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Figure Four Weekly 10/30/2017: Looking at WWE's recent releases

Looking at WWE's recent releases


by Joseph Currier (@josephcurrier)

At a time when WWE releases aren't as common as they used to be, it was surprising to see three wrestlers let go this week. That WWE broke the news on a Sunday morning only made things more odd.

The names who were released weren't exactly shocking, with Emma, Darren Young, and Summer Rae no longer with the company. Of those, Emma was the only one currently on television. Young had been out for the majority of the year after suffering an elbow injury in January, only returning on house shows over the last couple of months after being cleared to come back. Summer Rae, whose career was also hampered by injury issues, hasn't wrestled in over a year and has been waiting to return to TV in recent months.

While it's always disappointing to see people lose their dream jobs, past releases have shown that it's entirely possible to make a career for yourself outside of WWE or eventually find your way back to the company if you're motivated enough to do so. Not everyone wants to stay in pro wrestling (which is a perfectly fine decision), but there are plenty of places to work and having an established name only helps. Though they've taken different paths, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal have found success now that they're back in WWE after being part of one of the most recent mass roster cuts in 2014.

Of the three who were recently released, Emma has the best chance of succeeding in wrestling outside of WWE. That she was let go to begin with is something of a head-scratcher. The timing couldn't have been worse for WWE, with it appearing that they put no foresight into the decision. She was let go less than a week after having two competitive matches with Asuka. The first was forgivable despite it making for a lackluster main roster debut for Asuka, but them having a similar bout on Raw the next night was perplexing even at the time.

The timing was never really right for Emma in WWE. Her goofy babyface gimmick didn't connect at all when she was initially called up in 2014, she was little more than depth in the women's division with her mean girl heel persona, and the strangeness with the Emmalina character never getting off the ground hurt her. Perhaps with some better luck she could have been a superior in-ring version of Alexa Bliss: a heel who thrives as a character when she holds a title and is presented as a credible threat.

If she were a similarly talented male wrestler, Emma would have endless opportunities to thrive elsewhere and would be able to work anywhere she wanted (and likely never would have been released to begin with). The global women's wrestling scene isn't quite as strong, but she will still have plenty of options ahead of her if she's motivated. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see Emma return to WWE down the line when she has a better chance to succeed.

Darren Young's release was more predictable. A lower card wrestler who isn't on TV and has been out with injury problems is a textbook candidate to be fired. But Young was a good ambassador for the company, came off as likable, and provided solid depth on the roster for a long time. I'm sure that he never wanted to receive special treatment because of his sexuality, but his real-life story of being openly gay in an industry that wasn't always as accepting of such things made him easy to root for and helped him stand out from the rest of the filler at the end of the card.

Young was far from a standout worker, but he was improving in tag matches before his team with Titus O'Neil was broken up. He'll be afforded a good amount of chances now that he's gone from WWE, and the time wrestling elsewhere could be an invaluable way to improve if he devotes himself to it.

With her injury history and her seemingly having avenues open in modeling and other non-wrestling pursuits, Summer Rae's future is probably less certain -- but she excelled as a character when given the opportunity and appeared to be a true fan of the business.

Despite this being a bad week for them, Emma, Darren Young, and Summer Rae will get to determine their own fate. Whatever they choose to do, there's life outside of the biggest wrestling company in the world and there's a proven path back to WWE if they decide to take it.


Mexico Notes


by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims (@DrLuchaJr)

It's a good week to go around the horn:

CMLL: The obvious thing here is a heavy recommendation for this Friday night's TV show at Arena Mexico. It's the annual "Dia de Muertos" show, from the Mexican holiday paying tribute in a humorous and raucous way to family members and loved ones now deceased. In years past, CMLL has ranged from having wrestlers come to the ring with their kids, the kids wearing costumes, to the wrestlers themselves dressing up very special for the occasion, to having special features to the matches, mainly being that huge guardians of Hades drag the losers off to Hell after their match (even if the loser is a very big star). It's a show and atmosphere not even Halloween Lucha VaVoom matches, a creación de la casa as Miguel Linares would say. In recent years, the concept has started slow on the Friday cards and picked up as the card has gone on. The main event is a six-way match to create a new "Rey del Inframundo" (King of the Underworld), a match in which the sorcerer character Hechicero should (and may well) win. That main takes the place of the Negro Casas / Sam Adonis spectacle that could have lit the world on fire. The card isn't as good as it could have been match-quality-wise, but those who tune in will see something unlike anything else in the wrestling world this year. CMLL has a very strong set of prospective matches and feuds they could run the next 2-3 years, and has done a first-rate job of promoting youngsters the last 18 months, and are in no practical or foreseeable danger of not being around for their 100th anniversary, hey, less than 16 years away, 9-9-2033, with 70-year-old Atlantis defending his mask against the hair of 44-year-old Rush. 

AAA: For the third consecutive year, AAA will push back its traditional year-end show, "Guerra de Titanes" until January. The promotion recently announced its TV tapings (and many other cards) for the rest of 2017, and missing was nay reference to the mega-show. Also missing, for the most part, were foreigners. Australian Suicide and Angelico have a couple of bookings, as do Marty Martinez and Hernandez, and that's about it. Kevin Kross is gone, Taya won't return. Johnny Mundo is booked on the 11/19 TV tapings, but the overall picture seems to be that the promotion is squeezing every last drop out of the nickels they hold. I'm beginning to get that feeling again that things may not be in such great straits financially here. Hope not. But as noted in these pages before, I don't predict long-term survivability here. Next year's Triplemania, 8-26-18, with El Hijo del Fantasma defending his mask against the hair of El Texano Jr. might well be a slobberknocker of a match bah gawd and could be a "better match" than this year's main event, but it's not a general public match and I'm not sure if AAA has the whatever to be able to turn it into a match that anyone beyond their core would want to spend high ticket prices to see.

The Crash: If it's match quality you want, with younger, eager stars and state-of-the-art, non-serious, non-stable thinking, this is your lucha promotion these days. They currently have cards booked for roughly half the days of November 2017, and this will likely be a month that, at its end, we'll have a solid idea of what demand there is just in the general Mexican lucha fandom marketplace for a dream-match-sort of promotion that has proliferated so wildly in the past 18 months elsewhere.

LU: No news is no news.


