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2/20 ROH Honor Rising Night 2: Another title change, Bullet Club sendoff, Jay Lethal vs. Tomoaki Honma for the ROH Title, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, and Roderick Strong vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, and Kazuchika Okada

ROH Honor Rising Night 2
Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
Report by Dot Net reader Bryan Houghtling Jr.

The show began at 4:32 AM ET on NJPWWorld.com.

1. Jay White defeated David Finlay super entertaining opener. stream issues missed finish sequence.

2. Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Matt Sydal defeated Gedo and Delirious. Sydal got the pin after Shooting Star Press on Gedo. Good matcLogo_ROH_dn_crop600h.

3. Dalton Castle defeated Frankie Kazarian by pinfall with a face down spinning powerbomb. A fun match with back and forth action and lots of near falls. Even though he lost both times, Kaz looked great this weekend.

4. Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly beat Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson by pinfall with Shibata pinning Gallows after the PK. Wow, awesome match. Fans were loud near the finish like a US or UK crowd it was great. Anderson and Gallows bowed to fans and got emotional in center ring as fans thanked them for everything. Awesome moment, one of those you only get from pro wrestling.

Intermission 5:34 AM ET. The show resumed 5:44 AM ET

5. KUSHIDA and Moose defeated Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI by pinfall after Moose hit BUSHI with a Spear. An OK match that was just kinda there. Fans in Japan seem pretty into Moose though. BUSHI didn’t work Day 1, but I thought KUSHIDA, Moose, and Naito had better performances yesterday.

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, and Roderick Strong defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, and Kazuchika Okada by pinfall with Elgin pinning HASHI after the Bucklebomb to sit-out powerbomb. Bodies where everywhere this was a hell of a six-man tag. Ishii and Strong picked up where they left off yesterday and signs point to a rematch possibly at the ROH 14th Anniversary when NJPW officials and young boys could barely separate them after the match.

7. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks defeated Toru Yano and The Briscoes to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. The Bullet Club members won by pinfall when Omega pinned Yano. More gold for The Bullet Club. Two amazing six-man tags in a row. My pick for match of the night so far.

8. Jay Lethal defeated Tomoaki Honma to retain the ROH Title. Lethal won by pinfall with the Lethal Injection. There was a run-in by Los Ingobernables that ended Honma after the ref went down. A fun match that had the crowd split about 60/40 for Honma. Lethal has been great for over a year now as ROH Champ and it’s been fun to watch. The House of Truth joined Los Ingobernables to end the show.

The show ended at 7:10AM ET.

WWE Hall of Famer’s son a surprising cut by an NFL team

HallofFameWWE_dnJames Laurinaitis was cut by the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL on Friday, according to ProFootballTalk.com. He is the son of Road Warrior Animal (a/k/a Joe Laurinaitis) and the nephew of WWE executive and on-air personality John Laurinaitis.

Powell’s POV: I don’t think it’s time to start questioning whether James is going to make an immediate transition to pro wrestling. At age 29, he’s never missed a game during his NFL career and he finished his run with the Rams as the team’s all-time leading tackler. The move was made for salary cap reasons. James will surely be a coveted free agent and won’t have any trouble finding a new team.

James grew up a WWE fan and was casually courted by by the company in college. He stated in an interview that he hoped his NFL career worked out well enough that he would not need to wrestle. “I know the beating my dad took from it,” James once told The Lantern student paper at Ohio State University. “He had to have nine surgeries. He can’t even lift his right arm above his head anymore.” James later stated in 2011 that he would have considered doing something with WWE had their been a lockout due to an NFL labor dispute, though he stressed that it would have to be basic.

WWE Smackdown rating: Final numbers for the February 18th episode featuring Brock Lesnar

Thursday’s WWE Smackdown scored a 1.76 rating, up from the 1.72 rating the show drew last week. As previously noted, the show averaged 2.458 million viewers, up from last week’s 2.414 million viewers.

lesnar1Powell’s POV: The minimal increase has to be disappointing given that the show featured the first appearance by Brock Lesnar in over a decade and because it was the final broadcast before WWE Fastlane. The February 19, 2015 Smackdown delivered a 1.77 rating with 2.403 million viewers.

The Rock to co-host MTV Awards show

therock1WWE star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and actor/comedian Kevin Hart have been named the co-hosts of the MTV Movie Awards. There ceremony will be taped on April 9 and will air April 10 on MTV at 7:00 p.m. CT, according to EW.com.

Powell’s POV: Johnson and Hart are starring in the film Central Intelligence that will be released on June 17. For those keeping track, the show will air a week after WrestleMania 32, where Johnson has vowed to “electrify” fans with his presence.

WWE Smackdown viewership for the Fastlane go-home show

Logo_SD_dn_crop600Thursday’s WWE Smackdown averaged 2.458 million viewers for USA Network, according to Showbuzzdaily.com. The number was up from the 2.414 million count from last week.

Powell’s POV: WWE hyped Smackdown much more than usual on Raw and it featured Brock Lesnar’s first appearance on the show in 12 years. We hope to have the actual rating and more numbers later today or on Saturday morning.

02/19 Prowrestling.net All Access Daily Podcast with Jason Powell and Jake Barnett on Undertaker at WrestleMania 32, Smackdown, WWE Fastlane

Jason Powell and Jake Barnett host the Prowrestling.net Daily All Access Podcast – Undertaker at WrestleMania 32, WWE Smackdown, WWE Fastlane (33:58)…

Click here for the February 19 Prowrestling.net All Access Daily Podcast.

If you are not a subscriber, click here to become a Dot Net Member.

2/19 New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV – Two title matches

Logo_NewJapan_dnTonight’s New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS television show features the following matches.

-Togi Makabe and Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

-Hiroyoshi Tenzan defends the NWA Championship.

Powell’s POV: NJPW airs at 8:00 p.m. CT and there is also an 12:30 a.m. CT replay. AXS is available on Ch. 340 on DirecTV and Ch. 167 on Dish Network, as well as on some cable systems. Mauro Ranallo and Josh Barnett are on commentary through the end of the month. Jim Ross will make his debut as the play-by-play voice with Barnett as the color commentator on March 4.

Gutteridge’s Ring of Honor TV Hit List: Young Bucks vs ACH and Matt Sydal, Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser vs. Caprice Coleman and Will Ferrara, and the final Round 1 match of the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament

By Darren Gutteridge

ROH TV Hits

The Young Bucks vs. ACH and Matt Sydal: I took it for granted this was going to be a good-to-great spot fest, and it was. The win for ACH and Sydal caught me off guard in the best way. It deepens the already good ROH tag division by making ACH and Sydal players, and makes them a bogey team for the Bucks, whom no other team has been able to beat consistently up to this point. Colour me surprised (and yes that is colour with a “u”, I already have to spell Honor without the “u” so I’m drawing the line at one American-ism per article).

