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Figure Four Weekly 8/7/2017: Looking at Kota Ibushi's G1 reintroduction

Looking at Kota Ibushi's G1 reintroduction

by Joseph Currier (@josephcurrier)

As this summer's G1 Climax begins to wind down for New Japan Pro Wrestling, so does a stretch of matches that has further reminded everyone that Kota Ibushi is one of the absolute best professional wrestlers in the world.

While that isn't a surprising development, it was a necessary one after Ibushi's relatively quiet last two years in pro wrestling. He last appeared as himself for NJPW in 2015 before announcing in early 2016 that he would be resigning from both NJPW and DDT due to a herniated disc in his neck.

He continued his career as a free agent from there, including stops in WWE for the Cruiserweight Classic and Dusty Rhodes tag team tournament. But after turning down offers to join the biggest wrestling company in the world on a full-time basis, his freelance work brought him back to NJPW as anime character Tiger Mask W in October of last year.

His match against Tetsuya Naito on the opening night of the G1 was Ibushi's reintroduction to NJPW as himself. That bout is probably still the best of the tournament overall, but Ibushi has put in great performances against Zack Sabre Jr., Hiroshi Tanahashi, and pretty much everyone else he's faced.

At least for me personally, Ibushi's inclusion was the most exciting thing about this year's G1. And while I had unrealistic hopes that he would win, or at least get to the finals for that Kenny Omega match in NJPW that everyone has been waiting for, the biggest reason for my excitement was that it guaranteed nine Ibushi singles matches against some of the planet's other top wrestlers.

Ibushi was eliminated from contention heading into the A Block finals, but getting these matches more than makes up for the expected disappointment. Ibushi is so unbelievably good in the ring and this G1 has been a reminder of that. He's capable of doing almost everything well to the point where it seems nearly effortless, with him able to play a leading role in almost any type of match.

That Ibushi and Omega are being kept apart hopefully brings a positive sign for the future. Both have built up the match through the media and clearly want it to happen. If Omega doesn't end up winning the G1, he'll need a worthy opponent for next year's Tokyo Dome show. Ibushi's win over Tanahashi in the tournament could also lead to an Intercontinental title match between them down the line.

Whatever is next, it will be done on Ibushi's terms. Being a fan of his brings almost as much frustration as it does joy. He's going to do what he wants to do, which isn't always in line with fans' expectations.

It would be great if Ibushi got IWGP Heavyweight Championship runs, main evented the Tokyo Dome, and completely fulfilled his potential as an all-time great. But Ibushi's career in pro wrestling is going to be defined by being Kota Ibushi. He may leave some title runs, status, and money behind, but he's always going to do what makes him happy.

Hopefully Ibushi's health holds up and he gets to compete in many more G1s to come. But whatever happens, Ibushi is going to be Ibushi. That may bring some frustration, but it has contributed to him being a truly transcendent talent.

Mexico Notes

by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims (@DrLuchaJr)

AAA is roughly 18 days away from their most important show since April 30, 1993. This show has one match, the main event match, that they have promised for a year, and the only one that had been announced when most of the tickets had been sold.

The putative babyface in that match is The Psycho Clown. AAA wants to sell out the arena and draw a huge crowd on live Televisa with this show. So, let's take a look. In August, the go-home month, who is Psycho Clown booked against in his matches? Pagano – 8 times; Monsther Clown – 3 times; Murder Clown – 2 times; Mesias – 4 times; Chessman – 2 times; Texano junior – 2 times; Hijo del Fantasma – 2 times; Zombie Clown – 1 time; Joe Lider – 1 times, and Dr. Wagner Jr – 2 times, 8/4 and 8/6.

Seriously, why aren't these two brawling to DCORs and DDQs at singles matches at every house show? This is one of AAA's 3-4 biggest main events ever. Ever. This is just as incomprehensible a decision as not having either of the two at your one Mexico City press conference to build up the show. Love to hear why they are hiding "the match of the decade" from 8/6 to 8/26. That's not at all how Antonio Pena did it for Triplemania I, the Santo-saves-AAA Triplemania, or even the Parka-Cibernetico mask match.

You could argue that if Televisa's airing it live, what they need is personal confrontations between the two, professional shot by a big-league TV network, in the mode of the promotional work being done for that other major combat sports event to be held at roughly the same time. Heck, just copying Mayweather and McGregor with an around Mexico tour full of promos and threatened violence would be fine.

Why they are being hid – in the ring and elsewhere – is most puzzling.

CMLL continued its run of bigger-than-usual shows with its Arena Mexico show this past Friday night, to me a good show but one I had more expectations for. The opener was oddly disjointed, for whatever reason; it just did not flow. It was fine but could have been better.

The micros exceeded my expectations and really are doing as well as anyone could have expected with their physical limitations. The third match trios with the younger Dinamitas also exceeded expectations. For some months, the one member of that trio that I thought had the brightest future was Cuatrero (it's obvious to all now that all three are going to be big stars). For the last month, though, I have felt CMLL thinks more of Sanson than Cuatrero, and now, I'm not sure they also don't think more of Forastero too. Just a kind of a hunch.

Third from the top as the worst match as Rush and Diamante Azul set up a mask match feud that CMLL can draw on if need be (see next paragraph). Rush could not care less these days, he acts like people I know who shuffle through life after their beloved dog dies or runs away. I'm sure he, like Volador Jr and others, feels restricted as to what he can show at Arena Mexico. They should feel that way, they both show things and give efforts on the independent circuits that they feel they can't at Arena Mexico.

Semifinal increased the spotlight on the Gran Guerrero/Niebla Roja feud, a good match, though I really, really don't seeing this being a big Anniversary show draw. CMLL does. It may be on top or third form the top, but it'll be on the 9/16 Anniversary show. Once they announce it, if ticket pre-sales are good, they may run it on top, and poor, they may need a backup such as Rush vs. Diamante Azul.

As for the main event, it is not often I am swimming upstream in the sea of reviews and opinions in lucha matches, but the Adonis – Panther match did nothing for me. Didn't like it, almost any of it. I still just don't see Adonis as being a very good wrestler (his best and most frequent move was waving the flag) and the presentation was so anodyne. Hated the finish, if that was even executed correctly, it was a strange and bad finish, not at the right time dramatically for me; it should have caused a riot and instead caused an occasional piece of trash being thrown in the ring, and mostly left me cold. But, nota bene, I seem to be unique in my feelings on this one.

