The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #7

Two companies have pay-per-views in the works, and a third is coming off of one of the four pay-per-views they have for the year. With all of that in the works, we probably should be getting some exciting stories, right? Well, here’s hoping. You’re about to find out, because it’s time for …

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This column is not about the news of professional wrestling in a traditional sense. It is about the stories with which each wrestling company presents to us on our screens. Only companies that air their product on television will be discussed, for the sake of keeping the column relatively brief. Sit back, and enjoy!

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WWE Championship: They established that Ryback’s attack on Kofi Kingston caused injuries, and “exasperated” the injury on his elbow. Immediately after that announcement, Daniel Bryan was storming backstage due to a match result from earlier on RAW. Ryback got in Bryan’s face, which led to a match. Ryback said that the outcome was foregone, because he was the weak link. He would then become the missing link. Following that, Vince McMahon created a match for Curtis Axel against John Cena – no disqualifications.  Kane told Bryan that fighting Ryback was a mistake, especially since Daniel had already competed. Kane said that he has never seen any man with Bryan’s heart, will, or desire, and he’s proven it night after night. Kane said he doesn’t have to prove it, but Bryan told Kane he’s wrong, and further told him to stay away from the ring. That meant that Kane was gone, but he only left after telling Bryan he’d obviously lost his mind. Bryan looked competitive against Ryback, even with Ryback repeatedly over-powering him. Bryan kept looking like he was going to win, even doing a diving head butt across the ring and getting the No Lock out of a power bomb attempt. Eventually, Ryback blocked a suicide dive attempt from Bryan, and then planted Bryan through a table. He looked to do the same thing to Bryan as he did to Kofi, but Cena came out to make the save. Ryback and Cena had a face-off, but Curtis Axel came out for his match. Axel immediately took advantage of the no disqualification stipulations, and as count-outs could still happen, the match kept coming back to the ring. He really looked like he could hand Cena a loss at some points. Eventually, Ryback cost Cena the match by slamming Cena through a table outside the ring. Ryback was in the final shot as RAW closed. On SmackDown, Ryback and Kane had a face-off, eventually leading Kane to recall some of his more sordid moments, before telling Ryback that his “rules” didn’t apply to the Big Red Monster. The two had a match that was a battle of monsters, right up until the match went to the outside, and Ryback retrieved yet another table. Kane wind up setting up the table, but ate a power bomb through the table. Ryback used an ambulance to come to the ring throughout the week.
My Thoughts: Limiting the amount of verbal interactions between the two men is definitely the right call here. I also agree with the way that they’re building Ryback. A man who dispatches people by smashing them through tables just to prove the point that, even if Cena wins the lumberjack match, the three stages of Hell is still going all three rounds, is actually a veritable challenger. Before, he was just a man who didn’t quite have the right motives. Now, he’s out to cause chaos and destruction. However, the writers really need to work on their vocabulary. All these years since Taz went to TNA, and Michael Cole is still using “exasperate” when he means “exacerbate”. Also, I have never heard somebody threaten to beat somebody in to a previous stage of evolution, but I’m not quite sure that that’s why Ryback meant. The fact that Creative felt the need to include Team Hell No does imply that even they believe Cena versus Ryback isn’t interesting enough on its own, though, so maybe I’m being a little nitpicky about details when there’s a far larger item at issue.

