Category Archives: PPV Reviews

PPV Review posts

Money In The Bank 2017: The Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast

Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss the Smackdown Live exclusive PPV Money In The Bank 2017. Controversy throughout the PPV and the sudden British summer has the guys on edge this week!

Review – Money In The Bank (2017)

Money In The Bank did not disappoint, it was a solid show from start to finish with some excellent wrestling at times and a few surprising moments. Controversy in the first ever Women’s MITB ladder match, a shocking debut and hopefully a few teases of things to come.

It’s vary rare for me to walk away from a WWE main roster PPV with a good overall opinion of it, but I was very happy with what happened. I see potential in all story lines and even though my favourite wrestlers didn’t win. I am content.

Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Winner: Carmella

054_mitb_06182017jg_0611-caa06542d3384264da149ee1e3b35a8cStraight in with the controversy! Oh the internet seems to be massively divided on this on. Some people despise the ending other people love it. I personally loved it.

In case you are unaware the finish of the match saw James Ellsworth tip Becky Lynch from the top of the ladder, proceed to climb the ladder, retrieve the briefcase and then drop it into Carmella’s waiting open arms. It was a complete mockery off a finish, showing complete disrespect to all of the women involved. This was their moment to show the world they could do it just as well as the men and it was ruined.

It was the PERFECT heel move. Absolutely brilliant! I mean, what a disgusting thing to do. To ruin the inaugural Women’s MITB ladder match by having a man decide the finish. The heat Carmella should receive from this is unreal. This is where a lot of people seem to be getting confused again. You didn’t like what the heel did? You aren’t meant to. It’s meant to rile you up!

The only problem I had with it was the confusing referee discussion after the bell rang. It made it seem like Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan were going to come out and restart the match but never did. It clearly confused the crowd to who just stood there waiting for something to happen.

As for the match itself, I thought it was unfortunately a little sloppy. Certainly not the high standards we know the women can reach on their day. I certainly thought the ‘this is awesome’ chant early on was incredibly generous of the St Louis crowd. Not that anyone is going to remember the match itself its all about the finish.

I’m not entirely sure why the WWE made the creative choice of having all 5 women come out to the ring, then show a 3/4 minute video hyping up the match. Surely it would have made more sense to open the show with that promo package? As for the video itself, even more marketing bullshit promoting the women’s revolution. Stop patting yourselves on the back every chance WWE, it makes everything seem so much more forced and false.

Predictions: WWE Backlash 2017

Simply put there is no way that Backlash 2017 can follow NXT Takeover Chicago. That Tyler Bate versus Pete Dunne match will be a match of the year contender for sure. Maybe the show is doomed from the start though, after all the main event is Randy Orton against JINDER MAHAL for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP. Let that settle in for a moment, you might need to take a seat.

Bizarre times we live in for sure. However, there should be at least two good matches. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles in all sorts of a dream match and I’m expecting big things from Nakamura’s main roster debut against Dolph Ziggler.

The rest of the show though, oh dear. It’s not exactly gripping stuff is it? Actually I tell a lie, this show has The Fashion Police on it. So automatically its going to be a five-star show.

Enough ramble, let’s do some predictions!

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

I mean, does anyone actually care? Either man could win or lose and it will make absolutely zero different in the long or short-term. Prove me wrong WWE!

Winner: Luke Harper

Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn

20170509_1920x1080_bl_zayncorbin-a90bc9dcd9038c1fc9a708a744bdf274I imagine that Big Banter Baron Corbin will pick up the victory over Sami Zayn. I’d prefer Zayn to win, but considering his gimmick is ‘wrestler who tries real hard but always loses’ there doesn’t seem to be all that much hope. Potentially a good match though in fairness!

Winner: Baron Corbin

Naomi, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee

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I’ve always been a big fan of the Women’s Champion being lost in the shuffle of a multi-women tag team match on PPVs. Not.

What would be the point of The Welcoming committee existing if they don’t pick up the victory here? Then again, what a terrible world it would be if a team consisting of the Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch can’t defeat Natalya, Carmella and Tamina Snuka.

Expect a screwy finish for certain here is all I can think of and either Becky or Naomi to take the fall.

Winners: The Welcoming Committee

NXT Chicago: Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast

Join Rob and Dan for the Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast as they discuss all the going on from NXT Takeover Chicago, including the sensational match for the UK Championship between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne.

Review: NXT Takeover Chicago

NXT Takeover you’ve done it again! Another good show, with one exceptionally great match. I always say that while I don’t look forward to Takeovers as much as I used to, I still expect them to be a good show and I was not disappointed.

The Chicago crowd were as raucous as you’d expect. A friend of mine suggested that WWE should exclusively tour in Chicago and the UK to always have great crowds, he’s not wrong. Great crowds can make good wrestling great and great wrestling phenomenal. The Chicago crowd were specifically good last night though for one reason in my mind because they didn’t try to make the show about themselves but they were loud and appreciative. At one point they even booed a section trying to do a CM Punk chant! Finally!