Europe Notes


by Oliver Court (@AnotherOli)

RevPro have been venturing throughout the UK this month, making towns in Cardiff, Leamington Spa and their regular south coast spot of Portsmouth. These RPW 'B-shows' are odd but fun affairs, assembling a 50-50 mix of 'leisure centre' and 'hardcore' fandoms to create a casual crowd which is still very much into the show. The highlight of this trio of shows was Mike Bailey vs Ryan Smile, an all-action match that accentuated the best of both men's abilities.

The most newsworthy item to take away though is Moustache Mountain winning the British Tag Team Championships from long-term champions CCK in the main event of Portsmouth. Bate and Seven have just concluded the long-running British Strong Style storyline in PROGRESS so it was refreshing to see them as babyfaces here and at Lucha Forever's Ultimo Battle. Them winning the titles obviously goes against the grain since they are rumoured to be packing up and leaving for Florida soon, so it's an important title win even if it's not going to be as long a reign as CCK had. CCK have anchored RevPro this year through their quiet months, while the promotion should be commended for balancing their New Japan allegiance with featuring WWE UK stars in a way that has never been politically heavy-handed.

wXw's London Calling show is yet to release on wXw NOW but I'll have a full write-up about it next week. There was an important announcement made on that show though, with Chris Brookes joining the 2018 16 Carat Gold lineup, along with previously announced Travis Banks, Jeff Cobb and Penta El 0M. Banks and Brookes in Carat and seemingly back in wXw storylines going forward is great to see, because wXw has been great all year but British-based talents haven't had much of a look in on their success until now.


Japan Notes


by Alan Counihan (@Alan4L)

July 24th of 2010 was an important date in the career of Trevor Mann. That was the day that Ricochet went from being the kid that was derided for his goofy hair and skinny physique, or at best referred to as "just a flippy guy", to being someone that would become a superstar. That was the day that a door (or Gate!) was opened for him, and he has not forgotten it.

"Got something real cool coming up. All I'll say is I'm coming back #Home!"

What Ricochet was referring to in the above quote is that in November he will return to the company that moulded him into what he has become today, the company that polished him and the company filled with the most talented, athletically gifted wrestlers in the world – Dragon Gate. On that day in 2010, CIMA saw Ricochet and decided that he wanted him on the first plane to Japan and not only that, he wanted him as his tag team partner. Spiked Mohicans was born and in 2011 they were arguably the best team in wrestling. As an avid DG watcher I could see before my eyes Ricochet learning from CIMA, offering his own take on subtle mannerisms of the DG star. It was during this year that the infamous Ricochet confidence & swagger was born.

Regularly wrestling guys like Dragon Kid, PAC, Susumu Yokosuka and Masaaki Mochizuki made Ricochet improve a ton as a bell to bell wrestler. He became crisper, more accurate and more consistent. Very quickly, through his own determination and hard work, he would become the equal of these greats. In 2014, having become a major player worldwide, DG showed their admiration of what they helped create by bringing Ricochet back for a run with their top title – the Open The Dream Gate. He is still the only gaijin to hold that belt.

In the last three years New Japan has been Ricochet's Japanese home. Unlike some of DG's most popular gaijin (Matt Sydal, PAC and Uhaa Nation) Ricochet never received the traditional graduation ceremony. The ceremonies for PAC and Nation were among the most emotional things I've ever seen in wrestling – showing what a tight knit family Dragon Gate is. It seems like with New Japan behind him, and new bridges to be crossed in 2018, Ricochet has one more loose end to tie up and that will happen in a Dragon Gate ring. And with matches signed against Eita (in Osaka) and a Spike Mohicans reunion against YAMATO & Kzy (at Korakuen), he's probably going to have some belters while he's there!!


TV Reviews


by Bryan's Friend Vince (@FO_VVerhei)

Mid-South Wrestling (12/12/81)

Not just more retro content, but retro content that is MORE retro than the other retro content we've been reviewing.

For the record: there is a powerbomb in the opening credits.

Boyd Pearce and Ernie Ladd were the hosts of the show. Ladd, sitting down, was still enormous. Boyd and his phat-ass jacked plugged the DREAM MATCH fans could vote for. He mentioned Andre the Giant and Ernie got pissed, but then he was happy that the Samoans would be returning soon from their suspension.

THE MONK vs. Bryan Blair. THE MONK had to have been Erick Rowan's dad. "Bryan" had his hair neatly coiffed and a fancy jacket. They did tons of matwork, including Blair working a half-nelson for a nearfall while simultaneously using a leg grapevine to twist Monk's body. Ladd insisted he had a win over the big dummy Andre the Giant and wanted to beat him again. Blair hit a takedown and Ladd insisted he must have pulled the hair like Junkyard Dog would have done. Monk was horrendous. Blair hooked an abdominal stretch, then took it down to the mat for the pinfall win. This ruled.

Tom Renesto Jr. vs. King Cobra. King Cobra was not Japanese or Mexican and masked, he was a black guy with an afro from Mississippi. Renesto was a fat guy who was wearing the singlet of a morbidly obese man. His shoulder straps were constantly about to fall down. Ladd spent about 20 percent of the time calling the match and 80 percent just cutting promos to get himself and his buddies over. He also said a backdrop was a high-risk move. Cobra made a comeback and won with a jumping headbutt. This finishing move warranted a slow-mo replay.

Ed Wiskowski vs. Jim Garvin. Did I mention the ref in his big poofy long-sleeved jacket? Garvin was green and looked nervous as hell, but he also looked more yoked here than he is on those Crockett shows we've been watching from six years later. Ed had two stars on his ass and two on his crotch, and they were offset, not in a line. Everything Garvin did, all totally legal holds and strikes, Ladd insisted were deliberate attempts to injure Wiskowski. Wiskowski finally just muscled him up into a tree of woe and started clubbering him to take over. Garvin made a big comeback and hooked a sleeper, but Wiskowski used leverage to throw Garvin out of the ring. Garvin made another comeback, but Wiskowski hit a high knee, necked Garvin on the ropes, and hit a backbreaker for the win. Fun match with the babyface technical grappler against the big powerful brawler.

