Thunder’s Crew: Weekly Rundown 07/06/13

Welcome to the action packed rundown! Team Thunder proudly brings you coverage of Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, NXT, and the WWE B-Shows(Main Event and Smackdown) in this edition! Enjoy!

Ring of Honor TV Analysis 06/29/13 by Mike Lightning

-Open the show with a Video Highlight of Jay Briscoe d. Mark Briscoe at Best in the World 2013 to retain the ROH World Title-

ML: Excellent way to lead into this edition of Road Rage, which is Ring of Honor’s version of giving us a few matches from their latest IPPV for free. I have yet to see this match, but I heard it was pretty brutal and a really solid match. From here, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with The Briscoes and Ring of Honor, considering both Mark and Jay’s contracts are up with the company and there is no sign of whether ROH has reached out with a contract for either man. As of right now, Jay Briscoe remains the ROH World Champion.

-Triple Threat Television Championship Match-
Matt Taven d. Jay Lethal & Jimmy Jacobs of S.C.U.M. to retain the TV Title
~Unlike most triple threat matches, ROH performers tend keep all three participants rather involved at the same time. This match was no different. After the start match was an all out brawl with all three guys outside the ring, the action finally filed back into the ring. Matt Taven and Jay Lethal end up being the two participants initially in the ring until Jacobs joins the party. I have to comment that at this point all three men showed excellent chemistry in the ring together, which lead to excellently paced match with some high spots. Jay Lethal was involved in two wardrobe malfunctions during this match when he accidentally pulled down Matt Taven’s tights and then he removed Scarlett’s, one of Truth Martini’s Hoopla Hotties, top exposing her breasts to the crowd. Truth Martini gets involved and then the second Hoopla Hottie, Saleaza gets involved, where she picks up Jimmy Jacobs, but suffers a superkick from Jay Lethal. Jacobs hits his finisher but Taven pulls him out of the ring and covers Lethal for the win.

ML: I’m still not overly sold on Jimmy Jacobs; I have gone back and watched some his matches, and he has produced some excellent matches. Yet, there are times when it feels like he is going through the motions and his matches are mediocre at best. Matt Taven is talented and definitely has a bright future as long as he continues to work hard and is booked properly. His alliance with Truth Martini and being the TV Champion is a good way to keep involved in the mix. Jay Lethal needs to stop doing the Randy Savage elbow drop. I’m all for honoring the man, but when you execute it as poorly as Lethal does, it’s not needed. I’m hoping Lethal gets another opportunity down the road at the ROH World Title.

-Triple Threat Tag Team Championship Match-
reDRagon(Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) d. C & C Wrestle Factory(Cedrick Alexander & Caprice Coleman) & S.C.U.M(Cliff Compton & Rhett Titus) to retain the Tag Team Titles
~Similar to the start of the Television Title match, this starts off in a brawl. reDRagon take a back seat as Alexander & Coleman go after and attack S.C.U.M. Finally, Fish and O’Reilly get involved forging a brief alliance with Alexander and Coleman, before eventually turning on them. After some fast paced action, Coleman and Alexander hit their double-team finisher “Overtime” but the pin attempt is broken up. O’Reilly gets hit with Alexander’s finisher, but in the chaos that ensued, Bobby Fish entered the ring and caught Alexander in the back of the head with kick. Fish then dragged O’Reilly on top of Alexander for the pin and win to retain the Tag Team Titles.

ML: This match overall was a little short for my liking; I would have liked to see another five or six minutes of action from these guys. Compton and Titus don’t impress me; they never have. And Titus is one guy who has become so irrelevant after joining S.C.U.M. that it’s hard to take him seriously. He received a brief push by ROH after Kenny King hightailed it for TNA, but after his joining of the Steve Corino faction, he’s become obsolete. Cedrick Alexander is beyond impressive and possesses excellent talent. He has no ceiling, as the sky is the limit for him. He just needs to improve his mic skills and start generating some sort of charisma to connect with the fans more. With that said, everything Alexander lacks, Caprice Coleman has. Coleman is the whole package out of that team, the only knock – his age. He’s in the mid-30’s and the window of opportunity could be closing in on him. ROH needs to push him; he’s a rare talent. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly are very similar in their wrestling styles which is fun to watch – in singles competition. As a team, I’m not a huge fan; as individuals, I am a huge fan of both. Hopefully their title reign will end before long so they can get back to singles competition.

