Dark Side of the Ring

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I watched the first hour of the second season premiere of Vice’s Dark Side of the Ring, which was released on YouTube recently.  The premiere dealt with the case of Chris Benoit.

Chris Benoit was a hugely popular wrestler who was considered one of the best workers of all time.  He murdered his wife, Nancy, and his young son before taking his own life in 2007 in an act so horrible that it was shocking, especially to those who knew Chris Benoit.

I had no idea about this series before this taste, and the first part of the Benoit story was unbelievably compelling and engaging.  The doc episode focused on the relationship between Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, leading toward the tragic death of Eddie and how that affected Benoit.

The series used interviews with wrestlers interspersed with real footage and artistic, dramatic reenactments to tell the story of the wrestler.  In the Benoit story, we heard from Chavo Guerrero Jr., Vicki Guerrero, Benoit’s son David, Chris Jericho, and Jim Ross.  The part that I saw was remarkably emotional, as I listened to Chavo tell about finding Eddie on his hotel bathroom floor.

Part two of the doc airs tonight on Vice.  I do not have access to that network so I hope to find it somewhere online.  Apparently, it should be available on the Vice TV website on Wednesday.

While I was searching for places to watch the doc, I found the first season on Amazon Prime.  I purchased the series and have watched two of the episodes.  One was about the stabbing death of Brusier Brody and the second one I watched was the mysterious death of Gino Hernandez.  There was also episodes about the Montreal Screwjob, the Von Erichs, Randy Savage and Elizabeth, and the Fabulous Moolah.

Season two of Dark Side of the Ring will feature the Owen Hart tragedy, the Brawl for All, Jimmy Snuka and his girlfriend’s death, and the death of Dino Bravo.

This doc series is extremely well done and gives you a glance into the dark side of the wrestling business.

King of the Ring

wwe king of the ring brackets

Brackets for the King of the Ring tournament that begins on Monday Night RAW tomorrow night came out and there are some wild matchups.  Some very unexpected matchups too.

Let’s predict.

On the RAW side, this is what I think…

Cesaro vs. Samoa Joe.  I so want Cesaro to win this.  What a match it could be.  I think Joe wins however.

Ricochet vs. Drew McIntyre.  Another great match.  Another one that could go any way.  I think Drew wins this, but I would not be shocked if Ricochet pulled it out.

Cedric Alexander vs. Sami Zayn.  This is the only gimme on this side of the bracket.  Cedric wins.  Sami has not won much of anything since he returned form injury.

The Miz vs. Baron Corbin.  I hate Baron Corbin, but I think he wins here.

Second round would be Joe vs. Drew M and I have Drew.  Cedric vs. Baron and I’ll take Cedric.

Drew defeats Cedric to make the finals.

On the Smackdown side…

Kevin Owens vs. Elias.  KO gets screwed over and Elias moves on.  Hope I am wrong.

Ali vs Buddy Murphy.  This could be the match of round one.  I give it to Ali.

Chad Gable vs. Sheldon Benjamin.  This is round one sleeper.  Chad Gable wins.

Apollo Crews vs. Andrade.  This is Smackdown’s no-brainer. Andrade is the winner.

Round two has Elias vs. Ali with Ali getting the duke.

Chad Gable vs. Andrade with Andrade winning.

Semi finals Ali vs. Andrade.  I’ll go with Ali because of who I picked on the other side.

Finals Drew McIntyre defeats Ali to become the new King of the Ring.


I would love to have Cesaro win this tournament, but I don’t think he will.  Some of the matches that we could get are insane (Ricochet vs. Cedric Alexander?  Cesaro vs. Drew McIntyre? )

The tournament runs across WWE TV until the Clash of Champions on WWE Network on September 15th.

SummerSlam 2019

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Yesterday was the WWE’s big show of the summer, SummerSlam.  As one of the “Big 4” shows of the year, the expectations are high.  Did the show deliver?  Let’s look at some of the highlights.


The Pre-show was actually fairly interesting as a few notable things happened.  Drew Gulak defended his Cruiserweight Championship, and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defended the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship against the IIconics.  Both were fine matches.

