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Figure Four Weekly 6/19/2017: Looking back at the Cruiserweight Classic one year later

Looking back at the CWC one year later

by Joseph Currier (@josephcurrier)

Last week brought the announcement of the first four wrestlers who will be participating in WWE's Mae Young Classic this summer. Toni Storm, Princesa Sugehit, Lacey Evans, and Sarah Logan will help make up a diverse 32-competitor field from all around the world.

It was this time last year that similar announcements were being made for an almost identical project. And while WWE hopes that the Mae Young Classic will further the cause of women's wrestling, last year's cruiserweight tournament still leaves behind an undefined legacy.

The Cruiserweight Classic was at first an unmitigated success for WWE. The series itself remains some of the most inspired programming that the company has ever produced. But, while unsuccessfully trying to replicate some of the aspects that made the CWC stand out and totally abandoning others, Raw's cruiserweight division and 205 Live have largely just blended into the rest of weekly WWE television.

The introduction of the division hasn't been without its positives. Despite not being part of the initial tournament, Neville has done excellent work with his "King of the Cruiserweights" character. There have been many good matches as well, though most of them have taken place in front of crowds that drag the action down instead of enhancing it.

But the change over to purple ropes has mostly existed as a signal to the audience that what's coming next doesn't actually matter. What WWE thought would be a valuable presentation element has had the exact opposite effect. Bad post-SmackDown crowds have usually hindered 205 Live when it has been worth watching. And lame storylines like the never-ending saga of Alicia Fox and Noam Dar's relationship have been unwatchable.

Though some wrestlers have gotten opportunities that they wouldn't have otherwise received, a couple others who took part in the CWC have dodged a bullet by not signing with WWE.

From the 32 people who were in the tournament, Akira Tozawa, Ariya Daivari, Brian Kendrick, Cedric Alexander, Drew Gulak, Fabian Aichner, Gran Metalik, the Singh Brothers, HoHo Lun, Jack Gallagher, Lince Dorado, Mustafa Ali, Noam Dar, Raul Mendoza, TJ Perkins, and Tony Nese have ended up with WWE in some form. There were also three already signed wrestlers in that field, with Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann, and Tommaso Ciampa having been part of NXT. Tajiri rejoined WWE after the tournament but left when the company wouldn't use him following a knee injury.

A lot of those wrestlers are better off for signing with WWE and being positioned in the way that they are. Even talented workers like Gulak and Perkins might not have gotten their foot in the door otherwise. Kendrick has also had a minor career rejuvenation now that he's back on TV.

But it's impossible not to question if some would have been better off if they weren't introduced through a lame-duck division. Tozawa, Alexander, Metalik, and Gallagher in particular all have star potential. While the first three have at least had regular spots on TV, Metalik has mostly been relegated to occasional appearances on Main Event.

One of the most notable names in the CWC has put the theory that signing with WWE wouldn't have been beneficial to his career to the test. Zack Sabre Jr. has become even more of a star and furthered his reputation as one of the best wrestlers in the world since last summer. He's working everywhere, including New Japan Pro Wrestling as a member of Suzuki-gun. In an era where everyone seems to end up in WWE, Sabre may still join the company at some point. If he does, he'll be much better off than if he was placed on 205 Live.

The biggest international name from the CWC may have dodged a bullet by not signing with WWE as well, but Kota Ibushi has taken the exact opposite path. In typical Ibushi fashion, the most notable thing he's done since (aside from a cameo in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic) is wrestle as Tiger Mask W in NJPW. Ibushi may have been a star as big as Neville if he did end up on 205 Live, but it's hard to envision that he would have been happy doing it.

There's still more than enough time for members of the cruiserweight division (and 205 Live itself) to turn things around. WWE is better off for having so many talented wrestlers under contract, but the whole thing just seems kind of unnecessary.

Lighter weight wrestlers may still have a more difficult time breaking into the absolute top of the card, but there aren't a ton of restrictions on them. If anything, the cruiserweight division has contained those in it instead of showcasing them.

Time will tell what the Mae Young Classic will mean for the future of women's wrestling in WWE. There will likely be an influx of talent that the company doesn't seem capable of handling even without a ton of depth on the main roster. But the Cruiserweight Classic should have provided WWE with plenty of examples of both what to do and what to avoid.

Mexico Notes

by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims (@DrLuchaJr)

It be's that way sometimes. The most newsworthy things of the past week in Mexican lucha libre came in one night on one show.

EMLL/CMLL held its usual (usual as in basically ever week for the past 61 years) Friday night show in Mexico City. They seemed to draw a nice crowd, not great, but fired up and into the matches, all of them, which is saying something since the match quality ran the gamut from z to a.

Z were the first and third matches. The first match (dud) at least had two veteran undercard rudos (Raziel and Virus, actually their two best undercard rudos) not able to drag much of a match out of Sangre Imperial (Sangre Chicana's son) and Magia Blanca (now among the myriad of people training under the eyes of Ultimo Guerrero, who does have the rep of improving young talent he works with, so we'll see). This one was not worth checking out.

The third match (*) may be worth checking out, I suppose, should you have trouble falling asleep or want to give up wrestling for your own personal reasons or whatever. Rudos Vangellys, Shocker (seriously, what happened to his jaw, I can hardly sand to watch him when he takes the headgear off), and Terrible (very wasted here) beat rudos Rush, Pierroth, and Kraneo (the comedy fat guy is so wrong tagging as an Ingobernable). The general point appears to be to try to save the "Los Ingobernables" gimmick by convincing the fans to take Pierroth seriously as one of its members. Stranger things have happened, but not in 13.7 billion years since the amount of anti-matter and matter did not cancel each other out. So CMLL will continue this, no doubt, until Pierroth takes the hair of Vangellys as its means to an end. CMLL can be stubborn. No really. Stubborn is their middle name. Actually, stubborn is their mother's maiden name. Stubborn is the name of their first car. Stubborn is the street they grew up on (and, oddly, also the city where they grew up). Stubborn is the name of their first pet and, amazingly, stubborn was also the name of their first-grade teacher in school. Stubborn was their best friend in high school and their nickname as child. Stubborn was also the last name AND first name of their first crush. Oh, and their first phone number too.

The second match (**¼) was fine but disappointingly unmemorable, as Stuka Jr., Guerrero Maya Jr., and Drone outlasted Polvora, Dragon Rojo Jr., and Misterioso Jr. I expected a lot more from four of these six, but they just had a pint by numbers night, which come to think of it may have been the CMLL agent's instruction to them, being in the second match and all.