Logo_ROH_dn_crop600Lio Rush vs. Jason Kincaid: Talk about not judging books by their cover! When both guys came out, I didn’t have high hopes for what looked like “Deranged Homeless Guy vs. One Year Rookie.” I was very surprised to see what these two put together. Kincaid had some great unique offence, in particular the diving cutter through the ropes, and Rush look fantastic considering he has only been a pro wrestler since last year. It’s early doors, but the raw talent seems to be there in spades.

Caprice Coleman and Will Ferrara vs. Silas Young and The Beer City Bruiser: This was an odd match. For one, having missed the No-DQ match between the pair, it felt like I hadn’t seen Coleman and Ferrara for months. Plus, they both seemed to be turning heel last time I saw them. And while this match didn’t necessarily clear that up, it was decent, and furthered the storyline between Young and Dalton Castle, which I am all for.

ROH TV Misses

Mark Briscoe vs. Tim Hughes: This was the definition of pointless. The only saving grace for this match was that it somehow wasn’t the biggest waste of time of the night. . .

Adam Page wants to take out B.J. Whitmer: Awful. Straight awful. I know they had hinted at decension between Page and Whitmer, but that feels like it was an age ago. Now all of sudden Page wants to hurt Whitmer? Plus, this segment had no pulse. Whitmer removes all excitement on entry. When Page was given the set-up line to attack Whitmer from behind in a surprise, he chose instead to announce loudly what he is going to do? And the brawl even ended with Whitmer on top! Need I say more about this garbage?

Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts or opinions on this article, share them with me via Twitter.com/TheGutteridge. You can also check out my website, TheGutteridgeLog.co.uk

Jim Ross comments on WWE Fastlane main event, Bret Hart’s health, and the NXT TV main event

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross updated the blog section of JRsbarbq.com. The following items are among the highlights. To order J.R.’s BBQ products, visit WWEShop.com.

Ross on the WWE Fastlane main event: “Are you as curious as I am about what will go down Sunday at WWE Fast Lane between Lesnar-Reigns-Ambrose? Could the eventual winner Sunday still retain the title opportunity at the April 3 Wrestlemania Texas event? Stranger things have happened. I do expect Roman Reigns to be booed which isn’t a bad response unless one is being positioned to be the WWE’s top, fan favorite. I only hope that we see some ‘off speed pitches’ creatively Sunday and that we avoid a Triple Threat Match Main event at WrestleMania Texas.”

imagesPowell’s POV: As much as it seemed as simple as Reigns going over and facing Triple H at WrestleMania, I am not ruling out a surprise finish. Keep in mind that Reigns should still have a storyline rematch clause he could use after dropping the title at the Royal Rumble, so it’s at least possible that he could end up in the WrestleMania main event without actually winning this match.

Ross on the NXT television main event: “Liked the conclusion of the Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn main event on NXT Wednesday night. Enjoyed the show from start to finish and appreciate the broadcasters focusing their audio on what I was seeing on my TV set. Logical, controversy while going off the air isn’t a bad thing. Arguably the best match on WWE TV this week.”

Powell’s POV: I didn’t think the match was as hot as JR did. It was solid, but I wasn’t as blown away as I expected to be considering the talent involved. That said, they may have been saving something for the expected rematch. I really liked the finish of the match and the way it came off on television. The weekly NXT show was a little flat to start the year, but the pace has picked up over the last couple of weeks. I don’t get into lineup spoilers, but I’ll just say that the NXT show may be the highlight of WrestleMania weekend.

Ross on Bret Hart: “Elated to hear that Bret Hart’s cancer surgery that saw his prostrate removed has apparently solved his problem. Having experienced prostrate surgery last summer I can tell you that surgery is significant and takes time to heal but it certainly improves one’s quality of life.”

Powell’s POV: It’s great to hear that things went so well for Hart and that it apparently led to a number of men getting checked according to a news story. Here’s wishing Bret the best in his recovery.

Other topics include a syndicated radio show question, tonight’s Bellator MMA event, Tammy Sytch, and more.

Powell’s WWE Smackdown Hit List: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. The Dudley Boyz, Dolph Ziggler and Lucha Dragons vs. Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto Del Rio

By Jason Powell

WWE Smackdown Hits

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. The Dudley Boyz: They saved the best hype for the Fastlane main event for last. The match was entertaining with Ambrose getting worked over by the Dudleys and continuing to be the guy who takes a beating and keeps coming back for more. I like the way Lesnar appeared just as it seemed Reigns and Ambrose were on the verge of winning. We knew Lesnar would appear, but the timing of his appearance also plays into the idea that he and Heyman are united with the Dudley Boyz. I loved Heyman yelling, “You wanted him, there he is,” to Ambrose regarding Lesnar. I also liked that we got more Lesnar carnage in this segment than I remember from the entire Royal Rumble match. Triple H walking out at the end for the long distance staredown with Lesnar was also a nice final touch.

Logo_SD_dn_crop600Chris Jericho vs. The Miz: A competitive match with Jericho putting Miz over at the end. I didn’t care for seeing AJ Styles have such a competitive match with Miz on Monday, so it was nice to see Jericho have a similar back and forth match. It would be nice if this becomes the norm for Miz, but I still assume he’ll be losing comedically and quickly again in no time. The post match angle with Jericho initially rejecting the rematch only to grant it after Styles roughed him up was well done. I like Jericho telling Styles that he would regret the match. Foreshadowing or just random trash talk?

Sasha Banks vs. Tamina: It’s odd to see Banks and Becky Lynch beating their Fastlane opponents decisively in singles matches heading into Sunday, but I assume this is because they will both end up challenging for the Divas Championship at WrestleMania. Heading into this show, I thought the plan might be to have Brie Bella challenge for the title at WrestleMania with Daniel Bryan in her corner to counter Ric Flair, but this match combined with Sasha and Lynch talking backstage about a WrestleMania moment left me feeling like the they will both be in the WrestleMania title match.

Dean Ambrose, Paul Heyman, and Roman Reigns: A good backstage segment with Reigns telling Ambrose not to play the Dirty Deeds game again, followed by Ambrose being wily enough to fluster Heyman. I love the way Heyman has different reactions to Reigns and Ambrose. He shows respect for Reigns. And while he is usually the most confident character of the room because of his intelligence, he shows fear of the unpredictable Ambrose.

