Talk and Beans: NXT Phoenix & WWE Royal Rumble 2019

Episode #67 is our first WWE special of the year as we focus on NXT TakeOver Phoenix & the Royal Rumble. Scott and Tom are joined by Dan to talk about what’s next for the Undisputed Era, Sasha Banks’ old school performance, Ronda Rousey’s first year, Disappointing Dream Matches, fantasy booking the final DIY chapter, the AEW shirt controversy and the Men’s Rumble surprise devaluing the Women’s Rumble.

Plus, Scott has a rant about WWE using serious global issues for cheap heat, Tom continues to struggle with an impression and much more!


Talk and Beans: NXT War Games 2 & WWE Survivor Series 2018

Episode #62 is time to focus on the last big wrestling week of the year as the boys give their thoughts on NXT War Games 2 & Survivor Series.
Scott and Tom talk about what’s next for Becky Lynch, compare NXT & Main Roster match quality/storytelling, how to build for the Four Horsewomen match, Velveteen Dream’s potential, if NXT have wasted their greatest ever feud’s big payoff, Enzo Amore’s run in with security and the amazing Charlotte vs Ronda Rousey match.
Plus, Scott tries to hold off on a rant about WWE’s ethics for an hour and Tom does some theme song karaoke.


WWE Crown Jewel : REVIEW

Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers

 

 

WWE hosted their Crown Jewel PPV live on 2nd November 2018; Here are the results:

The Pre-Show kicked off with Shinsuke Nakamura successfully defended his US Championship against Rusev, in a non-advertised match. Hence there being no prediction for this match.

The main show kicked off with guest host Hulk Hogan making his return to WWE.

 

MATCH ONE:

World Cup Quarter Final

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton

Quick match won by Mysterio with a Roll Up. Orton attacked Rey after the match and slammed him into the announce table.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

My Prediction: Rey Mysterio

Score: 1-0

Match Rating: 1.5/5

 

MATCH TWO:

World Cup Quarter Final

Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz

The staple of this show, an average match on this tournament. Miz won to advance with a Skull Crushing Finale.

Winner: The Miz

My Prediction: The Miz

Score: 2-0

Match Rating: 1.5/5

 

MATCH THREE:

World Cup Quarter Final

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley 

Another very average match, nothing special, Seth won the match with The Stomp.

Winner: Seth Rollins

My Prediction: Seth Rollins

Score 3-0

Match Rating: 1.5/5

 

MATCH FOUR:

World Cup Quarter Final 

Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler

This was the first surprise for me, I had Kurt down to win the whole thing, I think it was rather a disappointment to have Kurt come back to in ring action for a few minutes. Ziggler got the 3 off a Zig-Zag.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

My Prediction: Kurt Angle

Score: 3-1

Match Rating 2/5

 

MATCH FIVE:

Smackdown Tag Team Championships

The Bar (C) vs. The New Day

Kofi Kingston and Big E were representing The New Day in this match, which was won by The Bar after Big Show punched Big E in the face, allowing Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick to win.

Winners: The Bar

My Prediction: The Bar

Score: 4-1

Match Rating: 2/5

 

MATCH SIX:

World Cup Semi Final

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz

I predicted Miz to go all the way in this tournament to the final, and so he did, getting his knees up into the ribs of Rey, who attemped the Frog Splash in memory of his good friend Eddie Guerrero, Miz followed up with the Skull Crushing Finale to advance.

Winner: The Miz

My Prediction: The Miz

Score: 5-1

Match Rating: 2/5

 

MATCH SEVEN:

World Cup Semi Final

Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins

I had initially picked Kurt Angle to advance, and go all the way. But I do think that if he got eliminated then Seth should have gone all the way. Ziggler won with a Superkick.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

My Prediction: Kurt Angle 

Score: 5-2

Match Rating: 2/5

 

MATCH EIGHT:

WWE Championship

AJ Styles (C) vs. Samoa Joe

Probably the best match of a bad bunch, AJ and Joe was always going to be a solid match, and a few decent spots in this one, AJ focussed on Joe’s knee and ended up winning the match with the Phenomenal Forearm.

Winner: AJ Styles

My Prediction: AJ Styles

Score: 6-2

Match Rating: 3/5

 

MATCH NINE:

Universal Title

Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman

Baron Corbin was at ringside to hold the title aloft, and preceded to hit Strowman in the back of the head, it then took Lesnar 5 F5’s to win this match, including one out of the ring, almost causing a count out. In my opinion, a stupid result, and making the championship again, seem like a joke!

Winner: Brock Lesnar (New Champion)

My Prediction: Braun Strowman

Score: 6-3

Match Rating: 0.5/5

 

MATCH TEN:

Final of The World Cup Tournament: To Determine The Best In The World

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

So, the result that no one saw coming; The Miz had an angle where he jumped out of the ring, and got ‘injured’ and therefore couldn’t continue the match. It looked like it would be called off, until Smackdown Live Commissioner, Shane McMahon inserted himself in the match in place of Miz, and ended up beating Ziggler with a Coast to Coast to become The Best in The World

Winner: Shane McMahon 

My Prediction: Kurt Angle

Score: 6-4

Match Rating: 2.5/5

 

MATCH ELEVEN:

First Time Ever

D-Generation X vs. The Brothers of Destruction

A match which would have been incredible many years ago, sadly had more mistakes and errors than good moments. Triple H unfortunately suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury, Kane’s mask fell off, and HBK face-planted the floor. Triple H hit the Pedigree and HBK hit two Sweet Chin Music’s on Kane to get the victory.

