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Figure Four Weekly 10/9/2017: Recapping WWE Hell in a Cell

Recapping WWE Hell in a Cell

by Joseph Currier (@josephcurrier)

With WWE having an annual pay-per-view built around multiple Hell in a Cell matches, it's only natural that they mostly just become standard matches that are surrounded by a roofed cage.

But that wasn't the case at this year's PPV. Sunday night's show was bookended by two great Hell in a Cell matches where the structure was essential in telling the story that was going on in the ring.

Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens was everything that it should have been: a spectacle of a stunt show with an ending that left the audience wanting to watch the fallout on SmackDown this week. It wasn't always smooth and, with it going almost 40 minutes and Shane not having the conditioning of an active wrestler, there were plenty of less-than-ideal sequences and spots. But most of the match was good and the ending was pretty much perfect. Sami Zayn pulled Owens off the announce table, causing Shane to crash through it after jumping off of the Cell. With the added falls count anywhere stipulation, Zayn then dragged Owens over for the cover and instructed the referee to count the pin.

The finish opens up a lot of potential possibilities. Owens and Zayn are always more compelling when they're involved in the same storyline. And, up until this point, their friendship has virtually always been a remnant of the past in WWE and NXT. Owens attacked Zayn on the night that he made his NXT debut and WWE has kept them as rivals since, making the end of Hell in a Cell all that more effective.

Whether Owens and Zayn will actually go back to just being friends remains to be seen, with Owens posting an old photo of them together on Instagram as the only indication since Hell in a Cell. Zayn feeling like he had to save his former friend from destruction at the end of a brutal match seemed to be a possibility, but that wouldn't explain why he wanted Owens to get the pin so badly. Them being united against SmackDown's on-screen authority figures would be an interesting scenario if the decision was also about Zayn being unhappy with Shane.

Even without a storyline explanation for why Zayn saved Owens, the legitimacy of their real-life friendship and journey in pro wrestling helps cover any plot holes. Zayn doesn't have to be acting rationally to help someone that he has such a longstanding relationship with.

Despite the strong main event, the best Hell in a Cell match was the one that opened the show. The New Day and The Usos worked as hard as possible to continue their incredible in-ring rivalry with another fantastic match. The build leading up to it didn't make the match feel like it needed to take place inside of the Cell, but it was much better off for having the stipulation. They wrestled like they legitimately didn't like each other. They wrestled what could be a feud-ending match with an aggressiveness that HIAC matches often lack.

Xavier Woods in particular was great and has become an excellent tag team worker. Every New Day team combination is now a strong one, which will hopefully free up Big E to do more singles programs in the future.

The titles changed hands again, which makes sense if the New Day-Usos feud is really ending soon. SmackDown is lacking heel teams and Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable would appear to be the next challengers for The Usos whenever they do move on to what's next.

Some other thoughts on the PPV --

- The angle with Owens and Zayn at the end felt necessary to give the audience something to get excited about on SmackDown. Jinder Mahal and Baron Corbin as two of the show's top champions going forward could produce some bad TV and matches.

- With that being said, Mahal probably had his best title defense last night. The structure of it was better despite still being basic. The match was picking up towards the end, but it still wasn't at the level of what a WWE Championship match should be.

- We'll see the reaction if it happens, but I'm not sure that the Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura matches have resulted in people clamoring for Nakamura to get his revenge and finally win the championship.

- AJ Styles' reigns as United States Champion have been really disappointing. Baron Corbin didn't have a good night at TLC, but something different for the title should be a good thing if Styles moves on to bigger things.

- SmackDown has another two-plus months without an exclusive PPV as both brands will be featured at Survivor Series next month. Hopefully that means important matches happening on television and fresher programs for the next PPV as SmackDown still looks to figure out how to best use its pieces.

Mexico Notes

by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims (@DrLuchaJr)

It's many things this time of year, one of which is Awards Voting Season. In probably most ballots, the category of match of the year is, maybe along with wrestler of the year, the one with the most cachet and the one most discussed in social media, podcasts, etc.

Sometimes, I Can settle on a match of the ear very easily, sometimes not. Either way, whatever choice I end with is usually the match form opening presentation to post-match.

Last year was one of the rare years in which that was not the case for me, at least not in Mexico. Instead, it was most of, but not all of, a match.

On July 15, 2016, at Arena Mexico, CMLL held its annual "Leyenda de Plata" 16-man torneo cibernetico match as a run-up to its 83rd Anniversary show. The winner (ended up being La Mascara) was to advance to a singles' match the following week against the defending champion, Negro Casas. The match went 35:09. I though the first 31:31 (up to the point where La Mascara pinned Mistico and Volador Jr. simultaneously) was the best thing (or my favorite thing) I saw from Mexico in 2016. Looking at it again, putting all the elements into the blender, it was basically perfect. The finish (a run-in DQ) was tacked on to serve the business interests of the upcoming Anniversary show – it took down the match a peg, but they felt they needed to do it.

(I had felt the same way strongly about this once before. In 1993 or 1994 (likely the former) at the Pomona CA Boys and Girls Club, the main event had a six-man tag with Super Astro captaining the tecnicos and The Lover Boy captaining the rudos. The third fall as the best fall or segment I saw all year anywhere. The first two falls were non-descript and the match overall was not one of the best 50 I saw. But the 3rd fall was.)

Back to CMLL. I like the structures of their torneo ciberneticos in general and based off last year's tournament, my hopes for this year's version are sky high. The eight tecnicos entered are Caristico, Mistico, Volador Jr., Dragon Lee, Soberano Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr. Titan, and The Panther, which just letting them go for their spots should be crazy enough as each of them has a ton of aerial fire power on his own. The rudo bases are Mephisto, Barbara Cavernario, Negro Casas, Sanson, Forastero, Virus, Puma, and Tiger.

The rest of the card is hardly chopped liver, suitable for an undercard, and I give this entire event my highest recommendation to watch this coming Friday night, October 13th, on clarosposrts.com, on Facebook, or wherever else it pops up. The card itself starts at 9:30 pm ET and the Leyenda de Plata will likely start right around 11 pm ET.

With Negro Casas in the torneo (and Sam Adonis not even on the card), their feud gets placed on the back burner for a week. Not to worry. Their hair match blow-off is almost surely happening, and almost surely on a Friday night "Dia de Muertos" show (10/27 or 11/3), which may (we hope) be set up like prior times with the losers' being dragged to hell. I am besides myself waiting to see what happens in the mainstream press in the US when they find out (because we will be telling them until they listen) that the Donald Trump character in Mexico just lost – that's right, Trump lost the big wrestling match, Trump got shaved bald, and the Mexicans dragged Trump off to Hell. (Rubs hands excitedly in anticipation).

Good day, sirs.

Europe Notes

by Oliver Court (@AnotherOli)

The following notes contain spoilers for wXw World Tag Team League, the entirety of which will be available on wXw NOW by the end of the week.