Europe Notes

by Oliver Court (@AnotherOli)

I spent the entirety of last week's Euro Notes talking about Australian and New Zealander wrestlers, so why not talk about the Oceania scene a little more this week too? The news that Will Ospreay intends to move to Australia full time and help grow the burgeoning scene there is one that will surely draw more eyes onto the continent as it prepares to send its biggest native star Jonah Rock, along with Travis Banks and TK Cooper, to BOLA in a month's time. Ospreay's girlfriend Bea Priestley grew up in New Zealand and that has undoubtedly influenced this move, and becoming an Australian expat is something of a rite of passage for Brits at this point.Ospreay said himself that he hasn't got much to accomplish in Britain anymore, so why not strike while the iron is hot in a new territory? It'll be interesting to see how much Ospreay's presence strengthens the scene, as right now it feels like Europe did in 2012/13, just a few months away from a major breakout and influx of international attention.

Back to the hardcore BritWres world now, as I finally got the chance to watch GOOD Wrestling's return show 'Back for Good' this week. This show was about as close as Europe gets to a grimy Japanese undergraps show as you're going to get (hello GUTS World), and I mean that as a major compliment. PROGRESS, RevPro and Fight Club Pro have rather cornered the market in terms of European super-indies, so it's up to newer promotions to create a unique and more authentic 'underground' feel, which places like GOOD and Riptide in Brighton are doing really well right now. Back for GOOD featured a wacky array of matches in a very ATTACK-esque way, including a bizarre street brawl between Ryan Smile and Mike Bird and a really fun four way between Wild Boar, Chris Brookes, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis (those pesky Australians again…). The show is on sale for only £4 or so, and for the strong quality of wrestling on it, it'll definitely appeal to bargain seekers.

TV Reviews

by Bryan's Friend Vince (@FO_VVerhei)

THE WAR GAMES (7/4/87)

This is in the WARGAMES COLLECTION on the WWE Network, but in the most annoying thing of all time, they skip not just the introductions and entrances, but also the first five minutes of the match. They skip the whole stage-setting, and the coinflip that decides WHICH TEAM DOMINATES. So, yeah, screw that, we're going to find it elsewhere. And WWE Network if you're reading this, it's YOUR FAULT for giving people the full product they have paid for.

So there's two rings side by side, surrounded by one cage, with a roof. There's flashing lights, and thunderous music, and graphics reading—I am not making this up—"WAR GAMES I: THE BOMB." And then a very scary announcer says "LET THE WAR GAMES BEGIN!" and out came the Horsemen, to Ric Flair's classic 2001 music. Then there's this weird 1980s funk playing, and out come the SuperPowers and Road Warriors. This minor-key dance number is quite inappropriate. They put graphics all over the screen, including THE WAR GAMES without quotes at the top of the screen, but with quotes at the bottom. They explained the rules in the most complicated manner possible, screwing many of them up, and then it was time for the match to start.

Dusty Rhodes and Arn Anderson started. Their teammates were shown sitting in folding chairs on the floor. They made full use of the unique environment, each guy trying to bring the fight to his team's side of the cage, and Dusty grabbing the top of the cage to hit one horrendous dropkick. He hit a blatant low blow, which outraged the Horsemen, then a DDT. Did I mention that JIM ROSS was calling this match. My god the intensity and gravity he brought to this. Dusty dragged Arn to the top of the cage and raked his face on the roof, and Arn started bleeding right away. Arn tried to fight out of the cage, but the refs refused to unlock it. Dusty hooked the figure-four, but the match couldn't end until all ten men were in the ring. They announced 15 seconds to go in the period, and Dusty released the hold and prepared to defend himself. They tossed a coin which took a while, and the Horsemen won and Tully Blanchard raced into the cage to save Arn. Dusty fought them both off for a few seconds and the crowd roared, but he soon got overwhelmed. They held him down and attacked the leg, putting him in a figure-four and holding his arms so he couldn't escape. Ross said the were trying to break his leg. Again, with 15 seconds to go, Tully released the hold to defend himself. Animal hit the ring a house of fire. Tully took an amazing bump flying from one ring to the other, then Animal grabbed him in a bearhug and slingshotted him from the mat to the cage repeatedly. He was bleeding too, of course, as was Dusty. Arn and Tully were THE BEST at getting themselves into impossibly defenseless positions. Flair hit the ring to make it 3-on-2. Animal no-sold some chops and Flair backed up and everyone cheered, but then Arn jumped Animal from behind. "The numbers advantage!" Ross screamed. They threw Animal into the cage repeatedly and he was bleeding too. Meanhile, they trapped Dusty's leg between the rings and took him apart too. Nikita Koloff made it 3-on-3. Flair and Arn tried to double-team him coming in, but he whipped both their asses to a massive pop. Everyone hit cages everywhere. Nikita laid out Tully with the sickle. Animal press slammed Flair, which was tricky with the low roof. They were trying to isolate Arn's leg. Tully was between the rings and and bouncing back and forth betwen the ropes for Nikita's punches. Then Nikita no-sold some chops and Flair went diving into the other ring trying to flee. There's not many cage matches I've seen where they've done a better job to tell you these fuckers are TRAPPED in there. Luger came in to make it 4-on-3. He was so dominant that he was holding off most of the babyfaces by himself, while the Horsemen were hitting Nikita with spike piledrivers in the other cage. Finally Dusty came scrambling in and just covered Nikita to protect him. Hawk made it 4-on-4 and laid out every Horsemen he saw. Flair was blatantly cutting himself on camera. Everyone was down selling something by now. Heads, legs, necks, whatever. It was a pretty even battle when JJ Dillon came in to make it 5-on-4. He went right after Hawk, who was downright indignant that this pasty pudgy little man would dare to strike him. Everyone brawled everywhere. To be honest, it was hard to keep track of all that was going on, and sometimes the crowd would pop and you would have no idea why. This would have been better with two four-man teams. Paul Ellering came in to make it 5-on-5 "AND NOW, THE MATCH BEYOND! SUBMISSION OR SURRENDER!" We were told that JJ was bleeding, though we really couldn't see it. Then we saw that Ellering had hit the ring using one of the Road Warriors' spiked wristbands to grind away at him. The Road Warriors started double-teaming JJ while Ellering, Dusty, and Nikita fought off the other Horsemen. They hit a modified version of the Doomsday Device, and Dillon fell right on his shoulder and immediately grabbed at it. They pushed him over to the side of the cage and stood on his throat, and JJ submitted to end the match. Luger somehow got out of this thing without any bloodshed. There was some tussling still going on at the end, but it was irrelavant, the forces of good had triumphed. As noted, the end of this had too many things going on, and it was hard to keep track of. But otherwise, this was freakin' perfect and high on the list of the great cage matches of all time. Absolute required viewing if you've never seen it. (****1/2)

Retro NWA (7/11/87)

They opened with the two teams making their entrances for the WarGames match.