Winners: DX

My Prediction: DX

Score: 7-4

Match Rating: 2/5

 

 

I think WWE did the best with the hand they were dealt with the controversy surrounding Saudi Arabia as well as John Cena and Daniel Bryan pulling out of the event, there is also the sadness surrounding Roman Reigns’ illness, throwing the Universal Title picture into turmoil. I think WWE could have handled this PPV a bit better, and some of the results of the matches were very baffling.

Overall Score: 1.5/5

WWE Crown Jewel PREDICTIONS

WWE Crown Jewel Predictions

Crown Jewel is the controversial second WWE event coming from Saudi Arabia, this event will take place this Friday (2nd November) from The King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Here I look at each match and give my thoughts on what will go down at this event.

 

WWE World Cup Tournament – To determine the best in the world

Quarter Final 1

Bobby Lashley (USA) vs. Seth Rollins (USA)

As the current Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion – I believe Rollins will come out on top in this match and lead to an awesome Semi-Final match up with Kurt Angle. There will undoubtedly be the influence of Lio Rush at ringside for ‘His Man’ Bobby Lashley, the replacement for John Cena, who refused to take part in the event with it still being held in Saudi Arabia, however, I believe The Architect will be able to ‘Burn It Down’ and come out of this victorious.

Dan’s Prediction: SETH ROLLINS

 

Quarter Final 2

Kurt Angle (USA) vs. Dolph Ziggler (USA)

I feel that McIntyre could well cost Ziggler in this match, and the lack of Baron Corbin on this show is also a slight mystery. Don’t be surprised to see at least one of the two interfere in this match, which I ultimately believe will be won by Kurt Angle.

Dan’s Prediction: KURT ANGLE

 

Quarter Final 3

Jeff Hardy (USA) vs. The Miz (USA)

The Charismatic Enigma has blown hot and cold since his return from injury, and his feuds with both Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura have been well documented and somewhat well recieved by the WWE Universe. However, I don’t feel like Jeff will have enough here, and I can see a sneaky victory for The Miz and him advancing to set up a Semi-Final match with his new nemesis Rey Mysterio.

Dan’s Prediction: THE MIZ

 

Quarter Final 4

Randy Orton (USA) vs. Rey Mysterio (USA/Mexico)

Rey Mysterio’s return to WWE at SmackDown 1000 was a refreshing moment, he still looks in as good shape as he always has done and despite this new vicious streak from The Viper, I feel that Rey will pull the win out of the bag in this one and go on to face The Miz in the Semi’s.

Dan’s Prediction: REY MYSTERIO

 

Semi Final 1 (Going on My Predictions)

Seth Rollins vs. Kurt Angle

Another first time ever dream match for both Angle and Rollins, this is one which has the potential to steal the show, and I think the wily old veterean Kurt Angle will have just enough to beat Rollins, potentially with the unwanted help of Dean Ambrose.

Dan’s Prediction: KURT ANGLE

 

Semi Final 2 (Going on My Predictions)

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

The Miz and Mysterio have been at each others throats now since the segment on Miz TV last week, and this could well be the next chapter in that recently started rivalry. We all know that The Miz, more often than not will find a way to win and bend the rules to his advantage, and I can see him being victorious in this match up against The Master of the 619.

Dan’s Prediction: THE MIZ

 

Final (Going on My Predictions)

Kurt Angle vs. The Miz

It is my belief that this tournament was set up to insert Kurt Angle back into WWE as a credible player, and a good showing in three matches here I feel will culminate in the 1996 Olympic gold medalist (which he won with a broken freakin’ neck) becoming ‘The Best In The World’. This tournament should have been around years ago and would have been the perfect end to Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk. But we have it now, and I believe that The World Cup will be won by Kurt Angle.

Dan’s Prediction: KURT ANGLE

 

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships

The Bar vs. The New Day

The New Day always have the advantage using their Freebird Rule, and not knowing which two members are going to be in each match can often be an excuse used in storylines. However, this time The Bar have a third member of their own, and not only a third member but The World’s Largest Athlete, The Big Show, in their corner. Show could well be the ace in the hole that The Bar need to keep hold of their championships, and I believe that he will indeed be the difference in this match and help the champions retain their belts.

Dan’s Prediction: THE BAR

 

First Time Ever

D-Generation X vs. The Brothers of Destruction

The match which some people are saying will close the show, and will most likely go very VERY long. This is a match for the ages which I for one am surprised didn’t happen sooner. It is the return of my idol; HBK! I have said for years that he can still go, and I think he will prove that he is still every bit as good as he has always been. I believe that Kane will work a great deal of this match for BoD and can see this match ending with Kane taking the fall to protect ‘Taker and make him look strong for the ineveitable rematch with Shawn Michaels.

Dan’s Prediction: D-Generation X

 

WWE Championship

AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

This match was initially meant to be AJ Styles defending against Daniel Bryan, but due to the well documented issues within Saudi Arabia, Bryan, like John Cena, has refused to travel to Saudi Arabia for this event. Therefore Samoa Joe will be taking his place and getting himself a WWE Championship opportunity, but can he capitalise on Bryan not going? I don’t think he can, I believe that Styles will have enough and will win this match against his arch nemesis.

Dan’s Prediction: AJ STYLES

 

WWE Universal Championship

Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman

Following the heartbreaking announcement last week that Roman Reigns is battling Leukemia for the second time, WWE officials made the call to make this match a One on One singles match. It is my belief that Roman would have come out of this with his championship in tact, but with the events of the past couple of weeks, plans have had to be re-written and I believe that this is the time to put the belt on The Monster Among Men. I don’t think that WWE will put the title on Lesnar again at this stage, but as with WWE, nothing is ever straight forward. Don’t be surprised to see a Drew McIntyre interference in this match, possibly to help Braun win the title, then insert himself as the #1 Contender for said title.

