Cleat Geeks

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw and ending with Hell In A Cell.

On Raw, Nikki Bella defeated Ruby Riott, and later on, Natalya and Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, only for Alexa to go after Ronda’s ribs, which suffered a bit of a beating during the match. On the following evening’s SmackDown, Charlotte defeated Sonya Deville in singles action, and she was greeting several fans following her victory when one of them assaulted her. The “fan” was none other than the evil Becky Lynch in disguise, and the Lass Kicker placed Charlotte in the Dis-Arm-Her on the entrance ramp. What was supposed to be a main event pitting Brie Bella against Maryse ended with both couples brawling, with Brie punching Miz in the face yet again.

On NXT, Shayna Baszler mercilessly defeated her opponent, and the main event saw Bianca BelAir and Nikki Cross compete to a double countout. The second episode of the Mae Young Classic saw Deonna Purrazzo, Zeuxis, Kacy Catanzaro, and Mercedes Martinez all advance to the second round, and on Lucha Underground, Ivelisse came up short in her bid to become Gift of the Gods Champion. On Impact Wrestling, Allie and Tessa had differing opinions regarding the latter being saved from Su Yung, and Alisha Edwards defeated Katarina in no time, mainly due to Katarina being embarrassed again by Joe Hendry and Grado.

Counting the mixed tag, Hell In A Cell featured a triple dose of women’s action, beginning with Becky Lynch defeating Charlotte to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship for the second time! The victory comes just over two years after Becky became the first SD Women’s Champion, and she refused Charlotte’s show of sportsmanship after the match. Later on, The Miz and Maryse defeated Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, with Maryse pinning Brie, and Ronda Rousey’s first title defense was a successful one against Alexa Bliss.

There were rumors entering the event that WWE may pull off a double turn between Becky and Charlotte, with Charlotte turning villainous due to fans viewing the Queen as the antagonist in this situation. However, from what was shown on SD and at the PPV, it still appears that Becky is the true villainess of this angle. Charlotte, IMO, is a more natural heel than Becky, but I think a heel Becky would be different, and from what I and others witnessed, it looks like that will be the plan going forward. Becky and Charlotte will face off in a title rematch at WWE Super Show-Down on October 6 in Australia.

Every time I see Ronda and Nattie celebrating, I always think, “When is Nattie turning on Ronda?” There was a plan months ago for Natalya to turn heel against Ronda, but I believe that WWE backed out on it slightly out of respect for Nattie following the loss of her father, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, as it would be in bad taste to portray Natalya as a villainess so soon after the tragedy. The aforementioned Super Show-Down will see Ronda aligned with the Bellas against the Riott Squad, and I suspect that will lead to Ronda’s rumored match against (more likely) an evil Nikki Bella at Evolution. If WWE does turn Natalya, it will most likely be after Evolution–months after–and regarding her motive, the villainous Natalya could express jealousy of Ronda’s rise and popularity, with the claim that she “created” Ronda.

Happy birthday to former WWE talent Audrey Marie, who turns 30 this Monday! Audrey Marie is known for being part of the early stages of the current NXT; back when it was FCW. She reigned as FCW Women’s Champion and was part of the transition to NXT, which saw her on the losing end of a number of matches in 2012. Audrey later turned heel and began her first big angle with Sasha Banks, attacking Sasha and revealing herself as the “secret admirer” who sent her various notes. Audrey’s villainous motivation was jealousy of Sasha, who began rising while Audrey was out injured, leading to Audrey’s victory over Sasha later on. She was released from WWE in mid-2013, and competed at a Queens of Combat event a year later, losing to Heather Patera. It would be her last match to date, as Audrey is enjoying retirement, as well as a marriage to Matt Clement–aka WWE superstar Tyler Breeze.

A new week begins with the aftermath of Hell In A Cell on Raw and SmackDown, as well as Episode 3 of the Mae Young Classic! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 14)

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

We kick things off in the temple, as Ivelisse challenges Dragon Azteca Jr for the Gift of the Gods Championship! Azteca has vowed to be a fighting champion and he has lived up to that promise so far, but he has a viable and worthy challenger in the form of Ivelisse. Ivelisse is looking to move a step closer to becoming the second-ever female Lucha Underground Champion, and the head scissors to Azteca could being her closer to the goal. Azteca re-enters and delivers the fight to the challenger, getting a two count on Ivelisse. Azteca places Ivelisse into a Boston Crab; Ivelisse escapes but is placed in a headlock afterwards. Ivelisse’s punches result in Azteca takign her down, but the challenger finds her second win and goes after Azteca with intense fury. A DDT takes down the champion, but only for a two count! She later places Azteca in a submission situation, Azteca counters and gets a two-count.

The fight is taken out of the ring, but Ivelisse places Azteca in the ring and delivers a 360 Flip, but only for a two-count! Various slaps by the challenger are followed by a kick, but again, another two count by the challenger! Ivelisse goes for a rear-naked choke on Azteca, who fights out of it. The champion’s second wind returns, but Ivelisse goes after Azteca on the top rope. Azteca delivers a top rope leg drop, and that leads to a three count and yet another successful title defense for Dragon Azteca Jr. Azteca plans to hold the title up until Ultima Lucha Cuatro, and he could be on his way to doing just that. As for Ivelisse, she showed frustration for coming up short, but she is later visited by Xo Lishus and Joey Ryan, with the former proposing that they team together and go after the Trios Championship, with Ivelisse agreeing!