I've just returned from an incredible weekend at wXw's World Tag Team League, where my full reversal of opinion on Timothy Thatcher in 2017 was completed in an emotional Final match. I never liked Thatcher from what I saw of him in EVOLVE and disliked his one-off shots in PROGRESS and RevPro. I felt his mat work was dull and without purpose for much of the match – doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff. It's clear though that under the Ringkampf banner in wXw, Thatcher's style shines and the man himself unlocks his full potential. He's living in the wXw Training Academy for the rest of the year and acts as one of the main trainers there, proving his dedication to wXw and Ringkampf. This WTTL was about rewarding that dedication, as he and WALTER beat the Massive Product team of David Starr and Jurn Simmons in an action-packed and meaningful final. Each team had won their matches with the same finishing combo sequences throughout the tournament, and each team failed to beat the other with those sequences in the final. Thatcher had one of the best 2.9 kickouts I've ever seen, barely surviving a Simmons piledriver, before coming back into the match and delivering a Saka Otoshi, my favourite move in all of wrestling, to force David Starr to tap out. As part of Ringkampf's celebrations, Thatcher left his 'Die matte ist hellig' scarf in the middle of the ring, which remained there until every single fan had left the Turbinenhalle. There was no clearer example of what wXw's vision of wrestling is than that gesture.

Another standout part of the weekend included Cerberus reuniting through a common hatred of RISE, as Ilja Dragunov and Avalanche, aided by Julian Nero, put aside their differences, then re-recruited Adam Polak and Dirty Dragan to go to war with RISE, ending up victorious in a great 8-man match. This story evolved throughout the weekend adjacent to the actual tournament, and felt so satisfying for the long-term fans as well as those who were only watching wXw this weekend. Few promotions can balance their stories to cater to both sets of fans, but the Cerberus reunion was a masterful example of it.

Japan Notes

by Alan Counihan (@Alan4L)

On September 8th 2013 Keiji Muto launched his new promotion WRESTLE-1 into the Japanese pro wrestling landscape. It followed the split of Muto and many of his wrestlers from an All Japan promotion which was left in bad shape. In all honesty, this was the last thing Japanese wrestling needed. The pool was already full and another splintering of promotions just watered things down.

W1 never really got going to any great degree and as recently as last year, many felt the promotion might not be long for the world. Conversely Jun Akiyama had steadied All Japan's ship and built the company up again on the back of a steady ace in Kento Miyahara. Muto had tried with different guys in that role but it never worked out.

The one thing W1 did have going for it was that they were quietly developing an impressive pool of young talent in their dojo system under the watchful eye of Kaz Hayashi and Shuji Kondo. This year that youth movement has given the company the identity it's been looking for and right now they are on a major up-swing. Hayashi and Kondo have really taken the reigns as President and Vice President of the company with Keiji Muto seemingly taking more of a figurehead position and removing himself from direct involvement. The WRESTLE-1 we're seeing right now is the Hayashi/Kondo vision and it's being carried out by their kids.

Of course, for any Japanese promotion at their level, Korakuen Hall is a huge measuring stick. They have had a string of great shows in the building in recent months and the reactions are getting stronger and stronger from the fans in attendance. The match quality has becoming real high level and the personalities up and down the card have really clicked with the audience. On September 2nd they had a very successful big show in Yokohama which really felt like a coming out party of sorts for both the promotion and the wrestlers. If this were the 90s, this would be the W1 show that would be getting passed around in tape trading circles.

They also now have their Miyahara. Champion Shotaro Ashino has been the definition of a top guy this year. Since he won the title from Masayuki Kono in March he has dominated, knocking off challengers left and right and really establishing his persona, ring style and attitude. He now has his own stable and comes off like a star. Other names to watch for are Jiro "Ikemen" Kuroshio (a charismatic babyface), Koji Doi & Kumagoro (a tag team with great chemistry), Daiki Inaba (a no frills technician with a great look), Andy Wu (a spectacular high flying masked man) and Takanori Ito (the Japanese Kevin Owens!). Might be a stretch to call this the ground floor, but the W1 elevator is definitely on the rise and it's time to jump on.

TV Reviews

by Bryan's Friend Vince (@FO_VVerhei)

WWE Retro Raw 280 (10/5/98)