Dan’s Prediction: BRAUN STROWMAN (New Champ)

WWE Evolution RESULTS

Warning: This Post Contains Spoilers

 

WWE, again made history on Sunday 28th October when they brought their first ever all Women’s PPV, Evolution, to The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY.

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm and Nita Strauss performed a song to open the PPV.

Michael Cole is joined on commentary by Reneé Young and Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix.

We also get a return from Lilian Garcia on ring announcing duties for some of the matches.

 

MATCH ONE:

Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Mickie James & Alicia Fox w/ Alexa Bliss

This was a good back and forth match, Trish and Lita did look slightly rusty, but that is to be expected. Overall this was a decent match with Trish and Lita getting the victory with a Litasault followed by a Chick Kick.

Winners: Trish and Lita

Dan’s Prediction: Trish and Lita

Score: 1-0

Match Rating: 3/5

 

MATCH TWO:

20 Women Battle Royal (winner earns Women’s title match)

Alundra Blayze vs. Asuka vs. Billie Kay vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Ivory vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Lana vs. Mandy Rose vs. Maria Kanellis vs. Michelle McCool vs. Molly Holly vs. Naomi vs. Nia Jax vs. Peyton Royce vs. Sonya DeVille vs. Tamina vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Zelina Vega.

The IIconics were the last two to come out and berated the city they were in, they got in the ring and were eliminated immediately, this was a surpisingly short Battle Royal, which Zelina Vega thought she had won by throwing Moon and Jax over the top rope, only for both women to land on the apron, Nia then eliminated Vega meaning that the match came down to Nia Jax and Ember Moon, who looked like she had it won, but Nia Jax ended up eliminating her and setting up a future Women’s Championship match for herself.

Winner: Nia Jax

Dan’s Prediction: Asuka

Score: 1-1

Match Rating: 2.5/5

 

MATCH THREE:

Mae Young Classic Final

Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai

Last years Semi Finalist, 22 Year Old Aussie, and NXT UK performer Toni Storm battled The Genius Of The Sky: Io Shirai, in the final of the Mae Young Classic. This match was refereed by Jessika CarrNXT’s Female referee. This was a very good match, I’ve heard a lot about both of these female superstars, and the match didn’t dissappoint. It was a match that throughout seemed as though it could go either way, and in the end it was Toni Storm who ended up hitting her finisher The Storm Zero for the win and becoming the second Mae Young Classic Winner.

At the conclusion of the match, both women were presented by flowers in the ring by Stephanie McMahon, and Toni Storm presented with the MYC Trophy by Triple H.

Winner: Toni Storm

Dan’s Prediction: Toni Storm

Score: 2-1

Match Rating: 3.5/5

 

MATCH FOUR:

Six Women Tag

Bayley, Sasha Banks & Natalya vs. The Riott Squad.

The Riott Squad started this match very strongly, and with not much Natalya action, was a lot of the time Sasha and Bayley tagging in and attempting to work together. Bayley sacrificed herself at one point to protect Banks from a Senton, and the match looked to be over when Nattie locked in a double Sharpshooter on Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan, only for Liv to make the save at the last second. This then led to Sasha hitting the Frog Splash, paying homage to her idol the late, Eddie Guerrero, to earn the W for her team.

Winners: Bayley, Sasha Banks & Natalya

Dan’s Prediction: Riott Squad

Score: 2-2

Match Rating: 3.5/5

 

MATCH FIVE:

NXT Women’s Championship Match

Kairi Sane (c) vs. Shayna Baszler

I predicted that Shayna would win and that her ‘Four Horsewomen’ buddies would get involved and I was totally correct. Marina Shafir got involved and the match ended with Jessamyn Duke kicking Sane in the head and Shayna locking in the Kirifuda Clutch until Sane passed out.

Winner: Shayna Baszler – NEW Champion

Dan’s Prediction: Shayna Baszler

Score: 3-2

Match Rating: 3.5/5

 

MATCH SIX:

Last Women Standing Match for SmackDown Live Women’s Championship

Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

The match started very quickly and got very physical with the use of kendo sticks and chairs. Both women took it in turns to slam each other onto the pile of chairs in the ring. Charlotte attempted her Moonsault through a table on Becky, but the table didn’t break, she ended up doing a Swanton Bomb which did. Becky tapped out to a Figure 8 which Charlotte had used a ladder to apply, but as this is a Last Woman Standing match, it doesn’t matter. Becky breaks it with a chair and attempts to leave through the crowd. Becky ends up doing a legdrop off a ladder, through the announce table to Chharlotte who beat the count. The finish occured when Charlotte laid Becky on a table and went for a Moonsault, but Becky got up and Powerbombed Becky through the table and Charlotte was unable to answer the count of 10. The crowd gave this a standing ovation

Winner: Becky Lynch

Dan’s Prediction: Charlotte Flair

Score: 3-3

Match Rating: 4.5/5 – MATCH OF THE NIGHT

 

MAIN EVENT:

Raw Women’s Championship

Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella

From the get go Ronda Rousey controlled this match, but Brie attempted to interfere when the referee wasn’t looking, attempting to help her twin sister. Nikki did manage to get some decent offence in during this match and even got a near fall with a springboard kick. When Brie again tried to interfere, Ronda ended up slamming both Bella’s simultaniously. Nikki got a couple more near falls off of an Alabama Sla and then the Rack Attack 2.0. But ultimately the Baddest Woman on The Planet locked in her patented Armbar causing Nikki Bella to tap out. Ronda hugged family and friends at ringside.

Winner: Ronda Rousey

Dan’s Prediction: Ronda Rousey

Score: 4-3

Match Rating: 3.5/5

 

The PPV Ended with Rousey walking up the ramp and the entire Women’s division on stage in a huge show of unity, this was a fantastic PPV and goes to show that the days of using the Women’s matches as the ‘Piss Break’ are long gone.

