Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views - November 23, 2015

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Cheap Pops - November 22, 2015 by Chris Delloiacono, Mike Maillaro and Jeff Ritter

This week!

- Survivor Series Predictions (and results)
- Rumors of more TNA wrestlers coming to NXT
- NXT Results
- PWS - Wrestle Bowl 2015 Results

Survivor Series Predictions (and results)



Mike: Unfortunately, I ended up real busy yesterday, so never got to post the column.  I am posting our predictions, with the actual results of the matches...Both Chris and I had close to perfect scores on all the matches we picked (we did both pick Ambrose over Reigns, but both admitted that either result was just as likely)...which just went to show it was a damn predicatable show.  

Mike: This is a ridiculously lean card so far.  I expect there has to be more matches announced at some point, but when I sat down to type this on Thursday morning, only a handful of matches had been formally announced.  It makes no sense that they didn’t just put the quarter finals on during the PPV so they could have a full show.  It’s kind of crazy that back in the day, they did quite a few tournaments in one show.  Some of the King of the Rings.  Wrestlemania IV. Survivor Series 1998.  These days, you are lucky to get the last three matches at a PPV.

It’s also real odd that they have both the US champ and Intercontinental Champ in the tournament semi-finals, which means there is no chance of those titles being defended at the PPV.  It also means that they didn’t use the tournament to elevate any more names into important roles, which is a mistake in itself.

Tournament Semi-Finals to Crown a New WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

Mike: This tournament has a depressing air of inevitability to it.  I honestly can’t see any other likely final that Ambrose Vs Reigns.  I do want to say that predictability doesn’t necessarily mean bad matches….I do think Owens Vs Ambrose will be a very good match, but I still like when WWE surprises me.  Right now, I can’t help but feel the only real possible surprise here is “Will Ambrose or Reigns turn heel?”  

Chris: I have to say, the tournament has been a lot of fun so far.  Most of the matches have been good, but like you said, the air of predictability just kills it.  I'd love for a surprise win by Owens and a major elevation of his stature in the company.  We shall see, but I'm not holding my breath.

Mike’s Prediction: Ambrose
Chris’s Prediction: Ambrose
Actual Results: Ambrose


Tournament Semi-Finals to Crown a New WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio

Mike: One thing cool about this match is that I don’t think we’ve ever seen it before as a single’s match.  Not sure how well these two’s styles will mesh, but it should still be a good match.   

Before I forget, I am sort of bummed they moved away from Del Rio using the Cross Armbreaker.  I love a good submission finisher.  While the superkick does look badass, the top rope stomp is kind of Finn Balor’s thing.  

Chris: I miss the arm breaker too, but I do like Del Rio’s stomp and the Backstabber as his big moves.  As for the stomp, he's been doing it a long time in WWE--even before Finn came to town.  I'd actually like to see him use all three moves at varying times.  

Roman’s match with Cesaro was enjoyable, so I'm certain Albero will get a good match out of Mr. Reigns.  That said, there won't be any sort of upset.  To quote Agent Smith, “Do you hear that?  That is the sound of inevitability!” Ambrose/Reigns...has to be.

Mike’s Prediction: Reigns
Chris’s Prediction: Reigns
Actual Result: Reigns


Tournament Finals to Crown a New WWE World Heavyweight Champion


Mike: I think that while WWE would rather put the title on Reigns, Survivor Series has basically become a filler PPV.  I think it’s very likely Ambrose will become heel and hold on to the title until Wrestlemania.  Reigns will win the title there and get his Wrestlemania moment.

Chris: I don't see any other possibility than a heel coming out of the show with the title.  Whether it's Roman or Dean, the new Authority man will have the gold.  It's so stale but that's what Vince has been giving us for ages.  Do you think he likes to eat crackers and cookies that are as stale as his product?

Mike’s Prediction: Ambrose Def. Reigns
Chris’s Prediction: Ambrose Def. Reigns
Actual Result: Reigns over Ambrose. After match, Triple H comes out to distract Reigns. Sheamus cashes in money in the bank and wins the title.