X-Pac vs. D'Lo Brown. Wait. "D'Lo?" With an apostrophe? That's weird. For the second time in a week, Chyna got served papers at ringside. Mark Henry at the other side of the ring said "that's from me!" and laughed as she tore them up. Why does nobody do the arm-dropping-three-times spot anymore? It's so easy and worked if you did it right. D-Lo missed the frog splash and X-Pac made his comeback. Boy howdy did this crowd love the broncobuster. Henry got into it with X-Pac and slammed his back into the post, and D-Lo followed with the frog splash to win the match and regain the title. Chyna hit the ring, but froze as D-Lo and Henry taunted her... They said Vince McMahon had been "re-admitted" to "an undisclosed medical center," and we saw him berating a nurse who had brought him the wrong kind of juice. OH MY GOD IT'S THIS SHOW!... Headbangers came out and challenged "the clowns." Actually, just "clowns." All of them, everywhere, apparently. This promo was terrible. Well, Thrasher was OK, but Geez Mosh was bad. The Oddities came out, but the Headbangers said no, we want the clowns. So the Insane Clown Posse came out. There was a lot of stalling, and finally ICP agreed to send the Oddities to the back and accept the challenge... Headbangers vs. Insane Clown Posse. Headbangers destroyed them and even hit Shaggy with a powerbomb off the top rope. Both clowns took violent chairshots to the head, then the Headbangers fucked up their finish like they always did. They left and the Oddities came out to carry the clowns away. I suspect, if they had done a real match, ICP might have proven themselves to be the better team... They showed Steve Austin using an axe to cut the cable broadcasting a signal from Vince's hospital to the production truck on Heat... They aired an ad for Stone Cold Metal, a CD that included tracks by Dokken and Rainbow... They recapped the attack on Vince from last week. They explained that Vince kept checking himself out of hospitals too early and the being readmitted the next day, which explained why he was in a different hospital for every show... Back at the hospital, Vince was warned he had a visitor, a really big guy, and his heartrate accelerated. He started to scream he didn't want visitors, then his heartrate slowed when he saw it was just Mankind. He had ballons for Vince and wanted to turn his frown upside down. He also had chocolates, then he said he had another guest for Vince. Vince's heartrate accelerated again, but it wasn't Austin, it was Yurple the Clown. She did some tricks with balloons as Mankind tortured Vince with a siren whistle. I AM DYING. Per Mankind's request, she did a trick with a dog. Mankind said he had another special guest, and we got the worldwide debut of Mr. Socko. Vince was frustrated and asked them nicely to leave, then ordered them to leave, then screamed at them to leave, and they finally did. "Mr. Socko" Vince growled in disgust. One of the all-time great segments in the history of Monday Night Raw, and it wasn't even the best Vince segment on this show... Sable came out to do commentary. She was greeting fans and Tori had the seat right behind her, and could barely contain her joy after Sable high-fived her. No mention from the announcers that this woman was always on TV when Sable came out... Vader vs. Marc Mero. Sable of course was out there to talk about Jacqueline and the Women's title. Mero and Jacqueline double-teamed Vader right in front of the ref but it wasn't a DQ because it wasn't in the ring. That's so stupid. Crowd was chanting Sable's name. Vader made his comeback. Jacqueline interfered again. She dived onto Vader but overshot her target. That's astonishing, actually. He was able to catch her enough to save her life. Ref got distracted and Mero hit a low blow and shooting star press for the win. Jacqueline called out Sable afterwards. Sable accepted, but Mero cut her off and said she could never satisfy him. She slapped him, and Jacqueline laid her out from behind. She pulled out scissors and cut off some of Sable's hair... Steven Regal made juice by squeezing oranges with his bare hands and drinking it "pulp and all." Well that last part is impressive. Pulp is disgusting... Edge vs. Owen Hart. They just randomly announced that Edge and Christian were brothers. Owen's music played, and then he came out in street clothes. They showed him losing to X-Pac on Heat when he tried to leave and Pac rolled him up. Here, Owen grabbed a mic and said he had been in the wrestling business for 13 years, and it had been his whole life. But last week he had looked into Severn's eyes and seen his wife and children. He never meant for anyone to get hurt, and he was sorry for what he did. He seemed to stop midsentence and walked out. Well, pretty much every Owen Hart segment we see from here on out is just going to be sad... Michael Cole tried to interview Owen after the break, but Owen wouldn't even look back at the camera. He just said it was over and he was done and walked out of the building... Ken Shamrock vs. Kane. Kane was back to having one arm in a long sleeve and one arm exposed. They did a great job of telling the technician vs. monster story. Kane did the lifting choke spot and dropped Shamrock right on his ass. That always sucks. Five or six minutes in, Undertaker came out for no reason. Shamrock made his comeback and hit a rana, but Kane did the zombie situp and started muscling out of all of Shamrock's submissions. Kane went up top. Taker got on the apron, and intentional or not, he shook the rope and Kane got crotched. Taker walked out as Shamrock hit an avalanche belly-to-belly for the pinfall win. Kane was outraged and stormed to the back... Val Venis found Terri's wedding ring in her vagina... Val Venis vs. Gangrel. Val finally got to cut a promo about the real magic johnson. No stage, so no ring of fire entrance for Gangrel, he just stood up in the smoke. I think at a totally random point Terri turned her back to the camera and flashed the crowd. Everyone went crazy for some reason. JR was having an impossible time keping the names of Gangrel, Edge, and Christian straight. They had a fun match for two minutes and Edge came out to confront Christian. Gangrel jumped Edge from behind and dropped him with a DDT on the floor. Gangrel and "Christopher" put the boots to Edge and left. Val wins via countout. Well this was stupid and pointless. Val and Terri were about to fuck in the ring when Goldust's old movie usher appeared and presented Val with a gold envelope. Val read what was inside and seemed upset, then Goldust's music started. We heard Goldust's voice announcing a world premiere next week... From Heat, Austin came out to harrass Shane McMahon on commentary. Shane had tried to say that Austin's issue was with Vince, not him. Then Austin hit the ring and laid out Jeff Jarrett and Southern Justice, then had a staredown with the Rock... Back at the hospital, Vince was displeased with the nurse he had and wanted another one, and also something for the pain... Al Snow vs. Jeff Jarrett. I too want something for the pain. They zoomed in on a sign saying all Al Snow fans are wankers. Sgt. Slaughter came out to distract the ref so they could do spots with a chair on the floor. Al took one that was supposed to hit him in the back and looked to catch him in the back of the head instead. Announcers kept promising that Steve Austin would be there later tonight. Al grabbed Head and went up top and Sarge shook the ropes to crotch Al for the DQ. Ross just flat-out said we had seen this same finish earlier in the show. Jarrett left with Slaughter, who had just cost him the match. So much to hate here... Road Dogg vs. Mark Henry. Roadie came out with both tag belts, X-Pac, and a blow-up doll wearing Billy Gunn's gear. Announcers got some of Henry's paperwork and discovered he was suing Chyna for sexual harrassment. Road Dogg was in about his best shape ever hear and looked great. D-Lo tripped Road Dogg. X-Pac went after D-Lo, but Chyna cut D-Lo off and laid him out. Ref was yelling at Chyna. X-Pac hit Henry with the X-factor and Road Dogg got the pin. Well that was a lot of stuff going on. Henry, once he recovered, grabbed a chair and went running up the ramp. Um, that big fucker could MOVE... They went back to the hospital to get some comments from Vince. First they recapped his whole saga from last week. Back at the hospital, Vince was upset with the nurse who was taking his blood pressure, AGAIN. And it was normal, AGAIN. He couldn't wait to get out of there. The nurse said it looked good to her, how about you, doctor? And the doctor was Steve Austin in disguise. What followed was, without question, the greatest 65 seconds in the history of Monday Night Raw, and perhaps the history of television. There were so many moments I had remembered here, like Vince's bug-eyed screams as Austin threw hammerfists to his bad ankle, or the pathetic way he begged for mercy and help just before Austin shoved an enema or whatever up his ass. There were moments I had forgotten, like the defibrillator -- or, more specifically, the way Vince sat up and waved his arms to sell the defibrillator. But my favorite moment of all was the bedpan. THE BEDPAN. Vince is screaming and screaming and screaming and Austin hits him in the head with the bedpan and there is this enormous PANG sound and then Vince goes silent. Mute, he swings his hands frantically in front of his face. It is slapstick comedy perfection, as great as anything the Three Stooges or Tom & Jerry ever did. I watched this five times in a row. FIVE TIMES. And then it was done and they went to break and came back and showed it again, and I watched it all again. I can't say enough about how great this was. Breathtaking. Wonderful. Perfect. Really, it was perfect. They could have shot this a thousand times in a row and it never would have been any better than this... Undertaker vs. Rock. Taker was working him over, including the best rope-running ever, when D-Lo and Henry came out to ringside. Kane came out too, distracting Rock and allowing Taker to chokeslam Rock onto his head. Seriously one of the scariest bumps Rock ever took. Kane intimidated Henry and D-Lo and they left. Eighty percent of the match was Taker kicking Rock's ass. I mean, it's an Undertaker match. Like, if they kept records of time in control in pro wrestling, Taker would just be light years ahead of anyone else. Rock did a sunset flip and Taker sold it great. Same for an O'Connor roll. Taker hit the ropewalk the first time he tried it, but when he tried it again Rock yanked him down to start his comeback. He hit the people's elbow, but Taker cut him off and they went back and forth. They went a fast pace this whole match and Taker never slowed down. Neither did Rock, for that matter, and it's not like he was a cruiserweight. Ref got bumped, Taker and Rock did a double-down, and Kane grabbed a chair. Taker hit the ropes and Kane waffled him in the back with a chair, then slid the chair into the ring. Rock hit a Rock bottom and made a cover, but no ref. Taker then tombstoned Rock onto the chair, and the ref recovered to count three. A very good main event to cap off seriously one of the great episodes in this program's history.