A superb Effort from all involved

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5

WWE Evolution PREDICTIONS

WWE Evolution Predictions

Evolution is WWE’s first all Women’s PPV and will be taking place at The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York this Sunday (28th October). Dan looks at each match and gives his thoughts on what will go down at the event.

Tag Team Match

Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Mickie James & Alexa Bliss (or Alicia Fox)

Although this has been announced for a few weeks, there was a rumour that Bliss suffered a concussion over the weekend at a live event, and if this is the case then there is talk of her being replaced by Alicia Fox. I can see the Hall of Famer’s picking up the victory in this one, rolling back the years and pulling out all their old moves.

Dan’s Prediction: TRISH & LITA

Six Woman Tag Match

Riott Squad vs. Bayley, Sasha Banks & Natalya

I believe that WWE are grooming The Riott Squad as the first Women’s Tag Team Champions, and so I believe that this will be a big win on a big stage for the team. I can see there being some dissension in the ranks between Bayley and Sasha and this could indeed cost them the match

Dan’s Prediction: RIOTT SQUAD


Mae Young Classic Final

Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm

I’ll be honest here and say that I haven’t seen any of the Mae Young Classic this year, but having heard about a few of the ladies from this years tournament, I think it is going to be won by Toni Storm.

Dan’s Prediction: TONI STORM

Battle Royal – Winner Receives a future Women’s title match

Alicia Fox vs. Alundra Blayze vs. Asuka vs. Billie Kay vs. Carmella vs. Dana Brooke vs. Ember Moon vs. Ivory vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Lana vs. Mandy Rose vs. Maria Kanellis vs. Michelle McCool vs. Molly Holly vs. Naomi vs. Nia Jax vs. Peyton Royce vs. Sonya DeVille vs. Tamina vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Zelina Vega.

So far, there have been 21 participants announced for this Battle Royal for the chance to win a future Women’s Championship Match, I am surprised at the lack of announcements of any NXT talents, and think that there may be some announced, and this will I think determine the winner of this match. I believe that Asuka will win if the current line up remains, and I think it will be won by NXT’s Nikki Cross should the NXT Superstars be added to the match.

Dan’s Prediction: ASUKA / NIKKI CROSS

NXT Women’s Championship

Kairi Sane (C) vs. Shayna Baszler

With Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir signing WWE Developmental deals, could this lead to The Four Horsewomen from UFC joining forces in WWE – With Rousey defending her championship on the same show, there could well be something special about this. I predict that WWE may well put the belt on Shayna again and have her UFC buddies in her corner, making her even more of a force in the NXT Women’s division, and in the process making history by becoming the first ever Two-Time NXT Women’s Champion. 

Dan’s Prediction: SHAYNA BASZLER (New Champ)

WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship

Last Woman Standing Match

Becky Lynch (C) vs. Charlotte Flair

WWE are currently pushing Becky as a super heel and Charlotte as a super face, and I can well see this match causing a ‘double turn’ with Rumours circulating that Old Man Flair will be in attendance backstage at this event, could Naitch play a part in this and help his little girl to regain the Women’s Championship? I believe he may, as much as I don’t want to see Becky lose the title this soon, this is certainly a feud which can run and run.

Dan’s Prediction: CHARLOTTE FLAIR (New Champ)

WWE Raw Women’s Championship

Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella

Ronda will dominate from start to finish in this match, which I have a feeling is going to close the show. I think that this will be a quick match which will cause a retention for the Champ.

Dan’s Prediction: RONDA ROUSEY

Talk and Beans: NXT Brooklyn 4 & WWE Summerslam 2018

Episode #57 is the biggest afterparty of the summer as the boys give their thoughts on NXT Brooklyn 4 & Summerslam.
Scott and Tom talk about the risks of some NXT feuds being too long, another Reigns & Lesnar match, Dream matches on the Summerslam card and whats next for both sets of Four Horsewomen.
Plus, Scott has a change of heart and Tom tests out a new catchphrase.


REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18)

With the first night at the Royal Albert Hall in the books it was time for the NXT roster to take over the iconic venue. The first night had certainly set the standard with a number of the Tournament entrants giving stand out performances, some of whom would be back for more on the NXT show to give us some sort of insight to what the new NXT UK brand would be like.

SPOILERS BELOW

There was a noticeable difference in the crowd size for the second night after the first event had the unfortunate job of going up against England’s first World Cup game. Spirits were high once again as the seats filled up quicker and the dark match was under way. Ligero, formerly known on the British scene as El Ligero received a huge ovation as he came out to face off against the Welsh grappler Wild Boar. The match did exactly what it was designed to do and that’s help build momentum for the main show. Ligero’s move set and style were just what the audience needed.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) - Tyler Bate - Trent Seven NXT Tag Team Champions - Moustache Mountain

The main show kicked off with what was arguably the highlight of both nights as Moustache Mountain took on Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong of the Undisputed Era. This match involved two thirds of those involved in the heavily hyped match from the night before so it had a risk of feeling a little over done to the audience but all four guys did an amazing job to create something different here. It was British duo Tyler Bate and Trent Seven that picked up the win and to my absolute pleasure unexpectedly became the new NXT Tag Team Champions. A hard fought match that would not look out of place as an NXT TakeOver main event, it had everything from high spots and false finishes to excellent tag team work and a dodgy referee decision that lead to a hilarious “V.A.R” chant from the London crowd who are deep in World Cup mode at the moment. The crowd exploded when Moustache Mountain got the three count and the celebrations continued for a good five minutes as the boys celebrated all over the arena and in the crowd. It’s going to be interesting to see if the British Strong Style trio will mainly stick around the Orlando based NXT now that Seven and Bate are Tag Team Champions of that brand or if they’ll go back and forth between there and the new NXT UK brand.

