Money in the Bank 2020: Every Match Ranked

Woah…ok. That sure was a night of wrestling.

It’s easy to forget given the…something…that was the main event, but there were actually proper wrestling matches on this show, and almost all of them were pretty good. The lower number of matches than usual did feel a bit weird, especially when some of them didn’t get to go very long, but much like the two-night Wrestlemania, I think it was actually a good idea. Things felt like they were paced a lot better because of it and my interest never wained in the show because it didn’t drag on for an hour longer than it needed to. Sure, I would’ve prefered it if more high-profile talent got a spot on this show, but I’m thankful that they didn’t stuff this show with guff.

So, let’s get on with the matches.

7 – Bobby Lashley def. R-Truth

Oh yeah, Bobby Lashley is a thing…how did I forget about him?

Not a whole lot to say with this one. Truth and MVP’s promo was kinda fun but not really all that intriguing, I guess it probably would’ve been a bit better if I knew anything about basketball, but that’s my problem. As for the bait-and-switch, I’m ok with it, since I don’t think MVP vs R-Truth would’ve been all that great.

Admittedly, this match wasn’t anything special either, but I certainly didn’t hate it. When you get matches like this that are just slightly extended squashes, you have to look at them through a different lens than you look at a regular match through. I think Truth’s antics of trying to escape kept this thing going through Lashley’s relatively uninteresting offence.

That said, it was still a standard squash match, so I can’t bring myself to put it any higher than this.

6 – Bayley(c) def. Tamina
(Smackdown Women’s Championship)

I really wanted to be optimistic about this one, but it just didn’t work.

It had it’s moments, mostly involving Bayley heeling it up, but the match ended up being quite slow for the most part and wasn’t able to carry the 10 minutes it got. I wish I could be positive about Tamina here, but there really wasn’t anything to like from her here. Her wrestling style is that of your standard “big-guy” in wrestling only she seems to have even less mobility than many of her counterparts. She can do a good superkick though…so there’s that I guess? Bayley didn’t seem to be at her best here either. I enjoyed her taunting Tamina throughout, and that aspect of her character has remained consistent, but something about her in-ring stuff just felt a bit flat to me; not to mention one of the worst knee-bars I’ve ever seen.

As for the finish, it’s about what I expected. It would’ve been nice to see a bit more of something between Sasha and Bayley (if that’s where we’re headed…it bloody well should be). Although, I understand that subtlety isn’t exactly WWE’s strong suit and they’re probably looking to keep this building until Summerslam, so maybe it’s a bit early. If Tamina does carry on pursuing this title, I can only hope it’s in the form of a multi-woman match, because I really don’t fancy sitting through another singles match between these two.

5 – Jeff Hardy def. Cesaro
(Kickoff Show)

You know, given that they spent a month hyping up his return, I really would’ve thought they’d have put this match on the main show…

As it stands, I enjoyed this one. Admittedly there’s not really all that much to say about it, as it generally filled the role of being a slightly above average TV match than anything else. I don’t wonder with matches like this whether I would’ve enjoyed it more if there was a crowd to react to stuff, even if I feel I’ve gotten used to the lack of background noise by now. I don’t really know what else to say here, there was no story going into this match since Cesaro and Sheamus have now disassociated from each other.

It was an enjoyable match from two great wrestlers, and I’d love to see more of this from both of these guys going forward.

4 – Braun Strowman(c) def. Bray Wyatt
(Universal Championship)

The fact that the lack of a crowd means we can very clearly hear the wrestlers talking in the ring is something that I don’t think has been taken advantage of nearly as much as it could’ve been up until now. Bray Wyatt was the perfect character to play to this, and he did an excellent job. From his ramblings to commentary and the camera during his entrance, to his comments to Braun throughout the match, Wyatt was able to tell the story absolutely perfectly.

I wasn’t actually all that interested in the story going into this one, but thanks to the work done between the two of them in the ring, I came away more invested than I came in. The injection of the puppets was the only thing that didn’t quite land for me. I know they’re supposed to be Wyatt’s tools for indoctrinating people into the funhouse, but they’re so disconnected from what Wyatt and Strowman had in 2015/16, that they felt a bit out of place. Everything else was really well done though, from Bray’s pleading with Braun, to Braun’s tricking of Wyatt, making him believe that he had actually convinced him to come back. In a way, this even justified the decision to had Funhouse Bray wrestle the match rather than The Fiend.

When it comes to the action, it wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was entertaining enough and served the story like it was supposed to. This wasn’t much of a competitive match, which tends to be where Wyatt shines best, so there was only so much interest it could have. That said, his more reactionary role in the pacing made for a more compelling story.

3 – The New Day(c) def. Lucha House Party, The Forgotten Sons, The Miz & John Morrison
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)

Multi-team tag matches are always great.

This match followed the simple, yet effective, formula that most matches of this elk do. That being it started out pretty slow, with standard action between the two legal men, throwing in the occasional tag and double-team move. Then about 5 minutes in all hell breaks loose and the following 10 minutes of the match is a barrel of fun.

Lucha House Party ended up being the MVPs of this match if you ask me, one of them was almost always involved in the action, and they did a really good job of it too. This kind of chaotic and fast-paced match is perfect for their style, so everything they did felt very natural and compelling. Miz & Morrison were great too. It wasn’t quite as overt as it was in their previous matches, but they filled their role of picking their spots and only getting involved when they stood a chance of gaining the advantage to great effect.

The Forgotten Sons were, unfortunately, who I was most disappointed. They got a few notable spots in there, but nothing all that consequential. They’re one of those rare cases where I don’t think we saw their full potential in NXT and I was really hoping that we’d start to catch glimpses of it here. The New Day was great though, and I think the match was structured in such a way so that you really felt they deserved the win by the end. Kofi took a battering like he always does, and Big E ran through the whole thing with a head of steam in the way that only he can.

I’m not entirely sure where the feuds will go from here. My guess would be a regular two on two match between New Day and Miz & Morrison just to finally put the cap on that, but The Forgotten Sons may get that featured spot instead. Either way, I think we’re in for a good match at Backlash.