While I still miss Corey Graves on commentary, Nigel McGuinness is absolutely brilliant. He has a calm, confident and knowledgeable style of his commentary. He’s able to do the play-by-play and the colour commentary depending on who he is working with. Excellent addition to the team. Percy Watson was okay, I still don’t think a third man is necessary when you have the underrated Tom Phillips and McGuinness but that’s fine.

Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young

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Roderick Strong finally started to show what he was all about in Chicago.

This was the first time I’ve been really impressed with Roderick Strong since he came to NXT. WWE have been running some vignettes for Strong which have given him detail and more meaning. Something for fans to get behind, rather than just being ‘Roderick Strong from the indies’.

A good opener, made better by a hot crowd fully behind Roderick Strong as he finally got a chance to show what he can do on a Takeover stage. I had predicted that this feud might go a similar route to Tye Dillinger versus Sanity, being constantly put down by the numbers game match after match but I’m delighted he got the win and looked so impressive in doing so. The NXT Title picture is going to be stacked soon!

WWE UK Championship
Tyler Bate (c) vs. Pete Dunne

 

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Tyler Bate made an aeroplane spin look like a deadly manoeuvre. If Dunne had lost there and then I would have accept it. 

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant match. Match of the night without a doubt, nothing else was even close to it. Sensational work by Bate and Dunne. A match of the year candidate for WWE for sure.

 

Honestly this match was incredible and the Chicago fans ate up every last-minute of it. This match had it all; hard-hitting action, drama, despair, reversals and an aeroplane spot that genuinely looked like it could have won a match. It rightly earned ‘this is awesome’ chants (which are given out far too willingly these days, ‘fight forever chants’, chants of ‘UK, UK, UK’ and ‘holy shit!’ as well as TWO standing ovations for near falls.

This match could have gone either way, the back and forth was awesome. In the end Pete Dunne managed to avoid a dive to the outside by Bate, throw him back into the ring and hit him with the ‘Bitter End’ to win. A rematch at some point down the line is inevitable and I for one am already looking forward to it.

If you only have time to watch one match from this weekend, make it this one.

NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross

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Asuka is holding onto her title by her finger tips at times.

Understandably the crowd were a little worn out from the previous match and were noticeably quieter for this one. That coupled with the fact that there was a 0% chance of Asuka losing her title in a triple threat match.

 

The match had a couple of good spots as well, specifically Nikki Cross trapping Asuka in the ring apron and unleashing a barrage of punches in her direction. While the finish itself was a little flat, I don’t think the fans expected that to be the end really the story is a good one though. Asuka is getting desperate to keep hold of her title and cracks are starting to show in her armour. These are no longer the dominate victories from a year ago. In the end, she took advantage of a situation as Riot and Cross basically took each other out of the equation. Their disdain for each other being their downfall.

NXT Championship
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hideo Itami

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Who will be the man to defeat Bobby Roode for the NXT Title? McIntyre? Strong? Cole?!

I’m not sure how I feel about the NXT Championship match (or Women’s) not being on last but I suppose if any division deserves to main event in NXT it would be the Tag Team division. After all, its been sensational for years now.

This was another good NXT Championship match for Bobby Roode. I think he’s brilliant personally and despite the fact that he plays an arrogant heel he actually wins his matches fairly. The two Glorious DDT’s to end the match were beautiful as well, I loved him not letting go and just moving straight into the second to finish the job.

I’m not sure where Itami goes from here to be honest. Maybe a heel turn but who would that be against? 205 Live perhaps? Or maybe they will just try to rebuild him as a top star on NXT and hope that he can stay injury free.

I’ve got to sing the praises of the Chicago crowd once again as they booed a section of the crowd chanting ‘CM Punk’ after Itami hit the ‘GTS’. Finally, we might have turned a corner on the CM Punk chants. I hope so at least.

NXT Tag Team Championship
The Authors of Pain vs. #DIY

A really good tag team main event, granted maybe not as good as previous tag team matches of Takeover’s but still very good. The crowd was again fully behind #DIY and were devastated when they didn’t win. I thought before the match that the reason for the ladder match stipulation was for #DIY to win but not have The Authors of Pain lose by pin fall or submission. Instead the dominate and destructive path of The AOP continues on, who can possibly stop them now?

How Johnny Gargano didn’t come away with a serious injury is beyond me. First he takes a nasty fall from the top of a ladder almost landing on his head. Then he takes a ladder straight to the face. It looked brutal, it must have been brutal!

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Unexpected, heartbreaking and perfectly timed. Ciampa turns on his best friend.

Then just as the end slate appeared in the bottom left hand corner of the screen indicating the end of the show, Ciampa attacked Gargano.

A perfectly timed heel turn, when very few expected it or wanted it. Instead it was like a knife to the heart as Ciampa assaulted Gargano after the match. Had they done this last year, I believe it would have received cheers as people were excited about the potential feud. Now though, people just wanted to see them succeed as a tag team. Granted we’re still going to get great matches and a hopefully awesome feud but still, man… that sucked. Why Ciampa, why?