Lisbon’s Killer Kelly walked to the ring with a purpose next as she awaited her opponent. The Portuguese wrestler had received a great reaction the night before but this one felt even bigger as it seems like she had won over those who hadn’t seen her before these two events as well, but once again it was Kelly taking the loss as Charlie Morgan came out on top on this night. It was good to see two women’s division matches on the night and this one certainly deserved it’s spot even without the backing of a Championship on the line. As with all major NXT shows, we saw a familiar face in the crowd and this time it was none other than Captain Charisma himself, Christian. The inevitable chants of “One more match” reigned over the Royal Albert Hall as Christian looked out for his “Peeps“.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) Travis Banks and Mark Andrews

We were then given a surprising number one contendership match for the WWE UK Championship, which although was a nice bonus match-wise, it felt a little counter productive at the same time due to the fact we hadn’t even seen current number one contender Zack Gibson have his title match. I get that the prestige of winning the tournament is part of the prize but surely winning the shot at the champion after four matches is a big part of it too, which meant having Travis Banks and Flash Morgan Webster getting another shot so soon kind of took away some of that reward factor from the Tournament. I understand that the winner here is who will surely go on to be involved in the top storyline of the first NXT UK tapings but I feel like this match could have been placed on that card instead to help separate the two and let the first storyline breathe more.

Although Webster and Banks were given second shots a bit too quickly for my liking, I did enjoy seeing them out there again and so did the crowd. They were joined by the high flying and exciting Mark Andrews whose absence was definitely felt the night before. Andrews has a great bond with the audience and fans got very excited when his music hit. At this stage it was assumed that the match ahead was going to be a Triple Threat until NXT UK General Manager Johnny Saint came out and announced that it would be a “Four Man Fatal Match“, Yep …you read that right. The crowd obviously noticed this and gave him a little bit of a hard time for it which felt a little awkward and the edit job for the post production team seemed pretty straight forward until a mid-match chant of “Four Man Fatal” picked up. Saint, although fantastic in the ring has never been up there with some of the biggest talkers in the game and it’s going to take some time to iron out the creases when it comes to his new role especially with all the WWE jargon and verbiage that isn’t native to a British Wrestler whose career kicked off over here way before wrestlers even became “Superstars“. Overall I am happy with the appointment of Johnny Saint, a true legend who will bring a legitimacy to the brand for British fans and hopefully in turn open up Worldwide viewers to his own work.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) Noam Dar Return

As for the match change, it was none other than the returning Scotsman Noam Dar that took up the fourth spot in the match. The crowd went wild when Dar’s music hit and chants of “Welcome back” surrounded the 205 Live star’s entrance. The match itself was really fun with all four wrestlers looking like they may come out on top. Mark Andrews felt like he was most likely to pick up the win after being a star for the WWE UK brand since it’s inception, but missing a Shooting Star Press didn’t help the Welshman. In the end it was Noam Dar who picked up the win and it is assumed that he will go on to work a main event program in the new NXT UK series and just like the British Strong Style trio it will be interesting to see if he carries on being a feature on the North American shows after being heavily used on 205 Live and a fair amount of main roster experience also. Joe and Mark Coffey came out and destroyed the three losers, Noam Dar got away and taunted a save but decided to walk away unscathed instead.

Speaking of North America, it was the NXT North American Championship that was next on the line as Adam Cole faced off against Scotland’s Wolfgang. Once again the appearance of Cole caused an infectious joy at the Royal Albert Hall as fans could not wait to cheer him on which really did not help Wolfgang as they also struggled to connect with the agile big guy. It’s a strange case for Wolfgang at the moment as I don’t feel like he’s connected well or really shone that much in any of his WWE UK performances which has come as a shock to me after seeing the buzz he had built up for himself on the British scene. Perhaps it’s the style of match he has been working, but I really do hope that something clicks for the Scotsman soon. It was an obvious victory for the Undisputed Era man which made the match feel a bit pointless TV wise and probably didn’t help Wolfgang’s cause.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) - Velveteen Dream

Next up was the moment I think most people were waiting for and that was the entrance of the one and only Velveteen Dream. The fans were on fire for the upcoming star whose impressed continuously since his new persona debuted a few months back and it really showed here. I feel that British crowds are always a good measuring stick for upcoming talent and whether or not they are actually getting over as audiences tend to be filled with “smart fans” who really appreciate the nuances in performance. Once The Dream had come out it was time for his Tag Team partner for the night to get the limelight and he really ran with it. The perfectly smug and cocky entrance of EC3 was justified as crowds yelled the lyrics to his “Top one percent” theme song, something that the NXT star himself couldn’t help but joining in on. The hype continued to grow as next out was the exciting Ricochet and his partner NXT Champion Aleister Black. I was slightly disappointed to not see Black’s cool ‘rising vampire’ entrance but I guess that’s the limitations of this uniquely laid out venue in effect here.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) - Velveteen Dream & EC3 vs Aleister Black and Ricochet

The match itself was full of hard hitting and fast action including a great sequence where Ricochet knocked Velveteen Dream off of the apron with a spring board kick and Aleister followed it up with his fake dive/backflip into the ring into a seated position which the crowd went wild for. Unfortunately it all got a bit too much for The Dream as he seemed to be feeling an ankle injury and decided to abandon his teammate in the middle of the match. EC3 then looked on in distress as the crowd’s anticipation boiled with a poised Aleister Black in waiting behind the abandoned wrestler who then slowly turned round with a comedic shrug of the shoulders after noticing the audiences screams to do so which was followed up by a sharp kick to the face and a cover to pick up the win for Black and Ricochet. The match was a strong contender for match of the night and really left fans with something memorable.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) Shayna Baszler vs Toni Storm