2 – Drew McIntyre(c) def. Seth Rollins
(WWE Championship)

Ok, when it comes to regular wrestling matches, this was far-and-away the best match on the show, but come on…

It seems Money in the Bank is just going to be the show where Seth Rollins had a brilliant singles match for a world title, his brilliant match with Styles was at last year’s show too. Given how dominant a champion Drew has been over the past month, there was a risk that making this too much of a competitive match might take away from some of that aura, but I think they did a great job of balancing it. Drew felt like he was in control for large swathes of the match and even in his more vulnerable moments, he never felt diminished because of it.

Rollins meanwhile has done an amazing job of making his fast-paced, high-flying offence – a style that typically only works for faces – into something quite methodical and heelish. The sequence where he did a bunch of flying knee strikes to Drew on the outside, in particular, felt very heavy and brutal, even though it’s usually a crowd-popping and exciting move.

Everything in this match worked to the benefit of both men. Rollins shows once again how he’s able to continually adapt and evolve his style for what his role is, and he genuinely looked like a credible threat to Drew’s championship. Meanwhile, Drew was able to look vulnerable without ever looking weak, and the handshake at the end solidified him as the top guy on Raw. Partly because it makes him look noble and honourable, but Rollins accepting it gives Drew a boost too, because Rollins’ whole point in this feud was his belief that Drew wouldn’t be able to handle leading Raw.

Combine all of that stuff with a sizable helping of exciting back-and-forth action, and you’ve got yourself a match of the year candidate right there.

1 – Otis and Asuka won the Money in the Bank Ladder Matches

Ok…ok. Let’s all take a breath…now let’s break this thing down.

First thing’s first, this whole thing was so incredibly dumb, but it was also absolutely brilliant. Let’s be honest here, the idea of a race through an office block to grab a prize on the roof is an absolutely ridiculous concept, so leaning all the way into that ridiculousness was the perfect way to play this match.

Things started off silly as Asuka did a dance on the balcony before leaping off of it onto all of the other women, meanwhile, the men fought in the gym, a sequence which featured Corbin being absolutely traumatised when he accidentally broke one of the mirrors. Then Asuka got into an elevator and seemingly danced the whole way up in it as the men ran past a bathroom, in which Brother Love was taking a piss for some reason.

Next up, then men fought into an elevator, which opened in the exact same place where the women had just started fighting. Some great spots included Asuka and Aleister Black doing shifty eyes like they’re in a Scooby-Doo cartoon before sneaking off. Meanwhile, Otis got carried away, cheering along with Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” kicks and also…there was a clown…I don’t know why there was a clown, but the was a clown.

Moving on, the women fought their way into a conference room that, for some reason, had a fake Money in the Bank briefcase hanging from the ceiling. After all the other women were laid out, Dana Brooke, for some reason, thought that the briefcase above the conference room must be the real one, despite every advert for the past month saying it would be on the roof. At this point, Stephanie McMahon appeared in one of the worst editing jobs I’ve ever seen (it didn’t even slightly look like Stephanie was actually in the room with Dana) to tell Dana that the real briefcase was on the roof.

We then revisit AJ Styles, who’s hunting down Rey after Rey left him trapped under a set of weights in the gym and we get a rare bit of continuity in WWE as AJ becomes traumatised by a photo of The Undertaker. Which makes sense when you consider The Undertaker buried AJ alive last month…you would’ve thought that would’ve come up a bit sooner, but oh well.

Then we get to the stupidest, but also the best part of the match. As Paul Heyman was sat down at a table full of food, both the men and the women ran into the room and stared each other down. Otis then picked up a sandwich and started having a fit. Everyone else in the room put on their best melodramatic “oh shit” faces until Otis called for a food fight and chaos ensued. Some of the highlights of this segment include Rey Mysterio being choked out by Shayna Baszler, then literally squashed by Nia Jax and the music being absolutely perfect. That isn’t the end of the food stuff though, as Otis went into the kitchen and found a row of pies laid out. At which point, MOTHERFUCKIN’ JOHNNY ACE rolls in on a scooter and takes a pie to the face.

Dana then manages to slip on a wet floor (we never see her again in the match after this) and Nia throws Shayna into a wall, we’d never see Shayna again in this match either. The men have managed to fight their way into the main conference room, and after a small skirmish, Styles and Bryan stumble into an office that just so happens to have Vince McMahon writing on a clipboard. Styles and Bryan then look at each other like school children that have been caught messing around and leave the office with their tails between their legs. After that, another skirmish happens where Corbin comes out on top and declares “I’m going to the roof!” to absolutely no-one.

We finally get to the roof, and this is where things get a bit more tense and series. The women get to the roof first, and there aren’t any major ladder spots on the roof, just vague fighting and attempting to prevent each other from climbing the ladder. After Asuka and Lacey fought on the ladder for a weirdly long time, Asuka was climbing to the top. Corbin appeared and tried to stop her from grabbing the briefcase for some reason. Seriously, WHY did Corbin give a shit about Asuka winning the women’s briefcase? The men’s briefcase was RIGHT THERE, if he had just left Asuka alone, he could’ve won the match in seconds. Anyway, Asuka kicked him in the face and retrieved the briefcase.

We’re not done yet, though, as now the rest of the men emerged onto the roof. Corbin decided that the best course of action would be to launch both Mysterio and Black off of the roof (I know there was actually a crash pad about 10 feet down, but they shot it to look like they went off the roof). The men fought for a bit and eventually Styles and Corbin found themselves at the top of the ladder, the briefcase came off of the hook with both of them holding it until Elias of all people showed up and smashed Corbin in the back with a guitar. That left AJ with the briefcase and the win, right? WRONG. Instead, AJ managed to fumble the briefcase, which knocked it perfectly into Otis’ hands. Seriously, they showed the slow-motion replay, and it’s the most perfect fumble I think I’ve ever seen.

GOD, this was brilliant. The Boneyard and Funhouse matches were great because of their uniqueness and the cleverness of the writing and filming involved. This was great in the way that it’s so bloody stupid I can’t help but love every second of it.

As for the winners, as much as I would’ve preferred Shayna to win, giving it to Asuka is still a great choice and I hope they make something good of it. In regards to Otis, it’s certainly not who I would’ve picked, but given that this was a comedy match, why not have the comedy wrestler win it? I don’t think he’ll ever actually get to cash-in as I stand by my belief that there is no world championship in his future. However, right now, I can’t help but smile at it. Like the match as a whole, it’s incredibly dumb, but also beautiful.