King Cuerno in the ring now, and he is interrupted by Antonio Cueto, who reminded him of his actions last week towards Pentagon Dark. Antonio admires Cueto’s drive, but he says there’s another who is worthy of a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship, and Cuerno will face that certain someone in a #1 Contender’s Mach. That certain someone just happened to be Mil Muertes! Oh boy! These two have bitter history and to no surprise, the fight was taken outside the ring. Senior official Marty Elias attempted to restore order and inform both men to enter the ring, only for BOTH of them to shove Elias down–the only thing they could agree on. Elias signaled for the bell, and while Cuerno and Mil continued to fight, it seems the match is being thrown out. However, Antonio rewards violence, and since both men delivered great violence, BOTH of them will face Pentagon for the title next week in a three-way match! Speaking of Pentagon, the Lucha Underground Champion appears, and is enthused with the fight taking place.

The main event is up now, and the Reptile Tribe is defending their Trios Championship against the reunited team of Fenix, Drago, and Aerostar. The three of them were a merry band and were Trios Champions in the past, but Kobra Moon’s seductive manipulation of Drago ended their reign and their alignment. As we recall, last week’s edition saw Fenix revived, but as we’ve seen in this match, he is much different from the Fenix of old, more aggressive than ever. Though Melissa Santos has just been happy to see Fenix back, as she has been shown clapping for her man. Drago fights off Jeremiah Snake and Daga, much to Kobra’s consternation, and he later counters against Jeremiah’s attack. Aerostar, who is responsible for Fenix’s resurrection, dives over on Jeremiah and Daga! Fenix is tagged in, and he helps Drago dive over the top rope and on to his foes. Aerostar cheers on his cohort, but to the shock of everyone in attendance, Fenix delivers a kick to Aerostar! What the what?!

Fenix continues his assault and piledrives Aerostar, and while everyone is shocked, no one is more surprised than Melissa. Jeremiah enters and finishes off Aerostar, and the Reptile Tribe retains their titles. Kobra Moon takes Melissa’s microphone and makes the announcement, as Melissa is still shocked over what has happened. Her attempt to get to Fenix not only falls on deaf ears, it gets her shoved away by the man she loved. Though let’s face it, that man is far gone. Dragon Azteca Jr appears and checks on Melissa, while Fenix simply leaves.

Antonio Cueto is in his office, and is interrupted by Marty the Moth, who is at the door. Marty arrives with a pair of stacks of money, and wants a shot at the Gift of the Gods Championship–the same shot his sister, Mariposa, had. Antonio counts the money and acquiesces; Marty will have his title shot next week. However, Marty hands more money to Antonio, saying that there’s something else he wants. What is it? We’ll have to wait.

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 13)

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

We start things with Catrina, who is not mincing words with Mil Muertes: she is done. She is done being at his beck and call, even going as far as stating that she never loved Mil; the man she truly loved gave her a new life. Just as she walks away, Catrina is confronted by Melissa Santos, leading to a fight between the two women that has been in the works for months–ever since Fenix’s defeat at Grave Consequences. Melissa continued her pursuit of Catrina, and the fight continued on, with neither woman backing down. Catrina mocks Melissa while placing her in a submission situation, while Melissa vows that Catrina will “die for her.” They take the fight to the rooftop, where Catrina wraps Melissa’s pendant around her neck, only for the ring announcer to fight back! Catrina is ends up hanging for life, only for Mil Muertes to appear. He gives her the ancient stone, before dropping Catrina to her death! WOW! Aerostar appears and asks Melissa for the pendant, promising to give her what she desires.

We see a rewind to 10 weeks earlier, where Catrina took Fenix’s life force to empower her. We later see Aerostar, apparently having traveled back to that period, and using Catrina’s power to resurrect Fenix! Back to the present, Aerostar returns with Fenix, much to Melissa’s happiness. Aerostar stated that it would take time for Fenix to return to normal, but Melissa responds and states that they have all of the time in the world. What an opening to Lucha Underground!

After all of that, we are finally in the temple, where Matt Striker states that the previously announced Lucha Underground Championship match between Pentagon Dark and Johnny Mundo will not happen due to what happened during the latter’s wedding to Taya. In the ring, Melissa’s back to work, and it’s Joey Wrestling (the former Joey Mercury) in action looking for a fight. Antonio Cueto appears and gives Joey a chance at revenge, announcing that his opponent is none other than Matanza, another planned “sacrifice.” We’ve been seeing this lately, Matanza’s “Sacrifice to the Gods.” The mark in me couldn’t help but love Striker’s “Mercury rising” comment, as well as him mentioning Melina during last week’s program. But staying on the action, Joey’s on the receiving end of a Matanza bear hug, but the former three-time WWE Tag Team Champion fights out of it, and delivers a Death Valley Driver to the massive monster! Joey becomes the first to really bring the fight to Matanza in a “Sacrifice” match, even delivering two low blows to the monster. Joey channels his inner HHH with a Pedigree, but the monster is not phased, and a Wrath of the Gods seals Joey’s fate.

