Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The SmackDown Files: The AJ Styles Is The 48 Hour Man Edition (1-31-2017)

By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Royal Rumble fallout continues as Randy Orton punched his ticket to WrestleMania by winning the Rumble while John Cena tied Ric Flair’s record by becoming WWE Champion for the 16th time. Conventional booking suggests that Cena and Orton are on a collision course towards Mania, but there is a little PPV called Elimination Chamber that might throw things off kilter. How did the blue brand set the stage for the final major show before WM? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s episode of SD Live in no particular order. 

·        Shane McMahon announced that AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, The Miz, Bray Wyatt, and Dean Ambrose will face John Cena for the WWE Championship inside the Elimination Chamber.  It should be noted that Styles' rematch clause will be invoked at a later date if he doesn't regain the title next Sunday.

·        McMahon also booked Ambrose vs. Styles for later tonight as both men have unfinished business from last year.

·        John Cena praised Styles for being an elite WWE Superstar who brought out the best in his opponents. Cena was a testament to that as he apologized for his flippant “Guy From Atlanta” remark from last week.

·        Cena stated that there was no time to celebrate because he has to defend the WWE Title in two weeks inside the Elimination Chamber. He was confident about his chances and called out anyone who thought otherwise.

·        Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton came out to rain on The Champ’s parade. Wyatt noted that the vicious cycle of Cena holding the WWE Championship would come to an end inside the Chamber. If Cena found a way to survive the match, Orton would finish him off at WrestleMania.

·        Wyatt and Orton made their way to the ring to double team Cena, but Luke Harper came out to even the odds as The Wyatt Family retreated.

·        Shane McMahon came out and announced that Cena and Harper would team up against The Wyatt Family after the commercial break.

·        This was a good way to start the show. Cena was humble as he praised Styles for being on his level after last week’s blistering promo. The Wyatt Family made their presence known as they made no bones about taking the WWE Title from Cena by any means necessary.

·        Harper is a babyface, but for how long? He has what it takes to get over as a badass hero, but that might not be the endgame considering Wyatt still has a soft spot for his brother. It’s an intriguing storyline that is ripe for a Mania payoff if everything goes according to plan.

·        Also, the thought of Orton facing Wyatt for the WWE Championship at WM is not lost on anyone. Wyatt didn’t make a big fuss about it and Orton re-directed his attention to Cena. If the doomsday scenario of Wyatt winning the title becomes a reality, expect Orton to show his true colors by Wyatt’s world apart. It’s the Shakespearean thing to do.

·        Cena and Harper vs. Wyatt and Orton was good as it featured solid action with a hint of mind control. Harper had no problem attacking Orton, but he froze like a statue whenever he was within striking distance of Wyatt. This allowed Wyatt and Orton to gain the upper hand on Cena midway through the match.

·        Harper eventually stood up to Wyatt when he pushed him out of the way to punch Orton in the face. Wyatt grabbed Harper to set up Sister Abigail, but Harper reversed it and nailed Orton with a big boot in the corner. The distraction allowed Wyatt to drop Harper with his finisher moments later.

·        Cena got back in the ring and had Wyatt in position for the AA, but Orton saved his partner and nailed Cena with an RKO for the win.

·        Carmella defeated Delilah Dawson with the Code of Silence after James Ellsworth tripped Dawson’s foot behind the referee’s back. The match was serviceable and relatively painless.

·        Dolph Ziggler picked up another win against Kalisto when he nailed the high flyer with a Superkick. It was a short match that forwarded Ziggler’s heel turn, but his newfound mean streak is still sitting in the pole position.

·        Ziggler continued to attack Kalisto until Apollo Crews made the save. This was basically a replay from last week. Zzzzz….

·        Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James was solid as Naomi showcased why she is one of the best performers in the company when her offense is firing on all cylinders.

·        Naomi had a great babyface comeback when she delivered a beautiful dropkick that knocked Mickie James onto the floor. Naomi continued as she nailed Bliss with a series of rapid-fire moves before James got back in the ring.

·        Lynch tackled James through the ropes which allowed Naomi to nail Bliss with an enziguri followed by the Split-Legged Moonsault for the win. Naomi has beaten the SmackDown Women’s Champion twice in a span of two days. I think that makes her the number one contender for the title. Just a wild guess.

·        American Alpha’s open challenge for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship turned into a melee when The Usos, The Ascension, The Vaudevillians, Breezango, and Heath Slater & Rhyno threw their names in the hat. WWE Officials broke things up as the announcers tossed to commercial break.