That’s all folks! Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article, please let me know what your thoughts on the show are, either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure you come back this time on Saturday, where I’ll be releasing the second part of my Minecraft Updates list!

WWE Elimination Chamber 2020: Every Match Ranked

The final PPV before Wrestlemania (I fucking hope) is finally in the books and…yeah, it was alright, I guess. It pretty much exactly met my expectations, most of the matches that I thought would be good were good and the ones that I thought would be boring were boring and in the end, I think the show came out at about 50/50 in terms of quality and ultimately, I don’t think it was a necessary stop on the way to Wrestlemania.

Let’s look at the matches then.

8 – The Viking Raiders def. Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
(Kickoff Show)

Remember every pre-show tag team match from the past two years? Yeah, this was one of those only slightly shorter.

It honestly blows my mind who in WWE took a look at the Viking Raiders and thought “yeah, let’s have Hawkins & Ryder get in loads of offence against them”, so what if they’re former Raw Tag Champions? I bet most people didn’t even remember that was a thing until I just said it right then. I don’t want to be that guy who sits around and moans about how Raw & Smackdown “bury” NXT talent, but I think the sheer lack of interest whoever’s running Raw is showing the Viking Raiders is an absolutely huge waste.

Yes, I know, they won the match, but this should’ve been a 2-minute squash at best, but whatever, not like anyone’s going to remember or care about it by the time Raw airs.

7 – Sami Zayn & Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro def. Braun Strowman(c)
(Intercontinental Championship)
(3 on 1 Handicap)

Oh…well ok then.

I don’t quite know how to feel about this if I’m honest. I mean, the match was an absolute bore, hence why it’s placed this low but in terms of the result, I can see both sides. On the one hand, it’s a disaster for Strowman, not just the result, but how he looked throughout the match too. This is a man we’ve seen get up from just about anything, he spent months getting beaten down by Roman Reigns and continuously getting back up, for God’s sake, this is the guy who was in the back of an ambulance as it crashed, at speed, into a wall and WALKED AWAY, but apparently, Nakamura stomping him in the corner 2 minutes into the match is enough to keep him down.

I mentioned in my predictions that any result other than Strowman winning would be a massive anti-climax and to a certain extent, I stand by that. The whole match felt so desperately like it was building to Strowman coming back and wiping the floor with all three of them, but that never came to pass. Instead, they did that weird-ass looking suplex/kick to the head that honestly looks so weak and Sami Zayn won the Intercontinental Championship.


Sami Zayn winning the Intercontinental Championship is a good thing, of course it is. Zayn’s been so undervalued for so long and to see him finally win a title is brilliant. However. I think Strowman retaining would’ve been a better option, especially if the result of this is just going to be Strowman squashing Zayn at Mania, which it probably will be. Maybe I’m wrong and if this turns into a really entertaining heel reign as champion then I’ll hold my hands up and admit it, but I’m not optimistic.

6 – Aleister Black def. AJ Styles
(No Disqualification)

It pains me to do this, it really does, but this match sucked.

While I understand the no DQ stipulation was necessary to tell the story they wanted to tell, but it totally screwed the match in terms of quality. I know that these two could put on a fever-pitched classic if they were given the opportunity, but instead, this started slow and got slower as it went on. It wasn’t all boring, I did enjoy the focus on the leg because it makes perfect sense when fighting a guy like Black and it led to a rather tense spot as Styles locked in the Calf Crusher.

This match certainly wasn’t helped by a completely dead crowd. I understand why though. They’d just watched a rather tiring Chamber match and they were waiting for The Undertaker to show up, but it definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the match and likely contributed to the slow pace. Speaking of The Undertaker, although his appearance was predictable, it was still exciting and was absolutely the right move for both the story and the general context of both guy’s strength on the current roster.

While I would’ve liked Black to win without any assists, it wasn’t feasible when Styles had to be kept strong for The Undertaker. I’d rather they hadn’t booked this match at all, but since they did, I think this was the best way to get out of it. Doesn’t make it interesting to watch though.

5 – The Steet Profits(c) def. Seth Rollins & Murphy
(Raw Tag Team Championships)

I’ll be honest, I was quite disappointed with how this one turned out.

After their entertaining showing at Super ShowDown, I was expecting this match to build off of that and put on a really fun tag match, but instead, I don’t think it ever quite got going. Things were nice and fast out of the gate and I thought that everyone involved here had a strong sense of character and it made all of the story beats – including Viking Raiders showing up to deal with AOP – quite entertaining and I continue to become more and more involved in this story as a whole.

After Rollins & Murphy took control towards the middle, I thought we were building to somewhat of an explosive final 5 minutes once Ford got the hot-tag, but it just didn’t happen. There were hints of it in there, but I didn’t find any of the action all the engaging and then Kevin Owens showed up (with some top-notch acting to be fair) and the whole match just sort of stopped to focus on that instead. The finish that came immediately after it felt quite sudden too and I was left feeling quite deflated by the end of it all.

4 – Shayna Baszler def. Sarah Logan & Ruby Riott & Natalya & Liv Morgan & Asuka
(Winner faces Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania)

Ok, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, they didn’t fuck it up.

Probably the only thing on this show to actually matter, this match did everything we wanted it to do for Shayna Baszler. She wiped the floor with absolutely everyone and looked like a monster in the process, a lot of the offence she got in looked absolutely brutal and I’m not entirely sure Liv Morgan is ever going to be able to walk again after Baszler damn near caved her head in at certain points.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the most entertaining match to watch. Riott & Natalya started off well enough, but everything they were doing is stuff we’ve seen in Elimination Chamber matches seemingly hundreds of times before and I can’t say I was all that engaged by it. Then, once Baszler got in and had dispatched of everyone, we just had to watch her shouting at the people in the pod for what felt like forever and I just lost interest. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve gotta have a bit of that to help Baszler look great, but it dragged on for way too long and it’s not like anyone would care if the clock ran down a little faster. I was hoping we’d get a little bit more between Baszler & Asuka at the end, but I’m ok with it going shorter than it could’ve because you don’t want to give that away right now when it could be a big match later down the line.