The action continues now, with Killshot in the ring facing Big Bad Steve, who carried The Beautiful Brenda down the stairs. Killshot quickly targets the band ankle of Steve, and we later see Son of Havoc appear with popcorn and soda, looking to get a good seat to this bout, maybe. As we recall, Havoc, Killshot, and The Mack were the Trios Champions, but Killshot beat down Havoc after they lost the titles to the Reptile Tribe. It had been documented that Killshot did not like Havoc since he became part of the trio, but Havoc–for all intents and purposes–is a fan at ringside. Killshot continues working on Steve, delivering slaps and kicks to his opponent, who is asking for more. He later delivers a double stomp to Steve, and continues the onslaught of kicks. Steve fights back just a bit, but he continues to be dominated by Killshot. However, Steve delivers his own stretch of offense, and nearly gets the win, but Killshot’s foot on the rope breaks the count. Even on one ankle, Steve stays in it, placing Killshot on the top rope with a superplex in mind. Killshot gets out of it and delivers a kick and a double stomp on Steve, and follows it with a second one for the victory.

Just as Killshot walks off, he decides to get in the face of Havoc, swatting away the bucket of popcorn and starting a fight between the two! However, the brawl somehow ended with Havoc removing Killshot’s mask! Killshot hides his face and walks off, leaving Havoc to celebrate while possessing Killshot’s mask.

Pentagon Dark is in the ring fretting over not being able to face Johnny Mundo for his Lucha Underground Championship, so with that, he’s offering an open challenge to ANYONE in the back, putting his title on the line. With that, we see Hernandez come out and accept Pentagon’s challenge, and we have our main event! These powerhouses quickly took the fight outside the ring, which later included Pentagon delivering a vicious chop to Hernandez. However, the man known as Super Mex resorted to high flying to take down Pentagon, and he nearly gets a two count on Pentagon before placing the champion in a submission situation, if only for a brief while. The fight marches on, and Pentagon is knocked off the top rope by Hernandez, who manages another two count. Pentagon manages to finish off Hernandez and the match as a whole with a modified brain buster, and after retaining the title, Pentagon attempts the arm breaking ritual, only for King Cuerno to appear and strike Pentagon with his prize! A piledriver follows, but the message is clear. King Cuerno wants the ultimate trophy: the Lucha Underground Championship.

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw.

Tonight’s Raw featured Dana Brooke getting her chance to shine, only to end up defeated by Sasha Banks. Later on, WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus appeared and confronted Elias over his denigration of the city of Toronto, Trish’s hometown, before she was interrupted by her Evolution opponent, Alexa Bliss. Bliss officially announced that her title rematch will happen at Hell in a Cell, and not only was she accompanied by Alicia Fox, but Mickie James returned with the pair. Fox competed against Natalya and was defeated by the Queen of Harts, and it was later in the program that Trish, Nattie, Ronda Rousey, and the Bellas participated in an epic selfie, which is still getting tons of notice.

On SmackDown, Billie Kay defeated Naomi, just as her Iconic partner, Peyton Royce did on the previous week. We would also see Maryse and Brie Bella get physical heading into their mixed tag affair at Hell in a Cell, and the main event saw Charlotte successfully defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Carmella, only for Becky Lynch to attack her former friend and declare that she will get her title at Hell in a Cell. More on this later.

On the following evening’s NXT, the evil Aliyah brought her new persona in full form against Dakota Kai, but even though she lost, it was great to finally see Aliyah as a villainess on the NXT program. Johnny Mundo and Taya’s wedding on Lucha Underground didn’t end well, as Matanza crashed the party and took out the bride and groom, all thanks to Ricky Mundo. On the following night’s edition of Impact Wrestling, Tessa Blanchard defeated Su Yung and Allie to capture the Knockouts Championship, the very thing she had been after from Day One.

Regarding the Charlotte/Becky angle, it was announced just a couple of days after SmackDown that WWE is changing the direction of their feud due to the fan reactions. Becky’s heel turn at SummerSlam and her supposed villainous actions that have followed have been only met with cheers, as Becky is one of the more popular women in WWE and many (myself included) feel that she hasn’t really had a fair chance to truly shine, as it has been almost two years since she was champion. So what direction are they going? Well, WWE is taking the whole “face/heel, good vs evil” aspect out of the angle, and they are portraying this as just a spat between two former friends; each of whom have valid points. We do not know where Charlotte and Becky will go after this feud ends, but WWE does not plan to make this a double turn and have Charlotte as the villainess in this angle. It is also not definitive that Becky will go back to being a face, or if she’ll be back to her budding villainous role after this ends. Their title match has not been officially announced for the PPV on September 16, but it’s a foregone conclusion.

Congratulations go out to former three-time Divas Champion Eve Torres, as she gave birth to her second son, named Renson (pronounced “Henson”) this past Thursday. Eve’s first-born son with husband Rener Gracie, named Raeven (pronounced “Haven”) was born in September of 2015. Meanwhile, another WWE baby is on the way, as it was announced this past week that female Tough Enough winner Sara Lee is pregnant with her second child with her husband, former NXT Tag Team Champion Wesley Blake.

On a sadder note, the world of women’s wrestling suffered two losses this past week. Joshi wrestler Aya Koyama, who also competed as Aliya’, passed away on Monday at the age of 45 after battling cancer. Koyama’s wrestling career began in 1996 and lasted until 2001, after which she began competing in the MMA world. She returned to wrestling in 2005 and competed until 2008, which was followed by a brief MMA run in 2010. Just days later, professional wrestler Ray passed away at the age of 36, due to a brain tumor. Ray, born Lin Byron in Hong Kong, competed mostly in Japan before working SHIMMER events in the States from 2012-2014. She was diagnosed with the tumor in December 2015, and it became inoperable two months later, forcing her to retire. Ray planned to return to wrestling in May of 2017, but her health took a turn for the worse. Condolences go out to the families of both women.