WCW Monday Nitro 160 (10/5/98)

Show opened with, seriously, an ad for Halloween Havoc. I mean, I know that's the point, to build to that show, but they just had the credits roll, then the Nitro Girls danced for a minute, then they played an ad we have seen 20 times by now, but with evil cackling added. Then the pyro went off, and Tony asked what this laugh was, and why nobody in production could tell him. Then they recapped a bunch of month-old Bret Hart stuff. Seriously, clips from August recapping his whole stupid storyline... Saturn vs. Lizmark Jr. Show was 8:55 when the opening bell rang. Good lord. Has Lizmark Jr. always been this terrible? He used five steps to run across the ring, which is bad enough, but then he used five steps to get halfway across the Nitro logo. His selling was terrible too. Also, his bumping. Saturn beat him with a falcon arrow and fireman's carry. And not a minute too soon... Page-Goldberg promo, then more Nitro Girls. This show is 100 percent useless so far. I mean, zero value... Kaz Hayashi vs. The Cat. Holy shit this show. Cat did his promo warning Kaz about being a three-time world karate champion. He called him "Jackie Chan," which would ordinarily be terribly racist, but in this case being called Jackie Chan is always a compliment, to everyone, so I'll allow it. Cat used a RIB CLAW. Not joking. He used an iron claw on the man's rib. And believe you me, it was a rib. Kaz tried something off the top and Cat caught him with a kick and Kaz fell on Cat's leg and I'm surprised he didn't break it. Cat hit a kick and won. He cut a promo about how great he was. Sonny Onoo, who came out with Kaz, was impressed, and apparently tried to recruit Cat... Nitro Party winner. I have never seen so many shirtless children. This was disturbing... Another Page-Goldberg promo... Jerry Flynn vs. Juventud Guerrera. Disco Inferno kicked Mike Tenay off the commentary desk to run down Disco Inferno. He talked about Juventud wrestling on a "trampoline" in Tijuana. Clearly he has never actually seen the rock-hard rings they use in Mexico. Jerry Flynn was a much, much better wrestler than I remember. He had that really fun match with Saturn a week or two ago, and had another totally fun match with Juvy here. They went back and forth at a very fast pace and Juvy hit the Michinoku driver out of nowhere for the win. This get's a thumbs up. First worthwhile thing on the show... Tenay interviewed children who would win the Goldberg match. They found a woman who said Page would win. Then, as Tenay wrapped things up, she held up a sign reading "Hey Hogan, shake your _ick and take your pick."... Hogan-Warrior video package. This show is like the Mania-week NXTs where they have almost nothing new to show... Wrath vs. Villano V. A total squash. Wrath no-sold some strikes and hit a leapfrog and a shoulder tackle, then the meltdown for the win. Fans were totally getting into this... Hogan-Warrior video package. I did something wrong somewhere in life and this show is my punishment... More fan interviews about who would win the Goldberg. One dude not only picked Page, but he booked a finish. And it was a good one, with Page turning the jackhammer into the diamond cutter for the win. Somebody give this guy a job... Wolfpac arrived in a stretch Hum-Vee. They were pissed and started searching the hallways and locker rooms. Schiavonie said maybe they were trying to find the ring. Way to make your stars look stupid. Eventually they charged into the black-and-white locker room and destroyed the B-Teamers they found in there. Security tried to break it up. This was not a good fight, with the real cops they were using having no idea how to break this up, and guys just walking around in the background. They tried to cover it up with shaky cameras. Scott Steiner was pushing cops, begging them to do SOMETHING, and they wouldn't. This lame-ass brawl moved into the hallways. La Parka was there, in his street clothes and mask, just watching. Sting kept opening doors, and finally found Bret Hart and attacked him. At last the segment just ended... Oh, GOD, it's still going after the break. Sting found a forklift and lifted the black-and-white limo and dropped it on its side. "Sexy!" Sting called to Nash. "Knife! Knife! Knife!" He wanted to slash the tires, you see, of this limo that had been dumped onto its roof and had all the windows broken. They started smashing the limo with hammers and Sting finally slashed the tires. Konnan was sweating everywhere. Larry made a joke about Konnan stealing the hubcaps and I must confess that I laughed... Damian vs. Hector Garza. They did fun lucha for a minute, then Eddie Guerrero entered the ring with a mic. Ref just called for the bell. Eddie talked to them both in both English and Spanish, asking what Eric Bischoff had done for either of them. Well, booking them on Nitro was a pretty big deal, until you interrupted them. He said Eric only had them wrestling each other, and never let them get a shot against anyone else. He talked about the luchadors cramming five or six guys into a rental car or three or four guys into a room. The luchadors nodded. Yes, we are broke geeks, they said. Eddie said they could defeat Bischoff and Hogan if they teamed up, and he passed them t-shirts and introduced themselves as the Latino World Order... Schiavonie threw it to Mike Tenay. We saw the Wolfpac instead. Tenay arrived and tried to interview them. They formed some kind of plan, then Nash told Tenay they were going to go bar-to-bar to find him. Tenay and the camera crew wanted to tag along. I guess the Wolfpac said OK... Psychosis vs. Kidman. At one point Schiavonie said Kidman was "trying to fight off the advances of Psychosis." What kind of match am I watching here? Actually, Kidman should have been fighting off these advances, because Psychosis dropped him right on his head on a gourdbuster, then kicked him right in the head off the top rope. Kidman got thrown outside and his back smashed the apron, then Psychosis did a slingshot legdrop to the floor and landed right on his ass. Somebody is going to die here. I guess they realized it was time to slow things down, because we got a lot of chinlocks for a while. They started doing stuff and Psychosis did a moonsault press and knee'd Kidman in the head. Finally Psychosis tried a top rope rana, but Kidman held onto the ropes, then hit the shooting star press for the win. A good little TV match if you ignore how everyone died all the time... Warrior did a backstage monologue, surrounded by strange flashing lights. It looked like he had rambled on for about four hours and they had just edited it down to the, uh, good parts. He talked about their first match awhile, then the power of the individual vs. the power of the pack, and taking control of your life and fulfilling your destiny and all that stuff. He said when he slept at night, he was wreaking havoc in Hogan's dreams. Then he snorted... Scott Steiner, surrounded by trophies, cut a promo on Rick, about how he had protected his brother from bullies when they were kids, but that free ride was over. They edited in a bunch of childhood photos. He said he was the one who had carried Rick to all those tag team championships. They had plenty of clips of young Scott being the most unbelievable wrestler in the world. And for a while, there, he may have been. He said Rick would be his next trophy. This was really good, actually... Tenay was driving a car behind the Hummer following the Wolfpac on their pub crawl. Um, it's been like an hour. How far is this bar they're going to?... Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell came to the ring for a promo. He repeated a lot of what he had said in the video package and promised to beat Rick at Havoc. Rick came out on stage. He said they were sissies who were afraid to fight him. Then he said it was in this very building where Buff had been hurt "for real" and laid for three hours, paralyzed. Everyone cheered. Dicks. Then Rick said he had someone who didn't think it was funny, and brought out MAMA JUDY BAGWELL. Oh god. Mama got on the apron with a microphone and screamed at Buff about she and his dad had been wondering if he would ever walk again. Then they sat in the hospital reading every one of the 10,000 fan letters they got. Then she had been there to wheel him out in a wheelchair for his return at the Georgia Dome. Buff grabbed the mic and said he was the one who supported the whole family, and they wouldn't eat without him. She stormed the ring and said she had slapped him when he was 15, and she slapped him here again. Scott went after her and said she wasn't his mother, but then Rick punched him out, and Mama dragged Buff out by the ear... They went to break, and afterwards they showed Scott and Brian Adams attacking Rick during the break. And then the match was going on... Brian Adams vs. Rick Steiner. Scott was out there cheating a lot, until JJ Dillon came out with cops and had him ejected. Match was awful. First they did a long chinlock. Then a 54-second nerve pinch. THEY'RE JUST SITTING THERE. Rick started his comeback with, well, I don't know, and I'm pretty sure neither of them did either. But it ended with Adams falling straight down onto his head, and Steiner frantically trying to hang onto him and stop him from falling on his head. Then he won with the bulldog that had paralyzed Buff in the first place. A terrible wrestling match... Back to the pub crawl. "Is Mike ready live yet?" They went into, I dunno, a hotel? There was a bar there. It was enormous. There was this hokey blues music edited in. They attempted to ambush Hall at the pool tables, but he wasn't there. So they walked and walked and walked all the way back to the Hummer. Are you fucking kidding me? They put this on TV?... Bischoff and Hogan came out for a promo. Oh, my GOD, I want to turn this show off so badly. They made fun of David Flair, who was in the front row. Hogan rambled on about Warrior for a while and dared him to come fight right now so he could beat his "rear end." He said this. Bischoff said this was an open invitation to any cartoon character in the house. He vowed to break Warrior and said he was the god of wrestling and BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. He's too sweet and it ended. Sucked... Four Horsemen video package. Who picked the dance music they played here? Why am I looking at the Four Horsemen while some whiny guy is demanding a phat beat?... Kanyon vs. DDP. Lodi came out with a sign begging Raven to take him back. He took the ref, and Raven hit Page with a cutter. Kanyon got a nearfall off it. Um, did they just kill Page's finish a few weeks before his title shot? Not only did Page kick out, but the match just kept going. I mean, as a match, it was good, and the crowd was totally into Page for his comeback. Lodi returned, but Page fought him off, and then Raven attacked Page for the DQ. Jesus Christ. Goldberg came out and hit an A-plus spear on Kanyon, then an A-plus-plus punch to Lodi's mouth. He jackhammered Lodi while Page hit Raven with a cutter, then they bumped into each other and had a staredown. Dillon hit the ring to separate them. Everyone was screaming. OK, the postmatch stuff was so awesome I no longer care about Page kicking out of the Cutter... Pub crawl update. "They tried to ditch us" Tenay explained. Yeah, I bet they did. They started walking through this bar, and everyone pretty much ignored them. They were not mobbed like stars. No Scott Hall. Konnan wanted to go to a strip club. Buzzkill Nash said no. They left. This whole thing has been incredibly lame. Remind me to never, ever go party with the Wolfpac... Disciple vs. Lenny Lane. So if he has left Hogan's side, why is he still calling himself the Disciple? Who is he a disciple of? Lenny opened things up with a Warrior imitation. Then Disciple tried to do a better Warrior impression, but it was a trap and Lenny hit him from behind. This was a spot they thought of and did. Disciple fired up like the Warrior does and everyone booed, then he won with a stunner. Well this sucked. Oh no, he's cutting a promo. He announced he was done carrying Hogan's bags. Well, yeah. He said he was his own man now and forever. Great. He stormed backstage, and Hogan and Bischoff came in from the side to follow him. They stalked him through the hallway and into the dressing room, but he had disappeared. Hogan was frustrated and looked in the mirror. Then Warrior appeared in the mirror. Hogan could see him. The announcers could see him. We could certainly see him. But Bischoff, for some reason, could not see him. Hogan cut a promo on the Warrior, who then vanished, and Eric kicked the cameras out. So the story is that we are as crazy as Hogan is? Or is Bischoff losing his sight. This was UNGODLY stupid... Oh geez, it's the fucking pub crawl again. Tenay noted that each bar they went to was shittier than the last. I told you this was a terrible pub crawl. They went into what appeard to be somebody's house. At least people recognized them here. Nash started punching somebody. I hope that's Hall. Oh good, it was. They brawled into the men's room and closed the door. Nothing happened for a while. I can't say enough about how stupid all of this was. None of the bar drunks cared about the fight, they just wanted to get on camera. Even the girls. Eventually the camera went into the bathroom to show Hall with his head in the toilet. And they left. My god, my god... Bischoff came back out. GAWD. He said Hogan was fine and began to run down Ric Flair. Crowd demanded Flair, but Bischoff said he would not be there, he was a coward. Out came Arn Anderson. He said he was the Horseman in charge of head games. Bischoff called him a hillbilly. Arn said the champ was here, let's bring him on down. Nobody came out. Well, eventually Reid appeared. He looked incredibly nervous. Well, he was like 10. Also, and this is not his fault, but he had the most amazing bowl cut I've ever seen. Like, I thought he was wearing a headband, but it was just the shadow of his hair. He said he was there to handle his dad's light work. He started doing duck-walks like Bob Backlund. Reid began to take Bischoff down repeatedly, then hid behind Arn and broke out the strut. Arn confirmed that Bischoff had been taken down twice by a ten-year-old. Horsemen were happy and left... After the break, Bischoff was in the ring with Elizabeth, demanding she call Ric Flair and get him in the ring. Bischoff took the ring and started shouting at "Beth." Announcers explained this was Flair's wife. Flair's music started to play and he came out. Bischoff suddenly realized he had made a terrible mistake. A bunch of nWo B-Teamers ran out, but the other Horsemen arrived to fight them off. David and Reid hit the ring too. They all celebrated, and that was basically that... Sting vs. Bret Hart. Sting came down to the ring. Bret started to come out, then just went to the back. Sting chased after him. Larry pointed out this was probably a trap to get Sting alone with his friends on their pub crawl and Sting was an idiot. Well, he's not wrong. They brawled back towards Hogan's dressing room. Sting got suplexed through a table, and Bret started attacking his knee, wrapping it in a chair and smashing it with a trash can. Sting pushed a box into him. They just kept on fighting. I am not impressed with Bret's trap. Bret went to run him over with a golf cart but it wouldn't start. This is seriously like the Naked Gun doing a spoof of a Steve Austin fight. Sting got the scorpion hooked. Larry was critiquing his technique. Sting got bored and let go of the hold. He grabbed a trash can but it was tied to the post. Are you serious? Is this really happening? Security broke up the fight. Bret walked one way. Sting walked the other. Everyone booed. You couldn't put together a more lame backstage segment if you tried. Jesus this show.