Charlotte vs. Natalya: You’d think the production team would refrain from cranking up the canned heat for Charlotte at the same time they are showing a wide shot of fans sitting quietly in their seats. That aside, this was a fine showcase win for Charlotte heading into her title defense on Sunday. The post-match attack by Brie was a simple and effective final push for their match.

WWE Smackdown Misses

Dolph Ziggler and The Lucha Dragons vs. Sheamus, Rusev, and Alberto Del Rio: The Miss is all about the finish of the match. The ring work was Hit worthy, but I groaned when Ziggler lost because of a quick distraction. It’s not just that the finish is completely overused in pro wrestling these days, it’s that Ziggler finally had some semblance of momentum after beating Owens in a pair of singles matches. Three of the six wrestlers in this match are not even advertised for Fastlane matches. Thus, I don’t understand why they didn’t keep Ziggler’s momentum going by having him beat Rusev or Sheamus. For that matter, they could have just Ziggler out out the finish by by having Sin Cara lose the match for his team. If they wanted to put heat on Owens, then they could have simply had him attack Ziggler after the match.

Goldust and R-Truth: I went to Zoolander 2 and laughed out loud a few times. I mention this to illustrate that I am not some joyless prick who can’t laugh at silly humor. Hell, I love silly humor. I just don’t find any humor in the Goldust and Truth segments. I have zero desire to see Truth finally give in by agreeing to be Goldust’s tag partner. I would love to see Goldust get pissed at Truth and turn heel because I would truly enjoy one more heel run for Goldust. The odds of that happening seem about as slim as there being a Zoolander 3 based on the opening weekend box office numbers.

ROH Final Battle 2015 lineup: The full card for PPV with Lethal vs. Styles for ROH Title

The following matches are advertised for the Ring of Honor Final Battle pay-per-view event that will be held tonight in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena.

-Jay Lethal vs. A.J. Styles for the ROH Title.

-Matt Taven and Michael Bennett (w/Maria) vs. War Machine for the ROH Tag Titles.

-Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Fish for the ROH TV Title.

-Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly.

-Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young (w/The Boys).

-Alex Shelley, ACH, and Matt Sydal vs. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Chris Sabin.

-Michael Elgin vs. Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway).

-The Young Bucks vs. All Night Express vs. The Briscoes to become No. 1 contenders for the ROH Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: ROH is also holding a Cheeseburger vs. Brutal Bob in a match that will air before the show on Youtube. Overall, it’s a strong lineup with the most marketable main event the company has had on pay-per-view main event. Join me for live coverage of the pay-per-view beginning at 8:00 p.m. CT.

12/18 New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS – Tanahashi vs. Okada doubleheader

There are a pair of New Japan Pro Wrestling show on AXS-TV tonight. Both shows features matches involving Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada. The first of the episodes airs at 7:00 p.m. CT, and the second airs at 8:00 p.m. CT.

Powell’s POV: There is also a 12:30 a.m. CT replay of one of the shows. AXS is available on Ch. 340 on DirecTV and Ch. 167 on Dish Network, as well as on some cable systems.

Moore’s WWE Breaking Ground Episode 7 Review: Proving Ground

By John Moore

WWE Breaking Ground
Available for streaming on the WWE Network

The opening video picked up from last week where Carmella was left lying after an accidental stiff kick to her cranium from Eva Marie. Albert said this was Carmella’s first in-match injury and we will now find out how long it takes for her to come back from this injury. God help us, this is a ZZ episode as they showed him wrestling gators. Triple H was also spotlighted in this episode. Cue the opening music…

Carmella was writhing in pain as Colin Cassidy and Robbie Brookside had a concerned look on their faces. The crowd gave her a great reaction to help her from a down moment. She went to the back with an ice pack and was met by Albert. She told him how this was a different type of injury. Albert told Carmella not to be afraid to tell the ref if she can’t continue and that she has a long career after this, so it’d be best to stay safe and smart. Albert said this was a hard moment since it’s how you put food on the table…

Enzo, Cass, Bayley, and Carmella were chillin over grilled food as they tried to shake off the Carmella sad news. Enzo cuts promos in real life too. He did a promo on the children’s bean fart thing. He also did a promo on Colin Cassidy’s piss and wang. Enzo talked about Cass being so tall that the pee wakes Enzo up in the hotel due to the length it has to travel. Shatner let us know that Carmella avoided a concussion but it’d be best to not exacerbate the injury and to have a check-up in the next couple of days.

Albert approached the Performance Center at 6:30 in the morning as Shatner introduced the coaches putting in extra work. They showed Albert (Matt Bloom) and Sara Amato doing intense workouts themselves to keep in top athletic performance. Albert winced in pain a bit due to him pinching his nipple ring during bicep curls. After the coaches worked out, the talent arrived. Albert talked about evaluating the coaches and the talent. He was shown giving rookie Tucker Knight facial grooming tips…

Shatner said ZZ has caught Albert’s attention. ZZ harped about feeling his knee pop. He told Albert he now weights 270 and was proud that he added Broccoli to his Beef. Albert (sarcastically) commended ZZ for discovering vegetables…

John’s Thoughts: Better segment than usual for ZZ, but it’s still a bit tiring and redundant with WWE telling us that “ZZ is lazy”. We get it!

Lovepreet Singh was shown honing in on his in-ring technique in the performance center. Lovepreet loved Robbie Brookside’s knowledge on wrestling as they showed the two going over an over the top rope spot. Lovepreet used some of his Kabaddi technique in the move as Shatner said that one of the toughest things to do is to unlearn old moves of the past. The move he added was a low blow to his opponent. Robbie told Lovepreet to not to react like a fighter to moves. Lovepreet said he wanted to prove that he can do something.

Shatner moved the discussion to Tino Sabatelli. Tino brought up being in the gym every single day working his butt off. They then showed Nooph stretching and William Regal walking in the Center. They showed her and Regal going over “Aliyah” (Nooph Al-Areebi). Nooph wore a middle-eastern headdress as Regal gave her a few tips on putting her character together. She was also in full ring gear as she wanted to show Regal her full entrance. Regal told the camera that the first thing people see is you walk out the curtain, and if you don’t look like you belong, people lose entrance. Regal gave Nooph the technical details as to how cameras shoot entrances.