As expected, the latter half of the card was far better.

Dragon Lee beat Barbaro Cavernario in 9:42 of an excellent lightning match, not perfect I suppose, but solid and dramatic and well worth the time to see. *** ¾.

The semifinal had the match that stood out to me as another major step towards a huge match later this year. Brother world champions Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja teamed with Valiente to take him the victory over Negro Casas as 2/3 of Los Guerreros Laguneros, (Euforia and Gran Guerrero) in two straight falls – the second fall ending in a gratuitous unmasking of Rojo by Guerrero. It went all of 5:00 or so in the ring. They got the message across they wanted – that the two brothers are in a heavy feud with the two Guerreros - then went home. Not much of a match, just an angle, giving the fans one simple thing to take home, but a strong presentation of that one thing. ***.

The main event saw veteran Caristico and youngster Soberano Jr. (son of Euforia) take the 2017 Gran Alternativa (veteran/youngster/youngster gets promoted) championships over veteran Ultimo Guerrero and youngster Sanson (son of Cien Caras) in a **** bout of about 20 minutes. The entire point of this match and tournament was to continue the elevation of Soberano Jr., and it worked really well, with Ultimo Guerrero (Soberano's trainer and for that matter Euforia's trainer too) in doing most of the heavy lifting. Highly recommended, and what can you say about CMLL – they are doing as bad a promotional job as any company in the world this year with the Pierroth push (Dos Leyendas gate notwithstanding) and yet as a business, what they have done during the same time frame with Soberano Jr. is about as well-done as anything any other promotion has done this year.

Europe Notes

by Oliver Court (@AnotherOli)

The big development in wXw over the past month has been the introduction of a new heel stable, Rise, consisting of existing roster member Chris Colen along with German Wrestling Federation talent Lucky Kid, Tarkan Aslan, Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer. Their motivation for formation comes from Colen's dissatisfaction with his spot in wXw as a permanent undercard act, so he has decided to take the spot that he thinks he deserves and 'rise' to the top (get it?) with the help of a group of outsiders who have no qualms sneak attacking the rest of the roster. There has been plenty of effective imagery of the group beating down other wrestlers backstage and generally being massive pricks, so they've had no problem getting some proper heel heat in the early stages of the stable.

Hopefully the interference in each other's matches will become less frequent on future shows, but Rise has had a few matches without shenanigans that have been very good already. The highlight of the run so far has to be Ivan Kiev getting a big upset victory over WALTER on wXw's Hamburg show, which felt like a major moment and a scalp for Kiev that suggests wXw have plans for him near the top of the card. I've talked about how wXw needed to find a new direction after the sudden departure of Axel Dieter Jr., and the push of Rise seems to be doing the trick ahead of one of their major shows of the year, Shortcut to the Top.

Back in Britain, some of the standout shows of 2017 so far have come from RevPro's low-key Live at the Cockpit shows, which have woven really good wrestling together with simple storylines that evolve based on in-ring results instead of nebulous off-stage antics. The results of one Cockpit show matter on the next and because of that they have been rewarding to watch over the course of the last few months. The Cockpit's given new talent, such as Ashley Dunn and RevPro's own 'Contender' trainees, a chance to really step up in the ring, and it's served as a good build for big-ticket import matches, such as Kyle O'Reilly's announcement that he would face KUSHIDA at the British J Cup in July. If you've only been watching RevPro's York Hall shows, I'd definitely recommend checking out BritWres' best kept secret for a new angle on the promotion.

Japan Notes

by Alan Counihan (@Alan4L)

As Japan enters its season of stifling heat and humidity, this summer Korakuen Hall is going to get really hot for New Japan both literally and figuratively. We already had four great shows in the famous building during Best Of Super Juniors, but this week things get even more exciting with three title matches headlining three shows. There will also be announcements of competitors in the G1 Climax, their blocks and the matchups. Of course that in turn will lead to multiple G1 shows at Korakuen which are always incredible.

On the 20th in addition to all G1 names being announced we're going to get a NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Title match which the Los Ingobernables de Japón team of BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA defending against Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi and KUSHIDA. This is one of the strongest matches on paper in the championship's history, and in the main event slot it could be off the charts. Everyone in the match is super over, particularly in Korakuen and they're all great workers.

The 26th will follow up the G1 announcements with the Block listings for all competitors. The main event of that show has all the makings for one of those mid-summer Korakuen title matches with an incredible heel/face dynamic. If Minoru Suzuki and YOSHI-HASHI can match the likes of Prince Devitt vs. Gedo from 2013 everyone will be in for a real treat. Suzuki of course thrives in the environment of hated heel and YOSHI-HASHI is one of the most supported underdogs on the roster so this could be an amazing match.

The next day will see Korakuen Hall find out exactly what matches they'll get during the G1, along with the announcements for other venues. The trio of title match main events will be capped off by a rematch from Best of The Super Juniors as KUSHIDA defends his newly won junior title against BUSHI. They tore the house down a few weeks back and it was arguably the best performance of BUSHI's career. KUSHIDA is one of the most in form wrestlers in the world at the moment so this seems a lock to be really good again.

As for the G1 announcements, speculation with fans online really started to peak over the weekend. The big questions marks are as follows. There is a pool of guys in contention for roughly 7 spots (assuming a 20 man field) – Zack Sabre Jr, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Ray Rowe, Hanson, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, Juice Robinson, Satoshi Kojima, Davey Boy Smith Jr, Tiger Mask W/Kota Ibushi and Cody. Of those, Zack, TMW and Kojima would probably be the biggest difference makers in terms of match quality. Makabe and Yano are established names who would usually be in but with such a stacked roster, maybe not. Cody has indy bookings during the tournament so on the surface right now he looks to be a no. The other big question is how the big four get split. Will they go Omega/Okada and Tanahashi/Naito and give rematches of their two big 2017 programmes, or do they want to mix it up and give away what may be a huge match for the 2018 Tokyo Dome? All will be seen in the next week!

TV Reviews

by Bryan's Friend Vince (@FO_VVerhei)

WWE Retro Raw 264 (6/15/98)

The Hell in a Cell cage was mysteriously hanging above the arena.

