot.

-Don't look into the floor camera at anytime. This is a Vince/WWE thing. I really don't care if you look into the camera or not, but this is a habit you will have to break as soon as you go to WWE/NXT, so you might as well break it now. I can explain this more in person. It's a huge thing there, so don't discount this.

-Make every kick, strike and chop count. I don't mean go in there and beat each other up. Just don't waste your kicks, strikes, chops and sell it. In addition, consider who your opponent is. If Keith Lee is striking you, sell it bigger than if someone smaller was striking you. Keep the situation and opponent in mind with your selling and how you do kicks, strikes and chops.

-Don't do cool stuff for the sake of cool stuff. Everything should be about winning the match. I'm not saying don't do cool stuff, but don't do it just to do it.

Have it make sense in your match.

-Challenge yourself to break your normal routine of spots. I don't care what match rating you get on Twitter. This is small picture stuff. I want everyone to think big picture and long game. I can explain this better in person.

-I've been traveling with Chris Dickinson a lot lately since we are from the same area now. We have talked about this stuff extensively in the car. I feel he has a good grasp of it and can explain it from a worker's perspective, which I can't. Please get with him on any questions. I've also told Chris to take more of a leadership role and point things out, so please be open to what he has to say. Thank you.

-Some other notes:

-Belltime each night is 8pm. Please be at the venue by 5:30pm.

-Sal is is getting hotel in a little bit. If you are flying in, we'll tell you where to go soon to hang out. Brandon Tolle is arranging all the rides. Please get with him on rides. If you don't hear from us by tonight, let me know.

-Please remember the EVOLVE rules when it comes to:

-No swearing

-Nothing derogatory towards minorities, women, ethnicities or any other groups.

-No piledrivers.neck bumps, apron spots, anything that drops you on your head.

-Nothing hardcore without permission -No unprotected headbutts

-No mic work without permission

-Be super nice to kids

-No guests in your hotel rooms! We are not going to pay for an extra hotel room cause someone is your ride or you are bringing someone along. We arrange three per room. We are not budgeted for more hotel rooms. No one gets added to these rooms. It is for the comfort of everyone in the room.

-I will send out booking info late night. This weekend is going to be mostly about wrestling. We aren't going to go big into storyline stuff or angles during this transition period. I want everyone to really concentrate on their matches, think of the fundamentals and making everything solid and make sense.

-If you need anything call or text me [number redacted]. If you can't reach me and it's an emergency contact Sal at [number redacted].

I look forward to a fun weekend. Thank you, Gabe

No piledrivers, no comedy spots, no apron spots, no swearing, don't look at the hard camera, do it like Regal says to.

There's no two ways about it. All of WWNLive is just a vanity project for Gabe to kiss up to Vince McMahon. I wonder if Vince will save their sinking ship from this Floslam lawsuit.
 

JoeAwesome

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Check out this email from Gabe Sapolsky to the Evolve locker room that leaked out:


No piledrivers, no comedy spots, no apron spots, no swearing, don't look at the hard camera, do it like Regal says to.

There's no two ways about it. All of WWNLive is just a vanity project for Gabe to kiss up to Vince McMahon. I wonder if Vince will save their sinking ship from this Floslam lawsuit.

As a very distant fan, I think it would be very simple, but quite accurately, to say EVOLVE is second developmental for WWE prospects. And from a business perspective, why not? Heyman took his cut for wrestlers when he could, and made a second career in wrestling after being a promoter was over.
 

famicommander

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Jumping into bed with Vince puts a permanent cap on what your promotion can be from both a business and creative perspective. It's a safe move for your own career long term, but it means the promotion itself will never reach relevance on its own. Vince will keep it alive as long as it's useful to him, then kick it right to the curb like he did with ECW and many others before it.

It's a disservice to the 90% of people in the promotion that won't get to WWE, either behind the camera or in front of it. And it's a big disservice to people buying Evolve iPPVs and tickets, who deserve the best show that Evolve can put on and not the one most likely to please a guy who probably won't even watch it (Vince McMahon).