Review: WWE UK Championship Special

 

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Inaugural UK Champion Tyler Bate vs. Mark Andrews was an excellent match. 

After the brilliant success of the United Kingdom Championship Tournament, specifically the second night, I was looking forward to seeing more of the WWE’s UK scene. This special, taped a little while ago in Norwich, was the first opportunity for this. Yes, I know they’ve been wrestling on NXT as well but this is something different. It is their own show and in front of British fans again.

Ultimately though, I was slightly disappointed by this special. Let me explain why before you start raging at me as I realise there were two good matches on this card.

Firstly, the crowd were heavily edited and muted, that is a terrible sign for the WWE UK scene. Part of British wrestling is the crowd, if you try to control them like WWE used to edit Smackdown it will only succeed in killing the entire vibe. Do not, ever, edit a crowd. They might not being doing what you want, but that is life. In general the audio of the entire show felt wrong and was very noticeable to me, it was a distraction. Perhaps it was just me, but I’m sure others felt that way too.

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Green screen commentators…TNA? Is that you?!

Secondly, the blatant green screen additions of Jim Ross and Nigel McGuinness made the show feel much more like Impact Wrestling than they probably intended. If you want to record the commentary after the fact that is fine, I would prefer it live but it is not a big deal. The green screen however did not work for me.

I did enjoy the commentary itself though. It’s fantastic to have Jim Ross back in the WWE and I really do enjoy Nigel’s calm commentary style. It’s so different to what everyone else brings to the table. Sure there was some of the ‘first show together awkwardness’ but over time that will disappear.

The opening two matches left me feeling cold too. Joseph Connors versus Wolfgang and the bizarre 205 Live tag team match of TJP and Brian Kendrick versus Rich Swann and Dan Moloney were not exactly barnstormers put it that way.

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I loved that Pete Dunne came out with his PROGRESS Championship

However, this is where it all turns around because the number one contenders match between Trent Seven and Pete Dunne was really good. Dunne is an absolutely detestable heel and while I love it, I do still want to see him be beaten because fuck that guy. What an utter dick. He’ll be a star for sure.

The UK Championship match between Tyler Bate and challenger Mark Andrews was also really good. I know everyone raves about it, but it really is mind-blowing that Bate is only 20 years old. He is so smooth and confident in the ring.

I just wish these two matches, the whole special actually, had been broadcast a week or so earlier because we already know who is fighting who at NXT Takeover Chicago tonight for the UK title. It just took the edge of the proceedings. I do not like knowing spoilers, I realise that sets me aside from the majority of wrestling fans these days who want to know everything in great detail before it happens though.

Overall, the UK Special had a rough start and made some mistakes that I hope they learn from but the quality of wrestling in the number one contenders match and championship bout saved the show completely.

Review: WWE Payback

WWE Payback had a lot of positives and one massive down that almost derailed the entire show. Thankfully, at least in my eyes, it did not. Just about. Okay it kind of did. Unfortunately the utter stink of the ‘House of Horrors’ match will probably be what most people remember from this PPV. However every other match on the card was either good or really good. The first four matches especially.

Going into this PPV I predicted that it had all the potential in the world to be a very good show. Luckily it did not disappoint. This is of course excluding the ‘House of horrors’ match which we all knew would be garbage and turned out to be exactly that.

Before I get into the matches themselves I just want to point out that yet again WWEs editors do a terrific job making the promo packages for the nights events. They really do know how to polish a turd sometimes.

On commentary was Micheal Cole, Corey Graves and…Booker T. I cannot stand Booket T on commentary. He adds nothing to the show other than loud, inane waffle. Cole and Graves could have done a much better job on their own.

Oh and I did not watch the pre-show because why would I bother doing that?

Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho
United States Championship

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A surprise victory for Chris Jericho was the perfect way to start the show and get the crowd hyped.

Chris Jericho got a huge ovation when he came out and had continued rabid crowd support throughout. Kevin Owens playing an excellent heel frustrates the crowd every chance he can when head lock rest spots killing Jericho’s momentum.

This is a much better match than the Wrestlemania bout, I think in the most part due to the crowd being so into it. Where as at ‘Mania they were disappointingly quiet.

When Owens survives the Walls of Jericho by a finger again Jericho responds in an oddly heel move, although I suppose he never really turned face the crowd turn him instead, he attempts to break Kevin Owens hand by kicking the steel steps into it. This results in Owens not being able to complete a Pop-Up-Powerbomb later on and is eventually forced to tap out to the Walls of Jericho!

We’ve got a new US Champion! I did not see that coming, you got me WWE. You got me! It seems so obvious that Owens would retain and keep the title on Smackdown with Jericho leaving soon. Instead Jericho surprises everyone to the delight of the crowd in San Jose. Excellent opener.

Also when was the last time Jericho won with the Walls of Jericho? The last time that comes to my mind was against Neville at Beast In The East…