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7/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER OPENS ITS DOORS, DR. DEATH BECOMES THE FINAL UWF CHAMPION, JR'S BBQ DEBUTS AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2018-07-11 08:00:00

July 11th

On this day in history in ....


1958 - Angelo Savoldi defeats Dory Funk Sr. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title for the second time.

1961 - Gene Kiniski defeats Verne Gagne in Minneapolis, Minnesota to win the AWA World Heavyweight Title.

1987 - Two title changes took place at Great American Bash cards in separate locations. At the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina, Lex Luger defeated Nikita Koloff for the United States Title. The referee was knocked out, and manager JJ Dillon tossed Luger a chair, which he used to knock out Koloff. He then put the unconscious Koloff in the Human Torture Rack for the win. In the main event of that show, NWA World Champion Ric Flair defeated Jimmy Garvin in a steel cage match when Garvin passed out while trapped in the figure four leglock. As a result, Flair won a date with Garvin's valet, Precious. When the date occurred, Ronnie Garvin went instead (dressed as a woman), and beat up Flair.

That same night, at a show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Steve Williams defeated Big Bubba Rogers with the Oklahoma Stampede powerslam to win the UWF Heavyweight Title. Williams was the fourth, and final, UWF champion, as the company was absorbed by Jim Crockett Promotions and the title was later abandoned. Interesting to note, he was also the only babyface champion, as the three previous UWF champions (Rogers, One Man Gang, Terry Gordy) were all heels.

1989 - Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu defeat Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu in Hokkaido, Japan to win the All Japan Pro Wrestling World Tag Team Title.

1992 - Thanks to Silent Bob for the following. ... World Wrestling Federation house show in Charlotte, North Carolina. This show is significant as it was, at the time, a very rare WWF show in the Queen City which was the long time home of Jim Crockett Promotions. This was Flair's one and only return to his hometown under the WWF banner as he was pulled off a subsequent show due to illness. This was the largest crowd to date at what was, at the time, the "new" Coliseum. Previous WCW shows only utilized half of the arena with a curtain dividing the arena in half.

- Ric Flair pinned WWF Champion Randy Savage, but the decision was later reversed when Flair dropped a foreign object he used to pin Savage in front of the referee.
- The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer pinned the Bezerker (complete w/rubber sword & shield that visibly bent when he got in the ring) w/Mr. Fuji after a tombstone.
- The Nasty Boys beat High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware) when Sags pinned Owen.
- The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) defeated the WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc. ("Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase & Irwin R. Schyster) by CO when Money Inc. walked out rather than continue the match.
- Tatanka defeated Rick Martel.
- "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith pinned Repo Man after hitting him with a hook on the rope Repo brought to the ring.

1992 - Smoky Mountain Wrestling ran Morristown, TN at East High School with the following results:
Hector Guerrero pinned Jimmy Golden
Robert Gibson pinned Joe Cazana
Tim Horner pinned the Dirty White Boy
SMW Heavyweight Champion Brian Lee pinned Buddy Landell.
SMW Tag Team Champions The Heavenly Bodies, Stan Lane & Tom Prichard defeated The Fantastics, Bobby & Jackie Fulton in a No DQ match when Prichard pinned Fulton

1997 - Extreme Championship Wrestling ran Asbury Park, NJ at the Convention Center featuring the following results:

Little Guido & Tracy Smothers defeated Danny Morrison (the future Danny Doring) & Bud Licious
Tom Prichard pinned Louie Spicolli
Chris Chetti defeated Jason via disqualification
ECW World TV Champion Taz defeated Nova via submission
PG-13 defeated Mikey Whipwreck & Spike Dudley
Chris Candido & Shane Douglas & Bam Bam Bigelow defeated the Pitbulls & Balls Mahoney
Axl Rotten & Bobby Duncum Jr. defeated Jimmy Shoulders & Bill Wiles
Sabu & Rob Van Dam defeated Tommy Dreamer & the Sandman

1998 - Extreme Championship Wrestling ran Manchester, CT at the JFK Coliseum featuring the following results:

Chris Chetti beat Danny Doring.
Mikey Whipwreck pinned Mike Lozansky.
John Kronus pinned Michael Kovac.
Spike Dudley vs. Jack Victory.
The Blue Meanie & Super Nova vs. Tommy Rich & Little Guido.
Masato Tanaka pinned Tracy Smothers.
Justin Credible pinned Jerry Lynn.
ECW World Tag Team Champs Sabu & Rob Van Dam beat Chris Candido & Lance Storm when Van Dam pinned Storm.
The Dudley Boyz beat Tommy Dreamer, Axl Rotten, & Balls Mahoney.

1999 - Momoe Nakanishi defeats Chaparita Asari in Tokyo, Japan to win the WWWA Super Lightweight Title.

1999 - Extreme Championship Wrestling ran Orlando, FL at the Fairgrounds, featuring the following results:

Vito Lograsso & Rhino defeated Angel & Simon Diamond
Steve Corino defeated Bill Wiles
Spike Dudley defeated Steve Corino
Yoshihiro Tajiri defeated Super Crazy and Little Guido in a Three Way Dance
Jerry Lynn defeated Lance Storm
ECW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz defeated Chris Chetti & Nova and Danny Doring & Roadkill in a Three Way Dance. 
Jazz defeated Jason Knight
Sabu defeated Justin Credible

2007 - Jim Ross opened the doors on Jr's BBQ, his first restaurant in Oklahoma.

2007 - WWE released referee Chris Kay.

2008 - WWE Raw ran Lexington, KY.  Terri Bey filed the following live report:

I attended the 7/11 Raw House Show in Lexington KY and here are the results.br />
Finkel announced the possible stipulations for the World Championship Match: NO DQ or Falls Count Anywhere. There may have been another though.

Jamie Noble beat Charlie Haas in an ok opener. Nothing special.

D Lo Brown beat Santino Morella in a pretty decent match. Morella cut a funny promo before the match making fun of Lexington and praising rival Louisville. Brown looked ok.

Paul London beat Chuck Palumbo in a fair match. London had a kid as a guest manager that Kelly Kelly picked out of the crowd. London had some cool moves and did his best with Chuck.

Kofi Kingston retained his Intercontinental Title against Paul Burchill w/Lea in a pretty good match. Both guys worked hard. I enjoyed it.

Mickie James retained her Women's Title against Beth Phoenix in a good match. I enjoyed both women's' efforts. Beth's power moves are impressive in person.

Intermission

Lance Cade cuts a promo bashing HBK

HBK beat Cade in an excellent match. Nice work between both teacher and former student. HBK is still the man in my book.

CM Punk retained his World Heavyweight Championship against Batista in a surprisingly very good match. The stipulation was No DQ. I enjoyed it. Both guys worked pretty well together. Post Match saw Batista Batista bomb CM Punk and Batista got a huge CHEER and when Punk got up, he got BOOd. Weird. But anyway.....good match.

Main Event: Cryme Tyme and Cena beat DiBiase , Rhodes and Kane. There was a spot where Kane chokeslammed JTG and went to the back and JTG was carried to the back. Anyway, Cena finished off Dibiase and Rhodes with the five knuckle shuffle and FU. Post Match: Cena gives a speech on how he loves Lexington and KY and praises Finkel for his 31 years of service.

Good show.

2009 - Former WWF star Brock Lesnar defeated Frank Mir in the second round of their UFC 100 main event in Las Vegas, becoming the undisputed UFC champion. Lesnar took Mir down and used ground and pound to win via TKO. Lesnar flipped off the crowd and cut a heel-like promo after the win.

2009 - TNA ran Hamburg, NY.  Mike Rickard filed the following live report:

 Mike Rickard sent this report.
Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling came to the Hamburg, New York Agricultural Center last night for an action-packed show. While there weren't a lot of fans in attendance, TNA did a great job working the crowd and putting on a very entertaining evening.

Things got off to a shaky start when the audio went out but TNA's Jeremy Borash showed up and began interacting with the crowd. He introduced the opening match and by match two, the sound was on and everything was working fine.

1. Eric Young vs. Consequences Creed: Not too much love for Young but both guys put in a good match to open the show. Young gets the duke and Creed sells like Young shot him.
WINNER: Eric Young (by pinfall).

2. Angelina Love vs. Taylor Wilde: Both girls are gorgeous in person. Good match with lots of high-flying moves and brawling. Love looked like she had things wrapped up when Wilde surprised her with a roll-up.
WINNER: Taylor Wilde.

After the match, Jeremy Borash told the fans that TNA was happy to be in Hamburg (a suburb of Buffalo, NY). He promised backstage passes to the loudest fans as well as a big surprise after the main event. The lure of backstage passes fired up the crowd bigtime and the smalla audience sounded a lot bigger than they looked.

3. Prince Abdul Bashir vs. Christopher Daniels: I haven't seen Daniels in person in a while so I forgot just how awesome his moonsault is. The only drawback to this match was that Bashir was doing little more than punches and kicks throughout the night. Still, Daniels kept things exciting.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels

4. TNA World Tag Team Championship Match: Beer Money Inc. (Robert Roode & "Tennessee Cowboy" James Storm) (Champions) vs. Team 3-D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon): This match was very old school in that both teams took their time building up the audience's anticipation before starting things off. Lots of comedy spots including Beer Money getting into it with referee Earl Hebner, leading to Brother Ray putting on Hebner's striped shirt and reffing a match between Storm and Hebner. Team 3-D dominated the match but some clever (some might say illegal) double teams by the champions spelled the end for Team 3-D.
WINNERS: Beer Money Inc. (by pinfall).

After the match, Bashir went to celebrate with Beer Money but the champions wanted nothing to do with them. Instead, Storm sprayed beer in Bashir's face then rolled him into the ring where Team 3-D anxiously awaited him. Bashir went through the table, much to the delight of the audience. Team 3-D worked the crowd and gave away a piece of the broken table to a young fan.

5. X Division Title Match (Three Way Dance): "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal vs. Suicide vs. Homicide (Champion)- Jeremy Borash announced that a new champion had been crowned this week and that TNA fans could watch the title match this Thursday on Impact. Decent X match with Homicide retaining.

6. Legends Title Match: Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles: I was surprised to see Joe wrestle (especially in a singles match) given his injury. You couldn't tell Joe was injured by the performance he put in. During the match, Kurt Angle ran out and tried to interfere but Mick Foley came out to stop him. Excellent main event with Styles hitting the Pele followed by the Styles Clash for the win.
WINNER: A.J. Styles (by pinfall).