Boyd started talking about Junkyard Dog. Ernie Ladd was so great being unimpressed with JYD. They showed clips of Dog wrestling Terry Orndorff, who was wrestling under a mask for some reason. Paul Orndorff ran out and gave Terry a weapon to put in his mask. A LOT HAPPENED HERE. Paul Orndorff was there. Mike George was there as a babyface. Dog headbutted Terry, which knocked them both out, and the ref fell out of the ring and legit bounced his head on the floor. Cowboy Bob Orton put the mask on and attacked, Dog threw him out of the ring, and the ref ruled this a DQ and declared Terry the winner. They went back to the announcers, where Ernie was having a hearty laugh. He referenced a Lions-Cowboys game where the refs had blown a call, and in the end it didn't matter, it was a win for the Lions. HA HA HA!.

Jerry Novak & Aaron Holt vs. Junkyard Dog vs. Mike George. Aaron Holt was a fine, FINE example of a skinny-fat man. Generic funk music for JYD. No Grab Them Cakes? With all four dudes out there, I can say that Holt was at least 6-foot-6, probably more. Whole match was just a four-way brawl. Holt was horrendous. Dog pinned him with a powerslam. Amazing how awful this was in such a short time.

Iron Shiek vs. Buddy Ryan. No, not that Buddy Ryan. This Buddy Ryan looked exactly like Little John Studd. He was small, but he still managed to dead-weight Shiek on a suplex, but Shiek was might and got him over on second try. He did a few more suplexes, including this A-plus overhead belly-to-belly. Then he Germaned this guy right onto his head and pinned him. He was Taz before Taz was Taz.

Boyd congratulated Ernie for getting into the San Diego sports Hall of Fame, while also burying his tactics.

Rick Ferrara & Diamond Lil vs. Tony Charles & Barbie Doll. Mixed tag team, one full-sized man, one midget woman. Where's Antonio Pena? The women did what they could, which honestly wasn't much. Mostly leg-dives and toe-holds. A slingshot or two. The men tagged in did some forgettable matwork. There was one cool headscissors reversal out of a hammerlock. The women tagged back in. Barbie forgot a spot and just went down. Then she got whipped into the corner but Ferrara was there to cushion her impact. The heels tried the same spot and it didn't work. Finally Barbie hit a sitdown splash, then stood over Lil, holding her feet, and the ref counted three. Yes. This was what it was.

Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Orndorff. Breaking news: this was light years ahead of anything else on the show. I would rather watch Ted DiBiase work an armwringer than Jinder Mahal do literally anything. These were two big men working a very fast pace out there. DiBiase pushed Orndorff into the corner for an O'Connor roll, but Orndorff ducked and DiBiase went into the turnbuckle. He sold for a minute or two, then made a big comeback and hit a powerslam and hooked the figure-four leglock. Orndorff sold like crazy for a minute, then Orndorff rolled it over and DiBiase sold like crazy. Ladd was screaming at the top of his lungs. "WHY DON'T THE MAN GIVE UP?" DiBiase fought and fought and Boyd said there was only one minute left. DiBiase was on the verge of tears, grabbing the ref, but would not quit. And the time expired. So it was a draw. But Orndorff would not break the hold. Ref was frantically trying to break the hold as the time expired. THIS was a great wrestling match. I enjoyed this show!

Retro NWA (9/5/87)

They recapped Nikita Koloff defeating Tully Blanchard for the TV title.

Barry and Kendall Windham came out for a promo. They looked 14 feet tall next to the announcers. They just said they were excited about their US tag title shot tonight.

Nikita Koloff vs. Alan Martin. Somebody told Nikita to "SMASH HIM!" Is that Mark Coleman? Nikita did smash him and won with the sickle. Then he joined Schiavonie for a promo. He promised Dusty Rhodes would take Lex Luger's US title, and Ronnie Garvin would take Ric Flair's world title, and that his win over Tully proved the Horsemen could go down.

Lex Luger vs. Keith Steinborn. Keith Steinborn was a total no-body in a black singlet with a red waistband and "KS" on the ass so nobody would steal it. Lex just looked at his physique and laughed. "It's obvious just from looking that Keith Steinborn is no match for Lex Luger," Schiavonie astutely noted. Unfortunately Lex didn't do more with the guy than a couple of headlocks and hammerlocks. Got boring quickly. Keith's chest was totally flat but his singlet may have been borrowed from Scott Norton. The straps were way too long and kept falling off. Lex finlly won with the torture rack.

After the break, Lex and JJ Dillon cut a promo about the WEAVERLOCK and how Dusty couldn't use the illegal hold if he was up in the rack. Lex ran down Nikita for talking like he had strep throat. He said he had beaten Nikita, and he promised to beat Dusty too.

Tully Blanchard vs. Ed Franks. Hell of a physique on this Franks guy. Good tan too. Tully just used chinlocks and facelocks. Horsemen not giving it their all so far today. Eventually Tully beat him up some and won with the slingshot suplex. This got a huge reaction from the studio crowd for some reason.

Arn Anderson vs. Mike Jackson. OK, this one HAS to be good, right? Jackson was so good that even Arn, the big mean ENFORCER, shook his hand before the match. Things went badly for Arn in the first few minutes. "Where did you come from anyway?" he asked. Meanwhile, fans were chanting "ARN IS A CHICKEN!" Finally Arn caught him with a punch to the gut and went to work. "ARN IS A WIMP!" Mike made a big comeback, but Arn caught him with a spinebuster out of nowhere for the win. This was, in fact, good.

Tully and Arn then cut a promo. Tully talked about mopping the mat with a newcomer while the fans asked him where his belt was. He admitted Nikita had cheated better than him, and that Nikita was one up on him, but you can ask Dusty how long he was up on Tully before Tully got even. He promised to get his TV title back, then said Arn had just beaten a great grappler in Mike Jackson. Arn said he had been sparring, in a warmup, not trying to win as quickly as possible. He said Jackson was small, quick, and shifty, and so Arn used him as practice to prepare for the Rock & Roll Express. All the Horsemen came out and did the handshake.

That one Flair video aired.

Dusty came out for a promo. He said whenever he learned a hold or went after a title, everybody talked about it. He showed a clip of Teijo Khan beating a jobber while Dusty was doing commentary. Teijo then demanded some interview time. "TAKE A HIKE, RHODES!" So Dusty hit the bionic elbow a few times and put him out with the Weaver lock. Dusty's sunglasses never even came off. He refused to wake Teijo up afterwards, so Weaver took it upon himself to do so and save Teijo's life. Back in the studio, Dusty talked about how pretty Lex was, with no scars anywhere on his body, while Dusty was scarred and busted up. He promised to make Lex ugly and win the US title.