WWE Divas Title Match

Paige vs. Charlotte (c)

Mike: Two talented women, but this feud has been a little odd.  WWE still seems to be very tentative about the “Diva’s revolution” not giving the segments or matches enough time, for the most part.  I did like that they ending Raw with the Paige/Charlotte segment, but I actually prefer matches to start and end the show.  I think Charlotte holds on to the belt for a while longer, likely to feud with Becky or Sasha at some point.

Chris: WWE continues to mishandle the entire Divas division.  The powers that be allowed the contract signing for this match to close Raw, but they brought Reid Flair into the angle.  It all came off so maudlin and downright disgusting.  This is the last straw, the so-called reality era needs to end.  It's time for new writers and leadership.  Color me disgusted.

As for the match, I don't think they're ready to take the belt off of Charlotte.  Paige is basically a second tier star, so no change here.

Mike: Yeah, I meant to talk about that.  Segments like that are real tricky to pull off well.  To the point where I am not sure WWE should even try.  This feud didn’t need it.  You could have built it as two legacy wrestlers feuding.  Or Paige being jealous of Charlotte being able to jump so quickly to the front of the line. I am not sure bringing up Charlotte’s dead brother could add anything to the feud.    I know Reid’s mom was pretty upset by it, and it’s hard to blame her.

Chris: Exactly.  It's classless.  It makes the product so lowbrow, and perfectly illustrates why some advertisers run from the product.  

Mike: Even crazier, it just came out that even Ric Flair didn’t know.  

From Lords of Pain

Ric Flair revealed on his podcast this week that WWE did not contact him ahead of time and he did not know Reid would be mentioned. Flair said he cried when he heard.

Flair also noted that he didn't want to say anything to hurt Charlotte's status with the company as she's still at a position in her career where she can't refuse anything for fear of "rocking the boat."

Chris: Reid’s mother was incensed by the angle as well.  Why is WWE willing to cause so much hurt over a real life tragedy?  They gave the Divas a chance to close Raw and destroyed the segment with repugnance.  They're so PC these days, yet they do something like this!

Mike’s Prediction: Charlotte
Chris’s Prediction: Charlotte
Actual Result: Charlotte


The Undertaker and Kane vs. Two Members of The Wyatt Family

Mike: I would rather this has been a Survivor Series match with all four Wyatts taking on Kane, Undertaker, and two others.  This is the 25th Anniversary of Undertaker’s first appearance in the WWE (more or less), so I don’t see them losing this match.  I suspect it will be against the more “jobbery” Wyatt members Harper and Rowan, with them Wyatts leaving a serious beatdown on the Brothers of Destruction after the match to extend this feud.

Chris: Isn't Bray a huge jobber as well?  He barely ever wins!  It doesn't matter what pair they pick, the Wyatts aren't winning.  I don't see it going any other way.  The Brothers win and the beat will go on, and on.

Mike’s Prediction: Undertaker and Kane
Chris’s Prediction: Undertaker and Kane
Actual Result: Undertaker and Kane


Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze

Mike: I am a fan of both these guys.  I assume this will probably be in the pre-show.  Tyler will probably win, though WWE does have a history of burying NXT call-ups.  We’ll see what happens, but I’m Team Tyler.

Chris: We all know what WWE has in store for Dolph--nothing.  We aren't quite sure what they'll do with Tyler, so I agree he probably wins here to give him a little gloss.  I'll say this, the match, given time, should be a good one.

Mike’s Prediction: Tyler Breeze
Chris’s Prediction: Tyler Breeze
Actual Result: Tyler Breeze


And there is supposed to be a traditional Survivor Series Match too...but no participants have been announced.

Mike: I don’t know if there has been any real feud that would set this match up.    Which is a shame since last year’s Team Cena Vs Team Authority was an excellent match that gave a huge spotlight to Dolph Ziggler...unfortunately WWE made the results meaningless like a week later.  It’s like the WWE can’t imagine a world without evil authority figures.  I’m not even making a prediction on who will be in this match.  Or fill out the rest of the card.

Chris: Last year’s match was the best in a while, but they immediately ruined it.  So sad.  