After the match, Mick Foley congratulated Styles on his victory. He thanked the fans for supporting TNA then informed the fans that they had a special birthday to celebrate-that of legendary wrestler (and Buffalo native) The Destroyer. Foley led the fans in singing Happy Birthday as the Destroyer made his way to ringside. Foley then thanked the Destroyer for paving the way for all of today's stars. The Destroyer thanked Foley and told Foley that he's lot better wrestler than he is a singer.

Following the birthday celebration, Jeremy Borash informed the fans that they didn't have enough backstage passes for the fans so they were bringing the wrestlers out to meet them. Some of the evening's stars showed up to do autographs and mingle with the fans. There was also an opportunity to get in the six sided ring and take a picture with a TNA star for twenty bucks.

This was a really fun evening. While there weren't a lot of matches, the wrestlers put on a good show and really knew how to interact with the fans during the matches. That's something that you just don't see a lot of anymore. TNA really went out of its way to make the fans feel appreciated. The only real drawback to tonight's show was the obnoxiously bright lights they used to light the stage. They were so bright that you couldn't see all of the action and taking pictures was a bit of a chore. Still, one of the most fun house shows I've been to in quite a while.

Kevin Hover sent this report.

I just got back from TNA Live in Hamburg (suburban Buffalo), NY. Here are this evening's results.

The show started off at 7:30 with someone who was NOT Jeremy Borash MCing the event. Two sentences in, they lost power to the mics. So he yelled out the usual do not videotape this instead. JB eventually took over the proceedings. The sound problem wasn't fixed until after the first match, so no music.

"Showtime" Eric Young defeated Consequences Creed at 7:22. Mixed reaction to EY, I guess his heel turn hasn't caught on yet.

Taylor Wilde defeated Angelina Love at 8:58. Referee Earl Hebner was getting the brunt of the abuse as per usual. The best chant going was "Earl's got a boner."

"The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels beat Sheik Abdul Bashir at 7:26 with the BME.

TNA World Tag Team Champions Beer Money successfully defended against Team 3D at 20:55. A very fun match the crowd was way into. Sheik Bashir again with interference helps Beer Money win, only to have Robert Roode send him to the wolves from Dudleyville waiting with a table for the 3D. Bubba and D-Von gave a kid in the audience a signed piece of said table.

Intermission

TNA X Division Champion Homicide successfully defended against Suicide and "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal, pinning Lethal at 7:49.

TNA Legends Champion AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe at 9:50 with the Pele. Kurt Angle interfered, crotching AJ on the turnbuckle, which brought out Mick Foley to clear house of the TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

After the last match, Cactus brought Dick The Destroyer to the ring, and had the audience sing happy 78th. birthday to him. Foley also brought out Daniels, Taylor Wilde, and Creed to sign autographs at ringside, while AJ Styles took pictures with fans in the ring.

It was far and away the best card I've been to in years, probably dating back to when I was a kid seeing Ric Flair and Roddy Piper in a cage during Flair's first WWF run. I would guess between 1700-2000 people in attendance, which given the little advertising I saw is a great thing. JB teased possibly doing a PPV there. Overall a great experience.

2010 - TNA held their Victory Road PPV.  Mike Johnson filed the following PPV report:

The 2010 Victory Road PPV opened with a video feature focusing on Abyss, including an homage to the famous scene in the Universal monster classic Frankenstein featuring a little girl handing Abyss a flower.

Mike enay welcomed everyone to the PPV.

TNA X-Division champion Douglas Williams vs. Brian Kendrick - Ultimate X with Submissions Legal

Williams went right to the corner to climb up to the cables but Kendrick attacked him.  Williams overcame the attack and took Kendrick to the mat, then used a cravate to hold Kendrick to the mat.  Kendrick made a comeback and peppered Williams in the corner with punches.  Williams fought his way out and nailed a running knee strike in the corner, suplexed Kendrick and bridged over into an Oriental Torture Device for a submission attempt.  Kendrick made it to the ropes but Williams grabbed him in a front facelock.  Kendrick fought his way out but was caught with a missile dropkick off the middle rope.  Kendrick went for a Cobra Clutch but Williams escaped and nailed a leaping forearm.

Williams scissored Kendrick's head between his legs as the fans chanted for Kendrick.  Kendrick was able to escape and attacked Williams with over a dozen crossfaces.  Williams raised himself to his feet as Kendrick was on his back and fell backwards, taking out Kendrick.  Williams pulled Kendrick over his back for a hangman's neckbreaker.  Kendrick dropped out and nailed several leaping kicks.  He went back to the Cobra Clutch but Williams drove Kendrick backwards into the corner.  He charged Kendrick, who backdropped him over the ropes to the floor.  Williams made his way to the corner from the outside and tried to climb up but Kendrick pulled him backwards into the ring, hanging upside down with a choke.

Kendrick climbed over Williams and attempted to climb the metal trusts but Williams grabbed him and nailed a back suplex off the top rope into the ring, hurting both.  Williams grabbed the dazed Kendrick, and tried to snapmare him over into a submission but Kendrick rolled through and went right to the Cobra Clutch.  They pointed out Kendrick made Williams tap out previously to explain the strategy.  Williams rolled through the ropes to the entrance ramp, then off of it to break the hold.

Kendrick began climbing the trust.  Williams followed.  They battled until Williams punched Kendrick, who fell and bumped off, snapping off the ropes, before landing on the Impact Zone floor.  Williams climbed down since he's afraid of heights.  Williams pulled out a pair of white gloves and paintbrushed Kendrick across the face with them, then slammed him into the apron.  Williams and Kendrick battled on the cables.  Kendrick appeared to be going for the Cobra Clutch, but both men fell off the aprons.  Kendrick appeared out on the landing.  Williams locked in a choke and Kendrick's arm was dropped three times.

Your winner, Douglas Williams!

As a submission match, this was OK but as an Ultimate X match, this was far below the usual level that fans would come to expect from that stipulation.  I enjoyed the bout but the UX stip was really unnecessary here based on how the match was booked.

Mike Tenay and Taz discussed the TNA title bout and the three challengers.

Christy Hemme tried to interview Brother Ray.  Ray grabbed the mic and said that Jesse Neal was a failure like her edition of Playboy.  He said Neal was a failure to his family and his dead friend and will be one tonight and one in the wrestling business.  Ray said that it wasn't in Devon's best interest to lay a hand on him.  Ray said that he made Devon and Devon would be nowhere without him.  Hemme looked disgusted so Ray asked her if she was going to cry because he'd like to see her cry.  Ray said he is Team 3D and tonight, he was going to finish this.  He stormed off.

Video feature on the three-way including a clip of Tommy Dreamer's cameo last month.

Brother Ray vs. Jesse Neal vs. Brother Devon

Brother Ray attacked Neal as he was coming down the ring ramp.  Devon's music played but there was no sign of him as Ray kept beating the hell out of Neal around ringside.   Cameras went backstage where Devon was trapped behind a locked door that had been jimmied not to open.  Devon was screaming through the door for Hogan or Bischoff or someone to get the door open.  Ray tossed Neal in the ring as the bell rang.  Ray controlled Jesse, punching him.  Ray controlled Jesse for some time,

Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Rhino and Stevie Richards made their way through the Impact Zone as fans chanted for ECW.  Ray began jawing with them, allowing Neal to spear Ray for a two count.  Jesse made a big comeback, working over Ray but was cut off with a back elbow.  Ray grabbed a chair.  Shannon Moore rushed the ring but was held back the referee.  That allowed Ray to slam Neal over the back with the chair while the ref's back was turned. 

Devon's music hit and he came to the ring, obviously freed.  Ray shook his head no as Devon made his way.  Team 3D went face to face for a long time, then turned to look over Neal.  Ray went to hit Devon but Devon blocked it.  Neal went to spear Ray but he moved and Neal speared Devon.  Ray hit the Bubba Bomb on Neal and scored the pin.

Your winner, Brother Ray!

Fans were so upset over the result, they began chanting ECW again at the former ECW crew.

Good pre-match promo from Ray.   The match was short but fine for the time they had and they continued the issues between all three while adding the fact that Neal speared Devon.

Video feature on the TNA Knockouts championship.

TNA Knockouts champion Madison Rayne vs. Angelina Love: Title vs. Career

They noted that if The Beautiful People interfere, Rayne will be DQ'd and Love will win the title.

Love cleaned house on Rayne early, including a clothesline on the floor for a two count.  Love went for a slam but Rayne raked her eyes and tossed her into the corner.  Rayne choked Love in the corner, then ran her head-first into the other.  Rayne nailed several kneelifts and a neck breaker for a two count.  Rayne set up Love for the Scissor stomp, smashing her head into the mat several times.  Love came back with a clothesline and a jawbreaker.

Love rebounded off the ropes with several clotheslines.  Rayne took her out and grabbed a chair from ringside.  The referee argued with Rayne, who ignored her.  Love kicked the chair into Rayne's face.  A woman in black wearing a motorcycle helmet drove into the Impact Zone.  Love dared her to get in the ring.  Rayne knocked Love to the floor, where the helmeted woman threw Love into the ringpost.  The referee tried to see who the woman was and was tossed down by the woman.

The referee called for the DQ.  After conferring with Jeremy Borash, Borash announced that due to the interference, Love was the new champion by DQ.  Rayne looked shocked since she could only lose the belt if one of the BPs interfered, then got on the back of the motorcycle and the mystery woman drove off.

Weak finish to a match that never seemed to get out of first gear.  If they were going to do a title change, why not do a clean finish?  I guess the idea was to create a mystery over whether it really was one of the BPs who interfered or not.

Christy Hemme interviewed Ken Anderson about the TNA title match.  Anderson mocked all the things he's supposed to say about the other men he's facing, clowning around.  He said that earlier today he had an epiphany to do something special tonight, coming in as "normal, ordinary a**holes" but when the smoke clears, he'll have the opportunity to become "World Heavyweight champion a**hole."

AJ Styles & Kazarian vs. Samoa Joe & Rob Terry

Styles and Kazarian weren't happy when Joe was revealed.    Styles faced off with Terry, then tagged out to Kazarian.  Terry grabbed Kazarian in a claw, then smashed him down.  Kazarian went to the floor, frustrated.  Joe attacked him on the floor, tagging him with rights.  Styles came charging but Joe smashed him with a boot to the face, then tossed Kazarian back in.  Joe tagged in and nailed a ton of strikes as the fans chanted "Joe's gonna kill you." 

Terry tagged in and tossed both Styles and Kazarian to the floor.  Joe hit a suicide dive into a forearm smash on both.  Back in the ring, Joe charged Styles in the corner.  Styles raked his face and set up Joe for Kazarian to hit a slingshot DDT for a two count.  Kazarian nailed a leg lariat as he and Styles began working together, working over Joe.  Styles took Joe to the mat with a front facelock.  Joe finally caught Styles in the corner with an Uranage and tagged Terry in.