·        AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose was a great main event that managed to do two things successfully. First, it was a hard-hitting and physical match that featured high drama and crazy near falls that had the crowd hyped down the stretch. Second, Styles and Ambrose managed to cut through the noise of The Miz and Baron Corbin on guest commentary. The Miz was a great antagonist that managed to put over the wrestlers in the ring, but his personality can be overpowering at times. Corbin held his own by keeping his comments short and sweet while Miz threw shade at him nonstop.

·        Fortunately, Ambrose and Styles rose above the yammering and put on a show for the live crowd during the last 5-7 minutes.

·        The ending came when Corbin attacked Miz at the announce table. Miz tried to get in the ring, but Corbin held his legs like he was playing an unorthodox game of Tug of War.

·        Ambrose had Styles pinned for the win, but the referee was busy reprimanding Corbin and Ambrose. Ambrose attacked both men, but the distraction gave Styles enough time to nail The Lunatic Fringe with the Styles Clash for the win.

·        After the match was over, The Miz dropped Ambrose with the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz didn’t get a chance to celebrate his dirty work because Corbin nailed him with the End of Days. Ambrose suffered the same fate as Corbin stared down Styles as SD Live went off the air.

·        This was a nice way to sell the importance of the Elimination Chamber match. It is an ominous structure that will change lives and alter careers. It determines who will punch their ticket to WrestleMania while the losers try to find another way into the big dance. The main event did a wonderful job driving that point home and Styles and Ambrose worked their asses off. Styles stringing together two stellar matches in a span of 48 hours is truly remarkable. They don’t call him the Phenomenal One just because it’s a cute nickname. It’s a factual statement.

·        Ambrose was a fine partner as well and it appears that he will have his hands full with Corbin and Miz for the foreseeable future. Where does that leave everyone heading into Mania season? We shall find out soon enough.

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was very good. The opening match and main event were a nice way to bookend the show. The Elimination Chamber card is coming along nicely with the main event set along with Nikki Bella vs. Natalya and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss for the Women’s Championship. Throw in American Alpha defending the Tag Team Titles against {Insert Team Here}, this is shaping up to be a fun show as the Road to WrestleMania continues.

·        Next week’s go-home show will feature John Cena vs. Randy Orton which is sure to be a barn burner. Let’s hope it’s not a preview of things to come at Mania. Doomsday Scenario #2 aside, Seattle should be rocking next week. After all, it’s Daniel Bryan’s hometown and the crowd will be extra excited to see Bryan because next Wednesday will mark the one-year anniversary of his emotional retirement speech on Raw. It’s going to be quite the night.

On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Raw Exposé: The Destroyer vs.The Slayer of Kings (With a Side Order of Samoa Joe For Good Measure)

By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The Raw Exposé. Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw emanated from the Laredo Energy Center in Laredo, Texas. The Royal Rumble PPV was another polarizing event for wrestling fans. It wasn’t Scorched Earth bad, but Roman Reigns entering the Rumble at Number 30 pissed off a lot of people. Fortunately, Randy Orton saved the day by eliminating Reigns to become the 7th man to win the Rumble twice.

Where does that leave the denizens of Raw?  The answer to that question is not clear at the moment, but everything will come into focus soon enough. In the meantime, let’s dissect tonight’s episode of Raw in no particular order.

·        Kevin Owens’ words came back to haunt him when he promised Braun Strowman a shot at the Universal Championship after he defeated Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Strowman helped Owens retain the title by attacking Reigns last night and was ready to cash in on his championship opportunity. Owens denied that he made such a promise, but the video footage said otherwise.

·        Mick Foley came out and made the match official for later tonight as the opening segment came to a close.

·        This was a nice way to kick off the show as WWE used continuity to justify Strowman’s Universal Title shot. It made sense and proved that words can come back to bite one in the proverbial ass. The Mutual Admiration Society featuring Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho was cute while Strowman added a hint of danger when he crashed the party. The match between Strowman and Owens should be very interesting from a stylistic standpoint.

·        Sami Zayn defeated Chris Jericho with the Helluva Kick in a very good match that featured great action and crowd heat throughout. Jericho looked sharp after declaring himself the 61 Minute Man after his Royal Rumble performance last night. Zayn might be in line for a United States Title shot since he beat Y2J in convincing fashion.

·        Luke Gallows eliminating the word “Nerd” from his vocabulary would do him a world of good. That term is so fifth grade...