After night one saw a stoppage during the Fatal-4-Way due to an injury it was winner of the replacement Triple Threat match Toni Storm that earned herself a title shot against NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. It was another match where it felt pretty obvious who would be leaving with the Championship as I couldn’t see WWE putting a stop to this incredible run that Baszler is on or taking Toni Storm to the US just yet as it feels she would probably be in the running for the top spot in the NXT UK Women’s Division instead. With that in mind it was a little hard to get involved emotionally on this one until a few near falls from Storm put that little bit of doubt in peoples minds, because you never know with WWE. A decent match all in all and it was great to see Baszler keeping up her dominance, a truly great talent that WWE have on their hands and a snapshot into the future for the main roster with Baszler and the NXT UK brand when it comes to Australian Toni Storm’s connection with the UK crowd. The match ended after a great back and forth of Storm resisting the Kirifuda Clutch including a rope break that got a great ovation until it eventually got too much for her and she lost via count out. Baszler continued the assault afterwards though, she walked up the ramp celebrating but decided to run back down and continue to attack her downed opponent which only helped gain more heat for herself and sympathy for Storm, a perfect ending.

REVIEW: NXT Royal Albert Hall/WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night Two (19/06/18) Pete Dunne vs Zack Gibson

A great night of wrestling was coming to an end and it was time for the main event. Pete Dunne was defending his WWE United Kingdom Championship against Tournament winner Zack Gibson. The crowd were sure to let Gibson know that he wasn’t their guy …just in case he didn’t know that from the three times already the night before. Champion Dunne predictably got quite the ovation as he confidently strolled to the ring and the stare down commenced. Another match that brought up a few questions as far as what a win for either wrestler could mean, Dunne has been integrated into the US brand more and more lately and would definitely fit in well with the North American NXT brand as a mainstay but it really feels like him sticking around for NXT UK would give it that credibility with an already made and believable main event caliber superstar being the face of the new brand, having been built up immensely since last January’s original Tournament.

The match itself was a good main event and saw a lot of back and forth as the crowd continued to hype up the performers with amazingly unique chants. The highlight chant of the night started with your usual “Stand up, if you hate Gibson“, followed by “Sit down, if you hate Gibson” and then hilariously followed up with “Shoes off, if you hate Gibson” in which most of the audience actually held one of their shoes high in the air during the chant, something I really hope comes off well when the show comes out on the WWE Network. Although every move from “Liverpool’s Number One” got a boo, he also garnered one of the biggest cheers of the night as the crowd watched on after Gibson kicked out of a Bitter End to the shock of those in attendance realising they had more of this great match to come. Eventually though, it was Pete Dunne who came out on top still as he hit a second Bitter End to be exactly that for Zack Gibson. It could be argued that Dunne doesn’t need the belt anymore and it could be time to build a new main event star for him to battle, but that could be where Noam Dar comes in.

The show ended with Triple H and Johnny Saint bringing out the NXT UK roster and a speech from the C.O.O that got the audience pumped explaining that the UK fans deserved this new brand and that it was theirs which was followed by a parade around the ring. A great night of wrestling action at the Royal Albert Hall, many years overdue for the combination of the venue and the world’s biggest wrestling company. It would be great to see the venue used again for an NXT UK TakeOver once the new brand really picks up steam and gets to that kind of level. Night two had the better matches and moments for the=e most part, but a lot of that is owed to some of the stellar work put in on night one.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Day One of the WWE United Kingdom Tournament.

Check out the video below discussing the future of the title, possibility of a regular WWE Network show, the chosen five & the forgotten original tournament entries, Triple H showing up in ICW and getting Finn Balor when you ordered Mick Foley.

Listen to more Wrestling talk from Scott and Tom on the Talk and Beans podcast, you can find them on Twitter @TalkandBeans and check out the weekly WWE Podcast from Lay The SmackDan!

Please Subscribe, Rate, Comment and Share this video and don’t forget to check out more from Rebellious Noise on all of our Social outlets

Subscribe to Rebellious Noise on YouTube here.

Listen to the Talk and Beans WWE United Kingdom Championship 2017 Review Podcast here.

    Subscribe to Talk and Beans on iTunes

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18)

Ever since it was announced that the WWE would be coming back to the UK for it’s second United Kingdom Championship Tournament there has been a lot of debate about what this meant for the future of the division. The announcement that it would also mean the first WWE event at the legendary Royal Albert Hall for over 25 years gave it some early prestige. The original tournament being held in Blackpool, a town that has quite the history when it comes to Wrestling in Britain and the home of WWE legend William Regal was a great start for the new WWE UK division but coming to the capital and one of it’s most historic venues really does feel like a step up. The Royal Albert Hall has played a huge role in the history of British Wrestling and was once the pinnacle for British Wrestlers.

SPOILERS BELOW

As fans arrived at the venue most were taken back by it’s sheer grandeur, there was an interesting buzz around as the England national football team were just about to kick off their World Cup campaign, something that I am sure played a fairly significant role in the company announcing that Triple H and Shawn Michaels would be appearing. I made sure to cram in as many minutes of game time as possible at the pub before rushing back to the venue to catch the start of the show and I noticed others doing the same.

The first match was a dark match featuring Jospeh Connors and Amir Jordan, both who had been eliminated from the UK Tournament in the build up to the Royal Albert Hall shows so it was good to see them get their moment at the historic venue as well. The “Bhangra Bad Boy” really won the crowd over early and spirits were high as fans cheered him on and danced to his theme music after he picked up the win over Connors. The show officially started not long after with the usual WWE hype and close up shots of announcers Mauro Ranallo and England’s own Nigel McGuiness to kick off the taping that will air one week after the show has taken place on the WWE Network.

