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3/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR LOSES RETIREMENT MATCH AT WRESTLEMANIA 24, WWF COMPLETES WCW PURCHASE AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2013-03-30 08:00:00
March 30th

On this day in history in ....

1870 - James H. McLaughlin begins his second reign as American Collar-and-Elbow Champion in New York City, New York, by defeating Homer Lane.

1945 - Ron Garvin is born in Montreal, Quebec.

1952 - Lucky Simunovich defeats Al Kashey in Honolulu, Hawaii to win the Hawaii Heavyweight Title.

1957 - Miguel Perez and Antonino Rocca defeat Wildman (Jackie) Fargo and Don Stevens (Fargo) in New York City, New York to win the Capitol Wrestling NWA World Tag Team Title.

1958 - Mike Rotunda is born in St. Petersburg, Florida.

1968 - The WWWF held an event at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The results:
- Bill Miller defeated Gino Brito (subbing for Louis Cerdan).
- Baron Mikel Scicluna (subbing for Miguel Perez) defeated Bull Johnson.
- Virgil the Kentucky Butcher defeated Dominic DeNucci.
- Helen O'Connell and Barbara Owens (subbing for Ethel Young) defeated Patty Nileson and Toni Rose.
- Little Beaver and Joey Russell defeated Cowboy Bradley and Frenchy Lamont.
- Eduard Carpentier defeated Crybaby Cannon.
- Victor Rivera defeated Hans Mortier.
- Earl Maynard defeated Prof. Toru Tanaka.
- WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated Bull Ramos.

1969 - El Goliath defeats Henry Pirousso in Juarez, Mexico for the Mexican National Heavyweight Title.

1971 - Dory Funk, Jr. and Terry Funk defeat Jack and Jerry Brisco to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Tampa, Florida.

1973 - Ron Miller and Larry O'Day defeat Don Carson and Dick Dunn for the NWA Austra-Asian Tag Team Title in Sydney, Australia.

1973 - Rene Guajardo defeats Anibal for the NWA World Middleweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico, to begin his sixth reign.

1974 - The WWWF held an event at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The results were:
- Pete Doherty defeated Johnny Rodz.
- Larry Zbyszko defeated Ed Sullivan.
- Otto Von Heller defeated José Gonzalez.
- Gorilla Monsoon defeated Stan Stasiak.
- Pedro Morales defeated Mr. Fuji.
- Chief Jay Strongbow defeated Larry Hennig.
- Nikolai Volkoff defeated Dean Ho.
- Tony Garea fought Prof. Toru Tanaka to a no-contest.
- Don Leo Jonathan defeated WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino by countout.

1976 - Rick Gibson defeats Duke Miller in Mobile, Alabama for the NWA Alabama Heavyweight Title, beginning his second reign and ending Miller's third.

1977 - Bob Roop and Alexis Smirnoff defeat Pepper Gomez and Pat Patterson to win the San Francisco NWA World Tag Team Title in Sacramento, California.

1981 - Eric Embry defeats El Solitario in Puebla, Mexico to win the UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Title.

1981 - Ron Bass defeats Ken Lucas for the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title in Birmingham, Alabama.

1981 - Masa Fuchi and Mr. Onita (Atsushi Onita) defeat The Dream Machine and Bill Dundee to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee.

1982 - El Talisman defeats El Supremo for the Mexican National Welterweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico.

1984 - Bad News Allen defeats The Dynamite Kid to win the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title in Calgary, Alberta, his third title.

1984 - Cien Caras wins his second Mexican National Heavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico, by defeating Rayo de Jalisco, Jr.

1985 - Jimmy Golden wins his eighth NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title in Dothan, Alabama, defeating Boomer Lynch.

1986 - The WWF held an event at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The results:
- King Tonga pinned Iron Mike Sharpe with a sunset flip.
- Hercules defeated Lanny Poffo by submission with a backbreaker.
- Nikolai Volkoff pinned Tony Atlas with a reverse roll-up and a handful of tights.
- Paul Orndorff defeated Bob Orton, Jr. by countout after Orndorff threw Orton from the ring and into the ringside barrier.
- WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Ricky Steamboat defeated Mr. Fuji, Don Muraco and Johnny V (subbing for Bobby Heenan) in a handicap match, when Hogan pinned Fuji with the legdrop.
- Sivi Afi pinned Tiger Chung Lee with a reverse roll-up.
- The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated B. Brian Blair and Tony Garea (subbing for Jim Brunzell), when Neidhart pinned Garea after the Hart Attack.
- Jake Roberts pinned Special Delivery Jones after the DDT.
- King Kong Bundy pinned Hillbilly Jim with a splash.

1986 - Reyna Gallegos defeats La Briosa for the Mexican National Women's Title in Apatlaco, Mexico.

1988 - La Briosa defeats Zuleyma in a tournament final to win the Mexican National Women's Title in Apatlaco, Mexico.

1990 - Zuleyma defeats La Marquesa for the Mexican National Women's Title in Mexico City, Mexico.

1991 - 42,000 fans attended the WWF and Super World of Sports' WrestleFest event at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. The results were:
- The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels), when Hart pinned Michaels.
- Earthquake pinned Koji Kitao.
- Ted DiBiase and Haku defeated Takashi Ishikawa and The Great Kabuki, when DiBiase pinned Ishikawa.
- Samson Fuyuki, Tatsumi Kitihara, Masao Orihara and Apollo Sugawara defeated Don Arakawa, Fumihiro Niikura, Kenichi Oya and Goro Tsurumi, when Fuyuki pinned Oya.
- The Ultimate Warrior pinned Sgt. Slaughter.
- Masa Funaki defeated Naoki Sano by submission.
- Kerry Von Erich defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect by disqualification.
- Ishinriki and Yoshiaki Yatsu defeated The Barbarian and Jimmy Snuka, when Yatsu pinned Barbarian.
- Randy Savage pinned George Takano.
- The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) defeated WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Genichiro Tenryu by countout.

1991 - TNT (Savio Vega) defeats Action Jackson to win the WWC Television Title in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, beginning his third reign.

1994 - Felino wins his second CMLL World Welterweight Title in Acapulco, Mexico from Ciclón Ramirez.

1994 - Etsuko Mita and Mima Shimoda defeat Yumiko Hotta and Takako Inoue for the UWA World Women's Tag Team Title in Naha, Japan.

1995 - Todd Bullet defeats Vance Nevada for the Canadian Junior Heavyweight Title in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1998 - WCW Monday Nitro beat WWF RAW is WAR, 4.2 to 3.8 in the ratings, in this week of the Monday Night War.

WCW Monday Nitro's 133rd show was live from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The results:
- Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom defeated High Voltage (Kaos and Rage).
- Perry Saturn defeated Fit Finlay.
- WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho defeated Marty Jannetty by submission to retain the title, after which Jericho delivered his famous "1,004 holds" promo against Dean Malenko.
- Prince Iaukea defeated Glacier.
- Chavo Guerrero, Jr. defeated Kaz Hayashi.
- Buff Bagwell defeated Raven by countout.
- Disco Inferno defeated Billy Kidman.
- Jim Neidhart defeated Curt Hennig by disqualification.
- WCW World Television Champion Booker T fought Chris Benoit to a time-limit draw to retain the title.
- Psychosis defeated Ultimo Dragon.
- Goldberg defeated Ray Traylor.
- WCW World Tag Team Champion Kevin Nash and Randy Savage defeated Lex Luger and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Sting.
- Roddy Piper defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan by disqualification.

WWF RAW is WAR's 253rd episode was held live at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York. The 50th edition of Shotgun Saturday Night was taped beforehand. The results were:
Dark matches:
- The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre) and Ray Rougeau defeated Tom Brandi, Adam Copeland and Shawn Stasiak, when Pierre pinned Brandi after the Cannonball.
- Scott Taylor pinned Brian Walsh after a powerbomb.
Shotgun Saturday Night:
- The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) defeated Too Much (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor).
- Bradshaw pinned Savio Vega after a lariat.
- 8-Ball and Skull defeated Roy Raymond and Brian Walsh.
- Armageddon (Buchanan and Poirier) defeated Nick Barberry and Dave Webber.
RAW is WAR:
- LOD 2000 (Animal and Hawk (with Sunny)) defeated Los Boricuas (José and Jesús) after the Doomsday Device.
- Kurrgan (with The Jackyl) defeated Chainz by submission.
- Jeff Jarrett (with Tennessee Lee) defeated Aguila by submission with the Figure Four leglock.
- Steve Blackman and Ken Shamrock defeated Faarooq and WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock (with D'Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa and Mark Henry), when Shamrock pinned Faarooq after a belly-to-belly suplex, after Rock refused to tag into the match.
- Marc Mero (with Sable) pinned WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku after the TKO. After the match, three unknown Japanese men attacked Taka Michinoku. This was the debut of Kaientai.
- The New Midnight Express (Bodacious Bart and Bombastic Bob (with Jim Cornette)) defeated NWA World Tag Team Champions The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher), when Bob got the pin after a frog splash, to win the title.
- The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) defeated Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie in a steel cage match, when Gunn pinned Cactus after a spike piledriver, after X-Pac hit Cactus several times with a chair while Chainsaw was handcuffed to the cage, to win the vacant WWF Tag Team Title. Cactus and Chainsaw had won the title from the Outlaws in a dumpster match the night before at WrestleMania XIV, but the title was held up because the Outlaws were not put in the correct dumpster. After the match, The Outlaws joined D-Generation X, along with Triple H, Chyna and X-Pac, who made his return from WCW earlier in the night.
- In a dark match after the show, WWF Champion Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock and The Undertaker defeated Kane, WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock and WWF European Champion Triple H.

1999 - Flash Flanagan and Trailer Park Trash defeat Jebediah Blackhawk and Cousin Otter for the OVW Southern Tag Team Title in Louisville, Kentucky, ending their second reign.

2001 - WWE issued the following:

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. Closes Transaction With Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 30, 2001--World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWF - news) today announced that it has closed its transaction to acquire certain assets of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with sales offices in New York City, Chicago and Toronto. The Company is an equal partner with NBC in the XFL, a new professional football league. The Company can be found online at wwf.com and wwfecorpbiz.com 

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, food and beverage, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; and other risks and factors identified in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated.

2001 - With the purchase of WCW, it was announced that Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan would appear at Wrestlemania 17 weekend, their first appearance for WWF since the 1994.

2001 - CMLL held its El Jucio Final (Final Justice) pay-per-view at Arena Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico before a crowd of 17,670 fans. The results:
- Ultimo Dragoncito and Tsuki defeated El Fierito and Pierrothito in a best-of-three falls match.
- Astro Rey, Jr., Felino and Pantera defeated Arkangel, Rencor Latino and El Veneno in a best-of-three falls match.
- Atlantis, Brazo de Plata and Negro Casas defeated Apolo Dantés, Scorpio, Jr. and Dr. Wagner, Jr. in a best-of-three falls match.
- Mr. Niebla, Olímpico and Safari defeated Mexican National Trios Champions Blue Panther, Fuerza Guerrera and El Signo in a best-of-three falls match to win the title.
- Black Warrior, Satánico and Shocker defeated Rey Bucanero, Tarzan Boy and Último Guerrero in a best-of-three falls match.
- Universo 2000 pinned Perro Aguayo in a Hair vs. Mask match to take Aguayo's hair.

2002 - Wrongful Death (Dagon Briggs and Naphtali) defeat Nick Berk and Z-Barr for the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Crystal River, Florida, beginning their second reign.

2002 - Shane Somers defeats Butch McClain in Rolla, Missouri to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title, newly-revived by NWA Midwest.

2002 - The Premiere Players (Dash Bennett and Daron Smythe) defeat Bison and Rapture to win the NWA Pro Wrestling eXpress Tag Team Title in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

2003 - WWE held WrestleMania XIX before 54,097 fans at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. Here is Mike Johnson's report on the show:

WrestleMania XIX

March 30, 2003

Location: Seattle, Washington
Arena: Safeco Field
Announced Attendance: 54,097

Results:

*WWE Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy pinned Rey Mysterio.

*The Undertaker beat The Big Show & A-Train (9:45) in a Handicap match when he pinned A-Train. Nathan Jones was scheduled to be Taker's partner but was "laid out" in the back by Show and Train while chasing Nunzio who "stole his wallet." Jones would soon be gone from the company.

*In a good match, Trish Stratus beat Victoria and Jazz in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE Women's Title when she pinned Victoria.

*WWE Tag Champs Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (Mania debuts) defeated Chris Benoit & Rhyno and Eddie & Chavo Guerrero when Benjamin pinned Chavo. They ended up being given the sign to go five more minutes during the bout, so they ended up changing gears midway, which you can see watching the show. This was Benoit and Rhyno's return to Wrestlemania after their neck injuries and the debut of Haas, who did his late brother Russ proud. Haas even flew out his mentor Jim Kettner to the show as a show of thanks, which was a classy thing to do.

*In the return of the "Showstopper" to Wrestlemania Shawn Michaels pinned Chris Jericho in his first Mania bout since Wrestlemania 14. This was a tremendous back and forth match with tons of near falls.

*WWE World Champ Triple H pinned Booker T with a pedigree.

*Hulk Hogan pinned Vince McMahon in a Streetfight. Roddy Piper showed up and teased hitting Vince with a pipe but laid out Hogan instead.  Piper then flipped off both men before leaving. McMahon bled a gusher here. Hogan pinned Vince with a legdrop and then stood over him as Shane McMahon came out to check on his father.

*The Rock pinned Steve Austin with a rock bottom in what turned out to be Austin's retirement match.

*Brock Lesnar pinned Kurt Angle to win the WWE championship with a F-5. Lesnar had missed a shooting star press attempt and crashed down face first on the mat, nearly knocking himself out. Angle called an audible to finish the match. As it stood, Angle was working with a broken neck. When it was all said and done, both men ended up in the hospital but it was a tremendous match given the circumstances.

Celebrities: Ashanti was brought in to sing "America the Beautiful" . Limp Bizkit performed two songs, the Wrestlemania theme and the Undertaker's old "Rollin'" theme song to bring him to the ring. The Miller Lite Catfight Girls of commercial fame were brought in for several campy segments with Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson culminating in a lame catfight on a couch on the stage of the building, ending with Jonathan Coachman being pinned.