World Heavyweight Championship: Big E Langston once again took on Alberto Del Rio in singles competition. The match itself had very little that was new to it, with Langston being more physically powerful while Del Rio was more agile and athletic. They repeated the spot where Langston fought out of the cross arm breaker, but Del Rio held on for the Backlund seated arm bar over the top rope. Del Rio eventually turned the cross arm breaker in to a roll-up, which made Langston incredulous. In a change of pace, on SmackDown, Alberto Del Rio took on Heath Slater, who came out with his fellow 3MB members. They immediately attacked Del Rio before the match started, but Del Rio managed to fight off McIntyre and Mahal by dodging a big boot. Del Rio made Slater tap, but the match never really started, so there was still a brawl. Ricardo actually hit a top rope suicide dive on to Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal, with Del Rio finding himself pleasantly surprised. Dolph Ziggler suddenly appeared on the screen via satellite. Ziggler said that he was medically cleared to compete, and that he’d be showing off in front of Del Rio’s face, on RAW.
My Thoughts: Finally, we stopped seeing Alberto take on Big E. Sure, the match didn’t actually happen, and it just continued to prove that for all their bluster, when you take three ineffective wrestlers and put them in a group, all you get is an ineffective group of wrestlers. It’s good to know that Dolph is going to be back in time for Payback. Hopefully whoever he’s wrestling on RAW doesn’t give him another concussion. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much I would miss Ziggler until he was gone. Jack Swagger is lucky he still has a job, really. But still, the rivalry about the title finally has the actual champion instead of a stand-in, so things can only (hopefully) get better.

The Shield vs Randy Orton & Team Hell No (US Championship/Tag Team Championships): The opening contest of RAW stemmed directly from SmackDown, with Orton teaming with Kane and Daniel Bryan. Bryan was allowed to display a huge inner fire, constantly trying to prove he isn’t the weak link on his team. Ironically, both Kane and Bryan took some heavy offense from The Shield, while Bryan seemed to never be on the defensive. However, The Shield wound up stealing the victory due to mis-communication between Orton and Bryan, that led to Bryan eating the pin. Orton and Bryan got in a shouting match, and Bryan goes off believing that he thinks that Orton’s non-apology means they’re blaming Bryan. Kane tried to correct Daniel’s perceptions, and Orton joined him, but Bryan said he needed a way to earn their respect. The column already detailed the rest of what happened with this on RAW. On SmackDown, MizTV opened the show with Orton, Kane, and Bryan. Miz started the show, but Bryan wanted to clear the air a bit, so he apologized to both Orton and Kane. Miz stirred the pot a little bit, allowing them to air their differences. Kane told Bryan that everybody respects him, but Orton’s presence kept coming between them. Daniel and Kane had a falling out in the ring, meaning Kane left MizTV. Miz even clarified that they may have witnessed the breakup of Team Hell No on MizTV. Teddy Long decided to pair Bryan with Randy Orton in a match against Rollins and Reigns. Orton tried to talk to Bryan civilly, but they established that Bryan and Orton were only partners because they had to be. Rollins and Reigns noticeably came out without Dean Ambrose. Bryan and Orton actually wound up working well, and Bryan actually managed to get out of a miscommunication with Orton, putting Rollins in to the No Lock. Dean Ambrose intervened so that The Shield would not lose via submission, but Bryan managed to fight off Ambrose and Rollins. However, before he got the chance to celebrate, Orton gave him an RKO.
My Thoughts: Okay, just how convoluted can you possibly make this? Is Team Hell No really broken up, or are they going to realize that they really do need each other and be totally cool? Clearly Orton or Daniel Bryan is turning heel, but which one is it? More to the point, if this winds up becoming a rivalry between Bryan and Orton, the sudden build of Usos from out of nowhere makes a lot more sense. That leaves Kane with little to do, but this has a lot of directions. The saddest part of all of this is that the Tag Team and United States champions have, yet again, become a side note.

Intercontinental Championship: Fandango took on Khali in a match, in which Fandango bailed after taking some huge shots from Khali. Miz came out to try and stop him from retreating. However, Wade Barrett ambushed him with the Bull Hammer Elbow, allowing Fandango to retreat. That led immediately in to a match between Miz and Barrett. Just as Barrett got a huge advantage over Miz, Fandango came back out and began dancing, which allowed Miz to ambush Barrett with a Figure Four to get the submission. Fandango and Summer Rae looked on and both Miz and Barrett glared at him. Meanwhile, on SmackDown, Fandango took on Zack Ryder with The Miz on commentary. With SmackDown being filmed in Long Island, Ryder was allowed to get in quite a bit of offense to pop the crowd. Fandango took control after countering a Rough Ryder with a power bomb, and then won with the top rope leg drop. The announcers established that Fandango, Miz, and Barrett would be in a match for the belt at Payback, and Miz built it slightly.
My Thoughts: This is how you effectively build a three-way rivalry. Everybody dislikes one another, and there happens to be a title involved. Similar to the whole plot with The Shield, it feels like the actual person with a title is auxiliary to the true match, but that’s mostly because Miz and Fandango are basically larger than life. Meanwhile, Barrett is the quiet fighter. The Barrett Barrage is still not quite as awesome as Fandango-ing, or even the Miz-fits, but it’s there. More to the point, they established a match well enough in advance, and it makes logical sense.

