Cleat Geeks

The Lucha Lowdown

Welcome to the Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground!

After seeing Marty The Moth right where Mariposa left him, we head to the temple, where the Cueto Cup Tournament continues! The first match of Day 2 features Vinnie Massaro competing against the massive Cage. Vinnie reminds me a lot of Impact Wrestling’s Aiden O’Shea–the stereotypical Italian-American character. Cage is another one I’ve been wanting to see get some elevation on Lucha Underground; he has held the Gift of the Gods Championship, which is a golden ticket to the Lucha Undeground Championship. However, Cage has yet to hold that title, and he was actually close to defeat at the hands of Vinnie Massaro. Vinnie made the mistake of attempting to use Cage’s gauntlet against him, and that would be his downfall. Cage emerged victorious, and after the match, he put the gauntlet on and walloped Vinnie.

We see yet another captivating video promoting the upcoming Johnny Mundo/Rey Mysterio Lucha Underground Championship contest, and following this, it’s back to the temple…and Marty The Moth is creeping behind Melissa Santos. His opponent in the Cueto Cup Tournament is The Rabbit Club’s El Saltador, so it’s crazy vs psychotic. And the creeping towards Melissa continues during the match, as Marty moved towards her and even tossed Saltador towards a barrier right close to Melissa. Marty won his match, and Melissa looked somewhat chagrined. Though as I’ve said many times before, I would not be surprised if she ends up falling for him. In fact, I’m calling it:  Melissa will end up with Marty at Ultima Lucha Tres!

Mascarita Sagrada’s match against Pindar is next, but before that, we see the Rabbit Club worshipping him, believing that he’s their leader, only for Sagrada to walk past them. Back to Marty, and as we see, he has a shrine to Melissa (surprised we didn’t see this sooner). He is later confronted by his sister, Mariposa, who stated that Marty’s affections for Melissa has made him weak, and should Mariposa defeat Fenix in her match, then it will be sister vs brother. We’ll see Mariposa later on.

Back to the temple, where Kobra Moon leads Pindar in his battle against Mascarita Sagrada. The diminutive Sagrada has a huge fan following, with Pindar’s offense gaining nothing but disdain from the fans. After being dominated, Sagrada delivers big time offense towards his massive opponent, from both inside and outside the ring, only for Pindar to shut down the tear. Pindar continued his assault towards Sagrada, and of course, Kobra Moon gets a shot in as well. Sagrada later delivers a dizzying head scissors to Pindar, and even fights off (and later slaps) Kobra Moon! However, this only angers Kobra Moon, who sends Pindar to successfully finish off Sagrada, with the evil queen cackling over her minion’s latest victory.

The main event follows, with the immensely demented Mariposa facing off against Lucha Undeground’s first-ever Triple Crown Champion, Fenix. Without question, this is Mariposa’s toughest task to date in LU, and despite Fenix’s games early in the match, she started off faring well against the former Lucha Underground Champion. Even with Mariposa’s effort, Fenix won his match, but following the victory, Marty entered and beat down his second round opponent, much to Melissa’s horror. Fenix fought off the sinister siblings, and it appears that we may see something brewing between Fenix and Melissa; the latter blew a kiss to the former. Hmmm.

The Cueto Cup continues next week and so will the Lucha Lowdown! Until then!

Straight Up Smack Down


After a historic Money In The Bank pay per view on Sunday, many questions were left with fans at the end of the night. Most were centered around the outcome of the women’s ladder match, when James Ellsworth climbed the ladder & retrieved the briefcase for Carmella. Was that legal? Would she retain the briefcase? Luckily, that would all be cleared up tonight by returning General Manager Daniel Bryan.

Carmella appeared with James Ellsworth at the beginning of tonight’s show & the self-proclaimed “Queen of Staten Island” very well may have given her best performance ever:

Many solid points & the fire in her delivery was fantastic. She did a great job chronicling her journey by referencing her draft position & being slighted on Smack Down. She also went after fans in describing the hypocrisy on Twitter of the internet wrestling community. The crowd definitely responded in kind to her. It took almost a year, but she is finally getting a reaction from the crowd & unlike a lot of other heels, its overtly negative.

The other female competitors in Sunday’s inaugural ladder match were notably upset tonight about the outcome. They all implored Daniel Bryan to reverse the decision of Carmella’s victory:

Bryan said he would make a decision later tonight & boy, did he ever….