But the rest of the show was the big news.  First, in a Buddy Murphy vs. Apollo Crews match-up, Rowan attacked Murphy outside the ring during the match and yelled at him to keep “my name out of your mouth.”  This is, of course, the next step in the ongoing “Who attacked Roman Reigns” storyline as Buddy Murphy accused Rowan of driving the fork lift that pushed over the stage set onto Roman recently.  I really like that they are moving this storyline along slowly.  Too many times, WWE rushes the results and it does not allow us to develop a story effectively.  Now I don’t want them to run this through to Wrestlemania of course, but a few weeks of story development is a good thing.

Related imageAnd them Edge interrupted Elias’ put down Toronto concert and Edge gave Elias a spear!! It was an amazing thing since I was under the implication that Edge was on the no touch list because of his neck troubles.  I don’t know what this means, but Edge got one of the bigger pops of the evening from the hometown crowd and the spear was absolutely beautiful.

On the main show, I enjoyed most of the night.  There were good parts and weaker parts for sure, but SummerSlam was a solid show.

Becky Lynch forced Natalya to tap out to the Disarmher, which ended a fairly brutal match.  I thought both ladies did a great job.  I especially enjoyed the sharpshooter on the top rope, which was something that I had never seen before.

Image result for goldberg summerslam spearI saw lots of complaining about the Goldberg/Dolph Ziggler match, but I thought this was just what needed to happen.  Dolph Ziggler does not get enough credit because he made Goldberg look like a million bucks by selling those spears as if he were hit by a car.

It’s funny that the last two pics on the post are of wrestlers getting speared.  I may try to make it a theme.

Image result for ricochet summerslamWe had some matches in a row that were fine.  Kevin Owens beat Shane McMahon, which was highlighted by KO kicking Shane directly in the balls.  Bayley defeated Ember Moon in a decent match that had zero crowd reaction.  AJ Styles defeated Ricochet to retain his US Title.  The OC was involved quite a bit with distractions for Ricochet.  Ricochet came out in his Nightwing attire, which was cool.  Ricochet did some amazing stuff too.  At one point, he stepped across the shoulders of both members of the OC to hit a hurricanrana on Styles on the outside of the ring.  It was something we have never seen before.  There was a great finish to that match too as AJ caught Ricochet doing one of his flips and turned it into the Styles Clash finisher.

Charlotte Flair defeated Trish Stratus in a compelling yesterday vs. today match-up.  Trish was performing in front of her hometown crowd and they really worked a solid match.  Charlotte was able to get Trish to tap out from the Figure-8.  This was advertised as Trish’s final match and she went out passing the torch to one of this generations best female grapplers.

Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton was a disappointing finish for almost everybody as they were both counted out.  The countout seemed to happen incredibly fast too (especially when you compare how much time Brock and Set would be outside the ring later in the night).  The crowd did not seem to be into the match that much as they had several derogatory chants during the match and chanted “Bull$^%t” after the countout.  Clearly this feud is not finished.

Image result for the fiend summerslamThe last two parts of the card were easily the best.  Bray Wyatt debuted his new Fiend character in the most horrifying way possible.  The new entrance was frightening and enthralling.  He carried a lantern down to the ring that looked like it was the severed head of the previous rendition of Image result for the fiend summerslamBray Wyatt, with the light coming out his mouth.  When the camera zoomed in to it, I legitimately said, “What the hell is that?” New music, a metal interpretation of the Wyatt Family theme was absolutely perfect.  Bray crushed Finn, who did get a touch of offense when Bray appeared to be having a mental struggle with himself.  As if the happy, Firefly Funhouse host Bray was fighting against the Fiend.  It did not last long and The Fiend put Finn down with the Mandible Claw.

This Bray Wyatt character is MONEY!  There will be so many things the WWE can do with Bray that I really hope they do not ruin it.  Rumors indicate that Bray Wyatt did much, if not all, of the creation for this character and, if that is the case, it shows how creative wrestlers can be.

Image result for seth rollins summerslamThe main event was tremendous as well.  Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.  The build to the match had been absolutely terrible and was threatening to completely derail the career of Seth Rollins.  You could hear how much he had been hurt as, when Seth hit the ring, the reaction to him was split, with a lot of boos being heard.