Announcers were blown away by the WarGames and couldn't stop talking about it. They said JJ Dillon and Nikita Koloff had both been injured in the match, but they were still doing a rematch. Jim Crockett stepped in and said he had no idea why anyone would want to do that match again, and JJ Dillon would never wrestle again, but he had found a replacement. They said the rematch would be July 31 in Miami.

Rock & Roll Express vs. Gary Phelps & Eric Long. They toyed with the flabby geek with the man boobs hanging out of his purple singlet. This dude was SHITTY! They tried doing worked spots with him but his timing was awful. So they tried some shoot takedowns and he wouldn't go down. I don't know how to describe the other guy except to say he might have been the plainest wrestler ever, and his timing was even worse. They immediately pinned him with a backslide to get this fucker over with, not even bothering to hit the double dropkick, which the crowd had been demanding for a while. Morton the cut a promo hyping up WarGames, running down Jim Cornette for being injured, and said they were still champs despite the Bash schedule. Morton was out of his mind here. I believe this whole promo was ad libbed because they cut the match short.

Dr. Death vs. Alan Martin. They found a suitably skinny geek to make Doc look as massive as possible. It worked. He had a cast on and still beat the hell out of this guy. It was a little funny the way he muscled and slammed this guy around, then slowed things down with armbars. Then he hit the most amazing football tackles of all time. It was more like he was hitting running backdrops. He eventually got the win with the Oklahoma stampede.

After the break, Doc said that in 30 minutes, he'd see a doctor who would hopefully remove the cast. But either way, he had a UWF title match against Big Bubba Rogers in his hometown of Oklahoma City. He said Bubba was too fat to wear the belt, and it would look better on him. Well that's true. He rambled on for a while until Ron Simmons interrupted. They shook hands, and Simmons put him over as a tough football player and an even tougher wrestler. He pledged his help to Doc, and Doc said he was happy to have Ron watching his back. These were some big scary mofos, no doubt about that.

Bugsy McGraw vs. Dexter Wescott. Bugsy came out all crazy, with a doctor's coat, a pink scarf, a camo headdress, and swim goggles, and I believe he shook hands with every fan in the building. He hit the ropes like a fool as Teddy just stood there and stared. The match began and he did like three straight minutes of comedy with hardly any wrestling and it got old quickly. Eventually Bugsy no-sold some punches and hit a flurry of offense and won with a splash. This was what it was.

The Four Horsemen came out for a promo. JJ, his arm in a sling, said nothing had been settled. He had no business putting himself in something as dangerous as the WarGames, and he had gotten caught up in the mystique of the Four Horsemen and thought he had been invincible. Then the Road Warriors had isolated him, which PROVED they were scared of the Horsemen. They showed the bump onto the shoulder in the slowest slo-mo of all time. Flair then cut an angry promo, saying they were still the four greatest wrestlers in the world today, and JJ had the greatest mind. They warned the SuperPowers that they had 25 days of hell to deal with. The other Horsemen were all somber and silent. This loss wounded them. JJ said he had let the Horsemen down, and he would make it up to them. He showed a video of himself cutting a promo, and behind him Bubba Rogers was standing on a huge box, wearing a black bodysuit and a plain black mask. He looked like he had no idea what to do with his hands or face or eyes, and was constantly shifting his gaze around the room. Dillon explained that he was injured, and so he was bringing in 6-foot-9, 437 pounds, of THE WAR MACHINE to get his revenge in Miami. Flair was ecstatic to see this, but said first things first, and in Greensboro tonight, Precious would be his. Then in Charlotte, Tully would get rid of Dusty Rhodes and get his $100,000, and Flair would get his hands on Hawk and see how he fared all alone. Then, in Chicago, they all had singles matches, and they were taking all the money, all the glory. Then Dallas! And San Antonio! WHOO! The Horsemen had a handshake, and Tully even cracked a smile. This was amazing.

Barry Windham vs. Clement Fields. Clement hit a flurry of offense, which annoyed Barry something fierce. So he took over and laid a whipping on this guy and won with a lariat. "Take his head off! Yes!" David Crockett cheered.

The Garvins and Precious cut a promo. Well, Jimmy did. He said they had been traveling around the country, and everywhere they went, people made them comfortable, but Ric Flair wouldn't be comfortable tonight. He called Flair the sickest pervert in the country, and he had set his eyes on Squeeze, but don't let this pretty face fool you. He said he had been training with his brother, and Dusty, and Barry, and the Rock & Rolls, and he had gotten cards and letters warning him to watch out for the Horsemen. In a few short hours, pally, he was taking the gold, and his woman home with him. It was a complete impossibility he would lose! He promised to break all of Flair's fingers and knock all his teeth down his throat, and then punch Flair's nose all over his face. Ronnie said he had had Jimmy up at 6 in the morning, running backwards in the sand, and doing squats and pushups, and kicking him when he was down, and Jimmy had passed the test! He was ready for the match, and Flair wouldn't take Precious over Jimmy's dead body. This fucking promo was the ABSOLUTE BEST, by both guys. I love this show.

Fabulous Freebirds vs. David Isley & Cougar Jay & Larry Stephens. David Isley was fucking everything up with Terry Gordy and making him look terrible. We all knew, we ALL knew, Gordy was going to kill him. The announcers were giggling. "Kill this guy!" David said with glee. And kill him Gordy did, though to be honest this beating could have been a lot worse. Then Hayes tagged in and sent Isley into his own corner, basically insisting he tag out immediately. The match continued, and soon Gordy was suplexing Cougar Jay onto his head. This match went on for much longer than it needed to, and the Freebirds seemed to be on three totally different pages for a while, and finally Roberts pinned Jay with an ugly bodypress. Hayes then cut a promo about how the party would continue through all the Bashes, and in their hotel rooms. They had won championships, made records, held concerts, but now it was time to win the world heavyweight title, and he challenged the winner of the Garvin-Flair match. Roberts said the Freebirds were better than the Horsemen or the Road Warriors. Gordy talked about kicking butts on big shows, and Hayes promised he would be strutting like a cock until he was 99.