Notes: This was the first Wrestlemania after the "brand split". They set a new Safeco Field attendance record with the show. WWE World Tag Champs Lance Storm & Chief Morley (Val Venis) beat Kane & Rob Van Dam when Storm pinned Van Dam in a Sunday Night Heat match. The Dudleys were listed as Kane and RVD's opponents in the program to the show, but were actually in the corner of the champions. Austin ended up in the hospital due to stress and other issues the night before the show. Much of the PPV was filmed and ended up being used as part of the excellent "Mania before the Mania" documentary voicedover by Jesse Ventura that was aired to build to Wrestlemania XX.

Booker T on Wrestlemania XIX: "WrestleMania is something I'd worked all year for, never knowing if it was going to happen. When I finally found out I was going to be in the main event portion for Raw against Triple H for the world title at Mania, it meant everything. That was one of my final goals in the wrestling business to headline WrestleMania. And that night we had a great bout and left everything we had right in the middle of the ring. The fans got everything that they could out of that match except me walking out with the world title! Losing the match wasn't a disappointment at all because I don't look at my career in terms of wins and losses. I look it at that as long as I gave the fans something that they can remember for a long time, then that is the only thing that really matters to me." (London Sun Interview, May 2003)

Trish Stratus on Wrestlemania XIX: "....at WrestleMania XIX you had 54,000 people cheering us. I won the title back that night and it was amazing. I'd wrestled in front of that many people before the year before at Mania in my hometown of Toronto but I'd never won in front of that many people before, and all those people wanted me to win. Me, Jazz and Victoria really worked our butts off and I think it was as good as the men's bouts. I am proud to say that most of the time our matches are on a par with the men's, and I think we work as hard as they do." (London Sun article, 2004)

Mike Johnson: Production-wise I loved this show. There were some great stuff here just from a visual standpoint including the exploding pyro for Shawn Michaels' entrance. Kurt Angle proved he was the man once and for all having an excellent match with Brock Lesnar, working with a broken neck. Lesnar nearly ending up with one of his own was one of the more frightening things I've ever seen live at a show. There was an awesome Jericho vs. Michaels match on here that ranks as my favorite matches of 2003. Rock vs. Austin didn't touch their previous two Wrestlemania matches but was such a fun bout given the circumstances. It was a fitting last match to Austin who did the right thing with a clean loss to his greatest rival. Hogan vs. McMahon was fun, especially the appearance of Roddy Piper. Although Piper's run here afterwards was poor (Sean O'Haire? Why?), this was a true Wrestlemania moment. There was misuse of talent here as well though. Brian Kendrick's push was killed after building to his Wrestlemania debut and they shifted gears to Rey Mysterio. Kendrick would quit the company within a year. The Dudley Boyz didn't have a match on the show and they were workhorses for the tag division. Rob Van Dam worked on Heat. It was mind boggling then and now how some of the talent was used. Still, this was a great PPV.

Jess McGrath: I would say Mania 19 was better than 18 but not as good as 17. They had several good matches on this show, including Angle-Lesnar, Rock-Austin, Hogan-Vince, and Michaels-Jericho. I was not as big a fan of Angle-Lesnar as some others were. They were working a mat wrestling match in a domed stadium at Wrestlemania. That made no sense to me. Of course, Angle was limited by what some suspected at the time might be a career ending neck injury, and the fact that he went in there and still had a great match does speak volumes for his ability and his guts. Same with Austin, who still had an excellent bout with Rock despite it being what was (so far) his last career match. I admire tremendously the way he put Rock over clean, which was smart business since Rock was headlining next month's PPV with Goldberg.

Dave Scherer: This was a lot better show than the previous year's, and I remember enjoying it a lot. There were a lot of good bouts as well as seeing what has been Steve Austin's last match and Brock Lesnar surviving a truly scary landing on his Shooting Star Press.

2003 - Michael Modest defeats Yoshinobu Kanemaru for the NOAH GHC Junior Heavyweight Title in Fukuoka, Japan, ending Kanemaru's second reign.

2004 - WWE taped the 242nd episode of SmackDown! and the 97th edition of Velocity at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. SmackDown! aired on UPN on April 1 and got a 3.2 rating. The results were:
- In a dark match, Carly Colón defeated Paul London.
Velocity:
- Mark Jindrak pinned Shannon Moore after the Mark of Excellence.
- Rico (with Miss Jackie) pinned Jamie Noble.
- Orlando Jordan pinned Brent Albright with the Flatliner.
- Billy Gunn pinned Danny Basham (with Doug Basham) after the Fameasser.
SmackDown!:
- Big Show pinned WWE Tag Team Champion Rikishi in a Kurt Angle Great American Award qualifying match, after the chokeslam.
- Spike Dudley and Rey Mysterio defeated Chavo Classic and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero, when Spike pinned Chavo, Jr. with the Acid Drop.
- Charlie Haas and Rob Van Dam fought to a double-countout in a Kurt Angle Great American Award qualifying match, but Angle came out and said Haas won on points.
- Booker T pinned Hardcore Holly in a Kurt Angle Great American Award qualifying match with a roll-up and a handful of tights.
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) defeated Akio and Sakoda, when D-Von pinned Akio after the 3D.
- WWE United States Champion John Cena defeated The F.B.I. (Nunzio and Johnny Stamboli) in a handicap Kurt Angle Great American Award qualifying match, by pinning Stamboli after the FU.
- The show closed with Kurt Angle announcing that JBL was the fourth and final Great American Award nominee. The winner of the Great American Award would receive a WWE Title match.

2004 - Rory Fox defeats El Temor for the Heartland Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title in Cincinnati, Ohio.

2007 - Ring of Honor held All Star Extravaganza III at the Michigan State Fairgrounds Expo Center in Detroit, Michigan. The results were:
- Adam Pearce (with Shane Hagadorn) defeated Colt Cabana, Chris Hero (with Larry Sweeney and Tank Toland) and Matt Sydal in a Four Corners Survival match.
- FIP Florida Heritage Champion Erick Stevens defeated Alex Payne in a Do or Die match.
- Masaaki Mochizuki defeated Davey Richards.
- Jimmy Jacobs and Lacey defeated B.J. Whitmer and Daizee Haze in an Anything Goes Mixed Tag Team match.
- FIP Tag Team Champions The Briscoes (Jay and Mark) defeated ROH World Tag Team Champions Naruki Doi and Shingo to win the title, beginning their fourth ROH reign.
- Yamato defeated Pelle Primeau.
- Brent Albright (with Larry Sweeney) defeated Nigel McGuiness.
- Homicide defeated Christopher Daniels.
- FIP Heavyweight Champion Roderick Strong defeated Jack Evans.
- CIMA, Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito and Susumu Yokosuka defeated Austin Aries, Claudio Castagnoli, Delirious and Rocky Romero in a Dragon Gate Rules match.

2007 - Alex Arion and Max Bauer defeat Jason Blade and Kid Mikaze in Lowell, Massachusetts for the Chaotic Wrestling Tag Team Title.

2008 - Wrestlemania 24 takes place, featuring Ric Flair's final WWE match.  Flair would retire after Wrestlemania, but later come back to wrestle on shows in Australia for Hulk Hogan and for TNA.   Here is the original report from the show:

24-Man Battle Royale

The Battle Royale is being broadcast on WWE.com, but is not being shown as the pre-show for the PPV.  They had all the wrestlers come out to the same generic music, and had their names read off as they came down the aisle.  Joey Styles and Tazz called the action. I am sure I will miss a few eliminations, as they are using a pretty small screen on WWE.com to show the action.

As soon as the bell rang, Festus went nuts and attacked everyone.  Deuce was eliminated by a Festus kick, then Domino was tossed out by Festus with a hiptoss.  Great Khali tossed out Hacksaw Duggan, to a chorus of boos.  Stevie Richards was eliminated by a double jumping knee by Elijah Burke.  Kane grabbed Burke and tossed him over the top rope.  Miz was eliminated by a Jamie Noble head scissors.  

Mark Henry backdropped Shannon Moore and Jimmy Yang at the same time.  Trevor Murdoch eliminated Jesse  Festus tossed out Murdoch by dodging a charge.  Festus was eliminated by Lance Cade.  Brian Kendrick used a flying bodypress and took himself and Lance Cade over the top and out of the match.  

Mark Henry launched Kofi Kingston over the top rope to eliminate him.  Chuck Palumbo tossed out Jamie Noble, who stood on the bodies of wrestlers on the floor to avoid elimination, only to be kicked back down (and out) by Palumbo.  Khali then eliminated Palumbo.  Everyone remaining in the ring teamed up to eliminate Khali. 

Snitsky tossed out Hardcore Holly, and I believe Mark Henry tossed out Tommy Dreamer, although it was hard to tell from the angle they were using.  It came down to Kane, Mark Henry and Snistky.  Henry eliminated Snitsky, and we were down to two.  Henry pressed Kane over his head, but Kane floated over and hit a kick to the head to send Henry over the top rope.  Kane is the winner. 

Winner: Kane.

Wrestlemania 24 opened with a military flyover (which was actually taped shortly before the show went live).  John Legend sang "America, The Beautiful" While the upper decks don't look totally full, there are definitely a lot of people there.  It's also very cloudy, and when they used one of the wide shots, you could see water on the camera lens. 

They showed a video package focusing on the events of the past year surrounding the WWE Title, the World Title, Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels and Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show, and they went to the ring for the first match.

Belfast Brawl: Fit Finlay vs. JBL.

Lilian Garcia is wearing a really great dress.  Sorry, I'll try to focus on wrestling.  As JBL made his entrance, a video package recapped the Vince McMahon-Hornswoggle storyline.  Finlay walked out on the stage, then waved out Hornswoggle, to a big pop.  Finlay sprinted to the ring and JBL kicked him as he tried to climb in.  They brawled on the floor, with JBL throwing right hands.  Finlay reversed a whip and sent JBL into the ring steps, then into the ring, and the bell ran to officially start the match.  Finlay hit a sit-down splash and a series of rights.  Finlay went under the ring and pulled out trash cans, lids and kendo sticks.  JBL grabbed a can and blasted Finlay with it.  JBL then used a trash can lid and a cookie sheet to blast Finlay.  JBL hit a short-arm clothesline, then threw a section of ring steps into the ring.  JBL kicked Finlay in the head, then went for a piledriver on the ring steps, but Finlay backdropped him off. 

Finlay hit a kick to the head, then blasted JBL with the cookie sheet twice.  Finlay then held the metal pan against JBL's head and punched it.  Finlay went for the first cover of the match and got a two count.  Finlay hit a right hand, but JBL responded with a boot to the face, then stomped Finlay's hand.  JBL threw a series of punches in the corner, then kicked Finlay in the head.  JBL grabbed the shillelagh, but Hornswoggle ran in and hit JBL with a kendo stick.  JBL was distracted by the shot, and that allowed Finlay to pick up the shillelagh and blast JBL with it.  JBL fell to the floor, but Finlay rolled him back in.  Finlay put the trash can on JBL's head, then stomped it.  Finlay went under the ring and pulled out a table.  Finlay propped the table in a corner, then went to whip JBL into it.  JBL reversed the whip, and Finlay got thrown into a corner without a table.  Finlay charged out and blasted JBL with a clothesline.  JBL rolled to the floor, and grabbed Hornswoggle.  Finlay jumped out of the ring and bounced JBL's head off the Raw announce table over and over.  They went back into the ring, but JBL rolled out the other side.  

Finlay dove through the ropes for a tope, but JBL blasted him with a trash can lid.  JBL rolled Finlay into the ring for a two count.  JBL picked up a trash can and threw it out of the ring, nailing Hornswoggle on the floor with it.  JBL picked up another can and blasted Finlay with it. JBL went for a Clothesline From Hell, but Finlay picked up a can and blasted him with it.  Finlay hit a rolling Samoan Drop for a two count, then threw JBL into the table in the corner.  Finlay picked up the ringsteps to hit JBL, but JBL grabbed a kendo stick and blasted Finlay in the leg with it.  JBL then hit a Clothesline From Hell to get the win at the ten minute mark. 

Winner: JBL 

Kim Kardashian was backstage, telling us about the Money In The Bank Ladder match.  Kennedy interrupted, saying he would be the first man to win Money In The Bank two years in a row.  Her mic sounded low. 

Money In The Bank: Ken Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison.

All announce teams are in on this one.  John Morrison entered first, then Carlito, then Shelton Benjamin, then CM Punk, then Ken Kennedy, then MVP, then Chris Jericho, with the last two getting big pyro displays.  Then again, I guess all pyro will be big tonight.  I will do my best to keep up with this one. 

At the bell, everyone ran out of the ring for ladders, except MVP.  As guys tried to get back in with ladders, MVP would knock them out of the ring.  Finally, Jericho got in, and both men had ladders in their hands. Jericho and MVP jousted, with Jericho getting the better of it.  MVP rolled out, and Morrison came in and hit Jericho with it.  Morrison then took a ladder and moonsaulted off the top rope, hitting Punk, Carlito, MVP and Benjamin with the ladder on the floor.  Kennedy and Jericho squared off in the ring, and Jericho catapulted Kennedy into a ladder.  Kennedy jumped onto the ladder and climbed up for the briefcase.  Morrison came off the top rope onto the ladder, throwing another ladder at Jericho.  Morrison and Kennedy slugged it out on the ladder.  Benjamin set up another ladder and climbed up next to them, but was knocked down.  Kennedy went to superplex Morrison off the ladder, and Benjamin climbed up his ladder and gave Kennedy a sunset flip powerbomb, sending both men to the mat.  

Benjamin climbed the ladder, but Carlito tipped it over.  Benjamin landed on the top rope on his feet and tipped the ladder into Carlito. Benjamin then tried to jump onto the ladder, but it collapsed.  Punk climbed a ladder, but Kennedy pulled him down.  Punk knocked him out of the ring, then tried to climb again.  Benjamin tried to stop him, but Punk gave him a GTS.  Kennedy gave Punk a rolling Samoan Drop onto a ladder.  Carlito tried to climb up, but MVP knocked him down, then gave Kennedy a running kick.  MVP missed a running kick on Carlito, and Carlito hit MVP with a ladder shot to the leg.  Carlito went to climb a ladder, but Benjamin pulled him down.  Benjamin hit Carlito with a spinkick.  Benjamin went to climb the ladder, but Kennedy and Carlito tipped the ladder.  Benjamin went head over heels off the ladder, crashing through a ladder that was bridged at ringside.