-No Disqualification Match-
Matt Hardy d. Kevin Steen
~Prior to the match, Steen cuts a brilliant promo and asks Nigel McGuinness to make his match a No DQ match. Nigel grants his wish. The entire match told an excellent story and showcased some excellent brawling skills from both men. At one point, Steen picks up Hardy and rams him into the ring post between his legs – he looks at the camera and says “there will never be any little Hardys running around. You’re welcome!” Classic Steen and hilarious. Jimmy Jacobs and Cliff Compton interfere on behalf of their S.C.U.M. counterpart, which was to be expected considering it was a No DQ match. Steen fights back and ends up powerbombing Jacobs and Hardy on the apron before Compton regains the upper hand. As Steen was setting Hardy up for the package piledriver, Corino jumps up on the apron distracting Steen. Hardy regains his composure and hits Steen with the “Twist of Fate” – Steen kicks out. After Steen gains control, he attempts an F5 on Hardy, which was horribly botched, I’m not sure by who. Hardy kicks out. Eventually Hardy regains control and hits the “Side Effect” on Steen onto a ladder; yet, Steen kicks out again. Finally, Hardy sets up two chairs and hits Steen with a “Twist of Fate” through two chairs for the victory.

ML: This match showcased an excellent story as it showed Steen’s desire and burning passion to show that he’s not involved with S.C.U.M. and wants to get back in the good graces of the ROH roster and management. And it worked perfectly. The lack of help that came to the ringside to help Steen, but yet his ability to fight back during the match against Jacobs and Compton showed just how hard he was going to work to make that happen. Matt Hardy getting the win is essential to the storyline and a perfect way to make him look like a legitimate threat for the ROH World Title. Problem is: I don’t care. I’ve never liked Hardy despite being the better of the two Hardy’s in the ring. This brawl was impressive by Hardy and Steen, and revealed Steen in his best element.

-Final Thoughts-
ML: Overall the television tapings didn’t add anything new – because it wasn’t a television taping. As far as the three matches they showed us from Best in the World 2013, it looks like the IPPV was pretty good. I have yet to see the card in it’s entirety but I will soon. The match of the night for me was the Television Title match, even with as much as I loved that Steen/Hardy match. I just felt the pace, the overall flow of the triple threat match outweighed the story-telling and brawl of the Hardy/Steen match, but both were very close. The tag team match was too short and my disconnect with reDRagon seems to hurt my ability to get into their tag team matches. I said it before, I’ll say it again, Fish and O’Reilly are better off in singles competition. Good show; looking forward to their future tapings and to see what they can offer.

Jee-S’ NXT REVIEW 07/03/13

Bo Dallas is interviewed by Renee Young. He puts himself over and says his “Bo-lievers” will be by his side. Antonio Cesaro comes and says he’ll take the title away from Bo. Bo insults him and leaves.

Thoughts: Bo-lievers? Seriously? I don’t remember the last time I disliked a wrestler more than I dislike Bo Dallas at the moment. Everything about him just seems off and yes, that includes his in-ring work as well. I’m happy Cesaro is getting a title shot though. There’s a part of me that’s thinking that maybe, just maybe, Cesaro can pull out a good match against Bo but deep down inside, I have a feeling that I’ll end up disappointed.

Paige defeats Alicia Fox with the Paige Turner.

Thoughts: This was a good divas match, and the reason it wasn’t great is because Alicia Fox seemed lost in the direction she wanted the match to take. She isn’t a natural wrestler so it’s understandable that she doesn’t have the same mindset as Paige who’s been wrestling since the age of 13. Paige was fantastic as usual and I applaud Alicia Fox for the effort because the match was not bad at all. I’m happy to see Paige advance even when I know that she has already won the title. Hopefully it won’t take long for her to get called up seeing as she’s turning 21 in August.

Conor O’Brian defeats Andy Baker with a flapjack/leg drop combo. O’Brian now has Rick Victor in replacement of Kenneth Cameron for The Ascension tag team.