Terry whips Styles into the corner, where he cannonballs in.  Terry hits a huge backdrop on Kazarian, then presses and slams Styles.   Terry misses a big boot but catches Kazarian trying to hit a high cross bodyblock and nailed a Fall Away Slam.  Terry hits the over the shoulder powerslam for a two count on Styles.  Kazarian breaks it up.  Joe hits the ring and chops away at them.  Joe set up Kazarian for the muscle buster but Desmond Wolfe ran out and pulled Joe to the floor.  Joe and Wolfe battled on the floor.  Joe knocked him down as Kazarian laid out Joe from behind.  Wolfe charged Terry but was laid out. 

Styles nailed a flying forearm on Terry.  Kazarian followed up with a leg lariat and Styles hit a springboard 450 splash for the pin.

Your winners, AJ Styles and Frankie Kazarian!

The two got all excited celebrating before they realized they don't really like each other.  They thanked Wolfe as they left, leaving him to be killed by Joe with a Muscle Buster.

Good, but short match.  Terry was booked exactly as he should be, as a monster who is protected.  Kazarian and Styles showed promise as a team and it was the usual good work from Samoa Joe.

Christy Hemme interviewed Abyss backstage.  He was holding a board that was brandished with nails.  Abyss said "they" gave him the instructions to create the destruction and pave their way to taking over.  He promised to show everyone in the main event what a "b**ch" his girl, the weapon, can be.

Christy Hemme interviewed Abyss backstage.  He was holding a board that was brandished with nails.  Abyss said "they" gave him the instructions to create the destruction and pave their way to taking over.  He promised to show everyone in the main event what a "b**ch" his girl, the weapon, can be.

Video feature on Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan.

Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez - Steel Cage Match

Morgan and Hernandez jawed back and forth when the cage was locked.  Morgan tried to escape but Hernandez attacked him and tossed him into the cage several times.  Morgan whipped Hernandez into the corner but missed a charge.  Hernandez crotched Morgan on the top rope then dropicked him off.  Hernandez splashed Morgan into the cage several times.  He set up for a third but Morgan moved and Hernandez slammed himself into the cage head-first.

Morgan took control, running Hernandez into the cage several times.  Morgan set up Hernandez on the top turnbuckle and nailed him with a big boot to the face.  Morgan stomped Hernandez, then stepped on his chest.  Morgan began messing with the crowd, asking them how he should leave the cage.  He finally had the door open and stepped out with one foot, then changed his mins and went back after Hernandez, so the story is that he had Hernandez beat and changed his mind.  Hernandez was busted open and there was a great closeup of him screaming before Morgan slammed him into the cage.  Morgan began raking Hernandez's cut head across the cage.  The Sheik would be proud.

Morgan destroyed Hernandez with a series of punches and showed off his bloody hand.     He whipped Hernandez into the corner but Hernandez fired back with a series of clotheslines.  Morgan nailed him with a cheap shot and called for the Carbon Footprint but was hit with a shoulderblock by Hernandez.  Hernandez went for the Border Toss but Hernandez wasn't able to hold him up.  The announcers said that perhaps Morgan rakes his eyes.  Morgan took over but missed a charge in the corner.  Hernandez went for it again and slipped as he hit the move, so it was more of a nasty looking powerbomb.

Hernandez climbed to the top of the cage but instead of escaping, he did a splash off the top.  Morgan rolled out of the way.  Fans chanted for TNA.  Morgan pulled out a pair of handcuffs he smugged into the ring.  He cuffed Hernandez to the rope.  Morgan mocked him, then began climbing out of the cage.  Hernandez ripped the cuffs open, then charged and dove through the door, landing on the rampway for the win.

Your winner, Hernandez!

Match was OK.    Both guys were working really hard and it's hard to criticize a match where they took this type of punishment, especially Hernandez but parts of it were scary to watch and the finish was "too" creative for a Cage match where the babyface is winning but the heel is still standing strong.

Christy Hemme interviewed Jay Lethal.  Hemme said tonight is Lethal's dream come true.  Flair said that sometimes, he thinks Hemme is blonde if she thinks Lethal has a chance to defeat Flair.  He said that he was going to beat Lethal so hard, he's going to go back to the future.  Flair said that he is the reason there is even a wrestling business.  He said that he was going to walk that aisle while Lethal is going to stand there and wondering what he's done to himself.  Flair said that he hates showing off but tonight, he's going to be "Naitchin'" and is going to kick Lethal's ass.  He said he was going to beat Lethal so hard, Lethal is going to go back to his mother's breasts and ask what he did wrong.  He said that he should be sipping red wine and making love to a beautiful woman but instead he's going to be the 60 minute man.  He said Lethal pissed him off and now he's going to see what happens when someone does that.  Real good promo.

Taz and Mike Tenay discussed the Flair vs. Lethal bout.

Ric Flair vs. Jay Lethal

Lethal came out wearing a red and yellow robe that was emblazoned with the words "Living the Dream."  Taz said it was in tribute to Hulk Hogan for making the match.    The fans were strongly behind Lethal at the bell.  They locked up with Lethal grabbing a side headlock.  Flair reversed but was shoved off.  Lethal mocked Flair's mannerisms.  Flair shoulderblocked him down but was caught with a dropkick.  Lethal backdropped Flair over and clotheslined Flair over the top to the floor.

As Flair returned to the apron, he caught Lethal in the gut with a shoulder and tried to suplex Lethal out of the ring.  Lethal reversed it and suplexed Flair into the ring for a two count.  He nailed a missile dropkick for another but Flair caught Lethal with a thumb to the eye.  Flair chopped away on Lethal in the corner.  Lethal blocked a punch and began chopping away on Flair in the corner.  Flair stumbled out of the corner and hit the Flair flop. 

Flair went to the top rope but Lethal caught him.  Lethal scored with a superplex into the ring, then teased a top rope elbowsmash.  He instead went for a moonsault but Flair rolled out of the way.  Flair began working on Lethal's legs to set up for the figure four leglock.  Dueling chants began.    Flair finally locked in the figure four in the center of the ring and began using the ropes for leverage.  Lethal sold the figure four like a champ.  Hebner finally caught Flair using the ropes and forced a break.  Flair shoved Hebner, who shoved back and Lethal rolled up Flair for a two count.

Flair grabbed Lethal by the mouth, fishhooking him and dragging him to the corner.  Flair began working over Lethal in the corner with chops.  Lethal finally began returning them in kind.  Lethal ducked a clothesline and nailed a flying forearm.  Lethal reversed an Irish whip and hit a handspring elbow.  Taz said Flair thinks he's back in the ring with Muta right now.  Big pop!   Flair tossed Lethal into the corner but Lethal did the Flair Flop, landing on the apron and doing a strut.  Flair charged and Lethal sunset flipped him over the ropes, pulling Flair's tights down in the process.  Taz said sometimes, you just gotta show your ass.

Flair came back with a sleeper but Lethal slipped out and came off the ropes with knees over Flair's legs.  Flair began limping.  Lethal began working on Flair's legs, then locked a figure four of his own in the center of the ring.  Flair tapped!

Your winner, Jay Lethal!

Good match and probably better than anyone should have expected out of Flair at this point and time.  They did all the trademark Flair stuff and Lethal did a real good job and looked like a top flight guy..

Flair shoved Hebner after the match but Hebner shoved him back down.  Lethal took the mic and said, "Hey Mom!  I did it!"

Christy Hemme interviewed Jeff Hardy.  Hardy said he's going to keep the Victory Road hot and all his creatures were going to fly high with him as the new World champion.

Mike Tenay previewed the TNA Tag Team title bout.

Tournament Final: Beer Money Inc. vs. The Motor City Machineguns for TNA Tag Team championship

Shelley and Roode started.  The Guns controlled early but Roode caught Sabin with a punch.  The Guns came back with some double team moves, taking James down from the apron with a dropkick and knocking Roode out of the ring with a flurry of offense.  Roode nailed Sabin with a hard shot but Shelley caught him with a bulldog.  Shelley worked over Roode's arm.  The Guns tagged in and out to keep Roode off balance and wear him down.  Taz referenced Mel Torme as a tap dancer.  Hey Taz, you want to use Fred Astaire for that next time.  Save Mel Torme for the Night Court references!

Storm got into it with Sabin, allowing Roode to post Shelley's nether-regions.  Storm locked in a rear chinlock.  Shelley tried to fight back but was cut off.  Beer Money nailed a double team suplex.  So far, so good.  Roode nailed a gutbuster for a two count.  He cinched in a gut wrench from behind to wear down Shelley.  Shelley began using elbows to fight his way out, but was shoved into the turnbuckles in Beer Money's corner.  Storm tagged in and continued to wear down Shelley on the mat.

Roode grabbed Shelley and held him in the corner but Shelley fought his way out.   Shelley went for the hot tag but was cut off.  He finally made it.  Sabin shoved Roode into his own partner and hit a twisting DDT on Roode.  Storm broke it up.  Sabin punted Storm in the face with a nasty kick to the face.  Sabin hit a springboard dive for a two count.  The Guns began double teaming Roode with synchronized moves.  Shelley nailed a standing sliced bread #2 for a two count on Roode.  Roode nailed Shelley with a Stun Gun.

Sabin battled both members of Beer Money but was cut off.  Storm nailed the Whirlybird.   They slammed Shelley over Roode's knees for a two count.  Beer Money was shocked there was a kick out.  Fans began chanting for the Guns.  The Guns hit their series of kicks to the head of Roode but Storm clotheslined them both out of the corner.  Good match.

Storm went for a kick but Shelley blocked it.  Sabin nailed a big boot to the back of the head.  Storm went to the floor where Sabin nailed a high cross body to the outside.  Roode went outside but Shelley hit a suicide dive.  Best match on the show so far.  Storm grabbed a beer bottle from ringside as the Guns worked over Roode.  Storm spit it into the eyes of the referee Brian Hebner when he meant to nail Shelley.  The Guns laid out Roode but there was no referee to count.  Earl Hebner hit the ring, stumbling through the ropes, and made the count but Roode kicked out at two.

Sabin hit Air Sabu off Shelley's back in the corner on Roode, then dove through the ropes on Storm.  Roode caught Shelley with a spinebuster but Shelley kicked out.  Roode was extremely frustrated and showed it.  Roode and Shelley went back and forth.  The Guns murdered him with kicks.  Storm rolled up Sabin as Shelley covered Roode.  Each referee counted a pin.  Beer Money's music played but father and son argued over who won.  In the end, they restarted the match, which the crowd loved.  Nice false finish.