But it's good for Gabe and the few guys in Evolve that actually will make it to WWE. And those guys aren't really Evolve guys, they're guys who needed somewhere to be while their 90 day non-compete clause from their ROH deals expired.
 

JoeAwesome

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But it's good for Gabe and the few guys in Evolve that actually will make it to WWE. And those guys aren't really Evolve guys, they're guys who needed somewhere to be while their 90 day non-compete clause from their ROH deals expired.

Bingo. At some point you have to reflect and see what you're wanting to do next in your career and life, and Gabe's probably looking out for Gabe while helping others when it's also beneficial to himself. Don't think that wrestlers aren't doing the same, though. Some (maybe almost all) indie promotions have a hard time breaking even while putting on a product, and the bottom line will eventually win over pleasing your diehards, unless the promotion wants to go out "doing what they love" (and then what will happen to the ring crew, talent, and the families...).
 

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WWE No Mercy PPV Results: 9-24-17

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com (direct link to Keller's real-time report).

(1) THE MIZ (w/Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel) vs. JASON JORDAN – Intercontinental Title match

They replayed the events from Raw last week that led to this match. Miz and Co. came out first. Miz put on his game face in the ring as Jordan made his entrance, letting out a wooo! as he walked down the ramp. They also went to the non-English announce teams. Cole noted this is Jordan’s first singles match on a PPV. Graves said Miz dedicated the match to his unborn child. Jordan got in early offense including a near fall after a delayed vertical suplex. Graves said Jordan hung in with Roman Reigns and John Cena, but the question now is whether he has the killer instinct that his dad Kurt Angle had. Jordan scored another two count a minute later with a Northern Lights Suplex. Miz escaped and rolled to the floor.

Jordan went right after Miz at ringside and threw him back into the ring. Bo and Curtis distracted him, and Miz slidekicked Jordan to take over. Miz rammed Jordan into the ring apron and threw him back into the ring. Miz scored a near fall with a DDT. The crowd chanted Let’s Go Miz / Who’s Your Daddy! Booker again contended Jordan wouldn’t be in this position without Angle. Cole demanded Booker justify that comment since Jordan won the Six-Pack Challenge. Booker said Angle brought him to Raw and he could have left him on Smackdown. Graves asked Booker if Jordan wins, will he give him credit. Booker said he would. Miz hit Jordan with the Yes kicks, but Jordan caught his leg and hit a sudden suplex. Both were slow to get up.

Jordan eventually locked on the crossface. Miz crawled over and forced a break after 30 seconds of drama. Pretty loud applause. Miz sidestepped a charging Jordan next. Jordan came back with a belly-to-belly and then charged Miz into the corner. When Bo climbed to the top rope, Jordan knocked him off balance. Jordan ran over and schoolboyed Miz, but the ref was trying to get No out of the ring. Axel then gave Jordan a cheap shot from the ring apron. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. Cole called Jordan very game.

WINNER: Miz in 10:00 to retain the IC Title. (**1/2)

Typical good but not great Miz match. Jordan has something in the ring for sure with the amateur style highlighted by suplexes and good fire.

2 — FINN BALOR vs. BRAY WYATT

No Demon make-up. Bray attacked Balor from behind as he posed to his music inside the ring. He threw Balor aggressively into the barricade at ringside and then head first over and over into the announce table. Then a chokeslam on the table. Balor clutched his ribs after Bray returned to the ring. Officials checked on Balor’s condition. The match hadn’t begun yet. Finn gasped for breath and winced in pain. The referees said they’d take him to the back to check on him. Bray laughed and looked sinister. As Balor struggled to walk to the back, Bray taunted him and said, Run away little coward, please run away. He said he is a god, not a mere man. He demanded Balor look at him. He said he’s no demon, and he’s not even a man, he’s a coward. Balor suddenly had the strength to run to the and go after Bray.

