Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views: May 31, 2015

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by Chris Delloiacono, Mike Maillaro and Jeff Ritter

This week!

  • Elimination Chamber Predictions

  • Women of NXT  Roundtable

  • NXT Results

  • Lucha Underground Results

Elimination Chamber Predictions

1    Sheamus vs. Ryback vs. R-Truth vs. King Barrett vs. Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler    Elimination Chamber match for the vacant WWE Intercontinental Championship

Chris: Daniel Bryan added a couple of weeks of legitimacy to the IC title before getting hurt.  Now, WWE needs to get the belt on another strong champion.  The U.S. Title means something again, so let's hope there's a plan here.  R-Truth and Barrett just aren't going to get a decent push, thus that negates bringing prestige back.  I don't see Ryback winning gold and Zigs and Rusev will more than likely feud sans gold.  So, that leaves Sheamus winning here.  It's not stupendous but if they really make him a killer heel, it could work.

Mike: Rusev might have gotten hurt at the Smackdown tapings this week (though it might be kayfabe).  He was actually going to be my pick for this.  I figure it was a consolation prize for the many losses he’s suffered from Cena in recent months.  

For me, this is is just as much about who won’t win as it is about who will win.  I doubt they are going to give it to Ryback or Truth.  Barrett and Ziggler have lost the IC title so many times it would be real pointless to give it to either of them.  So that leaves us with Sheamus (unless Rusev is actually in the match)

Chris’s Pick: Sheamus
Mike’s Pick: Rusev (if injured, I pick Sheamus)

2    The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya) vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando) (with El Torito)    Tag team Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Tag Team Championship

Mike: I wish the WWE were a little more creative with their setups.  They should have done this like a modified Wargames.  Four teams in the match.  One man from each team starts the match.  At intervals, one partner at a time is released from the pod.  I think it’s going to be real odd seeing two men squeezed into each pod.  

I genuinely have no idea who is going to win this one.  I can see New Day retaining….but I can also see Kidd and Cesaro or PTP winning too.  Probably not so much Ascension or Los Matadores.  Lucha Dragons could surprise us and pull this one out too.  But, I have to pick something or the whole conceit of this column fails.  I’ll stick with New Day.

Chris: I agree this could be a little awkward at times but I'm excited to see what aerial guys like Kofi, Kidd, Los Matadores, and the Dragons will pull off.  I bet there will be some eye-opening spots.  I bet we get some crazy power moves out of Cesaro and Big E as well.  Really, this match should be a lot of fun, and at least it's different.  It's a veritable NXT graduates smorgasbord!  I think we are looking at one of the most fun matches on the card here.  The New Day are hot right now, so I think the belts stay put.

Chris’s Pick: New Day
Mike’s Pick: New Day

3          John Cena vs. Kevin Owens

Mike: Since this match isn't for the US Title, I think it's much more likely that Kevin Owens will win it.  I think it's been cool that Cena has had real competitive matches with a lot of NXT and lower guys on the card (yey for Zack Ryder actually being on Raw).


And you knew there had to be a but on this one...

I still don't think Cena is the right guy for that role.  Cena beating these guys does nothing for him, and it doesn't give them much of a rub since they are still losing.  I actually would have loved to see this gimmick on someone like Wade Barrett.

Even though it's not for the title, it's very unlikely Owens wins this clean.  I am thinking Cena wins by DQ with Owens leaving Cena laid out in the ring.        

Chris: This is the strangest matchup I've ever seen develop so quickly.  It's actually damn exciting, so I'm sure WWE will screw it up and have Owens job clean.  That's just me expecting the worst.  It doesn't make a lick of long term sense, though.  I'm going to agree with Mike and go Owens looking strong but losing on a DQ.

Chris’s Pick: Cena by DQ
Mike’s Pick: Cena by DQ

4    Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose    Singles match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Mike: I am surprised they are giving us this match for free and so soon.  I suspect that Reigns will get added to the mix before the week is out.  I actually think that Reigns is taking the title right now to give this free show a feel that ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN, with Seth and Rollins having a big rematch at Summer Slam.

Chris: I'm really surprised, like you said, that we are getting this match.  I can't see it being a Triple Threat with Reigns involved.  That's a big time PPV match, I would think.  But who knows the way they've been booking lately.  Ambrose never wins on PPVs so I'm going with Rollins in this one.  I do kinda like your idea of putting the belt on Reigns. It's probably time to give him a run.