This one will just be filler with a talented group of ten that's got nothing better to do.  I'd expect some portion of the following to be in it: New Day, Sheamus, Cesaro, the Usos, Wade Barrett. and the Dudleyz.  

Mike: Turned out we got two Survivor Series Matches....both equally random....

Pre-Show: Neville, Bubba Ray, Devon, Titus O'Neil and Goldust def. The Miz, Bo Dallas, Stardust, Konnor and Viktor

Ryback, Sin Cara, Kalisto, Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso def. Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Sheamus and King Barrett

TNA Stars continuing to invade NXT?

Mike:  I am typing this on Thursday as the NXT tapings are starting.  It’s been reported that in addition to James Storm (who already debuted), Gunner and Austin Aries are backstage.  Don’t know if that means they are debuting.  More on this as news comes out.  

Chris: If Gunner and Aries do end up on TV then WWE will have cherry picked most of the best from TNA.  It's kind of sad that the competition has completely fallen apart, but their product was their undoing.  Aries and Gunner are fun performers, but I still want AJ Styles!

The only thing against bringing them in, NXT is starting to get more people than they have time to do something with.  Plus, the program really is supposed to be about developing the next generation.  If they keep expanding the roster, they may have to go to two hours for the show.  WWE expanding show length hasn't had a great historical precedent, so let's proceed with caution.

Mike: It looks like Aries and Gunner didn’t actually show up at the NXT tapings (in the ring at least), so they might have been there for a tryout or something like that.  Aries was trending on Twitter because of this, so that’s kind of cool.  

NXT Results 11/18/15

- Nia Jax def Carmella with spinebuster followed by legdrop

- Alexa Bliss is backstage with Blake and Murphy.  She’s ranting about how much hype Bayley gets.  Alexa wants the NXT title and deserves it. The other Horsewoman all left Bayley behind.  A referee comes in to tell Blake and Murphy that Regal has ordered them banned from ringside during the match.

- Jordan/Gable de. the Ascension with Grand Amplitude.

- Look back at Bayley and Alexa Bliss’s feud.

- Interview with Bayley.  Becoming the champ was not an easy road.  Keeping the title is hard too.  But Alexa won’t be taking the title.  Alexa is going to get the wrestling lesson of her life.  She’s out of her league.  

- Emma def Mary Kate with Emma Lock.

-Recap of Apollo Crews Vs Finn Balor from two weeks ago, and how Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin interfered.  Also a recap of how Apollo Crews got payback on Baron Corbin last week.

- Corbin cuts promo saying he doesn’t like Apollo.  Apollo is destined to be a failure.  Cobrin challenges Apollo to a match at NXT Takeover London.

- Dash/Dawson def Corey Hollis and John Skyler with Shatter Machine.

- Asuka is backstage.  She is asked about her masks.  Before she can answer, Dana Brooke comes out and challenges her to a rematch.  Asuka accepts and walks off.  Emma comes out, and it’s clear Dana and Emma are plotting something.

- At NXT Takeover London, Finn Balor will be defending the NXT title against Samoa Joe.

- Promo from Samoa Joe.  He’s been asked by Regal to stay away from the Arena for a while.  Joe says Regal claimed it was because he didn’t want Finn retaliating and putting the NXT Title match in jeopardy.  But Joe says he knows the real fear is that he will hurt Finn.  That title will be Joe’s.

-Bayley def Alexa Bliss with the Bayley to Belly. After the match, Eva Marie comes out.  The crowd hates her so much they barely even let her talk.  Bayley looked like she felt bad for her.  Eva manages to say that she’s challenging Bayley for a match at next week’s NXT show.

Mike: Something odd about this episode.  There was not a men’s single match.  It didn’t take away from the show at all.  NXT has great tag and women’s matches. I just thought it was worth noting.  

Chris: The idea that there were three ladies matches in under an hour is kind of stunning, and well worth noting!  

Mike: You know, whenever Carmella calls herself the Princess of Staten Island, I can’t help but want her to team up with Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins), The Prince of Queens.  I think that would be a terrific royal family to build around.   

Chris: Carmella has shown a great deal of progress in the last year.  She's going to have a nice future in WWE.  It's a shame that Brian Myers didn't catch on, though.  The pair as some sort of New York royalty could be a hell of a lot of fun.