Sable came out in a catsuit for a promo. She thanked the fans, then brought out the person responsible for her return: Vince McMahon. Fans cheered for Austin as a 10-year-old boy shot double middle fingers into the camera. Vince asked Sable to read a prepared statement. The statement passionately denied any accusation that Vince had used legitimate humanitarian awards as a weapon against Steve Austin, and that he had anything to do with the attack on Austin last week. He promised to bring the parties responsible to justice. Sable was reading this as questions, like she couldn't believe what it said. Vince kissed her on the cheek and said this cleared up the conspiracy. Vince was done, but Austin came out to confront him. He began by escorting Sable out of the ring. Austin said "chickenshit" and it did not get censored. He stalked Vince around ringside as Vince begged him to listen to reason. Finally Vince said it was the Undertaker and Austin paused. Vince swore on his grandmother's kittens that it was the Undertaker. Taker had challenged Austin two weeks ago, then forced Vince to call the cops on him, and Vince had fallen for it. But surrounded by cops, Taker could not have come down and made the save. He said Taker was from the Dark Side, and the Devil himself. Taker came out to speak for himself. Yes, he said, he had challenged Austin—with respect for Austin and the championship. He said Vince's claim was a damn lie and Austin knew it. He said Vince would never be able to manipulate him, but then Kane, Paul Bearer, and Mankind interrupted. Mankind was wearing the stupid suit and tie that he would keep for the rest of his career. Bearer said he and Taker had hatched this plan long ago, and his next plan was to trap Austin in the Cell tonight. He challenged Taker and Austin to face Kane and Mankind in a Hell in a Cell tag team match tonight. Vince was down with this. I didn't understand this program in 1998 and I don't understand it now. So Taker has challenged Austin, and it's clear that at some point they're going to fight. So why should I care whether there's some kind of conspiracy or not? The match is happening either way!.

Vader vs. Rock in a King of the Ring qualifier. Announcers had knocked Vader for being fat lately, but said he had been embarrassed by his match against Kane at Over The Edge and been training to improve his conditioning since then. You forget how green Rocky was here, but he was taking corners like it was his first day in a wrestling ring. Rock kicked out of a middle rope splash. Match just rolled around with guys taking turns doing stuff for no reason. Vader got knocked outside and Mark Henry ran down and laid him out. Did I mention that the Nation had been ejected at the start of the match? Yeah. Hell of an enforcement of that rule. Rock threw Vader back in and hit a Rock bottom for the win. Match was boring and sucky.

DX did a wacky skit where they were "droppin' knowledge." They were preparing for X-Pac vs. Triple H tonight. Road Dogg said he had fought them both, and they had very dangerous finishers. He also said Hunter had a big nose, a charge Hunter denied.

Darren Drozdov vs. Double J. Marc Mero and Jacqueline came out immediately and the fans chanted for Sable. Mero was very upset about it and asked JR why she was back. Then he got upset about Tennessee Lee putting the moves on Jackie. Jackie slapped Lee, Mero hit Jarrett with a low blow, and Droz threw Jarrett in the ring and pinned him. This was every terrible WWE cliche they've been doing on Raw for two decades.

Women were making noises in Val Venis' locker room. I've watched a lot of porn and have never heard noises like this before.

Billy Gunn explained to DX why they were about to have the match of the year. In 1998, he said the real question would be where Chyna's loyalty lied, with Hunter, or with X-Pac. This was a better question than anyone realized at the time.

Val Venis vs. Chainz. Val said his dick was bigger in Texas. Or something. Chainz sure was shitty. I like where he got his neck snapped on the ropes, then paused, then jumped backwards. Val won a lousy match with the money shot.

Kevin Kelly asked Taker if he could trust Austin tonight. Taker said you can't trust anybody who lives by the credo "Don't Trust Anybody." But he promised Austin could trust him.

Hunter told X-Pac he couldn't lay down with the King of the Ring on the line. X-Pac said he was all healed up and ready to go. He forgot one of his lines and Hunter said it for him. They just left this in. These were all dumb.

Marc Mero vs. Dustin Runnels. Double J and his crew came out to piss me off. There were some great armdrags in this match. That novelty wore off quickly and they did stuff at random. Seems to be the theme of this show. Jarrett and his crew distracted Mero and Sable came out. This distracted Sable. So they did a distraction to set up a distraction. This was WWF inception. Runnels won with a bulldog.

Oh god there's more with DX. X-Pac and Hunter were getting a little heated when Chyna got annoyed with both of them and told them to shut up and go wrestle like men.

Kelly interviewed Dustin, who thanked his lord and savior Jesus Christ for the win.

X-Pac vs. Triple H in a King of the Ring qualifier. This was the debut of the X-Pac theme, and the first time he had been dressed to wrestle since making his return to the company. They crotch-chopped together with the pyro before the match, but then X-Pac jumped him with a schoolboy to try to win, and the match was on. X-Pac, of course, was motivated to look his best, and Hunter probably legit wanted to help his buddy out. Chyna came out a minute in and threw X-Pac into the ring. They got their wires crossed on a turnbuckle whip so X-Pac just kicked him in the mouth. Hunter rolled outside but Chyna threw him back in too. Rock appeared in the crowd taunting Hunter. Owen Hart ran out and crotched X-Pac on the railing and ran away. Rock told Hunter to turn around, and Hunter rushed to X-Pac's side. X-Pac couldn't stand, and ordered Hunter to get in the ring and take the countout win. So Hunter reluctantly did. Announcers had no idea Owen had even been out there and somebody had to smarten them up. What a mess.

So we had our full brackets for the King of the Ring tournament: Shamrock-Henry (sounds awful), Double J-Mero (kill me), Rock-HHH (good, obviously), and Severn-Owen (intriguing).

Al Snow came out as Avatar, with an Avatar mask on Head as well.

after the break, Jerry Lawler was cutting a promo on Snow as Jim Ross talked over him. Snow buried the Avatar gimmick as if anyone remembered it. He said Vince had tried to kill his career with this "Aldo Montoya-lookin' mask." No reaction. He accused Lawler of lewd behavior, then accused Lawler of screwing him in graphic detail. At last they brawled. Snow dropped a ref with a northern lights bomb, then laid out Lawler and some security geeks with Head and ran through the crowd. Fucking horrendous from start to finish.

DX doused Michael Cole with Super Soakers and then the director too.

Michael Cole asked Austin if he could trust Taker. Austin said he didn't trust Taker, and Taker shouldn't trust him either.