WWE NXT (10/4/17)

Ruby Riot & a mystery partner vs. Bilie Kay & Peyton Royce. Well, Ruby came out and started alone. Again, this all started because Ruby demanded a handicap match, and William Regal said no. She ran wild early, including a backwards falling senton off the middle rope that appeard to squash poor Peyton. They eventually cut her off and mocked her for not having a partner. And then Nikki Cross came out and got in the corner. They're just doing the exact same match again. Rudy broke free, shook her head, and reluctantly tagged Nikki in. Nikki ran wild a bit, kicked out of some double-teams, then Ruby tagged back in and hit an arm wringer Pele kick for the win. Nikki laughed and left. Ruby was still confused... Recap of Lars Sullivan destroying Oney Lorcan until Danny Burch came out to drag Lorcan to safety. "Lars Sullivan, in the short time you've been here at NXT, you've become enraged with many of your fellow superstars." This was the start of Christy St. Cloud's question. Lars said he was "categorically and unequivocally always in control." They're killing him. They're killing Lars Sullivan and I didn't think that was possible. This was a hundred times worse than having Aleister Black speak. Anyway, he's fighting Danny Burch next week and I barely care now... Earlier Today, Zalena cut a promo about Andrade Almas and Johnny Gargano. Saying they were fine with a rematch to beat Johnny over and over, and each win would get Almas to a title match. She started to walk away and they asked how she'd feel if Almas lost. She said Gargano's lifeline was dead... Recap of the Eric Young-Adam Cole main event from last week... Lio Rush vs. Aleister Black. Good reaction for Lio's debut, but bigger reaction for Black. As he was making his entrance, Velveteen Dream came through the crowd and laid Rush out. He taunted Black, then hit what may have been the greatest top rope elbow I've ever seen. He jumped so high it was like coming off the cage. Black slowly made his way to the ring, but when he entered, Dream left Black just did his sitting pose and looked off into space. Dream was slapping on the apron and demanding Black acknowledge him and say his name. Black refused, and Dream retreated, repeating he would make Black say his name... Kairi Sane vs. Aliyah. Kairi won the Mae Young Classic. Her gimmick is the "Pirate Princess," and she comes out in a pirate hat and telescope and has THE BEST cinematic theme score. Nigel suggested Aliyah might not be in Kairi's level, and we laughed, but honestly she fit in with Kairi. Or, more accurately, Kairi made her look good. Kairi made her comeback with a corner spear and sitting clothesline, then hit her out of this world elbow for the win. If you like top rope elbows, this is the best show you've ever seen. Match was good... Roderick Strong vs. Drew McIntyre. The dude in the yellow shirt banging his head to Drew's music was TOTALLY COOL, MAN. I believe it was Kayla Braxton doing ring announcing. Whoever it was, she needs to wear this dress all the time. Simply stunning. Nigel noted that both dudes basically had the same finisher. They were doing stuff for a minute, and then Drew hit the biggest and also the easiest belly-to-belly of all time. He just flicked backwards and next thing you knew Roddy was flying through the skies. They were brawling on the floor when Roddy dropped Drew's back across the stairs. OW. There's nobody in NXT who makes a match feel more intense and more important than Roddy. Crowd was at least 2-to-1 in Drew's favor. Drew tried something off the top but Roddy met him with a swank dropkick for a nearfall. There were a couple of commercial breaks in the first ten minutes, which hurt the flow of the match on TV. We got nearfalls off the reverse Alabama slam, an Angle slam, a big sitting spinebuster, and a top-rope superplex. Crowd was into the big spots, but then went dead in between. They traded strikes, and Roddy hit the double underhook powerbomb for another nearfall. This match would have been so awesome in front of a better crowd. Drew picked Roddy up and climbed the ropes, then hit an avalanche white noise. That was impressive. Roddy got a foot on the ropes. Drew started stomping for his kick, but Roddy caught him with a trio of leaping kneestrikes and hit the sick kick for a nearfall. Announcers were losing their shit. Fans were not. They brawled outside, and Drew powerbombed Roddy into the post. He threw Roddy inside and hit the future shock DDT. They had a mini-staredown, and Drew hit the claymore for the win. This fucking match was SO GOOD and you wouldn't know if you weren't paying attention because the crowd was so flat. They had a manly handshake afterwards, and Roddy left Drew to celebrate. Then the Undisputed came out to congratulate Roddy on a great match. He was very confused. They left. Drew was outraged by all of this. And so now they have something to build on. This was a very good show.

WWE Hell in a Cell (10/8/17)