Ron Simmons vs. Tommy Angel. The very first thing Simmons did was a powerslam, which has been his finish for most of the past 30 years. And then the match just kept going. Like, through a break. Just a bunch of hammerlocks. Then Angel got some offense, and it was horribly mistimed. Simmons finally won with a flying tackle. This was not so good.

Oh god, Bugsy is back to cut a promo. He rambled on about how he couldn't find what camera to look at, and all the fans and their fat wives were watching at home. Is he supposed to be a babyface? He tried to plug the Bashes but couldn't remember any other cities. Dude. I don't know if it's the gimmick or he was gooned up here, but this was horrendous. Like, all-time unwatchable bad.

Dusty came out for a promo in a t-shirt, dinner jacket, gold chain, with a comb in his hair. He said the women in Las Vegas still loved the Dream, he and his friends were a unit, he and Nikita were still reigning Crockett Cup champs. He stepped out from behind the podium to show he was wearing red sweatpants and sneakers. He began to comb his hair and talk about how great the concerts at the Bash had been, then showed clips of the Horsemen attacking Nikita's neck in the WarGames. Nikita came out and said the Horsemen had tried to break his neck, but he was still there, he was still huge, and he was still US champion. He said he and JJ had both known the risks when they signed the contract for WarGames. He might have to wear a neckbrace in the ring, but he would still be 100 percent. Dusty plugged the Orange Bowl show, asking all the Cubanos, Asians, blacks, whites, greens, and yellows to come out and fill the 60,000-seat building. This is exhausting.

Jim Cornette came out for a promo. This will not help my exhaustion. Thankfully he just introduced the next match.

Midnight Express vs. Mike Jackson & Terry Jones. The Express were well aware of how awesome Mike Jackson was, and had no problem selling for him until Jones tagged in. Then they tortured him for several minutes. Cornette demanded they target his leg to send a message to the Rock & Rolls, and so Stan tapped him out with a sharpshooter.

Cornette had been talking throughout that entire match, and now he was cutting a promo. He talked about going into surgery due to the Rock & Rolls and how horrible it was, and how he wanted them to have to go through it too, and they'd take the world tag titles too.

Misty Blue vs. Kat Leroux. This was total softcore porn, with the camera blatantly zooming on butt cheeks and nipples, but it also got some of the biggest reactions of the night from the live crowd. The wrestling here was more than fine. Misty did something almost like an F5 at one point. And Misty had her in a chinlock and nothing was happening and suddenly the announcers were like, we're outta time! We gotta go! and the show just ended. If I didn't know better, I'd say a lot of people involved in the production of this television show were under the influence of a lot of substances. But of course that can't be true.

WWE Retro Raw 272 (8/10/98)

Show opened with Mankind having a meltdown backstage, throwing furniture around and declaring that he wanted the truth. Then he was polite enough to wait for a video package and the credits to play before storming down to the ring. He said he needed to here the truth, not from Paul Bearer or Steve Austin, but from Vince McMahon. Vince reluctantly approached the ring. Vince said this must be humiliating, needing help. He detested people who need help. He rambled on for a while about how the truth hurt, then said Kane had hit him with the chair on purpose last week, and then he pointed out Taker had chosen to hit Mankind instead of hitting Kane. He declared that Taker and Kane were in collusion against everyone else on the roster. He said Kane and Undertaker were one and the same, and at that point Kane and his pyro interrupted. Paul Bearer declared that Vince was trying to get inside everyone else's mind. He said he had made a lot of money, thanks to Vince, and he and Kane could afford to leave whenever they wanted. Vince declared this man in the red suit was not Paul's son, it was a SON OF A BITCH, it was the Undertaker. He demanded Kane remove his mask before Vince tore it off himself. He reached for Kane's mask when the lights went out. They stayed out for a long time. Hopefully the rest of the show, honestly, this has been awful. Eventually the lights came up and Taker was in the ring and Kane was gone. Didn't get nearly the reaction you'd think. Taker laid out Mankind and Bearer and chased Vince backstage.

Taker walked into a room backstage. For a fraction of a second you could see Kane in the room too. I totally missed it until Ross pointed it out.

Sable came out for, well, I don't know. Jerry Lawler called the fans "a bunch of leches." Pot, kettle, black. She announced Luna Vachon being accompanied by the Oddities. That's their debut, they just came out, Luna and her large friends came dancing out to the ring. They had a guy who was SEVEN-FOOT-FOUR and just put him in a Hawaiian shirt. My GOD the wacky generic music they had to dub in here. They said this was set up by Luna attacking Jacqueline with roses last week. Wait, what? Am I watching the right show? It appears that I am.

Luna vs. Jacqueline. They did one move, Marc Mero jumped on the apron, Sable pulled him down, Mero got in Sable's face, Kurrgan walked Mero down, Jacqueline speared the ref out of the ring, Mero rolled Jacqueline into the ring, Luna unloaded on Jacqueline, the ref was just fine and back in the ring and the match continued. Got all that? Then Mero took the ref, Jacqueline went up top, Sable crotched Jacqueline, and Luna hit a neckbreaker and top rope splash for the win. Sable presented Luna with the bikini contest trophy that Jacqueline had won over Sable via DQ, and the two 7-foot ment carried her around the ring.

The New Age Outlaws arrived at the building, all pissed off.

Droz vs. Savio Vega in a Brawl for All match. Droz had gone to a draw with Hawk in the first round, but we were told Hawk could not continue due to a broken nose, so Droz was fighting here. They had a very sloppy first round, and Savio went down at one point but it was ruled a slip and not a knockdown. They opened with a hockey fight in Round 2, and then Droz scored a double-leg for a takedown. Droz threw an uppercut and missed by more than anyone has missed a punch ever. More sloppy standup in Round 3 and then Droz scored another takedown to ice the fight. Savio had 20 seconds to get a knockout to win and he went for it, but that just let Droz score a few more shots to win. So Droz won and they hugged.

Hunter and Chyna arrived in a dope convertible BMW.

Michael Cole tried to interview Chyna. She told him to suck it and shoved him into the car.

LOD 2000 came out. Hawk got scared by his pyro and fell down and they went to commercial.

After the break, Hawk wanted to fight but they were ordering him to the back.

They showed Southern Justice and Double J turning on Tennessee Lee and laying him out on Sunday Night Heat.