Owen Hart & Mark Henry vs. Ken Shamrock & Dan Severn. They actually showed clips of the two Shamrock-Severn matches in UFC. They also showed Severn tearing D-Lo Brown's "pectorial muscles" last week. Severn was on the apron for a long time, then tagged in and started throwing Henry around. People loved that. Well of course they did. Owen tried to hang with Severn on the mat. Severn put a stop to that with a belly-to-back suplex and went for the D-Lo killer, but Henry broke that up. They got the heat on Severn briefly, then Shamrock got a hot tag and ran wild. Owen locked him in a sharpshooter, but then DX ran in and attacked for the DQ. Vader ran out to go after Henry. The rest of the Nation appeared and a big mess of a brawl against the Nation. Best I can tell this was setting up Nation vs. DX & UFC in a ten-man, but that's just a guess.

Tag team Royal Rumble to name top contenders. They were doing 30-second intervals, which makes you wonder why they even bothered. LOD2000 were the first team, followed by Kane & Mankind. New Midnight Express were third. Headbangers were fourth. DOA were fifth. They went right for the Road Warriors. Kurrgan & Golga were sixth. No Jackyl with them. Can't believe they put Kurrgan out there when he's taller than Kane. Bart got eliminated so the Midnight Express were out. Too Much were seventh in their debut as a team. Faarooq & Steve Blackman were eighth. Oddities double-teamed Kane. Golga looked taller than Kane too. Bradshaw & Taka Michinoku were ninth. Bradshaw traded punches with Faarooq. DOA got dumped. Terry Funk & Scorpio were tenth. So there were now 16 guys in the ring. Why didn't they just do a battle royal? Lawler said Funk was an idiot to go after Kurrgan, "the biggest, meanest monster out there." "THAT WOULD BE KANE," Ross sternly corrected him. Funk and Scorpio dumped Kurrgan. Mankind dumped Taka. Christopher accidentally eliminated Taylor, his own partner. Kane pressed a Headbanger out of the ring and went to drop him outside, and the poor guy hit HARD on the apron. There were a bunch of eliminations in a hurry, and it came down to Funk & Scorpio against Kane & Mankind. They started brawling on the floor here in this Royal Rumble. Funk went after Kane with a chair. Mankind got the chair and started wacking Funk with it. Kane tombstoned Scorpio, then booted Funk out of the ring to win. What a mess this was.

After the break Bearer cut a promo making it clear his men were now top contenders to the Outlaws' tag titles. Mankind recited a poem about what they would do to Austin and Taker.

Steve Austin & Undertaker vs. Mankind & Kane in a Hell in a Cell match. Taker's music played, but he didn't show. They tried a second time, still no Taker. Kane & Mankind jumped Austin on the ramp. Bearer shut the door to the Cell and locked himself in. Now why would he do that? What was his goal? So of course Taker came up through the mat and went after Bearer, who was now alone in the Cell. Kane and Mankind were frantically trying to get in. Kane climbed up to the top and was crawling up there looking for a way in. Bearer went into the cage repeatedly and came up a bloody mess. Austin and Mankind kept brawling on the floor. This all went on for several minutes. Taker dropped the stairs on Bearer's head. Is he trying to kill him? Is Bearer ever going to return? Austin climbed to the top of the Cell and started brawling with Kane as the show officially ended. Then we got extra attitude or wheever they called it, with Mankind now in the ring brawling with Taker as Austin and Kane carefully made their way back to earth. Then Taker and Kane brawled up the aisle while Austin pinned Mankind with a stunner. Well there you go, you may update your records. Taker, watching from the ramp, did't seem pleased with this, and he and Austin had a tense staredown. Austin celebrated for a while. This show was really boring.

WCW Monday Nitro 144 (6/15/98)

Public Enemy vs. Barbarian & Hugh Morrus. Show was not 30 seconds old and they were all hitting each other in the heads with weapons. Barbarian dumped Rocco head-first into a garbage can, then shoulderblocked the garbage can. This was a highlight. Jimmy Hart was out there hitting as man weapon shots as anyone else. This all went on for a while, far longer than it needed to. Hart got suplexed into the ring. Schiavonie got both a "low blow city" and "suplex city" in here. They did a very convoluted spot that involved all five men and ended up with three men going through two tables. Public Enemy was award the win via pinfall on a table on the floor. I don't know who pinned who and I don't care.

They were in Long Island, near Shea Stadium, and talked about Larry's match there against Bruno Sammartino.

Mike Tenay was hanging out with the fans Earlier Today. They were all loud and annoying and Tenay was way too close to the open flames on a barbecue grill. This was annoying, then they followed it up with a request for more Nitro party clips. STOP PUTTING ANNOYING PEOPLE ON TV.

Mean Gene brought Randy Savage out for a promo. He sucked up to the New York crowd for a bit. He said the Wolfpac did not eat at the same restaurants or hit on the same women. What the hell is he talking about? He wanted a cage match with DDP, and if DDP could beat him, then he'd allow Page into the Wolfpac.

They showed clips from the Bash of Hogan & Hart beating Savage & Piper with a sharpshooter, then Piper beat Savage with a figure-four. Story was that Macho's knee was fucked up. I'm kind of stunned they talked Savage into doing two jobs on one show. Also on the show, Booker beat Benoit to win the best-of-seven series, then beat Finley to win the TV title.

Chris Benoit vs. Fit Finley. Crowd REALLY hated Finley. I'm starting to think Finley was the most underrated wrestler of the Monday Night Wars. Like, he was clearly the best guy in this match, and the other guy was Chris Benoit. Benoit hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but it was really Finley tilt-a-whirling himself. I think he came along about ten years too late. He'd have been a main event guy in the AWA. Benoit made an awesome comeback, full of chops, rolling Germans, and a snap suplex, but missed the diving headbutt. Finley's bodyslams are like the best thing ever. Crowd was chanting "USA!" for this match between an Irishman and a Canadian. Finley tried a tombstone, but Benoit slickly reversed it into a crossface for the submission win. Great, great wrestling on display here. Gene then interviewed Benoit in the ring. Benoit said he wanted to do something to Booker T, and asked him to come out so they could handle business face to face. Booker obliged, backed up by Stevie Ray. Benoit then shook Booker's hand and raised it. Each guy said the other was the toughest opponent he had ever faced. Benoit started to say he'd be there whenever Booker needed backup, but Stevie interrupted and said he was the only partner Booker would ever need. He called Benoit a pipsqueak who wouldn't have lasted ten seconds if Booker had done what Stevie told him. Benoit said again he'd be there to help Booker, and Stevie sucker-punched him. Booker tried to pull him off and Stevie shoved him down. Mongo hit the ring for the first time in months. "MONGO LIVES!" Larry said. Eventually Booker pulled Stevie away as Mongo held Benoit back. Crowd was demanding Flair. Benoit said he was not there for nWo red or nWo white, he was here for, and he held up four fingers. Crowd loved that.

