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Figure Four Weekly 6/12/2017: Okada and Omega deliver another classic

Okada and Omega Deliver Another Classic

by Alan Counihan (@Alan4L)

After shaping the modern New Japan main event scene with his all-time classic series against Hiroshi Tanahashi, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada is now firmly entrenched in his next rivalry which will go down among the greatest of all time.

June 11th 2017 might go down as one of those wrestling dates that we just don't forget. Much like June 3rd 1994 was for Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada, Okada and his new arch rival Kenny Omega wrestled a match that will live long in the minds of those who watched it. Whether you were in the building, at home or in a hotel room during Download Festival weekend, you would have been transfixed as these two incredible athletes built to one of the all time dramatic closing stretches. They went at a hellacious pace, blowing past the 46 minute mark which saw their Tokyo Dome encounter conclude, and entering the last minute of the designated 60 allotted for IWGP title matches.

Okada was crawling towards his fallen opponent, who lay near the apron. He let out a guttural scream as he reached towards Omega. As he picked him up and tried with every bit of strength he had to position him for the Rainmaker, the ring announcer uttered the most impactful words of the broadcast – "One minute remaining in the time limit. One minute remains!"

Those words where what was needed to reignite the challenger, who had looked a beaten many 15 minutes earlier. Omega unleashed a flurry of vicious backward elbows to the champ. Then he did what has become next to impossible. He broke the Rainmaker grip. He took the back position and dropped Okada on his head with a trademark snap Dragon Suplex. But that it turn kicked Okada into another gear. Almost as soon as he hit the mat, he bounced up and straight into the air for a gigantic dropkick. With no hesitation he grabbed the wrist and finally hit the Rainmaker he was looking for – the hardest one of the match to that point. There was 30 seconds left. 30 seconds to make the cover and get the pinfall.

In that 30 seconds, there were no moves, no words, no taunts – just one man crawling, inching his way towards another. It was something any two people on this earth could replicate. Yet it was as special a 30 seconds as you'll ever seen in the great sport that is Pro Wrestling. The reaction of the fans in Osaka Jo-Hall, the facial expressions of Okada, the beauty of the scene – it was so perfect. It was the perfect draw. You were left asking what if, you wanted to see more, but you knew on this day there was no more to see, and they had no more to give. Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega had given their all.

There have been four previous hour draws in IWGP history. The first was Antonio Inoki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami on 8/8/88 (Super Monday), then three in the 2000s with Yuji Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono (who was on commentary duty at DOMINION), Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi in 2003 and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Satoshi Kojima in 2005. It's safe to say that most would agree this was the best by a wide margin. It will get by far the most attention worldwide and has dominated English language social media in the past 24 hours. The scary thing is that these two may well go on to have bigger, more epic matches that get talked about even more. It seems impossible, but it would have seemed impossible during the Okada/Tanahashi series too.

We're truly in the midst of something special……. Again.

WWE Notes

by Joseph Currier (@josephcurrier)

t's almost hard to believe that there's yet another WWE pay-per-view this Sunday. After a relatively light period surrounding WrestleMania, Money in the Bank will be the company's third PPV within a five week span.

Following last month's Backlash show, there will once again be a Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton match for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank. But for all of the talk that their first meeting received, the rematch is almost an afterthought on this card.

Definitive judgments about Mahal's title reign still can't really be made. He's been a fairly fresh character and fits the role of heel champion better than would've been thought. His work is still largely untested, and another match against Orton offers another chance to show that he's capable in the ring.

The two Money in the Bank ladder matches have been the focus heading into the last week of build. The men's match has a loaded field, with AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin vying for the briefcase. The result of it should be telling about the plans for the WWE title over the next few months.

While the first-ever women's Money in the Bank ladder match is a good idea, the SmackDown roster doesn't seem deep enough to put on something that is worthy of the moment. Perhaps the better workers in it will be able to carry things, but the degree of difficulty with five people involved leaves a lot of room for things to go wrong.

Naomi defending her Women's Championship against Lana is again a surprising title match from WWE, though the title should be on the line on the show and there aren't many options with the division lacking depth.

In another division that isn't particularly deep, The Usos vs. New Day is probably the first of many times they will meet. There aren't many heel teams on SmackDown, so it doesn't seem like The New Day should win here even if they're destined to get the belts eventually.

Money in the Bank is always a highlight of the WWE calendar. It had easily surpassed Survivor Series as the company's fourth biggest PPV in recent years, but WWE has kept their dual-branded events to the traditional "Big Four." Hopefully making it a SmackDown-exclusive show will add importance to WWE's second brand instead of just dragging the event itself down.

Mexico Notes

by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims (@DrLuchaJr)

Spraying to all fields – wait, that's a beisbol phrase - let's say "planchitas desde todos los esquinas:"

CMLL: Unless, and I suspect this is unlikely, they run one of their July semi-major events like Juicio Final, or Infierno en el Ring, it's now full-steam-ahead preparation for the month of September. They have already announced the return of the International Gran Prix for Friday, September 1, just five days after what they realize will be one of AAA's biggest successes ever (see AAA section below), so they are going to take the spotlight back and run with it in September. Not announced yet is the schedule for the Universal Tournament, though I could see that on September 8th and 15th with the final on the 22nd – and that final being the semifinal of the 84th Anniversary show. However, I could also see running the Anniversary show September 29th. That could be four or even five weeks, with the right undercards, of 10,000 fans a week – or it could be, and this would be more typical of CMLL, 4 weeks of 6,000 and 1 week of 15,000 for the Anniversary show. I know they have the next three months mapped out and know what matches they want to run the rest of this year.

I just don't know the matches yet. Rush (hair) vs. Atlantis (mask) would draw the most money. Caristico (mask) vs. Ultimo Guerrero (hair) would be next. Both would sell out and would likely be great dramatic matches with some uncertainty as to the finish. Other feuds CMLL has going now are much lesser things and would be a struggle to headline, even if Diamante Azul vs. Pierroth almost sold out in March. The second-tier feuds are Pierroth vs. Vangellys (hair feud, one last stab to try to save the gimmick of Los Ingobernables by making fans take Pierroth more seriously); Princesa Sugehit vs. Zeuxis (masks, could be a fine match, might work best as third-from-the-top match on 9/1 or 9/22); Soberano Jr. vs. Misterioso Jr. (masks, the thing is, their push for Soberano Jr. has worked out great – best thing the promotion has done all year – and they really don't need this match to help his career nearly as much as they or I would have guessed 4 months ago); perhaps something with Soberano Jr. and Sanson, though that's a year or two away from being a really big match; say Niebla Roja and possible his brother Angel de Oro against any of the remaining Guerreros Laguneros (a singles stip. match with Ultimo Guerrero and Niebla Roja won't do, too unbalanced in star power, something more along Roja/Oro vs. Gran/Euforia with 1 or 2 masks at stake, that could be a decent match this year but a mega-show match next year with time to build); and finally poor Volador Jr., along with Atlantis the top face in the whole promotion, can't get on a mega-show card to save his life, so maybe this is the time to bring back the feud with Barbaro Cavernario for the hairs.