A new week begins with the continued hype for Hell in a Cell on Raw and SmackDown, as well as Kairi Sane’s first appearance as NXT Women’s Champion. The 2nd annual Mae Young Classic starts this Wednesday, and SHINE Wrestling will crown a new SHINE Champion in a one-night tournament this Saturday! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 12)

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

We are all cordially invited to the wedding of Johnny Mundo and Taya, but before that, we see Worldwide Underground together before the nuptials, with Jack Evans vowing to defeat XO Lishus. We later see a huge surprise, Joey Wrestling, who we know best as Joey Mercury, the other half of MNM from WWE! Joey is the new best man for the wedding, putting Ricky Mundo further down the proverbial ladder. This doesn’t set well with Ricky, but we’ll see what comes later.

On to the temple, and our well dressed announcers, Matt Striker and Vampiro. Famous B is still on the mic as the ring announcer, coming off last week when Melissa Santos was violently taken out by Catrina, and the opening match sees Jake Strong compete against Drago. This is stemming from Drago confronting Strong after his bout with friend Aerostar; all the while, this is Drago’s first bit of action since being freed from Kobra Moon’s evil clutches. After a back and forth battle, Strong starts to go for Drago’s ankle, weakening it for the Ankle Lock should that time come. Drago fights back and delivers a kick to Strong, allowing Drago to pick up a two-count on his opponent. Strong, a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, takes the fight outside the ring, and tosses Drago over the guardrail. He later takes Drago and tosses him inside the ring, and he places Drago in that aforementioned Ankle Lock, which Drago submits to. Strong isn’t done, as he adds nunchucks to another Ankle Lock, but this brings out Aerostar, who saves his friend.

Jack Evans is in the ring, and afterwards, Xo Lishus makes his entrance, as they are set to face off in a No Mas match. This has been going on for weeks, with Evans feeling that Xo has been humiliating him. The last time they were in the same ring, it was Evans and Joey Ryan defeating Xo and Ivelisse, and it was Ryan who had to talk Evans out of continuing his assault on Xo. Speaking of assaults, Xo–having enough of Evans’ mouth–went after Evans in a flash, leading to a chase out of the ring. Evans later goes on the offensive, bouncing Xo’s head on the announce table, among other things. This led to a funny moment that saw Xo on Matt Striker’s lap, but after that hilarity, Evans took the mic and attempted to force his opponent into saying “No Mas,” only to refuse. The fight continues on, leading to a high flying move from Evans. Even so, Xo refuses to give up.

We later see Ivelisse enter the fray, only to be superkicked by Evans. Finally, this match returns to the ring after all of the chaos, and it’s Xo on the offensive against Evans. Evans ducks one kick, but feels another, and he is later in a submission situation. Evans gets out of it, but has to escape again before placing an ankle hold on Xo. Xo kicks off Evans and later places Evans in a head scissors, only to Evans to somehow escape. Evans places Xo in a triangle choke; the same move that Xo passed on out, but that doesn’t last. A very back and forth battle between the combatants, but Evans decides to instill a chair into the match, which is within the rules of a No Mas match, and he takes down Xo with the chair. We hear Evans saying that he plans to break Xo’s neck, and at this moment, Joey Ryan enters and actually tries to reason with Evans. This allows the recovered Ivelisse to pull Xo out of the way, and Xo managed to place Evans in a submission situation, with Evans saying “No Mas.” Joey Ryan enters and says he’s doing the right thing and he helped save XO, and it leads to the three of them celebrating in the ring.

Backstage, we see Evans crawling after his loss, and Ricky’s request to replace Evans was quickly turned down by Johnny. Ricky has clearly gone off the deep end, and he is definitely planning something disturbing for this wedding.

On to the nuptials, where Famous B announces that will marry Johnny and Taya, while also plugging his business. Johnny comes out with Joey Wrestling and P.J. Black, and we see Cheerleader Melissa and The Beautiful Brenda come out as Taya’s bridesmaids, and out comes the bride herself, the lovely Taya Valkyrie. We later see Ricky in the underbelly of the temple, with that doll of his telling him to give the couple a “wedding gift they’ll never forget.” And it looks like that gift is coming in the form of the monster Matanza! Oh no!

We later see Antonio Cueto interrupt the nuptials, and give his affection to the couple, and later served tacos as part of the celebration. Taya reads her vows, which were so beautiful, and Johnny responds by expressing his love for Taya, saying that his wedding is the greatest day of his life. The happy couple say their “I Dos” and Ricky Mundo comes out with the rings, and gets shooed away by Famous B and Johnny. After the rings are placed, however, Matanza enters and crashes the wedding, taking down everyone in the ring, including the bride and groom and maid of honor Cheerleader Melissa. Johnny checks on Taya, only to be taken down and put through a table by Matanza. A fired up Taya stands up to Matanza, only to suffer the Wrath of the Gods and later end up planted on the wedding cake! All the while, Ricky Mundo showed intense pleasure and enjoyment over the chaos he has created!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw.