Although I have my complaints, I’m happy with how this all turned out. It’s a rare case with WWE, where I’m fine with forgiving something not quite as good right now because I’m confident it’s going to lead to something really great in a month or so.

3 – Andrade(c) def. Humberto Carrillo
(United States Championship)

You know, it’s only just dawned on me exactly how long this feud has been going on. No wonder they’re putting on matches like this after so much time together.

After many months of not quite understanding who Carrillo is, the stuff with Garza has helped Carrillo grow a bit of an edge to him as a character and I think it’s helped his in-ring style too. He felt a lot more hard-hitting here and I’m finally getting behind him more as a character than I have been in previous encounters.

This lead to what I thought was quite an entertaining match. It started out fast and furious and it really got the crowd involved for the length of the match. Things slowed in the middle but I think it kept the action fresh for when things eventually began to accelerate again. The finish was a little weird, but I do have a soft spot for spots with constant roll-ups and it’s a rare treat that one of them actually gets the win. I perhaps would’ve preferred a clean finish, but this gives Carrillo a decent enough excuse to get himself in on whatever multi-man affair happens around Mania, so I think it’s fair enough.

2 – The Miz & John Morrison(c) def. Lucha House Party & Heavy Machinery & Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode & The New Day & The Usos
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
(Elimination Chamber)

Once again, this was about as good as I was expecting it to be, which is pretty nice.

Usos vs New Day was easily the best choice to start things out and it kept the action going for long enough until the ring started to fill up. Each subsequent team that entered each added something new to the action, I was surprised that Lucha House Party looked as good as they did and once Miz & Morrison got involved, it added a lot of great heel work into the action. Heavy Machinery are also on an absolute tear right now. I’m still not entirely behind them as characters, but as wrestlers, I totally get it now.

There were downsides though. For one thing, I don’t think there was enough good use of the time between entrants. There seemed to be a big spot when a team first enters and just before the next team enters, but a lot of the time in between was spent milling around or with some rather boring action, it would’ve been nice to see some actual interesting wrestling while waiting for more entrants.

When I say “interesting wrestling” I don’t mean more dives off the top of the pod because, by my count, there were five of these in this match (six if you count Ziggler being thrown off by Tucker) and it’s just not an impactful spot anymore. Speaking of, Dorado’s Moonsault from the top of the chamber looked cool, although the setup was a bit weird as all of the wrestlers were watching him climb around and we all just had to pretend not to notice until he was in position.

Once things got down to the final three business really picked up and I had a lot of fun watching the action. Miz & Morrison did exactly what they needed to do, picking their spots to get the eliminations at the perfect moments and the final battle between them and The Usos was a magnificent little sequence that whetted my appetite for more of it in the weeks and months to come.

Overall, it won’t go down as one of the best chamber matches ever, but for what it was I really enjoyed it, especially towards the end when the pace accelerated exponentially until the finish.

1 – Daniel Bryan def. Drew Gualk

Oh, so we’re treating Gulak like a real wrestler now? Took you long enough.

This was such an interesting match to watch because it’s not the kind of style we see very often in WWE anymore. This mat-based style of wrestling walks such a fine line between being tense & interesting and slow & boring, luckily, this landed on the better side of that line. It was never a match that was never going to pop a modern American crowd, but I still think it did wonders for Gulak’s credibility.

I really got into the story being told here and I just loved how Gulak seemed to have just about everything in Bryan’s arsenal scouted. It gives the impression of him being the thinking man’s heel, winning matches through actually being smart, rather than cheating. Bryan filled his role here perfectly too, being surprised by Gulak’s competence early on but slowly feeling him out and adapting to his style, eventually getting to the point where Bryan could also counter whatever Gulak was throwing his way.

The finish was brilliant too because it didn’t make Gulak look weak, despite the fact he tapped. The way Bryan so smoothly slipped into the LeBelle lock gives me in the impression that Bryan learnt Gulak’s game and adapted, while Gulak stuck to his gameplan and couldn’t quite out-think Bryan once he started innovating. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I just hope it’s somewhere, I think WWE have stumbled upon a really interesting story here and they shouldn’t let it slip through their fingers.

And there you have it! Those are my thoughts on Elimination Chamber 2020. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and please let me know what you thought of the show, either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure to come back this time on Saturday where I’ll be running down my favourite Virtual Reality games!

WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2019: Every Match Ranked

And with that, the last WWE Pay-Per-View is in the books and…meh.

I just felt a bit deflated watching this show, there were some highlights and I’ll get to those, but at least 75% of this show was just a bit dull. I’ll elaborate as I break down each of the matches, but this is absolutely going to be a show that is well and truly forgotten by the time the new year rolls around.

Let’s take a look at the match then, shall we?

8 – King Corbin def. Roman Reigns
(Tables, Ladders & Chairs)


I honestly have nothing to say about this match. It wasn’t even bad in some weird or interesting way, it was just a completely and boringly average match from start to finish. The action was predictable WWE affair and as I mentioned in my predictions, Corbin is not the kind of wrestler that Reigns gels well with.

On top of that, there’s the fact that The Revival have gone back to being Corbin’s lackeys which is fine I guess but given the number of times we’ve seen it this year, I can’t help but not care. Looking back at how Roman Reigns has been booked since his return, it makes me wonder if WWE think that if they have Roman lose basically every feud he’s in all year, we won’t all be mad when he wins the Royal Rumble, because that’s pretty much the only explanation I can come up with to justify Corbin winning this close to Wrestlemania season.

7 – Bobby Lashley def. Rusev
(Tables Match)


Once again, it’s another bog-standard and extremely boring WWE weapons match, that was arguably even further hampered by having to force a bunch of “almost” table spots every 2 minutes. The reason I’m ranking it above Roman & Corbin is that I thought that in the opening few minutes before the weapons came out, these two actually had some pretty good chemistry as two hosses that were trying to destroy each other. Unfortunately it mostly just made me wish we could’ve had a normal match instead of these tacked on gimmicks.

I highly doubt this is the end of the feud though and I think that might be to its benefit since I’d actually quite like to see a regular match between these two as it’s clear they’ve got some heat behind this story. WWE do have a New Year’s episode to stack after all.