Gene called DDP out for a promo. He said he had been proving himself all his life, and if these people wanted a cage match, they got it. And then he was calling out Hollywood Scum Hogan and Dennis Rodman. He said he got himself a partner, and that partner would help him deliver the BANG!.

They showed Hogan and Rodman attacking Page last week, and addressed the rumors that Karl Malone would be Page's tag team partner.

Roddy Piper came out for a promo. His hand was bleeding for some reason. He booked Savage-Page in a cage, and made himself the special ref.

Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. High Voltage. ARE YOU SERIOUS. These dudes flew halfway around the world from Japan to Long Island and they have to wrestle HIGH VOLTAGE? They actually got the heat on Tenzan, the evil foreigner who came out in a black-and-white shirt. Fans were demanding Flair. An hour into the show, the announcers casually mentioned, oh yeah, by the way, Curt Hennig ditched the Wolfpac for the black-and-white last night. So he has switched nWo factions twice in like two months with zero explanation either time. We had a long four-way as this totally broke down. Fans were way, way more into a fight in the crowd, which broke out right as the match was building to a finish. High Voltage bonked into each other and the Japanese got the win with a Tenzan diving headbutt. Wait, the dude kicked out. So Chono hit a mafia kick and won. A total mess.

They showed Sting beating Giant at the Bash to win possession of both tag belts. Now he gets to choose a partner.

Wolfpac came out for a promo. They congratulated Sting on his championship win and brought him out. Sting came out, carrying both title belts and a big ol' smile. One fan in the aisle had an Ultimate Warrior poster, and some were chanting Warrior's name. Sting hyped up the credentials of Nash, Luger, and Konnan, and said he couldn't lose by choosing any one of them. He promised to announce his decision later, in a title defense against Harlem Heat. So yes, this whole segment was pointless.

They showed Kanyon beating Saturn at the PPV and then getting jumped by Raven disguised as Mortis.

Kanyon vs. Sick Boy. Kanyon hit a neckbreaker and made a cover but Lodi put Boy's foot on the ropes. Nobody cared about the match. Kanyon won with a flatliner, which is now a downward spiral instead of an avalanche Samoan drop.

Rick Rude and Curt Hennig came out for a promo. They said they had joined the black-and-white because Hogan paid better. Well hey, that makes sense. They called out Goldberg and said Hennig would end the streak. Hennig bragged about swerving DDP, and then the Four Horsemen, and then Konnan, but promised he would never swerve Rude. Rude then realized this man could not be trusted, and they exchanged a number of awkward glances. That was funny.

They showed Goldberg beating Konnan to go to 100-0.

They showed Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko brawling into the parking lot. The cruiserweight title had been held up but was apparently about to be handed back to Jericho. Jericho came out to gloat. Dillon said that he would return the belt, but Jericho would have to grant Malenko a title match within 30 days. Jericho said Dean was a worthless loser like his dad, and Dean zoomed in and whpped his ass and they brawled backstage. They found all sorts of plunder to throw Jericho into so he could scream. Security finally tackled Dean and Jericho went on a long, long run up a ramp and out the building.

Chris Adams vs. Giant. Giant was now doing the cigarette gimmick. He refused to wrestle until he was done with his smoke. Adams went after him and Giant punched him down and kept on puffing. So Adams tried again and Giant chokeslammed him with the cigarette in his mouth and pinned him with a foot on the chest.

Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and Disciple came out for a promo. Hogan ran his mouth about selling out Madison Square Garden and said he would always be the man. He called Dallas Page the biggest whiner in the Wolfpac or WCW, and triple dog dared Page to find a partner and do something about it.

Sting & a mystery partner vs. Harlem Heat. Sting came out and stopped to ponder the Warrior poster. He did not look thrilled with this suggestion. He said Savage was crazy and Page was in for a fight, then named Kevin Nash as his new championship tag partner. So Nash came out to do some talking as well. He threatened Curt Hennig. Harlem Heat had an argument about who would start. Booker won, but Stevie still gave him a stern lecture about how he wanted Booker to wrestle. Sting got boots and gear to match the red facepaint. It's a better look. Booker knocked Sting down but let him get back to his feet, and Stevie was outraged and demanded to be tagged in. This led to Stevie Ray wrestling Kevin Nash, which was slooooow. Match rambled on for a while and through a break. Wolfpac eventually got the heat on Booker. So are they heels now? Booker was in there just getting his ass kicked for like ten minutes. Not even a tease of a tag. Finally Sting missed a Stinger splash and Booker hit a spinebuster and made a hot tag. Stevie made one terrible comeback, then stopped in the middle to scold Booker and spit at Nash. Sting hit the scorpion death drop, which Steve could barely take, and pinned him. This was no good.

More from Hulk Hogan and Scott Steiner living the life in Hollywood. Actually this may have been the same video. Bischoff then brought Steiner onto the stage for a promo. Steiner was just DRIPPING with sweat as he buried New York and talked about how great Los Angeles was. They talked about what a great actor he was for a while. And that was it.

Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage in a steel cage with a roof on it for some reason and Roddy Piper as special ref. Piper and Savage came out and entered the cage, then Page climbed on top of it to pose for the fans. They started throwing each other into the cage immediately. And, well, that was it. Crowd started chanting for ECW. Schiavonie said, well, the cage has some give, it's not like you're going into the ringpost. Thanks Tony. All this stompin' and chokin' went through a break. Savage hit the big elbow, which was almost impossible given the roof. Page kicked out of it. Nobody cared. Savage and Piper bickered, and Savage dropped him from behind and hit a piledriver. Page hit a diamond cutter out of nowhere and all three men were down. Crowd was chanting for Goldberg. They all got up, and then Page and Piper started brawling for reasons I can't fathom. Piper was winning and beating both dudes up. Well this is doing Page no favors. The cage raised a few feet, and then the black-and-white all ran out and started beating up all three men. Then the cage lowered back down. Sting ran out and climbed to the top of the cage. Thank god he didn't blow out his knee again. Nash ran to the back and found the controls to raise the cage. Um, is Sting still up there? Oh good, he's not. Black-and-white all ran away and that was that. What a long, boring show.