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - Jack Gallagher

Jack Gallagher faced off against Zack Gibson in a quarterfinal opener that saw the start of a theme for the night which was the crowd humorously chanting against the Liverpool native. Gallagher being the wrestler that has been on the roster the longest out of all the tournament’s contestants meant the most familiar face prior to last years tournament got the show under way with a sense of familiarity for those who aren’t as knowledgable of the British scene and even WWE’s previous UK branded events. Gallagher hit a beautiful hard hitting suplex but it was Gibson who picked up the win in an entertaining match that cemented him as the tournament’s favourite early on after beating arguably to companies most high profile active British Wrestler when it comes to main roster experience.

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - Dave Mastiff Joe Coffey

Next up was a match that was probably the one fans were least looking forward to and a noticeable amount of the audience saw it as a good time to get a drink or go to the toilet, but once the two big men of Joe Coffey and Dave Mastiff got going it put butts back in seats even though the early parts of the match started off a little sluggish. Mastiff and Coffey traded shoulder tackles and really put the work in to make a name for themselves on such a stage. To my surprise it was Joe Coffey who ended up picking up the win and moving onto the semifinals.

Flash Gordon Webster faced off against Jordan Devlin next and they did well to work on the dynamic of their characters. Webster’s Modfather character was well received and Devlin continued to be hated by the fans after the heat he picked up from previous WWE UK events. It’s clear that WWE see potential in the Irishman and it’s refreshing to see that they aren’t rushing things with the Balor trainee. He’s currently rebelling against Finn and the inevitable comparisons to him which I think is a good idea to use that storyline early on and shake it as quick as possible so that he can shine on his own further down the road. It would be good if Devlin changed his look though as it’s another thing that doesn’t help disconnecting him from Balor as they happen to look similar and chants of “You’re just a shit Finn Balor” continue to surround him. They’re all well and good for now and great for Devlin to act more heelish in reaction to them but they’re not something the company will want chanted once they do try to build Devlin up more prominently away from his Balor connection. Once again we saw a shock result in this one as the underdog both in fans minds and played to in the match came out on top. It’s another example of great character work as well, getting to see a character based around a uniquely British subculture makes it feel more genuine, just like last year when we saw the “Wavey” Roy Johnson and Tyson T-Bone get the limelight.

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - Travis Banks

The last quarterfinal saw the Kiwi Buzzsaw take on Ashton Smith in a quick and to the point match. The crowd were hugely behind the New Zealand born Travis Banks who has been taking the UK by storm in recent years, climbing the ranks high enough to catch the attention of the WWE who could have something special on their hands here – especially since their last import from NZ were the Bushwackers! It was a match that served a purpose and thankfully was not too long as it felt like fans were starting to get tired of the quarterfinal round. Smith may not have won the match or become the clear focus going ahead but he definitely used his time on the show well to hopefully get another shot at moving up the ranks in the future.

Something that appears to have already been scrapped from the show is the original plan for the women’s match after an injury forced the WWE to cancel the match just minutes after it began. Toni Storm, Jinny, Isla Dawn and Killer Kelly kicked off a Fatal-4-Way that fans were very hyped for until Jinny got injured from a dive out of the ring performed by Toni Storm. It was a real somber moment as fans in attendance waited to see how serious the injury was but thankfully Jinny was able to walk to the back, albeit with some help from medical staff. Triple H came out not long after the injury to reiterate just how much the performers are risking their bodies for our entertainment to which the crowd showed their appreciation with a roar of support for the injured Jinny. After Triple H was done talking the match would restart as a Triple Threat without the injured Jinny. Going by WWE promotional material it seems that the original match and injury will not be on the main show when it’s released online. As with all of the UK based matches it’s great as a Brit to watch the guys and girls that you have seen on the local scene get their big shot with a real sense of them being “one of our own”, so it really was a shame to see Jinny’s debut end like this and possibly be scraped. Hopefully she gets another chance soon and it works out for her.
REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - NXT UK - Triple H - Johnny SaintAs for Triple H’s involvement, he came out to announce the new NXT UK brand and a series of shows as well as the new General Manager for the brand Johnny Saint who joined him in making the announcement. The crowd let out a huge roar when the news was announced and it seems that WWE will be treating the brand sort of like a territory, which is something I spoke about with Tom on our Talk and Beans WWE UK “One year on” recap video. Triple H announced a number of shows throughout the UK that would serve as the first NXT UK tapings. The crowd also let out a huge chant of “We want ‘Mania”, making it known to the C.O.O to which he likened to what he has to sometimes tell his children “You’ll get what you get and you won’t get upset”, which got a few laughs but hopefully also gave the company something to seriously think about.

The re-started women’s match seemed quite rushed and it’s understandable considering the delays the show had now experienced, but it was Toni Storm who came out on top and earned herself a number one contender spot to face NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Bazsler who herself made an appearance after the match for nice little stare down between the two.

Flash Morgan Webster saw his Tournament run come to an end after losing to Zack Gibson via submission in a match that saw the two really hype up the crowd. Once again Gibson got the bad side of the crowd as they continued to root against him and cheer on Webster. The scouser pulled out a great win after some back and forth which also included Gibson catching Webster on a suicide-dive and turning it into a spinning suplex.

The other semifinal saw Joe Coffey take on Travis Banks, it was good to see Coffey get the chance to work a different style of match than his previous and he really shone here. It was Travis Banks that picked up the win to head to the final but in similar fashion to last years antics from Pete Dunne, he mercilessly destroyed Banks afterwards leaving thoughts of “Will this effect Travis’ chances of winning the whole thing?”.