Balor side-stepped Bray and threw him to the floor. He slidekicked him hard into the barricade, but then went back to seeing his ribs. He hit Bray with a running dropkick at ringside. Bray came back inside the ring with a superplex and went on sustained offense. He head-butted Bray in the ribs, then played to the camera. He kneed him in the head, then posed for the crowd. He went after Balor at ringside, but Balor yanked Bray in between the ring apron and ring, which Cole noted is a Fit Finlay move. He stomped away at Bray and then punt kicked his head while on the ring apron. Balor then rammed Bray’s head into the ringside table.

Back in the ring, Balor climbed to the top rope. Balor lifted himself into the arched crab positions. Balor went bug-eyed and looked intimidated. Cole said that’s one of the most frightening things you’ll see in a WWE ring. Graves said the Demon wouldn’t have been intimidated like that. He leaped down and caught Bray with a sling blade. When he charged, though, Bray gave him a boot to the face, a urinage, and a running senton for a near fall.

Both were slow to get up. Balor eventually went to the top rope and landed a double stomp to the back of Bray’s neck as he was leaning over. That was good for a believable near fall. Bray and Balor battled for control mid-ring and Bray hit a hard forearm to the side of Balor’s head for a near fall. Graves called it slaughterous. Bray looked vicious and Cole said no more fun and games as meanness has crept in. Bray threw Balor across the ring twice. Bray posted on the second rope. Balor got up and kicked him off balance. He hit Bray with a running dropkick to the chest two times in a row. Then he landed the Coup de Grace for the clean win. Graves called it a monumental victory.

WINNER: Balor. (***1/2)

Good match that really put Balor over. He took a beating before the match, had an apparent rib injury, and still managed to win despite not pulling out the Demon persona.

(3) SETH ROLLINS & DEAN AMBROSE vs. SHEAMUS & CESARO

Dean got in an early flurry against Sheamus, so Sheamus bailed out to ringside. When Dean went after him, Cesaro and Sheamus double-teamed him. Cesaro gave Dean a big swing into the ringside steps. Dean yelled in pain, then on a two second delay grabbed at his left arm and started selling it. They isolated and beat on Dean for several minutes. At one point the ref stopped the match to check on Dean’s condition, but he shook his arm and showed he could go on fighting. Dean catapulted Cesaro toward the top turnbuckle. Cesaro leaped and ended up hitting the corner ringpost with his teeth, knocking out two teeth legit.

Dean hot-tagged Seth. He went on a series of moves against Cesaro, and when he hit a superkick, blood splashed from Cesaro’s mouth. Cesaro tagged Sheamus and then went to ringside to regroup. They replayed the Cesaro turnbuckle collision and then showed him looking over at Sheamus afterward with two missing front teeth. Oh my lord! said Cole. Graves said, Yikes! Sheamus settled into a chinlock. Cesaro crawled back onto the ring apron after medics checked on him.

Cesaro tagged back in and gave Dean a running boot to knock him off the ring apron. Seth backdropped Cesaro, who continued to bleed from the mouth. He tagged Sheamus back in. Sheamus lifted Seth and then Cesaro hit him with an uppercut out of mid-air leading to a two count. The ref insisted Cesaro get out of the ring as he protested the two count. As Sheamus protested some more, Seth had time to recover. Seth fought back with punches and chops, then side-stepped Sheamus and sent him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Cesaro tagged in and stopped Seth from tagging in. Seth backdropped Cesaro over the top rope. Both Sheamus and Dean tagged back in at the same time.