WWE NXT (6/14/17)

Drew McIntyre vs. Rob Ryzin. "Ryzin" is a good last name for a guy working in a promotion booked by Triple H. Reminds him of good ol' Terra. He had gear and a wacky haircut and some charisma, but he was an indy geek out there to take a beating. And take a beating he did. You should have seen the flight he took on a belly-to-belly. Then he got offense. Didn't last long, thank goodness. Drew destroyed him and hit the big kick out of the corner for the win.

They re-aired the horrible Iconic Duo skit with Ember Moon from last week.

Aleister Black highlight video. Shots of him kicking the hell out of dudes to the sounds of his cool song.

Authors of Pain vs. Two Geeks. Missed their names and it was not worth rewinding to check. "Dominguez" and "his partner." Dominguez was small, hairy, and balding with long hair. Akam destroyed both geeks by himself and pinned Dominguez with a pumphandle DVD kind of thing. Razar then attacked, and they hit the super collider for good measure. Ellering cut a promo saying Heavy Machinery was as foolish as they were large. His delivery was fantastic there. He said the Authors were undefeated, having beaten American Alpha, TM61, Revival, and DIY. Heavy Machinery would not even be a footnote in their book of dominance, but then Heavy Machinery interrupted. They had a big manly staredown that should have had the crowd buzzing, but Full Sail sucks some times. Crowd just wants to do sing-a-longs. Ellering ordered the Authors to back down and walk away.

Recap of the Roderick Strong-Bobby Roode segment from last week.

Sonya DeVille hype video. Showing her beating up heavy pads in training and laying women out in the ring. This was all good. And then she said "put your hair up and square up" and it suddenly got so very, very, very lame.

Raul Mendoza vs. Velveteen Dream. Mendoza got music and an introduction, which is more than what most jobbers get. He was in the Cruiserweight Classic last summer. Announcers had some fun fitting in some Prince song titles into their commentary. They opened with a very, very long highspot. Velveteen cut him off clubbered him awhile. he whipped Mendoza with a headband, which was the only thing the crowd reacted to. Dream hit a DVD and cartwheeled up to his feet. OK, that was actually cool. He followed with a top rope elbow for the win. Dude needs a LOT of work, but there's definitely something here.

They showed Kassius Ohno and Hideo Itami having a confrontation last week, then Ohno did a backstage promo. He was wearing a shirt that showed Jerry Lawler (I think) throwing powder in somebody's face. That is awesome. He said he had gone too far last week shoving Itami down, and he wanted to lead by example. So he had requested a match agaisnt Aleister Black next week to show, I guess, how to be a nice person.

Ember Moon highlight video. She's returning to action next week, against Peyton Royce.

Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot vs. Asuka in an elimination match. They were doing stuff and working hard and there was absolutely zero heat. Ruby did a dropkick off the apron, landing splat on the floor. Crowd reacted with silence. DO NOT HURT YOURSELF FOR THESE PEOPLE. Then Asuka shoved her off the top and she went face-first onto the apron. Good lord. Everyone kept hitting big moves and the crowd was like, whatever. Nikki finally pinned Ruby with a fisherwoman's neckbreaker to eliminate her, and they went to commercial. Crowd was now doing dueling chants, but still not really reacting to anything in the ring. Asuka hit a dead-lift German suplex. So she's strong too. That was a two-count, which gave the crowd a chant to go "SWEEEET!" and so they were finally happy. Asuka did a hip attack off the apron. And then they brawled to the back and both got counted out. A-yup. Well, these fans didn't deserve a finish anyway. Then the ref said it was a no-contest, and Nigel said there were no countouts in this match. WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING? Meanwhile, Asuka and Nikki were now brawling outside. There may have actually been more heat out there. Refs tried to tell them the match was over but they didn't care. There was a cooler back there and Asuka got dunked in it. "This almost feels personal to me," Percy said, and the others could not even pretend to tolerate such a stupid question. Now they were brawling out by the announce desk, then by some of the tech equipment. Oh god, they're going to do an electrocution angle, aren't they? Then they fell off a thing and both went through a table. Crowd popped more for that than they had for anything else all night and started chanting "NXT!" I hate everything about these people. Show ended with geeks tending to the women and making sure their necks were OK. This show irritated me.

WWE Money in the Bank (6/18/17)

Women's Money in the Bank match: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Carmella vs. Natalya. I like that Tamina hails from "the Pacific Islands." All of them. She's from Fiji and Samoa and Tonga and New Zealand. And the rest. The five women came out, then stood there in the ring as a video package celebrating the great women's wrestlers in company history. I mean, it was a really cool video, but they couldn't have aired this BEFORE everyone came out? They brought the ladders in right away. Poor Natalya and Becky were left arguing over a ladder for like a minute waiting for Tamina to get into position. Then they argued with each other for another minute. Somebody had have forgotten to be somewhere. This can't be what they planned. Crowd was chanting for Becky though, so I guess it worked. Tamina pushed over a ladder with Charlotte and Carmella on it and they both got necked on the ropes. There was a bunch of chaos going on, too much to keep track of, but most of it was relatively sane. They had a big ladder set up in the middle of the ring, so big that even when people fell off it and landed on their feet, I was worried they would blow out a knee. Tamina kept being late for things and being in the wrong place for things and generally doing things badly. Charlotte did a corkscrew plancha with Tamina and Natalya to catch her. Becky tried to climb, but Ellsworth and his tracksuit tipped it over and she got necked. He tried to revive Carmella, then figured, fuck it, I'll just climb myself. And he got it, then dropped it to Carmella, and she was declared the winner. Bell rang. Fans were pissed. Refs then had a debate on the floor. "It should not count, man!" Then Carmella's music played. I kept waiting and waiting for this to be re-started, but no, that was it. Carmella left and all the other women were pissed. Also, the fans. What a complete waste this was. (*3/4).

Dasha interviewed Lana backstage. Lana spoke in her fake Russian accent about how she had crushed Naomi on SmackDown. Dasha said Naomi was "heavily, heavily, ranked No. 1." What?.

New Day came out for a promo. They made jokes about prison and peanut butter and dropping soap. What is happening?.

New Day vs. Usos. New Day dancing to their opponents' music is always funny at least. The Usos low-bridged Kofi as he was running the ropes, and Kofi fell backwards to the floor and seemed to land right on his head. Good Lord. On replay it wasn't as scary as I first thought, but it was bad. Generic heat on Kofi for a while, then E tagged in and threw people around. What are those curly lines on E's gear supposed to be? Feathers? Melting gold? It looks more like scrotums than anything else. E did his spear through the ropes, then suddenly Kofi was in the ring and announcers said he was legal. They put him in a half-crab and E had to fight to break it up. They did a spot where Kofi and an Uso threw a kick at the same time and fell on top of each other. Kofi turned it into a dragon sleeper, which is either his new finish or the greatest save of all time. More heat on Kofi, E tagged in again. They badly screwed up a big ending, then bradly screwed up the save on the pin. Woods played his trombone for a distraction that was not the finish. Then the Usos walked out for the countout loss. Are you fucking kidding me? Two fuck finishes in two matches on a PAY PER VIEW? On FATHER'S DAY? You know what I left to watch this show? My dad's house. You know what was there? Steak and bourbon. I left that party for THIS? Match was sloppy and disjointed even before the bullshit ending. (3/4).

They showed a TWEET from Daniel Bryan saying he was upset with the finish of the opener. I swear to god. The fact that this show sucks is now an official part of the storyline.

Cowboy Bob was shown hanging out with Sgt. Slaughter backstage.

Naomi vs. Lana. They said Lana winning would be the biggest upset of the century. Really? Wouldn't JINDER OVER RANDY a few weeks ago be bigger? Well, Lana looked awfully nice in her swimsuit-slash-wrestling gear. Annoyingly, the sound was almost a full second ahead of the video. Crowd demanded Rusev. Lana snapped Naomi's leg on the ropes, then suplexed the leg into the ropes a few times. And then a submission grappling broke out like this was Abu Dhabi or something. Naomi came back with some kicks, but still sold her leg. She hit the rear view out of nowhere, but Lana kicked out. Lana's ass was now hanging out of her one-piece like this was GLOW. She hit a spinebuster but Naomi kicked out. Then Carmella's music hit. Odd timing there. Naomi was down, but Lana was just standing there. Then Carmella changed her mind and the match just continued. Naomi trapped Lana in a wacky submission for the win. Carmella did not cash in afterwards. This was an average Smackdown match and the best thing on the show so far. (**).

FASHION VICE. Yes, they're ripping off Fuji Vice, which is the best idea ever. A modem fired off and scared the hell out of them and they drew their guns on it. It was a fax reading "OPEN THE DOOR," then they opened the door and found a VHS tape. They had a VCR there, and two Black Scorpions dared the Fashion Police to meet them in the ring tonight. They made some Michael Jackson song title jokes and left. I am not doing this justice.

THE FUCKING BEST SONG OF ALL TIME PLAYED. It was a total 1980s power ballad. Out came "Mike & Maria Kanellis." They said she was back after searching the world for the perfect partner, and she had found Mike. They would show the world they were the world's greatest couple, and they danced and kissed and left. The non-wrestling stuff on this show has been so much better than the wrestling.

Orton-Jinder hype video. This lasted forever. Then they introduced "the St. Louis legends," Greg Gagne, Larry Hennig, Baron Von Raschke, Sgt. Slaughter, Cowboy Bob, and Ric Flair. The Baron had more charisma than most of the roster, including the defending champion. Announcers mentioned Harley Race and explained why he wasn't there, and wished him the best.

Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal. Jinder has the biggest chest mixed with the skinniest calves I think I've ever seen. JBL claimed that Jinder "always had the body and athleticism to be world champion." Yeah, good one. 2015 Jinder disagrees. They brawled outside and Jinder got thrown into the laps of the legends. Jinder slammed Orton's knee into the desk and barricade and then worked it over in the ring. We had figure-fours and spinning toe holds. They fought on the top rope for a superplex for a while, and Orton finally hit one. They traded strikes, then Orton made a slow comeback. He prepped for the RKO, and hit it. It was an RKO outta right in front of you. Singh brothers put his foot on the ropes. Ref went to disqualify them, and the Singhs were begging for it, but Randy talked him out of it. Singhs were ejected instead. They hatched a plan and started harrassing the old dudes. They put their hands on Cowboy Bob, so Orton destroyed them. This all, of course, gave Jinder like five minutes to recover. Yes, they echoed the spot with Randy dropping a Singh upside down onto the tables. By the way, Byron Saxton has improved rapidly as an announcer. Probably the best guy on the Smackdown crew. I realize this is a low bar. One Singh got RKO'd on the floor, the other RKO'd through a table. Then he got back in the ring and Jinder hit a cobra clutch slam and won. Swear to god. One more hearty FUCK YOU to the fans. This was like a better-than-average SmackDown main event. It was at least paced and put together like a main event match, even if the action was just mediocre and the finish was bullshit. Best match on the show so far. (***).

Fashion Police vs. Ascension. Yes, the Ascension are still employed, and they trashed the Fashion Police's office. "So these are the two?" Byron asked, completely unimpressed. Ascension are supposed to be these big scary monsters and they looked about the same size as Tyler Breeze. Just one of theme got a big gut and the other one is totally in denial about his baldness. Nobody cared about this. I looked up and there had been a hot tag. Then they got the heat a second time. Fandango pinned the bald one with a small package for the win. That was it. This was meaningless filler and it didn't even fill that much. (1/4*).

The hype video for Money in the Bank did not show every winner. No Kane. No Damien Sandow. No CM Punk.

Money in the Bank match: Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbyn vs. Shinsuka Nakamura. Baron jumped Nakamura during his entrance and laid him out. God forbid you give these fans anything to cheer for in a three-hour show. Owens has lost a TON of weight. Crowd chanted for Nakamura as the other five guys all brawled on the floor. Sami did a dive, then everyone brawled on the floor more. AJ tried a dive and Dolph tripped him up, but then Baron slammed Dolph on the floor. Owens got slammed off the top onto a ladder. It was unfolded so it could kind of bend and break his fall, but that still had to suck. Something happened outside. There was a loud thud and all the fans stood and looked to the aisle. Everyone fought around for a while doing nothing of note. AJ's flying elbows are so awesome. Dolph hit Baron with a zig-zag off the ladder. Sami hit Dolph with a sunset flip powerbomb off the top of the ladder. Good god. Then he hit Owens with a half-and-half suplex on the apron. Sami's a one-man wrecking crew here. He started to climb, but AJ hit the phenomenal forearm to knock him off. This looked unbelievably cool in the high-angle replay from the ceiling. On the floor, Baron chokeslammed AJ onto a ladder bridge. I don't think that felt good, but he only dropped like a foot there. Then AJ and Owens were fighting over the ladder bridge, and AJ hit an AA onto it. AJ climbed up and grabbed the briefcase but Dolph pulled the ladder out from under him and left him hanging. AJ tried to climb higher, then let go, and crashed to the mat about as violently as he possibly could have. Good god almighty. Corbin was alone and went to climb, but Nakamura's music hit, and he came out to kill Corbin. And kill him he did. Dolph tried to cut him off but got double-kinshasa'd. Sami tried his luck and also got kinshasa'd. Place was going nuts. Owens tried to stop Shin from getting a ladder into the ring, so Shin killed him with a Nakamura on the floor. "SHINSUKE! SHINSUKE!" He set up a ladder, but found himself staring down AJ through it. Everyone in the building was now standing and cheering. IT was a hell of a moment. Then they moved the ladder to the side so they could FIGHT. Shin tried a kinshasa, but AJ cut him off with an elbow. They ended up fighting on top of the ladder as the crowd chanted their names. Then Baron tipped the ladder over and both men got necked. And then Baron Fucking Corbin climbed the ladder and won the briefcase. I am not making this up. Young wrestlers, I cannot badly enough stress this: Be as tall as you can. It's very important. Well, regardless, a great PPV main event that might have actually saved a terrible show. (****1/4).

Lucha Underground Season 3: The Cup Begins

Dario was putting together the Cueto Cup brackets in his office. "VIOLENCE IS A VIRTUE" it read at the bottom. Pentagon Dark stepped into his office and declared he was all healed up, and he wanted Black Lotus. Dario said yes, she broke your arm, but you broke hers first. Pentagon went after Dario's arm, but Dario offered to put him in the Cueto Cup, so he could hurt all the people he wanted, and then win the championship at Ultima Lucha Tres. Pentagon said he would do just that, and if it didn't happen, Dario would get some broken bones. Pentagon remains an outstanding promo, even through subtitles.

Striker threw out a Highlander reference and Vampiro pointed it out. Coolest Striker has ever been.

Cueto Cup match: Mala Suerte vs. Da Mack. Suerte is one of those dudes from the White Rabbit tribe. Mack did some Dynamite Kid arm wringer spots and Vamp called them as such. Vamp, to make a long story short, said beer and pills were a better base for pro wrestling than either amateur wrestling or Brazilian jiu jitsu. Suerte hit a belly-to-back and Mack flipped over onto his belly, nearly landing on his head. He teased the biggest dive of all time, then just jumped down and hit a senton, and the crowd chanted "HOLY SHIT!" Google translates Mala Suerteto "Bad Luck," by the way. Match went a little longer than it needed to, but was still fun. Mack won with a pounce and stunner.

Cage was backstage doing curls with his left hand and still wearing his cursed gauntlet on his right hand. Dario arrived and said his politician friend wanted to meet with Cage. Cage protested but Dario insisted and presented him with the address.

Cueto Cup match: Argenis vs. Pentagon Dark. Vampiro was very excited to see Pentagon. Don't they hate each other now? Lucha Underground doesn't really do squashes, but this was about as close as you'll get. Pentagon kicked the hell out of him for a while. Argenis hit one big quebrada, then Pentagon went back to killing him with kicks again. Argenis took a terrifying throw upside down into the corner. He kicked out of Pentagon's pumphandle driver. Pentagon finally won with a package piledriver. He broke Argenis' arm afterwards. They said it was the second time that had happened. Sucks to be Argenis.

Cueto Cup match: Texano vs. Famous B. Famous had a wacky cowboy outfit on and demanded to be introduced from Texas. He said he needed a thoroughbred in his stable, and he didn't want to fight Texano, he wanted to recruit him, and he laid down. Striker and Vamp started talking about the Fingerpoke of Doom, by that name. Texano made a cover, but pulled Famous up at two, then hit a powerbomb to win. Famous' hottie flirted with Texano, but then tended to Famous.

Rey Mysterio Jr-Johnny Mundo hype video that I seriously think was narrated by Michael Schiavello. This was a blatant ripoff of the 24-7 series they have used in boxing and UFC, and it was awesome.

Cueto Cup: Aero Star vs. Drago. Convenient booking after Drago turned on his friends last week. Drago had a new red look. Cobra Moon led him to the ring with a chain on his neck. Aero Star was very, very reluctant to fight his friend. Drago had no such reservations. I had an epiphany here. Striker is terrible for many reasons, but one of them is that he tries to call these matches like they're a sport, like guys have strategies about attacking a certain body part or whatever, when really what they're doing it taking turns doing cool moves. You know who would be a perfect announcer for Lucha Underground? Vince McMahon. I'm serious. He'd just scream "WHAT A MANEUVER!" over and over and point out all the wackiness, how this is a lizard man versus his friend who hails FROM THE COSMOS. Aero Star tried a tope and I'm not quite sure how, but he landed upside down on his head on a chair in the front row. He immediately started grabbing his face and the back of his head. Vampiro -- VAMPIRO -- said this kind of thing was too dangerous and one day somebody was going to go down and not get back up. I mean, Jesus. He survived and kept wrestling but was still grabbing his head. Aero Star tried Drago's trademark wacky cradle a couple of times, but Drago countered it, then hit it himself to win. Cobra Moon gave Drago some orders, and Drago returned to the ring to murder Aero Star. And he did, throwing him onto his face. So in the second round, it will be Drago vs. Pentagon Dark, and Texano vs. Da Mack. A fun enough show.

Wait, there's more. Cage went to the address he was given, which was Boyle Heights City Hall. Inside, he met with Lorenzo Lamas, who was very happy Cage's gauntlet was working. Soon, he promised Cage would have more power than ever, then their work would begin. Cage said he did not work for Lorenzo. No, Lorenzo said, but you will. And soon those meaningless days of lifting weights and protein shakes will be in the past, and you will have a purpose. Cage slammed him into the wall with the gauntlet, then apologized and said he did not know what had come over him. Then he punched Lorenzo with the gauntlet, and Lorenzo's head exploded. Cage, covered in blood and bits of brain, said he was not a man, he was a machine, and he stepped over Lorenzo Lamas' headless body and walked out. Well there's something new.