Ronnie Garvin came out for a promo. He said he'd been training hard, swimming and running up hills, backwards and forwards. He said he was badder than Rambo or the Terminator, because he was real, and Flair would be sorry he ever met Ronnie Garvin.

Ronnie Garvin vs. Terry Jones. Ron wasn't fucking around and punched Terry out for the win in less than a minute. Then he said he was going to show us something brand new: THE GARVIN STOMP. And he stomped Terry all over his face and body. This was, in fact, the Garvin stomp.

Video of Arn Anderson wrestling Ronnie Garvin. Ronnie slammed him off the top and hooked a figure-four. Arn threw the ref down. JJ tried to interfere, but Dusty took him out. Then Flair hit the ring and went after Garvin. Soon all four Horsemen were beating up Ronnie and Dusty in the ring. Lex got Dusty up in the backbreaker for quite a while, but then Nikita and a bunch of other babyfaces hit the ring and the Horsemen bailed.

Flair was out for a promo. He talked about Dusty and Ronnie getting the holy hell beaten out of them on nationwide TV, while Flair was wearing $600 shoes and a $13,000 Rolex. He said Ronnie Garvin as world champion would be ridiculous, a redneck sitting in a bar, drinking beer, talking about hunting and fishing. A world champion should be about limos, long blonde hair, fancy watches, and any woman he wanted. The world championship belt should never be next to blue jeans, cowboy boots, and a cut-off t-shirt. He denied that he had lost it, then proceeded to lose it. Finally he said he'd be champion his entire life. This was, in fact, a crazy Flair promo.

Midnight Express vs. Barry & Kendall Windham. The Midnights' pink-and-green gear was amazingly hideous. Can we get more Barry Windham wrestling Bobby Eaton please? Kendall nearly tripped over Stan on a dropdown. They got the heat on Kendall for a while. He was still clumsy here and there but the Midnights were great enough to cover it. Kendall hot tagged Barry, and even though the tag had clearly been made. Stan still took the time to kick Kendall out of the ring. As Barry worked over Stan in the ring, Eaton went after Kendall, and Cornette fucking WAYLAID Kendall with the tennis racket. Nikita ran out to make the save and Teddy Long waited as long as he could, but finally disqualified the Windhams due to outside interference. This was fun while it lasted.

Cornette did a promo after the break running down Nikita and his French accent, saying either Bobby or Stan would take his TV title, and they were going to finish the Superpowers off for good. And that was the end. Well that was a quick show.

WWE Retro Raw 283 (10/26/98)

They showed Steve Austin arriving at the building Earlier Today, smiling, then Vince McMahon and his crew came out, along with plentiful legal representation. He was so pissed. He held Austin responsible for everything terrible that had happened to him, and he blamed the fans too. "MY GOD WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? I'VE LOST ALL FAITH IN HUMANITY." Vince is the best. His voice cracked, then growled as he asked what had happened to their values and morals. he said the fans had cheered as Austin had made him beg, made him cry, made him "urinate myself." He was on the verge of tears recapping his humiliation, then said nobody came to his aid, and barked at his cronies. He explained that the letter jammed into his pocket was a legal document, but he and his attorneys were ready to fight Austin to the Supreme Court. Austin then appeared on the big screen saying Vince needed a diaper. Vince was outraged and ordered himself wheeled away. Vince was outstanding here. That's an evergreen statement.

After the break, Vince ordered his attorneys and their combovers to find a way to break Austin's document.

X-Pac vs. Steve Blackman for the prestigious European title. They had a good match and then four minutes in Steve Regal ran out and attacked X-Pac for the DQ. New Age Outlaws ran out to make the save. It took like nine refs to hold everyone back. Lawler explained that Regal was upset about X-Pac being European champion. So what about Blackman? He just got screwed out of his title shot here. Sucks to be him.

Vince screamed at his attorneys. "YOU WROTE IT! FIND A WAY TO BREAK IT!".

Droz vs. Rock. There's something very wrong with any Road Warrior or wannabe Road Warrior using an armdrag. Road Warriors should not use technique and leverage. They should use explosive power. On that note, Droz hit a back elbow and landed right on Rock's mouth. Rock, of course, was pissed, but the match continued as they traded arm wringers. Droz continued to look horrible throughout the match. I mean, he's been around for a while, but this was his worst match, by far. Rock took the whole match, then hit the Rock bottom and People's Elbow for the clean win. Massive pop for the finish. Hawk and Droz got into a shoving match afterwards, than Animal and Droz left together with Hawk alone in the ring.

Michael Cole tried to interview Austin. Austin checked with his attorney, then said he was advised not to speak yet, but he would have a statement later.

They said the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac would be performing with Motley Crue. Wut.

McMahon's lawyers left the office, saying Vince didn't get it.

DX was hanging out with Motley Crue backstage. Outlaws did their entrance, then introduced Motley Crue and went backstage. I guess this counts as performing with them. Crue broke into "Wildside." They had to use tape to edit Vince Neil's "FUCKER" t-shirt. This song was 11 years old at this point. At the finish DX came out crotch-chopping and dancing. Road Dogg and X-Pac had the hair and energy to pull this off. Billy was just left to play air guitar. They sang a bit, there was some pyro. A fan appeared on the ramp, and a "bodyguard" picked the fan up in a torture rack and carried him away. This was Test in his Raw debut. They plugged Crue's Greatest Hits album, and that was that. Well that was fun.

Vince was outraged at his attorneys for not getting their jobs done.

Kane vs. Gangrel. They announced Kane was in the 16-man tournament at Survivor Series. Match was a total squash for Kane. Even when Christian interfered, Kane just kicked his ass too, then pinned Gangrel with a chokeslam. The vampires attacked Kane after the match, but he killed both of them. Then Edge appeared and chop-blocked Kane and they triple-teamed him to death. He still did the zombie situp and they all fled.