FULL: This is a small promotion, been around for years, run by the Tinieblas family. They just wrapped up a tour of Mexico which included main event matches every night with Alberto el Patron, who after Rey Mysterio Jr. I would think would be the second-most-valuable wrestling talent on the market in Mexico. They promoted in many ways, including decently on Facebook and other social media. The tour bombed. I mean bombed. Even in a metro area of 20,000,000 people and in Alberto's home town. Seriously, it bombed so bad it's even hard to find an explanation for this. Did they not even draw 1,000 paying fans in San Luis Potosi, the font of the Mil Mascaras/Dos Caras family? ¡Qué barbaro!

Lucha Underground: For the first time, a tiny sliver of doubt is creeping into my head about Season 4. The press interviews I read, the lack of noise I hear from the crews, and the numbers I see regarding US viewership of Season 3 don't give me much optimism. But the wowee numbers in Germany are another story. Many US films are created with the idea that overseas revenue will exceed (often times hugely exceed) US revenue. If worldwide viewership is 1,000,000 per week currently, not just 200,00 US, that changes the dynamic of the "to be or not to be" question a whole bunch.

The CRASH: The promotion in Mexico with the highest number of matches this year that our readership would rate as ****, but what trouble they are having in growing. Something, likely television, is missing, and what looked like to be a major new force on the market place now just looks like an indy running 2-3 shows a month in the north of Mexico, 1-2 shows a year in Mexico City, and having the major indy names come in for various shows to provide intriguing matchups. Other than TV, it's even possible they have done nothing wrong, either. Both WWE and UFC, giant corporations with giant marketing arms, have essentially failed to gain a foothold in the Mexico marketplace and appear generally to have written the market off. There's probably a good column discussing the hows and whys of that. Maybe a week or two.

AAA: Ending on a happy note business wise. Based on the number of tickets already sold, the listed ticket prices at the arena, etc., the 8/26/17 Triplemania show will be the largest gate in US dollar terms in the entire history of Mexican wrestling. Virtually every ticket that has been sold so far has been sold with no knowledge of any other match on the show other than the mask match between The Psycho Clown and Dr. Wagner Jr. The promotion's financial predicament is likely to be solved or virtually solved due to this, and their existence as an ongoing promotion is now far more likely than it was in March. In a year where there have already been 100+ ****-+ matches around the world, this has the capacity to be one too – but a match very much unlike almost any of the other 100+. I strongly expect them to lay out a match very similar to the mask/hair match with Psycho Clown and Texano Jr. of a couple of years ago. If so, the match will stand out, for its violence, blood, and major stakes, from most every other match this year in professional wrestling (and the dramatic yet antiseptic CMLL mask matches). That would be good for both wrestlers, for all AAA, for all of lucha in Mexico, and the real winners would be lucha fans – a glorious feast of real Mexican food after 100+ straight meals of filet mignon.

Europe Notes

by Oliver Court (@AnotherOli)

Mark Andrews suffered a scary, but fortunately not serious, neck injury at the NXT Download Festival show on Sunday. After being rushed to hospital from the show, it was reported that Andrews had only suffered bruising to his neck. Andrews is a cornerstone of WWE's UK brand and of BritWres itself, so it's very good news to hear his injury will only be minor.

After a very busy few weeks with Super Strong Style 16 talk, European news this week is light. In the midst of SSS16 though, RevPro did announce two big matches for their next York Hall show, Summer Sizzler. Rey Mysterio will make his first appearance for the promotion against Marty Scurll, in a match that mirrors the Zack Sabre Jr. vs Kurt Angle match from last summer, as a current British star goes up against a 2000s WWE workrate tour-de-force as they near retirement. 2017 Mysterio doesn't do a lot for me, but Kurt Angle got the loudest reaction of anyone I've ever heard in the York Hall last year, so Mysterio should receive the same amount of love and act as a similar draw for RevPro.

In a match catering more to the modern indie fans though, Zack Sabre Jr. defends the British Heavyweight Championship against Chris Brookes, receiving his first shot at the title and his first major singles match not just in RevPro, but really anywhere. Brookes has been a tag team guy since his CCK breakout, either appearing alongside Travis Banks in wXw and RevPro or Kid Lykos in PROGRESS, Attack and Fight Club Pro. We haven't seen a lot of singles stuff from him since he reached the next level of BritWres star power, so getting such a big match on the York Hall stage is a very exciting prospect. Brookes made Sabre Jr. tap out in a tag match at a recent Live at the Cockpit show, so the build is already underway for one of RevPro's bigger all-British matchups ever.

TV Reviews

by Bryan's Friend Vince (@FO_VVerhei)

Retro NWA (6/6/87)

They showed the Rock & Roll Express wrestling Manny Fernandez. Through clever editing, Fernandez's partner was not shown.

"GUESS WHAT?" David Crockett asked, full of glee. He announced that the Rock & Rolls had beaten Fernandez and Rick Rude for the tag titles.

New Breed vs. Alan Martin & Mike Force. New Breed were still technically heels and wrestled like it, but the crowd totally loved them. Well, there was one guy upset they were throwing Martin around outside the ring. They won with a missile dropkick/suplex combo.

They showed us footage of the Rock & Rolls winning the tag titles. They did show Rick Rude in the corner here, so who knows when this was taped. They showed several minutes of this. And then Ricky pinned Fernandez with a sunset flip. They celebrated their win without the belts. So presumably this was a non-title match from any point in the past six months.

Jim Crockett Jr. met with Tony Schiavonie to plug the upcoming Great American Bash tour. He announced for July 4th, THE MATCH BEYOND. They said tune in next week to see what this match was. Well this is going to take a while.

Rock & Roll Express vs. Randy Barber & Cougar Jay. Rock & Rolls came out with the tag belts, and it was like the people had fallen in love with them all over again. Passionate support. Rock & Rolls wrestled for a while and hit the double dropkick for the win.

Rock & Rolls cut a promo after the break about how great it was to be champions for the fourth time. They plugged a title defense against Ric Flair & Lex Luger.

Jimmy Garvin vs. Terry Jones. Jimmy wasn't messing around and won with the brainbuster in a minute.

The Four Horsemen have a logo for their promos now. It was JJ Dillon and Tully Blanchard with Dark Journey. They talked about how great the logo was, and said the $100,000 TV title match against Dusty Rhodes was here. They showed some dudes in the audience giving Dark Journey a THOROUGH once-over. Blanchard was so happy about how great he and all the Horsemen felt. Dusty wasn't there, he must be in seclusion, but Tully's biorhythms were up. BIORHYTHMS~! He promised that Dusty would go down one, two, three, and as TV champion he would still have all the prestige and notoriety. This was great.

Midnight Express vs. Trent Knight & Larry Stephens. One of the geeks hit a sunset flip for a two-count. "Hey these guys are trying to win the match!" Cornette said. "That ain't fair!" Midnights won with a double flapjack. They joined Cornette for a promo. He ran down the Rock & Rolls and challenged them to a title match.