Chris Jericho vs CM Punk: They had a contract signing scheduled for RAW. Jerry Lawler moderated the whole thing. Jericho came out first, wearing the requisite sparkling jacket, but dressed more like the indie rock star that he is outside of that. However, instead of Punk coming out, Paul Heyman came out to represent Punk. The two actually sat civilly across from one another. Although Heyman tried to build up CM Punk’s accolades, Jericho interrupted him and stated Punk’s accolades back, before getting Heyman to sign the contract. Heyman asked Jericho if he really wanted to sign the contract, since the match is taking place in Chicago, the town where CM Punk could do no wrong. After teasing a few possibilities – SummerSlam, MSG, Hartford (where RAW happened) – Jericho signed the contract because Punk is a jackass and he expects fans to recognize that. He then said that he just needed to file the contract somewhere. Eventually, he settled on filing it in Heyman’s pants, right behind his belt buckle with about half of it sticking out of Heyman’s waist band, then said, “See you in Chicago,” and walked off smugly. On SmackDown, Curtis Axel took on Chris Jericho, with Heyman singing Axel’s praises before the match. However, Jericho took Axel to task, and even though the match was quite lengthy, it was basically an extended squash. However, CM Punk’s music played, distracting Jericho, which allowed Axel to steal the roll-up victory. Heyman and Axel smugly celebrated. It became too much for Jericho, as he bum-rushed Axel, eventually hitting Curtis with a Code Breaker before standing tall and indicating exactly to whom Jericho was sending a message.
My Thoughts: Curtis Axel as the new proxy to bigger rivalries works well enough for me, especially now that he has gotten his first in-ring victory. True, it was one Paul Heyman Guy taking advantage of the fact that his manager represents somebody with which his opponent has a rivalry, but it’s still a victory via pin fall instead of count-out. As for the actual rivalry that Jericho is basically handling himself – Paul Heyman is really a side character compared to Y2J – it really makes me want to see CM Punk more and more each week.

Triple H Is Too Injured: Stephanie McMahon kicked off RAW, pandered to the crowd, and got down to business. Eventually, she stated that an announced match between Triple H and Curtis Axel would not happen, and justified the decision as being about Triple H’s well-being. That brought out Vince McMahon, who eventually asked the crowd not to boo Stephanie, leading to crowd boos. Vince began to give the same justifications as Stephanie gave. Vince stated that the WWE was family entertainment, not a blood sport. He called the crowd out on their blood thirsty nature, eventually stating that Curtis Axel and the fans were beneath Triple H. The Shield abruptly interrupted them, but that led to nothing. However, Triple H showed up with a suitcase, went to Vince’s office, and said he was going to wrestle. Vince tried to talk him out of it, but failed, and walked away after a word of warning. Triple H left the arena, fuming, because he wasn’t about to attack his kids’ grandfather. Stephanie tried to cool him down, but he slammed the car door and drove off.
My Thoughts: This was probably the biggest waste of time on the screen, if only because they showed it TWO MORE TIMES on RAW, and again on Main Event, and YET AGAIN on SmackDown. That is a lot of time to spend on letting us know that we weren’t getting an advertised match. More than that, the last time Triple H competed, it was against medical advice. This time, he’s medically cleared, but it’s still not cool? What was the point of Triple H obtaining medical clearance in the first place? This story feels like it’s going nowhere.