Thoughts: This was a boring squash match. I like the potential of The Ascension’s second edition but I’m sick and tired of seeing Conor O’Brian being in squash matches. I understand NXT’s effort to keep him relevant but there are ways to make it more entertaining. I’m excited to see him go back to the tag team division, and Rick Victor deserves this second chance.

Xavier Woods defeats Scott Dawson with Lost in the Woods.

Thoughts: Very good match. These men really brought it and had very good chemistry which made for a really well worked out match. Sylvester Lefort is growing on me as a manager (my mother tongue is French, too) and the whole idea of the Dawson & Dylan tag team is wonderful if you ask me. Xavier Woods is entertaining to watch and could be a solid midcard babyface one day in the WWE. Very entertained by this match.

Mason Ryan defeats Enzo Amore with one punch. He defeats Colin Cassady after with a cobra clutch slam.

Thoughts: Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t Enzo Amore look like a good prospect for the WWE? He definitely has the charisma and he seemed like a good rival for Mason Ryan, at least for now; why don’t they let them put on matches that are longer than, let’s say, 30 seconds? They’re trying to improve Mason Ryan’s in-ring work by giving him squash matches? It makes no sense to me. If Amore doesn’t become a better rival to the Welsh powerhouse, I’m hoping to see Ryan have a legitimate feud and good matches in the near future.

Bo Dallas defeats Antonio Cesaro with the belly to belly suplex. After the match, Leo Kruger comes to the ring; he and Cesaro beat down Dallas until Sami Zayn comes for the save. Zayn can’t stop staring at the title.

Thoughts: And here’s the disappointment. Not for a lack of effort from Cesaro’s part who is, in my opinion, one of the best in-ring workers on the roster, but Bo Dallas just can’t seem to make anything he does interesting. I’m sorry for all of you who read me for being so negative when I get to talk about him;I just can’t stand him. I’m happy my hometown hero Sami Zayn had his word to say in this segment; maybe he’ll be the next NXT Champion? Who knows; all I know is that he deserves it. Scratch that; give Leo Kruger the title and bring up Sami Zayn to the main roster.

Overall, it was an okay show. Everything that concerns Bo Dallas just brought down my mood instantly, but I’m happy I got to see the Dawson/Woods encounter as well as Paige winning a
match that was really worth watching.


Christian defeats Damien Sandow with the Killswitch.

Thoughts: Awesome match! The talent was there, and the chemistry was present; it was just fluid and exciting to watch from start to finish. It just comes to prove how amazing midcard matches can be when they’re given time to be worked. I’m really hoping we see these guys fight over a title sooner rather than later. They are both very valuable assets to the roster as far as talent and charisma go and it was a treat to watch them fight each other.

Jack Swagger defeats Sin Cara with the Patriot Lock.

Thoughts: Not a bad match, but Sin Cara never got enough offense on Swagger to make him seem like a threat. Jack Swagger dominated the whole match and it’s good to see that he didn’t lose his touch since his thumb injury and court appearances. I would’ve liked to see Sin Cara’s athletic abilities displayed a bit more but I can live without them. The purpose of this was to put Swagger over and it was a fine way to do it.

Wyatt Family, Rob Van Dam and Mark Henry video packages are shown. Sweet.

Big E Langston defeats Curt Hawkins with the Big Ending.

Thoughts: Short match to put Big E over. I’ve always been big on Curt Hawkins: I think the guy has everything except the opportunity and I’ve always found that rather disappointing. Big E has big things coming his way in his wrestling career and I believe he will be able to live up the expectations as the next bodybuilder to make it big. Hawkins made Big E look very good here which made for something interesting to watch. AJ was also pretty good on commentary.

Overall, very good episode of Main Event! Solid action and a great effort to keep the midcard talent relevant. Thank you for reading!

Martin Smith’s TNA Impact Review 07/04/13

I promised I wasn’t going to do this.