·        Tony Nese picked up a statement win over Mustafa Ali when he nailed Ali with a running knee in the corner. WWE telegraphed the finish when they showed Ali hitting the Inverted 450 Splash from last week because it was a clear sign that he wasn’t going to dazzle the audience with his finisher tonight.

·        The post-match interview featuring Austin Aries and Nese was very similar to Jerry Lawler’s segment with Dolph Ziggler on SmackDown Live from a couple of weeks ago as Aries asked Nese questions in a condescending manner only for Nese to respond matter-of-factly. Nese is a gifted athlete, but he is dead behind the eyes when it comes to projecting his personality on camera. Let’s hope he can pull it together because he is very talented in the ring.

·        The face-to-face confrontation between Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins was very good as they traded a few verbal barbs at each other that elicited a few oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Rollins had a great parting shot when he stated that he had nothing else to lose. He wasn’t afraid to crash a board meeting knowing that it would piss off Wall Street and Vince McMahon. Rollins was bold enough to claim that he would come to Stephanie’s house to kick Triple H’s ass. He vowed to slay the King as Stephanie backed away from the verbal exchange. The Raw Commissioner did have the final word when she announced that Triple H was on his way to the building to confront Rollins as the segment came to an end.

·        Rollins cut one of his better promos as he showed passion and fire throughout. Most importantly, he didn’t get slapped by Stephanie. Her ball snippers were kept at bay. For now...

·        Cesaro, Sheamus, and Bayley defeated Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and Charlotte when Bayley dropped Charlotte with the Bayley-to-Belly to pick up another nontitle win against the Raw Women’s Champion. The Six-Person Mixed Tag Team Match was fun as Cesaro made a nice recovery after he slipped off the top rope while trying to lay out Anderson and Gallows with a springboard cross body. It wasn’t pretty, but he finished the move like a pro.

·        Bayley has been diagnosed with Sasha Banks Syndrome. The key symptom is one’s ability to beat Charlotte on Raw, but failing to close the deal on PPV. It’s a trend that’s likely to continue until WrestleMania. Let’s hope The Hugger Extraordinaire can crack the code by then.

·        The Coronation of King Neville was decent, but it lacked crowd heat despite the performances of Neville and Rich Swann on the mic. It’s disheartening because Neville has been doing fine work as of late. Also, Swann cut one of his better promos as he spoke like a normal human being for a change. It will help get his fun-loving character over by showing different shades of his personality.

·        Braun Strowman just took out Chris Jericho by choke slamming him through the announce table. Owens no longer has Jericho as his security blanket to bail him out of trouble. This could get ugly.

·        Roman Reigns saved Owens’ Universal Championship when he came out to attack Strowman which drew an automatic disqualification. Reigns nailed him with a series of Superman Punches before dropping the big man with a sick spear while using the steel steps as a launching pad. He also nailed Owens with a Spear for good measure before heading to the back.

·        Owens vs. Strowman was a nice match that was gnarly in nature. Strowman held his own while Owens had enough hope spots to save face as a fighting champion who happens to be a wimp under pressure without his best friend bailing him out of trouble.

·        The Championship bout ending via DQ makes sense because Reigns wanted to get revenge on Strowman for costing him the Universe Title last night. It appears that Reigns and Strowman will face off at Fast Lane in March. That should be quite the spectacle.

·        Brock Lesnar challenged Goldberg to a final match at WrestleMania to determine whose legacy will stand the test of time. Paul Heyman cut a great promo describing how some of the greatest wrestlers and athletes have had amazing careers, but there was always a certain foe that blemished their otherwise spotless resume. Andre The Giant had Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, John Cena, and Kurt Angle, had Lesnar, and Ronda Rousey had Holly Holm. Lesnar’s greatest adversary is Goldberg and he plans to attach the dreaded “Yeah, but” phrase to his legacy at WrestleMania. Heyman did a wonderful job driving that point home which pushed the segment over the top.

·        Nia Jax absolutely destroyed Sasha Banks. It was a vicious display which saw Jax lock Banks’ bad knee in a nasty submission hold. The timekeeper rang the bell to stop the match, but the damage was already done. In terms of getting Jax over as a monster heel, this was her best performance to date.

·        Enzo Amore and Big Cass defeated Rusev and Jinder Mahal when Enzo pinned Rusev with the Rocket Launcher. It appears that this feud is finally over since the Bulgarian Brute was pinned clean as a sheet.