Incredible. Absolutely incredible. So, next week we will witness a second female ladder match for the Money In The Bank briefcase.  Interestingly enough, Bryan did not bar Ellsworth from ringside. I cannot wait for this!  (UPDATE 10:58 p.m.: On Talking Smack, Daniel Bryan just told James Ellsworth that he IS banned from ringside in next week’s match.)

Speaking of great matches, Shinsuke Nakamura faced Dolph Ziggler tonight in a very entertaining bout. The two tangled for around 20 minutes, but here’s the final 3:38 of the match:

Dolph has proved to be a worthy opponent for Shinsuke over the past couple months. The question is, what’s next for these two?

Tom Philips had a sit down interview with Randy Orton this week & it aired this evening.

Nothing unexpected came out of the interview, other than Orton’s threat of an RKO against every member of Jinder’s family. However, there were two unexpected appearances during Jinder’s match tonight against Luke Harper:

Big E faced Jimmy Uso tonight in single’s competition. One thing has become very apparent in this feud, the Usos look more credible to their characters in contrast to the New Day.

The groundwork for this contrast was laid by Breezango, but their Fashion File segments seemed to resonate more with the audience than the stylistic contrast between the two teams.

The new face of America & United States champion Kevin Owens issued another U.S. Open Challenge tonight, but it was immediately answered by A.J. Styles. Only problem was that Owens only opened the competition to residents of & those born in Dayton, Ohio.  Cue Chad Gable, who appeared & said that he had just moved to Dayton earlier this morning….

This was a creative way to get Gable back on TV & I thought that he did fairly well in this match. I personally cannot wait for the next Owens versus Styles title match. Both men are at the top of their game & will undoubtedly tear the house down.


So as a preview for Smack Down next week:

Rematch of Women’s Money In The Bank Ladder match, Rematch of Naomi versus Lana for Smack Down Women’s title, & Hype Bros versus Usos with title shot upon victory stipulation.

That’s a pretty good lineup.  Thanks for reading!

The RAW Truth

RAW Truth 6/19 Edition

After the last few weeks of RAW, I was starting to lose hope that WWE would pick up the pace anytime soon on their flagship show. However, this week was a barnburner of an episode for RAW. So many stories and feuds were pushed forward that it felt like WWE was making up for lost time in storytelling. The action wasn’t bad either so it made for a great watch throughout. Sure, the cruiserweights, women’s division, and some other points didn’t quite make the mark they could have, the show felt really well rounded. So, let’s take a closer look what was lacking and what was working on this past RAW.

The Good Truth


  • A Betrayal Most SAWFT

After weeks of intrigue in the case of who was attacking Enzo and Cass, we got some shocking news this Monday. Corey Graves revealed that Cass had staged his own attacks, and was behind the assaults on his former best friend Enzo. Cass then proceeded to cut a great promo, telling Enzo that he was the reason that Cass hadn’t won a title yet, and that he felt bad for Enzo. The anger in Cass’s voice was only backed up by the sad fact that some of his comments made sense. Cass has always been the one who carried the most weight in the team, and without Enzo he was a good singles competitor. While it was sad to see the duo breakup, it was a great story to see unfold and hopefully we get some more great moments out of their breakup..


  • Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns show off their BRAUN!!!!!!

Braun Str Woman is back!!!!!!!! In the middle of a Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns match that was also physical and excellent, we heard a strange beeping noise as we saw an ambulance back into the arena, only to reveal that the Monster Among Men had returned for vengeance. With Reigns distracted, Samoa Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch for the win. Str Woman then proceeded to make a statement and declare that he would face off against Reigns at the next PPV. While I’m a little hesitant for another Roman/Braun showdown, I am beyond excited that we get to see more of Braun Strowman.

The Hard Truth


  • Bray Wyatt All Talk Again


I am a huge Bray Wyatt fan, but I’m afraid that he has fallen into a bad pattern of delivering great promos, make great entrances, and then he’ll get beat up. Last night, it was Seth Rollins who pounced on Wyatt when Bray attempted to sneak up on Rollins. The sad part is that Seth may very well get the better of this feud, and Bray desperately needs to start building in-ring momentum again before his words feel anymore meaningless.


  • No Feuds for the Ladies

While the brawl of the RAW women’s division was entertaining, it pointed out that there is a real lack of feuds in the women’s division. While Bayley’s appearance did add some drama, the division could really use a big feud for Alexa Bliss. While it’s great to see every talent used, it would be better to give each star some matches against a rival instead of these big tag matches that really don’t lead anywhere meaningful. With this much talent on RAW, it really should be a place where the ladies can start to shine.