Ambrose knocked Sheamus to the floor and then did his running dove into him aye ringside. Sheamus and Cesaro were both down at out at ringside. Dean rammed his left shoulder into the barricade. Booker said it appeared he was trying to knock it back into socket. Sheamus caught Dean on the top rope and set up a White Noise. Dean elbowed and head-butted out of it. Dean leaped at Sheamus with an elbow. When he made the cover, Cesaro broke it up. Cesaro knocked Seth off the ring apron, then joined Sheamus in double-teaming Dean. Seth came in for the save, but got kicked in the face. Cesaro then put Dean in a sharpshooter mid-ring. Dean crawled over toward the bottom rope, so Cesaro shifted into a crossface. Dean reached the bottom rope to force a break.

Cesaro tagged in Sheamus immediately. They gave him a double Irish Cross, but Dean kicked out. Graves said Sheamus and Cesaro have executed their gameplan about as perfectly as a team can. Dean came back with a Lunatic Clothesline off the ropes to Cesaro. Seth was still missing from the ring apron. Cesaro tagged in Sheamus, and then Sheamus tagged in Cesaro. When Cesaro went to the top rope, Seth tried to head-scissors him off the top rope. Sheamus gave Dean a White Noise, and then Cesaro powerbombed Seth onto Dean. Dean kicked out, which was ridiculous, but did lead to a big pop. Sheamus and Cesaro were shocked. How on earth did Ambrose kick out? yelled Cole.

Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, but Dean collapsed before it hit. Dean surprised Sheamus with a small package for a near fall. Sheamus mistakenly gave Cesaro a Brogue Kick, and then Seth entered and gave Sheamus a knee to the face. Dean hit Dirty Deeds immediately afterward for the win. Booker called it one of the greatest tag matches he’s ever seen.

WINNERS: Dean & Seth to retain the WWE Tag Team Team Titles in 16:00. (****)

Amazing tag match, and my only criticism is there were maybe two big spots too many, especially that powerbombed of Seth onto Dean. If that doesn’t lead to a three count, what finisher should be seen seriously? Cesaro will be remembered for this match and his gusty continuation of the match after losing at least two teeth. It was a miscue in the end by Sheamus and Cesaro that led to the finish, which was subtly foreshadowed by the announcers a couple minutes earlier.
 

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WWE No Mercy PPV Results: 9-24-17

(4) ALEXA BLISS vs. EMMA vs. SASHA BANKS vs. NIA JAX vs. BAYLEY – Fatal Five-way for the WWE Raw Women’s Title

Jax splashed Bliss in the corner by mistake in the opening seconds. The other women knocked Jax to the floor. Banks, Emma, and Bayley locked up in a corny move. Emma kicked them, so Banks and Bayley double-teamed her. They knocked Emma to the floor, then turned to each other and locked up mid-ring. Jax knocked them out of the ring.

When Jax went for a cover on Emma a minute later, Bliss broke it up. Jax asked Bliss what her deal is. Uh, keeping her championship? Jax beat up both Emma and Jax, yelling between moves. Bliss slapped Jax and said, “You are nothing without me!” Jax lifted Bliss and then used her feet to knock Sasha off balance. Jax then put Banks on her shoulder also and delivered a double Samoan drop. Cole said he’s never seen that before. Bayley went after Jax, but Jax stuffed her and then went for a suplex, but Bayley countered into a guillotine. All of the women dumped Jax over the top rope and then Bliss, Emma, and Banks knocked Bayley off the ring apron to the floor.

Emma shoved Bliss. Bliss slapped her back. Jax tried to suplex Emma from the ring apron to the floor, but Emma escaped and tried to sunset flip Jax off the ring apron. Bayley joined her and they tried. Jax held on. Bliss and Banks then dropkicked Jax and the sent her off the ring apron onto the mat at ringside. She slapped the mat hard upon landing to spread out the landing, but the impact on her back and head and neck was still substantial.

The ref of the women battled with fast moves, reversals, and near falls, settling into Bliss vs. Emma until Bayley re-entered seconds later. Emma splashed Bayley and Bliss in the corner. Banks re-entered and went after Emma. Bliss broke up a Banks pin attempt on Emma after a running knee by Banks. Banks gave Bliss a back stabber and then rolled into a Bank Statement. Bayley broke it up with a kick and she tried to steal the pin on Bliss. Then she hit the Bayley-to-Belly, but Banks broke up her pin on Bliss.