Steve Austin came out for a promo. This right here might have been the absolute peak of Austin-mania. Crowd was drowning out the announcers. This was insane. Austin reminded us all that he had told the cops his gun was a toy, and it was. He also said Vince would feel no pain, and he didn't. He revealed he had a new contract with the WWF, and the contract included one title shot. Vince appeared and said his attorneys couldn't do anything about Austin's legal document, but he was going to find a way to make Austin quit. He casually mentioned that Austin had been re-hired, which was news to Ross. Vince then booked Austin in an I Quit match against Ken Shamrock. Vince teared up again and asked how Austin could do what he had done to get that contract. "What you've done is turn a relatively incompetent, underachieving kid, into a monster." Shane McMahon then appeared near ringside. Vince ordered him to come up on stage, but Shane entered the ring and took Austin's mic. He said he did not listen to his dad anymore. He said he was an officer and a stockholder with the company, and what Vince had done was wrong. He revealed that he himself had hired Austin back, and now after 28 years he finally had Vince's attention. He talked about lying about their relationship to protect the family name for 28 years, but he was done lying, and said his grades, his athletics, his business money was never enough for Vince, and all he ever wanted was his dad to be proud of him. Fans didn't care about this non-Austin stuff and didn't know how to react. Vince was doing all he could to work up some tears on stage, but the devil is incapable of crying. Shane went on about being proud of the man he had become. He finally finished and the crowd was just sitting there. Austin asked for a Hell Yeah and they all woke up, and that was it. This was all so weird.

Shane was leaving the building when Austin tossed him a beer.

Tiger Ali Singh vs. Godfather. Hey! He's doing a match now! He was also introduced as hailing from -- seriously -- "the continent of Asia." Well that narrows it down to 17 million square miles. Godfather cut a promo saying Tiger had messed with his money, and tonight he would learn that pimpin' ain't easy. Match was boring and sucked. Jinder Mahal at his worst was a hundred times better than Tiger Ali Singh. They started brawling outside. Oh god, they're doing a draw? No, that's not the finish. They're just out there doing stuff. Crowd was miserably bored and started doing the wave. And then BOTH MEN WERE DISQUALIFIED FOR KICKING TOO MUCH ASS. Seriously. They were just trading punches on the mat and the ref called for the bell. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. This had to be the worst match on Raw in 1998. Absolutely without merit. Abysmal.

Michael Cole asked Vince "How do you feel?" Seriously. Vince asked him to repeat the question, then just left.

Insane Clown Posse & Kurrgan & Golga vs. Kaientai. I am not making that match up. We got some 4-on-1 spots with the giants, then Violent J tagged in and, yes, he was the best worker on his team. Really, one of the better guys on the show. Though, for the record, with had ICP wrestling and the New Age Outlaws singing, which is not the way I'd have booked this. Clowns did about 400 double-teams in a row, then a low blow, then threw the ref down for the DQ. Oddities and ICP bickered, but the clowns blew them off and left.

They replayed the Shane promo. Like, the whole thing. I mean, it was a good promo, all things considered, but it came out of nowhere. Then Vince was wheeled out of the building. The Stooges promised Mr. MackMan they would take care of Austin, and he would quit before the night was over. "Bye Vince!".

Cole interviewed Shamrock. Shamrock promised Austin would never make him say "I Quit." He made it clear his title would not be on the line, and told Austin to Knuckle Up.

Marc Mero vs. Goldust. They did some stuff for a few minutes. Goldust set Mero up for the shattered dreams kick. Jacqueline slapped Goldust. This was not a DQ. Goldust kissed her. This was not a DQ. Goldust kicked Mero in the balls. This was a DQ, the second intentional DQ in the last two matches. Mero and Jacqueline were consoling each other when Sable came out on stage and challenged Jacqueline to a match at Survivor Series, and promised there would be a new women's champ.

Cole interviewed Mankind and Al Snow. They argued about what was stupider, Mr. Socko or Head. The answer is Head.

New Age Outlaws vs. Mankind & Al Snow. Mankind was also in the Survivor Series tournament. Billy pressed Al over his head, and it was so easy he actually danced a bit of a jig before slamming him. That was insane. I also like Billy saying "WHAM!" every time he threw a punch. They cut Road Dogg off and worked him over for a bit. This included Mankind trying to dance like him. It was not as cool. Then he hit the DDT and went for Socko and everyone cheered. Billy put a stop to that. Ref told him to get out of the ring. "HE WAS GOING FOR SOCKO!" Al and Mankind fought over who would get to use Head and then neither one did, and they just kept beating Roadie up. A four-way broke out and then everyone was brawling everywhere. Al had Roadie pinned with the northern lights bomb, but no ref. So Al went for head, but Mankind wanted to use Socko, and Roadie pinned Al with a schoolboy. What a weird fucking match. I mean, it wasn't bad, but it was WEIRD. D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry ran out to brawl with the Outlaws, as I have lost all track of who is feuding with who on the midcard. Like, weren't the Headbangers top contenders a week ago?.

Steve Austin vs. Ken Shamrock in an I Quit match. The Stooges came out to be in Shamrock's corner. Another massive ovation for Austin. Just unbelievable. Were they piping in "AUSTIN" chants here to sound like Goldberg? That was weird. Match was a crazy intense brawl out of the gate. I know I say this a lot, but I forgot about what a good pro wrestler Shamrock was. And Austin was fucking STEVE AUSTIN. One of the Stooges tried to trip Austin, then they attacked the ref and took him out. Mankind ran out and put Shamrock out with the mandible claw. Austin added a chair to the head for good measure. He put on basically a crossface, and as the ref was checking Shamrock, Austin lifted Shamrock's arm up and down, and the ref deemed this a submission and ended the match. Very good TV main event before all that bullshit at the end.

The finishes on this show were: DQ due to interference by Englishman; clean pin; clean pin; double-DQ; intentional DQ; another intentional DQ; pinfall after two partners fought over who would get to use their goofy weapon; I Quit match where nobody said they quit.

WCW Monday Nitro 163 (10/26/98)

They opened with pics of Sting vs. Bret Hart from Halloween Havoc. All kinds of malarkey with ref bumps and foreign objects and Bret hitting Sting with a baseball bat and winning with the sharpshooter.