Beer Money too out the Guns at the bell but the Guns came back with offense so fast there was no way I could recap it all.  The crowd is loving this.  Shelley nailed a high cross bodyblock off the top on Roode and scored the pin.

Your winners and new TNA Tag Team champions, The Motor City Machineguns.

Really good tag match with some good back and forth wrestling and flashy dives from The Guns.  In my eyes, this was the best thing on the show by far and a lot of fun.  Big thumbs up here.  The only criticism one could make was the false finish.  In my eyes, so many shenanigans early on in the show really hurt the false finish because fans expected more of what they had already seen tonight.  Had TNA waited until this match to do the false finish, it would have worked better.  But, inside the ring, great stuff.

They aired a video feature on Kurt Angle vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero.

Kurt Angle vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero

They did some sweet back and forth wrestling early.   Pope nailed a shoulderblock that sent Angle to the floor to regroup.  Pope held the ropes open for Angle as he returned to the ring.  Angle shows Pope respect, then grabbed him and powerbombed him into the corner.  Angle nailed a snap suplex and covered Pope for a two count,  Angle grabbed Pope with a rear chinlock, torqing his neck back hard.  Pope fought back to his feet but Angle caught him rebounding off the ropes with a knee to the gut, sending Pope over.  Angle covered him for a two count and nailed a backdrop suplex, then covered him again.

Pope came back to grab a sleeper but Angle shoved him off into the ropes and locked in one of his own.  Pope reversed and nailed a back suplex on Angle.  They returned to their feet, where Pope got the better of Angle with a series of rights, an inverted atomic drop and an elbow.  Angle came back with a release belly to belly suplex for a two count.  Pope came back to nail a series of German suplexes on angle, then hit a back heel trip into a cradle for a two count.

Pope for the the DEE in the corner but Angle evaded it and began nailing his sequence of German suplexes.  He covered Pope but only garnered a two count for his efforts.  Pope came back with the back hand slap and snapped off the ropes, landing on Angle's back and head as his slid through the ropes.  Angle came back with a belly to belly suplex for a two count.  Angle charged Pope in the corner but Pope moved and Angle slammed into the ringpost shoulder-first.  Pope drove his knees into Angle's chest but Angle kicked up at the last second.  Fans began chanting for Angle.

Angle went up and over to avoid a Pope charge and nailed the Angleslam for a two count.  Angle pulled down the straps and locked in the anklelock.  Pope fought for the ropes but pulled him back into the center of the ring.  Pope finally powered up and rolled Angle into a forward roll for a two count.  Angle went for a sunset flip but Pope dropped down for a two count.  Angle rolled him into another anklelock and scissored his body.  Trapped, the Pope had no choice but to tap.

Your winner, Kurt Angle.

Good, athletic match from bell to bell.  The show is picking up some stream.

Christy Hemme interviewed TNA champion Rob Van Dam.  RVD said that he was cool with Jeff Hardy but he knows that he doesn't have any friends out there.  He promised to shove Abyss' girl where the sun doesn't shine and that he would retain the World title.

TNA champion Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy

The three babyfaces went after Abyss at the onset and worked him over in the corner.   They each took turns punching Abyss in the corner, then RVD nailed a monkey flip out of the corner.  Abyss rolled out of the ring, where Hardy did a dive over the top to the floor.  RVD watched them but Anderson rolled him up to attempt to score a pinfall, showing he's an a**hole.  RVD nailed the reverse windmill kick, then a corkscrew legdrop.  Van Dam went for Rolling Thunder but Abyss grabbed him and dragged RVD outside and took him out.

Abyss returned to the ring and stalked Anderson but Hardy attacked him.  Abyss grabbed Hardy and Anderson for a double chokeslam but they kicked him and took him down.  Hardy and Anderson worked over Abyss.  Anderson set himself up for Air Sabu but when Hardy charged, Anderson bodypressed him for a two count.   Hardy took out Anderson but RVD hit the ring.  Hardy caught him with a kick and suplex, then floated over for a two count.

Van Dam and Hardy went back and forth, then RVD hit a dive over the top onto Abyss.    Hardy hit a dive onto both.  Anderson went to the top and came off with a double sledgehammer onto Abyss.  They showed Hardy grabbing his knee on the outside.  Back in the ring, RVD nailed a split legged moonsault but Hardy broke up the pin on Anderson.  Van Dam scored with a spinkick to the face on Hardy.  Van Dam went to the top for the Ryder Kick but Anderson took his legs out from him.  Anderson cinched up Van Dam for a superplex but RVD fought him.  Hardy joined the fight in the corner.  They did a Tower of Doom spot where Van Dam was superplexed in by Anderson and Hardy as Abyss grabbed them both with modified shoving chokeslams.

Abyss tried to make a pinfall but Anderson kicked up.  Abyss grabbed Van Dam for a chokeslam but RVD escaped.  Van Dam hit a springboard kick on Abyss, then a running clothesline on Hardy.  RVD went to the top for the frog Splash but Anderson shoved him off the top rope to the floor.    Abyss was taken out and it came down to Anderson and Hardy.  They began battling and Anderson got the better of the exchange.

Anderson went for the Mic Check but Hardy blocked and went for the Twist of Fate.  Anderson countered but was hit with an elbow.  Hardy nailed a Twist of Fate.  Hardy went for the swanton and nailed it.  Abyss grabbed Hardy and chokeslammed him onto Anderson.  Abyss covered them but Van Dam hit the Five Star Frog Splash on all three, then covered Anderson for the pin.

Your winner and still TNA champion, Rob Van Dam!

Abyss attacked Van Dam from behind and began stomping him.  Abyss went to nail RVD with his board of nails but RVD moved.  Abyss pounded the mat in anger, ripping up the mat.  The announcers wondered who could control Abyss as they went off the air.

2010 - WMC TV covered Jerry Lawler's  his lawsuit against former Memphis Wrestling commentator and announcer Corey Maclin, stemmings from Maclin having sold the Memphis Wrestling library to www.highspots.com (whom Lawler did not name) without Lawler's involvement or Lawler having relinquished his rights to the trademark on the library.

Highspots.com had, to date, released twenty DVDs featuring Memphis footage from different eras.

According to several sources, Lawler was not aware Maclin had sold any of the footage until well after the deal was made and was extremely angry when he learned of the sale. Maclin was originally going to sell the footage to Rob Feinstein's RF Video but when the finances weren't there, completed a sale with Highspots.com instead.

"Somehow, Corey sold for apparently $20,000, the rights to all my copyrighted video library, and these guys he's sold it to have produced a 20 volume DVD set and are selling in on the internet around the world," Lawler told WMC-TV.

The Memphis wrestling library would be considered, in theory, one of the more lucrative libraries in wrestling history, if it was all together. Many of the original episodes taped at WMC were discarded almost immediately, since the practice during most of the original Memphis territory's run was to bicycle the tapes around to secondary markets (where the TV was a week behind) and then tape over the master for a new episode. It was that may for many, many, many years, even after the VCR became a common household item, as that was just the way things were done and it was too expensive to stockpile tapes at the time.

The company, later dubbed the USWA, was eventually sold to an investment group based out of Cleveland, who promptly lost their rear ends and shut down the promotion and sued everyone in sight to try and get their money back. That was unsuccessful. So, whatever is left is fragmented pieces of the old library and whoever has the true claim to those rights is murky at best, as one could make cases for Lawler, Jerry Jarrett, the old Selker Investment Group and WMC all potentially having claims to the tape library that Maclin claimed and sold.

It should be noted that in the piece, Maclin's attorney questioned whether Lawler would have any rights to the tapes that were sold.

Corey Maclin issued the following statement to PWInsider.com in regard to the lawsuit Jerry Lawler filed against him.

I was saddened to hear that my associate of many years Jerry Lawler had Joe Cooper a convicted felon file a lawsuit on his behalf against me.

I have worked very closely with Jerry Lawler over the years and made him a lot of money along the way. He was the face of Memphis Wrestling for many years but even when his star started to fade here locally in Memphis and he was no longer the major draw that he used to be I continued to keep him in the spotlight.

This lawsuit wasn't filed until after I sent a cease and desist letter to Jerry and WPXX TV asking that I not be used in the new Jerry Lawler Memphis Wrestling program or that any tapes that Maclin and Associates owned be used in the programming. I have stood by Lawler through thick and thin over the years through numerous claims and accusations against him continuing to feature him on my programming.

I wanted to give Jerry Lawler one more shot at his former Memphis glory by signing Hulk Hogan to face him at the Fed Ex Forum a match he publicly agreed to and promised to be the biggest match in decades that Memphis Wrestling produced. We felt sure that this rematch twenty five years in the making promoted properly with the original players Hulk Hogan, Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart along with all the original footage that we had would give Lawler one final time to shine and truly be the only living King of Memphis one more time. 

When we sat down with Hulk and Jerry in Lawler's house along with Jimmy Hart, Hulk advised Lawler that he should ask WWE for permission to work the match. At that point Jerry Lawler advised all of us in the room that he learned long ago that it was much better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. I was stunned when he pulled out of the match citing reasons that were clearly false letting down me and most importantly the people of Memphis who allowed Jerry Lawler to call himself a King all these years.

I believe that this lawsuit is political in nature, I always knew that Jerry was a Republican but was stunned to find out that he had a sign in his yard supporting a man that as far as I know he has never met my opponent in the race for Clerk of Shelby County. I can no longer promote or support Jerry Lawler personally or professionally. I am saddened by the people he has chosen to associate with (known felons) and can no longer be a part of any project Mr. Lawler is involved with.

I find it to be almost ironic that at a time when Mr. Lawler's employer Linda McMahon is running for State Office in Ct while having to deal with all kinds of accusations regarding the wrestling business and how that determines her competency to be in office that Mr. Lawler would use the wrestling business to try to derail my bid to serve the people of Shelby County, TN.

In closing, let me say that Jerry has become very disenchanted with the Memphis political scene since his last run for Mayor where many people had told him to his face they would support him. His resounding loss in that election opened his eyes wide to many things, in no way was he expecting such a lopsided loss and total lack of support from the community. I believe that anger over his failed attempt at office and my wish not to be involved in his new project were the motivation behind this lawsuit that I believe will be shown to be without merit.

I will make no further public comments on this lawsuit. I will continue to work towards becoming Shelby County Clerk and look forward to serving the people of Shelby County in the coming years.

Corey Maclin

2011 - CM Punk brings back interest in the old WWF ice cream bars when he demanded there return during a live "contract negotiation" on Raw.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are live from Boston, Massachusetts and your announcers are Michael ‘Why isn’t the surfing on the North Shore that good this week’ Cole and Jerry ‘The Bruins couldn’t beat the Kings’ Lawler.