New Day vs. Usos in a Hell in a Cell match. Yes, this is the opener. It was Big E & Woods representing New Day. The bell rang and everyone grabbed a weapon. Woods had a rainbow-painted kendo stick. Between the dancing, the promo, and the general silly nature of their gimmick, I'm not sure this is the best match for them. We had a chain-wrapped fistdrop minutes in with no blood. Everyone started flying into the Cell. E hit his spear through the ropes, which just drove his own head into the Cell. Easily impressed fans determined this was awesome. Seriously, any geek who can do a dive could do this match so far. New Day attacked the Usos with a collection of brightly colored trombones and a cowbell. Also, a gong. Why is Hell in a Cell a comedy match? Usos used chairs and sticks. All this carnage just made the crowd demand tables. There has been zero setup or build or storytelling in this match. It's literally nothing but weapon and cage spots. Eventually they did other crazy shit, like E slamming an Uso off the apron onto Woods, who was doing a backcracker on the floor. Well that's a good way to kill everyone. They hit the midnight hour but the other Uso broke up the pin. They pinned one Uso in the corner and wedged a series of kendo sticks into the fence to pin him there. OK, that's cool. Usos came back and guys started flying into the steel again. Crowd loved this violence. Remember when I said the Hell of War match on Lucha Underground was high concept garbage wrestling? This was not. This was just four dudes taking turns doing stupid shit. Usos both hit top rope splashes, but E kicked out. They handcuffed Woods and hung him by the wrists against the post, then hit him with a stick. E escaped handcuffs somehow and made a comeback. After every weapon spot in the world, they began to perform wrestling moves. And not very well. They hit a double splash, but Woods broke up the pin. He was still handcuffed, but ran wild with axehandles. They cut him off, laid a chair across him, and hit a double splash for the win. The wheel just keps spinning, and they just keep wrestling each other. There was some good stuff at the end there with both New Day dudes making firey comebacks, but on the whole this was just a match. (**3/4)... AJ Styles did a backstage promo. He just said he'd beat Baron Corbin and Tye Dillinger tonight. What, TYE DILLINGER is getting a title shot on PPV?... Randy Orton vs. Rusev. Rusev worked him over a bit and hit a chinlock. Then he did other stuff. Randy made a comeback and did the usual, then escaped the camel clutch. Rusev hit the running superkick on the floor. That was cool. Eighty percent of the match was Rusev going "RUSEV DAY!" and doing something. Orton was slapping the mat like he does before the RKO, when Rusev grabbed them and rolled over for the camel clutch. That would have been amazing. Unfortunately Orton escaped and hit an RKO for the win. Well, there you go. Dull stuff. (**)... Backstage, Shane McMahon was posing for the cover of his album doing covers of sad love songs... They showed Dillinger beating Corbin earlier tonight, then suggesting to Daniel Bryan they make the title match a three-way. Bryan agreed. They then became the two biggest goofs of all time anywhere ever. I was so embarrassed I couldn't even look at the screen... AJ Styles vs. Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin. Corbin tried to flee from the two minis for a while. Then we got AJ vs. Tye one-on-one, which was the best actual wrestling so far on the show. Corbin put a stop to that by cutting them off and working them both over. Seriously, this would have been so much better without him. Why is there a resthold in a three-way? AJ tried a dive but Baron punched him in the face and AJ did the best sell ever. He's so unbelievably great. Baron's beating went on for a while. God bless AJ, who was doing all he could to make this a great match. Like, he knew it was hopeless, but he still went out there and tried the impossible. Tye Dillinger backdropped him to the heavens. TYE DILLINGER. These fuckers better give AJ a cut of their pay tonight. AJ and Tye teased finishers for a while and AJ hooked the calf crusher. Corbin yanked Dillinger out of the ring, so AJ wiped him out with a phenomenal forearm to the floor. Everyone returned to the ring. Baron hit AJ with a chokeslam backbreaker for a nearfall. Everyone ran across the ring and hit each other. How long is this going? They teased Tye getting a banana peel pin on Baron. Must admit, crowd was somehow into this. AJ hit a springboard 450, but Tye broke it up. AJ hit a phenomenal forearm, but Baron kicked him out of the ring very hard and very carelessly, and stole the pin. Yes, Baron Corbin is your new US champion. It's not just my imagination, by the way. This show is almost 90 minutes old and there have been three matches, none of which you need to go out of your way to see. Crowd was very into the finish. I thought most of this was long and boring and the worst possible guy one. (*3/4)... Charlotte vs. Natalya. They battled for an advantage early, then Nattie cut her off and started wearing down the legs. They traded some leg submissions, but it was mostly Natalya in control. And then she was trying for a sharpshooter and apparently just fell over. Oops. She got it for real a few minutes later. Charlotte powered out of it and threw Nattie into the corner in the process. Charlotte attempted to hop up the ropes on one leg, but Nattie rolled out of the ring. So Charlotte went up in a different corner and hit a moonsault press to the floor. And then Nattie hit her with a chair for the DQ. Oh, FUCK YOU. This is a PAY PER VIEW. There was zero logical reason for Nattie to do that. She wasn't in trouble. You could argue she was winning. Totally illogical and totally stupid. Fuck. I was actually enjoying this before that finish. (*3/4)... Fashion Files segment. They had a whole 1980s opening credit segment. They did jokes about flashbacks. The Acension came in with horrible disguises. Well, it was funny that they still put their facepaint on, under their wigs and moustaches. They delivered a poster of themselves, saying "WE WANT 2B YOUR FRIENDS." They went off about how stuipd and ugly the Ascension were. Ascension's feelings were hurt and they revealed themselves and left. Then Fashion Police found a briefcase. There was a glowing light inside. They were excited to have a new case, and plugged "Pulp Fashion" for Smackdown. Yes, a commercial for a comedy segment on regular TV... Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal. Huge reaction for Nakamura, so they haven't killed him dead yet. All his big crowd interaction spots are over too. Nakamura tried to do some legit MMA takedowns early, but Mahal is so stiff he couldn't even go down for this real shit. Mahal put on a hold that would do nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing about this hold would restrict the flow of blood or air, or bend a joint the wrong way, or apply pressure to a bone. It was kind of like a half nelson, but with no leverage of any kind. They claimed it was "isolating the left shoulder," which was bullshit. Shin made his comeback, but people weren't much into it. Oh look, the Singhs are interfering and getting beat up. Nakamura avoided the cobra clutch slam and continued his attack, but the Singhs interfered again. Ref just asked them what they were doing. Finally he ejected them and everyone cheered. Shin hit the kinshasa, but Mahal grabbed the ropes. That was a great teast, honestly. They brawled through the crowd in front of a security guard who couldn't wait to go home. And Shin missed a kinshasa and hit the corner and Jinder hit the cobra clutch slam for the win. A-yup. Better than most Jinder matches.(**1/4)... Dasha attempted to interview Owens. He took the mic and dismissed her. He cut a great babyface promo about how Shane had tried to screw him and was a terrible boss and was rude and selfish, and he was going to teach Shane a lesson. He was so happy to have the Cell and give Shane the beating he deserved. Everyone cheered. This fucking company... Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler. This building was awesome, with this incredible light display on the ceiling that they incorporated into everyone's entrance. So Dolph's gimmick is that he is Chris Candido, with no gimmicks needed, so he came out to no music or lights. There were the most hilariously half-hearted dueling chants. Then they all got bored and chanted for CM Punk. They noted that Roode was "no rookie." You don't say. Nobody gave a shit about this match at all. They just took turns doing stuff. Whitney came in with some laundry and we all eagerly turned away from the TV to see what excitement she might have. I've never seen so much good wrestling in such a bad match. Like, their execution of everything was very sharp and precise. But NOBODY CARED ABOUT ANYTHING. Well, they cared about pizza, because they were chanting "LITTLE CAESARS." Sigh. They traded finisher attempts and rollups and Roode won with a handful of tights and then Dolph hit the zig-zag. Oh, god, we have to watch this match AGAIN? So boring. (1/2*)... Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon in a FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE Hell in a Cell match. The video for this included clips from the two of them on Talking Smack. This was lame and made it clear why Talking Smack was canceled. Oh my god, they made a video package here that was just a bunch of clips edited into a 20-minute promo. IT JUST KEPT GOING. SHUT UP! SHUT UP AND FIGHT! Oh, GOD, now the Cell is lowering. This show is already 2:47 long. Did we mention the Cell is UNFORGIVING! And DEMONIC! I never realized how much Shane McMahon looked like Matt LeBlanc. He attacked Owens in the aisle and unleashed THE WORST PUNCHES OF ALL TIME. I had to stand up and turn my back. This motherfucker. Then he did a cartwheel kick that was better and more realistic. They finally got in the cage. Owens tried to taunt Shane's kids by grinding his face in the cage. They all smiled and laughed. Jesus this show. Owens kept beating him up. He tried a senton, but Shane got the knees up. He made a big sloppy blown-up middle-aged comeback. Shane missed a shooting star press. That was amazing, actually. Owens hit the bullfrog splash, but Shane kicked out. Owens tried the pop-up powerbomb, but Shane caught him in a triangle in midair. Owens powerbombed him onto stairs to escape. Crowd demanded tables again and Owens obliged them. I told you he's a hero. Owens put himself through a table with a cannonball off the apron after Shane dodged. Shane wacked him with table shards and threw a garbage can into the ring, and we got the coast-to-coast dropkick. Owens got a foot on the ropes to stop the pin. Graves said that should not have counted. So Shane looked to the ceiling. He demanded they open the door, but they refused, so he got his own bolt cutters to cut the chain. The chain wouldn't break. "Fuck you!" Shane McMahon said to this chain. Eventually it broke and they made their way out there. Time passed. Owens was set to do a splash off the barricade through a table, then looked up at the top of the Cell and began to climb it. This was really fucking high. Like, at least 20 feet, maybe more. He thought, and, he thought, and he tried to fire himself up, but couldn't bring himself to do it. Then Shane started to climb too. Owens met him coming up and they did some very scary stuff teasing Shane falling off there. Finally Shane made it up and they traded punches and started taking bumps up there. Well this is a new level of insane. Please nobody die. Announcers were outright teasing the Cell would give out beneath them. Owens teased a powerbomb but Shane backdropped his way free. It took them a few tries, but Owens hit the pop-up powerbomb. Cell still intact. They teased throwing Shane off just like Taker did to Mankind. Shane fought back. And finally Owens just started to climb down. Everyone booed. They fought on the side of it like Spider-Man, and Owens fell off and through the table, and the camera missed it. Swear to god. EMTs ran out. "IS HE RESPONSIVE?" It is 24 minutes past the top of the hour. Just put Shane on top and have him get pinned. No, Shane had to prep ANOTHER DESK. Sweet Jesus. Kids have school tomorrow man. Shane climbed BACK to the top of the Cell, stood there forever, and jumped, but Owens dodged. Actually, I take that back. Sami Zayn had come out to ringside and pulled Owens to safety. EMTs were trying to check on Shane, but Sami pushed them aside and put Kevin on top and ordered the ref to count three. Show finally ended at 3:34. I am physically exhausted. I have to rate this? I mean, I can't actually recommend you watch this, but, I mean, it sure wasn't average, either. (***1/2)