6 – The Kabuki Warriors(c) def. Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair
(Women’s Tag Team Championships)
(Tables, Ladders & Chairs)

I REALLY wanted to like this match, I even watched it back this morning to make sure it wasn’t my tiredness that was ruining it for me, but it just wasn’t good.

It opened really strong, there were some quick spots with the weapons and a nice amount of actions that gave the match a big-fight feel. I especially liked the large amounts of tandem offence on both teams, it made a big deal out of Becky & Charlotte teaming together, which I don’t think had been done nearly enough on TV in the build to this match.

Unfortunately, around-about the half-way point of the match, it just STOPPED. The competitors would take over a minute to set up almost every spot and the resulting spot was never worth it, they stopped literally everything at one point so Asuka & Kairi could have a whole conversation and then fumble around with a ladder for what felt like an eternity. That whole segment completely lost me and the match did nothing to win me back from that point onwards which is such a disappointment, especially when you consider how good the triple threat TLC between Asuka, Becky & Charlotte was last year.

I’m overjoyed that Asuka & Kairi got a clean win and the performance made Kairi feel like a big deal for the first time since coming to Raw & Smackdown, but I didn’t have fun watching this match at all, so it’s got to get a low ranking.

5 – The Viking Raiders(c) vs The OC ended in a double countout
(Raw Tag Team Championships)

Oh. They went for the extremely obvious yet extremely underwhelming options then…FIINE.

Admittedly predicting The Usos to show up here was a bit of wishful thinking, but given what match we ended up getting I feel justified in wanting it. As I’ve gotten used to in recent years with WWE, this match was just fine. I don’t have any problems with it, but I also don’t have even the slightest shred of interest in it.

…At least that’s what I thought until the match ended in a double countout, meaning we’re going to be getting this on the Royal Rumble pre-show next month. So I guess I’ll see you next month when I cover this match again!

4 – Bray Wyatt def. The Miz

So here we have an absolutely fantastic bout of story-telling that we very rarely see from WWE and a match that didn’t quite click for me.

I liked the idea of Bray just letting Miz beat the life out of him, but I don’t think they went about it in quite the right way. The way Bray kept trying to break through but got countered made it seem like Bray was actually trying to get offence in, but Miz was outmanoeuvring him, I would’ve instead preferred it if Bray was voluntarily offering himself up to be beaten up by The Miz. That said, the main story beats still landed as intended and I’d love to see Bray wrestle as the funhouse character more often just to see more of this.

What happened after the match was great too, we finally got the idea that The Fiend really is a separate entity to Bray and things got genuinely creepy when Bray looked up at The Fiend and laughed “Ok, I’ll do it”. I’m not entirely sure why Michael Cole was so shocked by the mallet when it was at least the third time he’s seen it, but that’s beside the point. The return of Daniel Bryan is something I’ll always be in favour of and this feud now feels like it’s got some real heat behind it, so I’m looking forward to the coming month of TV between these two.

Like I said, the match itself was nothing special, but the story was definitely the main focus and that absolutely worked.

3 – The New Day(c) def. The Revival
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)

Oh…to be honest, this was one of the few matches I was optimistic about going into the show.

I have no idea why, but this match just didn’t click with me. It ended up similarly to the main event in that it started out well, (very well, in fact, that’s why I’ve ranked it so much higher) but around the mid-point, it just totally lost me. Things started to slow down and I was ok with it, but then there were a solid 2 minutes of Big E wandering around the ring doing pretty much nothing and the whole match just fell apart from that point onwards.

There were flickers of excitement, almost all of which were thanks to Kofi but the finish felt extremely awkward, with Scott Dawson just kind of standing there on the ladder, he wasn’t being hit by anyone and he wasn’t selling, he could’ve easily just climbed the ladder, but instead, he was just stood there doing absolutely nothing. All of this wasn’t helped by the fact that Kofi had to awkwardly manoeuvre himself out of the position he was stuck in on the ladder before he could grab the titles.

This was a match that started off as good as you’d expect between these two teams but the longer it went on the more it dragged to the point where I came away from it feeling glad it was over.

2 – Humberto Carrillo def. Andrade
(Kickoff Show)

How come the cruiserweight title could never get this much time on the pre-show?

With how last-minute and throwaway this match seemed I was not expecting much from it at all, I was expecting about 7 minutes of good, but not great action that served pretty much no purpose whatsoever. What we instead got was a 13-minute match between two guys with great chemistry who made the most of the opportunity that was before them by putting on a really fun match.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing that’s going to set the world on fire, but in a show like this with so much dull crap, I was overjoyed that a match I initially thought nothing of turned into something very enjoyable. I’m not sure what kind of story they’re looking to tell with Andrade & Vega, but I imagine it’ll amount to nothing, much like this mini push they’ve decided to give Humberto, maybe he’ll get to do something cool in the Rumble match.

Still, whether this is the start of something great for Humberto or just a flash in the pan, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

1 – Aleister Black def. Buddy Murphey

So it turns out when you take two really good wrestlers and just let them wrestle instead of forcing pointless gimmicks upon them, it’s actually really good, who knew?

As I think most of us expected, these two gelled really well in the ring. Black’s style of offence has always been very strike-based which was something Murphey was able to bounce off of very well. This match had a bit of everything, from fast-paced action that looked incredibly impressive, to slow and hard-hitting strikes that genuinely caused me to exclaim at a couple of points.

There is the issue that this match had no build to it at all, especially since we hadn’t seen Black wrestle in any noteworthy spot since June, however, I’d be ok with him having a bunch of matches like this if there was any kind of consistency to it. Every time we get a little taste of Aleister Black like this it reminds me how much I love him as a wrestler and I want to see so much more of him; the same goes for Buddy Murphey too if I’m being honest.

So in short, great match, but give me MORE!

And there you have it! Those were my thoughts on WWE TLC 2019, thank you very much for taking the time to read this review, please let me know what you thought of the show either in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Finally, make sure to come back on Saturday, where I’ll be running down the best “old” games that I played for the first time in 2019!