Jax then reentered and went after Bayley with a splash in the corner. Then she legdropped Banks and went for a pin, but Bliss and Emma broke it up. Jax charged the corner, but Bliss side-stepped her and Jax went shoulder-firs tinto the ringpost. Meanwhile, Bliss gave Bayley a DDT for the win.

WINNER: Bliss in 10:00 to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Title. (***)

Nice story here with Jax being dominant, all of the women breaking up pin attempts to protect their chances, a good reason being given for Jax to miss several minutes, only to return and factor into the sequence leading to the finish. Good action throughout, and they managed to pull off some complex and dangerous looking spots. The crowd was engaged throughout.
 

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WWE No Mercy PPV Results: 9-24-17

(5) JOHN CENA vs. ROMAN REIGNS

The crowd loudly sang “John Cena sucks!” to the melody of his music. Cena had a few enthusiastic words for the announcers on his way toward the ring. “Time to do it one time again,” he said to the camera. “Time to go to work.” Cole said if Cena wins tonight, he’ll tie Undertaker for the most PPV victories at 94. Graves said Cena earned the name “Big Match John” for a reason. When Cena’s music stopped, the crowd started a “Cena! Cena!” chant. Reigns’s music played and the crowd erupted in boos. Graves said this is the biggest match of Reigns’s life, and Cena called for it. He said it’s big for Cena, though, because what does it do to his legacy if he loses. Booker said Reigns wants what Cena has.

Graves said at WrestleMania 21, in this very building, Cena beat JBL that Cena credits for propelling his career to the next level. Cole said JBL said that is the match where believed Cena was going to be the greatest of all-time after that match. A fan held up a sign that said, “You both suck.” Cole said this was the first-time-ever one-on-one match. Reigns winked at someone as the milked the anticipation in the arena before ringing the bell.

Cole said it’s an incredible atmosphere as fans are witnessing history. A “You both suck!” chant seemed to break out, although it seemed like a mix of anti-Cena and anti-Roman chants, too. Cena played to the crowd and pretended he was going to walk out on the match. He blamed the fans, but had a tongue in cheek expression. Reigns chased him down and punched him. Cena staggered back to ringside and into the ring. Reigns asked, “Where you going to, John?” In the ring, he gave Cena an uppercut and then punched him and circled him.

As the crowd got more into chanting “Roman sucks” and booing him, Cole said they are two of the most polarizing Superstars. Graves said it’s true because they’re top stars in the industry and fans get invested in them like no others. Booker said it’s “love/hate.” Cena came back by reverse-whipping Roman hard into the ringside steps. Roman clutched his left arm afterward. Reigns returned the favor a minute later. Then he gave Cena a Drive-by. Reigns sat on the ring apron and looked down at Cena and said, “We ain’t on the stick now, you have to fight now, John.” The announcers commented on that. Reigns shrugged and smiled at ringside. Graves wondered if Reigns has been onto something when he has said Cena’s work in Hollywood has affected his abilities in the ring.

Back in the ring Reigns ironically kept yapping at Cena and let him recover a bit. When Cena stood, Reigns punched him. Reigns said, “I hit hard!” Man, he’d be such a good all-out heel. Reigns settled into a chinlock which drew a “Boring!” chant from the crowd. Cena stood and shoulder tackled Reigns, but on a second attempt, Reigns punched him out of mid-air. Booker said some of Cena’s old tricks aren’t working tonight. Cena came back and rallied with his You Can’t See Me sequence. He smiled and looked at the crowd, then raised his hand. He looked a little more winded than usual at this stage of a match. When he went for the fist drop, Reigns caught him a sudden Samoan Drop for a two count.