Lucha Underground Season 3: Ultima Lucha Tres, Part II

Ivellise and Jeremiah Crane were shouting at each other backstage. He admitted he was in love with Catrina and not her. Ivellise said she didn't need Crane, she was going to beat Catrina's ass tonight, then his. He called her a bitch and she kicked him into a bathroom stall... Battle Royal for a unique opportunity. Joey Ryan, PJ Black, Ricky Mundo, Vinnie Massaro, Mascarita Sagrada, Argenis, Mala Suerte, Saltador, Paul London, Cortez Castro, Son of Madness, and Da Mack. Also, Pimpinela Escarlata. Yes, a 13-person battle royal. Guys started going out immediately. Pimpinela bit London's penis, through his codpiece, apparently. Pimpi kept kissing everyone and then eliminated himself. Final Four: Mack, Black, Mundo, and Sagrada. Black threw Sagrada outside and there were like three grown men out there to catch him and they STILL almost dropped the little fella on his head. I screamed. Mack hit a stunner and threw Black outside to win. I don't think this whole battle royal took five minutes. Dario emerged from his office in a tuxedo to present Mack with his unique opportunity: a trios championship match against the lizard people, but Dario got to choose his partners: Killshot and Dante Fox, if there's anything left of them, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I will seriously miss Dario Cueto... Catrina vs. Ivellise. Catrina called her a bitch. Ivellise came running out like the Ultimate Warrior and threw Catrina to the mat. They went to the floor and chopped the piss out of each other. Catrina had her shirt torn off and she locked herself in Dario's office. When the door finally opened Catrina broke a bottle over her head. Catrina's gear was just blatantly underwear at this point. Catrina broke two more bottles over Ivelisse's head, and now Ivelisse was bleeding everywhere. I'd like to think the blood was work. I might be wrong, but there was something about it that looked off. Plus, the longer the match went, the less blood there was on her face. They kept brawling through the crowd, then back into the ring. Catrina got a couple of nearfalls, then pulled out the magic rock. They took turns trying to use it and cutting each other off. And Ivelisse hit a DDT and won. Apparently somewhere in there she hit her with a rock too. Ivelisse has tremendous in-ring charisma and star power. She was celebrating when Crane hit the ring and started wacking her bad ankle with a hammer. A good match. (***)... Mask vs. Hair: Marty the Moth vs. Fenix. Here, on the third-to-last show ever, they plugged Lucha Underground merchandise. Seriously. Mariposa was blatantly interfering pretty much from the get-go. Fenix tried a big dive, but Marty pulled Mariposa in the way to take the bullet. She, naturally, was pissed at Marty. flipped him off, and walked away. Marty then became a bumbling fool, tripping over the ropes to get into the ring. Fenix tried a flip and Marty got the boots up and Fenix sold this by throwing himself onto his own head. Marty started tearing at the mask. Marty hit a powerbomb, deadlifted him up, and dropped him face-first onto an exposed turnbuckle. And blood began to pour from Fenix's head like a garden hose. Um, take it home, guys. This is not safe. They blatantly fucked something up and it was not edited. Vampiro was running around firing up the crowd. Fenix hit a cutter on the apron, then a frog splash for a nearfall. Marty hit, um, a powerbomb into a codebreaker for a nearfall. They kept doing stuff. Fenix was doing rubber-legged selling. He pulled off a one-man Spanish fly, but Marty kicked out. Crowd was losing their minds. Fenix kept kicking out of shit. Marty pulled out scissors. "MARTY HAS SCISSORS!" Melissa screamed. We got a close-up of Marty jabbing the scissors into Fenix's forehead, which showed Fenix was still chewing gum. He held the scissors to Fenix's throat, and Melissa jumped on the apron and said she'd do anything for Marty, they could run away together. He dragged her into the ring. She slapped him and kicked him in the balls, and Fenix hit the knee to the back of the head, then a springboard 450. He and Melissa piled on top of Marty for the pin. They found a guy who was actually crying. Crowd was chanting Melissa's name. Can't deny, this was amazing. Marty tried to flee. Mariposa emergedand called him to the top of the stairs. Striker said there was nobody who could physically force him to do this. There's not? So Mariposa hit an unprotected chairshot to Marty's head and cuffed him to the guardrail. The three of them all worked together to cut his hair. Lots of people were stunned that this man was actually getting his hair cut. They didn't even finish the job, leaving him half-shaved. Well, that was something. (***3/4).