Tony Schiavonie explained that at Havoc, "an instance occurred that was out of the control of World Championship Wrestling. Some of the systems went down prematurely. Unfortunately, about, from what we understand, 10 to 20 percent of the households last night were not able to see the end of the Hogan-Warrior match, nor were they able to see a match that will go down as one of the greatest of all time, Goldberg and Diamond Dallas Page for the world heavyweight title. Well, because of this, as you might expect, WCW officials have been in meetings all day deciding what course of action to take, and it really cam down to two choices. Choice number one would be to give the replay, the encore presentation tomorrow, to all of our fans absolutely free. But we thought no, that would not be right, because a lot of fans out there purchased this event last night, they saw all 11 matches, and they, by buying this last night, we don't want to give them the entire event for free. So it came down to this, ladies and gentlemen. What to do to make this right for our fans? We have decided tonight, on this program, after the first hour, around the nine o'clock hour, that we will bring you the match between Goldberg and Diamond Dallas Page in its entirety. Now this is a first time ever, this is a one-time ever, we never did this before, bring you a pay per view spectacular, but we will bring you one match tonight. Now, our competition all day would make people believe that this has been a ratings ploy. That we went off the air on purpose last night to bring you the match later on down the line as a ratings ploy. That is not the case. That is not true. And because of that, we are going to give you this not at the end of the program, we're going to give you this at nine o'clock tonight, it's the right thing to do for our great wrestling fans." I see.

Kaos vs. Stevie Ray. If they were trying to convince me that nothing they're doing is for ratings, they have succeeded. They had a horrible match for 90 seconds, then Buff Bagwell ran out and threw the slapjack to Stevie Ray. Stevie slapjacked Kaos and hit the lifting pedigree for the win. Well this sucked. They took turns dropping legs on Kaos afterwards. Stevie's may have been the worst I've ever seen. Rick Steiner came out and chased them away. They said Rick was a tag team champion now, and they would explain later how he had single-handedly won the world tag team titles. Rick said he had won the titles from the Giant and Scott Steiner. Now he needed a partner to fight the nWo. Somebody had given him a chance back in the day, and he wanted to give Kaos a chance to be his partner tonight. Kaos said Robby Rage was on the shelf with a bad shoulder. He had idolized Rick for a decade, and it would be an honor to defend the belts with him tonight. This part was fine, but lord that match.

Kanyon vs. Prince Iaukea. Schiavonie explained they could not show the Hogan-Warrior finish because it was too disgusting for network TV. Well that's true. They kept repeating varieties of this claim and it kept getting funnier. Then they tried to explain how Rick Steiner became a tag team champion. It was convoluted and stupid, but apparently nWo Hollywood could pick any two guys to defend the tag titles, and they put them on the line for no reason, and it blew up in their face. And then the Steiners wrestled each other later in the show. God WCW was a mess. As for this match, it was more subdued than most Kanyon matches, which is for the better. He still took a backdrop off the stairs to the floor. Iaukea made his comeback, but Kanyon hit the flatliner out of nowhere for the win.

Four Horsemen came out for a promo. They said Mongo was missing in action after partying too hard in Vegas the night before, but he would be there before the end of the show. They ran their mouths a bit, then Eric Bischoff interrupted from the ramp. He started talking about how he was big enough to admit when he was wrong. He said there was no doubt fans around the world wanted to see Flair wrestle again. So he was going to put Flair in a match tonight. Flair started calling out everyone in the nWo. He said he could ready in ten minutes. Bischoff refused to name Flair's opponent, but said he would wrestle tonight. Flair said he didn't trust Bischoff, but he'd be out there later dressed to kill.

Nitro Party clips. These guys had their own Nitro Girls, which puts them way above most of these parties.

Pics of Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash from Havoc. Nash hit two powerbombs, then left, so Hall won by countout. Awesome.

Alex Wright vs. Barry Horowitz. So if Tye Dillinger is Barry Horowitz, then which modern WWE guy is Alex Wright? They did the funniest "jump off the top rope and hit your face on the guy's boot" spot ever. Barry went up top, but Alex kicked him down and hit a neckbreaker for the win.

They showed Hulk Hogan attacking Horace last week. Then pics of the Hogan-Warrior match. Giant interfered, Horace interfered, and they didn't show this, but Hogan won.

Sick Boy vs. Wrath. I have no idea what in the fuck they were doing early. I watched it like three times and I don't even know how to describe it. They hit the ropes, kinda, and then went bonk a few times. That's all I got. Announcers had nothing to say so after a very awkward pause Larry just started talking about how big Wrath is. Then there was another awkward pause. Sick Boy made a horrible comeback just so Wrath could no-sell it and win with the meltdown. Sick Boy was such a lousy wrestler.

DDP vs. Goldberg from Halloween Havoc. Michael Buffer was sure to say it was the "final match" and not the "main event." Well, they made sure this had world championship caliber intensity, that's for sure. Page got thrown down a few times before hitting an armdrag, but Goldberg responded by tackling him clean out of the ring. This pattern continued, as Page kept getting knocked out of the ring, once on a diamond cutter attempt. Finally he snapped Goldberg's neck on the ropes from the apron and got some sustained offense. It didn't last long. Page actually hit the lucha headscissors spot. Goldberg countered with a superkick, but then missed a corner charge and ran into the post. He was barely able to get back into the ring, and Page immediately hit a springboard clothesline for a two-count. Goldberg was selling his arm and shoulder even while countering Irish whips and stuff. Page hit a DDT and called for the diamond cutter, but when he turned around Goldberg speared him to death. He led with the bad shoulder, though, and they did a double-down. Goldberg was up first and went for the jackhammer, but couldn't get him up, and Page turned it around into a diamond cutter. Everyone jumped to their feet. Ref was grabbing his head in disbelief, then started a ten-count. Page finally crawled over and made a cover, but Goldberg kicked out. Big pop for that. So Page tried a suplex, but Goldberg turned it into a jackhammer for the win. Hell of a main event right there. They convinced the fans that Page had one shot to win, and he hit it, and it wasn't enough, so they didn't waste anyone's time, they went right to the finish. The two men embraced, and Page raised Goldberg's arm and left. Call it somewhere around (***3/4) or so.

They went back to the Nitro arena, and Tony Schiavonie said this: "It always comes back to the common denominator, because the thing that's going to drive ratings, the thing that's going to bring the fans back to the arena, it's not the shock value of things that you see on TV anymore, it's great competition." I don't even know where to start with that one, with all that's happened since.

Mean Gene was backstage trying to interview Kevin Nash. Nash allowed Gene into his dressing room. Before he could say anything, Scott Hall showed up. Nash said he hadn't pinned Hall because he wouldn't win by pinning him, he'd win when they were friends again. Hall mumbled something about crossing a line. Nash said he had tried to beat some sense into Hall. Hall said it had worked and shook his hand, but then Giant jumped Nash from behind, and they beat him up and threw him through a wall.

nWo Hollywood came out for a promo. Hogan bragged about beating Warrior, then inducted Horace into the gang, and that was that.

Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero. They had a sloppy version of a 2017 Raw match. Saturn did some cool suplexes, Eddie did some cool armdrags and kicks. Saturn was about to win with the DVD when LWO dudes ran out for the DQ. Saturn made a comeback that was better than anything in the actual match, but more Latinos hit the ring and swarmed him. A new guy who the announcers didn't know finished Saturn off with a brainbuster, and Eddie hit a frog splash for good measure.

Mean Gene interviewed Judy Bagwell. She talked about Marcus degrading the Bagwell name. She said she was a mother on a mission and she was tired of being nice. She loved Marcus, but she had had enough of Buff. Fans mostly booed her.

Giant & Stevie Ray vs. Rick Steiner & Kaos. Giant so clearly did not give a fuck anymore. He outright said he was walking like Lex Luger and flared his lats and stuck his ass out and Stevie cracked up. So is Kaos just a tag champ now? Buff's team won the match and he doesn't get a say in any of this? Not sure who decided Giant needed to be running the corners, but I'm sure it wasn't the Giant. He wasn't even trying. Then he left in the middle of a double-team move to attack Kaos, and Rick pinned Stevie with the diving bulldog.

Eric Bischoff joined the announcers and was totally over the top trying show what a genuine good guy he was. Then he said it was time to show video footage of Ric Flair. Tony was shocked and thought the match would be live. No, Bischoff said, he couldn't pass a physical. Heenan asked what was wrong with him. "There's nothing wrong with him!" Schiavonie pointed out. This was all awesome. So they showed clips of Hogan beating Flair's ass from 1994. Several minutes, actually. Hogan won. Bischoff gloated for a while and Heenan and Schiavonie did more comedy.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Kidman. God this show is long. They had a very fun match for the three or four minutes they were out there. Juvy got nearfalls off a bulldog and a crossbody, but couldn't pit Kidman away. Kidman teased the shooting star, but Juvy cut him off and hit a top-rope rana for another nearfall. Finally he tried a powerbomb, but you can't powerbomb Kidman, who turned it into the sit-out spinebuster and shooting star press for the win. This was good shit right here.

Scott Steiner came out for a promo. He said he and Buff were friends for life and they hugged. Buff said women should be cooking and cleaning, and told his dad "if you're listening" to set mom straight. Scott called JJ Dillon down to the ring and demanded a rematch with Rick. JJ came out. Scott told him to pick a favorite Steiner. JJ refused. I'm dying here. They started bickering and arguing about the ref in the Havoc match. I could barely follow what Scott was saying. Something about one ref starting the match and another finishing it. Finally they started attacking him and everyone cheered. They put up the logo to go to commercial before security could even pull Scott off him.

Arena went dark and Warrior's music started. And yes, he came out. Well I forgot this happened. I thought that after Havoc he had vanished from the world until his Hall of Fame induction. Well, they were in Phoenix, so that helped. He said he beat the hell out of Hogan, and the "bullshit" pinfall didn't change that. Fans had totally been into him but seemed taken aback by the profanity. He challenged Hogan, and Hogan came out. Alone, at that. Then Horace appeared and demanded to fight for Hulk. nWo pulled Hulk away, and Horace hit the ring so Warrior could kill him. Warrior killed Giant too. Hogan jumped Warrior from behind, but Warrior killed him too, then leveled Bischoff. And that was it. So I guess this was Warrior's way to get some heat back before vanishing.

Scott Hall & Scott Steiner vs. Lex Luger & Konnan. I feel like all of these Scotts have already wrestled two or three times on this show. Hey, no Konnan promo! Everyone brawled everywhere. Lex and Hall were brawling up the aisle while Steiner and Konnan fucked up a hundred things in the ring. Then the two pairs switched places. Wolfpac started hitting dudes with chairs. Lex got Hall in the torture rack, but Steiner broke it up. Is there a ref out there? Is this even a match? What's happening? They went to commerical, and when they came back everyone was gone and it was time for the main event. WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THIS?.

DDP vs. Bret Hart. Match wasn't terrible, but it was flat and boring. Bret did a LOT of chinlocks. He might have given even less of a shit than the Giant. Well, he did to a top-rope suplex, so I guess that's not true. They went right back to not doing anything. Bret threw a mule kick that hit Page and the ref in the nuts, then pulled out a foreign object. He started to revive the ref, but then Page ducked the weapon shot and hit the diamond cutter to win the match and the title. Yes, not even a year after Survivor Series '97, Bret is doing clean jobs for secondary titles on free TV. Bret laid out Page and the ref with his weapon, then started working over Page's knee with a chair. He put Page in the sharpshooter as Page screamed. Nobody broke it up, so Bret went back to using the chair. Goldberg finally ran out, but the show ended just as he hit the ring.

Finishes on this show were: Pin after interference and a weapon, pin in a squash, pin in a squash, clean pin in a PPV main event, DQ due to run-in, clean pin, clean pin, WTF schmozz, clean pin. That's pretty good, actually.

WWE NXT (10/25/17)

William Regal announced that Nikki Cross was getting another opportunity to compete for the women's title and put her in the battle royal tonight. He talked about the confrontation that ended last week's show, and said Authors of Pain would get a tag title rematch against Sanity, and whichever dude in Sanity was not in the match would be banned from ringside. He was just standing there in his office talking and for some reason the camera was shaking like crazy.

Drove me nuts.

Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan vs. Riddick Moss & Tino Sabatelli. The Full Sail crowd loves everyone, but they HATE Tino. And this made them cheer for Burch more too. Liveliest Full Sail crowd for, let's be honest, a nothing match in a long time. Great hot tag spot where Burch played keepaway and dived to tag Lorcan. Oney made an awesome comeback until Moss overpowered him. They pinned him with a double-team Gory bomb. Lorcan and Burch lose in their debut as a team, which is unfortunate. The good news is this was a very good tag match. Forgetting about merely fitting in on the main roster, this would have been one of the better matches on most episodes of Raw or Smackdown.

Announcers talked for a minute but the music was so loud I couldn't here one thing they said. Then they showed that one Brazilian woman inexplicably interfering in a three-way and causing Cross to get pinned by Peyton Royce.