Chris’s Pick: Rollins
Mike’s Pick: Reigns

5    Nikki Bella (with Brie Bella) (c) vs. Paige vs. Naomi (with Tamina)    Triple Threat match for the WWE Divas Championship

Chris: Hey, the main roster Divas have been involved in some decent segments of late.  This match should be entertaining.  I have a feeling Naomi is going to get a run with the belt.  She's really doing solid work as a heel.  She's grown so much being away from Cameron and even the Usos.  It's like she's a brand new woman.

Mike: Naomi is all right... I don’t think she has a ton of talent, but she’s not bad.   Personally, I would much rather see Alicia Fox in her spot.  She’s far better at wrestling and playing a character.   I suspect WWE will continue the Bella reign of terror here.  

Chris’s Pick: Naomi
Mike’s Pick: Nikki Bella

6    Neville vs. Bo Dallas

Mike: I love how much of this show has a NXT feel to it. Rollins, Ambrose, Paige, Naomi, Kevin Owens, Big E + Xavier Woods, Lucha Dragons, Ascension, Barrett, Cesaro, and Rusev are all from NXT or FCW.  

This match features two former NXT Champions!  Unfortunately, Bo hasn’t really gotten a big footing in WWE yet, but this should still be an excellent match.  Neville was the man who beat Bo Dallas for the title...I hope they bring that up during this math.  I think Neville is moving up the ranks quickly in WWE, so he will probably take this one.  BUT, I am a Bo-Liever, so I am picking Mister Dallas.

Chris: Definitely cool to see this NXT main event feud rekindled on the main roster.  I can't see Neville losing to Bo, though.  When was the last time Dallas won a match? He deserves better but he's not getting it.  I think Neville is winning with Red Arrow.

Chris’s Pick: Neville
Mike’s Pick: Bo Dallas

Women of NXT Roundtable

WWE.Com posted a terrific interview with Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Sasha Banks about the current state of the NXT Women’s division.

Mike: I really enjoyed this interview and getting some insight into how things came together for the amazing NXT Women’s Division.  I refuse to call them Divas (I actually was very glad they started called it the NXT Women’s Title and not just Divas.  The NXT Women have proved themselves time and time again.  At Rival, the Fatal Fourway was arguably the match of the night.  At Unstoppable, I don’t even think it was arguable.  Sasha Banks Vs Becky Lynch WAS the match of the night.

BUT, I can’t help but read this article and wonder if anyone with any power in WWE is actually paying attention.  Emma and Summer Rae were HUGE stars in NXT, and they just feel wasted on the main roster.  Paige has managed to carve a little niche for herself, but she seems to be infected with the same “we can’t decide if she’s a heel or face” confusion that has basically plagued Alicia Fox’s career.  I am not saying there isn’t talent on the WWE Divas roster...just that the WWE doesn’t know how to make the most of that talent.  So part of me watches WWE shows saying “I hope Charlotte comes out tonight.”  And the other part of me says, “Keep Charlotte far away from the main roster until they get their act together.”  

Chris: This was an excellent interview!  These ladies really get it and so does Triple H and creative in NXT.  Their shoutouts for Paige and Emma for building the women's division in NXT are very warranted.  Sasha, Charlotte, Bayley, and Becky have elevated the spot of the women on the card because they are so awesome.  Yet, Paige and Emma laid the groundwork and helped differentiate the NXT roster women from the Divas.

You can also see how working together for years at the Performance Center has made these women into a team.  They are like that group of athletes that comes together as a unit and marches to the championship.  As Charlotte so wonderfully put it, "Follow that!"  Honestly, I don't think anyone should follow this current group of women. They deserve the main event spot regularly.

Mike: You know, a few months back I might have agreed with you, but NXT has been great about building wrestlers, especially the women.  When I first saw Sasha several years ago, I had no idea she would become as big as she is..  Now she’s easily in my top three NXT wrestlers.   Same goes for Becky Lynch...especially when she was riverdancing.  It’s taken a while to find the right package for Becky, but she’s definitely talented.  I really loved the Steampunk look she was rocking at Unstoppable.