Regal chuckled a bit at Nooph’s chimes in the intro of her music. Nooph came out very enthuiastic and hopped around a bit. She also rushed to the ring. Regal joked about Nooph’s theme sounding like the intro to a 80s slasher B-flick. Regal told Nooph to imagine a crowd was there and to try to improve…

Shatner moved the show over to talking about how the Women in NXT handle makeup. Bayley and Carmella attended the new WWE “Makeup Class”. Bayley pointed out how cool it was to have this now as it would have helped earlier in her NXT run to improve how she comes off on the camera. The makeup teacher lady talked about how the wear and tear in a match shows up on your face first and the face is the money. Bayley said makeup usually isn’t their thing due to their focus being in the ring, but it helps to have a teacher to help them hold their own without a professional makeup lady around 24/7. Cheesy majestic music played as the women all put on their makeup in stereo. Bayley talked about being a tomboy and not girly. She said that didn’t bug her. Bayley was commended by the makeup teacher on her technique…

William Shatner transitioned the focus to “internal matches” which were NXT shows performed solely for and within the NXT Roster to help out rookies and offer up a place for peer-evaluation and criticism. Lovepreet was getting a chance to compete in a tag match. Lovepreet said this was his longest match here and how this was a fun moment to learn. Apollo Crews looked entertained during Lovepreet’s match and Shatner said this performance has showed that Lovepreet can be coachable and he’s progressing correctly.

The show then moved to Nooph showing off her new character fresh off the William Regal tips. Regal looked on with focus. Nooph made her entrance in rushed fashion. Mojo Rawley finally showed apathy for the first time. Apollo Crews, Nia Jax, and William Regal all gave a simultaneous “what the hell am I looking at?” type of look. Regal said he was completely underwhelmed and said that Nooph failed. She was interviewed in the ring as she was booed by the roster for sucking so bad. The boos continued, and regal was disappointed. Regal said she needs time and has to commit to that time on her part. Nooph went backstage and acknowledge that it was a bad showing.

Tino Sabbatelli was spotlighted in the “main event” of this internal show. Tino showed some athleticism while facing a heavier set guy than him. Tino said it was great to get back in the ring. Tino won the match. Shatner said that as an NFL vet, he usually gives advice to rookies, but in NXT he’s the one receiving the advice as a rookie. Tino was shown getting heel tips from Tye Dillinger, who told him that Tino’s best asset as a heel is having such a ripped body and that’s all he needs to draw heat; to not go too overboard…

Carmella and Colin Cassidy were shown chillin’ at their pad carving pumpkins. William Shatner said this was a fun little distraction to distract away from the stressful health evaluation coming up for Carmella to determine her future coming off this head injury. Carmella showed her frustration of being on the shelf as they were gutting the pumpkin. Carmella said it was cool seeing all the new faces at the PC show. Carmella joked about the pumpkin being hollow like her head…

Bayley was shown hanging out with her boyfriend Aaron Solow as they were cooking turkey bacon. Bayley was reminiscing on her match with Sasha Banks at Brooklyn. Shatner recapped NXT’s biggest event at the Barclays center where Bayley beat Sasha Banks for the Women’s title. Shatner said it was considered one of the greatest women’s matches of all time. Bayley talked about the Steve Austin Show recapping her match and how Austin called Sasha and Bayley stars. Bayley said Sasha and her were two of the biggest fans in the world. Aaron and Bayley were shown enjoying watching the Banks vs. Bayley match from Brooklyn…

Shatner said the match ended with a “curtain call” from the four horsewomen, the four women credited with starting the “Divas Revolution”. The four women all held up the horsemen sign as Corey Graves also credited them with starting the Divas Revolution. Shatner said while Bayley was celebrating on NXT, the other three (Charlotte, Banks, and Becky Lynch) all celebrated their callups to the main roster…

John’s Thoughts: I wonder if that’s the case now with how bad they’ve been booked. We keep hearing Finn Balor essentially begging not to be called up; and it’s strange seeing Eva Freakin’ Marie being booked in a better fashion than any woman on the main roster.

ZZ had a camera in his car as we got to see his story. He was talking about leaving Orlando to move alligators. ZZ said he didn’t want to let go of his alligator past once he started to wrestle people and he signed up to volunteer at a place called “Croc Encounters” at Tampa, FL. ZZ wore his WWE shirt at he met the trainers at the Croc place. They introduced him to a turtle. He moved on to the over ten foot alligator next to move him to a bigger swamp space. Shatner said ZZ has a lot to learn in the ring, but was at home in the swamp…

Carmella was shown getting tested by NXT medical trainer Tara Halaby who was running drills to see if Carmella has gotten over the effects of her injury. Carmella talked about feeling great as Tara led the drills to test Carmella’s motor abilities. Bayley walked alongside the ring to cheer on her BayMella buddy. Tara told Carmella that everything was fine and she was going to approve this to Carmella’s doctors. Tara told Carmella to make sure to tell her and the doctors if anything strange happens health-wise. Triple H’s entrance music was playing loudly in the background for some reason.

Shatner said Carmella’s clearance allows her to compete on the next live event. They then showed the NXT Roster training. You had Bayley doing deadlifts, Asuka doing plyometric weighted squats, Tye Dillinger working on his core and arm strength, and much more…

Bayley met with Sara Amato in the dreaded board room where she was being performance evaluated by the assistant head coach. Sara credited Bayley with being well rounded and having a fan base that “is rivaled by no other superstar”. Bayley loved how widespread her fanbase was from kids to grown men. Sara also said Bayley’s strength was being diplomatic backstage and her next goal should be to take people under her wing to mentor. The show showed Bayley going over dropkicks with some of the newer women on the roster…

Shatner moved the show over to Lovepreet’s apartment where he was hanging out with Robbie Brookside and Gzim Selmani. Shatner brought up how he had a brotherly connection with coach Robbie and were going to bond over a “Traditional Indian Dinner” which consisted of curried meat, rice, and Budweiser. Lovepreet brought up his mother that passed away and his father being so far away at his homeland. Lovepreet said Robbie was more than a coach to him, he was like a brother. Lovepreet said Robbie was the first person who came to his new home to visit and liked Indian food. Robbie and Lovepreet bonded over adjusting spice levels of the dish…

Bayley and Carmella took Tough Enough winner Sara Lee under their wing per the advice of Sara Amato from earlier. Bayley mentioned how she was used to cross state trips having to go between NorCal and SoCal before WWE to wrestle. Bayley told Sara not to listen to EVERYONE or else it’ll be confusing, and just stick to Carmella and her. Bayley connected this to how Paige and Charlotte took mentorship over her during her early days and how it was her most helpful thing in WWE. Carmella told Sara not to be afraid to ask questions while she was eating her Chipotle burrito bowl.