Rhodes Scholars vs Sheamus: Due to Sheamus’ rivalry with Sandow, Cody Rhodes was tossed in to the mix on RAW at this point. Sandow accompanied him down to the ring, and then went to the announce desk. He actually had a book he was reading with him, partly because JBL’s wife happened to be the author. Throughout the match, Sandow pointed out just how brutish Sheamus’ offense was compared to Cody’s more technical approach. However, Cody ate the loss, much to Sandow’s disgust. Sheamus asked Sandow for a hand shake, Sandow repeatedly refused it, and Sheamus hit Sandow with a sucker punch. On Main Event, Sheamus and Cesaro actually had a similar, albeit longer, match, with Cesaro taking the place of Cody Rhodes. Sheamus eventually won with a Brogue Kick. On SmackDown, Sandow said that Sheamus was not his intellectual equal, and in fact nobody was. He even insulted Nassau Community College, and said that the fans were “a bunch of checker minds living in a chess world.” He then brought out a super-computer, Deep Blue, famous for defeating Kasparov in a chess match. Sandow  said he would defeat the computer. Just as the chess match got started, Sheamus came out, saying this was the most impressive challenge yet. Sheamus said he could beat the computer in one move, and Sandow told Sheamus not to embarrass himself, but Sheamus went for it anyway. Sandow kept insulting him as Sheamus looked at the board. Eventually, Sheamus just hit the screen with a Brogue Kick. Sandow, totally pissed that Sheamus would destroy an incredible machine, assaulted Sheamus and repeatedly smacked him in to the table that was supporting the computer screen. After finishing the beat-down, he yelled, “You’re welcome!” at Sheamus.
My Thoughts: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually was cheering inside when Sandow snapped and attacked Sheamus. I know that I’m supposed to cheer the guy that isn’t insulting the fans, but at some point, Sheamus really just deserved to get a beat-down. He’s been a right git whose behavior basically justifies every last assessment of him that Sandow has made. I actually want to see Sandow eventually win this rivalry, with or without Cody’s help, to see Sheamus’ grin slapped off.

The Divas: On RAW, the Bellas and AJ Lee took on the Funkadactyls and Kaitlyn in a three-on-three match. The contest actually saw AJ and Kaitlyn almost exclusively compete against each other, leaving the Funkadactyls to handle the Bellas. However, after seeing Kaitlyn practically dismantle the Bellas, AJ Lee begged off, causing one of the Bellas to eat a spear. AJ then looked on at Kaitlyn as she raised up the Divas title, then walked off, a dark expression on her face. On SmackDown, Natalya ran in to Kaitlyn, because Kaitlyn was going to meet her secret admirer. Natalya said it was a little big, but Kaitlyn was wondering why she couldn’t be happy for him. Natalya tried to be realistic, but Kaitlyn brushed her concerns away, including a slight dig.
My Thoughts: Okay, so is the main story for Kaitlyn her secret admirer or her rivalry with AJ? Why do I get the feeling that the whole thing was just AJ messing with Kaitlyn? If this winds up being a huge plot that Miss Lee concocted to let Kaitlyn know that nobody could ever love her and all her quirks, that’s really going to be all kinds of weird. Then again, it would be a logical twist. The only other way I can see this going is if it winds up being Ricardo.

Other Stuff: The Wyatt family had a video that aired on RAW and SmackDown, and it was just as unsettling as the previous video. Have you seen the WWE App? How about Twitter? Facebook? Well, WWE is on all of them, and you should be using them, because the WWE says that you need to do so. The Usos defeated the Prime Time Players in an average-length tag match, where the Usos had some new face paint added to their look. The Usos also won against Team Rhodes Scholars on Main Event in a highly athletic contest. The final match on Main Event had Curt Hawkins debut a biker image against Justin Gabriel, but Hawkins lost. Hollywood Undead’s “Another Way Out” is the theme for Payback.
My Thoughts: The Wyatts are really starting to make me wish I watched NXT. The constant mention of the WWE App still bothers the heck out of me. If the WWE is trying to build up the Usos as a credible team, it’s working so far. And Curt Hawkins dressing like he’s part of a biker gang, and then getting jobbed, must be the writers’ idea of ribbing TNA, especially with the vest he was wearing and the decoration on his tights.