·        Samoa Joe didn’t show up at the Rumble last night, but his presence was felt tonight when he acted as Triple H’s mercenary when he attacked Seth Rollins during the final segment.

·        Triple H delivered a long soliloquy about how he gave Seth Rollins the world by plucking him out of obscurity and making him The Man in WWE. Rollins stood by HHH’s side as they made history together. However, their relationship turned sour when Rollins suffered a devastating knee injury in October 2015 which caused to him to relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H considered that a spit in the face because Rollins was weak in the face of adversity and decided to teach his protégé a lesson by turning his back on him last August.

·        Hunter has tried to show restraint by ignoring Rollins’ insults, but that all changed when Rollins invaded NXT Takeover: San Antonio. NXT is The Game’s creation and anyone who steps foot on hallowed ground with a score to settle was in for a rude awakening. Triple H was tired of hiding behind a suit as he removed his jacket and tie as he called out Rollins.

·        Rollins came out, but he was blindsided by Samoa Joe. Triple H put his jacket back on as he watched Joe dismantle Rollins. HHH headed to the back as Joe choked out Rollins with the Coquina Clutch as Raw went off the air.

·        This was a great way to end the show. The delayed instant gratification of seeing Samoa Joe on the main roster was worth it because he made such a memorable debut. It should’ve happened last night, but I digress. Joe acting as Triple H’s heavy is a great way to stall the physical confrontation between Rollins and HHH for the next month or so.

·        Joe is in the big leagues now and it should be interesting to see how he interacts with the other badasses on Raw once he gets settled in.

·        Rollins will have to go through Joe before he can get to Triple H. Joe vs. Rollins should be great as The Creator of NXT and All Things Professional Wrestling watches from his ivory tower. WWE provided the element of surprise that was lacking last night at the Rumble. Let’s hope there are more twists and turns on the horizon as the Road to WrestleMania continues.

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw was solid. The first couple of hours zipped by, but the show hit a wall during the Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Rusev and Jinder Mahal match. Fortunately, the 10:00 P.M. Lull Period of Death was quelled by the surprise appearance of Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. It kept the crowd awake heading into the main event segment.

·        WWE is starting to plant seeds for WrestleMania, but there is still a mystery surrounding Kevin Owens’ next opponent for the Universal Championship. Things should become clearer over the next few weeks once the creative team addresses the situation.

·        Goldberg will respond to Lesnar’s WrestleMania challenge as Raw emanates from Portland, Oregon next week. It should be a fun night as Mania season heats up.

On that note, this wraps up another edition of The Raw Exposé. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The SmackDown Files. See you later, boys and girls!

Comic Book Review - Doom Patrol #4

By: Jerry Montgomery
January 29th,  2017

Doom Patrol #4
“I’m Sorry I’m Late, Brick by Brick, Pt.4

Written by: Gerard Way
Artwork by: Nick Derington

The Doom Patrol. Chances are you may not have heard of them or know who they are. Cliff Steele, aka Robotman, Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Flex Mentallo and Crazy Jane. Billed as the world’s strangest heroes, this misfit band of oddballs has been reimagined by writer Gerard Way, the creator of DC’s Dangerous Animals Imprint, a place for wild ideas and something alternative from mainstream comics. These are comics for dangerous humans. Comics to make you think. Comics to make you feel. So, if you are indeed unfamiliar with the Doom Patrol, be prepared to be introduced to them and what is, and what could be.

This new incarnation of the Doom Patrol kicks into gear with new character,  Casey Brinke, a young EMT and her partner, Sam Reynolds who, as well as pondering the possible mysteries that lie within a common Gyro, answer the call of a hit and run. There, they find themselves face to face with Cliff Steele/Robotman, seconds before he’s hit by a garbage truck. How did they get the call before the accident happen? Cliff’s parts are gathered up and taken to Casey ‘s apartment, where he is repaired by her new roommate, Terry None. The next day, Casey and her partner Sam receive an emergency call to an injured man, which turns out to be Larry Trainor, The Negative Man. In the meantime,  Robotman has his hands full with a group of gun-wielding aliens called The Vectra who are looking for Casey…and the ambulance. Lets just say there’s lots of head injuries courtesy of Cliff. Larry and Cliff are reunited after yet another call from their ambulance. Why is it transmitting its own instructions? It seems there’s more to this vehicle than meets the eye (No, it’s not a Transformer). It seems someone or something wantss to reunite The Doom Patrol.