WWE Extreme Rules 2019: Every Match Ranked

Extreme Rules has been and gone and I can honestly say that I had a good time watching it. This show had a whole bunch of matches that were good fun to watch and nothing fell below my expectations, many even surpassed them. Even the worst matches of the show were still ok and I think this has done a really good job of putting things in place for Summerslam.

Let’s waste no further time rambling and get right to it, here’s every match of Extreme Rules 2019 ranked.

12 – Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler

I was very confused and slightly annoyed when WWE randomly added two matches to the show out of the blue about 3-4 hours before the show was set to start, but in hindsight, this was a good way to keep things rolling with Kevin Owens.

Since the match itself was only 15 seconds long I can’t rank it any higher than last, but I think this and the promo Owens cut afterwards was a great way to push this new character angle he’s going for. If Owens is going to be the man to finally shut Shane up, then this Stone Cold esque anti-hero character is definitely the way to go about it, since it fits in with Owens promo style and in-ring abilities perfectly.

Was it just put there to fill some time before the world title matches? Probably, but as filler goes, it was very entertaining.

11 – Bayley(c) def. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
(Smackdown Women’s Championship)
(2 on 1 Handicap)

This match was fine.

I generally say this about one match every month, but this was a match that didn’t really capture my attention all that much but didn’t have any major flaws or nitpicks for me to talk about, it was fine.

I’m not entirely sure where the Alexa/Nikki storyline is going to go from here, Alexa seemed a bit miffed after Nikki lost the match for her, but she still hugged her and stuff in what looked genuine friendship as opposed to Alexa just leading her on. I feel like this story might struggle a bit without the title involved but at the same time there isn’t any more I think they can do with the Alexa, Nikki, Bayley combo in title matches and I’d much rather see Bayley move onto other things.

Perhaps Nikki gets a solo title shot on Smackdown and Alexa screws it up, either deliberately or accidentally? The only problem there is, I’m not sure how you could justify Nikki getting a one on one title shot after she took the pin in this match. I’ll be happy as long as the Summerslam match isn’t just more of the same if I’m being honest.

10 – Braun Strowman def. Bobby Lashley
(Last Man Standing)

Well, this match was better than I was expecting it to be.

I feel like if the overall show was of a worse quality I would’ve been in a worse mood and slaughtered this match, but we’ll never know since I was in a good mood when this one got underway. It was pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Last Man Standing matches in WWE, there was a lot of aimless fighting, taking occasional breaks to do big spots before ending on a huge spot.

It could’ve been really slow and plodding, but the fact that the match was constantly on the mood helped to artificially accelerate the pace of the match and make it feel a lot more interesting to watch. There were plenty of good looking spots scattered throughout and it wasn’t just one man on top the whole time, which Last Man Standing matches often can be. As for the final spot, the fall itself was a little underwhelming considering the impact made absolutely no sound whatsoever, but goddamn, I popped when Strowman burst through the wall in the final moments; yes it was cheesy and yes it was obvious, but I got a kick out of it.

I do think that the Philadelphia crowd need a higher bar for chanting “Holy Shit” though, considering they chanted it when Lashley got thrown at a soft felt wall.

9 – Kofi Kingston(c) def. Samoa Joe
(WWE Championship)

To answer my question from the predictions, this was a one-and-done for Joe.

Considering the number of matches on the show, I was surprised that almost every match got the time I felt it needed…except this one, which clearly got cut short for time. At 9 minutes 45 seconds, this was the second shortest match on the main show, the first being the 15 second Owens/Ziggler match, and this was the WWE title match.

For what it was, I didn’t have any complaints about this match, I thought these two worked well together and the match had a nice flow to it, unfortunately, the finish felt really sudden and very jarring because of how short the match ended up being. It’s clear that Joe isn’t getting a rematch after this, which is a shame, but I’ll see what the plan for Summerslam is first before poo-pooing it.

This was definitely the biggest disappointment on the night, but the match was still alright even if it didn’t get the time it needed.

8 – Drew Gulak(c) def. Tony Nese
(Cruiserweight Championship)
(Kickoff Show)

Honestly, I would’ve been fine cutting another 5 minutes from the WWE title match if it meant this got to be on the main card.

Once again I felt (as I often do with the cruiserweight title matches on the pre-show) that this match could’ve been a lot better than it ended up being if it was in a better spot and got some more time because these guys always make the most of the time they get. Both of these guys put on a really solid performance here, with a number of good spots, like when Tony was going for some form of standing stomp and Drew launched himself up off the floor to grab Nese into a roll-up.

This should definitely be the end of the road for Nese in the Cruiserweight title scene, he’s been great to watch, but there are plenty of guys like Oney Lorcan and Humberto Carrillo who need the chance to put on a great match with Gulak.

7 – Shinsuke Nakamura def. Finn Balor(c)
(Intercontinental Championship)
(Kickoff Show)


So, not only was a major title match added to the pre-show about 3 hours before it was set to take place, but the title also changed hands in that match? This seems like a really odd decision and one that was most certainly made last-minute. I can’t necessarily say I’m against it though.

Unfortunately, Balor has been getting no TV time with the IC title this past couple of months, so perhaps this was a quick move to shake things up and get the title back in a featured role again. If that’s the case, then I think this was a great move, however, if nothing changes, then this title change seems rather pointless. That said, I’m never going to complain too much about Shinsuke Nakamura winning a championship.

The match itself was pretty good for what it was too. I was left a bit underwhelmed by Balor & Nakamura’s match in NXT, but it seems both men were working a little harder last night because I thought this was a really enjoyable affair. Maybe the constraint of the time worked to their benefit and forced them to work a faster pace, because the flow to this match was really nice and nothing over-stayed it’s welcome, not to mention the finish was genuinely surprising.

Let’s just hope this actually gets a follow-up.

6 – Seth Rollins(c) & Becky Lynch(c) def.           Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans
(Universal Championship)
(Raw Women’s Championship)
(Extreme Rules)

I’m including Brock’s cash in with this too. I would’ve put it in the header, but it was already 5 lines long.

Well, this match did surpass my expectations, but to be fair, my expectations were quite low, to begin with. My main worry was that this was going to be a standard weapons match, with a lot of slow setting up of spots that end up not being worth it and while that was the case for one spot, the majority of the match didn’t sacrifice flow and pacing for the sake of a quick shock.