We start off with the man who is no longer suspended and who has less than a week. Punk does not have a mic, he has a megaphone.

Punk takes a seat in the center of the ring and he wants to know if he has everyone’s attention now. Punk makes sure the mic is working. He feels like he needs to recap things. Punk says that he did not watch last week because he was not on. He reminds everyone that he was suspended by Vincent K. McMahon. Punk says that he got in some trouble for things that he said. He says that he did not get in trouble because he announced when his contract would end. He did not get in trouble for saying that he would defeat John Cena at Money in the Bank and taking the title with him out of the WWE. He did not just get in trouble for mentioning that the company will fall into the hands of Vince’s idiotic daughter and doofus son in law. Punk says that he got in trouble for having the balls to say things that others would not say.

Punk says that the company inside and outside the ring are filled with a parade of shameless ass kissers. Punk says that not only is he reinstated and not only is his title match with John Cena back on, Punk says that he brought back up in case they cut off his microphone.

Punk says that it is just in case.

He says that some are wondering why Punk is holding a live mic. Punk says that Vince is trying to sign him to a long term and lucrative contract with WWE. Punk says that it is funny that Vince is bending over backwards. Punk says that all he wanted with a microphone because it is power. Punk says that in the hands of everyone, it is a microphone. In Punk’s hands, it is a pipe bomb. Punk says that Vince sees him as the hottest commodity in this industry. He finally sees that way because Punk did something that the endless suits could not do. He says that he made the WWE socially relevant. Punk says that he is not talking about the people in the building, he is talking about the real world.

The company gets mentioned for two reasons. First for CM Punk speaking his mind. The second is when somebody dies. Now because of CM Punk, the WWE is all over the internet. ESPN is trying to get him on their shows. Jimmy Kimmel is begging him to appear on his show.

Punk says that it is funny that he has one foot out the door and now Vince is ready to offer him everything. If Vince treated him this nice five years ago, he would not have this much pent up ammunition.

Punk sits down again. He says that he knows Vince McMahon and he knows how Vince does business. Punk says that Vince will want to sit down man to man. Punk says that they should have the first ever live contract negotiation in the ring. Punk says that maybe he will sign, maybe he won’t. Maybe Vince McMahon will have to join the CM Punk Kiss My Ass Club.

John Cena’s music plays and he makes his way to the ring. Punk tells Cena to turn down his music because it is too loud.

Punk points out that John Cena is in the ring with him and the fans are not too happy.

Punk thanks Cena for getting him reinstated for a job he did not want in the first place. He thanks Cena for giving him everything that he wanted. Not only will he win the title, which he is going to change the look of because it has looked far too ugly for far too long.

Cena made many things completely real. Punk says that he will win and he will leave with the title. He points out that Cena will be fired. Punk says that if Cena thinks that Vince is going to fire him and Punk reminds Cena of the seven days that Cena was fired the last time.

Cena asks Punk if he is finished, and Punk says that he is probably not.

Cena congratulates Punk for pointing out that he has a set of balls. Cena says that he has heard Punk say that he is walking out of Chicago with the title and Punk is acting like Cena is a pushover. Cena says that it sounds like nobody is going to stop Punk in Chicago. Cena says that he is no pushover.

Cena points out that Punk said that he is the best wrestler. Punk interrupts and says that he is the best wrestler in the world. Cena says that Punk has a set of balls and self-confidence.

Cena says that he is the best because he has the title and he earned it. Cena says that Punk thinks that he is the best wrestler, but there are a lot of people who thought that. Triple H, John Layfield, Edge, Batista, Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels, and Eddie Guerrero. They thought that Cena couldn’t hang with him in the ring but they were left disappointed.

Cena says that he doesn’t care if Punk stays or goes or if Vince fires him or not, he is going to come to Chicago and kick Punk’s ass.

The General Manager interrupts with his dingy ding dong. Cole reads it and says that Vince McMahon is on his way to negotiate with CM Punk. If this is John Cena’s last night on Raw, he should be in action. John Cena will be in a very special match next.

We go to commercial with Punk wishing Cena luck over his megaphone.

We are back and John Cena is trying to figure out what type of match he is in.

Match Number One: John Cena versus David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty in a Who is Really Handicapped Match

Otunga starts off for the tag team champions and they lock up. Cena with a waist lock and Otunga with a wrist lock but Cena gets out of the hold. Cena with a snap mare into a reverse chin lock and Otunga makes it to the ropes. Michael tags in and they lock up. Michael works on the arm and he puts Cena in a hammer lock. Cena with a side head lock on Michael followed by a shoulder tackle. Cena with a hip toss and drop kick that sends Michael to the floor. Otunga goes to check on Michael and we go to commercial.

We are back and Michael with a side head lock and we see footage from the commercial break when Otunga sent Cena into the ringside barrier. Cena gets kicked into the corner and Michael kicks him. Otunga gets a kick in while the referee deals with Michael. Michael with a punch to Cena. Otunga tags in and they send Cena into the corner. Otunga with a punch and choke in the corner.

Michael chokes Cena from the apron. Otunga with a hard Irish whip and Otunga does the Nexus salute for no apparent reason. Otunga tries for a suplex but Cena blocks it and he hits a suplex of his own. Michael tags back in and Cena moves when Michael tries for a splash into the corner. Cena with two flying shoulder tackles followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb and the five knuckle shuffle. Cena gets Michael up for the Attitude Adjustment but Otunga interferes. Otunga with a reverse atomic drop followed by a drop kick from Michael and McGillicutty gets a near fall.

Michael puts Cena on the top turnbuckle and he punches Cena. Michael tries for a superplex but Cena blocks it and Cena with head butts to knock Michael off the turnbuckles. Cena takes care of Otunga on the apron and Cena with the leg drop off the turnbuckles and Michael is put in the STF and Otunga breaks it up.

Otunga punches Cena and Michael joins in. Michael with a running elbow but Otunga misses a splash into the corner. Cena with an Attitude Adjustment to Michael and then he throws Otunga over the top rope before getting the three count.

Winner: John Cena

We go to commercial.

We are back and in case you want to see Edge, he will be on the Season Premiere of Haven on Friday.

Michael Cole quotes Gorilla Monsoon when talking about the match between Big Show and Mark Henry. We have a video package.

Vickie is in the back with Dolph Ziggler and they run through what Dolph is going to say to Vince. He says that Vince should fire CM Punk and John Cena and make the United States Title the most important title. Dolph says that Vince looked like a wuss last week. Vinceki says that she is strong.

Drew interrupts and he has a Vince-Off with Vickie. Dolph says that Vince is a shell of a man. If he cannot grasp what Dolph has, he should be the Chairman of AARP. Dolph suggests that Vince should retire.

Drew, Dolph, and Vickie have an escalation of insults for Vince until Vince walks up behind them.

Vince says hello to two of his fastest rising stars. He says that they deserve to have the spotlight. Vince suggests that they team up tonight in a handicap match against a really really big opponent. Someone like The Big Show.

Dolph and Drew thank Vince. Vince asks them if they have a mint and everyone is at a loss. Vince says that he wouldn’t want to have BAD BREATH.

They walk away.

Scott Stanford asks Vince what is going to happen during the live contract negotiations. Vince tells the entire world to go to hell.

Vince walks away.

Kelly walks us into commercial.

We are back with the WWE Rewind: Kelly Kelly winning the Divas Title from Brie Bella.

The Bellas have joined Jerry and Michael at the announce table so get ready for some broadcasting gold.

Match Number Two: Melina versus Kelly Kelly in a Non Title Match

They lock up and Melina with a snap mare and kick to the back. Melina with a knee followed by a Japanese choke hold. Kelly with elbows and clotheslines. Kelly with an Irish whip and a handspring back elbow into the corner. Kelly with the Stinkface to Melina followed by a neck breaker for a near fall. Melina with a kick but she misses a kick and Melina does a split. Kelly with a screaming K2 for the three count.

Winner: Kelly Kelly

After the match, Nikki and Brie have mics. They come into the ring and Brie suggests that Kelly can go get some food. They both suggest that Kelly could use some food. Kelly has had enough and she hits a Thesz Press since she didn’t get to do it during the match. Nikki and Brie attack Kelly but Eve makes her way to the ring. Eve is taken care of with an X Factor.

The Miz is walking in the back and he is on his way to the ring as we go to commercial.

We are back with the Slam of the Week: Alex Riley beating Miz last week with a back slide and the subsequent ass kicking by Miz.

Miz comes out to the ring and he has something to say. We see ladders all over the ringside area and there is a ladder in the center of the ring under the briefcase.

Miz climbs the ladder and sits under the briefcase. Miz says that there is no better view than sitting on top of this ladder and looking down on each and every person. Miz says that he is used to being on top and being the best. It makes him different than everyone else in the Money in the Bank match. It is not because he is the Most Must See Superstar of All Time. It is about knowing about this path to the WWE Title. He says that he has been there before, unlike any of his opponents. Many have been close, but close does not make them a winner or a champion. Everyone will find out that he still has what it takes to be a champion.

Miz says that he is quite comfortable up here because this is where the future happens. Miz says that he is still the future. Every pretender on Sunday will learn why he is the Miz and he’s . . .

stopped by the All American American who makes his way to the ring with a mic. Swagger asks rhetorically if Miz is the future and at the top. He says that Alex Riley must have hit him too many times. Swagger says that he has won the Money in the Bank match and he has cashed in the briefcase to become the World Champion. Swagger says that he is going to do it again.

Miz throws out a few reallys at Swagger. Miz asks Swagger if someone wins Money in the Bank and cashes it in but nobody remembers, did it really happen.

Evan Bourne comes out and he says that he is sick and tired of hearing what everyone has done before, but Evan says that he is going to win the match on Sunday.

Kofi Kingston comes out with his pyro and he says that he appreciates Evan’s confidence but at the end of the day, it is all talk. This is Money in the Bank that we are talking about. It is an eight man ladder match where everybody puts everything on the line. All for a chance at the most prestigious champion in the history of the WWE. Anything can happen when you step through the ropes. Kofi says that if he wins, it is not because of what he says tonight. It will be because of what he does on Sunday. Kofi says that it isn’t a coincidence that the greatest superstar in history had to retire because of being in matches like this.