Time for the weekly Ric Flair video!.

Tony Schiavonie interviewed Barry Windham, who tried and failed to plug a tournament for the Western States Heritage championship. He tried like three times to get that name right and never did. He also challenged Big Bubba for "his championship." This was awesome.

Arn Anderson vs. Chance McQuade. Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Brock was shown in the crowd. Arn squashed the guy. Chance fucked up the gourdbuster the first time, so Arn hit it again, then put his hand over Chance's face on the pin, then threw in a couple of stomps for good measure.

Dusty Rhodes cut a promo from some other show, saying Tully and the money belonged to him. He described himself as "whiskey bit and glory bound." He congratulated the Rock & Rolls on their title win and threatened to do a double backflip. He said the last time Tully had a woman, he had made a lady out of her, and threatened to do the same to Dark Journey.

Jimmy Garvin came out for a promo. Actually, he came out to make out with his wife, and while he was out there he decided to cut a promo too. He called Ric Flair a wounded animal and knew it was just a matter of time. He added Lex Luger was losing sleep because he couldn't beat Nikita. He was all over the place here.

Fabulous Freebirds vs. Thunderfoot 1 & Thunderfoot 2 & Gladiator 1. Boy howdy did these Atlanta fans love the Freebirds. Buddy Roberts did about the funniest missile dropkick I ever saw. He started on the middle rope, and his two feet hit Gladiator in the head, and then he went straight down at 100 miles an hour. This went through a break, then we came back just in time to see Gordy break a Thunderfoot's neck with a belly-to-back suplex. Jesus Christ. Freebirds won with an axehandle to a guy Gordy was carrying on his shoulders. Yes, an axehandle. Freebirds then cut a promo calling out the Horsemen tonight at the Omni. I have NO EARTHLY IDEA what Roberts was talking about here but it was amazing. "YOU KNOW THAT MOVIE THE BIRDS? IT WAS A HORRIFYING MOVIE!" This was the best awful promo I ever saw. I laughed till I cried.

Vladimir Petrov vs. Gary Phelps. Vladimir won in seconds with the Russian sickle.

Flair came out for a promo. He said tonight was not the time to talk about the women, the cars, and the money. Tonight was about being the best, and wearing the world title, and how he'd teach Jimmy Garvin about that soon. He said not long ago, Michael Hayes had been a nervous punk just begging Flair to shake his hand. He threatened to break Gordy's leg, then pulled a fan out of the audience and asked if he would like a night with Dark Journey. Yes, the fan said. "WELL YOU CAN'T HAVE HER 'CAUSE SHE'S TULLY BLANCHARD'S!" The fan smiled, then hung his head and returned to his seat. Schiavonie died at that one. Flair plugged the NBA Finals. This was a great Ric Flair promo.

Barry Windham vs. Gladiator 2. Barry won in seconds with the lariat. Didn't even bother taking his vest off.

Nikita Koloff cut a promo on Lex Luger, saying yes, he was big and bad, but he was not so bad without the other Horsemen by his side.

Ron Garvin vs. Rick Sullivan. Sullivan was big and had a body and he was out there doing all he could to make Garvin look good in the time he had. He took a great bump for the knockout punch, but landed on his face. So Garvin pulled him up and punched him again and won. Garvin and Windham then cut a promo on the Midnight Express and vowed to win the US tag titles. They promised to take care of Cornette first, saying he'd be "fit to be tied.".

They showed Steve Williams pinning Eddie Gilbert in the UWF, but then getting attacked by Dick Murdoch. This meant JIM ROSS ON COMMENTARY. The heels held Williams' arm on a chair and Murdoch did a top-rope stomp to it. This stomp looked GREAT, by the way.

Dillon and Luger came out for a promo. Luger talked about how great he was and called out Nikita for the "Summer Bash." He said it was his destiny to be the next US champion, then stepped out from behind the podium to flex. The women loved this. Lex kept on talking out in the open, and tapped his dick at least four times. What the hell was that about?.

Ric Flair & Lex Luger vs. Ricky Nelson & John Savage. Horsemen won quickly with the figure-four, then all the Horsemen came out to celebrate together. This damn logo was on the show for like the fifth time. It was the visual equivalent of the nWo theme song on Nitro. Arn talked about how great the Horsemen were as Flair cackled, Lex flexed, Dark Journey posed, and Tully beamed. These people were having SO MUCH FUN and no person walking the earth could watch this without thinking "GOD I wish was in the Four Horsemen." Flair said that Journey already knew that Michael Hayes wasn't a man. They all laughed and cackled and posed together and it was the best thing ever. Flair and the Horsemen totally carried this show. Hardly a revelation, I know.

Retro NWA (6/13/87)

They opened with shots from the Greensboro Colisuem on June 6. I guess they're showing the whole $100,000 match.

Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard. Not sure why Dusty came out for this match in North Carolina in a New York Yankees jacket, but fans sure did love him and Magnum. They showed the intros, then the usual Saturday night credits package rolled. Ronnie Garvin, looking as fancy as he possibly could, cut a promo saying Dusty should have the TV title and a hundred thousand dollars. He promised that the Garvins, the Rock & Rolls, and Nikita Koloff had Dusty's back.

Kendall Windham vs. Art Pritts. Kendall Windham was the skinniest wrestler I ever saw until Zack Sabre Jr. came along. He was also clearly the worst guy in this match. He won quickly with a bulldog.

Rock & Rolls cut a promo hyping up the Great American Bash. They offered support to Dusty Rhodes.

Schiavonie interviewed Jim Crockett Jr. He explained the Match Beyond, in Atlanta on July 4th. So it's WarGames first, then when every one is in the ring, THAT is the match beyond, determined by submission or surrender. He also announced it was Dusty, Nikita, the Road Warriors, and Paul Ellering against the Four Horsemen and JJ Dillon. Then we got the WarGames hype video, with the cage apparently being forged in Isengard as Saruman did the voiceovers. THIS WAS THE BEST THING EVER. THE WAR GAMES! YEAH!.

Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard. Joined in progress wth Dusty working over the knee. You know how in WWE today, there's about six feet between the ring and the barricade? These dudes had a good 20 feet of concrete out there to work with. Dusty whacked the knee with Magnum's cane at one point. Dusty briely hooked a figure-four, but Tully escaped. Tully went after Magnum, but Magnum slapped him in the face, then Dusty hooked a figure-four on the floor. The ref did not just say that submissions on the floor did not count. No, he began a five-count on Dusty, then physically tried to break the hold. This gave JJ a chance to stomp Dusty in the head and break things up. Dusty survived a figure-four and hit a DDT for a double-down. They went back and forth a while, with Tully attacked the leg and Dusty just trying to defend himself. They said 15 minutes had elapsed, so we didn't miss much. It went through a break.