This week reminded me why I love to tune in to Monday Night RAW. Whether it was Miz finally getting some much needed henchmen in the form of Curt Axel and Bo Dallas, or Elias Samson getting into it with Finn Balor, there were countless moments that had me hoping that WWE can keep up these great stories in the weeks to come.

Weigh-in Wednesday Special — The People vs. Demetrious Johnson

The flyweight division has never been more exciting than it is right now. Unfortunately for the reigning champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson it is not because there is a logjam at the top of the division or because there is a fresh set of challengers for his title. It’s because he’s gone back-and-forth now publicly with the UFC over the course of the past few weeks about who his next title challenger will be. If what he said last week on social media is true, it’s easy to see why he is frustrated and he isn’t in the wrong at all. For whatever reason, him and Dana White have never been able to see eye to eye and their differences and are now at a breaking point. According to him, he was offered a contract to fight Ray Borg and was basically forced to do so without PPV points. He was then told that with the injury to bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt that he would now be fighting former champion TJ Dillashaw, who’s never had a fight at flyweight.

The jist of the story is that he wanted paid more and was denied that to only be told that he is fighting TJ Dillashaw whether he likes it or not. Dana White has done everything but accuse him of ducking TJ, saying last week that “he makes the fights, not Mighty Mouse.” Let’s face it, the UFC is all about selling fights and PPVs. That has become more evident over time and top contenders in divisions have taken back seats to undeserving title challengers multiple times now. It’s just the way their business works now, whether we all like it or not. When looking at the big picture, which again for them is making money, TJ Dillashaw vs. DJ is much more marketable and interesting than Ray Borg vs. DJ. That’s the bottom line and I think that is why they will continue to push for that fight.

Unfortunately for the UFC, there really are only two outcomes to this. First, DJ agrees to fight Dillashaw and gives in to the UFC’s demands and we have a great PPV headliner or co-main event. The only other possible outcome is a drawn-out, ugly battle between an employee and an employer. Not only will you upset one of your best champions who, prior to now, has never complained about the challengers put in front of him, but you also send a message to the rest of your fighters that you don’t really care what they think. That’s also become very evident over the last few years with the way things have been ran. They’ve already formed a fighter’s union, although we haven’t heard much about that in a while, and they’re going to start sticking together. I don’t think a strike is something that we are too far away from seeing in the UFC. The number of guys happy with the UFC and its structure is very small, when you’ve managed to upset your champions you’ve got a real problem on your hands.

DJ is not a superstar and he’s not done a very good job of marketing himself, yet he’s very quick to point out that the UFC doesn’t make any attempts to market him. It’s both of their jobs to market themselves and quite frankly, in his case they both have failed. He’s not a household name in MMA, but he is a completely dominant champion, maybe the most dominant we’ve ever seen in the UFC. Yet for all of his accomplishments, he’s been stuck on a lot of free TV cards to defend the title he’s held since it came to be in September of 2012. He’s beat Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson twice, both in convincing fashion, he’s disposed of BJJ black belts Wilson Reis and Chris Cariaso and he finished Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo in the first round. 5 of his 10 title fights have appeared on free TV, while 6 other title fights in history have appeared on free TV. That should tell you everything you need to know about DJ and his relationship, or lack thereof, with the UFC.

The UFC isn’t entirely in the wrong here, Dana is right about him making the fights and not DJ. However, DJ claims to have never been one to pick and choose who he fights, and if that is the case, this is how you treat the ultimate company man? When the UFC and a fighter have a public problem, there’s usually the UFC’s side of the story, the fighter’s side of the story and somewhere in there lies the truth. This feud is just getting started and it has all the potential to get very ugly.

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which details everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw and ending with Money In The Bank.

Raw featured the fallout from Alexa Bliss’ deceptive defense of the Raw Women’s Championship, which had the champion facing challenges from not only Nia Jax, but also Dana Brooke, former Women’s and Divas Champion Mickie James, the returning Emma, and former three-time Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks. All of this led to a six-woman tag team bout, which saw Alexa Bliss walk out on her partners and leave Emma to tap out to Sasha. We also heard from Bayley, as she was interviewed by Corey Graves. It appears that Bayley is not done pursuing the title she once held and defended at WrestleMania.