It turns out The Vectra are in the fast food business all over the galaxy and they have discovered an unending supply of an all-new, mentally healthy meat supply for their menu. They have discovered  the existence of a sentient organic generator sprawl which they plan to torture to provide the product. What’s  the sprawl? Why, the ambulance of course…but you can call him Danny (Yes I know, its a lot to take in.). Larry is found by the Negative Spirit and whisked away to be made whole again in the Negative Space, to be witnessed by Cliff. By the end of issue 3, Casey even meets Flex Mentallo , the Man of Mystery Muscle, inside Danny, who lays it all out for her. Who she really is, what Danny really is and what she means to the regrouping of The Doom Patrol. Issue 4 details the trial of Larry Trainor in the Negative Space, Casey’s escape from the Vectra and subsequent rescue of Danny

The Verdict: The Doom Patrol is definitely a title you’ve got to read from the beginning. There’s a lot going on and to miss even one issue will have you lost on the next. Issue 4 continues this complex and highly interesting rebuilding of this superhero team that dates back to the early 1960’s. Gerard Way is spinning a great story and the artwork by Nick Derington is top notch. If you enjoy comics that are different and not part of the “mainstream” style of comics, I highly recommend this title. There’s something to say about a comic that has featured a removable gryo sticker on the cover of it’s first issue. Peel it back to see what lies beneath…there’s no turning back.

Geektified's WWE Royal Rumble Review 1.30.17

Geektified's WWE Royal Rumble Review 1.30.17
By Anton Ware
Official Results
-WWE Royal Rumble is LIVE from San Antonio, Texas.

-Michael Cole, Bryan Saxton, Corey Graves, Mauro Ranallo, JBL, Tom Phillips, and David Otunga are your hosts.

-Pre Show Six Woman Tag: Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Natalya, and Mickie James: This was your standard tag match to bring all the rivalries from the Smackdown Women’s Division together. We got triple suplex action from the faces and a dive from Naomi, but Team Bliss would get the upper hand by wearing down Becky Lynch. Lynch would get the hot tag to Naomi where she cleaned house and got the winning pin on the champion.

Random Thought: What in the world is going on with Becky Lynch’s attire? She has on white daisy dukes that doesn’t match the rest of her outfit. It's like she had a wardrobe malfunction before the show. Batman, how do you feel about this?

My sentiments exactly, Batman.

-Pre Show RAW Tag Team Title Match: Sheamus and Cesaro(c) vs. The Club: On the January 16th edition of RAW, Sheamus and Cesaro defended their tag titles against The Club. During the match, the referee got knocked out and a second referee came out and counted the winning pin for Anderson and Gallows. When the 1st referee woke up, he overruled the 2nd referee’s decision and disqualified Sheamus and Cesaro, thus giving the win to the Club, but not the titles. This rematch was made to give both teams two referees and a clear, decisive winner. If you’ve seen these teams go at it before, this was nothing new. The Club grounded Cesaro early on until he made the hot tag to Sheamus. Sheamus cleaned house and while doing so he delivered a Brogue Kick to the main referee. The outside referee took over and Sheamus’ hot head demeanor almost got his team disqualified by threatening to punch the outside referee. The finish came when Cesaro and Anderson were the legal men and Anderson rolled up Cesaro with a handful of tights for the win and the titles! NEW CHAMPS!

-Pre Show Match: Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax: The night after her grueling Ironman Match with Charlotte, Nia Jax confronted and attacked Banks. For weeks, Jax taunted the injured Banks and attacked her during Banks’ pre-show warmup. Banks got revenge on Jax by assaulting her with a crutch. The match was then set for the preshow. This was mostly a showcase of Nia Jax’s power and her dissection of Banks’ injured knee. Banks would get the advantage over Jax during the final stretch, but the damage was already done as Jax delivered a pop up Samoan Drop for the win.

Main Show:

-WWE RAW Women’s Title Match: Charlotte(c) vs. Bayley: After Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks in their Ironman Match, she proclaimed her dominance as the true queen of the women’s division. Bayley reminded Charlotte that she’s 2-0 against The Queen and wanted a title shot. Bayley would get two more chances at Charlotte only to come up short by false pin falls and crooked referees. Bayley finally got her title opportunity by pinning Nia Jax on the January 2nd edition of RAW to become the #1 contender to the Women’s Title. A simple little opener with Bayley showing heart and resiliency while Charlotte was the arrogant and confident villain.  Throughout the contest, Charlotte proved she was the more dominant competitor by physically and mentally breaking down Bayley (there was a time in the match where Bayley showed frustration for not being able to get the upper hand on Charlotte). Bayley made a fierce comeback with some “unorthodox” offense, but it wasn’t enough as Charlotte nailed Bayley with a wicked Natural Selection on the apron for the win. The Queen is 16-0 in PPV matches.
-Holy Foley promo video.
-WWE Champions app promo video.