So, while I love these four, I can easily see someone else stepping into the spotlight soon enough.  Triple H and Sara Amato have a terrific talent for shaping women into superstars.    

NXT Results May 27, 2015

- Sami Zayn’s music plays...but Kevin Owens comes out instead of Sami.  He’s wearing a John Cena “The Champ is Here” T-Shirt.  Owens says he was going to come out here and offer an NXT Title Open Challenge, but he’s not as insecure as John Cena.  He wants people to earn title matches against him.  Owens claims to be a good man. For example, he made sure people never have to hear Sami’s horrible theme ever again.  He also says that he’s a good man because he allowed the crowd to end the note on a positive note by not beating up Samoa Joe.  

Out comes a pissed off William Regal.  He tells Owens that he is walking a thin line.  Owens claims he only headbutted Regal at NXT Unstoppable in self-defense because Regal put his hands on him.  Regal says that is the only reason Owens wasn’t fired.  Regal points out the many injuries he’s caused.  He also accuses him of the attack on Hideo Itami at Unstoppable. Owens denies being involved.

Solomon Crowe comes out to interrupt.  He challenges Owens’ claims about being a good guy.  Owens offers to give him a match for NXT title.  Regal makes it the main event for tonight.  Owens lists the people he’s had stretchered out (including saying Sami Zayn’s name three times) and says he will add Crowe to that list.

- Hideo Itami says he doesn’t know who attacked him.  Says he is injured and has had surgery.  When he comes back, there will be no stopping him.

- Backtage interview at Unstoppable with Zack Ryder.  Mojo Rawley interrupts him all high energy.

- Emma def. Bayley with Emma lock.  After the match, Dana Brooke and Emma attack Bayley.  Charlotte tries to make the save, but they take her out too.

- Backstage interview with Baron Corbin at Unstoppable.  He says he proved he is the only unstoppable force in NXT.  Rhyno arrives and says, “That was fun and intense, and we need to do it again!”

- Video package showing Becky Lynch’s journey to NXT Unstoppable.  I think we saw most of this video before, but it’s still a great package.

- Blake & Murphy (w/ Alexa Bliss) def. Elias Samson and Mike Rollis (I might have their names wrong) with Suplex/Frog Splash Combo.  After match, Alexa hits the Sparkle Splash on one of their opponents.

- Blake, Murphy and Alexa are backstage.  Alexa says that Blake and Murphy are winners and winners gravitate towards each other.  She mocks Carmella and Staten Island.  Next week, she has a match with Carmella.

- Finn Balor def. Tye Dillinger with Coup De Grace.

- Earlier today, Jason Jordan talks about his future.  He has a game plan and a new partner.  Newcomer Chad Gable approaches pitching himself as Jason Jordan’s partner.  Jason says he already has a partner and walks off.

- Owens def. Crowe with Pop-up Powerbomb.  After match, Owens continues the assault.  Samoa Joe comes out. Owens takes off.  

Mike: Owens had a brilliant promo, managing to skewer Sami Zayn, John Cena. William Regal, and Samoa Joe all at the same time.  The best line was “People say I am scared of Samoa Joe...but that is as ridiculous as the colors of John Cena’s merchandise.”

Chris: Owens cuts dynamite promos.  He did a great job of turning the audience against him, which is something only the best heels can do.  I hope WWE doesn't blow the tremendous juice he's building right now.  He's one of the hottest things on NXT and he's doing well on the main roster.  KO is on the brink of being one of those main eventers WWE has been trying to create.  This promo is proof he belongs.

Mike: The lesson to be learned at this episode was heel chicks are hot!  Both Emma and Alexa Bliss had new looks tonight to show that they were now heels...and both looked incredible.  Emma’s whole ring persona entrance, new music, a whole different presence.  I thought it worked really well for her.  And it’s been a long time since we saw a strong female manager for a tag team. I think Alexa can pull this off real well.

Chris: Emma does make an amazing heel.  It's fantastic to see her being treated seriously.  I agree on Alexa Bliss too.  The whole fairy gimmick was too silly.  Much like Emma's old routine, it was fun, but it was never going to make them relevant.  These current incarnations have legs....and every other part us virile gents like to see in a lady.  Seriously, though, both women are going to do well if these roles continue.