Mike: It was nice to see Nia Jax moving up the card, but it is a waste to have Carmella get squashed.  She’s pretty good in the ring, and I would rather see Nia Jax in some more competitive matches.  Undefeated squash streaks are just dull to me. Carmella did get some offense in, but Nia no sold it.

Chris: An endless string of squashes for Baron Corbin and the Ascension hurt those performers a lot.  There's only an hour of TV each week, so they need to do something fresh.  Judging by the tapings this week, it looks like some interesting developments will finally be happening with Nia Jax. It's about damn time, because Jax has done very little to impress for exactly the reason you mentioned.  Squashes aren't fun and make the opponent look so weak.  She's won enough squashes already, and it was asinine sacrificing Carmella's credibility.  

Mike: Ascension got a nice reaction from the NXT crowd.  Actually the crowd was really into their match with Jordan and Gable.  I thought this was a real good match.  Lots of back and forth and showing what all four guys are capable of.  Both teams also really played up to the crowd.  NXT definitely knows how to put on a good tag team match.

Chris: I never much liked the Ascension's work in NXT and they've been pretty lame on the main roster, but this match showed they can be fun.  The match had a great pace and some excellent spots.  I'm glad Gable and Jordan got the win, but this was so enjoyable, I'd like to see the Ascension work more in NXT.

On to the second ladies bout.  Isn't it amazing how nicely Emma has transitioned to being a heel?  Her goofball ways are long forgotten and this hard-edged rebirth has made Emma stand out.  I'd like to see her build momentum and get a shot at the Divas title.  She was a big part in Paige’s development, so she deserves a spotlight on her talent.

Mike: I was surprised by how big Mary Kate was, especially since they had her get squashed.  Seems like she would be the type of wrestler that would get a big push.  I hate squash matches, but it was nice to see Emma actually win a match in a dominating fashion.

The commentary during the Dash and Dawson match was pretty cool.  They talk about how Hollis and Skyler have fought Dash and Dawson elsewhere.  I liked that they tried to give this match some contest instead of just “here are the tag champs beating up two no-name jobbers.”  Little things like that go a long way towards presenting the product in a more entertaining way.  Even if it is just a squash.  My biggest gripe is that this match was WAY TOO LONG for a squash.  I actually felt like it was longer than the match last week where Dash and Dawson won the tag titles.

Chris: The announcing in NXT has been improving once again.  I think Corey Graves is hitting his stride in the heel announcer role.  Bringing credibility to all the performers in the ring is such a key to selling the product as a viable sporting contest.  Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura, Bobby Heenan, & Jim Ross all excelled at making everyone look good, but recent WWE commentators have failed miserably in that regard.  Hopefully this is a trend that continues across the line of shows.

Mike: The main event was a good match.  It wasn’t particularly memorable, but let’s face it, Bayley/Sasha set the bar so high.

Now, I know wrestling is scripted, and I try to give it a lot of leeway, but the inconsistency bothers me.  It would be like Superman saying he loses his powers under a red sun...and then in the next issue he’s taking a dip into a red sun for a power boost.  What I am referring to is the NXT Women's title situation.  The whole story behind Samoa Joe turning heel is that he asked for a title match, Finn accepted, and then Regal overruled it.  Forcing Joe to take action to get the match he wanted.   But Eva Marie comes out here, says she has a title match, and that’s it.  Bayley didn’t even accept the challenge (though that might have been because the crowd was so hostile to Eva Marie they just thought it best to get her out of the ring).

Chris: You make such a great point.  WWE simply doesn't worry about storytelling logic or continuity much anymore.  Just think back to the Bellas falling out. They were feuding and Brie became Nikki's slave for a while, then boom, they were besties again.  That's an instance where logic can't even occur within a single angle, yet you want them to exhibit storytelling coherence across multiple stories.  That sure would be nice, but it's quite doubtful.