Reigns clotheslined Cena in the corner about ten times. Cena came back, but Reigns cut if off with a big boot. Reigns stood and absorbed more boos. They showed two little kids dressed up in Cena gear in the front row. Reigns took his time and then signaled for the Superman Punch. Cena ducked and applied an STF mid-ring. When Reigns got near the bottom rope, he let go and dragged Reigns back to the middle, then reapplied it. Reigns countered by lifting and powerbombing Cena to break it. That led to a near fall.

When Reigns lifted Cena, Cena called the next spot and began a comeback with punches. Reigns punched back. When he leaped at Cena, Cena caught him. The crowd popped. Cena powered Reigns onto his shoulders and hit the AA for a believable near fall. The crowd popped. Cena climbed to the top rope and leaped at Reigns, but Reigns turned it into a powerbomb for a near fall. He didn’t get all of it. Reigns then slithered back to the corner and got intense and signaled for a Superman Punch. He hit it and scored a near fall. Reigns waited on Cena and then charged, but Cena side-stepped him and threw him into the ringpost. Reigns hit the ringpost shoulder-first. Booker laughed and said so many people thought they were going to knock Cena off the perch, but no one has yet.

Cena sat on the top rope and lifted Reigns onto his shoulders for a Super AA. 1-2-and-almost-3. Another big pop for the kickout. Cole wondered if Cena would second-guess himself after that. The crowd chanted “One more time!” Cena smiled and went to the floor, then took everything off of the top of the Spanish announce table. Then same to the German table. He threw Roman onto the German table and set up an AA, but Reigns escaped and speared Cena off of one time and through the other. The table collapsed. Both were down and slow to get up. Booker noted that Reigns landed on the top of his head on that bump. Graves said Roman might have jammed his neck and might have a stinger or worse. It did look pretty nasty.

Reigns got up and threw Cena into the ring and made the cover. Cena kicked out. When Reigns signaled for a spear, Cena gave Reigns an AA. He rolled right into another AA. He made the cover and scored a very near fall. The crowd was on its feet and gasping in shock. Cena sat up and looked frustrated. He looked over at Reigns as if to ask him, “What now?” Reigns popped up and gave Cena a Superman Punch and a spear for the three count.

WINNER: Reigns in 22:00. (****1/4)

Really good match. Maybe just a notch short of a top-top level for Reigns or Cena, which may in part be due to Cena’s part time schedule and age catching up a bit or just a chemistry issue with both being too similar in style to one another. But that’s hardly harsh criticism in the sense that they held the crowd’s interest big-time throughout and this was absolutely an effective and memorable match that delivered.

-Afterward, Cena finally stood and walked up to Reigns and raised his arm in a sign of respect. The fans booed. Cena said something privately to Reigns and patted him and then Reigns nodded in response. Cena sat in the corner of the ring and collected his thoughts as Reigns left to his music. Cole said Cena is the greatest of all-time, but Reigns may challenge him for that crowd one day. After Reigns was backstage and his music stopped, Cena soaked up the situation and seemed emotionally overwhelmed, acting like this could be his last match. He moved over and sat up mid-ring. The crowd cheered and he smiled and began to show some tears. He saluted the crowd and left the ring. A “Thank you, Cena”! chant broke out. Cena hugged a little boy in the front row and gave him his headband. Cena put his hands on his hips and looked around the Staples Center, smiling like this was the end of an amazing and long journey. He was about to leave, but turned again on the stage and saluted the fans. He looked over his shoulder one last time, raised his arms, and left.

This felt like they weren’t sure if Cena was going to wrestle Reigns again, so they wanted to make sure this “moment” happened. The post-match display definitely planted the seed in the conversation that this was possibly the end of Cena’s in-ring career.
 