I found that generally weapons were used very effectively throughout this match, as a way to put an exclamation point on the wrestling sequence that preceded it, rather than being the main focus on the match. Watching Becky & Rollins wail on Corbin & Lacey with kendo sticks was a great sight and even the tables spot was fun to watch since it was the only big spot of the match.

I also liked the storytelling of the finish, with Corbin hitting the End of Days to Becky Lynch, sending Seth Rollins into a frenzy and there’s no clearer way to say Corbin’s done with the title scene than being beaten down with chairs, kendo sticks and three Curb Stomps before being pinned. I also liked the nice touch of Lacey seeing Rollins going mental and just decided to get out of there, it’s believable for her character.

Now, Brock Lesnar.

I’m personally ok with this because I’m pretty confident that this title reign is only going to be a month long. Ever since Lesnar won Money in the Bank, I was pretty certain this is where we were headed and even since Wrestlemania I thought we were going to have to get a full-length match between Rollins & Lesnar at some point. So as long as Lesnar drops the title back to Seth at Summerslam, I don’t see any harm in him holding the title for the next month.

5 – The Revival(c) def. The Usos
(Raw Tag Team Championships)

Oh hey, I remember tag team wrestling.

This match wasn’t on the level of a Takeover tag team match by any means, but damn it’s refreshing to see a good tag team match involving these guys, especially in the Raw tag scene.

As we had all hoped, these two teams worked fantastically together, things didn’t get quite as chaotic as I would’ve liked, but this match was filled with the classic of tag team wrestling. They got a really nice balance between, slow wearing down of opponents with The Revival working their mat-based offence and The Uso’s flying about the place, popping the crowd and dolling out all of the Superkicks in the world.

I was surprised with The Revival winning, but given that this match actually got the time and respect it deserved, I’m cautiously optimistic about where this is going, perhaps some sort of stipulation variant on this match would be good for Summerslam, or even better, turn the Viking Raiders face and have them get involved in the title scene. I don’t wanna go crazy with optimism after one ray of hope, but a turn around could be very close by for the Raw tag division.

4 – Roman Reigns & The Undertaker def.            Shane McMahon & Drew Mcintyre
(No Holds Barred)

Oh hey, I remember The Undertaker.

That horrible match against Goldberg at Super Showdown must’ve really flicked a switch in Undertaker’s mind because he was on fire tonight. I think most of us expected Roman to carry the majority of the match, with Taker only coming in for the big spots and greatest hits, but Taker ended up putting in the most work out of anyone in this match and it was great to watch.

The moments between Drew and Undertaker gave me the tinglies, especially that fantastic shot where Drew appeared behind Taker as he did the throat slit gesture and Shane McMahon somehow didn’t outshine everyone. Having Elias show up was a nice little bit of continuity and the whole thing made good use of the No Holds Barred stipulation, without blowing any of the big spots for later in the night.

The finishing sequence was great fun too, Taker sitting up will always get a pop out of me, and the sheer terror in Shane’s face as Taker grabbed his leg was priceless. I also loved Roman intercepting Drew just as he was about to Claymore Taker, the cameras didn’t catch him getting in the ring, so it was a genuine surprise that looked really good. Also, Shane McMahon didn’t get a win over The Undertaker, which is always a plus.

3 – AJ Styles def. Ricochet(c)
(United States Championship)

It’s amazing what happens when you let good wrestlers do good wrestling.

These two were always going to put on a great match and that’s exactly what we got. Styles as a heel is really good at slowing the pace of a match so he can work a more heelish style without grinding the match to a halt like wrestlers like Corbin & Mcintyre often do. Things slowed down a bit in the middle, but it didn’t last very long, since just as I was starting to get a bit bored by it, Ricochet started to make his comeback and from then on the action didn’t stop.

I probably wouldn’t have picked AJ to win if I were in charge, but I don’t necessarily think it was a bad decision. For one thing, Ricochet only lost because of the interference from Gallows & Anderson and as such it feels like this was the end of act 2 in this 3 act play, with the conclusion hopefully being Ricochet getting the title back at Summerslam. Even if this isn’t the case, I’m not gonna be too sad seeing AJ as US champion, hopefully, he can do some of the great stuff he did as WWE champ last year on a smaller scale.

2 – The New Day def. Daniel Bryan & Rowan(c) & Heavy Machinery
(Smackdown Tag Team Championships)

Wow, they really nailed the tag team action last night didn’t they?

This match was everything I was expecting it to be, starts out simple but slowly breaks down and becomes a whole lot of fun chaos. All three teams got to look really good here, for Heavy Machinery it was a great continuation of how good they looked at Stomping Grounds, even if there was never a spot where it actually looked like they might win. Bryan & Rowan did a good job of all the stuff they usually do, especially in the case of Daniel Bryan, who spent the most time in the ring in the match.

The flow to the match was there too, with it not obviously being “the time this team gets to have offence” it all sort of moved through each of the teams so seamlessly that you can’t segment the match like you can for a lot of others like this one. I loved the finish too, I really thought Daniel Bryan was going to win when he started tieing Big E in knots, but the moved wonderfully from that into Big E catching Daniel Bryan after his usual flip out of the corner. It made for a nice surprise and I’m always a fan of New Day as tag champs.

1 – Aleister Black def. Cesaro

Oh yeah, Aleister Black and Cesaro are awesome wrestlers, it’s been easy to forget that in recent times.

This match is exactly what I’d hoped it would be, 10 solid minutes of great wrestlers doing great wrestling. The whole structure of the match worked perfectly to serve Aleister Black looking good, with a big flurry of offence towards the start, until Cesaro was able to withstand it and take the fight to Black for an extended period of time before Black forced momentum to swing back in his favour.

As much as this was a showcase for Black, Cesaro also got a chance to look great as his offence looked as hard-hitting and fun to watch as always and he could easily keep pace when Black starting putting his foot on the accelerator. Once again I adored the finish, highlighting Black’s superior striking ability and that Black Mass was something else, I genuinely let out an involuntary “OH!” when it hit because it was so brutal looking, not to mention Cesaro sold it to perfection.