Lovepreet was in another car with Gzim Selmani and Sunny Dhinsa in what looked like the South Asian NXT Rookie car. They talked about how cooking curry in small apartments may cause you to smell like curry afterwards in reference to Lovepreet’s curry meal with Robbie. Lovepreet said he was excited for his first PC matches. Sunny talked about how important these matches were for development. They cut to the Bayley car again. Sara talked about how fast the days seemed. Carmella told Sara to make it fun so the day doesn’t drag…

Shatner talked about Lovepreet impressing the coaches so much, that he earned himself a spot in a 20 man battle royal at a live event. Lovepreet was eliminated early on but he really gained from being in front of a live crowd. Shatner noted how this is the first of many matches to come for lovepreet if he stays the course and it’s a good start.

Carmella was getting ready for her first match back since the injury and was excited to be back. Albert was paying close attention on the monitors as Carmella made her entrance. Carmella said she felt like she didn’t miss a beat and felt fabulous. She worked a 6-woman-tag match and said she felt like she was never out, but was overall so excited to get back to business and do her thing. Carmella, Asuka, and Athena won their match…

Shatner noted how the success of the last successful live show was about as they showed Triple H’s private jet entering the airport. Shatner said something must be up due to Hunter having to be here. Triple H was shown in the car cam with Canyon Ceman. Shatner said Bayley and Sasha Banks have each been contacted to meet with Triple H. He said that the road to WWE has many twists and turns. Bayley said she still gets nervous around Triple H and due to so many good things happen she expects the worse sometimes.

Triple H took them to the stands to talk about their future. Shatner said that this discussion was about to “change the course of WWE forever!”. On the “next time…” clip Razor Ramon Scott Hall was in the Performance Center to coach the rookies a bit. He told them if they act like the man, they will be the man. They also showed that next week was going to focus on Sami Zayn’s rehab from his match against Cena. Tino Sabbatelli was going to face Apollo Crews in his biggest match yet. They also showed Triple H’s groundbreaking conversation where he said Sasha and Bayley were “going to create history together”. (I’m assuming this has something to do with a match named after a Tony Stark mecha-suit).

John’s Thoughts: Tonight’s iteration of Breaking Ground was really heavy in content and I believe the stories came off very well. Bonus points this week for not overdoing the oil pastel video filter. The editing of the show was also very well done and they seem to be getting better each week with the editing of the show. I was actually afraid at the beginning of the show when they teased a ZZ heavy episode, but even the ZZ segments were better than usual.

The Carmella story was not as heart-wrenching as others, but it was still told very well and her enthusiasm towards coming back came off very well in this episode. The Nooph story was a fun one and it was cool seeing someone start off at the beginning only to struggle, so hopefully they learn from their mistakes and can overcome. The camera shots of Nia Jax, Apollo Crews, and William Regal were classic in those segments. I did wish we get more of the personal quirks this week because the Baron Corbin paranormal thing was entertaining last week.

How old is WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin?

Steve Austin is 51 today. He was born on December 18, 1964. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Vince McMahon in 2009.

Powell’s POV: Austin hosts the entertaining Steve Austin Show podcasts (family friendly and unleashed) at WWE.com. He also hosts the Stone Cold Podcast for WWE Network, and continues to host reality television shows and act. He said recently that he is 99 percent sure that he won’t be wrestling at WrestleMania 32 or ever again.

12/18 Dot Net Weekly Audio Show Set List: Reigns wins the WWE Title, Mauro as the new voice of Smackdown, ROH Final Battle preview with notes on how expiring contracts could play a part

The following is the “set list” for the 63-minute Dot Net Weekly audio show that was just posted exclusively for Dot Net Members. This week’s show is hosted by Jason Powell and Will Pruett. You can access this weekly show and all the perks of membership on the ad-free version of the website by signing up via the Dot Net Members’ Signup Page.

-Roman Reigns wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Thoughts on the way WWE got there, how he will do as champion, thoughts on how this affects the futures of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as characters, our thoughts on Reigns’ opponent for WrestleMania 32, and more.

-Mauro Ranallo hired as the new voice of Smackdown, teases show format changes.

-King Barrett out with an injury.

-ROH Final Battle lineup analysis and predictions for tonight’s pay-per-view television event with notes on some expring wrestler contracts and how that could affect this show and the television tapings.

Due to popular request (and because they are huge fans who would have done it even if people weren’t asking for it), Will and Jason are recording a separate audio review of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie that will be available for members this afternoon.

DOT NET DAILY: ROH Final Battle live coverage, Brock Lesnar returning to the ring this weekend, WWE in Inglewood and Winnipeg (correspondents needed), Rob Van Dam, Trish Stratus, Eric Perez

By Jason Powell

-The Ring of Honor Final Battle pay-per-view airs live tonight at 8:00 p.m. CT from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena. The event is headlined by Jay Lethal vs. A.J. Styles for the ROH Title. Join me for live coverage of the event as it airs tonight. Dot Net Members will hear my audio review of the pay-per-view later tonight or on Saturday.

-Brock Lesnar is returning to the ring for WWE on Saturday night in Inglewood, California. See the show listing below for more details.

-Dot Net Members will hear the new Dot Net Weekly audio show hosted by Jason Powell and Will Pruett later today. We will be discussing all the news of the week and previewing the ROH Final Batlte event. Will and I will also be doing a separate non-wrestling podcast for members regarding the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie that we both saw last night (thought I did see it before Will). We are not going to speak a word about the movie beforehand, so listeners will get our unfiltered thoughts. The members are currently listening to the NXT Takeover: London live special audio review that Zack Zimmerman and I recorded after the show on Wednesday. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership today via the Dot Net Members’ Signup Page.

-We are looking for correspondents for the WWE and ROH events listed below. If you are attending a show and want to help, send your report (or basic results) to dotnetjason@gmail.com

-WWE is in Inglewood, California at The Forum on Saturday with the following advertised matches: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio vs. Brock Lesnar for the U.S. Championship, Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Title.

-WWE is in Winnipeg, Manitoba at MTS Centre on Sunday with the following advertised talent: Roman Reigns, Sheamus, Kane, Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, The Dudley Boyz, Charlotte, Tommy Dreamer, Braun Strowman, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan.

-Ring of Honor is taping television on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena with Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole in their first singles match since the Best in the World 2014 event. It should be an interesting show given that a number of talent contracts are expiring, and this is the company’s final event of 2016.

-Rob Van Dam (a/k/a Rob Szatkowski) is 45 today. He was born on December 18, 1970.

-WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus is 40 today. She was born on December 18, 1975.

-Former WWE wrestler Eric Escobar (a/k/a Eric Perez) is 36 today. He was born on December 18, 1979. He continues to wrestle in Puerto Rico.

12/18 WWE Network Schedule: Live stream programming lineup

The following is the schedule for the WWE Network’s live stream for December 18, 2015. All times listed below are ET.

10:00 AM: Raw Flashback (January 22, 1996)

11:00 AM: WWE Breaking Ground replay

12:00 PM: WCW Nitro (January 22, 1996)

1:00 PM: Raw Flashback (January 22, 1996)

2:00 PM: WWE Breaking Ground replay

3:00 PM: WWE Superstars (new)

4:00 PM: WWE Beyond The Ring (Triple H)

6:00 PM: Total Divas (July 21, 2015)

7:00 PM: Total Divas (July 28, 2015)

8:00 PM: WWE Superstars (new)

9:00 PM: WWE Beyond The Ring (Triple H)

11:00 PM: WWE Superstars (new)

12:00 AM: WWE Beyond The Ring (Triple H)

2:00 AM: WWE Superstars replay

3:00 AM: WWE Beyond The Ring (Triple H)

5:00 AM: Total Divas (July 28, 2015)

6:00 AM: WWE Superstars replay

7:00 AM: WWE Beyond The Ring (Triple H)

9:00 AM: WWE Superstars (new)

10:00 AM: WWE Beyond The Ring (Triple H)

WrestleMania weekend’s NXT live special pre-sale information confirmed

The pre-sale password for the NXT live special that will be held on April 1, 2016 in Dallas, Texas is NXTLIVE. The pre-sale starts today morning at 10:00 a.m. CT and runs until 10:00 p.m. CT tonight at Ticketmaster.com. [Thanks to Dot Net reader Matthew Griswold]

Powell’s POV: We had this pre-sale password available on Thursday, but it was not confirmed by WWE at the time. Triple H has officially confirmed it. The general sale will begin on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. CT. Obviously, these tickets won’t last long because it’s WrestleMania weekend, so get them while you can. Tickets start at $20 and go to $100.

12/17 Barnett’s WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review: Ziggler-Owens, Del Rio-Ryback

By Jake Barnett

WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped on Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey

[Q1] A recap of last Monday’s Roman Reigns roller coaster was shown to open the show. It played inspirational music over the final moment of the show and the title celebration. In the arena, we heard Roman Reigns’ music hit and he headed down to the ring through the crowd. Roman said winning the championship on Monday said so good, but doing it on his Daughter’s birthday was complete godsend. He was excited to take it home and show his family what they sacrificed for, but he knew in the back of his head that he wasn’t long for the WWE.

He said he speared Triple H and he Superman punched the Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon, and he knew there would be consequences come Monday. But for now, he would savor the moment, because we did it. Sheamus then interrupted Reigns and congratulated him on being the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He said most people thought he would be angry, but he was happy for him. Sheamus told him to enjoy every moment, because it wouldn’t be long before the title was back around his waist.

Roman said he was ready right now fella, but Sheamus said it wasn’t that simple. Sheamus asked what made him think that he could attack Triple H and Vince McMahon. Sheamus told him that The Authority had launched a formal investigation, and until then, he couldn’t compete or even be in the building. Sheamus then asked Roman to leave the building, and said the Authority had vested power in him to do so. Reigns refused, which then prompted Sheamus to bring out a gaggle of security officers on Reigns.

Reigns manhandled the the lot of them, and then the largest of the guards pleaded with him to leave peacefully. Reigns punched him anyway, and then celebrated to his music, which made no sense in this context. The announce team plugged Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler later on tonight. Alberto Del Rio and Ryback were shown headed towards the ring…[c]

My Take: Roman returns to earth. The crowd was hot for him during his entrance, but the promo still felt like it was overly scripted and Reigns delivered it like a guy who was worried about forgetting his lines. Sheamus was the more dynamic of the two from a personality standpoint, but the crowd didn’t seem all that into The Authority vesting him with any power. I hope they have something better planned for Monday.

[Q2] Alberto Del Rio made his ring entrance, followed by Ryback. A picture in picture promo aired where Ryback said that he was going to make Del Rio sorry for coming back to WWE, and that the League of Nations can eat it.

1. Alberto Del Rio vs. Ryback: They worked some mat wrestling early, and Del Rio gained an advantage with a cheap shot during a ref break. He continued on offense with strikes until Ryback did some no-selling and reversed his fortunes. Ryback placed Del Rio on the top turnbuckle, and Ryback attempted to set up a hold, but Del Rio grabbed an arm and fell backwards for an armbar using the top rope. Ryback escaped, but then got sent flying off the apron and into the barricade by a charging Del Rio…[c]

Ryback escaped a chinlock with a back suplex and started a comeback. Del Rio shoved him as a taunt, but that just made him more angry. He hit a big splash and followed up with a second rope dropkick for a two count.

[Q3] Del Rio ducked a clothesline and hit a beautiful bridging German Suplex that got a near fall. Del Rio fired up for a side kick, but Ryback avoided him and hit a spinebuster and a meathook clothesline. He set up for Shellshock, but the League of Nations ran down and caused a distraction. That allowed Del Rio to apply a Cross Armbreaker, and Ryback was eventually forced to tap out.

Alberto Del Rio defeated Ryback at 12:13.

After the match, Sheamus hit Ryback with a Brogue Kick and Rusev applied The Accolade. The League of Nations gloated as the crowd booed. The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons was plugged for later. Backstage, Summer preened Tyler’s hair while they dissed Titus O’Neill. Goldust snuck up behind them and acted like Goldust. They both freaked out and Summer sprayed hairspray in his face. He coughed and eventually walked away.

My Take: That was a better match than I initially expected. Ryback works a “methodical” pace, so I’m always pleasantly surprised when he picks up the pace a bit, and he did that down the stretch in this match. It wasn’t a blitzkrieg by any stretch, but it was a good pace in comparison to what we saw from he and Rusev on Sunday. Del Rio has yet to connect with me upon his return from Mexico. I’m still waiting on an angle that’s in his wheelhouse, because he hasn’t been near one yet.

Tyler Breeze was in the ring as the show came back. Titus O’Neill made his entrance.

2. Tyler Breeze vs. Titus O’Neill: Titus hit a body slam early on and Tyler demanded the ref keep him away from him as he cowered in the corner. Breeze got double knees up in the corner as Titus charged in, and shortly afterward Goldust walked out and sat in the VIP section and had a drink. Titus took control in the ring with a clothesline and followed up with a big splash in the corner. Breeze tried to go up top, but Titus caught him and threw him.