Southern Justice came out and Hawk went after them. He was useless, and it turned ino Southern Justice double-teaming Animal as Hawk was taken to the back. Droz, who had just been in a REAL FIGHT, ran out to even the odds. Jeff Jarrett ran out with a guitar that read "DON'T PISS ME OFF," and he broke it over the head of Droz, who had just been in a REAL FIGHT. You fucking morons. I can't believe what I'm seeing. Jarrett shaved off some of Droz's hair. Why is any of this happening? What the hell is going on?.

X-Pac arrived by himself. Poor X-Pac.

New Age Outlaws came out for a promo, then X-Pac came out. They showed X-Pac returning to the WWF the night after WrestleMania five months ago. Then Triple H and Chyna came out. Chyna's implants were on ridiculous display this week. Hunter said it had been a long two weeks with him and X-Pac being mad at each other. X-Pac took the mic and said he had had it with Hunter and his "bitch," and said they were a couple of jack-offs. Hunter had him repeat this, then said X-Pac was a jackoff. Yes, the "I know you are but what am I" defense. Hunter said the Outlaws were jackoffs too. Billy had him repeat this, then Roadie did too. Everyone said "jackoff" 95 times. They all agreed they were all jackoffs, and the fans cheered. Hunter said they were all jackoffs, and nobody would know that better than them. So it was time to give the people what they wanted, the DX split. And they wer all about to drop their pants when Chyna interrupted. Billy was stunned by this. people were losing their minds for this tomfoolery. She said everyone was tired of seeing their asses. Mr. Ass was upset by this. She said if anyone was going to show off a DX split, it would be her, and pulled her pants down to show her thong. Well, Lord knows she did a lot of squats. They all celebrated together, Hunter pulled his pants down and tried and failed to get some girls to flash him, and that was it. This was high on the list of most pointless segments of all time.

Michael Cole tried to interview Steve Austin. Austin dragged him bak and turned the shower on him.

Godfather came out with some hos. Goodness, the legs on the woman to his right. Bart Gunn ambushed the announce desk and demanded some respect from JR. They bickered at each other for a while. Then Vader came out. Vader was seriously dancing to his own music. Godfather then asked Vader if he had ever been with a ho, and presented Vader with a lineup. Vader looked at them like a 14-year-old who had never touched a boob before. Godfather said they could fight, or Vader could take the hos. Fans were all cheering, but Vader said no. Godfather repeated his offer: all three of them for the whole night. Vader held up his hand. He was bleeding from the knuckle. How did that happen? Godfather said they could do Vader's laundry if he wanted, and Vader said OK, and took the women and left. Bart Gunn was still out there. "Bart Gunn is still here," Ross noted. Vader got into Bart's face. Bart knocked him out with the slowest, most delayed left hand of all time. Then Bart went after Godfather, his Brawl for All opponent next week. So Godfather left with the women. What in sam hell was this segment? And could they have made Vader look like a bigger geek? This sucked.

A giant limo pulled up. John Wayne Bobbitt and Val Venis were inside. They looked sad.

Dustin Rhodes did a backstage promo saying the following segment would deal with fornication and violence and was unfit for family viewing, but we all had choices about what to watch, and suggested we all turn to a reptile show on the Discovery Channel. This segment was sponsored by "Evangelists Against Television, Movies, & Entertainment." Yes.

John Bobbit pushed Val Venis out in a wheelchair. Val had an icepack on his crotch. Mrs. Yamaguchi-san was out there with him. They showed the angle from last week of Val getting his dick cut off. In a subdued manner, Val said hello to the ladies, and said he was half the man he used to be. He made a bunch of dick jokes, then tore off his pants and shirt and said he was fine. His tearaway pants would not tear. Val finally explained that the butcher's block had been cold, there had been shrinkage, and John Bobbitt had turned the lights off, saving Val's sausage. Lawler interviewed Bobbitt, who had the worst delivery of a bunch of terrible cutting jokes. Val said he had had fun with Mrs. Yamaguchi-san, but no woman was worth the trouble she had brought him, and told her to hit the bricks. She was sad and left. Val threw her a battery. Yeah.

Edge was in the crowd. He had shitty seats.

Bradshaw vs. Marc Mero in a Brawl for All match. Bradshaw got a takedown in Round 1 and, well, that's it. And that's all Bradshaw would do, get a takedown if he could, and if not get a tieup and a restart. He got another takedown in Round 2 and looked exhausted at the end of the round. Bradshaw looked like the didn't know the rules and kept trying to wrestle on the ground. Mero was hot. Nobody knew what was and was not a takedown. Mero thought he won, but it was a draw and they were doing another round. Mixed reaction for that news. Bradshaw looked all sorts of blown up. But he got a takedown with 30 seconds to go, then tried to lay on top to kill clock. Mero tried a takedown but didn't get it, and that was that. They announced Bradshaw was the winner. Well, it's not a boxing match. If it had been Mero would have killed him. But Bradshaw is big, and that's that.

Michael Cole tried to interview Undertaker. Taker said he would do his talking in the ring.

Undertaker & Steve Austin vs. Rock & Owen Hart vs. Kane & Mankind vs. New Age Outlaws. They announced that there was now "the Outlaw rule," which meant you could no longer pin your own partner to win. Two teams came out, then Ken Shamrock ran out and attacked Owen, and DX ran out to attack Rock 5-on-1. Nation came out to brawl. Steve Blackman came out to talk Shamrock down. They went to commercial.

D-Lo Brown was out there to take Owen's place. Then Kane came out on his own, with Mankind trailing far behind. Austin tried a stunner right away and Mankind fled the ring and ran up the ramp, though he came right back. A fan hit the ring with a sign, and I think Road Dogg was about to kill him, but he saw that the ref and some other guys had things in hand and he returned to his corner. Everyone took turns beating up D-Lo for a while. Fans were telling Rocky he sucked and he wasn't even in the ring. Guys were just doing stuff for no rhyme or reason. Austin and Taker were on the corner the whole time, but finally they got into the match and started working as a team. Everyone loved them. Then Austin and Taker got tagged in to fight, even though they couldn't pin each other. But they could "compete" if they choose. They went after the Outlaws instead. Soon the Nation were tagging in and out working Road Dogg over. Then I guess Rock got bored and tagged Mankind in. Ross pointed out this made no sense, because now Mankind could pin the weakened Road Dogg and win. We were like 15 minutes into this and Kane had not tagged in yet. Road Dogg finally tagged out to Taker, and he and Austin hit the ring and ran wild. Finally Kane tagged in and chokeslammed Taker and pinned him. As soon as the ref counted three Taker immediately sat right up, then got to his feet. Lawler said Taker had screwed Austin. By getting himself pinned? Then why did he bother to win them in the first place? So everyone left and the show ended. That was weird.