Dusty avoided the slingshot suplex, then both guys tried a cross-body and they had a massive midring collision. Dusty would hit an elbow, rest in the corner, hit an elbow, rest in the corner. He hit a slingshot suplex of his own and Tommy Young counted three, and THEN Tully got a foot on the ropes. The bell rang, but then Tommy realized his mistake. Dillon grabbed the bag of money and ran away. The cops chased him to the back, and so did Dusty. This means Dusty out in the street looking for Dillon, and didn't realize the match had been re-started, and he was counted out. All poor Magnum could do was shake his head. Eventually Dusty returned to ringside. He called out Crockett and demanded his "[BLEEP] MONEY!" Eventually Dusty and Magnum retreated to the dressing room, where Schiavonie tried to interview them. Dusty was cursing up a storm. Magnum apologized for letting the money get away and promised to get it back. Dusty told him he was in no shape to get it back. Magnum, now about 150 pounds, knew this was true. And Dusty, heartbroken, hugged his friend. This was amazing. Then Schiavonie interviewed Tommy Young. He said he was a five-time referee of the year, and he had called it as he had seen it. They showed the finish, and Tommy apologized to everyone, including Mr. Crockett and Mr. Rhodes, but said there were no replays in pro wrestling, and as far as he was concerned the decision was final. Crockett promised an inquiry into this match, and into Young's status as a ref.

Nikita Koloff cut a promo declaring that Dusty should be TV champ, and promising to beat Lex Luger at the Bash. Then he asked for clarifications on the rules of the Match Beyond. He promised that somebody was going to get hurt, and somebody was going to get hurt bad. He promised the Horsemen pain like they had never felt before.

Jimmy Garvin vs. Rick Sullivan. So Sullivan goes from one Garvin to the next. He took one big backdrop and then Garvin pinned him with the brainbuster.

Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express came out for a promo. Cornette bragged about surviving a series of cage matches against Ronnie Garvin, and promised to never get in the ring again unless he was matched up against a small child. The women were loving them some Midnight Express this week. And based on the way Stan and Bobby were scanning the crownd, they were loving some of these women right back. They challenged the Rock & Rolls to a title match. Between his moustache and Aviators, Stan Lane was the non-ironic version of the look Joey Ryan is going for in 2017. Joey is doing it to look goofy. Stan really did look cool.

Ric Flair came out for a promo celebrating Tully's win over Dusty. They had now added a fanfare of trumpets to the Horsemen logo. He began to plug the Match Beyond and made fun of Nikita for not knowing the rules. He said someone in this match might get KILLED. He joined the other Horsemen, who were in the ring, talking about how great they were.

Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson & Lex Luger vs. Cougar Jay & Mike Force & Chance McQuade. Horsemen ran wild and gave Lex the win with the torture rack. Horsemen then cut a promo. That fanfare is so wacky. Tully explained that if you're leg was on the ropes, the pin didn't count, so don't get mad at me because you're incompetent and walked out of the building. It was the 1980s, and dot matrix printers were the rage, and they took a long sign from a fan and held it up. They raved about how great they were as the show ended. A very different show, obviously.

WWE Retro Raw 263 (6/8/98)

Show opened with a memorial video for the Junkyard Dog. That was nice.

Vince McMahon and the Stooges came out in full tuxedos. Announcers didn't know what this ceremony was about, but was sure it must be important. Vince thanked the fans for making last night's Raw the most-watched wrestling program in history, and said this would be a night of thanks. He stood before them humble and generous, and said the true Vince McMahon was not the guy you saw on TV. Tonight, he said, he would be named humanitarian of the year, and promised Steve Austin would be joining them for the presentation later tonight.

Godfather vs. Ken Shamrock in a King of the Ring qualifier. Yes, "Godfather," not Kama. Nation was ejected before the match. Shamrock started but taking a turnbuckle to the throat at full speed. Oops. Fucker could move, that's for sure. Godfather worked the bad ankle. Shamrock trapped him in the ankle lock out of nowhere for the submission win. Great finish to your basic two-minute Raw match. Nation went after Shamrock afterwards but Dan Severn made the save. Shamrock could sell an ankle, that's for damn sure.

Clips from Madison Square Garden. They announced that SummerSlam would be at the Garden that year, then showed DX walking the streets of New York interviewing people. This included Triple H making fun of a Pakistani man's accent. Bet Jinder Mahal loved that. They got a woman to show her boobs on camera. It was censored, obviously.

Marc Mero & Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve Blackman & Faarooq. Just a short Raw match. Faarooq clobbered Jarrett, who bonked into Mero, who fell off the apron, and Blackman pinned Jarrett with a schoolboy. Jarrett and Mero shouted at each other. They have a King of the Ring match coming up that nobody could possibly care about.

More of DX fucking around in New York. The highlight of this by far was two Japanese guys who performed a cobra twist, and Hunter and X-Pac marked out for THEM. "COBRA TWIST!" Hunter made fun of an Indian man's headwrap, and an old lady did some crotch chops.

Still more in New York and STILL MORE MAKING FUN OF PAKISTANIS. Chyna was trying on hats and sunglasses and even she cracked. There were more boobs.

Scorpio vs. Owen Hart. They got six or seven minutes and had a good TV match. Scorp missed a moonsault and started selling his knee, and Owen started targeting it, then put on the sharpshooter and won. If every match was this good I would never complain again.

Undertaker arrived at the building and started looking for Vince.

Droz vs. Chainz. Neither entrance for either guy. It actually felt like the entrances were edited off the Network, or the live showing. Match was going along fine. Then Chainz climbed to the top rope in the goofiest manner possible, and then hit the mat in the goofiest manner possible. Chainz won with a DVD, and then Undertaker immediately hit the ring and chokeslammed both men. Note that he let them do their finish first and didn't just get both men DQ'd. Thank you for your patience, Undertaker. He called out Vince, but after the break Vince and his crew were shown hanging out with some Chicago Bears players on the big screen. Taker went back to get them.

DX came out for a promo. CATCHPHRASE CATCHPHRASE CATCHPHRASE CATCHPHRASE. They started to address the Nation when LOD 2000 interrupted. "We're trying to cut a promo here!" Hunter protested. Animal challenged the Outlaws to a title shot. "What are you yelling about?" Hunter said, and granted them a match, adding all they had to do was ask. Then the DOA came out. "Can anyone cut a promo here?" Hunter asked. "How many microphones does the WWF own?" DOA wanted a title shot too. DX had a huddle, then determined they would not fight all four dudes, so they could suck it. Sgt. Slaughter came out and said both challengers were No. 1 contenders, and booked match "which will be called a triple threat match" for the tag titles later. Road Dogg was outraged. Billy thought it was funny. Hunter said somebody had to leave so they could go to commercial. Hunter was funny here.

Undertaker was throwing furniture around backstage.

Edge vignette. He's still angry and carjacking and assaulting random people.

Mark Henry vs. Vader. Story here was that Vader was being replaced by a younger, stronger mastodon. He couldn't slam Henry, but Henry slammed him with ease. Henry was still greener than the greenest grass. Vader finally hit a slam and went to the middle rope, but Henry caught him coming off with a powerslam. Then Taker hit the ring and chokeslammed both men. Well, at least he let us have a finish in the first match.