Goldust grabbed the selfie stick and walked to ringside. Breeze protested and asked Goldust what he was doing. Breeze got turned around into a sit out Powerbomb and Titus made the cover for the win.

Titus O’Neill defeated Tyler Breeze at 3:11.

The announce team plugged the main event between Owens and Ziggler…[c]

My Take: I like the Goldust and Breeze pairing. I could live without Breeze taking so many pins in TV.

[Q4] Footage was shown of the Ziggler vs. Ambrose from Monday. Backstage, Ambrose was interviewed by Renee Young. He said he knew Owens plan was to drive him crazy, but he was committed to being a fighting champion and nothing that Owens does would change that. We then got some still photos from the Wyatt’s and ECW match from TLC, and the video of their match from Monday.

The Wyatt family was shown backstage. Bray Wyatt said it’s extreme to push beyond the limits of ordinary men, but no man can survive a confrontation with fear. They then did a round robin promo around the Wyatt Family where they all tried to outcrazy each other. Strowman said he takes solace in the last breaths of the enemies that expire in his arms. The New Day made their entrance in the arena…[c]

My Take: So, the Wyatt’s and ECW continues, or not? I like Dean Ambrose as a fighting champion. WWE needs to find him challengers that keep him busy though, because he’s too good to be lost in the mid card shuffle.

Xavier Woods said that the Lucha Dragons and Usos rejected their offer of friendship, because they are jealous. He said he can’t blame them because they are pretty fantastic. He also said they are Sultans of Style, and pointed to their unicorn horn.

[Q5] Kofi then got to the point and said he wanted to get back to what they started on Monday, and that was celebrating. Woods then said that he wanted to clear up the fact that when they dance, they dance for themselves, not people who don’t understand the power of positivity. They then started dancing, and the Lucha Dragons eventually interrupted.

3. The Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day: The Dragons jumped out to an early advantage by using double team offense on Xavier Woods. Sin Cara applied a Gory Special and made a tag, and Kalisto hit a dropkick for a two count. The Dragons continued making frequent tags and using double team offense, including a catapult somersault splash, to keep Woods isolated. Big E provided a distraction, and that allowed Woods to knock Kaliso out to ringside…[c]

Kofi controlled Kalisto mid ring and tossed him into the post. Both Kofi and Xavier cycled in and out for stomps in the corner. They then taunted the crowd, and Big E yelled at somebody at ringside because he claimed the trombone was broken. New Day continued to control Kalisto, while Big E taunted and talked trash on the outside. Kalisto eventually hit a crossbody that bought him some time, but Big E pulled Sin Cara off the apron before he could tag out. New Day then danced and celebrated in their corner, but that allowed Sin Cara to take out Kofi and Big E with a dive into both of them, and Kalisto grabbed Xavier off the turnbuckle for a powerbomb and the victory.

The Lucha Dragons defeated The New Day at 14:19.

Backstage, Renee Young asked Dolph Ziggler about his match with Kevin Owens. He rambled quite a bit. He spoke about how important it was to be able to go back to the locker room after a match and dare the locker room to top what he did. He said he takes his hat off to people who make him up his game, but that almost never happens. He then dared Kevin Owens to be better than him in the main event.

Brie Bella made her entrance in the arena…[c]

My Take: The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons feud continues, and I like the idea of building the Dragons up as babyface champions that embarrass New Day for losing focus. The Dragons are talented enough that they could carry the division as babyfaces, but WWE needs more tag teams if they want the division to hold anyone’s interest at this point. Dolph Ziggler’s promo was a bit bizarre for a babyface. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t quite understand why he continually places “stealing the show” above championships on his list of priorities.

Footage as was shown of Charlotte retaining her Divas Championship, and of Becky getting a win over Brie and Foxy on Monday while being unaware of Ric’s interference. Team BAD were at ringside with signs.

4. Becky Lynch vs. Brie Bella: Becky got tossed to ringside early on so Brie could trash talk with Team BAD, who were wearing her gear. Brie applied a chin lock, and then Charlotte made her way down to the ring. Becky went on an offensive streak, but Brie regained control with a drop kick and hit a “Brie Mode” knee for a two count. Becky fired back with a pump handle suplex and got a two count of her own.

Becky shoved Brie into the ropes, and Charlotte grabbed Brie’s legs to trip her. Becky then reluctantly applied the Disarmer and got the win.

Becky Lynch defeated Brie Bella at 2:50.

My Take: More confused character development fo the women. I’m not sure why they can’t help themselves.

[Q7] Backstage, Becky and Charlotte argued. Becky said the reason they won on Monday was because of her Dad, and she chalked it up to Ric being Ric. But tonight, Charlotte interfered. Charlotte insisted that she just wanted her to win. Becky told her that whatever happens, she just wants it to be on her own merits. Charlotte said she just didn’t want her to lose. Becky accused Charlotte of not believing she can win on her own. Charlotte responded and said that she didn’t mean it that way. Becky stormed off and said that’s exactly what she meant.

Backstage, Kevin Owens was interviewed by Jojo. She asked about Dolph Ziggler, but first he talked about Dean Ambrose. He said he was a cockroach that seems to survive anything, but he guaranteed he wouldn’t survive him. He then moved on to Ziggler, and said he gets why Dolph wants to go out and save face for what happened on Monday. Owens said that was unfortunate, because just like he won’t stop until he puts Dena Ambrose is an institution, he won’t stop tonight until he puts Dolph Ziggler in the hospital.

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance in the arena…c[]

My Take: Good promo from Owens. They really need to give him the mic more often, because he is one of their most talented and focused people on the mic. I was glad to see them go backstage with Charlotte and Becky, because the previous segment had mixed signals. Becky stayed the course and refused to accept the compromised win.

Kevin Owens made his entrance in the arena.

[Q8] 5. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler: Owens took control early on with strikes until he telegraphed a back body drop and got kicked in the face. Owens rolled the outside, and Ziggler followed, and eventually Ziggler hit a modified version of the Zig Zag into the barricade…[c]

A DDT delivered by Owens was shown from during the break, and he remained in control with a chin lock in the ring. He then hit a running Senton, and covered for a near fall. He went back to the chin lock, but eventually escaped and countered a back suplex attempt into a roll up for a two count. He then avoided a clothesline and shoved Owens shoulder first into the ring post. Owens answered a 10 count right at the buzzer and walked into a beating from Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler hit big flying forearm and set up for a superkick, but Owens caught him and hit an overhead belly to belly for a near fall. Owens climbed up top, and Ziggler met him there, but Owens slipped out and hit a release German Suplex for a two count. He then hit a cannonball in the corner and taunted the crowd. After several failed attempts at a pop up Powerbomb from Owens, Ziggler hit a superkick and both men were laid out. They brawled to their feet, and Owens dumped Ziggler to the outside after Ziggler tried to rip him off the ropes for a Zig Zag.