The fallout from the 31st annual SummerSlam started on Raw, as Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Ember Moon were defeated by The Riott Squad. The six of them, along with the rest of the Raw women and the Bellas, were all present as Stephanie McMahon appeared and was supposed to introduced the new Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. Instead, Stephanie took the time to put herself over, taking credit for not only the Women’s Revolution, but for Ronda as well. Ronda later came out and counteracted against Stephanie’s self-serving claims, giving credit to all of the women and then bringing them up on the ring. Needless to say, the Raw Commissioner didn’t take too kindly to Ronda’s stance on equality, as she attempted to paint Ronda as a vicious fighter whose sole purpose is to break the arms of the rest of the women’s division. Ronda stated that she only breaks the arms of people who deserve it, leading to the new champion (yet again) taking Steph’s left arm out of commission. Stephanie will never learn, however, she took her latest setback against Ronda out on Kurt Angle, who she chastised for not being present during the segment. She decided to hand a mandatory “vacation” to Angle, and make Constable Baron Corbin the acting GM.

As for SmackDown, we were looking for the answer(s) to the question, “Why, Becky, Why?” It was at SummerSlam that Charlotte Flair captured the SmackDown Women’s Championship by defeating Becky and Carmella, and the former of the defeated combatants feigned congratulations before attacking her now former friend. Regarding an explanation, Becky stated that Charlotte was holding her down for years, and she even accused the fans of not entirely being in her corner, going as far as stating that they actually allowed and condoned Charlotte taking what was “rightfully hers.” This led to Charlotte coming out and reigniting their brawl, with the SD Women trying to calm things down. More on this later, as other Women’s action on SD saw Peyton Royce defeat Naomi, and Rusev and Lana defeated Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega in a SummerSlam rematch. As for Carmella, Paige granted her a title rematch set for this Tuesday. Much more regarding the SD Women later.

Post-Takeover NXT featured Deonna Purrazzo competing in a losing effort against Bianca BelAir; this was Deonna’s first contest on NXT as a signed competitor, and I do like her look, very edgy and somewhat villainous–despite being a babyface combatant on the program. Lucha Underground saw a confrontation between Catrina and Melissa Santos, that became violent when Catrina assaulted Melissa, and Impact saw Kiera Hogan defeat Alisha Edwards, making Alisha 0-for-2 since returning to the ring. After Kiera’s match, Allie decided to challenge both Su Yung and Tessa Blanchard to a three-way contest for the Knockouts Championship, as she had unfinished business with both women.

OK, so, let’s address the Becky Lynch heel role. A lot of people have noticed Becky getting cheered for her attack on Charlotte and for her promo on SD, as it is being attributed to fans being upset over Becky being pushed aside for two years. It has led to many stating that they made the wrong woman the villainess in this thing, but it’s clear that this confusion is due to the fact that they were in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is an unconventional city; their fans don’t cheer good guys and boo bad guys. They cheer who they like and boo who they don’t like. If this happened in nearly any other city in the US, Becky would be treated as a heel. Turning Becky heel was a good move, keeping her heel would be a smarter move. We’ve seen Heel Charlotte a lot for a long time, and Becky can’t be heroic forever. This week’s shows are in Canada, which is notoriously unconventional, but I don’t think it affects the women. One has to believe that Charlotte and Becky will face off at Hell In A Cell on September 16, meaning that Carmella will be written off this Tuesday, and the aftermath of the rematch could see Charlotte attacked by the evil Becky to set up the grudge match.

Speaking of Hell In A Cell, SmackDown kicked off with The Miz and Maryse confronted by not only Daniel Bryan, but Bryan’s better half, Brie Bella, who entered and decked Miz. Bryan later announced that Paige approved a mixed tag team contest pitting the couples against each other–the match we had hoped would happen at last year’s WrestleMania. This was the first match announced for the PPV, and it gives Brie a separate storyline of her own, while Nikki could go on her own and get the wheels rolling in her rumored match with Ronda Rousey for Evolution. Speaking of that, I couldn’t have been the only one who thought that Nikki would turn heel and attack Ronda during that segment on Raw. I seriously thought she would jump in and go after Ronda to save Stephanie, but it was not the time, it was too early. The Ronda/Bliss rematch should happen at the HIAC PPV, and that should be the forum where Nikki attacks Ronda and sets up their match for Evolution.

A new week begins with Raw and SmackDown in Canada, and after NXT, the WWE Network will air the Mae Young Classic Bracketology special! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 11)

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

We see our ring announcer, Melissa Santos, being visited by Dragon Azteca Jr., as they discuss Fenix, who she misses ever since his defeat in Grave Consequences. Azteca placed a medallion around Melissa’s neck, saying that it’s a reminder that Fenix is still in her heart.

On to the temple, and we see Famous B in the crowd for the first time since getting his ankle snapped in two by Jake Strong. We also see the action kicked off with the Haunted House match between The Mack and Mil Muertes. This is a month in the making, as Mil was taken out of the Gift of the Gods match by Mack, after Mack won the right to choose someone to oust by emerging victorious in a battle royal. There was action outside the ring, as Catrina confronted Melissa Santos over the fact that she wasn’t introduced, and she demanded that Melissa do so. A defiant Melissa flatly refused, resulting in Catrina attacking and taking out the ring announcer.