They showed Sable giving a tearful farewell to all the WWF fans.

D-Lo Brown vs. Dan Severn. Uh-oh. They were doing this match, and it wasn't very good. Ross was saying that Severn needed to give up on running the ropes and shit and take D-Lo down and get a submission. And then Severn hit a belly-to-back suplex and put on a submission hold and tore D-Lo's pec. I always thought this was legit, but apparently it was an angle to set up D-Lo's chest protector gimmick. Owen Hart ran out and attacked Severn, but then Shamrock STILL SELLING THE ANKLE limped out and chased Owen away.

Sable farewell video. Like she was an all-time legend who had been around for 20 years and not 18 months.

Those two dudes from the Bears met with Steve Austin.

Val Venis vs. Dustin Runnels. Val did a promo comparing himself to Dennis Rodman, but he "dominates broads." Val did more homoerotic spots than I remember, taking Dustin to the corner and, well, stroking him. Dustin whipped his ass. He was working for free after losing that one match a few weeks ago. Their wrestling was VERY good. Val could fucking RUN those ropes. And then Taker came out to ruin ANOTHER match, chokeslamming both dudes, then leaving. Dammit, Taker. That was going so well.

DX shot Dok Hendrix and cameramen with super soakers.

DOA vs. LOD2K vs. NAO. Ross kept asking what Sunny had done to get LOD back on the same page, and Lawler said he couldn't answer that, this was a family show. So yes, officially, the story is she agreed to fuck them if they would let her be their manager. They did intros, then cut backstage where Taker was beating the hell of of Slaughter and demanding to know where Vince was. X-Pac and Hunter were on stage holding up funny signs such as "I'd rather be in Chyna" and "Where's Rocco?" These dudes were WORKING this evening. It wasn't always pretty but man, A for effort. Outlaws got tagged in against each other. They protested at first, then realized that the first guy to get a pin would win the match, so Road Dogg laid down and Billy pinned him. DX all got together and partied as the announcers pointed out how stupid DOA and LOD had been to let them get away with that.

A bunch of cops arrived backstage.

Al Snow and Head hit the announce desk and got escorted away.

Vince and the Stooges came out to some very wacky music. Meanwhile, the cops were confronting the Undertaker. So these were real humanitarian awards Vince was accepting. Austin came out in his usual jorts and vest with no shirt, but he did have a tie around his neck. Vince was appalled by Austin's apparel, but agreed to let the ceremony begin. Kevin Kelly introduced former Giants star George Martin and then-current Bears player Darnell Autry. Ross and Lawler were talking all over this segment for some reason. It was horrendously annoying. Martin said Vince's donation that year had been much smaller than in the past, and it took a few tries to get the check to clear, but he was the humanitarian of the year, and here was his award. Oh, and Steve Austin was his favorite wrestler. Vince and Austin were being all buddy-buddy here. Autry was there to present the Halas-Payton humanitarain award, even though they never got a check, but here's your award, and my favorite star is also Steve Austin. Vince congratulated "Darnell and George" for their great sense of humor. Vince "humbly but deservedly" accepted the awards. He was rambling on when Austin picked his pocket and pulled out a big wad of money. Austin said it was $1,200, and he donated it to Autry's charity. He dubbed Vince the jackass of the year, and his music played. Everyone was all cheery, but then Undertaker's music hit, and druids wheeled a casket out. Mankind came out from under the ring and jumped Austin, then Kane popped out of the casket and joined in. They locked Austin in the box, much to Vince's glee. This show was exhausting, with way too much going on in way too short a time.

WCW Monday Nitro 143 (6/8/98)

Earlier Today, Mike Tenay was in the parking lot interviewing fans about Sting joining the nWo. Stupid dorky teenagers thought it was cool and that Dallas Page would be next.

The nWo theme started, then stopped, and then the Wolfpac theme played. It's the first segment and you morons can't get the music straight. This was the debut of Sting in the ridiculous all-red facepaint. Schiavonie said they had played the wrong theme, and this had killed the crowd response. Swear to god he outright said this. They were in Detroit, Nash's hometown. He said "hizouse." Larry said "sizaid." Nash was cutting this promo in a hat that said "porn" with a star. Nash said five years ago he had thought about quitting wrestling, but Page had talked him out of it. Now Page had to make a choice. He said the vote to let Page in was almost unanimous, looking at Savage, he shook his head and shrugged. At least they didn't just forget about that Page-Savage feud a few months ago. Nash rambled on forever and then his mic cut, then we heard Hogan's voice saying it was time for the Wolfpac to get lost. I don't think Nash could hear him. So the black-and-white, including Dennis Rodman, were up in the rafters, and Rodman set off some pyro. Hogan's voice was shot. Then they dimmed the lights, and then they brought them back up. This is the best you can do in this feud? Flipping a light switch? Hogan said the Wolfpac weren't boys, they were GIRLS, and ordered the show to go to commercial.

After the break, Konnan interviewed JJ Dillon about this. Dillon said it wasn't his problem, it was there problem. So he's just outright surrendering control of the show. It's all WCW at this point.

Jerry Flynn vs. Yuji Nagata. If I could redo the Monday Night Wars, I'd make sure Jerry Flynn and Steve Blackman ended on the same show as a shooter tag team. These dudes kicked and suplexed each other a bunch and Yuji won with the Nagata lock.

Schiavonie interviewed Chris Jericho. Jericho call him "Skee-uh-voan" and presented a certified letter from Ted Turner. He said this letter would get him vindication tonight. Then he read the letter out loud. The letter talked about how great Jericho was, then said that Dean Malenko should not be cruiserweight champion. "However, your excessive whining and complaining has sickened me, so I must agree with WCW president JJ Dillon in saying tough luck, the decision stands, Dean Malenko will remain cruiserweight champion." The funniest thing is Jericho kept reading, even as the letter buried him deeper and deeper. He began to weep. Schiavonie showed him no sympathy and threw it to break.

Horace & Reese vs. Juventud Guerrera & Van Hammer. What in the blue fuck? Raven was out there in pants, which looked totally weird. Seriously, look at this. HORACE AND REECE VERSUS JUVENTUD GUERRERA AND VAN HAMMER? What is anyone supposed to do with anyone else here? I am terrified but also intrigued. They started with a horrible four-way. Reese dived onto both heels, who outweighed him by like 600 pounds legit, so they did not go down. Then Hammer dived onto all three of them and everyone went down. Tenay claimed Reese outweighed Juvy by 150 pounds. Reese outweighted Juvy by at least 300 pounds, I promise you. Once the match started, Horace did almost all the wrestling for his team. Even when they had the heat on Juvy, it was just a one-on-one match with a giant in the corner. Eventually Hammer tagged in and made just the worst comeback. Juvy tried a dive and Reese caught him and hit the tree slam for the win. This match was a spectacle, that's for sure.