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - British Strong Style - Undisputed Era

To break things up with the Tournament we were treated to the match that had been given the most hype leading up to these two events and that was the 6-Man Tag Team match between the Undisputed Era and British Strong Style. The crowd were so behind this match and it was definitely the highlight of the evening, delivering just like we knew it would. As always, I was overjoyed to see Kyle O’Reilly’s guitar strut and the crowd couldn’t wait to shout along to “Adam Cole Bay-Bay“. It was great to see the three British guys team up like they had done before and since the original UK Tournament whilst on the British and Indy scenes. It’s clear the WWE are onto a winner with all six of these guys as this match felt like one of your regular NXT TakeOver main events, it was great to see these guys do it together in the prime of their careers. Roderick Strong is really coming into his own as a heel and a member of the Undisputed Era and the love the fans have for each member of both teams was evident throughout this match, a match that was full of great spots and memorable moments such as Tyler Bate somehow spinning Adam Cole around on his shoulders and Roderick Strong by his legs …I still can’t figure out how he did it.

Pete Dunne continued to build an aura as one to watch for the future with his unique style of submission wrestling and athletic ability thrown in with his infamous strong style. Trent Seven also shone quite well in this match showing he deserves a more prominent role going forward alongside Dunne and Bate who got most of the love from WWE last year. It was British Strong Style picking up the win and leaving the fans happy and refreshed after an already long night of wrestling.

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - Tyler Bate

As advertised Shawn Michaels made an appearance and to be honest, he didn’t really say or do anything special but just him being there seemed to be enough to make the crowd go wild as his music hit. It was a shame that he didn’t get to do anything significant with any wrestlers or even with Triple H, it would have been cool to see them as DX having a war of words and hitting a few moves on a heel at least.

Finally we saw the main event that was the Final of the United Kingdom Championship Tournament to crown a new number one contender to Pete Dunne’s championship. Zack Gibson came out to the same heat he faced in his previous matches and it really cemented him as the bad guy against the already popular Travis Banks. It was Gibson picking up a third win on the night after working on the apparent injured shoulder of Banks throughout the match. Looking back it was a good choice for the final, not only the heel/face dynamic going on between the two but also the fact that each one of their previous matches were quite different. Triple H, Johnny Saint and Shawn Michaels came out to congratulate the winner as he had a stare down with current champion Pete Dunne to close the show.

REVIEW: WWE United Kingdom Tournament 2018 Night One (18/06/18) - Rebellious Noise - Zack Gibson - Travis Banks

All in all it was a fun and enjoyable event, the distraction of an England game for quite a section of the audience wasn’t the best thing for the show as I did find myself constantly drifting to my phone for results, but once the game was over and we could fully focus on the show it felt much better. It was a shame not to see Michaels do much and some of the wrestling did feel a little basic at times, but for the most part we did see some solid performances from people like Zack Gibson, Travis Banks and Flash Morgan Webster and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them. I wasn’t sure what to expect from night one with so many names on the card that were relatively unknown to the global and even the British audience but I was impressed by a lot of them and it was great to be there for the history making announcement of NXT UK just like I was for the original WWE UK Press conference and just like then, I can not wait to see where this goes!

Check out my review of Night Two of the WWE United Kingdom Tournament.

Check out the video below discussing the future of the title, possibility of a regular WWE Network show, the chosen five & the forgotten original tournament entries, Triple H showing up in ICW and getting Finn Balor when you ordered Mick Foley.

Listen to more Wrestling talk from Scott and Tom on the Talk and Beans podcast, you can find them on Twitter @TalkandBeans and check out the weekly WWE Podcast from Lay The SmackDan!

Please Subscribe, Rate, Comment and Share this video and don’t forget to check out more from Rebellious Noise on all of our Social outlets

Subscribe to Rebellious Noise on YouTube here.

Listen to the Talk and Beans WWE United Kingdom Championship 2017 Review Podcast here.

    Subscribe to Talk and Beans on iTunes

WWE announce new NXT UK brand, tapings, divisions and GM

WWE came to London with some big news for British Wrestling fans as legendary British wrestler Johnny Saint announced to fans in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall for night one of the 2018 WWE United Kingdom Tournament that the company would be launching their own permanent UK division. The wrestling giants have been flirting with the British scene quite a bit in recent years with the first United Kingdom Championship Tournament taking place last January in Blackpool and building up a relationship with several of the key players in the thriving British scene such as ICW and Progress Wrestling as well as integrating the United Kingdom Championship matches into NXT.

Triple H went on to then give a good amount of information on the new UK brand stating that there would be a NXT UK Women’s division and NXT UK Tag Team division to go alongside the already established WWE UK mens singles championship. The former World Champion also announced that the company had already planned tapings over the next few months around the UK and told the live audience that Johnny Saint would be the brand’s General Manager.

Check out our Review of Night One of WWE UK at the Royal Albert Hall here and NXT Royal Albert Hall/ WWE UKCT Night Two here. Keep your eyes on RebNoise.com and all our social media outlets for a review of the second night at the Royal Albert Hall.

NXT UK Tapings are as follows:

July 28 & 29 – Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Aug 25 & 26 – Insomnia Gaming Festival – NEC Birmingham

Oct 13 & 14 – Pavilions, Plymouth

Nov 24 & 25 – Olympia, Liverpool

Check out the video below discussing the future of the title, possibility of a regular WWE Network show, the chosen five & the forgotten original tournament entries, Triple H showing up in ICW and getting Finn Balor when you ordered Mick Foley.

Listen to more Wrestling talk from Scott and Tom on the Talk and Beans podcast, you can find them on Twitter @TalkandBeans

Please Subscribe, Rate, Comment and Share this video and don’t forget to check out more from Rebellious Noise on all of our Social outlets

Subscribe to Rebellious Noise on YouTube here.

Listen to the Talk and Beans WWE United Kingdom Championship 2017 Review Podcast here.

    Subscribe to Talk and Beans on iTunes