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TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bully Ray opened the show on his own, coming out through the crowd and stopping at the announcers’ desk. He introduced himself to the crowd, and then talked about how, between Slammiversary last year and Slammiversary this year, Sting has really never been able to handle Aces and Eights, and may even retire because of the loss. Bully Ray demanded to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame, which brought out Hulk Hogan. Although Hogan gave Bully credit, he did clarify that Bully thought there was no competition, and begged to differ. After building up the Bound for Glory series, Hogan made a match for the evening between Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy. Bully tried to talk his way out of it, but Hogan said that the match wasn’t for the title. He then made it a ladder match for old times’ sake, albeit that a hammer would be what is suspended above the ring, and the match would be under the “on a pole” rules instead of typical ladder match rules. Hardy gave a quick interview about his match, saying that he and the creatures would be incredibly satisfied. Meanwhile, Bully and Anderson talked about the match, with Anderson being the new VP of the Dead Man’s Hand. During a Knockouts bit, Taryn Terrell asked Brooke Hogan if she was still in love with Bully Ray, and Brooke brushed it off. During the ladder match, Jeff really took it to Bully with the ladder, even drop kicking the top of the ladder directly in to Bully’s crotch. However, Bully eventually got the hammer, but Hardy managed to take it. Bully begged off and ran away, and since the winner was whoever hit the other with the hammer first, the match had no ending. Backstage, Hogan tried to hit Bully with a hammer, but Brooke Hogan stopped him.
My Thoughts: This was decidedly a lot of convoluted story-telling, even though it came down to, “Hey, Bully, we’re giving Jeff Hardy a chance to get revenge on free TV! Oh, by the way, Brooke still loves you, which is all kinds of dysfunctional!” The most interesting part was that Anderson basically said he deserved to be the VP, and then apparently made the call to not send out the troops. Then again, considering that Knux and Devon were doing other things, and Bischoff, Brisco, and D.O.C. were probably still smarting from their match at Slammiversary, there weren’t exactly any troops to rally. The fallout from this is probably going to be more interesting than what actually happened this week, but it was interesting enough.

Tag Team Championships/X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin teamed up with James Storm and Gunner to take on Kenny King and Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. The six had a brief match that showcased each competitor, but eventually, Chris Sabin was the showcase performer. After catching Austin Aries with an enzugiri, he hit Kenny King with All Hail Sabin and got the win. They showed a few shots of the losers, looking dejected, but it was mostly the champions celebrating by raising their title belts high for the fans.
My Thoughts: Sometimes, the best rivalries in wrestling stem from a desire to be the best, and the proof in being the best is in winning matches in the ring. The champions getting the victory does cement that the title wins weren’t just flukes. That, and it lets the rivalry between King and Sabin continue without the need to incorporate a third competitor. I’m just curious if that means that none of the six men are getting a chance at the Bound For Glory series.

Television Championship: Devon came out to the ring and called out Abyss to return the Television title that Devon said Abyss stole. Instead, he got Joseph Park, who verbally dressed down Devon and said he was done being bullied. He then gave Devon a double-leg take-down and started laying in the punches. Some sloppy offense – but with a lot of weight behind it – followed, but Devon recouped quickly and gave Park a beat-down. Abyss’ music played just before Park ate a chair, but Abyss didn’t show, leading Devon to come find Abyss in the back. Park, meanwhile, was bleeding from the mouth, and started going a little crazy. Devon had Knux join him in the search. They thought that they’d found Abyss, as they went through the one door through which they were not supposed to go. It turned out Abyss was there, as he ambushed Knux, tossed the TV championship at Devon, and beat down Devon. He then walked off with the title.
My Thoughts: Well, the implication that Devon making Joseph Park bleed unleashed the Monster Abyss is getting somewhat old. They really just need to have the reveal happen, one way or another. The idea that somebody’s music playing must mean that they are in the arena has got to be one of the most stupid conclusions to which Devon and Knux could have come. Of course, the more pressing point of interest is the question of whether or not Devon actually is the Television champion, or if he’s just reneging on the title challenge because he lost. One does have to wonder.