Jericho, Carlito and Kennedy all climbed the ladder, but MVP knocked it over.  Morrison then blasted MVP out of the ring, then climbed a ladder.  Jericho climbed up to fight him, then applied a Walls Of Jericho across the top of the ladder.  Kennedy set up another ladder and climbed up.  Jericho dumped Morrison, then fought Kennedy on top of the ladders.  Punk and Carlito both springboarded from opposite sides of the ring and onto the ladders.  Punk and Kennedy came crashing off one ladder.  Carlito pulled Jericho off the other ladder with a Backstabber, and both men rolled to the floor.

MVP got into the ring and realized everyone was laid out by him.  MVP climbed up the ladder, and went for the briefcase.  Matt Hardy emerged from the crowd, to a monster pop.  Hardy climbed up the ladder and blasted MVP with punches.  Hardy gave MVP a Twist of Fate off the ladder to the mat.  The place as going nuts for Hardy.  Hardy ran back out through the crowd.  Jericho and Carlito started fighting, and two ladders got tangled together.  Morrison tried to climb the tangled ladder, but Jericho and Carlito tipped him off it and he fell to the floor. Jericho climbed the ladder, but Carlito sit apple in his face.  Kennedy knocked Carlito off the ladder and he landed back first on a ladder that was propped in a corner.   Kennedy went to climb up, but Punk knocked him down with a ladder.  Jericho gave Punk a Codebreaker with a ladder. 

Jericho climbed the ladder, but Punk struggled up it, shaking the ladder.  Jericho kicked Punk in the head, yelling "stay down".  Punk climbed up and punched it out with Jericho.  Punk tripped Jericho and tied him in a Tree of Woe in the ladder.  Punk climbed up and grabbed the briefcase at the 15 minute mark.

Winner: CM Punk.

CM Punk now has a guaranteed WWE Title shot against the championship of his choice, good for one year.

They showed John Cena, Randy Orton and Triple H, backstage in their respective dressing rooms. 

A video package on last night's WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony was shown.  Howard Finkel was introduced to bring out the WWE Hall Of Fame "Class of 2008".  Jack & Gerald Brisco, the children of Gordon Solie, Rocky Johnson (who got a nice pop), Peter Maivia's wife and daughter, Mike Graham (son of Eddie Graham), and Mae Young (to a huge pop) were introduced to the crowd.  Mae teased that she was going to take off her clothes, by Mike Graham stopped her.  Ric Flair was represented by his four children, Ashley, Megan, David and Reid. 

Snoop Dogg was interviewed backstage.  Snoop said he was having "the time of his life".  Snoop said he found someone he sees "eye to eye with".  The camera panned over to Festus.  Snoop said they love the same music, movies and cars.  Santino interrupted, saying Snoop better not try any funny business during the Playboy Bunnymania match.  Snoop pulled out a bell, rang it, and Festus freaked out and chased off Santino.  Snoop was asked where he got the bell from, and he said he "knew someone".  Mick Foley entered, delivering a Snoppizzle version of "Bang, Bang" and "Have A Nice Day".  Snoop walked off, and Foley pulled out a Mr. Socko complete with "bling". 

Batista vs. Umaga.

Smackdown Assistant General Manager Theodore R. Long introduced Batista, while Raw General Manager William Regal introduced Umaga.  The sun has set now in Florida, and the full effect of the entranceway and lights in the stadium is pretty cool.  Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are calling this match.

They started slugging it out at the bell, and Umaga shoved Batista to the mat.  Umaga went for a charge in the corner, but Batista moved out of the way and knocked Umaga to the floor with a shoulderblock.  Batista hit some shots as Umaga got on the apron, but Umaga hit a thrust to the throat.  Umaga went for a backdrop, but Batista kicked it away.  Umaga returned fire with a spin kick.  Batista rolled to the apron and Umaga hit a front kick that knocked Batista to the floor.  Umaga rolled Batista back into the ring and hit a splash to the back for a two count.  Umaga whipped Batista hard into the turnbuckles twice.  Batista threw some punches, but Umaga took him down with another thrust into the throat.

Umaga applied a nervehold, then slammed Batista.  Umaga went to the second rope, but missed a diving headbutt. Batista lifted Umaga for a slam, but fell under the weight and Umaga got a two count.  Umaga hit a kick to the back, then went back to the nervehold.  Batista elbowed out, but Umaga hit a headbutt and a Samoan Drop for a two count.  There's fans in the front rows chanting "U-U-Umaga".  Batista blocked a whip and hit some punches.  Batista hit a boot to the face, and the crowd actually booed Batista.  Umaga grabbed Batista and went for the Samoan Spike, but Batista blocked it and threw Umaga into the corner.  Umaga went over the turnbuckles and hit the ringpost.  Batista hit a spinebuster, and there was a pop, so Batista still has his fans.  Batista hit a Batista Bomb, falling backwards as he delivered it due to Umaga's size, and got the pin at the eight minute mark.

Winner: Batista.

Floyd Mayweather was shown hanging out backstage with his posse.  They went over the Tale Of The Tape for his match with Big Show, noting how ridiculously lopsided it is.

They recapped the end of the Battle Royale from earlier today.  ECW General Manager Armando Estrada was introduced to the crowd, and handled ring introductions for the ECW Title match.

ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane.

Kane entered through the crowd and was standing behind Chavo as his music played.  Chavo turned around and saw Kane standing there.  The bell rang.  Kane hit a chokeslam and pinned Chavo.  The bell rang again. 

Winner and New ECW Champion: Kane.

They showed the Wrestlemania commercial with Carlito, Maria and the seagull.  I guess we needed to be reminded what show we paid $55 to see tonight.

Raven Symone was introduced to the crowd.  She told the crowd that WWE has been granting wishes with the "Make-A-Wish Foundation" for 20 years, and today they granted their biggest wish ever, bringing in 50 Make-A-Wish Kids from 50 States.  They showed the kids, who were seated in a section called "The Circle Of Champions" and the crowd gave them a round of applause.

They showed a video package on the events leading to Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels.

Mike Adamle interviewed Ric Flair backstage.  He asked Flair what his gameplan is for tonight.  Flair simple responded, "My gameplan?  To be the Man. Whoo!"

Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels.  If Ric Flair loses, he must retire.

Shawn Michaels came out first, to a mixed reaction, although he had his supporters.  There was a long pause before Ric Flair's music hit.  Flair strutted out with a huge blue and silver robe.  Fireworks went off in the air for his entrance.  It was spectacular.  Charles Robinson is the referee, Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler are the announcers.

They reached to lock up, the Flair combed his hair back and let out a "Whoo"!  They locked up, then Flair shoved Michaels into the ropes and Michaels hit a shoulderblock.  Flair grabbed a headlock and switched into a hammerlock.  They traded reversals, then went into some mat wrestling.  Michaels elbowed out of a hammerlock, and Flair hit a hiptoss.  Flair strutted and let out a "Whoo!"  They stared each other down, then locked up again.  They went into a corner and Michels shoved Flair.  Flair shoved back and said "Old Yeller, huh?"  Michaels slapped Flair.  Flair had some blood come from his mouth.  Michaels said "You can leave now".  Flair said "First blood, brother".  They traded punches and chops in a corner, then Michaels went for a backdrop, but Flair kicked it away.  Flair hit a backdrop and delivered a kneedrop to Michaels' head.  Michaels came back with a back elbow as Flair charged in at him.

Michaels went to the top rope, but Flair slammed Michaels off the top rope.  There's a switch.  Flair went to the top rope, and Michaels went to slam him off, but Flair punched him away.  Flair hit a top rope bodypress for a two count.  Michaels grabbed a headlock, but Flair hit a shinbuster.  Flair went for a figure four, but Michaels kicked him away.  Flair fell through the ropes and to the floor.  Michaels hit a baseball slide kick.  Michaels went for an Asai moonsault, but Flair moved and Michaels crashed through the Raw announce table at ringside.

Michaels managed to crawl back into the ring, and Flair whipped him into a corner.  Flair whipped him into the opposite corner, then hit a back suplex.  Michaels kicked out at two.  Flair punched Michaels in his ribs, which Michaels was now favoring.  Flair hit a double underhook suplex for a two count.  Flair stomped the ribs.  Flair hit a few chops, and Michaels tried to punch back, but Flair hit a delayed vertical suplex, to a pop, for a two count.  Flair tried for another two count.  They traded punches and chops, and Michaels started to get the better of it.  Flair shoved Michaels into the ropes and went for a backdrop, but Michaels hit a neckbreaker.  Michaels backdropped Flair over the top rope and to the floor.  Michaels went to the top rope and barely moonsaulted a standing Flair on the floor.  Flair and Michaels crawled back into the ring at a nine count.

They traded chops, as JR noted that if Michaels had hit the bullseye with the moonsault, Flair wouldn't have been able to get back in the ring.  Michaels hit a flying forearm and kipped up.  Michaels hit a reverse atomic drop, then a second.  Flair did a reverse Flair flop.  Michaels slammed Flair, then went to the top rope and hit a flying elbowdrop.  Michaels set up for a superkick, stomping in the corner.  Michaels went for it, then stopped short and just stared at Flair.  Flair grabbed Michaels by the leg, tripped him to the mat and applied a figure four leglock.  Michaels struggled in the hold, then managed to reverse it.  Both men got to their feet, and Michaels chopped Flair.  They went to the mat, and Michaels tried for a bridge, but couldn't get it.  Flair backdropped Michaels, but Michaels turned it into a sunset flip for a two count.

Michaels chopped Flair, but Flair reversed a whip and sent Michaels into the corner.  Flair then hit a chopblock to the back of the leg.  Flair went for the figure four again, but Michaels grabbed a small package for a two count.  Michaels went for an enzugiri, but Flair ducked it and applied the figure four leglock.  Michaels tried to inch towards the ropes, but Flair inched them back into the center of the ring.  Michaels rolled the figure four, but Flair rolled it back.  Michaels finally made the ropes to break the hold.  Flair stomped Michaels' leg near the ropes.  Flair let out a "Whoo!", then walked into a superkick by Michaels.  Michaels crawled onto Flair, but Flair got a shoulder up at the two count, to a pop.

Michaels struggled to his feet, and measured for one more superkick.  Flair wasn't getting up off the mat.  Michaels screamed for him to get up, then prepared for the kick again, stomping in the corner.  Flair wasn't getting up.  Michaels went to pull Flair up off the mat, and Flair hit a low blow mule kick, out of view of the referee.  The crowd popped for it.  Flair covered Michaels for a two count.  Flair went to grab Michaels, but Michaels tripped Flair and applied his inverted figure four.  Flair screamed in pain, struggled and made the ropes.  Michaels pulled Flair back toward the center of the ring, and a turnbuckle cover came off in Flair's hand.  As the referee took the cover away, Flair poked Michaels in the eyes.  Flair rolled up Michaels with a handful of tights for a two count.

Flair and Michaels exchanged chops, with Flair getting the better of it.  Flair hit several shots, then Michels snapped off a superkick, decking Flair.  Michaels lined up for another superkick, and looked like he was going to cry.  Flair got to his feet, and gestured for Michaels to bring it on.  Michaels said "I'm sorry, I love you." and nailed Flair with a superkick for the pin at the twenty one minute mark.

Winner: Shawn Michaels.

Michaels rolled out of the ring and headed up the aisle.  Flair got to his knees in the ring, crying.  Michaels' music stopped.  Flair got to his feet, and the Citrus Bowl gave him a huge ovation.  Flair went to ringside and kissed members of his family.  He walked up the aisle, and the place kept exploding into ovation after ovation. Flair turned at one point and said "I love you" to the crowd. Flair stopped at the stage, turned and gave a final wave, tears coming from his eyes, and walked off.  Ric Flair's career has ended.

Backstage, Edge cut a promo about being a kid that went to Wrestlemania to see his hero, Hulk Hogan, and had his dream crushed when Hulk Hogan lost.  Edge said tonight, he would crush the dreams of those that believe in the Undertaker by ending his streak. 

They set off a ton of pyro to kick off the "second half" of Wrestlemania. 

Playboy Bunnymania Lumberjack Match: Maria & Ashley vs. Beth Phoenix & Melina. 

The other Divas, dressed in street clothes, came out on the stage.  Snoop Dogg came out and drove a pimped out golf cart to the ring with the Divas following him on foot (or, in Cherry's case, on skates). Wow, you'd be surprised how many Divas can't dance.  I mean, Victoria is supposed to be awkward, what is up with the others?  Snoop got on the mic and lead the crowd in some "Whoo's" in honor of Ric Flair. Maria and Ashley were introduced first.  Maria looks like she belongs in a Sci-Fi movie with funky hair, makeup and outfit.  They grinded up against Snoop after entering the ring.  Santino Marella led in Maria and Beth Phoenix.  Maria had giant fans, like a old-style fan dancer.  There were giant inflatable Playboy Bunny logos on the stage. Ashley started off with Phoenix, then tagged in Maria for a double hiptoss.  Melina tagged in and Maria tossed her to the floor.  Melina was shoved back in and Maria hit a reverse splash in the corner.  Maria gave Melina a Bronco Buster.  Maria pulled Melina out of the corner for a two count.  Ashley tagged in and did a headscissors and a clothesline.  Ashley, very slowly, set up and hit a facebuster.  Melina shoved Ashley into a punch by Phoenix.  Ashley was thrown to the floor and the heel Divas beat her up and tossed her in.  Phoenix tagged in and Melina catapulted Ashley into a bearhug by Phoenix.  Melina tagged back in and Phoenix tossed Melina into a moonsault onto Ashley.  Maria broke up the pin.  Maria got a tag as Beth Phoenix tagged in.  The lights went out in the stadium.  Unfortunately, they didn't stay off.  They got spotlights on the ring, and Maria was going at it with Phoenix.  Maria hit Phoenix with a bulldog.  There was a brawl at ringside, and Maria was left along with Phoenix in the ring.  Maria had a cover, but Santino reached in to break it up.  Jerry Lawler went over and decked Santino with a right hand.  In the ring, Phoenix hit Maria with a fisherman's buster to get the pin at the five minute mark. 