Arcademan

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WWE No Mercy PPV Results: 9-24-17

(6) NEVILLE vs. ENZO AMORE – WWE Cruiserweight Title match

205 Live play-by-play announcer Vic Joseph took over for Cole for this match. Neville came out first. Enzo insulted Neville’s appearance in a pretty heavy-handed way. He said if Neville fancies himself a king, he should have a queen. He said his queen is his CW Title, and he’s going to take it from him and treat it better than he ever has.

Early in the match Neville shoved Enzo’s face on a break against the ropes and then applied a chinlock. When he locked on an armbar, Enzo reached for the ropes. Neville just let go and Enzo fell toward the ropes. He applied a front face lock and yelled, “This is too easy.” A few minutes in, Enzo tried a comeback, but Neville took over again. He was so methodical that the crowd chanted “This is boring!” Then he climbed to the top rope and played to the crowd, but then stepped down to the second rope and went for Phoenix Splash instead. Enzo moved. Enzo climbed to the top rope and gave Neville a leaping DDT. Both were slow to get up. Enzo draped his arm over Neville and scored a believable near fall. Graves said he got nervous there for a second. Enzo stood and yelled and then dove through the ropes at Neville, but Neville ducked and kicked him mid-air. Then he threw Enzo hard into the time keeper’s area. Neville returned to the ring and the ref began to count out Enzo. Enzo grabbed the Cruiserweight Title belt and put it over his shoulder as he tried to stand. That upset Neville. He brought it into the ring. The ref scolded him and told him to hand it back to him. He did, and then he kicked Neville in the jewels again and rolled up Neville for the three count.

WINNER: Enzo in 11:00 to capture the Cruiserweight Title. (*3/4)

The idea of building up a babyface title victory based around distracting the ref and kicking the heel in the nuts after the heel dominates the entire match is pretty awkward. Yes, Neville gloated a lot and was hardly gracious in his dominance, but still, it’s hard to feel too proud if you’re an Enzo fan. The match placed here wasn’t a sign of prestige for the Cruiserweight Title, but rather placing it here as a buffer between two emotionally draining main attractions.
 

Arcademan

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(7) Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship.

JoJo delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Heyman stopped her and delivered his own introduction for Lesnar. Cole noted that there were 16,106 fans in the sold out building. The bell rang and Strowman shoved Lesnar to the mat. Strowman stuffed a Lesnar takedown attempt. Graves put it over as a first time moment (even though Samoa Joe did it too).

Lesnar came back with a German suplex. Strowman no sold the move and then chokeslammed Lesnar. Strowman powerslammed Lesnar and got a two count. Strowman threw shoulder blocks at Lesnar at 2:00. Strowman had a small cut below one of his eyes that looked like a scratch. Lesnar powered up Strowman in F5 position briefly, then dropped him and clutched his back. Strowman knocked Lesnar to ringside.

At 3:30, Cole noted that Lesnar’s only offense had been a punch and a German suplex. Graves said they’d never seen Lesnar dominated like this. Cole said Goldberg beat Lesnar, but it was more shock than domination. Lesnar applied a kimura lock. Strowman tried to break it by slamming him into the corner, but Lesnar held on. Lesnar ended up on his back and maintained the hold at 5:00. Heyman told Strowman to tap out, but he reached the ropes to break the hold.

Both men got to their feet and Strowman put Lesnar down with a spinebuster. Strowman got back to his feet and sold the bad arm. Lesnar put him down with a German suplex. Graves noted that Strowman wasn’t so quick to get up this time around. Lesnar performed two more German suplexes and then played to the crowd before performing a fourth at 6:45.

Lesnar performed another German suplex and then hoisted up Strowman for the F5, but Strowman avoided it and countered into a powerslam at 7:30. Both men stayed down briefly. Once they stood up, Strowman powerslammed Lesnar again, then pushed him onto his back with his head before covering him for a two count. Both men got up and Lesnar hit Strowman with another F5 and pinned him clean.

Brock Lesnar beat Braun Strowman in 9:00 to retain the WWE Universal Championship.