Hogan and his crew were drinking with a bunch of good-lookin' women. He made fun of Nash's skinny legs and everyone laughed. So Hogan is trying to cut this promo on Nash when Rodman's cigar ash fell on a gal, and he tried to wipe it away, and she said "HIGHER! HIGHER!" to get him to touch her boob. So yeah, this was all off the rails. Hogan said he was going to sue Nash to get back the money for all the fines Hogan had paid for Nash's illegal powerbombs. He promised a new nWo member, who would be the second-biggest star of the club. They made jokes about the talent for a while.

Schiavonie interviewed JJ Dillon. There was some kind of controversy on Thunder that I don't care about. Apparently there had been a tag title match on Thunder, and Dillon had tried and failed to get that match canceled. So the results of that match were now thrown out, and at the Great American Bash, Sting would face Giant one-on-one, with the winner getting to choose a partner to be the tag team champions. Shouldn't it at least be Sting & a partner vs. Giant & a partner? Shouldn't it at least be a tag match for the tag titles?.

Scott Putski vs. Eddie Guerrero. Terrible match. Putski suplexed Eddie right onto his head and shoulder and Eddie was about out cold. Or at least scared to death. But then he kept letting Putski suplex and slam him repeatedly. Chavo came out for Eddie and Eddie ran away and the ref called for the bell. Putski got in Chavo's face and Chavo punched him out. Eddie was now more scared than ever. This feud was weird.

Nash and Konnan did a promo backstage. They buried Hogan's champagne and his women, said something about how big his dick was and how many t-shirts they sold, and asked Rodman why he was hanging out with white boys. Nash was definitely drunk here.

Bischoff and Giant cut a promo in the crowd. Bischoff was also drunk. You could really tell when he stopped talking and held the mic for Giant. This guy had no idea where he was. Giant said Sting was just an insect, and he was going to pull off his legs and wings one by one. "I'm going to pummel you to death right in the middle of the ring." Well then.

Schiavonie interviewed Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, and Konnan. So in this promo, Rude cut a heel promo on the fans, they all ran down Goldberg, Konnan sucked up to the fans, and then he vowed to beat Goldberg. I'm so confused.

Booker T vs. Chris Benoit. This best-of-seven series was famous at the time, but in hindsight it's nothing special. The same two guys who keep getting matches that are a little longer than average, a little better than average, but the more they wrestle the more it feels like we've seen it all before. Stevie Ray came out to watch. He dragged Booker out of the ring and gave him a tough love pep talk. Benoit interrupted and threw Booker back in the ring. Booker was fired up, though, and made his comeback. Benoit cut him off, but Booker hit a twisting sunset flip out of the corner for the win to tie the series at 3-3. Benoit jumped Booker after the match, but Stevie made the save.

Hogan cut a promo from his couch advising Konnan not to drop the soap. He made fun of Savage for being bald. They brought in Liz, who nestled in between Hogan and Hart. Bret rubbed her knee and Hogan kissed her cheek as they talked about having what Savage used to have. This just needed the Brazzers logo. I guess she's the new black-and-white member.

They aired replays of a bunch of stuff.

Norman Smiley vs. Fit Finley. Announcers were going off about how pissed Savage would be that Hogan and Hart were fucking Liz. Didn't we establish last week that Lex Luger and the rest of the Wolfpac were fucking Liz in the limo last week? He'll be fine. We were into the third hour, and fans were getting restless and chanting "BORING!" Or maybe "NORMAN!" Finley missed a punch and slapped the ringpost HARD. Fans were doing the wave. A clearly frustrated Finley hit a rolling fireman's carry and tombstone for the win.

Schiavonie called out Sting for an interview. Sting's whole body language and demeanor had changed. He was much more relaxed, comfortable, and at ease. He called the Giant fat. At the first Bash, he said, I had blonde hair, I was a nice guy, kind of a brat, but beating up big guys just like you. Now he had long hair and was a seasoned veteran, and he had gotten a whole lot meaner. He told Giant to quit the champagne and cigarettes, because he was getting out of shape. Whether it took the death drop or deathlock, he owned the Giant. "Thank you Tony! It's nice to talk again.".

Schiavonie called Roddy Piper out for a promo. Piper sucked up to the local sports fans repeatedly, and they all liked him now. They also drowned him out with chants for the hockey team. He was very upset that Dennis Rodman was wearing plaid, and that no Scotsmen had green hair. He talked about Rodman spilling cigars on women and asked "have you gotten any mail lately?" Randy Savage came out so they could yell at each other more. Savage said he wasn't a mark, this was murder city, and he wanted to fight. Hogan appeared in the crowd and called them girls and sissies. He presented Elizabeth, and said she was all Bischoff's. And Eric Bischoff grabbed his employee and kissed her right on the mouth. Savage, as I expected, didn't really care. "I got over you a long time ago," he said. But he would never get over Hogan. And he was also not over Piper, and he sucker-punched him. They brawled as Hogan and company had a hearty laugh. This was the most emotion I ever, EVER saw from Liz.

They replayed Mr. Jericho Goes to Washington from last week. Then Jericho confronted Malenko on Thunder, bringing up the memory of Malenko's dead dad. So Malenko waffled him with the belt.

Disco Inferno vs. Dean Malenko. I have never in my life seen anything as physically revolting as Disco Inferno's pants. Schiavonie noted he did not like them. I suppose I should say something about the wrestling but I couldn't get past these pants. A hideous mix of pea soup green and powder blue and white. And they were shiny. So shiny. Dean won with the cloverleaf.

More with Hogan and the women. He introduced footage to show the newest member of the nWo. It was Hogan, with hair, and Scott Steiner, walking the movie set and saying hi to Carl Weathers. I think Shannon Tweed was there but they didn't identify her. They all liked Scott's arms. Then it was back to Hogan and the women. He was so drunk he called himself "Hogglewood." Steiner joined them and, uh, did nothing.

Is this show ever going to end?.

Goldberg vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. Yes, Goldberg is main eventing now, and this totally came off like a legit main event. Goldberg mauled him, speared him, jackhammered him, and won. Everyone was going crazy. This includes Uncle Eddie, who was marking out on the ramp. This was a win.

Wolfpac came out again. Lex and Sting were howling with laughter coming down the ramp. Nash was HAMMERED. How did he make it into the ring without help? He called DDP to come out and get his t-shirt. Schiavonie interviewed Page on the ramp. He talked about Nash being his friend back in the day, and collecting a new set of friends in the Wolfpac. He put over how great everyone in the Wolfpac was, especially Lex and Sting. And now Nash wanted Page. Before he could announce his decision, Hogan and Rodman came out and attacked him with chairs. Sting and Konnan eventually made the save but it took them a while. And that's how it ended. Show was long.