EXTRA ATTITUDE. These are always lame. Austin got in Taker's face and Taker left and Austin's music played. WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THE POINT OF THIS? I'm actually angry about this and how stupid and pointless it was.

WCW Monday Nitro 151 (8/3/98)

Announcers explained that Larry Zbyszko was trapped in a meeting with Time Warner executives, so Bobby Heenan was filling in. They said this was related to Dusty Rhodes' Texas gag order from last week. Wait, that had legal standing?.

Mean Gene brought DDP out for a promo. Road Wild was coming up THIS SATURDAY. Jay Leno was going to wrestle in five days with, allegedly, less than a week of training. He knew Jay would be ready for Bischoff, because he was going to take out Hogan himself. He left, but then Jimmy Hart and Barbarian came out and challenged him to a match.

DDP vs. Barbarian. Not just the Page showcase I was expecting. Barbarian actually took more of the match than Page did. He avoided the diamond cutter twice. Page tried it a third time, but Barbarian didn't want to go down. Time froze. They fell down. Page pinned him. Well that was a failure.

Larry was back. Great. Larry went through some spiel about doctored videos and people harrassing him on the set. He threatened to quit and play golf full-time. And that was it. Well this was lame.

They recapped Goldberg's win over Brian Adams last week, then getting chokeslammed by the Giant to end the show.

Eric Bischoff did what will hopefully be his last talk show segment. As usual, his material was limited to Monica Lewinsky and Jay Leno's head/chin. Then he brought out Hulk Hogan to be his guest. Hogan said Leno had deserved to be shoved on the Tonight Show, and they were going to end Page's career in Sturgis. His jewelry kept hitting the mic and annoying me. He promised they would win at Road Wild and eventually it ended.

Bret Hart video package, focusing on his rivalry with Sting.

Psychosis vs. Disco Inferno. Disco gave Alex Wright an introduction as his tag partner and one of the world's hottest young dancers. But Alex didn't show, Tokyo Magnum did instead. Then Tokyo and Psychosis started wrestling. Then Scott Norton came out and powerbombed both small men. Disco just cleared out. Norton said he had no match and challenged anyone to come fight. Hugh Morrus tried, but Norton grabbed him and powerbombed him too. What a burial that was.

They recapped the Bret-Sting feud AGAIN. OK, we get it, they're not buds.

Mean Gene brought Goldberg out for a promo. He said he wanted the Giant, and he'd go through anybody in the black-and-white or Wolfpac to get to him, including Sting. Sting came out and they went face to face. Giant then appeared on stage and said Goldberg didn't have to wait. Paper started to fall from the sky. Goldberg wiped out the Curt Hennigs and Vincents of the world and chased Giant backstage. Bret ran out and ran past them to grab Sting, but Sting shoved him aside and ran to the back. Apparently this was Goldberg trying to insert himself into an nWo battle royal for Road Wild. The papers turned out to be threats to Goldberg from the black-and-white. What a mess this was.

Backstage, Sting found Lex Luger laid out. He stormed off as security showed up to tend to Lex.

Brian Adams vs. Jim Duggan. OH GOD WHY. CRUSH VERSUS HACKSAW IN NINETEEN NINETY-EIGHT. Match was just as lousy as you would expect. And then the ending was even worse. Adams accidentally waved his boot at Vincent, which caused Vincent to go flying off the apron. Duggan started shaking the MIDDLE rope, and Adams, who is 6-foot-6, had to pretend his balls were stuck on the damn thing. There were more shenanigans with Vincent and the 2X4 right in front of the ref and Adams won with his shitty piledriver. They actually showed a replay of Adams' missed boot and crotching, and, Jesus. Looked like he was trying to just stomp through the middle rope. He was the worst wrestler ever here. (-**).

Mean Gene tried to get into Sting's locker room. So did Bret. Gene accused Bret of laying Luger out. Bret said he would be a better partner for Sting than Lex would.

Gene talked about how great biking was for old people. Or something.

Raven and the Flock came out for a promo. Raven announced there would be no match between Sick Boy and Kanyon. Well that's good news. He rambled about Saturn and Kanyon for a while and I have no idea what his point was. Props to Raven for his Savatage t-shirt. He teased the three-way between himself, Kanyon, and Saturn would be a handicap match. Lodi started threating somebody and Raven broke his fingers. A few times. Saturn came out. Flock left. So Saturn grabbed Lodi by the broken fingers and hit a DVD. I have no idea what's going on here or who the good guys are or why I should care.

Gene still wanted to talk to Sting. He caught Bret Hart and Scott Hall having a clandestine conversation. They spotted him and went their separate ways. Why is the main story on both shows about whether or not people can be trusted?.

Mean Gene interviewed JJ Dillon. I have typed "Gene" seven times so far and we're not even halfway through. They brought out Dean Malenko. Dean said he wanted to admit to Chris Jericho, to his face, that Jericho was the better man. Jericho buried Malenko for a while. JJ then announced that Malenko would be the special ref for Jericho's title defense at Road Wild. Nobody mentioned who the challenger was. Announcers finally said it would be Juventud Guerrera.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Juventud Guerrera. Announcers outright said they hoped Malenko would screw Jericho at the PPV. They had some sloppy moments, but generally a very good TV match. Juvy did a GIANT tope over the top rope. And then Eddie won clean as a sheet with the frog splash. Could Juvy have been a bigger geek on this show?.

Gene was back AGAIN, and he was on a motorcycle AGAIN, talking about old men riding bikes AGAIN? What the hell, man?.

Lizmark Jr vs. Stevie Ray. GENE WAS BACK. He asked Stevie why he had the TV title. Stevie claimed to have legal documents from Booker T naming Stevie as the TV champion. You can do that? Stevie was horrible. He was about to win with a pedigree when Chavo Guerrero came out with gloves and a notary stamp he claimed he found in Stevie's bag. He said he could make marriage and driver's licenses now. Stevie chased him to the back and Lizmark won by countout. Jesus this sucked.

Konnan vs. Curt Hennig. No Rick Rude, so Scott Norton came out with Hennig. Konnan hit an X-factor and the tequila sunrise, but Norton took the ref. Hennig then grabbed Konnan and choked him with his own chain for a while, then hit a fisherman's suplex for the win. Kevin Nash walked out just in time for the ref to count three and Hennig and Norton to leave. Thanks Kev. Big help there.

Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. They were plugging Travis Tritt's concert at Road Wild as much as any of the matches. They had every Jericho-Mysterio match ever, which means it was good. Jericho's press slam into a tombstone was very scary. Then he did a dropkick from the apron to the floor. Are you trying to kill somebody tonight? Then he did a fucking banana splits from amateur wrestling. Soon they were back flipping and flying all over the place. They teased some very dangerous stuff on the apron but then fell back in the ring. Bobby Heenan was going crazy for them. Rey tried a springboard rana but Jericho pulled the ref in the way. They kept doing spots with the ref prone in the middle of the ring. Rey hooked a cradle but Malenko hit the ring to count three. Fun match until that lame finish. Jericho punched out the ring announcer and left with his belt.

They recapped the stuff Buff Bagwell had done with Scott Steiner last week.

Scott Steiner came out for a promo. He said his mother had called him and reminded him he wasn't better than anyone else, and his blood was red like anyone else's. This was too much for him to get through without fumbling his lines. He removed his nWo shirt and said it was not for him, and he was quitting. He apologized to the fans, and called out Rick to get an apology too. Out came Buff dressed up like Rick. He did dog tricks and Steiner gave him treats. He couldn't speak, only bark and run around the ring. Well this died a death. Bagwell dropped character and said Scott was a great actor, and told him to cry on demand. He started too, but then the real Rick hit the ring with a chair. Rick and Scott stared at each other. And then Rick just hauled off and wacked him in the shoulder. I laughed my ass off there. nWo ran out to make the save and Rick ran away.

Nitro Girls were dancing when Hogan and company came out for a promo. Bischoff blocked Kimberly from leaving the ring. Bischoff said she looked good for trailer trash. Heenan agreed. He said if it weren't for him she'd be a waitress in a topless bar. She slapped him and they grabbed her arms, then Page ran out but got tackled by Giant and Crush. Bischoff started asking about reports in Penthouse she was the most active member of the Nitro Girls. This went on for a while as Bischoff taunted them both. Hogan said Kimberly was black-and-white from head to toe and all of Hogan's cronies nodded. Then he started beating Page as she looked on. Giant chokeslammed him, and they let Kimberly go. As she wept, Hogan told her to come to his house if she needed some lovin'. And they all left.

Announcers were beside themselves and couldn't even continue. Finally they asked why Jay Leno would want to get involved with something this volatile. Well, that's a good question. This went on for a while. And then, hey, you don't want to miss this Travis Tritt concert!.

Scott Hall & Giant vs. Sting & a mystery partner. Hall cut a promo saying it was time for Kevin Nash to act like a man. Bret came out to be Sting's partner, then they went to commercial. After the break, they played Sting's old music, and Sting descended from the rafters in white facepaint. The match began, but Sting refused to acknowledge Bret in any way. The match started, and Bret appeared to be legitimately fighting Hall. Sting wouldn't tag in, so Bret slapped his hand and moved to the apron. Sting had no hesitation about beating Hall's and Giant's asses. They cut him off with a shot from the apron. They beat him up in a boring manner. I don't remember what my life was like before this show started. I feel like it has been going on my whole life. Bret got knocked off the apron. Sting made a comeback and punched Giant in the balls. Ref didn't care. Bret returned with a baseball bat and swung it, and Sting dodged, and Bret hit Hall, and Sting pinned him. So not only is this the exact same story as Raw, but the exact same finish. Bret left with the tag belts. Then they said it was a DQ. Giant laid out Sting. Goldberg ran out and speared Giant as the show ended. This was the go-home segment for Road Wild. I can't be sure with all the buffering, but I think this show was a disaster.

WWE NXT (8/2/17)

Johnny Gargano vs. Raul Mendoza. Gargano came out on stage to the DIY music and video, then introduced his new song and video. Sounds like Paramore. And I like Paramore, so I think it's cool. This was Mendoza's NXT debut, though he did lose to Brian Kendrick in the first round of the Cruiserweight Classic. Very good TV match. They did some good chain wrestling, then a giant lucha highspot. They traded big moves for a few minutes, then Gargano caught him in Alex Shelley's old finish for the submission win. I think it was Alex Shelley I've seen do this before.

They formally announced AOP-Sanity for the tag titles in Brooklyn, fresh off the Authors beating Sanity's asses and making them look totally unworthy of a title shot. Authors then cut a promo. It was raining inside, wherever they were. They warned Sanity that monsters were real.

Asuka came out for a promo. She said she had beaten Ember before, and she'd bet her again, and everyone cheered. Then she said Ember wasn't ready, and there was a tiny little smattering of boos. Ember came out to rebut. She said she was ready in a wooden manner. Crowd chanted "YOU'RE NOT READY!" and also Asuka's name. Ember droned on about Asuka being afraid of the truth. Asuka's English isn't very good and she BLEW EMBER AWAY here. She offered a handshake, but when Ember accepted, Asuka pulled her hand back and slapped her. And then they got into a FIGHT. GODDAMN! This was tremendous. Asuka threw her out of the ring and celebrated, but Ember came back and hit the diving stunner. Asuka sold this like she was dead, sprawled in the corne and unmoving. The belt was left in the middle of the ring, and Ember was very, VERY tempted to take it, but then announced she would get it when she earned. THIS WAS A GREAT ANGLE. Place was going nuts for the whole thing. First time Asuka's been left lying, if not ever, than for a long, long time. THIS RULED.

Bobby Roode did a backstage interview. They asked him about Roderick Strong and his family. Roode said trailer park residents like the Strongs tried to win the lottery, as Roddy had done against him. And he had lost. But he would want to play the lottery again, but he did not belong in Bobby Roode's NXT. As for Drew McIntyre, he had left NXT and returned, and claimed to be a new man. To see if that was true, he wanted to have a sitdown conversation with Drew in the ring next week. Suddenly Roddy came flying in and there were four or five guys holding him back as Roode clearly didn't want to fight, and he walked away. William Regal came in to scold him. Roddy demanded a match with Roode, but Regal said Roode was fighting Drew at TakeOver, and there was nothing he could do.

Street Profits video. The whole thing was shot on Instagram. Or for Instagram. I guess I'll have to learn how Instagram works now.