Quentin “Rampage” Jackson: They continually built up how huge of a signing for TNA the MMA star is. They mentioned it roughly every sixth season. He ran in to a few people welcoming him in to the company, including Tag Team champions James Storm and Gunner. Jeremy Borash gave an in-ring announcement that built the man heavily. Jackson said that being in wrestling, taking people down with big slams, was different from MMA, and knocking people out. But he said that to be the best, he knew he had to beat the best. That brought out Kurt Angle, who said that Jackson was staring right at the best. He then said that Jackson was the best in the cage, but the ring was Angle’s world. When Jackson was ready, he would have to go through Angle. And that is real, it’s damn real. The two shared a hand shake, but it was anything but friendly.
My Thoughts: So are we going to get a rivalry between these two soon or not? Honestly, Jackson wasn’t all that impressive on the mic, so pairing him with somebody who is incredibly popular, and is a great all-round performer, is the right call here. The real issue is that Angle told Jackson that the rivalry would happen when Rampage is ready, which could be never, if the Bobby Lashley signing is any indication of what happens with guys who have gone to MMA and come to wrestling.

Bound For Glory Series: Hulk Hogan announced the official Bound For Glory series selection show. Apparently six competitors in the tournament are to be decided. Immediately after a promo video for the series, Chavo and Hernandez talked backstage about being added to the tournament in a qualifier match. Hernandez offered a handshake, thanking him for his tutelage, but Chavo said he didn’t teach Hernandez everything. The two shared a fist-bump before they started wrestling, had a straight-laced lucha-style wrestling match in which Hernandez won with a stack-up pin, and shook hands after the match, although Chavo was definitely disappointed in the loss. Later on, Robbie E talked about how he was the biggest thing in the Bound for Glory series the previous year (not true), and how his opponent in the qualifier was going down. However, Samoa Joe came out and basically destroyed him to get in to the tournament following a rear naked choke.
My Thoughts: If there are twelve potential entrants next week, the tournament is going to have only nine entrants. The BFG series usually has an even number of competitors, so the tenth entrant is probably going to be the Aces and Eights entrant that Bully mentioned. The fact that Chavo and Hernandez can remain civil even though one man won the possibility of a title shot by defeating the other is a nice way to leave the door open for the two teaming together in the future. As for Robbie E getting the loss, I really have to wonder who they’re going to use as the perennial jobber for the tournament.

The Knockouts: Mickie James talked to Velvet backstage and had an Impact Wrestling Georgia lottery ticket for Sky. Mickie said that her actions last week were due to her feeling like she was watching a movie, and apologized, because she would have saved Velvet from Gail Kim, but Taryn did it first. Velvet tried to challenge Mickie to a title rematch, but Mickie was already booked in a match. Elsewhere, Brooke Hogan was very complimentary of Taryn Terrell, and her match with Gail Kim. Taeler Hendrix took on Mickie James, but James used some underhanded tactics to get the victory.
My Thoughts: This slow burn heel turn is really becoming annoying. It’s clear that Mickie is basically a villain, so this two-faced bit is really getting annoying. If she’s going to wrestle dirty and talk her way out of actually defending her title, she might as well go whole hog with it. However, it seems like what they’re really going to be doing is giving Taryn Terrell a title match. As a side note, it seems that we’re getting a GutCheck winner a week, so the contest does seem to have had a point.

Other Stuff: Neither Sting nor AJ Styles made an appearance on the show. This is ostensibly because of the losses they suffered.

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NOTE: This episode, according to the web site, aired on June First, but was not available at the time of writing the previous column.