Pro Wrestling Syndicate Results - Wrestle Bowl 2015

Mike: On November 20, Pro Wrestling Syndicate had a huge 4 hour show at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.   Results first, and then some commentary:

- Nikos Rikos def. Sandy Mann.  After the match, Nikos called out DDP.  After insulting Page, Page hit him with the Diamond Cutter.

- Mario Bokara def. Sonjay Dutt

- Brian Myers won a four corners match over Colt Cabana, Homicide, and Bonesaw

- Amazing Red def. Shynron

- Devon Moore def. Kevin Matthews in a First Blood match after interference from Shining Edward Jackson.

- The Drunken Swashbuckler won the PWS Suicidal Six-Way Title over Starman, Johnny Howl, Anthony Bowens, The Lifeguard, and Bobby Wayward.

- Justin Credible def. Tommy Dreamer in Justin’s retirement match.  Tommy gave a great farewell speech.  Fellow ECW alumni Raven, Balls Mahoney, New Jack were there to give their farewells too.

- Chris Payne def. Fallah Bahh to retain the PWS TV Title. After the match, Brian Myers came out to continue his claims that he is the real PWS TV Champ. He even has his own belt.

- Scott Steiner def. "The Real Deal" Craig Steele

- The Reynolds Brothers won a tag team gauntlet match.

  • New Jack/ Delroy def. Aesthetics Enterprise
  • New Jack/Delroy and Balls Mahoney/CPA fought to a DOUBLE COUNTOUT
  • Reynolds Brothers def Merry Men in Tights
  • Reynolds Brothers def. Monsters Island when Monsters Island was DQ’D
  • Reynolds Brothers def Heavenly Bodies to win the match.

- Matt Macintosh won the PWS Title in a TLC Match against Habib from the Car Wash and Danny Maff

Mike: This was another great PWS show.  Before the show, I got the opportunity to meet one of my favorite wrestlers, Diamond Dallas Page.  He was in the ring with Scott Steiner before the show.  Chris, our friend Josh, and I decided to meet and get pictures with both of them.  Both of them were really cool.  I was amused that they seemed more interested in talking to each other than the fans.  Normally that would annoy me, but you can tell they were old friends who hadn’t had a chance to talk in a long time.

Chris: You're right.  This is the type of thing that normally ticks me off, but it was still a blast.  And, DDP was so damn personable!

Mike: As a bonus, this was the first time I have ever been in a wrestling ring.  Quick note about that.  It is surprisingly easy to get into a wrestling ring.  It is surprisingly hard to get out of a wrestling ring.  I was terrified I was going to fall off the apron.  It is very hard to see the ring stairs.   

Chris: The ring can definitely be a dangerous place!  ;)  I think it's almost time to talk about my recent experiences in that very ring!  But not today!  Instead, we need to talk about "Not just the coolest.  Not just the best. That's Justin Credible."

Mike: The main draw of this show was that Justin Credible wrestled his retirement match against Tommy Dreamer.  Justin Credible looked pretty out of shape, but the two of them still managed to put on a hell of a match.  They fought all over the arena, and Justin even jumped off of the stage to land on top of Tommy Dreamer.  It was nice to see all the love from some of the old ECW originals in attendance.

Chris: This was a classic ECW brawl that really excited the crowd. It was fantastic listening to the speeches afterwards and just sucking in the crowd’s energy! Justin Credible is really out of shape, but he put on a hell of a show with Dreamer.  The event was definitely an experience to remember.

Mike: The real shock of the night for me was Scott Steiner.  He’s like 10 years older than Justin Credible, but still in incredible shape.  He looks like he could keep doing this for a long time.  His match with Craig Steele might have been a little long, but I was still real impressed by Steiner.  

Chris: I was disappointed that Steiner beat Steele.  An old guy like Steiner should lay down and help boost the young guys.  Still, it was a solid match with a lot of cool spots.

Mike: The match of the night was definitely the main event.  I figured that Habib would retain, or they would give it back to the veteran Danny Maff.  It was a real surprise to see Matt Macintosh win the title.  I will admit, going into tonight, I hadn’t really thought much of Matt Macintosh.  He was always decent in the matches I’ve seen him in, but last night he really stepped it up and showed that he deserved to be champ.  All three men put on a hell of a show and have a lot to be proud off.