Winners: Beth Phoenix & Melina.

Post-match, Santino stood over Maria, but Snoop came in and nailed Santino with a clothesline.  Snoop then started making out with Maria in the ring, to the dismay of Santino. 

A video package on the WWE Title match was shown. 

They appear to still be having some lighting issues, but the ring and entranceway is lit.   

WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena.

A marching band played John Cena's music as he came to the ring first.  It was revealed that Cena won a WWE poll to predict the winner of this match.  Cena got 52%, Triple H got 40% and Randy Orton got 8%.  Cena was getting a mixed reaction.  Triple H had a more traditional entrance, as did Orton. 

Orton grabbed the belt at the bell and hit Triple H with it, since it is a no DQ match.  Orton and Cena then went at it briefly, but Triple H got back in as Cena was tossed out. Triple H took Orton to the floor and bounced his head off an announce table.  Triple H applied a sleeper on Orton.  Cena came in and lifted both men for an FU, but Triple H slid off and hit Cena in the gut with a kick.  Orton gave Triple H a side backbreaker.  Orton went back and forth, stomping both opponents.  Orton hit Cena with a kneedrop for a two count, then gave Triple H a kneedrop for a two count.  Orton went to the top rope, but Cena met him there and went for a superplex.  Triple H pulled Cena off the ropes onto his shoulders and Orton gave Cena a flying bodypress.  Cena rolled through the bodypress, and put Orton in FU position.  Orton floated out of it and into a sunset flip for two.  Triple H nailed Cena with a clothesline, then Orton nailed Triple H with a clothesline. 

Orton set up Triple H and Cena and hit a double DDT.  Orton covered Cena for a two count, then covered Triple H for a two count.  Looks like some of the lights are coming back on now.  Orton measured both men for RKO's.  Orton went for it on Cena, but Cena shoved Orton off, and Orton landed on Triple H.  Cena gave Orton the Throwback, then hit a top rope Rocker Dropper on him.  Cena went to put Orton in the STFU, but Orton crawled out of the ring.  Cena chased Orton around the ring, and Orton suckered Cena into a shove into the ringpost.  Orton got back into the ring, and Triple H ambushed him.  Triple H put Orton's leg across the middle rope and drove his knee into it.  Triple H yanked on Orton's leg.  Cena dove in, but Triple H dodged him.  Orton hit Triple H with an RKO, and Triple H rolled to the floor.  Cena grabbed an STFU on Orton.  Orton struggled towards the ropes and Triple H pulled Cena to the floor and threw him into the ringsteps. 

Triple H got into the ring and put Orton in an Indian Deathlock.  Cena came in and hit Triple H to break up the hold.  Cena whipped Triple H across the ring and Triple H floated over the top rope and to the floor.  Cena put Orton in an STFU, but Triple H got in and kicked Cena.  Cena wouldn't break the hold, so Triple H had to pry his arms off.  Triple H put Cena in a Crippler Crossface.  Cena struggled to the ropes, finally making the bottom rope to force a break.  Cena and Triple H got up and exchanged punches.  Fans were solidly behind Triple H.  Cena hit a shoulderblock and a clothesline, then a back suplex into a powerbomb.  Cena did the "You Can't See Me" and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle fistdrop.  Cena went for the FU, but Triple H floated out and set up for a Pedigree.  Cena tripped and went for an STFU, but Triple H rolled over and kicked Cena away. 

Triple H hit a facebuster on the knee, a clothesline, and a spinebuster.  Triple H hit Orton in the leg with a chopblock as he got on the apron.  Triple H turned back to Cena, and Cena lifted him for an FU. Triple H blocked it and hit Cena with a Pedigree.  Orton ran in and kicked Triple H in the head, then covered Cena for the pin at the fourteen minute mark. 

Winner: Randy Orton. 

A commercial for Backlash aired. 

Big Show was shown in the back getting ready for his match.  A video package on Show vs. Floyd Mayweather was shown. 

Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather. Anything Goes, match can end via pinfall, submission or knockout.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are calling this one.  Big Show came out alone, in his usual wrestling attire.  Floyd came out with his posse.  He was wearing fingerless gloves, but with more padding than UFC gloves.  Fireworks went off for his entrance, and fake (at least, I assume fake) money shot out from the stage.  Floyd had long, fur and leather pants on, and sneakers.  

At the bell, Floyd circled the ring and dodged Big Show as he came towards him.  Floyd hit a series of shots to Show's midsection while Show swung in the air two feet above Mayweather's head.  Floyd hit a jab to Show's head.  They repeated the sequence, with Show moving in and Floyd hitting some jabs to the face before Show backed up.  Floyd had one of his second's get on the apron and give him a large goblet to drink from.  Big Show knocked him off the apron, then grabbed the second, yanked him in the ring, and blasted him with a chop to the chest.  

Floyd went for a punch, Show caught it, put Floyd's hand on the mat and went to stomp it, but Mayweather pulled his hand away.  Show grabbed Floyd by the throat and lifted him up, but Mayweather hit him with a punch or two, then jumped on his back and tried to choke him down.  Show teased snap maring him over the top rope, but didn't.  Mayweather kept his choke on, and the fans booed as Show predictably went down on one knee.  Show got back to his feet and broke free.  Show put Floyd on the mat and stomped on the forearm of Mayweather.  Floyd sold it like he had his arm broken.  Floyd's posse protested what Show was doing.  

Show put Floyd in a corner and chopped him hard on the chest.  The crowd chanted "One More Time".  Show stood on Floyd's back.  Floyd tried kicking Show in the gut.  Show gave Mayweather a side slam, and the crowd popped.  Show legdropped Floyd's arm, then stood on his stomach.  Floyd tried to battle back with punches to the gut, but Show headbutted him down.  Show hit an elbowdrop.  Show called for one more, and the crowd was behind him.  Floyd's seconds pulled him out of the ring before Show could hit the move.  Floyd's posse took Mayweather up the aisle, but Show gave chase and started knocking everyone down.  Show grabbed Floyd and dragged him back to the ring by his throat.  Show hit a knee to the gut and threw Floyd back into the ring.

One of Mayweather's handlers came into the ring and Show decked him.  Show lifted Mayweather for a chokeslam, but another handler came in and hit Show with a chair.  Show no sold it, and gave the handler a chokeslam.  Mayweather picked up the chair and hit Show a few times with it.  Show got back up and grabbed Mayweather by the throat.  Mayweather hit a few more chairshots.  Mayweather went to one of his downed handlers and pulled a set of brass knucks from a chain around his neck.  Mayweather nailed Show with the brass knucks.  Show started to get up on the bottom rope a bit, but was unable to get up for the 10 count, ending the match at the twelve minute mark. The crowd groaned.

Winner via knockout: Floyd Mayweather.

Kim Kardashian announced that 74,635 fans were in attendance tonight, a Citrus Bowl record.

The excellent Undertaker-Edge video package from Smackdown was shown.

World Champion Edge vs. The Undertaker.

This will shock you.  Undertaker had an awesome entrance. Edge also had a big entrance, and came out alone.  Edge then waved out Vickie Guerrero, who was wheeled out by Theodore R. Long.  Edge kissed her, then Teddy wheeled her to the back while Edge walked down the aisle alone.  As Edge got halfway down the aisle, he stopped and there was a huge fireworks display. 

They faced off at the bell, and Undertaker made a throat-slashing gesture.  Edge went right at him with punches, but Taker reversed a whip into the corner and hit a clothesline.  Taker clotheslined Edge over the top rope and to the floor. Undertaker chased him back into the ring, and Edge tried to stop him on the apron, but Taker yanked him throat first across the top rope.  Back in the ring, Undertaker hit a clothesline for a two count.  Taker hit a short-arm shoulderblock, then went to the top rope for the Old School ropewalk.  Edge yanked Taker down, but Taker held on and armdragged Edge.  Taker hit a headbutt in the corner and choked Edge.  Undertaker hit a jumping knee in the corner, but his momentum took him over the top rope and he fell to the floor.

Taker got on the ring apron, and Edge hit a shoulderblock that sent Taker off the apron and into the security wall.    Edge hit Taker with a baseball slide kick, then went after him and rammed him back first into the ring apron.  Edge took Undertaker up on the apron, then gave him a neckbreaker across the top rope.  Taker fell back to the floor and Edge posed in the ring.  Edge hit a headbutt to the back, then a series of shots in the corner before hitting a shoulderblock to the ribs.  Edge dropped a pair of elbows to the gut, then kicked Taker repeatedly.  Taker fire back with a punch and headbutt, then lifted Edge for a slam, but his back gave out and Edge fell on top for a two count.

Edge hit some punches and a standing dropkick.  Edge went to the top rope, but Undertaker shoved him off and sent Edge falling down hard to the floor.  Undertaker hit the ropes and launched over the top rope into a tope, blasting Edge on the floor.  Undertaker put Edge in the ring, he head hanging off the ring apron, and kicked him in the head. Undertaker dropped a legdrop across Edge's chest on the apron, then pulled him into the ring for a two count.  Undertaker set up for a Last Ride powerbomb, but his back gave on him and he couldn't lift Edge.  Edge hit a kick to the head for a two count.  Edge took Undertaker to the floor, then dropped him back first across the security wall.  Undertaker landed in the front row. 

Edge rolled Undertaker into the ring for a two count.  Edge pounded Taker's back and applied a single leg crab.  Edge drove his knee into Undertaker's back.  Undertaker managed to turn the hold and roll up Edge for a two count, but Edge got back on top and tied up his legs, but Taker managed to kick him away.  Edge hit some shots to the back, but Taker returned fire with punches.  They traded shots, with the crowd cheering Taker's punches and booing Edge's.  They went back and forth, with Taker finally getting the better of it.  Taker hit two avalanches in the corner, then hit Snake-Eyes.  Undertaker set up for the running boot to the face, but Edge countered with a dropkick. 

Edge went to the second rope, but jumped into an Undertaker choke.  Edge kicked Taker to escape it.  Edge went for a clothesline, Undertaker ducked and grabbed the chokeslam again, but Edge countered it mid-move and hit an Implant DDT for a two count.  Edge went for a spear, but Undertaker blocked it with a knee to the head.  Undertaker hit a chokeslam for a two count. Undertaker went for the Old School ropewalk, but Edge crotched Taker in the corner.  Edge delivered a superplex and crawled onto Undertaker for a two count.  Edge pounded Undertaker in a corner, but Taker pulled Edge out in position for the Last Ride powerbomb.  Edge floated out of it and hit a neckbreaker for a two count.

Edge went for a backdrop, but Undertaker kicked it away.  Undertaker picked up Edge and hit the Last Ride powerbomb.  Undertaker covered Edge, but Edge kicked out at two.  Undertaker called for the Tombstone.  Undertaker lifted Edge, but Edge floated over and hit a reverse facebuster, driving Taker down on the back of his head, for a two count. Edge went for a whip, but Undertaker reversed it and hit a kick.  Undertaker went for Old School again, this time hitting the top rope forearm to the back of the head.  Undertaker went for a running kick, but Edge moved and Taker kicked the referee, knocking him down.  Edge gave Undertaker a reverse DDT, then punched him on the mat.  Edge yelled "It ends, Deadman".  Undertaker reached up from the mat and grabbed Edge by the throat.  Edge kicked Undertaker between the legs to block it. 

Edge went to ringside and grabbed a television camera,  Edge got in the ring and blasted Undertaker with it. Edge went to revive the referee, who rolled off the apron and to the floor.  Undertaker sat up in the ring.  Edge called for a tombstone and picked up the Undertaker, but Undertaker reversed it and nailed Edge with the tombstone piledriver.  Referee Charles Robinson, who had a long way to run, came down the aisle and into the ring.  Edge kicked out at the two count.  Undertaker looked stunned.  Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins ran down.  Taker met them at the apron and knocked one off, then chokeslammed the other one on top of him at ringside.  Edge hit Undertaker with a spear, but Taker kicked out at two.  Edge went for another spear, but Undertaker caught him in the gogoplata (or, as I call it, the Bloody Shin Choke or, if you're Michael Cole "That submission maneuver").  Edge struggled, then tapped out at the twenty five minute mark.

Winner and new World Champion: The Undertaker.

Undertaker posed with the belt in the ring and a huge fireworks display went off to end the show.

2009 - WWE broadcast Raw.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are live from Dallas, Texas and your announcers are Jerry ‘I Wrestle Tonight’ Lawler and Michael ‘Is Pacman Jones here tonight’.

Match Number One: Eighteen Diva Tag Match
Mickie and Jillian start things off and Jillian with an arm bar and she throws Mickie to the mat but she misses a handspring leg drop. Mickie with punches to Jillian and then Tiffany is tagged in and she works on the arm. Jillian with a knee and she tags in Beth. Tiffany punches Beth but Beth with an Irish whip and she charges into an elbow but Beth with a flapjack. Katie tags in and she kicks Tiffany. Tiffany with an inside cradle for the three count.
Winners: The Faces

After the match, Santino Marella comes out and he is wearing a robe. Santino says that he might have been denied entry into the Diva Battle Royale by Vickie Guerrero, but he went above her head to Jack Tunney. He calls himself an equal rights pioneer. He says that he is going to have an in ring swimsuit exhibition. Santino enters the ring to show that he is more dominant than anyone, even Beth. He wants to show that he has what it takes to be Ms. Wrestlemania. Santino says that he is going to unleash the Mankini.

Beth yells at Santino and Rosa has to hold him back. Suddenly it is time to pile on Santino and then they throw him out of the ring.

Cole talks about the match between Triple H and Randy Orton. Lawler says that Orton’s actions were inexcusable. In case you missed, it here we go with a recap.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the WWE Rewind: Chris Jericho’s attack of Ric Flair last week.

Match Number Two: Jerry Lawler versus Chris Jericho
They lock up and Jericho pushes Lawler out of the corner. Jericho pushes Lawler again but Lawler pushes back. Lawler with punches to Jericho followed by kicks and more punches. Lawler pushes Jericho in the corner. The referee tries to separate them and Jericho with a punch. Jericho with a clothesline followed by a kick and more punches. Jericho with a forearm to Lawler followed by a back elbow. Jericho punches Lawler and then he yells at him. Jericho with more punches in the corner but Lawler with an Irish whip but he walks into an elbow. Jericho comes off the turnbuckles but Lawler with a VINTAGE punch to the midsection and the straps are down in a vintage manner. Lawler with more punches to Jericho. Jericho punches Lawler and then he puts Lawler in the Walls of Jericho and Lawler taps out.
Winner: Chris Jericho

After the match, Jericho returns to the ring and he picks Lawler up but Lawler punches Jericho and Jericho leaves the ring.