I said I wouldn’t be starting every weeks review with a Hulk Hogan rant, but I’m going to have to go back on my word. I’m sorry if I let you down(not sorry enough not to proceed with the rant though ;))

When I was a kid, I can remember no other aspiration which burned as bright as the one I had to be exactly like Hulk Hogan in every way. I wanted to be as brave as him, as cool as him, and most importantly I wanted to have the strength to rip my own t-shirt in half and throw it on the ground like discarded chewing gum.

To go from that level of idolization to the heinous things I’d do to this hobbling old parasite masquerading as Hogan these days is quite a drastic fall from grace. I wish with all my heart that a kind wrestling fan at the E! network, or some other place which churns out nonsense reality shows, finds it in their budget to take him and his slack jawed daughter away from Wrestling for good. Maybe a show where they take turns each trying to talk ol Linda out of marrying 19 year olds every week to the backdrop of ominous music and kung-fu montages (that actually sounds pretty cool, but anyway).

Hatred for Hogan aside, we gots a wrasslin show to review!

It began with Austin Aries. He cuts a promo about how he did what he had to do last week, and how he was going to cash in his X Division belt for a shot at the TNA Title at Destination X. His promo was fine. He speaks well and conveys how he feels perfectly. We could have left it there. The announcement for the triple threat match for the X Division belt could have come later in a short backstage segment of some kind, but nah. We needed Hogan. We needed Hogan rambling incoherently about “the city of sin, Las Vegas, being the city of sin, hasn’t seen a sin in the city like the sin you committed brother.” You might think I’m exaggerating, but that was honestly close to the actual words he said. Anyway, he announced the main event was to be Aries vs Sabin vs Manik (TJ Perkins in a slightly modified version of the Suicide suit, with a different name…why i hear you ask? This is TNA. ‘Why’ should not be in your vocabulary. ‘Why’ is where the madness starts).

AJ Styles vs Kazarian

Wrestling eh? Nothing like a wee bit of wrestling to ease your troubled mind after a mind bending promo. This match was a short, but fast paced affair. I dug it. I also dug Kazarian and Daniels being generally hilarious before it kicked off. Why aren’t they allowed to do this every week? Aw naw, there I go with the “Why?” again. Need to nip that in the bud. Anyway, Styles picked up the win via submission with the calf killer, giving him 10 BFG series points.

Next up was Mickie James. If you believe in a higher power, I’d like you to send him my greatest compliments for his part in creating this wonderful specimen. She cuts a magic promo whilst on top of a ladder, encouraging Gail Kim and Taryn to bring it on if they wanted a shot at her belt. The idea of Mickie James vs Gail Kim in a ladder match crosses my mind briefly in a visual, and I’m one happy fella.

Proof if it was required that TNA Gutcheck is a damn(really wanted to utilise the F word there, so so hard) joke. The guy who lost the match last week is told he gets to advance to…something. Because wrestling doesn’t have enough guys who play guitar with their mouths as a ring entrance.

Hernandez vs Jay Bradley

I think we should all get together and challenge ourselves to name as many wrestlers as we possibly can more deserving of national TV time than these two imposters. I honestly think if we all put our heads together we could get up to 200-300k names on a list. This was just awful. Sloppy botchy waste. Professional wrestling cries in its wake. Hernandez wins with a shoulder block, picking up 7 gutcheck points. Hernandez looks like a guy who lifted me by the armpits out of a nightclub once, because I tried to pay for my Jack and Coke with 2 buttons and bottle cap. I dunno why that’s important really; anecdotes are fun.

I liked both Bully Ray promos last week, so to be subjected to this next mess of a segment was a crying shame; an incoherent back and forth between him and Wes Brisco about Brooke. Luke Gallows pipes up and informs everyone how he really wishes he could be back in WWE with the Straight Edge Society again. They all pull a simultaneous frown, and the promo just kind of ends.

James Storm and Gunner vs The Garbage Time Players

Robbie E and Jessie Gee. Gee whiz it’s difficult to comprehend just how little I gave a crap. The match was once again short, but not terrible. A waste of James Storm though. Storm and Gunner win.