WWE NXT (6/7/17)

Heavy Machinery vs. Victor Andrews & Lars Sullivan. Andrews did an inset promo. Seriously. He admitted he was nervous about his partner, but this was the biggest opportunity of his life, and he didn't have time to be nervous. Then Sullivan slapped him on the shoulder and asked if he was ready. Andrews looked up, up, up at Sullivan and shyly nodded. Sullivan is the big thick dude who looked so great against DIY that one time and then killed his partner. Took me a minute to remember that. Sullivan and Knight crashed into each other repeatedly. This was like a demolition derby with two monster trucks. It was quite glorious. Sullivan planted him with a powerslam, then Andrews demanded to be tagged in. Sullivan obliged, and Andrews was immediately cut off and killed. Machinery threw him around and squashed him and he took a fine beating. I could watch this match all day. Machinery won with their double-team slam which is called the COMPACTOR, which is awesome because that's exactly what it does. I want these four men to wrestle in every NXT opener for the rest of the year. Machinery called out the Authors of Pain afterwards. Lars just watched them celebrate and leave. And then it was time for the execution of Victor Andrews, and everyone knew it was coming, and everyone COULDN'T WAIT. Lars slowly entered the ring, stood over Andrews a bit, and then the beating commenced. Lars left, and the crowd chanted "SAY YOU'RE SORRY" at the deceased Andrews. This was one of the best segments I've seen all year. (*****).

Christie St. Cloud interviewed Sanity after their loss in a six-man last week. Dane declared that nobody was safe, especially not No Way Jose. Dane was awesome for his one sentence here.

Roderick Strong came out in street clothes for a promo. He talked about sharing his story with the fans and thanked them for accepting him. He said it was no longer Roddy vs. the world, it was Roddy, Marina, and Troy vs. the world, and now he was more passionate and driven than ever to be NXT champion. He was mock crying, making fun of Roddy, then said Roddy was finally winning matches, he had a somewhat hot fiance, his son was fairly normal, he should be proud. He knew one match with him would get Roddy out of the trailer park, but Roddy needed to stay in his lane, do himself a favor, and not play the Bobby Roode lottery. He called Roddy a good hand, but said he wasn't man enough to win, and wished him luck. And he left, and Roddy was left quiet and embarrassed in the ring. Well that was a terrible finish. Great up to that point though, especially by Roddy's whose promos have never been his strong suit.

Nikki Cross cut a crazy promo crying out the names of Asuka and Ruby Riot to hype up their three-way next week.

Authors of Pain video package. Paul Ellering read from his book, running down all the other teams in NXT and saying their fate was in the Authors' hands.

Sarah Logan vs. Peyton Royce. Nigel claimed Sarah was "born in the woods and raised in the mud," and that she used to wrestle a goat. I am not making any of this up. They had a developmental women's match if ever I've seen one. Per Nigel, Sarah's strategy was "If I can't outwrestle her, I'll just punch her." Is this Necro Butcher's long-lost daughter? Peyton beat her up in a boring manner and Sarah kept pissing her off by kicking out of stuff. Sarah made a comeback doing Kobashi's chop-jab combo. (That was Kobashi, right?) Peyton cut her off and won with a fisherwoman's suplex.

They showed Andrade Almas losing to Cesar Bononi last week. Afterwards, Andrade and his women were going to go out and party when a new woman confronted him, asked if this was who he was now, and slapped him in the face.

Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan. Hideo was interviewed after his loss to Bobby Roode about going back to Japan. Itami said he had worked too hard to get here, and he wasn't going to quit after one loss. Dudes were laying shit in tonight. Percy Watson again noted Itami's "Kobayashi style." Lorcan woke the crowd up with a series of chops and then a series of slaps to the face. Um, is that necessary? Lorcan hit a flip dive from the top to the floor. Back in, Itami hit his own series of face slaps and the go to sleep. People booed that. So Itami sneered at them and hit another one. Everyone booed more. Itami hit a third one. He started to pick Lorcan up again when Kassius Ohno ran out to talk to him. Itami shoved him, so Ohno shoved Itami down. They stared each other down and Itami walked away. At this point the bell rang, and we were told the official had thrown the match out. So the finish is whatever you want it to be, I guess.

Drew McIntyre video package, recapping his history. I think they've shown this before.

Christy interviewed Ember Moon. She said she had lost her first title shot against Asuka, and then missed her rematch due to injury. She was focused on Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, but she would be watching next week, and her next title match would be THE title match.

No Way Jose vs. Killian Dane. Match was long and slow and people were not into it. They mostly wanted to tell Dane to shave his back, and chant "FUZZY WUZZY!" There was a neck crank for about three minutes, then Dane hit a wasteland and declared "He's dead!" Jose was not, in fact, dead. Match just went on and on. There were like 12 minutes left when it started and I figured there would be another promo to end things, but no, they're just going to wrestle twice as long as they need to. Jose made a comeback and hit a TKO for a nearfall. Dane did a no-hands headbutt. There's a bunch of people doing that in NXT now. Dane, Galloway, Logan did one earlier. Dane won with the Ulster Plantation.

Lucha Underground Season 3: All Night Long Again

Thank god they did, because no way I would have remembered.

I'm almost certain that the lead singer of the house band was Kenny Omega.

Johnny Mundo vs. Da Mack in an All Night Long match. Striker contended that Mundo was in better physical shape, but cardiovascular conditioning would be important here in this ironman match. Tell me more. Did Mack's trunks get smaller when this show was on intermission? They did a nearfall off a moonlight drive about three minutes in. Not sure I'd be burning finishers that quickly. Striker compared Mundo's breathing technique to Lex Luger and bodybuilding and Vamp's like no, it has nothing to do with Lex Luger or bodybuilding, it's a yoga breathing technique. Mundo knocked Mack off the ropes and hit the End of the World for the first fall about five minutes in. They put up a clock counting down there at 32:20.

After the break, the clock was still at 32:30. Then Mundo hit a cradle and hooked the ropes for leverage to go up 2-0. They did not put a clock on the screen. Mack, now desperate down 2-0, immediately hit a big flip dive. Mundo hit a crossbody, but Mack did the John Cena roll-through up to his feet, then herked Mundo up like Monty Brown used to do and hit a powerbomb to make the score 2-1. 26:11 to go.

They started trading strikes from their knees, then kicks on their feet. Striker said Mack had "heavy lumber down low." He was talking about Mack's legs. I assume. Mundo hit a corkscrew plancha from the top rope to the floor. Everyone went crazy, but Johnny was down and selling his ankle. Two refs tended to him. One held up the dreaded X. Mack wasn't buying this and threw Mundo into the ring, but trainers ran out and tended to Mundo. There were 20:00 to go.

Fans made it clear after the break that they were not buying this injury. They had a backboard out there. For an ankle injury? Mack walked over and shook Mundo's hand. Well that's stupid in and out of storyline. They hated each other, right? Then Mundo kipped up, punted Mack in the balls, and hit a DDT onto the backboard for the pin to go up 3-1. Mundo starting mocking everyone, sprinting in place and doing jumping jacks. Striker called him a dick, and he was right there. They brawled up the stairs and into the people. They had the backboard up there, and Mack strapped Mundo to it and slid him down to the bottom. OK, that was the highlight of Season 3 right there. They went to commercial with 16:00 to go.