Jericho gets on the mic and he says that he already beat Lawler so he is not going to get back into the ring. He says that when it comes to Wrestlemania, it is not how he will beat them, it will be how bad he will beat them. Jericho says that he knows that he will be called heartless but he does not care because Mickey Rourke started it. Because of one night of false bravado, his three friends will meet their demise. He will win at Wrestlemania, and he will embarrass them. He will eradicate them from wrestling forever. The only name that will be synonymous with legend will be Chris Jericho.

Time for a look at Vintage John Cena playing a person whose wife is kidnapped in vintage ways.

We go to commercial.

We are back with a Toasty Torpedo Takedown: Big Show, John Cena, and Edge from two weeks ago. They stick Cena in the ropes. Then we go to last week’s Raw when Edge goes down and he goes down hard.

Todd Grisham is in the locker room with John Cena. Todd mentions that they are six days away from Wrestlemania 25th Anniversary. They are joined by Edge. Edge says that Cena’s chances of winning at Wrestlemania are virtually non-existent. Edge says that it does not have to be that way. Two weeks ago, Big Show knocked Cena out. Last week, Show knocked him out. Edge says that Show could pick them off at will. If they could put their differences aside, they can get rid of the Big Show and then beat the hell out of each other. If they don’t do that they are sitting ducks. Cena says that makes perfect sense. It is intelligent and logical. (but this is the WWE and there cannot be any logic). Cena says that he does not like Edge and he would rather lose on his own. Cena says that he is going to Wrestlemania to be champion.

Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes are in the back and Michael Cole asks them what Randy Orton might talk about later tonight. Cody says that Randy will probably talk about what happened last week. Ted says that what Randy is going to talk about tonight affects the entire WWE Universe. Ted says that everything in the WWE changes forever after Wrestlemania.

We see a casket come out of a hearse and it opens to reveal Shawn Michaels. He asks if they were expecting someone else.

We are back with a vintage look at Dallas.

We are back with a Moments Ago Moment with audio of Shawn Michaels comments that were missed.

Jerry Lawler is back to join Michael Cole at the vintage announce table.

We see footage from Friday night when John Bradshaw Layfield showed Rey the bottom of his boot after Rey defeated Chavo Guerrero.

Match Number Three: Rey Mysterio versus John Bradshaw Layfield with JBLimo
Before the match, Bradshaw says that he was going to deliver the most decisive victory in Wrestlemania history. Tonight is psychological. He is going to beat Rey within an inch of his life so in six days when it is time for the greatest pay per view in wrestling history he will be ready.

They lock up and Bradshaw backs Rey into the corner and Bradshaw with a kick to the head. He follows with a forearm to the back and a punch to the head. Rey with a kick followed by a tilt-a-whirl head scissors and Bradshaw falls into the ropes. Bradshaw with a clothesline but he misses an elbow. Rey tries for a springboard cross body but Bradshaw with a boot to Rey and Rey goes down.

We go to commercial.

Rey tries for a cross body again but Bradshaw with a fallaway slam and Rey rolls to the floor. Bradshaw stomps on Rey’s hand and then he kicks him in the head as the action has moved to the floor for a bit. Bradshaw gets a near fall after rolling Rey back in. Bradshaw with a forearm and then he punches Rey in the corner. Rey is put on the top turnbuckle but Rey fights back as they are eye to eye. Rey with a seated senton and then Rey with an enzuigiri and Bradshaw falls into the ropes. Bradshaw escapes the 619, but he is not so lucky after a drop kick sends Bradshaw into the ropes at a vintage Mysterio angle and Rey hits the diving splash for the three count.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

We go to John Cena’s comments from Smackdown.

Big Show is walking and we go to commercial.

We are back with a Wrestlemania Retro Moment. We go back to Wrestlemania XI when Lawrence Taylor faced Bam Bam Bigelow.

Match Number Four: John Cena versus Big Show
Before the match starts, we see Show main squeeze, Vickie Guerrero watching from the comfort of her wheelchair.

Show with a kick and then he sends Cena to the mat. Show with punches in the corner. Show with a chop to Cena and Cena goes down. Show with a forearm to the back followed by a head butt and then he stands on Cena’s midsection. Show has Cena in the ropes as he stretches him. Show with a punch to the ribs. Cena punches back and he tries for the flying shoulder tackle but Show pushes him away like he was Hornswoggle. Show with a head butt. Show with an Irish whip but he misses a splash into the corner. Cena with a punch but Show tosses Cena into the air and then he stomps on Cena’s back. Show goes up to the turnbuckles for an elbow drop but Cena moves. Cena goes up top for the leg drop and he hits it. Cena tries for an STF but Show pushes Cena away. We go to commercial after Show hits a baseball slide.

We are back and Show with a rear chin lock. We see footage of Show sending Cena into the ring post and ringside barrier. Show stands on Cena’s head. Show stands on Cena’s back. Show signals for the choke slam and Cena is in position but Cena blocks it with a gingerly placed DDT. Cena goes to the STF but he cannot reach his head. Show gets ready for the punch but Cena misses it and Cena tries for the Attitude Adjustment. Show with a choke slam for the three count.
Winner: Big Show

After the match, Edge enters the ring and he attacks Cena. Show stands and watches as referees try to stop the vintage Edge attack.

Time to take a look at Shawn Michaels' tribute to the Undertaker from Smackdown.

Shawn Michaels is walking in the back and he has a casket behind him.

We go to commercial.

We are back with a Moments Ago Moment when Big Show defeated John Cena.

It is time for the Funeral for Mr. Wrestlemania and there is a casket in the ring but Shawn Michaels’ music plays. Shawn comes to the ring and he has a mic. Shawn says that he stands here tonight a man unafraid. The wreath, casket, and procession are not for him, it is for the Undertaker. On Sunday, his undefeated streak at Wrestlemania will cease to exist. Shawn says that they have had some epic matches and Shawn reminds Taker that he has always come out on top. There is one thing that Taker has not been able to accomplish in his career and that is to beat Shawn Michaels. Over the last few weeks, he has superkicked him in the face, treaded on the hallowed ground of his graves, and on Friday night he showed how his light will forever outshine Taker’s darkness. He has done it without the slightest bit of consequence. Without a hint of retribution.

Shawn opens the casket and there is nobody in there. Shawn says that there will be no retribution. Shawn says that Taker uses Wrestlemania to show his peers what he represents. Shawn says that Taker not thinking that he can end the streak is a personal insult to him. On Sunday, every moment over the last twenty-four years will pale in comparison to what he achieved. The next night, they will talk about who won the title matches. They will talk about legends and ladders, but the moment that will be etched in their mind will be when Shawn Michaels pins the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

We hear a gong and the lights go out.

The lights go back on after the casket closes. Undertaker is in the ring and he is alone. Taker looks for Shawn and then he destroys everything in the ring. Taker thinks for a second and he turns his attention to the casket. Taker opens the casket and there is nobody in there. Taker is thwarted again. Shawn comes out from under the casket and he hits Sweet Chin Music on Taker.

We go to commercial.

We are back with a Moments Ago Moment of Shawn Michaels getting another advantage over the Undertaker.

We have a video package for Steve Austin and the rest of the Hall of Famers are mentioned. Then we take a look at the card for Wrestlemania.

We are in the back and Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes are giving instructions to the security in the back.

We go to commercial.

We are back and did you know that a lot of people bought the WWE Encyclopedia.

We have a video package for the match between Matt and Jeff Hardy.

Match Number Five: Eight Man Money in the Bank Participants Battle Royal
We have everyone pair up. Kane tries to eliminate Punk but Punk stays in. Henry has Finlay on the apron but Finlay gets back in. Henry with an elbow to Finlay and then Finlay is eliminated. Hornswoggle throws his little jacket at Henry and that allows Kane and Porter to eliminate Henry. Kane has Christian and Punk in the ropes but Punk fights Kane off and he connects with forearms. Porter and Benjamin battle while the other four are in the opposite side of the ring. Benjamin sends Porter to the apron and Porter tries to suplex Benjamin to the floor. Benjamin and Porter fight on the apron and Kane knocks them both off.

We are down to four and it is Kane, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, and Christian. Kane is the target of the other three men and Kane fights them off. Kofi Kingston is eliminated by CM Punk and Punk points at the briefcase. Kane with an uppercut to Kane. Kane tries to slam Christian to the floor but Christian holds on. Punk with forearms to Kane and Christian adds some punches. Christian tries to eliminate Punk but Punk stays in the ring. Punk with an Irish whip and running knee into the corner. Punk tries for the bulldog but Christian sends Punk to the apron. Kane throws Christian into Punk and both men are eliminated.
Winner: Kane

After the match, Kane gets the ladder and he brings it in the ring. Kane grabs the briefcase, but it does not count.

Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes walk in the hall with their security. Ted plays the part of Doug Dillinger and knocks on Randy’s door. They walk in the back as we go to commercial.

We are back and it is time to hear voices from Randy Orton. Randy says that at the age of 24, he became the youngest world champion in the history of the WWE. He says that it was the greatest moment of his life and it was short lived because the next night on Raw, the man who was his mentor and claimed to be his friend turned on him in a bit of jealous rage.

We go to the video tape of the night that Ortoning became a word in the wrestling lexicon.

Randy says that on that night everything started to fall into place. He made a vow to ruin Triple H’s life. He had to wait until he had the talent to do it. He also had to wait until Triple H became more powerful. He needed to wait to see Triple H have something more powerful to covet than the World Title.

We go to the Royal Rumble when Randy Orton eliminated Triple H to win and get the chance to point at Wrestlemania 25th Anniversary.

Randy says that he had to raise the stakes and he set out to destroy everything that Hunter had. He went after Hunter’s family, the McMahons. He took care of Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Stephanie McMahon.

You ready for some field goal practice and some RKOs?

Randy says that almost five years after Triple H turned on him, he RKOed Hunter’s wife. Randy says that he knew exactly what he was doing the entire time. Randy says that he did not have IED. He says that he knew that Triple H would attack him. He says that the sledgehammers to Rhodes and DiBiase were things that had to be done to give Hunter a false sense of security and it lowered Hunter’s guard and led to . . .

Time to take a look at last week’s IEDDT to Stephanie McMahon and the only kiss creepier than the one in Re-Animator.

Now Hunter will be looking at the man who DDTed his wife and sealed it with a kiss. Randy says that if Hunter is going to come to the ring with a sledgehammer, he will be wrong. Randy says that he talked to Vickie Guerrero and if Hunter is disqualified or counted out, he loses the title. If Hunter comes to the ring with a sledgehammer, Hunter is disqualified and Randy wins the title without lifting a finger. Randy says that it has come full circle and he has taken everything but Hunter’s title. That happens on Sunday when the balance of power shifts. The young superstars will try to impress him for the opportunity to stand by his side.

We see a limo arrive at the building. Randy wants Ted and Cody to come to the ring with security. They stand in the ramp as we see nobody in the limo in the garage.

Legacy is in the ring and Orton tells Hunter to come to the ring so he can finish him off. Randy says that he has no problem winning by forfeit on Sunday.

There is music, but it is the wrong McMahon because Vince is back and he is ready for a fight. Shane McMahon is here too and he is ready to shuffle. The third member of the family is here too as we see Triple H. They walk to the ring and security tries to stop them. First mistake as they are easily dispatched.

It is on as all six men brawl at ringside. Hunter and Orton get in the ring and Hunter with a spear and then they exchange punches. We go to credits as Hunter punches Orton in the corner.

2009 - WWE issued the following press release:

World Wrestling Entertainment issued the following press release:

`WWE(R) Encyclopedia' Debuts #10 on The New York Times Bestseller List

STAMFORD, Conn., Mar 30, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) ----In the first week of its release, the WWE Encyclopedia, a collection of 900 entries profiling WWE personalities from every era, has entered The New York Times Bestseller list at Number 10 for April 5th, 2009.

WWE Encyclopedia is the only official encyclopedia to chronicle WWE. In addition to its debut on The New York Times' Advice, How To and Miscellaneous bestseller list, it was also Number One on the Sports & Recreation Charts, according to Nielsen Bookscan week ending 3/22/09.

DK Publishing CEO Gary June commented, "When WWE came to us looking to publish a reference that stood up to the energy, visual impact, and drama of WWE's storied history, we knew we would have to produce a book that surpassed the available information online. DK's distinctive visual treatment was a perfect match, and the fan response is proving that."

Published to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania(R) live from Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX this Sunday and on Pay-Per-View, WWE Encyclopedia (DK Publishing, Hardcover, April 2009, $45) is the book the WWE Universe has been anticipating for decades to get up close and personal with their favorite WWE Superstars.

DK Publishing is world renowned for its distinctive, highly visual books that inform, inspire, and entertain readers of all ages. Publisher of the recent New York Times bestsellers Do Not Open, relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman and Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide among others, DK also publishes the award-winning Eyewitness series for children and Eyewitness Travel Guides. Brady Games and Rough Guides are also available from DK, a division of Penguin Group (USA).

Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, copyrights and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.

2010 - WWE broadcast NXT.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

e start off with a video package featuring the rookies during the history of NXT while looking at the four factors that the mentors will be using.

We are live from Las Vegas, Nevada and your announcers are Josh ‘Will the 8th place rookie have to go to detention’ Mathews and Michael ‘I get to teach Home Ec in the next grading period’ Cole. Your host for the evening is Matt ‘Teacher’s Pet’ Striker.

We go to Matt in the ring and he welcomes everyone to the ‘most important night in the history of NXT’. He mentions that over the last six weeks, the rookies have done everything to impress their mentors and the WWE Universe.

The rookies come to the ring. Striker welcomes them to the first milestone on their journey to become WWE stars. Striker talks about the four criteria. Win-Loss Records; Quality of Opponent; Work Ethic; and It Factor.

The official standings are Darren Young in 8th; Michael Tarver in 7th; Skip Sheffield in 6th; David Otunga in 5th; Heath Slater in 4th; Justin Gabriel in 3rd; Wade Barrett in 2nd; and Daniel Bryan in 1st.