Lesnar celebrated with the title belt while Strowman rolled to the floor and watched with his back against one of the broadcast tables. Cole hyped Raw Talk as coming up after the show on the network…

A disappointing finish in terms of Lesnar once again hitting the F5 out of nowhere and getting the pin, just as he did in the Samoa Joe match. The crowd was focussed on the match, but they weren’t as loud as expected and it was very quiet afterward. It felt damaging to Strowman, who was one of the most over guys in the company. It will be interesting to see what they have in mind to heat him up again because this was a deflating clean loss. This show would certainly seem to suggest that Vince McMahon remains hellbent on getting to Lesnar vs. Reigns at WrestleMania, though obviously a lot can change between now and then. Overall, this was a really good show despite the main event finish taking the air out of the building.
 
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famicommander

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Gabe threw a bitch fit at an unaffiliated Evolve podcast for not outing the person who leaked his email:
http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2017/09/25/email-leaks-lawsuits-evolve-uncertain-future/

Also talks about getting out of indie wrestling, being scared of losing his WWE job, threatens to fire people at random until the leaker was revealed, etc. Basically, he's the same old Gabe Sapolsky. Very gifted booker and writer, sleazy businessman and a giant diva. Not surprised at all he was trying to swindle Flosports by giving them inflated numbers.

I feel bad for all the people in Evolve that WWE doesn't want. They're going to get screwed over pretty hard, especially the ones that will have to go back to other promotions and start from scratch again (eg, if Jason Kincaid or Keith Lee end up back in ROH; Lee was due for a tag title reign when he left).
 

famicommander

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No Mercy didn't sell out and over 2/3 of the upper deck was curtained off in a ~10,000 seat arena for Raw last night.

Roman is about to squash Miz for the IC belt , then they're going to reunite the Shield for the cheap nostalgia pop before Reigns goes into Mania to squash Lesnar.

Literally five years of programming has been dedicated to getting Reigns over and it still won't work.

And they've already completely stopped caring about Smackdown.
 

FilthyRear

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No Mercy didn't sell out and over 2/3 of the upper deck was curtained off in a ~10,000 seat arena for Raw last night.

Roman is about to squash Miz for the IC belt , then they're going to reunite the Shield for the cheap nostalgia pop before Reigns goes into Mania to squash Lesnar.

Literally five years of programming has been dedicated to getting Reigns over and it still won't work.

And they've already completely stopped caring about Smackdown.

The IC belt hasn't meant anything in years.

I wonder what will happen post-WM when they see that Reigns is still awful and no one likes him.

Smackdown going down the shitter is a shame - when it started, it was my absolute favorite even tho it was taped.

The WWE's current arena aesthetic just looks same-y - all the PPV's look and feel like a Raw show.

I laugh and at the same time I'm a bit sad that the WWE now has to tarp off unused sections of seating, but they also did this to themselves.

Ah well.
 

famicommander

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When Vince dies HHH will be like 63, going out there and booking himself in 45 minute Wrestlemania matches. That's all WWE fans have to look forward to.
 

FilthyRear

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When Vince dies HHH will be like 63, going out there and booking himself in 45 minute Wrestlemania matches. That's all WWE fans have to look forward to.

He's still pissed that Rock and Austin were more popular than him.
 

famicommander

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Trips was a great heel though. I fucking hated him when I was a kid, being a big Mick Foley and Rock fan.
 

famicommander

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Smackdown attendance tonight
DKsQGU8WAAABNPV.jpg

DKsGgV6U8AI5M7F.jpg


Even I didn't think shit would get this bad, this fast

If this keeps up they're gonna have to start booking smaller venues
 

Arcademan

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Glendale Arena with virtually no local advertisement...that's what will happen. That looks like the average crowd of an Arizona Coyotes hockey game (they play in the same arena).

Now if it was at Talking Stick Resort Arena (downtown Phoenix where the Suns, Mercury and Rattlers play) they would've had at least 10k in the stands.
 
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