R Truth comes out and he tells the Little Jimmys in the ring that the conspiracies against Truth continues. Everyone is talking about CM Punk versus John Cena, but two weeks ago, he beat John Cena. Truth sent the WWE Champion through a table and all of the Little Jimmys saw it. Now he has to climb a ladder and grab a briefcase. How is he supposed to climb a ladder and grab a briefcase when he got acrophobia. The conspiracy knows that he is afraid of heights. There better not be one spider on this ladder because he is afraid of those too. Truth looks up at the briefcase and he says that if he opens it up and he sees a spider, the grits gonna hit the pan. The briefcase is gonna get got.

Truth is interrupted by Alex Riley who is not going to say anything. He wants a piece of the Miz and Miz leaves the ring.

Alberto Del Rio makes his way into the building in his car, but still not the same without Ricardo Rodriguez. He says that this is an absolute disgrace. He shouldn’t be in this match. He took care of Rey Mysterio so he is the Number One Contender. Alberto asks why. He says that John Cena is afraid of him. Now he has to do it all over again just to show that it is his destiny to be the WWE Champion. In six days, he will teach a lesson to every single one of them.

The dingy ding do sounds and Michael Cole has a message to read. Alberto Del Rio has a point. Since six of the competitors are in the ring, let’s have a match. Miz, Jack Swagger, and R Truth will face Evan Bourne, Alex Riley, and Kofi Kingston in a Six Man Tag Match.

We go to commercial.

Match Number Three: Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, and Alex Riley versus Miz, Jack Swagger, and R Truth in a We Have a Multi Man Match on Sunday so we need a Tag Match tonight Match

The match is joined in progress and Swagger with an arm bar to Bourne. Bourne with kicks but Swagger with a take down and he tags in Miz. Miz with knees to Bourne followed by a knee lift. Miz chokes Bourne in the ropes and then he kicks Bourne in the head to get a near fall. Truth tags in and he punches Bourne. Truth with a slam followed by a spinning leg drop for a near fall.

Truth chokes Bourne and the referee warns Truth. Truth with a rear chin lock on Bourne. Bourne tries to make the tag but Truth keeps him out of the corner. Truth with a delayed gourdbuster for a near fall. Truth has something to say to the referee. Truth with a front face lock. Bourne tries to make it to the corner to make the tag but Truth stops his momentum. Truth with a suplex into a stunner for a near fall.

Truth chokes Bourne in the ropes but he misses the axe kick and Bourne with a knee to the chin that staggers Truth. Kofi tags in and hits a springboard clothesline followed by a drop kick and a Superman punch. Kofi sets for the Boom drop and he hits it. Kofi sets for Trouble in Paradise but he knocks Swagger off the apron instead. Truth hits Kofi and then Irish whips him. Kofi with a pendulum kick followed by a cross body for a near fall that is broken up by Miz.

Truth clotheslines Kofi through the ropes and to the floor. Miz tags in and we go to commercial.

We are back and Miz with an elbow to Kofi for a near fall. Truth tags in and they hit a double suplex on Kofi and Truth gets a near fall. Truth with a head scissors to Kofi but since Kofi is not Austin Aries, you can keep him in the hold. Kofi finally escapes and Truth punches Kofi.

Swagger tags in and Kofi kicks his way out of trouble but Swagger and Truth stop Kofi. Kofi with a double DDT and all three men are down. Riley tags in and Riley with a spear and punches to Swagger. Riley with running back elbows followed by a spinebuster. Riley brings Miz into the ring and then he kicks Swagger. Truth hits Riley from behind but Bourne with a flying knee to Truth. Swagger misses the Swagger Bomb and Riley with a DDT for the three count.

Winners:

After the match, Miz hits Riley with the Skull Crushing Finale. Kofi takes care of Miz with a drop kick. Truth knocks Kofi out of the ring. Bourne with a leaping knee to Truth and he sets for the Shooting Star Press but Alberto Del Rio attacks Bourne on the top turnbuckle. Del Rio takes a ladder and he hits everyone in the ring with it. Then he throws the ladder at Miz.

We take a look back at last week’s Raw.

We see what happened two weeks ago when Mark Henry knocked Big Show out of the steel cage.

Match Number Four: Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler with Vickie Guerrero versus Big Show

Dolph starts off but he tags in Drew before doing anything. Show brings Drew into the ring and he chops Dolph off the apron. Show with a head butt to Drew followed by an Irish whip and clothesline into the corner. Show with a forearm across the back and then he punches Drew in the midsection. Show with a short arm clothesline followed by a slam. Drew screams in pain after the slam. Show sends Drew over the top rope to the floor.

Show sends Drew into the ringside barrier while Dolph does his best to avoid making eye contact with Show. Show with elbows to the head as they fight by the ramp. Show throws Drew into the ramp and the referee calls for the bell.

No Contest

After the match, Drew is sent into the WWE logo on the stage.

Show sets for a choke slam of McIntyre off the stage, but from out of nowhere Mark Henry with a running shoulder block and they all go off the stage. Officials check on Henry, Show, and McIntyre as we go to commercial.

We are back and Mark Henry is limping away as he refuses help from the officials.

We then see footage from earlier tonight when Alberto Del Rio attacked the six men in the tag match who are in the Money in the Bank match.

It is time for a Money in the Bank retrospective video package.

It is time to run through the card for Money in the Bank.

Vince McMahon and CM Punk are walking in split screen as we go to commercial.

Did You Know that Smackdown is the number one rated show on SyFy for the last 40 weeks.

Vince McMahon makes his way out, but he decides to go to the back. Vince gets a better reaction and he does the walk but he decides to go to the back again. Vince finally makes his way to the ring as only Vince McMahon can.

Vince takes a moment to say hello to John Cena Sr. before getting into the ring.

We have a new type of table in the ring.

Vince wants the fans to acknowledge who he is. Vince says that he will not be joining the CM Punk Kiss My Ass Club. Vince says that he could never do anything like that. He says that it is a bit bothersome because it is supposed to be a public negotiation.

Vince says that contracts should not be negotiated in public, but nonetheless that is what CM Punk wants. Vince asks for Punk to make his way to the ring.

Vince offers his hand to Punk, but Punk refuses.

Vince says that everything in the contract is there. Vince says that even Punk’s request for his own collector’s cup is in there.

Punk introduces Vince with ‘What a Maneuver’. Punk can’t believe that Vince is going through this. He says that he expected Vince to be in the red shirt with the arm bands because he is so pro-Cena. Punk says that Vince does not think Cena can win on Sunday.

Vince says that he wants Punk to sign the contract for the right reasons. This will give Punk a lot more money. Then he could not live with Punk walking out of Chicago with his title on the last day of his contract.

Vince asks Phil if this is okay.

Punk says that if they want to have fun, let’s have fun. Punk says that the contract wasn’t up to par so he has a new contract. Punk says that he already signed the contract so he wants Vince to sign it.

Punk says that there are a few perks. Punk says that we should ask the WWE Universe if this should go down in public and the fans want to hear it.

Punk asks Vince if someone stooged him off about the contract. Punk says that he gets to push Vince and he gives Vince a light tap. Punk says that he will kick Vince in the nuts and Vince will smile and like it. He tells Vince that he will show him respect or Punk finds the nearest shredder and walks out with the WWE Title. Punk says that he wants his own jet, not the WWE Jet. Punk says that his face will be on everything. He wants it on the TitanTron, turnbuckles, and everything else. Punk wants the WWE Ice Cream bars brought back. Punk tells Vince that he just .

He wants WWE Films to start making CM Punk: The Movie. He says that it can be called Chaperone 2, but it will be funny, entertaining, and successful. The main event of Wrestlemania of John Cena versus Vince’s buddy Dwayne. He says that is the Rock for those who don’t watch Disney movies. Punk says that his match will be the main event. Punk says that there are a few of the perks he had added. Punk says that the contract says that Vince will apologize to Punk for suspending him. He will apologize to the people for being one of the biggest hypocrites. As for the anti-bullying campaign, he says that Vince is one of the biggest bullies he has ever met. He wants Vince to apologize. Punk says that he had friends who were talented and were unceremonially fired. He says that Vince doesn’t know what people want in 2011. Punk mentions guys like Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows. Vince will apologize to Punk for them because they are not here. Punk says that he is the voice of the voiceless. Vince will apologize and he will like it.

Vince wants Punk to calm down so they can sign the contract. Vince wants them to be gentlemen. Punk wants to know if they should be gentlemen or should Vince apologize.

Punk tells Vince to sign the contract and apologize to prevent his company from suffering any further embarrassment.

Punk moves the table out of the way and Vince stands up.

The fans chant ‘We Want Ice Cream’ and Vince says that he doesn’t give a damn.

Punk says that is the problem that Vince doesn’t care. Punk says that he cares too much and he might not wear the white hat, but he knows what the people want. Punk says that the people of Boston want an apology.

Vince says that he is sorry, but it is a little half hearted. Punk throws out a ‘what’ over the apology from Vince.

Vince tells the son of a bitch that he apologizes and Punk gets on the turnbuckles and he says that this is better than winning the World Title three times.

Punk tells Vince to sign the contract before the stock plummets more.

Before Vince can sign the contract, John Cena’s music plays and he makes his way to the ring. Vince thinks that things are fine with Cena in the ring. He tells Punk that was a fine speech. He says that the people will love him in Chicago and that is the night that he walks out on each and every one of them. Cena says that he is not going to say anything to Vince about caving in to a terrorist. Cena calls Punk and Vince a couple of spoiled brats. Cena says that Punk hates Vince, but he hates Vince too. He might hate Vince, but he comes to work every day. Cena says that when he has a problem with Vince, he still comes to work because of the people.

Cena says that Punk is the biggest hypocrite of them all. He asks the people if they want to see an apology but then he leaves. There was a man who said ‘Finally . . . he was home’ and then he said that he was never leaving. Cena says that he knows that Punk is not that guy, but Punk is making a bunch of demands that Vince will never agree to. Cena says that Punk is his own worst enemy.

Punk says that he is not going to let Cena say that he has lost sight of things. Punk says that he is going to walk out of here with the title because he is not part of that mold. Punk says that Cena sees Punk as the kid who couldn’t hang. Punk says that he hung off Cena’s gangster car at Wrestlemania 22 looking as foolish as Vince does in his suit. Punk said at that time, he was going to see John Cena in the ring, going down to CM Punk.

We are in Cena’s home town tonight and next week we will be in his home town. Punk says that Cena has lost sight. Punk says that Cena portrays himself as the underdog, just like every Boston sports team. Punk says that John lost sight of this but he is glad that Cena’s wife and father are in the front row. John Cena is everything that he hates. Punk says that he is no longer the underdog, he is the dynasty. He has become the New York Yankees.

Cena slaps Punk and Punk leaves the ring. He says that Vince is Steinbrenner and Cena might as well be Jeter.

