Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Shane McMahon starts the show and it's bittersweet. Stephanie interrupts and informs everyone that Vince McMahon will be at Payback to determine who will be in charge of WWE going forward. Shane has Steph removed from the arena since he's technically still in charge. It ends up being pretty funny. Steph kicks one of the security guards outside the ring before finally cooperating.
1) AJ Styles vs. Sheamus
The dream match series continues for Styles. It's not a real thing, but then again it is. This is another match made in heaven for me. Sheamus is stiff as hell and AJ is versatile so he can be, he will be, and he was. Styles was super flashy here with a moonsault off the apron where he landed on his feet plus his signature dropkick and springboard punch being on target. There was an awesome exchange with Styles clobbering Sheamus with repeated forearms, it felt like I was watching NJPW for a moment. Sheamus had his moments to shine of his own in the form of various kicks that more than made their mark. They didn't go into overkill territory with nearfalls and stuff however they delivered a super good match for all the aformentioned reasons. AJ wins with the springboard superman punch.
Match rating - ***1/4
Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows come out after the match in their new attire which looks pretty dope. They kinda just stare at AJ and do the thing they've been doing for the past few weeks.
New Day comes out to talk about the tag team tournament. The Vaudevillains and Enzo & Big Cass end up in the ring. Huge pop for Enzo & Cass. This turns out to be a pretty cool segment despite the fact that I wasn't into it to begin with aside from New Day being present. Nice showcase for the two newest tag teams on the roster from NXT.
2) The Usos vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
1) Aerostar vs. Drago - Aztec Medallion Match
After their best of five series last year, everyone knew what to expect here. Aerostar & Drago are smooth workers as it is, but they work particularly well with each other so this ruled pretty hard. Just a fun, straight to the point opener. Great sprint.
Match rating - ***
NEXT WEEK: Mundo vs. Cage in a Steel Cage Match
2) Jack Evans, PJ Black, & Fenix vs. The Disciples of Death - Trios Tournament Match
So, the trios tournament is back! That's one thing I've missed in my month away from LU. It was one of the best parts about Lucha Underground last year so I'm pretty excited and this match proved to continue that excitement. Jack, Black, & Fenix are a dream team that I didn't know I wanted until they got put together. They looked great here with their respective high flying styles being showcased as well as some teamwork. They also did a swell job portraying the tension between them in the form of one guy trying to one up the other. This came into play namely in the final few moments. Lots of good action here and a few sick nearfalls. Evans, Black, & Fenix pick up the win. Fenix looked fantastic here as did Jack in his role of the sneaky, cheap bastard he's become known as.
Match rating - ***1/4
3) Matanza (c) vs. Mil Muertes - Lucha Underground Championship Match
Two monsters colliding. One with a venegance and one who's just naturally pissed off and wants to keep his throne. Therefore, this was a nice big man brawl. It was action packed from start to finish and got pretty wild. The battle rages onto the outside and they fight around the arena. The two end up atop Dario Cueto's office and MUERTES HITS A FLAT LINER ON MATANZA THROUGH THE FUCKING ROOF! Huge OMG moment. The match gets called off at this point, but boy, this was an awesome fight. They are gonna have a lot to live up to with the rematch to top what they teased here.
Match rating - ***1/2
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Last night was WrestleMania and it got quite the mixed reaction. Something that has become pretty common for modern day WWE post 2014. Roman Reigns pinned Triple H to become the WWE Champion as expected to a chorus of boos, Brock Lesnar beat Dean Ambrose, Chris Jericho beat AJ Styles, and The Undertaker defeated Shane McMahon. Where do we go from here?
The show begins with the commentators basically making excuses for the crowd being so anti-Reigns by saying "they boo who they normally cheer" because of how passionate they are, which kind of makes sense, but kind of doesn't so, hey.
Mr. McMahon is out first to address the outcome of Taker/Shane last night. The crowd chants "Better Than Reigns" directed towards Shane which Vince once again plays off as them being "crazy people". Before Vince can leave, Shane O Mac himself comes out to a huge pop. He gets teary eyed and thanks all the fans for him giving him a moment he'll never forget. Shane bids farewell and goes to leave, but that's not good enough for Vince because that's Shane getting the last word. So, Vince says he's gonna let Shane run Raw for the night and see what he's really got.
1) The New Day (c) vs. Sheamus & Wade Barrett - WWE Tag Team Championship Match