-WWE Universal Title No DQ Match: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens: At WWE Roadblock, Reigns defeated Owens via disqualification after Chris Jericho gave Owens a Codebreaker to keep the title on him. Disgusted by the Canadians’ actions, RAW General Manager Mick Foley made Owens defend the Universal Title against Reigns on this show and to make sure it was a fair contest, Chris Jericho would be suspended above the ring in a shark cage. A couple of weeks later, Owens and Jericho faced Reigns in a 2-on-1 handicap match for the United States Title which Reigns lost to Jericho. This was a FUN, wild brawl. Notable moments included Owens frog splashing Reigns through a table on the outside, Owens delivering his own Superman Punch to Reigns with brass knuckles, Reigns Superman Punching Owens through a tower of steel chairs, and delivering a one-man Shield Powerbomb to Owens through an announce table.  The finish saw Reigns closing in on the win when Braun Strowman came out of nowhere and assaulted Reigns with a Chokeslam and Powerslam through a table. Owens covered Reigns for the win to retain the title.

-Enzo and Cass KFC commercial.
-Royal Rumble 30 best moments countdown video # 30- #15

-WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Rich Swann(c) vs. Neville: At Roadblock: End of the Line, Rich Swann retained the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a triple threat match against T.J. Perkins and The Brian Kendrick. After the match, Neville appeared and attacked both Swann and Perkins. Neville would go on to attack Swann multiple times throughout the next few weeks to show who was the true star of the Cruiserweights. Fed up with the ambushes, Swann called out Neville and demanded a rematch. Neville accepted his challenge which leads us to tonight’s bout for the Cruiserweight Championship. A competitive match that saw the usual from the 205 Live regulars: Superkicks and high spots. The crowd sat on their hands for the contest. At least we’re in times where the “Boring” chants are being phased out. Neville won the match with a modified Crossface submission. NEW CHAMP!!

-New Day Vudu Promo.
-WrestleMania 33 promo.

-WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: AJ Styles(c) vs. John Cena: This match was a result of Cena issuing a challenge to the winner of the triple threat match between AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler (which Styles won). This match had motivating factors for both men as Cena was looking to finally beat AJ Styles and to win his sought after 16th World Title reign while Styles was looking to earn the respect of Cena, WWE management, and the WWE Universe. It's January and we already have ourselves a Match of the Year Contender. Excellent match from the two cornerstones of Smackdown LIVE! What was different about the contest was Cena’s demeanor every time a big move was hit. As the match went on, you could see frustration in his eyes and the realism that MAYBE AJ Styles and his critics were right that he doesn’t have what it takes to hang with the new wave of WWE stars. The match was competitive as Cena and AJ busted out finishers from other stars. Styles would hit Tye Dillinger’s Perfect 10 and Cena would hit Big E’s Big Ending. Cena even busted out his Code Red which still wasn’t enough. Cena would eventually get the win two back-to-back AA’s for the win and title! NEW CHAMP!! These two have GREAT chemistry together.

-WWE Network Promo.
- Royal Rumble 30 best moments countdown video #15-#1.

-Royal Rumble Match: The order of entrance are as follows:
Big Cass is #1.
Y2J is #2
#3.Kalisto #4. Mojo Rawley #5 Jack Gallagher #6. Mark Henry #7. Braun Strowman #8. Sami Zayn #9. Big Show #10. Tye Dillinger #11. James Ellsworth #12. Dean Ambrose #13. Baron Corbin #14. Kofi Kingston #15. The Miz #16. Sheamus #17. Big E #18. Rusev #19. Cesaro #20. Xavier Woods #21. Bray Wyatt #22. Apollo Crews #23. Randy Orton #24. Dolph Ziggler #25. Luke Harper #26. Brock Lesnar #27. Enzo Amore #28. Goldberg #29. Undertaker #30. Roman Reigns.

This match was all about the Big 4: Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and Undertaker. Strowman dominated the first half of the Rumble (only to be eliminated by Baron Corbin). Afterward, there was a lot of down time until the part-time stars came in towards the end. Notable highlights included:

-Jack Gallaher cleaning house with an umbrella.
-James Ellsworth’s near death experience of being dumped by Strowman.
-Sheamus and Cesaro eliminated all three members of The New Day. However, Y2J dumped Sheamus and Cesaro a short time later.
-Orton’s RKO fest.
- The Wyatt Family imploding.
-Brock Lesnar cleaning house (specifically destroying Enzo with a clothesline).
-Lesnar and Goldberg’s “showdown” where Goldberg dominated Lesnar once again.
-Goldberg and Taker’s stare down.

The final four would come down to Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt, and Randy Orton. Reigns eliminated Jericho and Wyatt only to receive an RKO afterwards by The Viper. Orton eliminated Reigns moments later to become the 7th man to win two or more Royal Rumble matches.


Final Thoughts: This was a fun outing by WWE. You had two great world title matches, (both with their own story and style), decent Women's and Cruiserweight Title matches, and a star-studded Royal Rumble match.  The Rumble match itself had a lot of hype and expected surprises that didn’t deliver, so I can see why some people may not have enjoyed it, but it did keep my interest and I didn’t feel cheated. There are so many questions coming out of this show:
  1. Who’s the next challenger for Kevin Owens since Reigns and Rollins have exhausted their title opportunities?
  2. What's to become of Brock Lesnar since he was once again embarrassed by Goldberg?
  3. What will become of the relationship between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt since Orton has a guaranteed title shot at the biggest show of the year?
  4. Is James Ellsworth still alive after that dump to the outside?

It all remains to be seen, but we will keep a close eye on things as the Road to WrestleMania begins!

-What did you guys think of the show? Hit or miss? Let me know in the comment section. Thanks for reading!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Geektified's NXT Takeover: San Antonio Review 1.29.17

Geektified's NXT Takeover: San Antonio Review 1.29.17
By Anton Ware
Official Results
-NXT Takeover is LIVE from San Antonio, Texas.

-Corey Graves, Percy Watson, and Tom Phillips are your hosts for this evening.

-Tye Dillinger vs. Eric Young: After coming up short in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match to determine the #1 contender for the NXT Title, Tye Dillinger was having second thoughts about continuing his future in NXT. Eric Young had other plans for the Perfect 10 as he offered Dillinger a spot in SAinTY. Dillinger refused by opposing Young and company and a match was set. This match was about Dillinger trying to score his 1st Takeover win and overcoming the odds of Young’s henchmen (Killian Dane and Alexander Wolfe). Before the match started, Young gave Dillinger one more chance to join the group but Dillinger refused. Dillinger controlled the match early on, but an outside cross body block from Dane (the big, hairy one) would give Young the unfair advantage. Dillinger swung the momentum back in his favor with a series of counter dropkicks and strikes. He was about to finish Young off with the Perfect 10 (fireman's carry into a knee neckbreaker), but Dane and Wolfe once again got involved and distracted Dillinger. They both received punishment for their interference, but they gave Young enough time to hit the wheelbarrow neckbreaker for the win. Dillinger is now 0-5 at Takeover shows. Good opener. The crowd loved Dillinger. He may end up being the feel good story of 2017 if this keeps up.

-Roderick Strong vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas: Both men fell short in the 4-Way #1 Contender's Match for the NXT Title. A match was made between the two as a way for both competitors to climb up the ranks of NXT Title contention. A competitive back and forth contest with a weird crowd. This was about Strong’s strikes vs. Almas’ athleticism and ground game. Strong would go for multiple attempts of a back breaker and Almas would attempt his patented hammerlock DDT finisher to put away The Messiah of the Backbreaker. Almas also locked in a modified Rings of Saturn, but it was to no avail. Spot of the match came when both men were on the top rope and Strong gave Almas a sidewalk slam on the top turnbuckle. Ouch! Strong would finish Almas with a devastating running boot for the win.
Random Thought: It was awkward seeing the crowd so split during a good match. Half the crowd started a “This Is Awesome” chant while others didn’t seem to care for the competitors involved.