SmackDown featured a pair of women’s matches; Naomi defeating Tamina, and getting taken out by Lana afterwards, while Charlotte defeated Natalya, all while Becky Lynch and Carmella watched backstage. The following evening’s NXT ended with Asuka, Nikki Cross, and Ruby Riot clashing in an elimination match for the NXT Women’s Championship, and following Ruby’s elimination, Asuka and Nikki fought to a no contest, and continued fighting after the match ended! As a result, the two will face each other in a Last Woman Standing Match on the last NXT of June.

Impact Wrestling featured two Knockouts related matches being set for Slammiversary. First off, Angelina Love and Davey Richards will face off against Alisha and Eddie Edwards in Full Metal Mayhem at the event, and it was also announced that Rosemary and Sienna will face each other in a Title Unification Match. During the announcement for the title bout, Sienna challenged Allie to team with Rosemary against herself and Laurel Van Ness, with the match set for the next Impact.

A historic Money In The Bank PPV rounded out with week, with the first-ever Women’s MITB Ladder Match kicking off the event. After the proverbial dust settled, Carmella walked out as the first ever Miss Money In The Bank, but it would be James Ellsworth who climbed the ladder, grabbed the briefcase, and gave it to her. The controversy was brought up by not only Shane McMahon, but SD GM Daniel Bryan, who will return tomorrow night, and it will be addressed on SmackDown. Carmella teased cashing in later that night during Naomi’s match against Lana, but thought better of it. Regarding the title bout, Lana definitely showed out and showed some improvement, but Naomi walked out as champion.

As teased this past weekend, Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis made their appearances at the MITB PPV, marking Maria’s return to WWE after seven years. The couple has spent a year in TNA, with Bennett promoted as “The Miracle,” while Maria ran wild as the evil leader of the Knockouts. Their gimmick in WWE is a little bit different. For one, Mike Bennett is referred to as Mike Kanellis, and they are portrayed as a villainous “lovey-dovey” couple. I have to say, we don’t see a lot of those. We all know this will lead to them feuding with Cena and Nikki Bella, especially given the real-live drama between Maria and the Bellas.

You know, it’s hard to believe that today marks exactly one year since Natalya turned heel. What’s even more amazing is that Natalya’s heel turn came out of nowhere, without any seeds planted. It was at last year’s Money In The Bank that Natalya and Becky Lynch banded together to face Charlotte and Dana Brooke, and after a miscue led to their defeat, Natalya brutally attacked Becky. After their brief feud ended, Natalya was basically put to the backburner for the rest of the summer and all of fall, but it was at the near end of last year that the Queen of Harts was transformed into a more vicious character. On December 20, the evil Natalya revealed herself as the villainess who attacked Nikki Bella at Survivor Series, and this was followed by a cruel war of words that lasted until February of this year. After the Superstar Shake-up, Natalya banded with Carmella and Tamina to form The Welcoming Committee, but they seem to be on their own again. Though Nattie didn’t win MITB, I still see big things from her in due time.

WWE confirmed the first four names for the upcoming Mae Young Classic:  indy sensations Toni Storm and Princesa Sugehit, and NXT mainstays Lacey Evans and Sarah Logan. There have been rumors that WWE is in talks for Serena Deeb to participate in the tournament. Serena has competed in several indy promotions, but also had a seven month stint in WWE as the lone female member of CM Punk’s villainous Straight Edge Society. Serena actually retired from wrestling in the summer of 2015, but her returning to wrestling in the tournament would be epic indeed!

A new week begins tonight, as Raw sets the stage for the upcoming Great Balls of Fire PPV on July 9. Hopefully, the women’s match will be announced tonight. Tomorrow will see the fallout from Money In The Bank, and on Wednesday, Lucha Underground’s Cueto Cup Tournament continues! Until next week!

3 Impacts From Impact

Week 2 of Impact’s India shows is in the books, and so many developments were announced! What stood out the most on this past edition? Here are my 3 Impacts From Impact:

The biggest impact was 15 years in the making, as Sonjay Dutt finally captured the X Division Championship! For years, Sonjay Dutt had the unfortunate stigma of being the best to never win a championship–in his case, the X Division Championship. His last opportunity did not end well, as he received a lethal right eye injury courtesy of Low Ki. The match was set last week, as Sonjay made the challenge after Low Ki retained against Caleb Konley, with Low Ki accepting. What made Sonjay’s victory epic was that it took place in his native India, and it was celebrated by a vast majority of the X Division. And, of course, this was a long time coming!