Punk sits down and he has something else to say. Punk says that everyone wants to hear it. He says that he is glad that Cena punched him. Punk says that he realized why he wants to leave. He says that he is tired of this and he is tired of Cena. Punk tells Vince, John, and the WWE Universe to say goodbye to the WWE Title and John Cena. He says to say goodbye to CM Punk as Punk rips up the contract.

Punk says that he is going to be the best in the world somewhere else. Punk does the ‘You Can’t See Me’ gesture.

2011 - The NWA issued a press release, announcing that The Sheik had been stripped of the NWA title. The situation had been brewing for several weeks as there had been some within the NWA who believed Sheik wasn't going to show up for a planned title defense against Adam Pearce:

CHARLOTTE, NC: The NWA has been informed that The Sheik has pulled out of his scheduled title defense on July 31st at the Ohio St. Fair against 3-time champion Adam Pearce. It is not clear at this time as to the reasons behind The Sheik's refusal to go through with this bout. The NWA first received an inkling of the issue when it was noted that the long-awaited showdown was no longer on The Sheik's calendar. When contacted, The Sheik's camp confirmed that he would not be appearing for the eagerly-anticipated battle.

Faced with this refusal, the NWA Board of Directors held an emergency teleconference, with the result being that The Sheik has been stripped of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, effective immediately. "This is not something the NWA does lightly", said Executive Director, Robert K. Trobich. "We prefer that the title be settled in the ring".

The vacant title will be filled by the new main event for the July 31st show: A three-way match between the man who was promised the shot, 3-Time Champ, Scrap Iron Adam Pearce, and the holders of the two other most prestigious belts in the NWA, National Champion, Chance Prophet, and North American Champion, Shaun Tempers!

2011 - The Young Bucks requested and received their release from TNA, where they worked as Generation Me.

2012 - It was reported that WWE had invested in social media start-up Tout!, which allowed users to record and upload short 15 second videos for others to watch and respond to.  The company integrated the service into their programming to help provide a hard push to the platform.

2013 - The WWE Performance Center officially opened in Winter Park, Florida.  Mike Johnson covered the opening and filed the following report:

 

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As Dave Scherer mentioned yesterday, I flew to Orlando to cover the Grand Opening of the WWE Performance Center.  To say I was blown away by the facility would be one of the biggest understatements I've ever written.  The media jaunt was a long day with Triple H personally providing a tour of the facility, followed by a complete official Grand Opening presentation, then post-ceremony interviews before finishing up with a four hour plus NXT taping (see the main page for a report on that).  Now that I have flown back to NYC, I am still trying to find the words to convey what an amazing facility the Performance Center truly is..and it really did give me hope for the long-term future of WWE.

For many years now, I (and to be fair, others) have been writing and saying that I was worried about where WWE would be once the current generation of veterans like Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Booker T, etc. would eventually get to the point that they had to exit the ring.  With John Cena, CM Punk and well, not many others truly set for the top-tier, WWE seemed to be heading into a direction where the next generation would be far less versatile at performing, getting over and breaking through as legitimate in-ring workers and captivating personalities.  There was a genuine worry that things could eventually hit a point where they go off the cliff and where WWE goes, goes the entire industry.  So, the idea of going off that cliff is a pretty frightening proposition.

After visiting the facility, I really do feel that WWE is doing everything they can  to address that.  I have no doubt that yesterday was one of the most important days in company history. In many ways, it's really appropriate that the opening came on the same year as the 50th Anniversary of the company's existence.  There was a lot of talk about history as much as there was the future yesterday during the Opening Ceremony and with good reason - you have to know where you've been in order to properly assess where you need to go.

Nestled in an industrial complex in Orlando, the Performance Center is pretty understated from the outside.  Unless you know exactly where to look, you probably won't find it.  When I entered it, the training camp for Drago in Rocky IV first came to my mind, just this massive machine to create the best WWE-centric athletes there could be.

If all goes according to plan, the building could soon be as much of the heart and soul of WWE today as Madison Square Garden was during the territory days.

In looking around the facility, it was obvious WWE  put their money where their mouth was in terms of the creation, development and nurturing of their next generation of performers.  No more lip service.  In many ways, this was the natural evolution of not just talent development but also the company's Wellness Program. 

There was talk yesterday the facility cost them upwards of $3-4 million dollars.  That investment, probably the largest in the history of the company's developmental program, was as much about WWE, the entity, growing up and embracing themselves as not just a pro wrestling company, not just a sports-entertainment company, but as an entity that controls its own genre, a genre they have to tend to and have to self-govern it.  This was as much about WWE embracing their future as much as it was about training new wrestlers.

As much as the Davis Arena in OVW has its loyalists and as much as FCW has churned out names like Sheamus and The Shield, those facilities were a Junior High School gym in comparison to the Olympic Training Center that the Performance Center will be for World Wrestling Entertainment.  26,000 square feet is a lot of space and WWE has filled it with every aspect of what their modern day performers would need, not just to train in the ring but to provide the support and maintenance that goes with the lifestyle of a professional wrestler.

Walking into the facility, there were seven rings set up and the sight of that was just massive, really giving you an impressive immediate visual over what a huge undertaking this is for the company.  One of the rings was designed specifically for working out aerial moves so that those practicing can hit a state of the art softer mat in order to lessen the physicality of those bumps as they hone their skills. 

Bill Demott, Norman Smiley, Steve Keirn, Sara del Rey and Billy Gunn were overseeing training in five of the rings.  No one was working matches but talents in the different rings, depending on who was running them, were going through different styles of drills.  It appeared that Keirn and Smiley were going through basic drills with one group while Demott and Taylor were working on finer points of how to work holds in another.  Del Rey was training all the new potential Divas.  Billy Gunn was working with some of the more experienced talents, like Kassius Ohno.  Some of the beginners were wearing head gear to prevent trauma to their head as they learned to bump. 

The central ring sits under a state of the art lighting truss so that should WWE decide they want to film material here, it's all ready-made for their HD broadcast quality.  Every corner of the facility is wired with cameras that can broadcast in HD and be immediately sent to WWE HQ in Stamford, CT.  There's no pulling of tapes to look at someone.  Vince McMahon can now sit down at a monitor and watch potential talents working out live from the facility as they are in the ring or cutting promos.  Not only will that streamline the process with immediate feedback, but the idea that everything is being filmed and recorded will keep everyone working hard and prevent laziness from the talents who are there working.  WWE will always be watching.

It was when WWE took us on a tour, led by Triple H, that one really understood how massive the facility truly is.

To the right of the main room sits the main offices of the Performance Center, including a massive steel conference room table that looks like something a group of super-villains would have a conference around.  The hallways are decorated with framed posters of old WWE PPV events and large photos of different legends, a quiet reminder to the talents as to what they are aspiring to reach and who they should be inspired by.  The main conference room was connected to several smaller offices.

Given that pro wrestling isn't just about the physical aspect of what happens inside the ring, the Performance Center also houses several studios allowing the talents to hone and grow their skills outside of the ring.  When I toured the facility, Dusty Rhodes was overseeing potential promos with the Wyatt Family in a small promo room that allows the talents to cut promos, watch them back for feedback and have a place to experiment and find themselves.  The studio will be able to be operated by the talents themselves, allowing them the freedom to create whenever they want and not leaving them at the mercy of when someone is available to film them.

Another nearby studio was designed to help develop announcers and interviewers for the company - a modern day studio where they could call older matches and work with veteran announcers to improve.  Another room housed a green screen background, perfect for shooting vignettes and practicing pre-taped.  All of this was held together by High Definition broadcasting quality equipment and a state of the art editing studio that could conceivably allow them to shoot something at the Performance Center at 7 PM, then have it edited, cut and ready to broadcast live on Raw at 8 PM. 

The facilities and hallways lead to the medical office of Dr. Michael Sampson, the doctor who saved Jerry Lawler's life when he had a heart attack on Raw.  Here is where the WWE Wellness Policy comes into play in the Performance Center.  Sampson will have regular office hours here in order to provide medical care to ailing or sick WWE developmental talents.  Since Sampson works for the company, he will be well versed in the nuances of the business, Sampson will know the best way to treat the issues at hand and provide specialized care for a specialized athlete working in the unique world that is professional wrestling.  The days of the pro wrestler going to a doctor that doesn't understand the business or worse, one that's willing to help them medicate their issues, could be coming to an end.

Another major evolution of the WWE Wellness Program that comes with the opening of the facility will be the state of the art rehabilitation center.  Instead of sending talents elsewhere to work on healing their injuries, WWE staff can personally oversee the process, again, with an understanding of mindset that wrestlers have and with a well-versed education into the physicality that performers have to put themselves through to perform in the business.  WWE will have a regular physical therapist and a trainer on staff full-time, also allowing for immediate care if talents at the facility have any issues.  All of this allows a new level of protection and nurturing for the talents.  The rehab center is large enough to care for 6-10 talents at once if necessary.  While not stated, the company also now has a facility to send talents if, for example, John Cena or someone suffers an injury that requires rehab.  WWE's staff can now oversee the talent's healing and prognosis themselves, just like a major sports franchise would for their players. 

Of course, the Performance Center also houses a MASSIVE workout area with state of the art Rogue workout equipment.  The idea here is not to just have weights and workout equipment for the talents to use but also medical rehab equipment, strength and conditioning equipment with Joe DeFranco, who has worked with the NFL for years, coming on board as a strength and conditioning advisor to the Performance Center.  The workout area could have easily have housed anything from Olympic gymnasts to MMA fighters given all the equipment it housed.

All of this collected under one roof is more than just a training facility or a medical facility or even a wrestling facility.  It's WWE protecting and embracing their future as well as providing a legitimate concrete destination to bring potential partners,  potential investors and potential recruits to give them a taste of what WWE is and how it works, since it doesn't fall neatly into any one genre.  Sure, you can whine and dine people and dazzle them over Wrestlemania week, but that doesn't really give them a deep understanding of what it takes to work and excel in the business.   WWE now has that headquarters - as well as a fighting chance to develop the new breed of talents that will hopefully, if all goes according to plan, will replace the Undertakers and Triple Hs and eventually, the John Cenas and CM Punks.

For all the talk online over the years of all the negatives that Triple H has allegedly brought to WWE, this one move may eventually prove that his true legacy in the business was insuring not just its continued survival, but by putting a system in place where talents can develop and thrive from day one under the WWE umbrella. 

No system is ever perfect and for sure, at some point, there will be stumbles and falls and mistakes, but on 7/11/13, WWE opened the doors to what may truly be the brand new era that their press release proclaimed it to be.