Striker asks Young about being in 8th. Young says that everyone knows about his situation with CM Punk, so he needs to step it up and show everyone what he is about.

Now it is time to hear from Daniel Bryan. Daniel says that his win loss record isn’t the best and Michael Cole says that he doesn’t have the ‘it factor’, but there are a lot of people who look like Superstars but are married to celebrities.

Otunga gets in Bryan’s face after that comment. Otunga says that he might have the least experience, but he has the ‘it factor’. He says that he has the most charisma and compares talking to Bryan like eating mashed potatoes. Bryan comments on Otunga’s clothes.

We have six weeks until the next grading period ends. At that time, we will have our first elimination. Each week after that one rookie will be eliminated until they are down to four. The winner of NXT will get a pay per view title match against any champion.

Striker says that all of the rookies will be in a Battle Royal tonight. The winner of the Battle Royal will get the opportunity to host Monday Night Raw.

Michael Cole is outraged at Daniel Bryan’s comments and points out that Bryan has not won while Josh points out that record isn’t the only factor.

We go to commercial.

Match Number One: CM Punk Luke Gallows and Serena, Matt Hardy, R Truth, and Chris Jericho with Wade Barrettversus Carlito, William Regal, Christian, and the Miz

Jericho comes to the ring in a suit and he joins Cole and Mathews at the announce table.

Wade Barrett takes Jericho’s spot in the match for the Smackdown wrestlers. Carlito and Truth start things off. Truth punches Carlito and the apple is dislodged. Truth with a hip toss and arm drag. Truth works on the arm and he tags in Punk and he snap mares Carlito and hits a leg drop. Punk continues to work on the arm but Carlito with punches and kicks in the corner. Regal tags in and he has something to say to Punk. Regal gets on his knees and Punk laughs at him. Punk tags Barrett into the match and Regal tags Christian in. Christian with punches to Barrett and a side head lock. Barrett with a kick and punch to Christian. Barrett with a shoulder tackle and then he sends Christian into the corner. Christian with a back elbow and a sunset flip from the turnbuckles for a near fall. Hardy tags in and Miz wants to get into the match so he tags himself in. Miz with a kick and punch. Hardy sends Miz into the turnbuckles and hits a clothesline. Hardy punches Miz in the corner. Hardy and Miz go to the floor and all eight wrestlers are at ringside as we go to commercial.

We are back and Carlito with a cover on Matt Hardy. Carlito with a sleeper on Hardy but Hardy gets to his feet and Carlito backs him into the corner. Miz tags in and he punches Hardy but Hardy punches back because Miz took too long. Miz with a sleeper but Hardy with a jawbreaker. Truth tags in and hits a flying clothesline and faltline. Truth with a leg lariat and then he knocks Regal down on the apron. Miz with a couple of neckbreakers and gets a near fall but Punk breaks it up. Regal tags in and he connects with forearms. Regal with a hard Irish whip and kicks Truth in the back and gets a near fall. Carlito tags in and he kicks Truth in the back. Carlito with a rear chin lock but Truth gets on his feet and he punches Carlito. Carlito with a drop kick to Truth. Christian tags in and he hits a snap mare and then he works on Truth’s neck. Christian with a clothesline and he gets a near fall. Regal tags in and he connects with knees to the head followed by a gutwrench suplex. Regal with a cravate into a front face lock. Miz tags in and he kicks Truth in the midsection followed by a snap suplex for a near fall. Miz with a punch to Truth as he mocks the Smackdown wrestlers. Miz with a knee to the back as he applies a front face lock on Truth. Miz with a knee followed by an Irish whip and he hits the running clothesline into the ropes. Miz goes up top but Truth hits a drop kick and both men are down. Punk and Christian tag in and Christian with a running forearm followed by a corkscrew back elbow from the turnbuckles. Christian gets ready for the Killswitch but Punk with a back kick and tries for the Go To Sleep but Christian escapes. Punk with the running knee into the corner but Christian escapes the bulldog. Christian with a pendulum kick followed by a missile drop kick. Barrett breaks up the cover but Carlito throws him to the floor. Hardy with a Twist of Fate to Carlito followed by a gutwrench suplex by Regal to Hardy. Truth with a pump kick to Regal and then he sidesteps Miz who gets thrown over the top rope to the floor. Truth with a pescado. Barrett tags in and Christian hits an inverted DDT on Barrett. The referee deals with Punk and Christian punches Jericho who is at ringside. Barrett with a slam from a fireman’s carry on Christian for the three count.
Winners: Wade Barrett, CM Punk, Matt Hardy, and R Truth

We see Chris Jericho, Wade Barrett, CM Punk, Serena, and Luke Gallows in the ring as we go to commercial.

We are back and it is time to talk about Wrestlemania and the end of Shawn Michaels’ career. Time to take a look back at part of Shawn Michaels’ farewell from last night’s Raw.

We take a look back at the Rookie Poll.

We go to commercial.

Match Number Two: NXT Rookie Battle Royal featuring Heath Slater, Darren Young, Michael Otunga, Daniel Bryan, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield, Justin Gabriel, and Wade Barrett

Everyone looks like they are gunning for Barrett and they all go after him as the bell rings and Barrett is eliminated first. Young goes after Bryan while Sheffield punches Gabriel and we go to commercial.

We are back and we are now down to five since Darren Young just got eliminated. Skip Sheffield was eliminated after getting in some offense. Gabriel tries to eliminate Otunga. Michael Tarver is eliminated by Bryan and then Slater eliminates Bryan and himself with a cross body. We are down to Otunga and Gabriel and they lock up. Gabriel with a punch but Otunga punches back. Otunga with a shoulder in the corner. Gabriel with kicks to the leg and a forearm. Gabriel misses a round kick but hits an enzuigiri. Gabriel goes up top and hits a 450 splash and then he celebrates and then stands in the center of the ring instead of eliminating Otunga. Gabriel picks up Otunga and then he tries to send him over the top rope but Otunga with a rake of the eyes and then he throws Gabriel out.
Winner: David Otunga

After the match, R Truth comes to the ring to celebrate with the Raw guest host.

Matt Striker comes into the ring to interview the Raw guest host. Matt asks David what is going through his head. He says that he told everyone and he should have been ranked number one. He talks about how he beat everyone. Otunga says that he is Mr. NXT and the guest host of Raw. Matt asks David if he can announce anything for Monday. David says that the A List will be all over Raw and then he talks about how he wants 427 green M&Ms in his dressing room.

 

2011 - WWE held a Wrestlemania 27 press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe in Miami, FL.  Matt filed the following recap:

 

*There is a lot of media and probably just as many fans in attendance.

*Stephanie McMahon welcomed everyone to the conference. The fans started chanting "Hogan sucks" and she remarked that Hulk "wouldn't be part of this year's Wrestlemania, that's for sure."

*Stephanie introduced Triple H, who kissed her when he came out. Hunter announced he would be inducting his best friend Shawn Michaels into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend. He cut a promo on ending the streak Sunday.

*Edge cut a promo on Wrestlemania and then had a staredown with Alberto Del Rio.

*Miz cuts a promo saying he would retain his belt this Sunday because he's awesome.

*John Cena cuts a promo about Wrestlemania. The fans are drowning him out and chanting "same old sh**." Fans chant for Rock.

*Snooki was introduced and was wearing a t-shirt that read "Brunette Mafia." She said that is the name of her six person team at Mania. She rips on Laycool.

*Rock takes the mic and the place is chanting "One More Match." He begins to talk and fans are chanting "Fruity Pebbles."

*Snooki asks if she can get a photo with Rock and Cena together. They agree and take the photo, then begin staring each other down. Place goes nuts.

*For those wondering, Vince McMahon did not appear.

2012 - Ring of Honor held their Showdown in the Sun Night One iPPV in Fort Lauderdale, FL at the War Memorial Armory.  Stu Carapola filed the following iPPV report:

Welcome to PWInsider.com's livecoverage of ROH Showdown In The Sun: Night One!

Proving Ground Match: ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay & Mark Briscoe vs TMDK

The Briscoes almost immediately take it out to the floor and pummel both opponents, ramming them into the guardrails before Mark suplexes Nicholls on the floor and then goes back inside where Jay wipes Haste out with a big boot and a charging clothesline in the corner. Haste tries to fight his way out of the corner, but Mark fires back until Mikey Nicholls drags Mark out to the apron where Haste drops all his weight on Mark's chest with a slingshot double stomp. Nicholls comes in and TMDK hit a series of double teams that I find hard to keep up on because the video keeps locking up and then jumping ahead. When it comes back, Nicholls is beating Mark up in the corner and gouges his eyes. It's almost impossible at this point to keep up on the match because not only does the stream keep locking up, but now I'm looking at a completely blank screen. It comes back as I hear a two count while one guy has the other in a chinlock, and then it freezes up again. This is completely unwatchable at this point, but I do gather enough of what's going on to see the Briscoes beat down TMDK, then TMDK hits some cool looking double teams including a springboard into a cannonball in the corner, followed by an assisted DDT, then Mark comes in to save Jay, which I knew because I heard what was going on twenty seconds before I saw it. Mark with a top rope elbowdrop for 2 and crowd chants "this is awesome", and I'm sure it is live because now I'm just looking at a still frame of the Briscoes staring at Mikey Nicholls. I have no idea what the finish was because when we come back, Kevin Kelly is talking and throwing it to Jim Cornette in the ring.

Winners: No Idea

Cornette introduces the NWA World Champion Adam Pearce, and brings up that Pearce had defeated ROH's Adam Cole under questionable circumstances the night before. Pearce asks Cornette if he's going to lecture him on questionable use of the rules, and he says it feels good to be home, but last night the marquee didn't read ROH, it read NWA. Cornette says Cole gave him everything he could handle and he knows it, and Pearce agrees that he's a star and he may be the future of the company and he's good, but he's not great. Adam Cole comes out to say that Pearce has some good points, and he's not going to make better excuses, but Cornette wanted to put him to the test, so he's going to do that against one of the best in the sport. Cornette also said he wanted him to learn something from this fight, and he learned that if he gets one more shot at Pearce, he knows he can beat him. Pearce says that if he wants to do that, they have a ring and they can get a referee and can do it right now. Cornette wants them to slow down and says he doesn't have the authority to put the NWA Title on the line, but if a referee can get down to the ring, he can make this match right now. So looks like we have an impromptu match...

NWA World Champion Adam Pearce vs Adam Cole

Pearce jumps Cole from behind, but Cole dropkicks Pearce to the floor and follows him out with a dive. Cole continues the assault on the floor, Pearce tries to whip Cole into the barricade, but Cole reverses and it's Pearce that hits the guardrail. Cole sends Pearce back into the ring and Pearce begs for mercy, but Cole doesn't relent and unloads on Pearce with right hands. Cole tries a charge, but Pearce catches him coming in with a big chokeslam. Pearce sends Cole into the ropes and hits a big back bodydrop for 2. Pearce gouges Cole's face and sends him into the ropes and catches himcoming out with a Here It Is Driver for 2. Cole rolls out to the floor, but Pearce makes a grab and takes a leaping enziguiri before following up with a top rope bodypress that Pearce rolls out of the way of, sending Cole crashing to the canvas. Pearce whips Cole to the corner and takes his time following in, and Cole dodges and hits a superkick and Shining Wizard for 2. Cole hauls Pearce to his feet and Pearce goes for a piledriver, the referee tries to stop him and that gives Cole an opening to backdrop Pearce and sit down on his chest where he cradles Pearce's legs for the win.

Winner: Adam Cole

Pearce shakes Cole's hand and raises his arm before heading to the back.

Tornado Match: All Night Express vs Young Bucks

They start brawling before the bell and the ANX takes a quick advantage on the Bucks. Titus works over Matt Jackson in the corner and sends him into a leaping leg lariat from King. Matt rolls out to the floor as the video freezes up again. Now the video's playing with no sound as the ANX hits stereo dives to the floor and wipes out both Young Bucks. The Bucks get back inside and hit a double team double stomp before Nick takes King out with a running dive through the ropes. Matt catches Titus in a spinning toehold and Nick goes up top, but King shoves Nick to the floor and flattens Matt with a spinebuster for 2. Okay, the audio is back on and the delay isn't quite as bad, but still noticeable. Bucks with a series of double teams to send Titus out to the floor before turning their attention back to King. Nick with a chestbreaker followed by a rolling neckbreaker over the knee by Matt. Titus tries to get back in the ring, but Matt goes to the outside and again beats him down before coming in to continue the beating on King. King starts firing back, hitting the cartwheel kick to Matt, but appeared to hurt his ribs in doing so and takes a good long time to get up. The Bucks whip King to the ropes, but are blindsided as Titus comes in and takes them both out with a double clothesline. Titus with big clotheslines to both Bucks and a dropkick to Nick for 2, then King plants Matt with a leg cradle suplex. Titus with a Samoan drop to Nick for 2, King dumps Matt out to the floor and they set Nick up for their finish, but Matt comes in and superkicks Titus, then they double superkick King and then set the ANX up for stereo 450 splashes. They both connect, but both King and Titus kick out at 2. The Bucks go for More Bang For Your Buck, but take too long and King hits a leaping enziguiri to knock Nick off the top rope and Titus rolls Matt up for 3.

Winners: All Night Express

Nick comes in with a chair to the knee of Titus, and King chases the Bucks off, but the status of Titus' knee is now in question as the ANX has to face the Bucks again tomorrow.

Just a quick note: the stream went down after that last match and, as of right now, has been out for about ten minutes. I guess I'll continue the report whenever the stream comes back up!

Update 9:15 PM: the stream is still down and the site has a message saying that the internet connection is causing speed and sync issues and they're still working on it. I'll post another update when I have one.

Okay, we're back and I don't know what I missed, but I had to drop down to the middle speed on the broadcast just to get a stream, and the audio is again twenty or thirty seconds ahead of the video.

Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team vs Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Haas & Benjamin attack before the bell, but Alexander & Coleman come back and knock Benjamin to the floor and work over Haas. Benjamin makes it back inside, but winds up on the receiving end of more punishment. Coleman tries a springboard move from the outside, but Haas holds his foot from the floor and Benjamin takes his head off with a superkick. Now WGTT is in control and the sound is so jumpy that this is really getting hard to watch. Haas puts the boots to Coleman and stretches him in the corner, and the sound goes out again as Benjamin tags in and whips Coleman into Haas' boot before following up with a spinebuster for 2. Benjamin dumps Coleman out to the floor and Haas picks him up for a belly to back suplex and just dumps him back first on the guardrail. Benjamin drags Coleman back into the ring and hits a backbreaker, then Haas comes in and punts Coleman in the ribs before covering for 2. Haas with a rear chinlock, but Coleman escapes and tries a springboard crossbody, but Haas catches him and just dumps him in a big spinebuster type move for 2. Haas & Benjamin with series of double teams on Coleman and then Haas gets Coleman in a bodyscissors. Coleman finally uses some high flying offense to break free and tag out to Cedric Alexander, who drills both Haas & Benjamin with dropkicks, and then hits a springboard bulldog on Benjamin for 2. Alexander with a springboard clothesline to Haas, then Coleman wipes Benjamin out with a dive to the floor. Alexander nails Haas with a charging forearm in the corner and sets him up top, and Coleman hits a standing top rope Frankensteiner. Alexander goes up top, but Benjamin comes in and shoves Coleman into the ropes, causing Alexander to crotch himself on the top rope, then Haas hits a Hacker Slam on Coleman and Benjamin finishes with the leaping suplex off the top rope for the win.

Winners: Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team

No idea what happens after as the video froze up again, but on another note, I was told that Lethal retained against Kyle O'Reilly in the TV Title match just before what apparently was intermission right before this match.

Another quick internet stream update: because of the issues with the internet connection tonight, GFL has promised to have a replay up on the site by morning.

Okay, we're back again and the next match is already in progress, with no sound.

Lance Storm vs Mike Bennett

Storm is giving Bennett a wrestling lesson and takes him out with a standing dropkick for 2. They wind up going to the floor, but Bennett slips back inside and nails Storm. The video freezes, and it comes back as Bennett dumps Storm to the floor and rams him into the barricade. They go back inside and Bennett nails Storm with a standing dropkick of his own before catching Storm in a rear chinlock. Bennett tries a second rope sunset flip and Storm rolls through and tries for the Canadian Maple Leaf, but Bennett escapes and puts the boots to Storm. Storm gets to his feet and they go toe to toe, with Storm getting the better of the exchange and hitting a leg lariat for 2. Storm with a springboard clothesline for 2, and he tries a superkick but Bennett catches the foot and counters to a spinebuster for 2. Bennett sets up for the Box Office Smash, Storm escapes, but Bennett tries again and hits it for 2. He goes for his own half crab, but Storm blocks and hits a superkick for 2. Storm tries the roll through into the half crab, but Bennett himself rolls through and spears Storm for 2. Bennett fires off right hands, but Storm goads him into taking another shot and gets a drop toehold, then starts working Bennett's leg over with leg whips. Bennett hauls himself to the ropes and boots Storm in the face, then goes for a TKO but Storm counters to the Canadian Maple Leaf. Bennett tries to get to the ropes, but Storm drags Bennett back out to the middle of the ring and Bennett nearly taps again, but finally makes it to the ropes. Bennett rolls out to the apron and they trade blows, then they both wind up on the top rope and Storm goes for a superplex, but Maria holds Bennett's ankle and prevents Storm from hitting the superplex, and allows Bennett to counter to a top rope Box Office Smash, but Storm still kicks out at 2. Bennett yells at Storm to die, drills him with several right hands, and hits a TKO for the extremely hard fought win.

Winner: Mike Bennett

This was easily the best Mike Bennett match I've ever seen. Good stuff, and Storm looked as good as the day he retired. Bennett comes back into the ring and shakes Storm's hand, then pulls him in and hits the Box Office Smash.

Last Man Standing Match: Kevin Steen vs El Generico

Once again, they start fighting before the bell and Generico dumps Steen out to the floor and follows him out with a somersault dive. Generico gets a chairshot to the gut and continues pummeling him all around ringside, but the battle ends up coming back toward the ring where a spare ring rope gets pulled out from under the ring and used as a weapon. Steen goes crashing into the barricade and they go inside where Generico goes after Steen with a chair, Steen kicks Generico and makes him drop the chair, but Generico again drills him with a long series of punches to the head and just beats Steen down in the corner. Steen tosses Generico to the ring apron and tries to suplex him back in, Generico fights him off and goes for a slingshot move into the ring, but Steen catches him and counters to an Ace Crusher. Steen gets ahold of a chair and plasters Generico across the back with it, then nails him again and backs off to let the referee count. Generico gets to his feet and gets ahold of the chair, Steen blocks the chairshot and counters to a kind of Codebreaker with the chair, then Steen puts the chair on top of Generico and hits a somersault splash and the referee counts again. Generico gets back up so Steen sets up the chair in the middle of the ring, Generico tries to fight back and go for a tornado DDT, but Steen just throws him off and puts Generico in the corner with the chair across his chest and comes plowing in with a rolling cannonball. Generico again beats the count, and they trade blows in the middle of the ring. Steen comes off the ropes and Generico dumps him out to the floor, he goes for a dive but Steen drags Generico outside and powerbombs him onto the ring apron. The referee counts Generico since you can still lose on the floor, and Steen goes after some fans who try and help Generico to his feet. Generico still manages to drag himself up and he falls backward onto a ringside attendant, who takes a running boot from Steen when Generico moves out of the way, and Generico comes right in with a running boot of his own. They fight over to a stage on the side and into the stands, Steen goes to the eyes and they fight it out on the stage until Steen charges Generico and gets caught and driven into the stage with a Michinoku Driver. Steen can't get up, so he rolls off the stage at 9 and staggers around ringside until Generico hits a running somersault dive off the stage and Steen is down again. Genericogoes back to the stage and again dives off and onto Steen with a tornado DDT to the floor. Steen again beats the count, so Generico hits a running boot off the apron and pulls a table out from under the ring. Generico sets the table up at ringside and puts Steen on top of it, but Steen comes off and rams Generico into the ringpost, then puts him on the table and heads into the ring to come off the ropes with a somersault dive that sends Generico crashing through the table. Generico again manages to somehow get to his feet and roll inside the ring, so Steen sets up two chairs face to face and goes for the F5, but Generico slips out and hits the half and half suplex onto the chairs and Steen is badly hurt. He still beats the count, so Generico smashes Steen with a chair and goes for a brainbuster onto a chair, but Steen hits a low blow and a fisherman's buster onto the chair. Generico barely makes it back to his feet, then goes right back down, so Steen just drills him with a chair and then goes up top, but Generico boots Steen off the top rope and through a ringside table. Steen still makes it back to his feet,and Generico has no idea what it's going to take to put Steen down. They go toe to toe in the middle of the ring and Steen spits in Generico's face and flips him off. Generico returns the favor, and he hits a running Yakuza kick, half and half suplex attempt, but Steen slips out and they fight back and forth again until Generico finally hits the brainbuster and both men are down. They both need to prop themselves up on chairs to get back to their feet and now they start fencing with the chairs until Steen kicks Generico low and drops him to his knees. We know what Steen does here, but suddenly Jimmy Jacobs runs out and stands in front of Generico to block the chairshot. Much like in Fox & the Hound, he saves Generico's skin and lets him hit a half and half suplex. Generico hands the chair to Generico, then pulls a spike out of nowhere and nails Generico as fans chant "welcome back Jimmy" at him. Steen picks the chair back up and hands it to Jacobs, who drills Generico square in the skull, and that's enough to finally put him down for the ten count.

Winner: Kevin Steen

Jacobs says thank you to Steen and he gets a crazed look in his eye like a junkie who fell off the wagon and finally got his fix.

ROH World Title Match: Davey Richards vs Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong

Handshakes all around, and then Roderick goes after both Wolves, ping ponging back and forth while destroying them with kicks and forearms. Davey tries to waistlock Roderick, but Roderick ducks and Davey goes to the floor. Davey quickly gets back in and kicks Roderick hard in the chest to send him out to the floor. Now it's Davey and Eddie in the ring, and they trade forearms and then trade running boots to the face and finally open hand slaps before Eddie takes Davey out with a running kneestrike to the face. Roderick tries to come in and get in some cheap shots again, but Eddie takes him out and goes back to working Davey over, sending him to the ropes and hitting a back elbow for 2. Davey lays Eddie out with a standing dropkick and ties him up in the Tequila Cloverleaf. Strong comes in and nails Davey, then starts putting the boots to both men. Roderick now shows off his standing dropkick that gets him a 2 count on Davey and then chokes Eddie in the corner with his boot. Roderick with a deathdrop on Davey for 2, then goes into a chop exchange with Edwards before they both chop at Richards. Davey does his O'Connor Roll/Northern Lights Suplex combo for 2 on both men, and they all lay each other out with high impact moves and they're all motionless on the mat. Davey and Eddie are up first and go toe to toe in the middle of the ring and then Roderick joins in to make a three way slugfest. Davey and Eddie try for some of their old American Wolves double teams, but Roderick dodges a double kick and gives Davey a backbreaker and a back suplex for 2. Roderick goes for a Gibson Driver, Davey drives Roderick into the corner to escape, but Eddie takes Davey out with a Tiger Suplex and then gives Roderick a Backpack Driver for 2. Eddie works Roderick over in the corner, but takes a chage and gets backdropped to the floor. Roderick tries for the gutbuster on Davey, but Davey counters to an anklelock. Roderick tries to slip out, so Davey catches him in an Indian Deathlock. Eddie kicks at Davey, but Davey catches his boot and locks him in an anklelock to get both opponents in submission predicaments. They both make the ropes, and Roderick goes out to the apron and Davey backdrops Eddie out there as well, and Eddie goes for a fisherman's buster but Strong reverses to a back suplex onto the ring apron and then Davey comes through the ropes and takes Strong out with a dive. This match is just insane. Eddie takes out both Davey and Roderick with an Asai moonsault to the floor, and appears to have hurt his shoulder coming down. Eddie rolls Roderick back into the ring and goes fora double stomp, Roderick dodges but Eddie rolls on his feet and hits a brainbuster for 2. Eddie goes up top but Davey leaps to the top rope and hits a superplex, rolls through and hits a Falcon Arrow and goes right into an armbar on Eddie until Roderick comes over and grabs Davey's legs to trap him in the Stronghold. Eddie and Roderick trade chops in the middle of the ring and the Wolves hit a double team Alarm Clock, Eddie superkicks Davey, and Strong hits Eddie with the Sick Kick for 2. Roderick puts Eddie on the top rope and then he dumps Davey with a back suplex, hits Eddie with a leaping enziguiriand tries to superplex him, but Eddie dumps him into the ring and Davey hits a double stomp and a bridging German suplex. Eddie breaks it up at 2 with a double stomp of his own, then chops Strong in the neck and covers him for 2. Eddie picks Strong up for a powerbomb and Davey turns it into a lungblower as Truth Martini and Michael Elgin come out to ringside to distract Eddie, who hits a running boot to send Martini sailing off the apron and into Elgin's arms, but Eddie turns around and gets caught in a small package by Roderick and is eliminated.

Eddie Edwards is eliminated.

Now it's all Davey as he just destroys Strong with a series of hard strikes and kicks, but Strong hits a leaping knee and the Sick Kick for 2. Strong gets the gutbuster and Gibson Driver for 2, then puts Davey on top and goes for a superplex, but Davey shoves him off, drops to the apron to hit Truth Martini with a running kick, then comes off the top rope with a double stomp, goes up and hits another one for 2, then a Gibson Driver for 2. Davey with an unprotected superkick to Strong's jaw and a spinning knockout kick to the side of the head and Strong goes limp. Davey rolls him to his back and covers for the win.

Winner: Davey Richards

Michael Elgin runs in and jumps Davey from behind, then hits the spinning sitout powerbomb. Truth Martini tells Davey that Michael Elgin stands for everything that is professional wrestling, and when he faces Davey tomorrow, we're going to have a new ROH World Champion. Strong, meanwhile, is in the corner with a look of disbelief on his face and rolls out to the floor with a look on his face like he's not sure if he shouldbe worried that his wife is out on the floor dancing with his best friend.

Really hard to say whether to recommend buying the replay given how distracting all the technical issues were, but the last two matches were excellent, so assuming they clean up all the technical issues by the time they put up the replay overnight as they promised, it'll probably be worth the money. I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow morning in the Elite section with Adolfo Acosta for the postgame show!

2012 - Dragon Gate USA presented their Open the Ultimate Gate iPPV in Miami, FL.  Mike Johnson filed the following live report:

We are live at the Dragon Gate USA event in Miami, Florida.  I actually just arrived so Richard Trionfo, who was going to do play by play will provide live thoughts and I will be do PBP. 

Pre-Show Notes: There will be at least one surprise tonight....The promotion is extremely happy with their $1.98 promotional price as they have over 1,000 new first-time buys for the iPPV broadcast and 2,000 or so buys total as of 7:15 PM.

AR Fox vs. Rich Swann

Swann came to the ring doing the Ronin song and got the crowd rowdy asking if everyone was drunk yet.

They locked up and Fox began working over Swann's arm.  Swann slipped out and grabbed a side headlock.  They started chain wrestling.  Fox went for a legsweep but Swann did a backflip to escape it and they faced off.  They went back and forth until Swann nailed a big dropkick. 

Swann beat on Fox in the corner and peppered him with punches in the corner.   He followed up with a chop in the corner.   Fox grabbed him and suplexed him on the back of his head for a two count.  Swann rolled out.  Fox ran off the apron and flipped off the ringpost, but Swann moved.  Swann then did a flip off and barely caught Fox.  The crowd chanted, "We want wrestling."

Back in the ring, Fox killed Swann with a series of cannonballs in the corner for a near fall.  He cinched in a side headlock, working Swann over.   Fox nailed a split-legged moonsault for another two count.   Swann fired back but was drilled with a hard DDT for a two count.  Swann came back with a leaping kick to the head and a rana off the ropes.

Swann came back with a series of kicks and a big splash for a two count.   Swann went up and over in the corner but was nailed and hit with a top rope swanton.   Swann rolled to the outside.  Fox drilled him with a kick and did a springboard into an inverted backflip, going upside down from an inverted position, crashing down on Swann.  That was insane.  Fox went for a top rope legdrop onto the apron but Swann moved and there was no water in the pool.