Sonya Deville vs. Jenna Van Bemel. Deville does the MMA gimmick. Van Bemel looks like a fatter version of Charlotte. They opened with that staple of mixed martial arts, the criss-cross in the ropes. Van Bemel may have never sold a move before in her life. Or thrown a punch. God bless the gal, this is developmental, but this was WCW Saturday night jobber level. She hit one avalanche, because it's impossible to screw that up, and then Sonya hit a flying triangle choke for the win. YIKES.

Hideo Itami did a bad promo about how nobody was respecting him, he deserved better. He started speaking in Japanese. She tried to cut him off, so he grabbed the mic and went to the ring. He demanded respect, then began to rant in Japanese until Aleister Black's music hit. The two had a staredown. Itami teased walking away, then tried a sneak attack. But Black had never taken his eyes off him, and dropped him with the spinning superkick, then struck his sitting pose, calm as could be. This was also very good.

Aleister Black vs. Kyle O'Reilly. Big ovation for Kyle in his NXT debut. The first few minutes here was the most realistic shit I've seen in years. They basically did an MMA fight, just making sure not to finish each other. Then they did some pro wrestling grappling for a while, then Black hit a legsweep for the heat and took over. Kyle eventually made his own comeback, finishing it with a legsweep of his own in a moment of poetic justice. He locked in a leglock and they exchanged slaps, and finally Black kicked his way free. They went back to MMA, with Kyle going from Tyler's guard to side control to an armbar, but Black stacked him up to escape. We were nearly 20 minute into this and they were still doing fundamental wrestling stuff like hammerlock takedowns. It actually went through two commercial breaks. O'Reilly was laying in strikes and Black screamed "HIT ME!" and so Kyle hit him harder and Black went down. They kept doing hammerlocks and arm wringers, because they were working. Black made a big comeback and hit a quebrada for a nearfall. He tried another one but Kyle kicked his legs to cut him off, then hit the ax-and-smash (they can't call it that, unfortunately, and it sounds like somebody did and got edited out) for a nearfall. They traded strikes again, including the DOUBLE BIG BOOT~! O'Reilly hit another axe kick, but when he tried to follow with the elbowsmash Black caught him with the spinning superkick, then collapsed on him for the win. THAT MATCH RULED. Mauro didn't do them any favors by comparing them to Flair-Steamboat or Okada-Tanahashi, but his point about wanting to see them wrestle again was a good one. Best episode of NXT in a LOOOOOOONG time.

Lucha Underground Season 3: The Hunger Inside

Dario Cueto brought a plate of raw meat to Matanza. He said Matanza had been a slave to his hunger, and it had made Matanza weak, weak enough to be overpowered by Rey Mysterio. He warned that the other gods might decide to take away Matanza's humanity and destroy him. He left the plate of meat, but Matanza declined to eat anything.

Cueto Cup match: Pindar vs. Fenix. Fenix ran wild until Kobra Moon grabbed him in a choke. This led to one move for Pindar and then Fenix made a comeback. Then Pindar cut him off anyway. How random. Pindar hit the biggest monkey flip ever for a nearfall. Fenix made a comeback and hit a German suplex. Pindar's lizard costume popped open. Melissa was passionately cheering for Fenix. They fucked up a top rope armdrag but thankfully nobody died. Fenix then hit a diving double kneedrop ("to the bladder," according to Matt Striker) for the win. Match was OK.

Dario met with Worldwide Underground. They did some comedy about Jack's jaw being wired shut. Dario was sick of WU cheating all the time and still losing. He warned them that if they interfered in Johnny's match tonight, he would not let them compete for Gift of the Gods medallions, and would kick them out of the company.

Dante Fox vs. Prince Puma. Vampiro talked about Puma transitioning to darkness without mentioning that he was the one behind it. They teased a bunch of dives, then hit a bunch of dives, and the place was going nuts. They did an insane run-up-the-post, get-caught-on-a-dive, still-hit-a-DDT spot on the floor. They went back and forth a while. Fox hit a spinning suplex that was probably a lot simpler than it looked for a nearfall. Fox sold a diamond cutter by bumping onto the top of his head. Crowd loved all this. It was just perpetual motion. I don't think there was a second of this match where at least one guy wasn't moving, and usually both. Seven-thousand moves ensued. Puma hit an avalanche reverse exploder and Michinoku driver for a nearfall. Puma hit a super dropkick into the corner and Fox took the greatest bump I've ever seen, somehow bouncing out of the corner and still landing on the ropes to bounce off those too. It looked like he exploded. Puma followed with the 630 senton for the win. He left, and Killshot returned to attack Fox, sitting right on his head with a kind of piledriver thing. He cut a promo saying this wasn't over between them. A good match, but the only thing I'll remember about it in two days was that dropkick.

Oh Jesus, we're back in the police station now. I've forgotten all about this and who's on who's side. They said Cage was a god and a murderer. "Then arrest him!" That's a good point. She wanted Cage's gauntlet. He said nobody alive could take it from Cage and left. She pulled out half an amulet and said he might be right.

Johnny Mundo vs. Dragon Azteca Jr. Johnny has new "WELCOME TO SLAMTOWN!" music and it is THE BEST. And then my happiness was killed when Dragon came out in that stupid lizard headgear again. They showed Rey Mysterio's family in the crowd, including young Dominic, who's a grown man now. A much more basic match than the one it followed. Dragon ran wild for a while until Johnny caught him on a dive and hit a spinebuster on the floor. Dragon made a comeback and hit a massive dive OVER the post. Jesus Christ. They went back and forth for a while with tons of big moves. And then Mundo hit the end of the world for the clean win. Well OK. Mundo then went to destroy Azteca with a chair. He was about to Pillmanize Dragon's neck, but Mysterio hit the ring to make the save. Johnny left, so Rey went to say hi to his family and left. Then Mundo returned and mocked Dominic, saying he got big, but his dad wasn't shit. Dominic isn't just bigger than his dad, he's bigger than Johnny. Maybe Eddie really was his dad. Rey come rushing out to defend his kid, but the Worldwide Underground ran out and blindsided him. Dominic is a terrible actor, by the way. Mundo lifted his belt to hit Rey, then turned and laid out Dominic. WU finally ran away as Rey frantically tended to his son. There were good and bad parts about this. The bad included Matt Striker being totally unimpressed about a fan in the Temple being attacked and just going into salesman mode for the Rey-Mundo title match like nothing had happened.

Fenix met with Melissa and offered to walk her to her car. She asked if he wore the mask all the time. No, he said, not in special moments, and gave her a piggyback ride. Marty the Moth was watching form the shadows, threatening to remove Fenix's mask and show how ugly he was.