Meanwhile, Mil Muertes took every opportunity to unleash a month’s worth of punishment towards Mack, delivering Singapore Cane shots and striking his opponent with a trash can. The combatants even took the fight outside the cage, which was within the rules: only pinfall and submission ends this match. Mil and Mack returned to the ring, where the former set up a table that actually (I swear) had “Spooky” spray-painted on it. Mil later took out a knife and slashed Mack’s head, and later licked his opponent’s blood! Even with blood coming out of his head, Mack placed Mil through a table, only for Mil to return the favor. Even with all of that, Mack still kicked out at two! Mack later fights back and delivers a hat trick of Stunners, and later placed Mil on a table that said “Haunted”! Mil rises up, delivers a right to Mack, and then goes up top and placed Mack through the table! That was all she wrote, Mil wins the Haunted House match, but when it came to the Lick of Death, Catrina again refused Mil’s order to deliver her trademark to Mack.

Famous B took the ring announcing duties for Melissa, due to Catrina’s attack, and after thanking the crowd for reaching out to him, he had to introduce the man who broke his ankle, Jake Strong, and his opponent, former Trios Champion Aerostar. This was Aerostar’s first match since helping Worldwide Underground defeat the Reptile Tribe, which led to Drago being freed from the tribe. For the most part, the smaller Aerostar dominated the match, but Strong used his strength to fling Aerostar off the top rope. Despite Aerostar’s game effort, he ended up submitting to Strong, who refused to release the Ankle Lock. At that moment, the recently emancipated Drago appeared and saved his friend, showing his prowess with the nunchucks to run Strong off.

I mentioned Worldwide Underground; they’re having a wedding shower for Johnny Mundo and Taya. Gifts were exchanged, with one of them being a photo of Johnny as Lucha Underground Champion. He loved the gift, but it reminded him of how the title was stolen from him. Taya stated to Johnny that one week after the wedding, he will compete for the Lucha Underground Championship one-on-one against either Cage or Pentagon Dark. Meanwhile, Ricky Mundo prevented Johnny’s agent from entering, doing so by killing him. As for the shower, Taya received matching bandanas. How cute!

Speaking of the Lucha Underground Championship, the main event is underway! A Last Man or Machine Standing Match between Pentagon Dark and Cage for the Lucha Underground Championship. Johnny Mundo has to have vested interest in this, as well as Dragon Azteca Jr., who is the current holder of the Gift of the Gods Championship. The fight gets started right away, and it includes Cage ripping Pentagon’s mask! Pentagon smashes a bottle on Cage’s head, which doesn’t phase him, however, Cage smashed a bottle in half and used the shard to puncture Pentagon’s head! We later see Cage put Pentagon through a table, but Cage is down as referee Marty Elias begins the count. Cage breaks the count, but is down again thanks to a chair shot by Pentagon! The champion continues delivering brutal offense, using various weapons, including a garbage can. However, Cage uses the lid to subdue Pentagon, and later delivers a Superplex outside the ring and through a table! Marty Elias makes the count on both men, Cage is up, but Pentagon’s down at seven, only for the champion to make it back to his feet.

Pentagon and Cage continue fighting, with the former delivering a chair shot to the latter before placing him through a table! Both men are down, the champion breaks the count first, and Cage makes it at 9 1/2! Back in the ring now; Cage delivers a clothesline followed by the Drill Claw, and then takes out yet another table while Marty checks on Pentagon. The Machine also introduces a cinder block into the equation, only to be struck with a garbage can lid by Pentagon. Up to the top rope yet again, Pentagon delivers the Mexican Destroyer through the table, and Cage is down! Pentagon brings in more chairs while Marty makes the count on Cage. The count stops while Pentagon sets six chairs in a group, and later delivers a Package Piledriver on the chairs! He later placed Cage’s arm inside one of the chairs, and smashes it with another chair before breaking it…followed by Pentagon breaking the OTHER ARM!!! The champion later smashes Cage’s head on the cinder block, and all of that is enough; Cage does not make the 10 count! Pentagon Dark retains the Lucha Underground Championship!!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Johnny and Taya’s wedding is next week! Until then!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw and ending with SummerSlam in Brooklyn!

On the Raw side, Alexa Bliss vented about so much to kick off the program, but mainly about Ronda Rousey being her main obstacle. Her attempt at having security protect her failed, as Ronda took out all four guards, and she also failed to defeat Ember Moon in non-title action. Later in the program, The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection’s feud with the Riott Squad continued, as the returning Ruby Riott defeated Sasha Banks. On SmackDown, a summit of sorts between Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair became highly confrontational, and after it was over, Paige decided to pair up Charlotte and Becky against Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, with the Horsewomen winning. On NXT, Kairi Sane defeated Aliyah just days before her title opportunity, and Impact saw Tessa Blanchard crash Allie and Su Yung’s match, with Allie standing tall after taking down both foes.

SummerSlam Weekend kicked off with NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV, which saw Kairi Sane defeat Shayna Baszler to capture the NXT Women’s Championship. In this second rematch of the inaugural Mae Young Classic Final, Kairi defeated Shayna with a counter that turned into a three-second pin, giving her the title. Unless things change in the next two months, Kairi Sane will enter WWE’s Evolution event as the NXT Women’s Championship, and she’ll most likely defend in a rematch against Shayna, or against another opponent altogether.

SummerSlam saw a triple dose of women’s action, with the first two matches being on the SmackDown side. The pre-show saw Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega defeat Rusev and Lana, continuing their combined winning streak against the Bulgarian Brute and the Ravishing Russian. Regarding the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella to capture the title for the second time, doing so by delivering the Natural Selection to Becky while the Lass Kicker had Carmella in the Dis-Arm-Her submission. For Charlotte, this was another historic moment, as this was her seventh’s main roster women’s championship, tying the record set by WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus a dozen years ago. After the match ended, Becky appeared to be in a congratulatory mood; hugging Charlotte twice after her victory. However, Becky later delivered a vicious assault to the woman she once considered a friend, and as a result, Becky turned heel for the first time on the main roster, and the first time since 2015.

The hat trick of Women’s Championship changes was completed later in the event, as Ronda Rousey soundly defeated Alexa Bliss to capture the Raw Women’s Championship. This was a match that saw Ronda mostly toy with Bliss, who did manage to get some offense in, but in the end, the Baddest Woman on the Planet placed her armbar submission to Bliss, making her submit. Ronda became the first woman to win championships in UFC and in WWE, and after her victory, she celebrated with Natalya Neidhart and the Bella Twins. I have to say, I was so happy to see Nattie at the event. We all know what she went through on Monday, as her legendary father, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, tragically passed away at the age of 63. Natalya was set to appear on Raw and face Bliss in non-title action, but she did not appear due to her father’s sudden passing.

Some more WWE Evolution news. Before losing the Raw Women’s Championship, it was announced that Alexa Bliss would face off against none other than WWE Hall of Famer and former seven-time WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus. The announcement was made on Saturday, one day before SummerSlam, and is the first officially announced match (other than the four championship matches and the MYC Final) made for the event, which will take place on October 28. The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some looking forward to the match, though others feel that Trish should be facing one of the Horsewomen. Trish was the subject of a pair of rumored matches, the first one being a possible encounter with Mickie James, which would reignite their 2006 feud. Another rumor had Trish teaming with fellow Hall of Famer Lita against the Bella Twins.

Speaking of the Bellas, or one of them at least, a rumor floating is that WWE is planning on having Ronda Rousey face Nikki Bella at Evolution, with the match being made due to their immense popularity. Ronda is know in the sports world and for her film appearances, and Nikki, of course, is considered one of the top names in WWE and has made a name for herself on reality TV. This report was made hours before SummerSlam, meaning that this would have happened even if Ronda hadn’t won the title. Now that Ronda has, though, this match–if made official–will be for the Raw Women’s Championship, and it would most likely see Nikki as a heel in the weeks leading to the match. As for Brie, one has to believe that she’ll be out of that angle and most likely be involved in Daniel Bryan’s feud with The Miz, and with that, it would be interesting to see babyface Brie interacting with ambitious villainess Nikki heading towards Evolution.

The fallout from SummerSlam begins with Raw and continues on SmackDown and partially on NXT! Until next week!

The Lucha Lowdown (Season 4, Episode 10)

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

We open things in the office of Antonio Cueto, as he receives an invitation to Johnny Mundo and Taya’s wedding. “It’ll never last,” Antonio quips. Kobra Moon enters and demands a rematch for the Trios Championship. She is not in a good mood; she lost Drago last week after losing to Worldwide Underground, a fact that Antonio was quick to remind her of. Kobra Moon states that she doesn’t need Drago and that she wants what the Tribe deserves. Antonio gives her wants she wants:  the Reptile Tribe will challenge for the Trios Championship in tonight’s main event!

Matt Striker stated that the match is official, and Vampiro also added that Killshot will also challenge for the Gift of the Gods Championship tonight. As for the action, The Rabbit Tribe–sans Mala Suerte–is in the ring, and Paul London was quick to rip his former ally and later enlist Saltadore to fight in defense of the Tribe. Antonio says that Saltadore will be the next sacrifice, and in comes Matanza! London actually prevented his ally from running off, sending him into the clutches of the diabolical Matanza. Saltadore pulls off some moves, but Matanza manages to finish off his opponent faster than you can say “squash match.” So Saltadore joins his fallen brother (among others) in Matanza’s collection, with London actually showing pleasure over what occurred.

The Trios Champions are still having problems, as Killshot continued to voice his bitterness over what occurred the Aztec Medallion match. Son of Havoc and The Mack were both surprised to learn that Killshot would be challenging for the Gift of the Gods Championship, with Killshot stating that after he wins the title, he hopes his partners retain the Trios Championship, while also stating to Havoc that he doesn’t like him.

The Gift of the Gods Championship contest is next, and challenger Killshot makes his entrance, followed by the champion, Dragon Azteca Jr, who had a successful title defense against Mariposa last week. Azteca starts off with a pair of chops, but the technical wrestling follows. Killshot is ejected from the ring, but he late delivers a double stomp to Azteca before diving on top of his opponent. The challenger gets the first near fall, but Killshot places Azteca in a submission situation, which the champion escapes. Azteca starts bringing the fight to his opponent, including a head scissors outside the ring! After another two count, Azteca takes Killshot to the top rope, only for the challenger to fight back, leading to the combatants trading shots and chops! Killshot delivers the Kill Stomp from the top rope, but despite this, he only gets a two count! The champion fights back against the challenger, and it ends up resulting in Azteca getting the three count and cementing his second successful title defense in as many weeks!

We see Drago, sitting alone, before he is joined by Aerostar. Drago was freed last week thanks to Johnny Mundo’s wish, and he is feeling regretful for his actions under Kobra Moon’s evil control. Aerostar says that Drago is not to blame for his actions, but Drago believes that he is not deserving of Aerostar’s friendship and must leave. That is just a beautiful segment, I absolutely love it.

Speaking of Kobra Moon, the evil queen enters with Jeremiah Snake and Daga, as the main event is underway. Melissa Santos emphatically introduces the Trios Champions, but we only see two of them:  Son of Havoc and The Mack. It could be said that Killshot is licking his wounds after losing to Azteca, but it also adds to the friction between the champions. Other than being a wrestling fan, I am also a hockey fan, and I know a power play situation when I see one, and that is the case with the challengers. It’s 3-on-2, and Kobra Moon is in the ring getting a dropkick from Mack. Mack later battles Jeremiah, but Killshot appears! Looks like the sides are even and Killshot is fighting back in response to Jeremiah spitting in his face. Killshot entered the evening with everything to win, but has everything to lose, and we now see a borderline Human Centipede situation between all six participants! Wow!

A series of high flying dives follow, first from Mack, then Daga, and finally Havoc. Kobra Moon’s attempt was thwarted by Killshot, but Jeremiah Snake appeared and took down Killshot, and later assisted Kobra Moon into delivering a head scissors to Killshot. Kobra and Jeremiah later take the fight to Killshot and get a two count due to Havoc breaking up the pin. Jeremiah and Havoc later go at it, but Killshot enters and delivers a kick to Jeremiah. Daga takes down Killshot, Mack kicks Daga, Kobra Moon enters, but ends up on the receiving end of Mack’s Stunner, leading to a Stone Cold impression from Matt Striker. Jeremiah places a submission move on Mack, but Havoc breaks it up. Havoc’s dive accidentally hits Killshot, but Killshot took it the wrong way and shoved Havoc off the top rope! This allowed Jeremiah to pin Havoc, and the Reptile Tribe have captured the Trios Championship, the first championship for Kobra Moon!

Killshot sits by Havoc and taunts him, blaming Havoc for losing the titles (not true at all). Havoc holds his shoulder, which appears to be injured, and Killshot responds by delivering the Kill Stomp to Havoc. Mack is furious over what Killshot has done, but Killshot simply blew Mack off before leaving the ring. In Killshot’s mind, and he stated this before, Mack made his choice regarding which partner he was siding with.

Cage is brought out to the ring, and as announced earlier in the program, he’ll be challenging Pentagon Dark for the Lucha Underground Championship in a Last Man or Machine Standing Match next week. However, Cage barely got a few words in before Pentagon entered and went after the challenger! The battling combatants took the fight all over the arena, which included Pentagon channeling his inner Jeff Jarrett and striking one of the band members with a guitar! Nobody is safe; not fans, and not even security! Pentagon and Cage continue brawling over the crowd and later into it, absolute chaos! Cage bumps into Father Rick O’Shea, and grabs him by the collar before Pentagon delivers a chair shot to Cage. O’Shea blessed Pentagon, but the Lucha Underground Champion actually breaks O’Shea’s arm! The fight continues even as the credits roll, wow!

Mack enters Antonio Cueto’s office and demands a match against Killshot, only for Antonio to remind Mack that he already has a match for next week:  a Haunted House Match against Mil Muertes! Whoa!

That’s the Lucha Lowdown! Until next week!

Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up

Welcome to the latest edition of the Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up, which recaps everything in women’s wrestling in the past week, beginning with Monday’s Raw.

Raw featured a rematch between the newly named Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection of Sasha Banks and Bayley, and the already established Riott Squad. However, things were different this time, as the match saw the return of the Squad’s leader, Ruby Riott, who interfered and helped Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan defeat two of the Horsewomen. Raw was main evented by Ronda Rousey, who competed in her first ever Raw match against Alicia Fox. Needless to say, Ronda made easy work out of Alicia, and managed to dispose of Alexa Bliss during her post match interview. On SmackDown, Lana received a rematch against Zelina Vega, but it ended the same way as her last attempt: Zelina winning thanks to an Aiden English miscue. Also, championship co-challengers Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch defeated The IIconics, but they now know that when it comes to SummerSlam, it’s every woman for herself.

On NXT, maniacal marvel Nikki Cross kicked of the show with a victory over the evil Amber Nova, while Lucha Underground saw Ivelisse in action, and ended with Johnny Mundo proposing to Taya! On Impact, Tessa Blanchard defeated Alisha Edwards in what was Alisha first foray into the Knockouts Division in over a year. After her victory, Tessa gave a warning to Allie, stating that if Allie is targeting the Knockouts Championship, she’ll be right behind her. Also, Scarlett Bordeaux used her looks to manipulate the higher ups into keeping her out of the ring and giving her a talk show of her very own.

Image result for summerslam 2018 matches rusev lana

This past weekend, it was announced that Rusev and Lana will team up to face Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega during the SummerSlam Kickoff Show, giving the overall event three women’s matches total. Many are speculating that with Ruby Riott’s return, we could see the entire Riott Squad face off against Sasha Banks, Bayley, and a mystery partner. With Natalya most likely being in the corner of Ronda Rousey for her title opportunity against Alexa Bliss, one has to believe that Ember Moon will be the partner for Sasha and Bayley against the Riott Squad, if such a match is announced for SummerSlam.

We will find out this week, as the final countdown to SummerSlam weekend starts with Raw! Until next week!

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