I don’t know what Black’s going to be doing next, but I certainly wouldn’t complain if it was another match with Cesaro, preferably longer than ten minutes so the match can ascend from “really good” to “freaking amazing”. Either way, I’m optimistic about Aleister Black’s future.

And there you have it! Those are my opinions on Extreme Rules 2019! Thank you very much for taking the time to read, if you want to let me know what you thought you are welcome in the comments below or on Twitter @10ryawoo. Make sure to join me later in the week when I shall celebrating Octopath Traveler’s 1st Birthday!


NXT Takeover: New York Predictions

Wrestlemania weekend is quite the beast nowadays, with this year’s Wrestlemania looking to be the longest WWE show of all time, it’s in danger of wearing out its audience before the show’s even begun. However, the night before Mania we get to not worry about that for a few hours and watch what is arguably one of the most stacked cards in NXT history.

You don’t need me to tell you how geat Takeovers always are, but this one has a lot of intrigue to it thanks to a lot of storylines moving in directions I don’t think any of us were expecting. In part thanks to Ciampa’s injury and also thanks to sudden call ups.

So, we’ve got five matches which all look like they’re going to be amazing, so let’s get to predicting them.

War Raiders(c) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet
(NXT Tag Team Championships)

This match is arguably the easiest to pick on the whole card, purely because of what else is going on over on the main roster right now.

With Black & Ricochet having pretty much already left for main roster, this is quite clearly designed to be their farewell match. That said, this should be far from a phoned-in performance. We’ve seen all over the place for the past couple of months that these two seem to work really well as a team, granted they don’t quite gel like you’d expect a team to, but their offensive styles seem to complement each other quite well in the ring.

Meanwhile, War Raiders have always been great, and I imagine Black & Ricochet will give them a run for their money, but ultimately War Raiders will win, and Black & Ricochet will ride off into the NXT sunset together.

Velveteen Dream(c) vs Matt Riddle
(North American Championship)

The North American Championship seems like quite a weird one now I’m thinking about it because I don’t think we’re ever really going to get that long a reign with someone holding it.

While NXT veterans like Dream and Gargano have held it recently, for the most part it seems like it’s going to be used for people who are hot new stars on the scene, but aren’t ready to be thrown up into the NXT title scene just yet, which is exactly where Matt Riddle currently stands.

I like both of these guys, and I think Dream is going to have a field day when it comes to taunting, mocking and imitating Matt Riddle, but I’m not entirely sure if these two guys styles will mesh properly. They seem like two very different wrestlers to me, but I have faith that this one will at least be a fun match to watch.

As much as I’d love Velveteen Dream to hold onto this title for ages (mostly so he doesn’t have to go to main roster), it would be a bad idea for Matt Riddle to lose here, so I’ve got to go with him to pick up the title.

Pete Dunne(c) vs WALTER
(United Kingdom Championship)

I don’t often feel very patriotic, but when I look at these two…just wow.

Pete Dunne has been the lone constant in the WWE for the past couple of years, with almost 700 days as UK Champion, putting on amazing title defence after amazing title defence, it’s going to be very difficult to see with without a title over his shoulder anymore. I hope he eventually makes it to main roster and isn’t stuck in NXT UK forever, but for now, I’m going to enjoy it.

As much as I love Pete Dunne and wish he could remain UK Champion forever, Walter has to win here. NXT UK can’t really move forward in its current state, and I feel a new champion who doesn’t reign seemingly forever would be a good idea to help that along. Granted, I doubt Walter will lose the title very quickly once he has it, but having Pete Dunne at the top for so long hasn’t really done the UK scene many favours, even if he is amazing.

Shayna Baszler(c) vs Kairi Sane vs Io Shirai vs Bianca Belair
(NXT Women’s Championship)

Turns out this one is a really hard pick.

Generally, in a multi-person match for a title like this one, it’s generally a safe bet to say that the champion will retain because them losing the title in a multi-man would be a bit underwhelming.

That said, I can’t help but feel like it’s Baszler’s time to drop the title and move on from NXT before the summer. It’s inevitable that Duke & Shafir will get involved, although I imagine they’ll be easily repelled, but if I say that Baszler is going to drop the title, who to?

Kairi Sane seems like the easy choice, but we’ve already seen Sane & Baszler fight a lot and I don’t really feel like Sane needs the title right now. Bianca Belair could work, but I don’t think Belair could reasonably get away with beating Baszler in a one on one rematch, and she certainly can’t out heel Shayna Baszler to win. So what about Io Shirai? Well, there really is no tangible reason for her not to win the belt here, just for some reason I’m not feeling like it’s going to happen. I know she’s been around for a while now, and her winning the belt opens up opportunities for great matches, but it just feels like it’s too soon for me, and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

I’m going to take a risk and say Shayna Baszler is going to retain, hopefully, to lose the belt to Io Shirai in a one on one match at the next Takeover.

Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole
(NXT Championship)
(2 out of 3 Falls)

Match of the year, right here.

I don’t think there’s any debate over whether or not this match will be good, Gargano doesn’t even know what a bad match is and Cole has shown time and time again that he can hang with the best. The real debate here is who’s going to win.

I think my head might be messing with me a bit because I desperately want Adam Cole to win, and it seems obvious that Gargano will win since Cole wasn’t even supposed to be in the match, but I like to think NXT storylines are more complex than that. Sure, logic dictates Gargano wins, but the NXT writers could quite easily change the storyline on the fly.

You also have to consider that it seemed Gargano was originally planned to be joining Ricochet & Black on main roster until Ciampa got injured, so maybe that will happen anyway past Wrestlemania? However, The Undisputed Era has done pretty much everything there is to do in NXT, and they feel like they’re about to leave as well, and while I’d love to see it, I’d argue Cole doesn’t really need to win the NXT title to be seen as a big deal on main roster.

While I would be entirely happy if Cole won, I think Johnny Gargano will finally win the big one here, probably losing the first fall thanks to the Undisputed Era before overcoming the odds to win the gold.

As always thank you very much for taking the time to read, if you enjoyed then please share it around on social media and make sure to follow me on Twitter @10ryawoo for plenty of thoughts about what’s going on throughout Mania weekend. Tomorrow will be my predictions for Wrestlemania, and then in the days after I will have my review of both Takeover and Mania, so stay tuned!