A main event mafia promo next. I really really want to like this. Maybe it’s just the respect I have for those involved, but I want them to at least appear like they aren’t wasting their time. They are though; it’s another extremely tired promo. It’s 3AM here in Scotland; I was tired enough watching it, but this almost put me to sleep. Sting and Angle take turns each to say the same thing. Blah blah, we hate aces and eights. Here’s Samoa Joe. Mike Tenay tells us all the fourth member is about to be announced. My tv cuts out at this point and I start to think to myself “maybe there is a god after all”;it comes back on though and the fourth member is revealed to be Magnus.
I liked this; along with Joe, he might make this stable relevant, but isn’t the thing with the MEM that they have to be ex World Champions? Still, in Magnus they probably have a future World Champion, and a performer with endless potential, so I’m ok with this. Compared to what had gone on before, this was a highlight.

Jeff Hardy vs Joseph Park

It looked like a squash early on when Jeff hit the Twist Of Fate, and went up top for the Swanton but Park moved out the way and a wrestling match broke out. With a beginning, middle and end. Crazy right? Park gets the upper hand, but all of a sudden he has an Abyss attack and apparently bites the refs ear off or something. I’m not sure; I looked away for a second and then there was blood on Parks mouth. Jeff wins by DQ

Another horrendously pointless Gutcheck segment. It’s a no. You get two hours per week to display your product on TV, and we wasted 10 minutes of it finding out a guy didn’t get a contract, even though he would have been released from any contract he might have got anyway. Dying inside here. Save me.

Austin Aries vs Manikcide vs Chris Sabin

This was a great match; I’ll say that first and foremost. I try to highlight the positives in amongst the malaise of half told stories and awful writing and this was a positive in terms of Wrestling. Storyline wise though? Suffering dude. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Sabin gets another shot, but what was the point in the whole Aries/Suicide angle? What was the point in teasing us with that excellent angle, only to kill it stone dead a week later? Also, what the hell was the point in the Aces and Eights vs MEM element during this match? There had to be a winner, so why were Aces and Eights involved at all (aw naw, I’ve started with the why’s again) and why did they try to distract TJ Perkins/Manik when he is undoubtedly the weakest of the three wrestlers involved? He’s who they want challenging Bully surely? It was done to set up the excellent one on one exchange which followed between Aries and Sabin, but surely that was achievable without that baffling element. Anyway, Aries vs Sabin was amazing, and made what had gone before worthwhile I suppose. Aries with an absolutely brutal looking Death Valley Driver on the apron, which really should have put out Sabin away. The brainbuster too, but Sabin just kept coming back for more, and regained the title with the Hail Sabin from the top rope.

Overall. A horribly frustrating amount of time wasted and the Aries push being scrapped is a joke, but enough good wrestling and Mickie James to make being awake at 4AM writing this worthwhile. I give it a 5 pumphandle slams out of 10. (3 without the Aries/Sabin exchange though)

WWE Smackdown Analysis 07/05/13 by Joe Thunder

We open Smackdown with a promo by CM Punk. He talks about John Cena and not being like him and then goes on to discuss independence in collusion with the holiday. Punk talks about defying rules and what he’s told to do. Punk says his first goal is to get his hands on Brock Lesnar. He says his second goal is to win Money in the Bank. Alberto Del Rio interrupts him and they bicker. Teddy Long comes out and books them one on one in the main event.

^Strong promo by Punk as usual. I loved when he talked about winning MITB because now we will have some people doubting whether or not Daniel Bryan will be the automatic winner. I love the setup for Punk and Del Rio because it means good wrestling, but didn’t we just see this match?

Paul Heyman approaches CM Punk backstage and tells him his match against ADR tonight makes no sense. Heyman wants to be in Punk’s corner at Money in the Bank but Punk turns him down and asks him as his friend to stay out of it.

^Friends? Enemies? Who cares! They’re both fun when they’re talking and their chemistry is undeniable! I expect someone from Heyman’s camp to stop Punk from winning the briefcase in Philadelphia.

Team Rhodes Scholars take on the Usos. Sandow and Rhodes each cut a promo before the match on winning MITB and they agree that the best man will win. The Usos do a double splash on Sandow for the win. The Shield pop up on the tron after the match and tells the Usos they’ve been very lucky, but their luck will run out this Sunday at MITB.