Ziggler sold his neck in a pronounced way now, and Owens refused referee orders to stop his assault. Owens then tossed Ziggler over the announce table, and the ref DQed him.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Kevin Owens by DQ.

Ziggler tried to fight back, and Owens tossed him into the ring steps. Owens dumped over the top portion of the steps and set up for a Powerbomb. Ambrose ran down and took it to Owens. He went for dirty deeds, but Owens escaped and headed up the ramp. Officials tried to help Ziggler get to the back but Owens took another cheap shot at him and walked away. Ambrose came to check on Ziggler, but got caught with a Superkick from Dolph for his troubles.

My Take: A fun close to the show. I like the renewed focus on the Intercontinental Championship, and anything they can do to liven up the Ziggler character is a positive development in my book. His babyface run has been a continual disappointment due to him failing to find the right tone on the microphone. Owens was especially great here, and I hope WWE finds a way to pull him out of the mid card for something more important at WrestleMania. He’s got the right mix of physical ability and mic skills to talk himself under the skin of any opponent, with enough crediblity to back it up in the ring. Overall, this was an average edition of Smackdown that was elevated by a better than average main event segment. If you’re going to watch the show, I’d focus on that segment.

Kurt Angle won’t talk with TNA or WWE while focusing on acting career, leaves door open for a TNA return

Kurt Angle spoke with Scott Fishman of Channel Guide and spoke about taking a year away from pro wrestling to focus on his acting career. “I wanted to get away from it a little bit,” Angle said. “I put a lot of time into my pro wrestling career — not just on the road. I was also studying tape and things like that. It was a lot of fun being a part of those great matches. I will take a break. I won’t be talking to TNA or WWE. I’m taking an acting class and signed with an agency. They’ve been getting me movie reads. I’m in a new part of my career, but at the same time I’m not at a point to say I will never wrestle again. I’d be lying if I’d say that.”

Angle praised Dixie Carter and discussed the possibility of returning to TNA. “The door will always be open,” he said. “They proved to me what was more important. For them it was the well-being of their wrestlers — above the tickets they were selling or the ratings they were getting. What happened and occurred, Dixie put people first. She didn’t say, ‘TNA is going to go into turmoil because of this …’ She showed that personable side to her that makes you think that you can connect with this person because they care about me.” Read the full interview at Channelguidemagblog.com.

Powell’s POV: Angle will be working the UK tour for TNA next month, so he hasn’t left the company yet. It’s good to see that Angle is making the transition to life after pro wrestling. At age 47, I’m not sure how many more matches he has left in him given what he’s put his body through physically. Angle also spoke about working with wrestlers such as Nigel McGuinness/Desmond Wolfe and Mr. Anderson, whether it would surprise him to see more TNA wrestlers leave to work for NXT, leaving the company when they are moving to Pop TV, and more.

Gutteridge’s WWE NXT Takeover: London Hit List: In person impressions including Balor-Joe, Bayley-Jax

By Darren Gutteridge

Dot Net Members are listening to the NXT Takeover: London live special audio review that Zack Zimmerman and Jason Powell recorded after the show on Wednesday, and the new Pretentious Wrestling Podcast with Will Pruett and Jake Barnett. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership today via the Dot Net Members’ Signup Page.

WWE NXT Takeover Hits:

Finn Bálor vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Title: As expected, Bálor and Joe put on an excellent main event, with a five-minute home stretch that was simply phenomenal. Though Bálor retaining was my guess, the story of Joe choking out Bálor several times during the build did the job of creating doubt in my mind that Bálor would be leaving with the title, which only improved the match that much more. I was expecting something to happen post match to outline our direction in 2016, but the lack of anything didn’t scupper a thing.

Bayley vs. Nia Jax for the NXT Women’s Title: This match had me sold all through the later stages. I mentioned several times to fellow Dot Net staffer Haydn Gleed, who attended the show with me, that “Bayley’s screwed” (or words to that effect), believing the end was nigh. But she wasn’t, and the pair told a fantastic “plucky and resilient babyface hanging on” story. My opinion may have differed had I watched it on TV, but live this may have been my favourite match of the night.
Asuka vs. Emma: I thought we might be seeing an Asuka squash here. Instead they gave both women time to put on a show, and they both excelled. Asuka is a special presence in an arena, and I’m so hyped for her 2016.

Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady for the NXT Tag Titles: Good Lord was Enzo over. He had arguably the biggest pop of the night. It brought the match up a level, making for a very exciting tag title encounter that may represent the best work both teams have put out so far. Dawson and Dash retaining was ultimately the right long term decision, but the place would have come unglued for an Enzo and Cass title win, which may have been worth the change.

Overall Show: This was the best live show I’ve ever been to, hands down. Even the unaired, taped-for-TV stuff was excellent, and the crowd were super in to everything all night. Takeover: London was a special show, and I’d be amazed if this didn’t become a yearly tradition (if not, something that happens every other year).

WWE NXT Takeover Misses:

Apollo Crews vs. Baron Corbin: The only down point in the entire night. There was just something off here. Corbin’s command of the middle of the match was dull, and the match just never felt like it got out of the lower gears until right at the very end. As good as Crews is, it turns out you may need an elite veteran such as Samoa Joe to get a good match out of Corbin at this point.

Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts or opinions on this article, share them with me via Twitter.com/TheGutteridge. You can also check out my website, TheGutteridgeLog.co.uk

12/16 NXT TV taping spoilers – Zayn, Vaudevillains, Blake & Murphy, Tye Dillinger

Dot Net staffers Darren Gutteridge and Haydn Gleed are at the NXT Takeover: London event and are passing along updates of the matches prior to the live special that are being taped for NXT television. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

1. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan defeated The VaudeVillains, The Hype Bros, and Blake and Murphy. Gable and Jordan won in just under ten minutes in a great four-way match.

2. Elias Samson beat Bull Dempsey. Samson won in three minutes with an elbow drop. After the match, Elias played guitar in the ring. This concluded the pre-show taping.

3. Sami Zayn beat Tye Dillinger. This match was held after the live special. Zayn gave an epic “I’m back” speach.