Chris: Macintosh is such a good worker.  He’s like lightning in the ring.  He works so fast and clean.  He's absolutely brilliant.  I love that PWS has given him and Habib a shot to hold the big strap!  The match was nuts with tables, ladders, doors, and insane leaps to the outside.  What a main event!  Oh, and let's not forget Danny Maff putting Matt and Habib on his back at the same time, and then nailing his freaking finisher!  That man is indeed a beast!

Mike: I also thought that Amazing Red and Shynron had a hell of a match, but no surprise there.  Both guys have a lot of high flying moves, but they also do solid ring work.  Both men steal the show in any match they are in, so pitting them against each other was bound to be brilliant.

Chris: Oh yeah, those two really laid it all on the line.  Nothing beats a well fought aerial battle.  I can watch a match like this go for an hour!

Mike: Another great match was the Suicidal Six Way. Only in PWS can you have Teen Wolf, Starman, a Lifeguard, and a drunken a six way with the broken up members of the Untouchables. The story telling between Bowen and Wayward was great here.  I can’t wait for these two guys to have a singles feud.   

Chris: I'd be stunned if Bowens doesn't make it to WWE!  He's got the look, the build, and the moves.  He's my prediction for the first man to get signed out of the PWS dojo!

Mike: I do have some complaints…

The Tag Team Gauntlet Match was a bad choice. I know you want to feature as many guys as possible, but the show started at 8 PM, and ended up running til midnight.  The Tag Team Gauntlet Match seemed to suck the energy from the crowd...especially Raven’s bizarre promo in the middle of the match.  And then you had a double count out and a DQ elimination.   I did like seeing the Reynolds Brothers working as faces, but the show would have been better without this match.

Chris: The booking of this match was poorly executed.  It’s nice to get a lot of guys on the card, but this went on forever and really didn’t serve a purpose.  A battle royal or some type of Survivor Series style match could have still gotten everyone on the show.  Did we really need to see Balls Mahoney and New Jack wrestling?  There was a little too much of the old school guys clogging up the card.  Please don’t get me started on Raven and his useless promo.  His work needed to be quick and crisp, but this was an absolute mess!

The worst part about this going on so long?  It took away time from the main event and a lot of the rest of the undercard.  Seriously, what did Bokara and Sonjay Dutt get?  Five freaking minutes!  What a ripoff.  The first half of the card was all short matches that deserved a few extras minutes each!  This endless gauntlet took away from the rest of the show.

Mike: I really hate to sound like a prude...and I never want to be the guy saying “THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN.”  But I do think PWS needs to do a better job thinking about their audience.  There are always quite a few kids at the shows, many of them sitting right in the front row.  New Jack used the word “Motherf****er” like ten times during his promo.  And he was far from the only one.  Again, I’m not a prude.  BUT, I had been thinking about bringing my nine-year old daughter to a PWS show.  She’s just starting to get into wrestling.  And I can’t help think “Is this the type of show I would be comfortable with her attending?”  Probably not…

I also think this attracts the wrong kind of audience.  There were some real obnoxious teenagers standing by the entranceway through the entire show.  One was dressed in a Steelers jersey and yelling and cursing at every wrestler that came by.  He even called Beefcake “A fat fuck.”  If that was me, I would find it real difficult not to take a swing at the kid.   There is a difference between getting into the show and just being a douche.  

Chris: I’ve been saying for a long time that the amount of F-bombs and foul language is a real problem for PWS.  I just don’t get why they allow endless bad language.  Half of the gimmicks are so childish and clearly are there to appeal to the youthful crowd, yet this is the language that's used.  I’m not saying we need to go TV-PG like the WWE.  Heaven knows that sucked a lot of the fun out of the modern product.  On the other hand, as risque as the Attitude Era became, they didn’t EVER resort to foul language of this kind.  

As for the kid you mentioned, you know just how angry it made me at the time.  I just can’t understand how a kid that’s no more than thirteen is allowed to behave this way.  Where was his parent?  There were a few other fools in the crowd that behaved like complete savages.  People need to  understand it’s all a show.   It’s time to clean it up, guys!