^Decent tag team match. I didn’t think Cody and Damien would lose here, but the Usos need to be established as a legitimate threat to defeat Rollins and Reigns at the pay per view. The double splash was a nice touch to finishing off the match and it was nice to be treated to these two teams going head to head.

Alicia Fox goes one on one with Kaitlyn. AJ comes out and distracts Kaitlyn enough so that Fox can roll her up for the victory.

^Good back and forth action here. I love a good divas match when it’s given more than two minutes of tv time(this one barely passed the mark). I can’t say enough how happy I am that WWE is treating this feud between AJ and Kaitlyn as something more important than most diva rivalries.

The Bellas stop AJ backstage and tell her the title will be theirs soon. AJ approaches Big E. Langston and she wants to leave to get away from Kaitlin. He says “what about Dolph?” She says they don’t have time to worry about him and leaves.

^I like the way they’re keeping AJ and Dolph separate for the time being; this is a good way to establish Dolph as a strong face character. I expect their breakup to come before Summerslam. Big E. was funny here as well with his reactions to AJ.

Christian and Randy Orton are interviewed by Renee Young about their past history. They cut promos about their past and about their match tonight.

^Christian pointed out that he had defeated Orton. Orton pointed out that he would defeat Christian in one more match. Good humor by Randy. Fun segment from two vets.

A Wyatt Family promo is shown after their debut is hyped for Raw on Monday.

Randy Orton defeats Christian with an RKO in roughly nine and a half minutes of tv time.

^The chemistry between Christian and Randy Orton is practically unmatched(with maybe the exception of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk) within the WWE roster, and the match here was outstanding. I’ve never seen two superstars do more with such a short period of time in a match than this duo. Great stuff! The loss doesn’t hurt Christian any; he’s feuding in the midcard scene. Orton is trying to look like a top contender for winning MITB, but we all know that isn’t going to happen(I might quit watching Raw if another John Cena/Randy Orton feud breaks out).

Paul Heyman talks to Teddy Long in his office backstage. Long tells Heyman he wants him on commentary during the main event. Heyman says he won’t because Punk doesn’t want him out there. Long tells Heyman since he’s in charge and Puk says he doesn’t go out, Teddy says he does.

^Interesting segment between two former WCW managers. Who would’ve thought that 22 years later they’d be interacting on the top wrestling show in the world. If you think Heyman isn’t getting involved in the main event, you’re foolish.

Dolph Ziggler cuts a promo before his match and then defeats Drew McIntyre with a Zig Zag. Ziggler gets away from the ring before the 3MB can attack him. He then jumps back in the ring to and scrambles away from them before they can get to him in true showoff fashion.

^I love the Dolph Ziggler booking right now. Separating him from AJ and making him look like a strong face is the best thing WWE has done with the World Title scene since turning Del Rio face in January(I liked the move, but I see why they pulled back on it. Good guys and bad guys, ya know?). Decent back and forth action with Mr. McIntyre; it’s sad to see how far Drew has fallen from where he once was.

Fandango defeats Justin Gabriel in less than two minutes with a top rope legdrop.

^I’m happy to see Fandango back and dominating with this gimmick, but having him go over a talent like Gabriel in two minutes does nothing but ruin all credibility for the South African high flyer. I’m not impressed with how this one was booked and I would take off a lot of points just for the decision if I was grading the show on a 1-100 scale.

CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio wrestle to a double countout. Punk attacks Del Rio in a rage after Del Rio punches Paul Heyman. Punk delivers a GTS on Del Rio to close the show.

^The finish doesn’t hurt either man, and it shows Punk’s temporary allegiance to Paul Heyman. The match itself was loaded with action and was highly enjoyable. I loved the overall quality of what we saw in the main event. Punk is definitely becoming the hottest thing on WWE tv and continues to earn more and more cheers from even the younger audience. Smart booking, WWE.

Overall, a great show top to bottom. We had a solid amount of wrestling action mixed with a good bit of backstage segments. The writers of this one deserve a big pat on the back.

I want to thank my crew again for their contributions to the rundown each week. If you only read one or two show reviews on here, I’d suggest reading them all for their quality and brilliance with what they’ve shared here. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me!