So at long last, the Knockouts related matches were announced for Slammiversary. During Davey Richards’ participation in the Gauntlet Battle Royal, it was announced that he and Angelina Love will face off against Eddie and Alisha Edwards at Full Metal Mayhem at Slammiversary. Later on, after Braxton Sutter’s victory, Sienna and Laurel Van Ness appeared and challenged Allie and Rosemary to a tag team match for the next Impact; all the while, it was also revealed that Sienna will face Rosemary in a Title Unification Match at the event. Even with two KO matches set for the event, I have to believe that Allie and LVN will face each other at the event as well, either in singles action or in a mixed tag involving Sutter and Kongo Kong. I wouldn’t be surprised if an announcement happens.

Moose’s rivalry with Eli Drake and Chris Adonis has reached another level. Sharing the sentiment that Eli was screwed out of the Grand Championship, Eli and Chris challenged Moose to a match at Slammiversary. This prompted the Grand Champion to announce that his partner will be none other than NFL free agent running back DeAngelo Williams, who was shown training to wrestle. DeAngelo, who has played for the Panthers and Steelers, was actually in Moose’s corner during one of his title defenses, and now it looks like he’ll be teaming up with his fellow NFL cohort against Eli and Chris at Slammiversary. Needless to say, the card is stacking up!

Those are my 3 Impacts From Impact! Until next time!

WWE: Money in the Bank

Men’s Money in The Bank Match

United States Champion Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Shinsuke Nakamura

These six men will step into the ring to compete for the right to face the WWE World Champion anywhere any time on their terms all they have to do is climb the ladder and grab the brief case. This case will more a less guarantee that person will be champion after they cash in. Who needs to win this? Kevin Owens who already holds the United States title does not need the Money in the Bank. AJ Styles who is a previous world champion could go either way he doesn’t need the contract but if he won it would make his job of getting back to the top a lot easier. Shinsuke does not need the contract he is too new to the main raster and needs to prove himself not be handed the world title. Ziggler is at the point in his career where he doesn’t need the title to prove how good he is so I don’t believe he needs it. Sami Zayn needs the contract he is an amazing in ring competitor but has not been able to seal the deal and gain that first title. Baron Corbin needs the contract he is a great in ring competitor and has many shots at titles but has not been able to seal the deal.


My predictions: Baron Corbin Wins the Money in the Bank contract


Inaugural Women’s Money in The Bank Match

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Carmella

For the first time, ever we will have a women’s money in the bank match were the women will fight for the same contract that the men get, they will be able to challenge for the women’s title anytime anywhere. Looking at this in the same way as the men’s match, who needs the Contract? We have the veteran Natalya who has been on and off mainstream story lines for the last ten or fifteen years but has not received a push in a very long time, she need the win. Charlotte has been considered the top women’s wrestler in WWE for the last 2 years and is more than capable of winning the title without the contract so she does not need the win. Tamina who is just returning from injury during the superstar shakeup still needs more build time before she gets the title or a title shot so it is not her time to win. Becky Lynch has been out of the title picture for a while now and I think she needs a good push and maybe her time to win. Carmella has not proven herself ready to be the face of the women’s division this may be her trial but it’s not her time to win.

My Prediction: Natalya wins the very first Women’s Money in the Bank match


SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. The New Day

The Usos won the titles just before WrestleMania this year and since then have not really faced any formattable opponents but now the New Day is back from injury and now look to regain their place atop the tag team deviation after being the longest running tag team champions for well over 400 days they want the gold back.


My predition: The Usos retain


SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi vs. Lana

This match to me doesn’t make a lot of since Lana finally returns and for her second match on Smackdown and is granted a title shot at the pay per view, Why? Other than sex appeal we haven’t seen much of her ability’s in the ring, we know she talks an ok game but she must back it up and we just haven’t seen it but WWE is just wonky enough to give this girl the title on her debut pay per view as a competitor to keep the persona of Smackdown being the land of opportunity’s.

My predition: Lana wins the smackdown women’s title


WWE Champion Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton

After the upset of the year last month Orton is getting his rematch for his world title in his home town. After being more a less embarrassed by Mahal last month Orton is out for revenge and blood. Mahal must prove that it was not a lucky shot that he beat Orton and if he can do it in his home town in front of his father he will prove himself to be a formattable opponent.