-NXT Tag Title Match: DIY(c) vs. The Authors of Pain (with Paul Ellering): After defeating The Revival for the NXT Tag Titles, The Revival invoked their rematch clause and battled DIY again, but they failed to recapture the gold. After the match, The Authors of Pain attacked DIY to make a statement that they wanted a shot at the titles. AOP won the second annual Dusty Rhodes Classic and remain undefeated, so they have a fair claim at a tag title opportunity. Decent match here that picked up towards the end. AOP controlled the match early with their strength, but DIY eventually got back on track with strikes which complemented their high flying offense. DIY’s upper hand wouldn’t last long as Akam and Rezar gained control by grounding Johnny Gargano. Gargano eventually made the hot tag to Tommaso Ciampa who delivered wicked strikes and two impressive German Suplexes to both members of AOP. Ciampa’s offense wasn’t enough to keep the big men down, so Gargano regrouped and both men hit Gargano’s rope assisted Spear for the two count. Still not enough, DIY put AOP in stereo submissions (same scenario that won them the titles at the last Takeover show), but Rezar would power out of Gargano’s submission and slam Gargano onto Ciampa to break up the submission. Both teams traded punches with DIY winning the battle to set up the stereo knee strike knockout, but AOP countered with the Super Collider (stereo powerbombs) and hit The Last Chapter for the win and tag titles. Another good match. I’m interested to see who’ll dethrone the Authors of Pain.
-As the commentary hypes up the rest of card, Seth Rollins comes out of nowhere, grabs the mic, and DEMANDS a fight against HHH. HHH eventually comes out only to bring out security. Rollins fights the first round of guards off, but the odds catch up to him and he is escorted out of the building. Wow!

-NXT Women's Title Match: Asuka(c) vs. Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay vs. Peyton Royce: With the recent call-ups of Bayley, Nia Jax, and Alexa Bliss, the NXT Women’s Division was in need of fresh faces to step up and challenge Asuka for her title. Enter the Australian duo of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce as they made their mark on the division by attacking and insulting fellow NXT women superstars in recent weeks. They would finally go after the Women’s Champion by attacking her in the parking lot. They didn’t keep Asuka down for long as all three ladies brawled later in the show. Nikki Cross of SAinTY would then come out to attack all three ladies to show her interest in the Women’s Title as well. Asuka demanded that NXT General Manager William Regal make the title match a Fatal 4-Way. This was a disappointment. Just as the match was getting hot, it ends anti-climatically. Most notable moments were Asuka delivering a double German Suplex to Royce and Kay, the Aussies putting Nikki Cross through a table (similar to the WrestleMania 20 main event table spot) and Royce and Kay keeping their pact to ground Asuka. The team dominance wouldn’t last long as Asuka overcame both women by nailing a vicious kick to Peyton Royce’s head for the win! Asuka remains undefeated.
Random Thought: I’ve only seen Nikki Cross twice and I already like her. She really comes off as the craziest woman alive.

-NXT Title Match: Shinsuke Nakamura(c) vs. Bobby Roode: Bobby Roode would win a Fatal 4-way Match to become the #1 contender for the NXT Title. Nakamura and Roode would have a contract signing to make it official and the match was set. Fun fact: If Roode wins the NXT title, he would become the oldest NXT Champion in the brand’s history at 39. We got super main event entrances as Roode wins this round with eight women accompanying him to the ring. Roode does his GLORIOUS taunts in the beginning of the match. Back and forth control struggle in the early goings between the two, but it's Roode who takes over by flipping Nakamura over the top turnbuckle onto the outside. Roode would taunt Nakamura by using Nakamura’s signature corner foot choke. Nakamura gained control with knee strikes to set up the Kinshasa, but Roode played possum and rolled up Nakamura for a 2 count. Nakamura connected with an outside Kinshasa on Roode, but he injured his knee in the process. Nakamura regrouped and nailed Roode with another Kinshasa only to hurt his knee even more. WWE’s medical staff came out to check on Nakamura, but he insisted that he could continue. He does and Roode immediately takes advantage by hitting the Glorious DDT for a two count! Roode goes for a single leg Boston Crab (to which Nakamura powers out) and then hits another Glorious DDT for the win and title! Solid main event.

Final Thoughts: This was the weakest NXT Takeover show by far. Not a bad show, but nothing was really must see. Actually, the only must see thing came from two people who aren’t even on the NXT roster (Rollins and HHH). This show was clear that NXT is still in its recovery stages with losing a lot of their top stars in 2016. Plus with the injuries of Hideo Itami, Austin Aries, and TM - 61, there’s not a whole lot of depth to each division right now. Hopefully by the end of the year the brand can get back on track, but NXT must get more faces in the mix.

-So what did you guys think about the show? Hit or miss? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Let me know in the comment section. Thanks for reading!