We got more creative offense with Mundo strapped to the board. His arms were free so he could catch himself and it was safer than it sounds. Mack hit a stunner to make it 3-2. Fans were now chanting "RETURN OF THE MACK!" Which is a great song. They disappeared down a corridor, but then Mundo crawled out from under the ring, with a kendo stick. Mack had been chasing PJ Black, dressed as Mundo. They ran back out and Mundo wacked Mack with a stick, then they started double-teaming him. Son of Havoc then appeared at the top of the stairs with two sticks, and he ran down and attacked the heels. Havoc then knocked on Dario's office door and demanded something. Dario offered a bottle of water, but Havoc slapped that away. "GIVE HIM BEER!" the fans chanted. So Dario gave Havoc some beers, and Havoc poured the beers on Mack, and Mack fired up like Pac-Man with a power pellet. A table got set up in what was now basically a tag match. The heels took over, and Mundo cut a promo demanding the band play a victory song. He cackled and laughed and yodeled along to La Bamba. And then the maraca player dropped her maracas and wiped them out with a dive. It was Sexy Star in disguise. Mack hit a sitting piledriver off the apron through the tables. Um, that's exactly the move that broke Steve Austin's neck and nearly killed him, and that was in the ring. So Mack threw Mundo back in and pinned him to tie the score at 3-3. And then Mack just rolled over for another pin but Mundo kicked out. Mack pulled out what Striker claimed was a "tetanus-laden ladder." Well I hope not. Five minutes to go. Striker claimed that every night Mack "dreams himself to sleep." So he dreams when he's awake, and then stops when he falls asleep? The ladder and a table both got set up in the ring. They found a creative way to drop Johnny's face into the ladder. Mundo tried end of the world with Mack laid across a ladder, but Mack dodged and Mundo hit the steel. With two minutes left, Mack stood the ladder up in the corner. He laid Johnny on the table and started to climb the ladder, but with a minute to go Ricky Mandel dressed as Mundo ran out and grabbed his leg. Havoc and Sexy took him out, and Havoc wiped him out with a quebrada. Mack hit a frog splash off the ladder with 15 seconds left, but had nothing left to make a cover. The ref counted one, the ref counted two, and the bell rang with the match a draw. Everyone was upset about this for a minute or two, then Dario appeared and declared there were no ties in his temple. Therefore, they would restart the match next week, one fall to a finish, even if it took ALL NIGHT LONG! Fans were actually totally cool with this. I mean, they were probably there for the same taping. Mundo was celebrating, but Mack dropped him with a stunner and posed with the belt. This was a great pro wrestling match with tons of creative stuff, and the show was by far the highlight of Season 3. Seriously this time.

Lucha Underground Season 3: Sudden Death

Prince Puma was having some kind of meltdown backstage, having visions of death and evil. Rey Mysterio Jr. brought him back to reality, and warned him that Vampiro was evil and using Puma for his own agenda. Puma said Konnan and Rey had been doing the same thing. He declared Rey was not his master and walked away. When Rey looked into the mirror, Vampiro was there in his scary makeup. He warned Rey to stay away from Puma, or Vamp would send him straight to hell like Konnan. He vanished, and Rey got mad and punched the mirror.

Striker alerted Vampiro that Puma would be facing Mil Muertes tonight. Vamp was not happy.

Da Mack vs. Johnny Mundo. Dario Cueto appeared and said he would do Mundo a favor and make this falls count anywhere. Mundo was not happy about that. Mundo tried a springboard kick but Mack caught him with a stunner. Announcers totally glossed over this, Mack hitting his finish just a few minutes in. Mundo rolled outside, but hey, falls count anywhere, so Mack followed him for a nearfall. They brawled out there and Mack did a running dive into the chairs. Then he set up a pile of chairs and hit a chair-assisted bodyslam onto it for a nearfall. Mundo fled through the people, using them as shields. Ricky Mandel distracted Mack, and Mundo hit a dive from the balcony for a nearfall. Sexy Star ran out and chased Mandel away. Mack hit a powerbomb on a trash can, on the floor, for a nearfall. There's a ring right there guys. It's for falling on. Go in there. Mack went for a table, but got ambushed by PJ Black, who had been hiding under the ring. Mack hit PJ with a stunner on the apron, and PJ tipped over and fell through a table. At last they moved into the ring and started wrestling. Mack hit the alpha bomb for a nearfall. They were brawling on the apron when Taya ran out to help Johnny. Johnny then hit a sunset flip powerbomb that pulled Mack off the apron onto the chairs, where his head looked to bounce right off the steel. Um, that's bad for you. At least it was the finish. These dudes beat the hell out of each other here, that's for sure.

Dario Cueto was in the ring saying Lucha Underground had revolutionized "the underground fighting industry." That's an industry? He bragged about making things VIOLENT! And everyone cheered. He went on for a while about his new concept: the Cuerto Cup. Melissa held he trophy over her head, but then Dario yanked it away and held it himself. Dario announced a 32-luchador tournament, with the winner getting the cup and a title match at Ultima Lucha Tres. He added that Mundo would defend his title the same night the tournament winner was crowned, and the challenger would be Rey Mysterio Jr.

Drago & Aero Star & Fenix vs. Vibora & Pindar & Cobra Moon. If you have forgotten, Pindar is the fat Sleestak, Vibora is Luchasaurus. They did an insane thing where Pindar was standing on the middle rope and Aero Star was standing on his shoulders and Aero Star somehow turned it into a rana. That was nuts. Vibora took out Fenix with a tombstone on the floor. Aero Star reached to tag Drago, but Drago spat mist in his face. Ember then called Drago over to the other corner. They tagged him in, and he hit a big splash to pin Aero Star. It's not as goofy as it sounds. Neither Cobra nor Drago ever tagged in. More of an angle than a match. So the Lizard People are the trios champs now.

A wacky skit with Ricky Mandel, Johnny Mundo in a towel, and Taya. They revealed to Mundo that he would be defending against Rey, and Rey admitted to Taya he was nervous. He left to train in his towel. "No time for pants.".

Mil Muertes vs. Prince Puma. PRINCE PUMA HAS DITCHED THE STUPID HEADDRESS. He came out in street clothes and jumped Muertes from behind. Mil immediately put Puma through a table on the floor. Vamp was out there for commentary, but was just staring at the monitor, apparently in a trance. They used a variety of street signs. Puma hit a 450 off the apron. They brawled amongst the people. They went up some stairs and Puma was dangling upside down from the railing from pretty high up there. Puma used a shoe as a weapon. It was ineffective. Mil carried him down the stairs and hit a TKO on the floor. They brawled into the fans and Mil shoved Puma off the railing into Dario's office. They brawled in there. Dario ordered them to leave and they did. Mil stared him down on the way out, and also had a staredown with Vampiro. They fought in the ring and there were plenty of weapon shots to the head. Puma hit a flipping coast-to-coast dropkick. He followed with a 630 senton and he landed ass-first on Mil's chest. I bet sucked. Katrina hit the ring and dropped Puma with the magic rock. She tended to Muertes as Vampiro passed Puma a brick, and Puma broke the brick over Mil's head to pin him. Didn't need two hardcore matches on the same show, but both were good. A decent show.