My predition: Mahal retains

UFC Fight Night Predictions

Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Tarec Saffiedine

What bad luck Dos Anjos has had in the last 18 months. He went from being the lightweight champion of the world and having a fight booked with kingpin Conor McGregor to fighting 12th-ranked Tarec Saffiedine in his debut at 170 pounds. One ankle injury changed the trajectory of his entire career. He’s lost two straight which, along with a gruesome weight cut, has led to his new home at welterweight. He finds himself matched up with a fighter who has also lost a lot of steam over the past few years. Saffiedine came over to the UFC from Strikeforce back in 2013 but injuries have kept him from fighting for the majority of that time, with just 5 fights in the last 4 and a half years. These two are very different fighters in that Dos Anjos is looking to pressure while Saffiedine would prefer to counter and fight from outside distance. Both fighters are currently riding two-fight losing streaks, and although the loser will likely keep his job in the UFC, they both desperately need a win here. Saffiedine is just 2-3 in his 5 performances in the UFC, none of which were spectacular or overly exciting. Dos Anjos suffered a TKO loss to Eddie Alvarez last July when he lost his title and then lost an exciting, 5-round war against Tony Ferguson. Pressure should be his biggest weapon here and his improved striking since his run as lightweight champion has helped him evolve his overall game. Saffiedine and Dos Anjos both have some of the most vicious leg and body kicks in all of MMA and we will certainly see a lot of that. Both fighters have good ground skills and cardio, while Saffiedine will employ a 2-inch height advantage. Dos Anjos looked good in his last performance but Ferguson just simply looked better. The same can’t be said for Saffiedine as he’s been gunshy throughout his career. It’s paid off in the past but waiting for openings in the UFC won’t get you very far. Dos Anjos wins a decision to get back on track.


Dong Hyun Kim vs. Colby Covington

Dong Hyun Kim has been around the UFC for a long time and he’s beat some of the toughest guys in the division. He owns wins over Nate Diaz, Matt Brown, TJ Grant and Paula Thiago. In between those wins he has lost to the elite of the 170-pound division and has been somewhat inconsistent. His wrestling and top game is one of the best in the division and he throws strikes to end fights. That cost him dearly against current champion Tyron Woodley back in 2014, but he has since rebounded to win 3 straight. He now faces rising contender Colby Covington, whose style is eerily similar. The former NCAA Division 1 All-American has been working on his striking as well to complement his ground skills. Covington is still young in the sport but has all the skills to be a force in the welterweight division. The winner of this fight and the first fight on the card could very well find themselves matched up against each other. While Covington has the athleticism and skillset to be a force, people seem to forget how big “Stun Gun” is and just how suffocating his top game is. He’s Jon Fitch with powerful, albeit wild, striking. Kim wins by second-round TKO.


Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcin Tybura

Arlovski’s career has been a rollercoaster ride since day one, that’s simply just who he is, down but never out. A loss here would be his fifth in a row and would likely mark his final fight in the UFC for a second time. His 1st-round TKO loss to current champion Stipe Miocic was just the start of a downfall, as he’s since been finished 3 more times to Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett and Francis Ngannou, respectively. The Jackson-Wink product now finds himself with his back against the wall at the age of 38, although it seems like he should be much older than that. His opponent has a very small sample of UFC fights, winning back-to-back fights via knockout after dropping his debut. Tybura no doubt wants to keep this fight standing and these two should trade punches until one of them falls down, probably sooner rather than later. I see that person being Tybura. He reminds me of a slower, less athletic Ben Rothwell and you can take that for what it’s worth. This won’t necessarily signal another career resurgence for Arlovski, but he wins here via knockout in the first round.


Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia

I really can’t remember the last time I was less excited about a main event bout. Holly Holm is a one hit wonder at this point, the Buster Douglas of MMA and there really isn’t much she can do to drop that title. Beating Bethe Correia proves that she still belongs in the top 10 of the division but not much else other than that. This fight is a way of putting 2 women who are former Rousey opponents on a main event status fight and make them feel special. Have I mentioned how much I hate this fight? It doesn’t really improve either woman’s standing in a somewhat open division due to Rousey’s absence. Holm shocked the world in November of 2015 when she beat Ronda Rousey, yet she’s done little to resemble that woman since. She dropped the title in her next fight against Miesha Tate, a fight she largely controlled until a fifth-round takedown turned into a rear-naked choke. Still, you’ve got to give her credit for not only beating Rousey but for going to sleep as opposed to tapping against Tate. She’s since then dropped back-to-back decisions to current title challenger Valentina Shevchenko and new featherweight and maybe-not-much-longer featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. Rousey fell right into the trap and the counter ability that Holm possesses and if Correia isn’t careful, she will get caught in her web as well. Correia is a strange fighter herself, having 3 split decisions on a short, 13-fight MMA career. Holm’s lack of activity and willingness to engage has cost her the last two decision losses and another one would spell doom for her short career. She’s a marketable name in the women’s division if only for the Rousey win, but another loss and she may find herself without a job. Correia and Marion Reneau fought to a very odd draw a few months ago while she stole a split decision from Jessica Eye prior to that. We saw a lot of fighters who fought GSP and lost fall off the face of the earth and fail to ever resurface and we are seeing the same from a lot of Rousey’s opponents. This should be an interesting fight pitting strikers against one another, while I expect coaching to be the difference. Greg Jackson does what he does best and prepares another brilliant game plan and leads Holm to her first win since the Rousey defeat. Holly Holm by decision is the pick.

NXT Weekly

We are welcomed into Full Sail Arena as Drew McIntire’s intro hits and he makes his way out to the ring.

Drew McIntire vs Rob Ryzin

This proved little more than a squash match for McIntire. Some moves were exchanged but McIntire was never in jeopardy of losing this match.

Winner: Drew McIntire

Analysis: McIntire has his eye on a title shot. Problem in NXT right now is we have a lot of good faces, and not a ton of top heels. McIntire will either have to find a way to get inserted into the Strong, Roode title match or settle for a feud with the likes of Eric Young or Almas Andrade.

Video replay of Ember Moon ruining the video Peyton Royce and Billie Kae where creating. We then learn Amber Moon will face Peyton Royce on NXT next week.

Authors Of Pain vs Wilmer Freyday and Anthony Dominguez

The story of this one is that Rezar stayed on the outside of the ring talking with Paul Ellering as Akam won this match on his own.

Winners: Authors Of Pain

After the match Ellering directs Rezar back in the ring as the Authors Of Pain continue to beat down there fallen foes. Ellering then calls Heavy Machinery foolish. He lists all the teams Authors Of Pain has beaten. Paul is then interrupted by Heavy Machinery. These two massive men make their way to the ring. They stand face to face with the Authors Of Pain and just when it seems like they are going to go to blows Ellering pulls his team back as the Authors of Pain leave the ring.

Analysis: Im not sold that Heavy Machinery is ready to put on a stellar match with the Authors Of Pain. This tag team division has really lost a lot of depth to the main roster and with the dismantling of DIY.

Next is a video package hyping the title match of Roode vs Strong.

The Velveteen Dream vs Raul Mendoza

Some decent back forth and action but nothing spectacular until the end. The Velveteen Dream hit an inverted Death Valley driver and cartwheel combo to finish off Mendoza.

Winner: The Velveteen Dream

Analysis: Not particularly impressed with either superstar to date in this one. Dream has shown some charisma but it seems that gets highlighted during some sub par action. Lots of punching and kicking and headlocks and grappling not a lot of wrestling.

Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot

This one starts off and is already hot. Cross and Riot toss Asuka out of the ring and get to work on each other. Riot hits Cross with a few nice kicks and knocks Asuka off the apron as she tries to get back in on the action. Then Riot hits a double knee to Cross in the corner.

Later, Riot would continue her domination in the match, this time hitting Asuka with a kick and then taking her down with a head scissors Takeover. Later on, Riot would go for a cover on Cross, when Asuka would attempt the same move she used to pin both these women at NXT TakeOver Chicago, but this time Riot blocked it and hits Asuka with some hard chops. After more action, Cross hits her swinging neckbreaker on Riot and eliminates Riot.

With Riot eliminated Asuka hits a German duplex on Cross and gets a near pinfall. Later Cross and Asuka are on the ring apron where Asuka hits a big kick to the head of Cross. The action would continue outside the ring as these two would battle up the ramp and into the backstage area. The official calls for the bell and rules a no contest.

Winner: no contest

Asuka and Cross would continue to battle backstage, getting all sorts of stuff from backstage involved in there beatdowns. At one point, Cross shoved Asuka’s face in a cooler full of ice water! They would continue to battle until they where back on the entryway and to the NXT announce table. They battle on there for a while until Cross hits a cross body on Asuka while both women are standing on the announce table! This sends both women girding off the table and down thru a production table. Both women are down and receiving medical attention as NXT goes off the air.

Analysis: Awesome main event. Best match on NXT since Takeover Chicago for sure! I am a fan of Ruby Riot and my initial reaction when she was eliminated was that this match would fall off in quality after. Well Cross proved me wrong. I knew Asuka was tremendous but Cross showed here how she can take that energy from her character and put it to use in a match. This women’s division is really heating up with Cross, Riot and Moon all looking Strong. It took a while but finally I can say, Asuka has some worthy competition.

The Lucha Lowdown

Welcome to The Lucha Lowdown, which recaps the latest edition of Lucha Underground.

Tonight, it’s all about the Cueto Cup tournament, but we begin the program with Pentagon Dark in Dario Cueto’s office. We have not seen him since Black Lotus and her group took him out and broke his arm, and he was threatening to do the same to Cueto. Cueto appeased Pentagon by placing him in the tournament, which Pentagon vowed to win. The tournament was announced on the previous week; 32 combatants fighting in a round robin tournament, with the winner challenging for the Lucha Underground Championship at Ultima Lucha Tres.

On to the temple, where former #1 Contender The Mack faced off against Mala Suerte in a first round match-up. Of course, Mala Suerte is part of the immensely eccentric Rabbit Tribe, and Mack had to deal with the strange behavior and the mind games of his opponent. All the while, Mack was coming off nearly capturing the Lucha Underground Championship, and he was looking to get back into contention once again. It was an even match, mind games and all, but it took one Stunner for The Mack to win and advance.

We see Cage backstage donning the gauntlet he won in the best-of-five series against Texano. Cueto approached him and invited him to a meeting with Mayor Delgado, who Cueto has been in league with for a while. Cage originally turned it down, but he was given a business card, and business is definitely picking up.

Another first round match at the temple, and it’s Pentagon Dark against Argenis. What’s amazing is that despite being pushed as an intimidating and demonic figure, Pentagon Dark hasn’t won the Lucha Underground Championship as of yet, but maybe this tournament could be his chance. However, Argenis put up an amazing fight, as it seemed like an upset was coming. But reality set in and Pentagon Dark emerged victorious, and as usual, he was not done there, as he performed his trademark: breaking Argenis’ arm.

As Matt Striker announced before the break, the next first round match was Famous B vs Texano. We have seen Famous B attempt to recruit Texano in the past, and he even tried again, even offering to allow Texano to pin him. As we expected, Texano broke up his own pin and powerbombed Famous B, picking up the easy win. Despite watching Famous B’s decimation, The Beautiful Brenda took a liking to Texano, as she gave him a slap on the posterior. Oh man.

A segment promoting the upcoming Lucha Underground Championship contest between Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio follows. These two have a history dating back to WWE, when Mundo captured the WWE Tag Team Championship from Mysterio in 2005 when he was part of MNM. As announced by Dario Cueto, the Mundo/Mysterio title contest will take place during the finals of the Cueto Cup tournament.

The main event followed, with Drago facing off against former partner, Aerostar, in a first round match. This is years in the making, as they faced each other six times, with each one winning three times. However, this is a huge grudge match, as Drago–coerced and seduced (if you will) by the evil Kobra Moon–betrayed Aerostar and Fenix during last week’s Trios Championship match, and now holds the titles with his queen’s henchmen. Of course, Kobra Moon led the new look Drago to the ring for battle, and despite Drago’s betrayal, Aerostar extended his hand in respect, but Drago turned that down. With that response, Drago and Aerostar brought the fight to each other, and of course, Kobra Moon got involved on several occasions. In the end, Drago not only defeated Aerostar, but under Kobra Moon’s orders, Drago decimated his longtime former partner and friend.

We now see Cage meeting with Delgado; having obviously changed his mind regarding meeting him. Cage said bluntly that he doesn’t work for Delgado, but he was informed that it would change. At that moment, the gauntlet’s power took over and he held Delgado by his throat. Cage released his hold, but he later delivered a fatal blow that crushed Delgado’s head, killing him.

Before I end this week’s Lucha Lowdown, congratulations to Johnny Mundo and Taya, who announced their engagement yesterday. According to reports, Mundo and Taya (real names John Hennigan and Kira Forster) have been dating since sometime last year, and the couple took to social media to announce their good news, with Taya showing off her new ring!

That’s this week’s Lucha Lowdown! The tournament continues next week! Until then!


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