Mike: Finn and Tye Dillinger had a surprisingly good match.  I was expecting a quick squash, but there was a lot of back and forth.  I hope NXT continues to give Tye Dillenger some time.  He seems to be a decent talent and could use some more time and experience to develop.

Chris: This was a much better match than the main event.  Dillenger has improved a lot while he's been losing.  I can see him doing some good things in the future.  Have you heard about his new gimmick?  Apparently, on house shows, he's been using number cards to rate wrestlers, matches, moves, etc.  It's getting a ton of buzz, so hopefully we see it on tv soon.

Mike: Not much exciting about the main event.  Owens is a wrecking ball and Crowe has pretty much been a punching bag for his time in NXT.  It was as one-sided as I expected it to be.  I do love that Owens seems terrified of Samoa Joe.  That is a great way to sell Samoa Joe to the NXT audience.  

Chris: The main event was a real snooze.  It was nothing more than a squash that got us another Joe/Owens standoff.  I can see why they are dragging their feet on the actual fisticuffs but it was still a little disappointing to get nothing more than a rehash of the end of Takeover: Unstoppable.  

All told a lesser episode of NXT but still well worth watching.

Lucha Underground May 27, 2015

- Black Lotus is approaching the temple.  Chavo Guerrero arrives.  He says that Azteco Dragon sent him to protect her.  She says she doesn’t need his protection.  Chavo tells her that she needs to settle her grudge in the ring.  He reveals that his grandfather was there the day Matanza killed Lotus’s parents  Los Guerreros hate the Cuetos as much as she does.

- Johnny Mundo def. Aerostar with End of the World

- Vampiro does an interview with Sexy Star.  He asks about her feud with Pentagon Jr.  She calls him a bully and she doesn’t fear bullies.  She says she hasn’t talked to Superfly since she took his mask and Pentagon broke his arm.  Dario Cueto has called for a submission match between Pentagon Jr and Sexy Star for next week.  Sexy Star promises win or lose, this feud ends next week.

- NXT Title match: Puma def. Hernandez with the 640

- Mil Muertes def Fenix in a death match.  Mil came down with Catrina and three Disciples of Death.  Mil power bombed Fenix through the ceiling of a storage room, and the Disciples dragged Fenix’s lifeless body back to the ring.  Mil Muertes hit Flatliner to end the match.  Afterward, Catrina gives him the Lick of Death.

- Dario Cueto calls the Crew to task for failing to defeat Son of Havoc, Angelico, and Ivelisse last week.  He demands a sacrifice.  Castro and Cisco turns on Bael.  Bael ends up in Matanza’s cage.  The scene ends with The Crew and Dario getting splattered in Bael’s blood from the beating he takes.  

Mike: I love the new Johnny Mundo.  It’s just small subtle changes to the way he acts in the ring, but he’s able to make them come off as a total heel.  Aerostar did a wild top rope 619, which I had never seen before.  But you get a lot of that in Lucha Underground.   And this was the first of three incredible matches.  

Chris: Each of tonight's matches was amazing.  Mundo is one of those guys that knows how to use actions and body language to tell a story.  He's turned into a vicious heel.  I love it!

Mike: Of the three matches, my favorite might have been Puma vs Hernandez.  Puma showed a ton of heart (funny, Vampiro said the exact same thing as I was writing it). There were quite a few spots where I thought the match was over, but it just kept going.  At one point, Puma did a ridiculous springboard flip off the guardrail that should not be humanly possible.

Chris: Not only was there the flip from the guardrail but he vaulted over Hernandez to get up there!  Positively sick series of movements.  

Mike: For the main event, the tone of this match was set from the opener where Fenix did a splash onto Mil and Mil was barely phased.  Mil basically dominated this match.  Fenix managed some flurries of offense, but they barely slowed Mil down.  I was reminded of Old School Undertaker.  My favorite moment was after a long brutal match, Mil just casually picked Fenix up and ran up the stairs with him like he weighed nothing.  

Chris: I love the subtle changes to Muertes. The all black outfit makes him just slightly more menacing, not to mention the addition of the Disciples.  I believe we have a new number one heel!  

Shoutout to Fenix for the crazy bump through the floor/ceiling into the, what the hell was it, supply closet?  I don't know what was down there to break his fall, but it looked magical on TV.