Battle royal to name the fourth woman in the four-way for the NXT Women's title at TakeOver in Houston. Candice LaRae got a huge pop when she came out. Nikki was the last entrant to hit the ring and immediately attacked Tayanara Conchi or whatever the mystery Brazilian's name is. And out she went. She pulled Nikki out under the ropes and started attacking her on the floor. And then it became every battle royal you ever saw, but with developmental women. There was an elimination or two and then they went to commercial. There were a few more random eliminations, then Nikki returned and hit a top rope dive onto seriously like eight women. This tiny little woman ran wild, eliminating rivals left and right. It got down to five and then nothing happened for a while. Bianca Bel Air pressed Candice out of the ring onto two other women. Final four: Bianca, Nikki, Billie Kay, and Mercedes Martinez. Bianca almost shoved Billie out, but Billie grabbed her five-foot ponytail to pull herself back in. So Bianca whipped her with her ponytail. Nikki and Billie tackled each through the ropes to the floor. Bianca tied her ponytail into a beehive. She's PUTTING HER HAIR UP. Sonya is going to take this as a challenge. Bianca and Mercedes were fighting on the apron when Nikki knocked them both off. Billie tried to dump Nikki out from behind, but Nikki survived, slipped back in from the apron, then dumped Billie to win. Huge pop for the finish. So the four-way is Kairi Sane vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross. Regal appeared in the ring with the belt. Nikki and Peyton were out there screaming at each other when Ember joined them, followed by Sane.

THE MEDIA ambushed Drew McIntyre as he was leaving the building. He tried to talk about the international press tour he was doing when Zalena interrupted and asked why she and Andrade had not seen a contract for a title shot yet. Drew repeated that Andrade could have a shot whenever he wanted, but he needed to ask Drew face-to-face.

Aleister Black came out for a match, but in the middle of his entrance Velveteen Dream jumped him from behind and tied him up in the ropes. Now Aleister had to finally look Dream in the eye. Dream demanded Aleister say his name and slapped him repeatedly. Black refused and fought his way free. He tried the spinning superkick but Dream ducked and fled. They pointed out this was the first time Black had ever missed that move. Dream had a slight smile from the ramp, and that was that.

Zalena Vega and Andrade Almas came out for a promo. She did all the talking. She was tired of waiting for a contract from Drew, and ran him down saying he was not used to the thin air on top of the mountain or whatever. Not her fault, just the typical "nobody actually talks like this" promo that WWE loves so much.

Andrade Almas vs. Roderick Strong. Don't know why this surprised me, but they were close to the same size. I thought Almas would be bigger. Andrade hit a reverse DDT on the apron for the heat. Roddy made a big comeback. Great, as usual. Andrade tried an armbar in the ropes, but Roddy turned it into a Boston crab in the ropes. That was cool. Roddy hit a back suplex on th apron. Callback! Almas cut him off and hit the knees in the corner for a nearfall. They went back and forth a bit. Almas tried the double knees again, but Roddy caught him with a knee coming in and hit a big flurry moves. He threw Andrade back in, but then Zalena hit a diving rana off the apron and sent Roddy headfirst into the stairs. Andrade followed with the hammerlock DDT for the win. That finish was perfection. One of those matches were it's barely OK for several minutes, then gets very good for several minutes, and then is plain old awesome at the end. Very, very good stuff. Zalena and Andrade hit the announce desk. She promised that Andrade would show up next week to confront Drew. Andrade barked something in Spanish. Mauro looked scared shitless throughout this. Meanwhile, Roddy was moping in the ring when the Undisputed Era came out. They told Roddy he was not a loser, and if he didn't want to disappoint his family, he needed to join them. Crowd chanted "YES!" They passed him an armband. Roddy took it, but didn't put it on. They told him the world would be theirs, and left. A really good show this week.

ROH on Sinclair (10/21/17, I think)

Marty Scurll vs. Jay White. Lots of dope chain wrestling, then a bridging Indian deathlock, then a long series of rollups. Finally Marty trapped him in the apron and hit a stomp to the hand. He worked over the arm, then spent a long time fucking around with the fans to set up White's comeback. They went back and forth a few minutes. White caught him off the ropes with a flatliner, then hit a German suplex for a nearfall. Marty came back with a brainbuster, then hooked an octopus, then transitioned from there to the chickenwing, and he did get the fingers locked on this one. They traded rolllups again. Scurll passed the umbrella to White, who handed it to the ref, who turned his back to toss it out of the ring. Marty then hit a low blow and small package for the win. Fun match with a good finish.

Addiction backstage promo. They said they wanted to beat up Jay Lethal to punish the fans who liked him, and they wanted Kushida to go back in time and get out of their business.

Lethal cut a backstage promo about how great ROH was. He said to be ROH champion, he had to take out the Addiction and everything they represent.

The Dawgs (Will Ferrara & Rhett Titus) vs. Tempura Boyz. Tempuras ran wild early until the Dawgs started slamming them around on the floor. They were constantly shouting about dawgs and calling each other Dawg and barking. This, uh, this seems one-dimensional. Heat on Sho, I believe. Yo got a hot tag and a four-way soon broke out. Then they started doing finishers that were not finishers. Then the Dawgs hit three finishers and an assisted gourdbuster for the win. This match started fast and stayed fast and ended fast and I will forget it fast.

Cody and Bullet Club cut a promo about Cody's new contract and the Mercedes he had bought. "That is a shoot." Page made a dick joke and everyone started laughing as hard possible and it ended. Well this was annoying.

They were still belly laughing after the break. OK, that was funny.

Shane Taylor vs. Chucky T vs. Punishment Martinez vs. Mark Briscoe. Guess you can't have two guys named Taylor. Chuck's comedy was funny early. "I'll jump on that guy, you jump on that guy." They kept teasing Martinez vs. Shane in a battle of the big men, then breaking it up. Everyone took turns doing stuff. And finally the monsters charged at each other, both throwing clotheslines, and both went down. They were still fighting after the commercial break. Then the other two did a bunch of spots. Caprice Coleman said "cackalate" repeatedly. Briscoe got Shane over for a uranage. Martinez hit a big dive onto everyone and the place went nuts. Chuck hit a draping piledriver that was so dumb people booed. Mark hit Chuck with a DVD and the frog elbow off Martinez's back for the win. So he gets a TV title shot against Kenny King. Last minute was cool but up till then it was just way too much to keep track of. Jay Briscoe came out to confront Mark and make sure they were still a team. Mark seemed confused about why Jay wasn't happy for him.