ROH World Championship: Mark Briscoe talked about how he was going to win the title off his brother. However, that was apparently secondary to the Briscoes taking on the American Wolves in tag team action. The American Wolves also had an interview about their match with the Briscoes, saying they were coming for the Briscoes. On the other hand, the Briscoes did talk about how they went off at one another repeatedly outside of the ring, with Mark mentioning that Jay is a sadistic bastard obsessed with humiliating him. Meanwhile, Jay called Mark completely simple, who needed a few good shots to set him straight.
My Thoughts: Having a tag team match almost over-shadow the main title belt match is a little confusing, but not exactly the worst choice ever. We already know that we’ve got two brothers going at one another, so there really isn’t much more that you need to establish.

Tag Team Championships: The teams of “Barrister” RD Evans & “God’s Gift” QT Marshall, ACH & Tadarius Thomas, and the C&C Wrestle Factory (Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman) went against each other to determine who would challenge for the title at Best in the World. Tag Team champion team reDDragon was not present to watch, but Steve Corino was having a conniption fit about the fact that nobody was representing SCUM in the match. All three teams managed to look impressive in the match, mostly because there didn’t seem to be any major dominance right until the end. C&C Wrestle Factory took the victory by getting the pin over ACH & Tadarius Thomas, leaving Evans and Marshall the ability to complain, which they did later in the show.
My Thoughts: Considering how well that C&C Wrestle Factory did in the Tag Team Spotlight match at Border Wars, the contest between them and reDDragon at Best in the World should be highly entertaining. While I really wonder why they made ACH and T-Double eat the loss, since Evans and Marshall seemed superfluous later on, I don’t know that there would have been a better way to go.

Television Championship: Jay Lethal, Mike Bennett, and BJ Whitmer fought in a triple threat contest to determine the number one contender. Maria Kenellis came out with Mike Bennett and jumped on the commentary booth. BJ Whitmer seemed to be the one man set to win everything, dominating both men, but Bennett kept coming back from Whitmer’s attempts to win, and Lethal managed to keep above the fray. Eventually, Mike Bennett wound up costing himself the match by bailing from the ring, leaving Lethal to hit Whitmer with the Lethal injection and win. Instead of attacking Lethal, Bennett attacked Whitmer for losing the match. Maria tried to stir the pot even further.
My Thoughts: So that was a convoluted mess, as far as the story goes. Maria really didn’t seem to add much to the match, I couldn’t quite tell who was really supposed to be the guy that looked like gang busters, and Lethal almost looked like he won by sheer dumb luck. On the other hand, we might get a match between Whitmer and Bennett, so it makes sense.

Paul London’s Situation: They replayed the botched double stomp in the Richards/London match at Border Wars, explaining why London did not appear in an announced match, albeit it also showed the aftermath for it, including the exchange of words. On the actual show, Michael Elgin came out, and then Paul London joined them. Nigel McGuinness was in the ring with both men. Nigel was complimentary of London, even telling London that he still could go, even though he wasn’t medically cleared. Nigel told Paul that he wanted London to get healthy and ready to go, because Elgin and London would happen. Before London could say anything, RD Evans and QT Marshall interrupted them. RD Evans complained about the tag title situation, then told London he was done, which got Evans KTFO. Marshall bailed, but Tommaso Ciampa made a return, and took out Marshall and Evans. He had a face-down with Elgin, and walked off.
My Thoughts: Well, that was somewhat convoluted. It’s good to know that London isn’t stuck in a hospital bed somewhere, but concussions are all kinds of suck for a wrestler. That was also a really over-blown way to bring a guy back after a nine-month absence. On the other hand, as Ciampa and Elgin are absolute beasts, that should be a good contest.

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WWE Payback WWE Championship – Three Stages of Hell: John Cena {C} vs Ryback
Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett {C} vs The Miz vs Fandango
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho

ROH Best in the World ROH World Championship: Jay Briscoe {C} vs Mark Briscoe
ROH Tag Team Championships: reDDragon {C} vs C&C Wrestle Factory
ROH TV Championship: Matt Taven {C} vs Jay Lethal

Nicholas Villarreal

Game Review/News Editor at iGame Responsibly
Nicholas Villarreal is a seasoned writer on the staff of iGame Responsibly, covering breaking news, as well as game reviews.

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