Swann nailed him with a handspring into an Ace Crusher, then nailed an awesome frog splash for a two count.   They went into a hot series of near falls until Swann chopped him hard in the face.  He went to the ropes but was nailed.  Fox leapt and nailed a one man Spanish Fly for the pin.

Your winner, AR Fox!

This was an absolutely incredible opener.  Just awesome innovative stuff here.

DGUSA Tag Team champions CIMA and Ricochet came out.  CIMA announced he wouldn't be able to wrestle tonight and apologized saying he loved the United States, wrestling and Dragon Gate, but they will have to vacate the belts.  He apologized to Ricochet. 

Ronin's Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor came out.  Taylor told them they needed to hand the belts over because Ronin was the new champion.  Gargano then refused, saying he wanted to earn the belts the way he earned his Open the Freedom Gate title.  Masato Yoshino came out and said that he wanted a shot at Gargano's belt but tonight offered to be Ricochet's partner.  They all agreed.  As an angle to set up something later, it was fine.

The Scene (with Larry Dallas) vs. Bobby Fish & mystery partner

The Scene came out with Shelly Martinez, Amber O'Neal and Sassie Stephy).  Fish came out alone and Dallas mocked him for not having a partner.  Tommy Dreamer came out to a big pop and an ECW chant.

They all brawled.  Dreamer nailed Caleb Konley with a pumphandle slam and locked in a Crossface.  He and Fish then worked over Scott Reed.   Fish nailed a slingshot splash for a two count.  He drilled Reed with a dropkick and knocked Konley off the apron.  Fish faked them with a dive and they ran off.  Dreamer nailed a double clothesline off the apron to the floor.

Konley dropped Dreamer across the guard rail.  The Scene worked him over on the floor until Fish chased them away.  They rolled him into the ring and continued beating on Dreamer.   Fish tried to help but the referee forced him out, allowing the Scene to work over Dreamer more.  The Scene slammed Dreamer down and drilled him with a double elbowdrop for a two count.  The girls worked over Dreamer when he was near the ropes.

The Scene both backdropped Dreamer for a two count but Fish broke up the count.   Konley went to come off the ropes.  Dreamer went to kick him but Konley caught the foot and drilled Dreamer with an elbow.  Dreamer kicked off a charge and made the hot tag to Fish.

Fish cleaned house and nailed several big kicks and a Dragon Screw legwhip to Reed.  He whipped Reed into the corner and nailed an elbow.   Dreamer returned and nailed Konley.  Stephy and Amber attacked him.  He grabbed them and kissed them both, then piledrove Stephy.  Konley nailed Dreamer with a backstabber.   Fish attacked Konley and locked him in a kneebar for the submission.

Your winners, Tommy Dreamer & Bobby Fish!

Shelley went after Dreamer, so he spanked her hard.

Fun back and forth match.

Sami Callihan vs. BxB Hulk

Callihan worked over Hulk early and tied him up on the mat, focusing his attack on the knees.   Callihan drilled him with chops then brought Hulk over to the ringpost.  He slammed Hulk's leg into the ringpost then drilled him with a kick.  Callihan brought him back in the ring and beat him hard with chops and rakes.

Hulk fired back with a series of kicks to the chest and back.  Hulk continued to nail Sami with a series of kicks in the corner, then nailed a Tazplex/powerslam combination.   Callihan backed off into the corner but Hulk continued to stomp away at him.   Hulk nailed a stiff kick and covered him for another two count.

Hulk measured him and stiffly kicked Callihan in the chest and nose.  He may have broken his nose.  Callihan started psyching himself up.  He spit on Hulk and challenged him.  Hulk drilled him with a series of kicks to the head and chest.  He went to go off the ropes but was caught and nailed with a death valley driver.  Callihan used the ropes to slingshot splash.  He followed up with a clothesline, sending Hulk off the apron to the floor and drilled him with a tope suicida.  Callihan then tossed Hulk into the first row.

Hulk returned with a kick to the head and rolled Callihan back into the ring.   Hulk nailed a springboard spinkick for another two count.   Hulk went for a superplex but Callihan fought him off and went for a top rope sunset flip.  Hulk held onto the ropes so Callihan kicked him hard in the back of his leg.  Hulk fell into the ring, where Callihan locked on another leglock.

Hulk fought his way back to his feet and nailed an awesome series of kicks and a standing moonsault press for a two count.   Hulk went for a springboard but his knee gave out and he crashed into the ring.  Callihan drilled him from the ropes and locked on a Stretch Muffler.  Hulk rolled him up for a two.  Callihan fought off an attempted kick.  He went to finish off Hulk but Christina Von Eerie came to the ring, drank Callihan's beer and then beckoned to Callihan.  He went for a kiss and she spit the beer into his eyes, blinding him.

Hulk drilled Callihan and pinned him.

Your winner, BxB Hulk!

Good match.  I didn't love the finish since it was so random, but it was good stuff until then.

Callihan cut a promo and said that he should have known not to trust a woman.  He got a great line off about usually loving when women spit alcohol all over him.  He said that all he can think about is Sabu, repeating his name.  He said Sabu was an extreme loser and old.

The lights went out and when they returned, Sabu was in the ring.  He and Sami brawled.  Sabu got the better of it until the DUF hit the ring.  Arik Cannon nailed Sabu with a full can of beer from behind.  Jon Davis and AR Fox hit the ring.  Fox and Sami brawled to the back.

Street Fight: Sabu & Jon Davis vs. The DUF

Everyone brawled.  Sabu put a table on the apron.  Davis went for a powerbomb but Pinky Sanchez drilled him with a running knee and a kneelift.  Davis cut him off with a leaping leg lariat.  Sabu pulled out a spike and began stabbing Arik Cannon in the head, busting him open.  He spiked him in the side of the head then nailed Air Sabu off a chair.

Sabu went for another but was caught and hung on the ropes, drilled into the mat.  Davis hit the ring for a save, spinebusting him.  Sanchez and Cannon doubleteamed Davis and Sabu.  Cannon DVDR'd his own partner on Davis.  Sabu set up a table in the corner but was beaten down by Cannon.

Davis dispatched Sanchez to the floor and clotheslined Cannon, who took a 360 bump.  Sabu worked over Cannon and laid him facefirst on a table, then came off with a flying legdrop through it.  Davis speared Sanchez as he tried to make the save and scored the pin.

Your winner, Sabu and Jon Davis!

Callihan attacked Sabu from behind and nailed him with a bottle.  He began cutting a promo asking Sabu if he thought this was going to be that easy.  He said he wasn't going to finish Sabu on a 1.99 PPV.  He said that he wants Sabu to think all night about tomorrow being his last match.  He stood over Sabu strangling him with his feet and walked off.

Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Akira Tozawa  (with BxB Hulk and Christina Von Eerie)

They stiffly beat the hell out of each other early with kicks and chops.   Mochizuku missed several kicks and was nailed by Tozawa.  He fired back with a running kick to the back that sent Tozawa to the floor.  Mochizuki continued to control the match, locking him in a legbar, trying to force the submission.

Tozawa battled back but was caught in an armbar.   Tozawa went to the ropes to break it and then to the floor.  Mochizuki followed him to the floor.  They battled on the apron, firing back and forth with kicks.  Mochizuka grabbed his arm and slammed him down hard on the apron.  The crowd chanted for Mochizuki.

Tozawa tried to battle back but was kicked off.  Tozawa nailed a stiff back suplex and a suicide dive to the outside.  He went for another but Mochizuki tried to fight him off.  Tozawa nailed him then hit another suicide dive.  The crowd loved that.

Back in the ring, Tozawa continued to work him over  and drilled him with a stiff dropkick to the neck for a two count.  Tozawa nailed a senton splash for a two count.  He choked Mochizuki in the corner with his boot.  He went for a tombstone but Mochizuki reversed it and spiked him for a two count, then locked on the camel clutch.

Tozawa made a comeback and murdered him with a series of chops in the corner.  Mochizuki challenged him so Tozawa punched him in the face.  Mochizuki fired back with an awesome stiff shot.  They continued going back and forth with stiff punches and kicks.  It was beautiful.  Mochizuki rolled up Tozawa for a two count.

Mochizuki tagged him with a series of insane kicks and strikes, culminating with a kick to the back of the head.  He went to the ropes but Tozawa leapt up and nailed a German superplex.  The crowd chanted, "This is awesome."   They kept reversing German attempts.  Tozawa nailed it for a two count but Mochizuki grabbed an armbar.  Tozawa fought out and nailed a sick backdrop driver with a bridge.  Mochizuki kicked out at the last second.  The crowd stood on their feet and applauded, chanting for Dragon Gate.

They exchanged Yakuza kicks to the face and slaps.    Mochizuki pepered Tozawa with an insane series of kicks for a two count.  Mochizuki nailed a springboard knee strike and covered him for the pin.

Your winner, Masaaki Mochizuki!

GREAT, stiff, hard-hitting match.  Just awesome stuff here.

Christina Von Eerie  took the mic and told Mochizuki that she had a message for him.  He struck him in the groin with the mic and ran off.

Johnny Vandal vs. Samurai Del Sol

Del Sol was the mystery Luchador they've signed.

They started off hit with a tope con hilo to the floor on Vandal.  He nailed a great springboard splash for a two count.   Vandal cut him off and nailed a running splash to the ropes.  He covered him for a two count.  They battled back and forth until Vandal nailed a F5.

Vandal went to the top for a double kneedrop across the chest for a two count.   He bean working over Del Sol, who snapped him with a reverse rana, spiking him into the mat for the pin.

Your winner, Samurai Del Sol!

Decent match.

Low Ki vs. PAC

They started out doing some good back and forth mat wrestling followed by a test of strength.   Ki was forced to the mat but bridged out and reversed it.  Pac bridged but Ki drilled him in the hamstring with kicks.  They went into a great series of near falls and reversals.  The crowd applauded.

They went back to the mat wrestling, going back and forth.  They went to lock up and Ki threw an insanely fast kick.  Pac barely evaded  it.  They worked back and forth, until Ki drilled him with a kick against the ropes.   Ki went for a suplex but Pac reversed it and forced him against the turnbuckles and drilled him with a knee to the gut.  Pac nailed an elbow to the jaw and followed up with additional shots. 

Ki reversed it nailed a series of kicks.  He sent Pac into the opposite corner but Pac flipped over him and drilled him with a kick.  Pac lifted Ki and nailed a backbody drop.  Pac snapmared Ki over scissored his head with his legs.  Ki tried to bridge out but Pac nailed him in the mid-section.  The crowd began chanting back and forth for each man as Ki made it to the ropes and broke the hold.

Ki chopped Pac hard and followed up with a stiff elbow.  He drilled Pac with some insanely stiff chops.   Ki nailed a handspring off the ropes into a crossbody for a two count.  Ki tied up Pac on the maty, trying to force a submission with a head scissors of his own.  He pulled Pac into a pinfall for a two count, then kicked him in the back of the neck for another two count.

Pac finally forced Ki into the corner and nailed a series of back elbows.   Pac ended up on the apron and tried to suplex Ki to the outside but Ki kicked him while upside down.  Ki went for a kick but missed and Pac leapt into the ring, twisting Ki into a rana.  Ki went to the floor.  Pac tried  to nail a dive to the floor but Ki took his legs out and forced him to land hard on his tailbone on the apron.  Ki chopped him hard but was kicked off into the guard rail when he tried again.

Pac went to the top and nailed a twisting moonsault to the floor.  That was incredible.   The crowd chanted, "That was splendid."  Back in the ring, Pac drilled him with a hard forearm. Pac sent Ki into the ropes and sent him flying up and crashing down hard.   Ki made a comeback and nailed a handspring into a kick to the head in the corner.  He covered Pac for a two count.  Pac kicked out and Ki covered him again.

Ki chopped Pac hard in the chest in the corner.   Ki gave him a knee breaker and went for a twisting dive but Pac rolled out of the way.   Pac went to the top rope and nailed a 630 splash for a two count.   Pac went for a top rope leg lariat but Ki ducked.  Ki went for a kick but Pac ducked, so Ki swept the leg.  Ki went to the top for the double stomp but Pac knocked him down.  He went to the top  and nailed a rana off the ropes.   Pac went to the top and went for a twisting shooting star press but Ki moved.

Ki went to the top and came off with a double stomp to the chest and scored the pin.

Your winner, Low Ki!

GREAT, hard hitting match with some great futuristic back and forth action.

Low Ki took the mic.  He said he's not much for words but Pac is incredible.   He said that was the true sport of professional wrestling.   He says that he doesn't know how everyone else feels, but he would be more than happy to do that again.   Some fans yelled for right now, and Ki said, "Did you not just see what I just went through to get this victory?"  He said that what we just saw was a championship quality match.  He said that the more you can perform at that level, the more you get bang for your back.  Ki said that he was calling out all DGUSA and EVOLVE wrestlers.  He said that an EVOLVE title should be created for competitors like Pac and he's throwing his name out there to compete for it.  He said that as passionate as he is about the business, he doesn't do it for himself but for all the fans.

Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor versus Yoshino and Ricochet: Yoshino and Ricochet worked very well together and did a good job working over Gargano. The focus on Gargano also helps Yoshino for their match on Saturday night. After working on Gargano and being methodical with the work, they did a good thing with the spear and suicide dive spot by Gargano followed by the lionsault.

I liked the way that Taylor winced whenever anyone hit him on the chest since it looked like he might have spent too much time in the ring. Gargano’s counter of kicking Ricochet on a standing moonsault was unique. While Ricochet works at a fast pace, Yoshino works at an even faster speed that is fun to watch especially since he is so sound in the ring. The crowd was into the main event, but when Yoshino and Ricochet hit a series of moves on Gargano that teams that have been working for years would have trouble hitting, the crowd exploded. The sequence of Yoshino and Gargano trying for submissions only to counter was insane to watch. Then Gargano and Ricochet matched it with the forearm sequence.

They had a good mix of wrestling and comedy in this match. The crowd was into everything that these guys did. But at the right time in the match, things got serious.

I was wondering if they would explain why Chuck Taylor pushed Gargano off on a cover when it appeared that they had won the match. I guess we didn’t have to wait long. When CIMA shook Gargano’s hand first, I thought that maybe Taylor would refuse, not attack Gargano.