However, Seth did exactly what he had to do, and he won over that crowd once again.  Brock grabbed Seth and gave him a German suplex, except Seth landed on his feet, hit Brock with a superkick and then a stomp, and got a two count immediately.  Brock got back in control and beat on Seth a bit.  One of the best moments was when Brock picked up Seth by the tape that was around his waist for the damaged ribs and swung him by it.

Image result for Seth Rollins frog splash brock SummerslamSeth reversed Brock outside the ring and rammed him into the ring post.  This led to Set doing a frog splash from the ring post into the broadcast table. The frog splash looked just brutal to both competitors.  I thought Seth may have knocked himself out because he hit his own head right into Brock’s shoulder.

Seth wound up hitting a third stomp on Brock and pinned The Beast to become Universal Champion for a second time.  I will admit, I popped huge when he pinned Brock as did that entire audience that had booed him when they started.

The main event and the debut of the Fiend was as good of a section as the WWE has done this year.  The rest of the card was good to great, with only the finish of the WWE title match being a clunker.

Seth Rollins seemed to have saved his character, which had been tarnished terribly by the WWE in the build to the event.  Hopefully, they have learned their lesson after Seth’s previous title run (no more Baron Corbin, please).

Where does Bray Wyatt go from here?  Rumors have Finn Balor taking some time off, but the eventual Fiend vs. Demon match is unavoidable, isn’t it?

Big shout out to the NXT Takeover match of Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano from Saturday.  Insanity.

I want to know more about the Roman Reigns mystery.  Is Daniel Bryan the mastermind behind it?

SummerSlam successfully made me wonder what the WWE is going to do next and I am excited to see RAW tonight and that means the company did their jobs.

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NXT Takeover: War Games

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Hanson launches himself onto O'Reilly and sends him crashing through the hardwood!

Tower of Doom!

Ricochet hits a double rotation moonsault from the top of the cage!

Dream goes for his second Purple Rainmaker, but Ciampa rolls out of the way...

WWE Photo

Photos from WWE.com

NXT Takeover WarGames 2 happened last night and one has to wonder why this show NEVER FAILS.  No mater what NXT performers are on the card, the show just is filled with amazing action, great drama and wrestling.

We see the main roster events and they, more often than not, are nowhere near as entertaining as NXT specials.  Now, there are few NXT events on the WWE Network than WWE PPVs.  That has to be taken into account, but still.  There has not been one Takeover special that has been a disappointment.

WarGames last night was insane with Ricochet, Pete Dunn and the War Raiders defeating the Undisputed ERA after Ricochet and Dunn co-pinned Adam Cole (Bay Bay).  This followed some fantastic storytelling inside the match as well as insane spots that looked amazing.

And an argument could be made that this brilliant WarGames was the third best match on the card.

Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream were perhaps the best back-to-back singles matches in history.  Both matches would be pushing five star classics.  Johnny Gargano has been in more Match of the Year candidates than any other performer in WWE.  By far.

Ciampa is maybe the best heel going today.  The Velveteen Dream is going to be a massive star, and he is only 23 years old.

Then the show kicked off with a quick squash match for the King of the Bros, Matt Riddle.  Plus, an entertaining women’s match with Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane, what more could you want?

I think a major issue with WWE is how these unbelievably entertaining and remarkably talented performers get lost when they arrive on the main roster. They obviously thrive in the world of NXT,but the main roster seems to chew them up and spit them out.  Why is that?  Is it the performers fault?  I have a feeling that is what is being said backstage, but when there are more performers who were amazing at NXT but under-performing on the main roster, shouldn’t creative have their share of the blame?

Andrade “Cien”Almas is the latest example of a man who will be in the Top 10 matches of the year list on NXT but lost in the shuffle at Smackdown.  There really can’t be that big of difference is there?

It has taken Bayley years to recover (if she has) from the disastrous run on the main roster.  She was once one of the hottest acts on NXT.

Thankfully, it looks as if the Authors of Pain have been allowed now to become what they are instead of becoming the next Ascension.

There are too many to be coincidence.  Creative is the problem.  Vince is the problem.

One day, perhaps we could have WWE giving us one success after another.  Maybe.

Until then, we are NXT.