2013 - WWE taped NXT in Winter Park, FL.  Mike Johnson filed the following live report:

WWE NXT held their latest TV taping at Full Sail Live yesterday on the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL (just outside Orlando).  I was in town to cover the WWE Performance Center Grand Opening and WWE invited everyone who had come down to the taping as well, as a way to showcase their developmental talents that will make up the "next generation" of the company.  Shrewdly, WWE loaded the taping with legitimate main event talents from Mark Henry to Paul Heyman to the Shield all making non-advertised appearances on top of the already advertised AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler.

 

 

Full Sail Live reminded me immediately of the old TNA Impact Zone, except it was smaller, looked nicer and unlike TNA, WWE has cracked the code on taking the energy of the room and translating it to TV broadcasts.  TNA was never able to do that and it always hurt their PPVs and tapings.  The venue is small, sitting less than a 1,000 fans or so, who surrounded the ring on bleachers and a few ringside rows, with the exception of the side of the ring featuring the NXT entrance ramp, where fans sat on fancy NXT chairs similar to the ones WWE sells for PPV ringside seats.  The crowd was hot all night.  Even with four hours of TV being taped, the company lost very few fans over the course of the evening.

The venue has no real food concessions, since it's really a studio used for all sorts of projects at the University, so instead local food trucks were brought in.  Fans could exit, get their food and return to the venue.  No merchandise table, except one selling the NXT logo shirts.  That surprised me, considering how much WWE pushes the merchandising at their house shows.

The taping itself was excellent.  I've said this a number of times but the show really reminds of what a modern day equivalent of the old Jim Crockett Promotions TV shows taped at Techwood Drive would be like today.  Back then, you really got a lot of wrestling for your time investment and that's how I feel about the NXT shows.  Most weeks, the placement of the show is good.  They have some talking segments but the backbone of the show is guys working longer matches as they hone themselves and their personalities.  It's far and away the destination for the best balanced in-ring product right now and last night was no example.

Four shows were taped, so if you've been watching the show on Hulu Plus, SPOILER WARNING!

Episode One-

I arrived a few minutes into the first taping and was told I missed a Wyatt Family promo where they basically said farewell to NXT.  I also missed a Divas bout won by Ric Flair's daughter Charlotte, which bummed me as I have been really interested in seeing how she is in the ring.

*NXT Tag Team champ Corey Graves defeated Scott Dawson via submission.  A really solid back and forth match.  Dawson shows some really good aggressive heel work and Graves has a pretty cool charisma to him and is really over. The Shield came out unannounced on the stage, which the crowd popped huge for.  They told NXT Tag champ Adrian Neville, who was with Graves, that he didn't earn the NXT Tag title because he just took Kassius Ohno's spot (Ohno was "injured" in storyline), so to them, that is an injustice and they are coming for him.  Neville took the mic and said they could fight right now, but said Dean Ambrose should make it for the United States title.  Ambrose agreed but said they would do it on his terms, next week.  Neville promised that he would destroy the Shield starting with Ambrose.  Neville is still finding himself as a talker but it was fine.

*Leo Kruger & Antonio Cesaro defeated NXT champ Bo Dallas & Sami Zayn.  Dallas is beyond hated here.  The crowd really rags on him sort of how the main roster crowds rag on John Cena.  I get the impression part of it is that he's getting put over people they like more but for the most part, it's the crowd having fun by booing the babyface as opposed to any legitimate disgust.   Everyone around me was laughing at Dallas' smile and goofy babyface antics.  The match itself was solid.  Dallas is a natural in the ring.  The storyline here is that three of them are battling over the NXT title and Cesaro and Zayn hate each other so Zayn was pulled into this.  They had a solid bout.  Zayn and Cesaro battled to the back late in the match.  Dallas had Kruger on the run (and at point, kept him from running off) but Kruger nailed him and scored the pin.

*Backstage, Renee Young was interviewing Tyler Breeze, a Lance Storm trainee who may be my new favorite developmental talent.  He plays his narcissistic model who is obsessed with admiring himself on his cell phone, almost like he was Facetiming himself.  He was going on and on about himself and in the background, CJ Parker, who plays a hippie, was behind Breeze mocking him.  The crowd got into this.

Episode 2 -

*Adrian Neville defeated WWE United States champ Dean Ambrose by DQ in a good match.    They went back and forth.  Neville had Ambrose beat afyer a twisting dive off the top but Seth Rollins attacked him to cause the DQ.  Corey Graves and Xavier Woods made the save and the Shield backed off. 

*They held the first-ever NXT Dance-Off with Summer Rae and Emma.  Rae shows a lot more of a heel personality in NXT so I think a lot of people will be surprised when she gets the chance to cut loose on the main roster.  Emma's theme music has been trapped in my head since this segment.  The crowd really loves the silly Australian girl with her goofy dance and bubble-popping entrance.  The idea here was that they each did a dance routine and Emma's was just complete goofiness, so the crowd loved her and hated Rae.  Rae finally demanded they play her real music and the crowd went nuts doing the Fandango-ing.  Emma's music then played and she did her entrance dance.  The audience decided Emma won.  Rae attacked her and laid her out.

*Tyler Breeze defeated Danny Burkes.  Breeze has a top level entrance, where he's looking at himself on the phone and the image is simulcast live onto the Titantron.   Great use of technology there.  Breeze is a mix of the old Rick Martel "Model" personality with some of the Shawn Michaels swagger from Michaels' initial heel turn in the early 1990s.  This was the first bout where the crowd knew who was going to win once they got into the ring.  After, Breeze did a bit where he admired himself on the phone while disrespecting his opponent.  They simulcast that on the Tron.  It was an awesome old school heel jackass move.   There was a good throwback 1980s dastardly heel feel to Breeze, who looks like a million bucks.  You can see this act making a splash down the line.

*NXT champ Bo Dallas defeated Leo Kruger.  Kruger is really good as the sick madman.  He reminds me a lot of the Cactus Jack we'd see in Memphis, World Class and the earliest days of WCW - not in terms of his bumps but in terms of playing a believable nutter.   The crowd really wanted to see Dallas lose here and when he teased tapping to Kruger's finisher, the place was ready to explode.  In the ring, Dallas won by submission.  The audience was chanting "No more Bo" afterward.

Episode 3 -

*Paul Heyman came out to one of the bigger reactions of the night.  The place chanted "ECW."  Heyman took the mic and said he was stepping out of character and thanked everyone, but he didn't want to live in the past, he wanted to come to NXT and scout for the next Paul Heyman guy.  He put over how blown away he was by all the talent here and then went into his shtick.

*At some point, they must have gone "live" because Heyman was then ripping on Florida fans.  WWE Intercontinental champ Curtis Axel came out.  They declared no one deserved a title shot.  Out came Big E. Langston, who is a total badass babyface here.  He and Axel had a good match.  Axel feels more like a guy who means something by the week.  Langston won via DQ when Heyman got involved.  Langston pounded Heyman but was attacked by Axel.  Langston made his own comeback and scored a "five" count (his gimmick here) on the champ.

*Mason Ryan, who looks every bit of a star now, defeated Garrett Dylan.  Enzo Amore (who's work on the mic as the excitable, sleazy guy from Jersey improves every time I see him) and Colin Cassady came out to distract Ryan but it didn't work.

*NXT Women's champ Paige defeated Summer Rae.  Paige's charisma is even better live than it is on TV and I was already impressed with that.  After she beat Rae, Emma hit the scene to attack her and get revenge.

*The Shield won a six man tag over NXT Tag champs Adrian Neville & Corey Graves & Xavier Woods.  This was awesome.  The finishing sequence with Seth Rollins nailing a running powerbomb into the corner, followed by Reigns decimated him with a spear was just great.

Episode 4 -

*WWE Divas champ AJ Lee pinned Bailey.  Bailey does a deal where she is this naive, shy girl who is so excited she's on the roster (and may even be a little bit of a simpleton) that the audience is behind her as a sympathetic character.  She got a lot of offense and near falls in early and looked really good.  AJ finally scored the pin.  Good match.

*The Ascension won a quick squash over two talents I couldn't make out.

*CJ Parker defeated Darren Corbin (at least that's what the name sounded like).  Parker does a complete zoned-out dreadlocked hippie deal.  He's got some charisma to him and the crowd liked it.   Renee Young came out for a  post match interview.  She asked Parker where he had gone and why he's changed since the last time we had seen him.  Parker said, "I'm just a guy going with the flow and having a little fun."  Tyler Breeze came out, ripped Parker for destroying the photos of himself a few weeks back when Parker was goofing off behind him.  Breeze had an almost effeminate delivery that added to the role.  Parker finally teased a punch after telling him it was all clean fun. which led to Breeze acting like he wanted to fight, only instead
powdering out.

*Antonio Cesaro defeated Sami Zayn in one of the best matches of the year so far.  This was a Three Falls bout.  Zayn hit a flip dive on Cesaro as he came out, tossed him in the ring and slammed him forward into the buckles for a quick three count.  Cesaro powered over the smaller Zayn in the second fall and finally make him tap to a submission.  The third fall was all nuts, including Zayn hitting his dive through the ringpost/buckles into the corner and nailing a tornado DDT on the floor.  That was awesome.  Back in the ring, Cesaro cut him off while he attempted a dive and muscled him into the uppercut as Zayn came down, then destroyed him with the Neutralizer.  This match was just awesome.  The crowd chanted, "Match of the year" and gave Zayn a big ovation as he was helped out.

After the taping ended, Dolph Ziggler (who received a completely mind-blowing reaction and played babyface) defeated Alexander Rusev.  Rusev is a throwback in how  he physically looks and works.  He's an Ivan Putski like squat powerhouse of a beast.  Solid match.

Mark Henry came out to do a promo to close the show, announcing he would be back here on 8/27 and would bring the WWE title with him.  His promo was awesome.

Overall, a great taping.

2014 - WWE ran Tokyo, Japan.  Akira Fukuda filed the following results:

*Dolph Ziggler & Rob Van Dam defeat Luke Harper & Erik Rowan after Ziggler uses ZigZag on Harper.

*Big E pins The Miz with Big Ending.

*NXT champion Adrian Neville defeat Sami Zayn with the Red Arrow. Dynamite match.

*Paige defeat Alicia Fox with Paige Turner.

*Dean Ambrose beat Seth Rollins via DQ after A,brose hit with Briefcase.

*Cesaro (with Paul Heyman) defeat Kofi Kingston with The Neutralizer.

*Hulk Hogan made his grand return and told everyone that Japan is "Ichiban." He talked about the legends he wrestled here in Japan, naming Antonio Inoki, Tiger Jeet Singh, Tatsumi Fujinami, Riki Choshu, and The Great Muta. It was nice moment. