Quick Hits: WWE Smackdown Live 5.23.17

-Jinder Mahal arrived with a police escort. Damn, I was hoping those sirens were Scott Steiner returning.

Money in the Bank Opening Segment

-Shane announces that Randy Orton will have his rematch against Jinder Mahal at Money in the Bank.

-Shane announces the Money in the Bank participants: AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens comes out but Shane says he isn’t in the match. Shane introduces the fifth participant, Nakamura.

-So three guys that lost their matches Sunday are in the match, but KO isn’t?
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Supporting Indy Wrestling: Empire State Wrestling Brawlfest 5.20.17

Just so everyone knows, there is more to pro wrestling than just the big times companies like the WWE, New Japan and Ring of Honor. And a good amount of wrestlers you see on TV nowadays started somewhere small and worked their way to where they are today. There’s a local Indy promotion somewhere near you and you should go support them.

Saturday night I went to my third Empire State Wrestling show. ESW is my local promotion in the Western New York area. This was the first ESW show I was able to get to since last year’s Brawlfest. It was standing room only in the fire hall that I was in. Are you going to get the same high quality production you get in the WWE? No. But are you going to get guys going out there and busting their asses to do something that they obviously love to do? Absolutely. And that is all you can ask for when you go see a wrestling show. You want to be entertained and seeing the passion these guys have for pro wrestling helps with the entertainment.

So, on to some quick thoughts on the show! I’m doing a good amount of this from memory. I wanted to live tweet the show but got zero reception in the building. I also had problems with my phone overall. I wanted to take notes but couldn’t. So if my early thoughts on the show seemed brief that is the reason why.

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The HTCWrestling Podcast 5-17-17: WWE Backlash Preview and More!

Justin C and Cam are back with the HTCWrestling Podcast! This week we take a look at WWE Backlash and the main roster debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. We also discuss the Jinder Mahal main event push. We also preview NXT Takeover: Chicago, look at how Braun Strowman’s injury changes the WWE Universal Title picture, talk about the Randy Orton/Indy Scene saga and discuss Adam Cole in NXT. Give us a listen!

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Quick Hits: WWE Smackdown Live 5.16.17

Kevin Owens Highlight Reel

-KO has taken over the Highlight Reel! He said what happened to Jericho is only half as bad as what will happen to AJ Styles.

-KO goes to introduce his guest but AJ Styles interrupts. KO asks what Styles is doing here because he would never invite Styles to his show.

-Jinder Mahal comes out. KO says Jinder was his original guest.

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JC’s Top Rope Report: What’s Wrong With RAW?

I don’t know how Heather does it. I used to watch RAW every week and review it for this site and other sites. At least back when I watched it some good things happened from time to time.

But now it almost seems like a chore to watch every week. I filled in for Heather this past week covering RAW. And if you couldn’t tell from my review, I did not enjoy the show. Boring is one word to describe it. Abysmal would probably be another word to describe it as well. If you ask me there are two good things on RAW right now: BRAUN Strowman and Alexa Bliss. And now we will be without BRAUN for the next 4-8 weeks. Can RAW become a three hour show about Alexa Bliss? Because if it was then I’d probably watch it intently.

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WWE Raw Review 5.15.17 – with Heather

New-Raw-Logo-645x366

This is a rough week.  I don’t know how to process the news I received just mere hours ago.  I don’t know if anyone who has been enjoying Raw in recent weeks can really deal with the fallout of the latest tragedy to befall us.  Our beloved BRAUN is finished with Roman – for now – as he’s the latest superstar taken down by injury.  Initial reports said weeks, and now we’re moving onto months.  6 months.  6 months of agony.  Maybe, just maybe.  We’ll all be able to get through this together.

Raw starts with Angle informing us of BRAUN’s injury, and then about who will challenge the absentee Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.  It’ll be decided at Extreme Rules with the usual suspects who all, if you can believe this, hit the ring soon after to say why they’re going to win or why the title shot belongs to them.  Roman Reigns who enters to MASSIVE boos – deserved for taking out our champion (kidding), Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt, and then Seth Rollins who says nobody here wants to hear them talk (those are the rules though Seth that can rarely be broken!  opening promo with 80 participants!).  Seth says he’s here to fight Samoa Joe and he runs to the ring to do just that and then there’s just chaos.  Finn Balor stands tall at the end of it all, but don’t worry I’m sure he isn’t being fed to Brock.  Yet.

Backstage after the break Angle tells Seth, Roman and Finn to let their aggression out in the ring in matches tonight.  Seth vs Bray and Roman vs Finn.

Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus

Well because we have this Hardys/SheaSaro feud going on, OF COURSE we have to see them wrestle in various mixed matches for the next 3 years.  Jeff Hardy wrestles so I…don’t pay much attention.  I’m a bad Raw coverage writer.  My long standing grudge just cannot let me care.  I do watch Matt be wonderful on the outside though, and that’s nice.  Jeff wins with a swanton bomb and looks like he could keel over at any second after.  That ain’t sellin.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Sasha Banks vs Alicia Fox

After an apparent cheap victory over Sasha Banks last week (Foxy kicked out!), they’re wrestling again here tonight.  I’m happy for Alicia to get TV time so that’s just fine.  And uh, not only does she get TV time – she picks up the win!  ALICIA FOX JUST BEAT SASHA BANKS.  And nobody cared.  The announcers didn’t even hype that it was an upset victory or anything.  I don’t know if the story here is the Alicia win or how it seemed like Sasha was the jobber.  She and Noam Dar celebrate post match and it is a lot of fun.  Still.  This is strange.  The match wasn’t bad though not very long, and hey – we do always want surprise winners so accept it I must!

Winner: Alicia Fox

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs The Miz

This is a great match with a lot of near falls.  I know some people are sick of these two wrestling each other, but I think it’s always a lot of fun.  Dean even manages to kick out of a skull crushing finale, devastating Miz and his lovely wife Maryse.  At one point Maryse blocks Miz from a top rope assault from Dean, who decides he doesn’t care and jumps anyway – narrowly missing her when she moves out of the way.  After they both re enter the ring, Maryse distracts the referee while Miz goes for a low blow, only to be caught by Dean and kicked in his own family jewels for his trouble.  The referee sees this one though, and disqualifies Dean.  This feud had to continue, so it’s an understandable finish.

Winner: The Miz (by DQ)

When I asked my friend Justin what the point of watching Raw was anymore without BRAUN, he sent me a gif of Alexa Bliss.  And he was right, so I picked myself up and here we are.  Alexa cuts a pretty good promo in the ring about how terrible Newark is and how great she is only to be interrupted by Bayley who says she is invoking her rematch clause against Alexa at Extreme Rules.  Alexa tells Bayley she doesn’t have what it takes to be extreme, and as she criticizes her, Bayley attacks.  Alexa gets the upper hand and takes control – finding a kendo stick and hitting Bayley with it.  She stands tall at the end. Bayley was AWFUL on the mic in this segment.  It’s uncomfortable to listen to her sometimes, and it hurts my love of her character.

Miz confronts Kurt Angle backstage and says he wants a match against Dean Ambrose where the title can change hands via DQ.  Angle agrees but tells Miz to watch his tone, resulting in a French tirade by Maryse.  Angle butchers his response, and she starts again before The Drifter drifts in and the couple leave in disgust.  Angle asks if he can help him, but The Drifter plays on.

Austin Aries & Jack Gallagher vs TJ Perkins & KING Neville

Seems we get a combination of these four every week, and as much as I think all 4 guys are talented – there are others in the division.  The crowd is at about an 11 on the annoying scale chanting whatever they want, including CM Punk and then This Is Boring.  These assholes.  This was a match typical of all 4 guys who are all great, and I do get that we’ve seen them a lot but they are SO talented.  This match was worthy of this Raw, and this crowd is worthy of the dumpster BRAUN threw Kalisto in.  TJ Perkins picks up the win for the team over Gallagher.  Ugh this crowd.

Winners: Neville & TJ Perkins

Backstage Kurt tells Bayley if she wants her rematch at Extreme Rules it’ll still be a fair match, but Bayley says she owes Alexa some pain and she is ready to get EXTREME.  Really pushing EXTREME tonight too.

Goldust and R Truth are backstage, and Goldust is telling Truth that he may have fallen last week, but teams need to build each other up!  They have a match with The Club later.  Goldie is so turning on Truth.

Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor

Right before this match starts they show a video package of Roman putting BRAUN out of action so how the heck are we supposed to cheer the guy now?  This is a good match, Roman really is good as a powerhouse, I just wish I could boo him and know it’s for the right reasons.  AKA he’s recognized as a bad guy!  Roman hits a superman punch and does not get the win! He sells his injury wonderfully and so does Finn as Roman concentrates on his injured back.  Both these injuries prevent the guys from hitting their moves at crucial points of the match.  Finn’s comes at the more inopportune time as his back prevents him from getting to the top rope fast enough for a coup de grace and after Roman puts him on the floor he hits a spear and picks up the win.  Unsurprising, really.  The match was good, but it’s hard for me to see a bandaged up Roman Reigns beating Finn.  I guess if I could see rib taped DDP do it for years, I should just expect it.

Winner: Roman Reigns

It’s time for mumbo jumbo time with Bray Wyatt.  He’s cutting a promo on Brock and says he recognizes him as the Beast he is.  He’s kind of starting to remind of that Gate Keeper from Nightmare.  He didn’t really scare me either, just showed up at inopportune times.

Goldust and R Truth are out to wrestle The Club but it doesn’t happen as my prophecy from earlier comes true and Goldie turns on Truth.  Crowd chants Thank You Goldust because they’re disgusting.  Announcers say they’ve never seen this side of Goldust, but I assure you there are worse sides.  Look up Goldust & Luna Vachon.

Enzo & Cass come out to hype up New Jersey and just generally annoy me I think, and they are quickly interrupted by new favorite pairing Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews.  Titus copies Enzo’s shtick and it is pretty funny.  He talks up Apollo beating up Enzo tonight but he seems to have missed a memo because the match is actually him vs Cass.  He’s in a suit for godssake!

Titus O’Neil vs Big Cass

It’s a squash match basically, and Cass gets the win.  Afterwards Enzo mocks Titus by trying to take a selfie with his fallen body, but Apollo Crews takes exception to that and kicks Enzo in the back of the head.  AWESOME.

Winner: Big Cass

Backstage Evil Neville continues to corrupt TJP over to the dark side.

Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt

The match is fine, but it’s obvious from the beginning that we haven’t seen one man involved in the 5-way at Extreme Rules all night, and he’s definitely gotta show up during this match.  Bray also just bores me at this point, though Seth Rollins deserves all of my attention.  It ends when Samoa Joe does leap from the crowd and attack Rollins on the outside giving him the victory.  There’s a brief alliance between Joe and Bray, but it ends quickly when Bray Sister Abigails Joe, giving him almost nothing to do tonight.  He then does the same to Seth Rollins and reminds us all – Follow the Buzzards.  Yeah, okay, whatever.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  I thought for the most part all of the matches tonight were good, and I didn’t really think any of the segments dragged either.  Unfortunately the crowd was awful.  They had okay moments, but their chanting during the pretty good cruiserweight match, after the Goldust beat down, and their general act of trying to get themselves over got old.  As it always does.  THIS IS NOT YOUR SHOW.  ENJOY IT BY CHEERING AND BOOING WHEN IT IS RIGHT.  Or being quiet.  gosh.  I think you should watch it, but you could probably do so on mute outside the talking segments.  Which you shouldn’t skip.  Alexa was great and I really enjoyed the Titus stuff.  I thought it ended as I expected it to, but still a decent show.  Not as good as a couple of weeks ago.

WATCH THIS MATCH:  The Miz vs Dean Ambrose Shady ending aside, this match was a lot of fun, and I love watching these guys go at it.  I like them feuding.  I know I complain about other people doing the same, but to be honest I miss a lot of Smackdown so maybe I’m just not over it yet.

SKIP THIS MATCH:  Jeff Hardy vs Sheamus I’m sure you’ll see it again.  I would have said Big Cass vs Titus as it was a nothing match, but everything surrounding it is worth a watch so I won’t do that.  You can skip the match I mostly did.

You can catch me on over at hm_pufnstuf on twitter where I am known to talk about wrestling and other assorted ventures, though I assume you’d only come for the wrestling.  Which is fine by me!  Next week I’m getting my wisdom teeth out on Monday so either I’ll not be here, or it’ll be a weird ride throughout.  For now, FOLKS WE ARE OUTTA TIME!

 

 

Tim Watches The Worst Of The WWE Network: WCW Clash of the Champions 12

I returned from vacation and was at a loss. I was in such a good mood that I couldn’t bring myself to watch bad wrestling. I’ve stopped watching Raw. I watch a bit of Smackdown here and there. I watch Progress and Evolve. I have only watched good wrestling for about a month. It’s been great. I’ve also played a ton of Overwatch. However, damn it, I told Justin I would write about awful wrestling, so here we are back in 1990 watching WCW Clash of the Champions 12. The main event is Sting vs. The Black Scorpion, so you know crap is coming!

We are heading to the ring and the first thing we get is the Badstreet USA music video. Well, that’s fucking awful. Seriously, put Badstreet USA into your Google machine and check this damn thing out. So Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin are out in the Confederate flag along with Buddy Roberts. Their opponents are the Southern Boys, who also come out dressed in the Confederate flags. They are accompanied by Bob Armstrong. What the fuck. This is the most hillbilly ass thing ever. Apparently this was meant to be a six man with Roberts on the Freebird team and the Bullet on the team with the Southern Boys. I bet that would have been a hell of a lot better. Jimmy Garvin is one of the best stories in wrestling history. He took a big payoff on a contract and got out with his wife, Precious, and is now a pilot. Great dude according to all stories. Hayes is a bit of a racist according to all stories, so I guess everything evens out. Smothers and Armstrong are a hell of a team.

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Quick Hits: WWE Smackdown Live 5.9.17

-I still can’t believe I have to sit here and try to take Jinder Mahal seriously as a WWE Title contender.

Opening Segment

-Orton is back to not wearing pants. He is officially 0-1 in matches where he wears pants.

-Orton blames Jinder Mahal for his loss to Bray Wyatt at Payback and is immediately interrupted by Mahal and the Singh Brothers.

-Jinder said when he wins the WWE Title, India will build a statue honoring him. Yeah sure thing buddy.

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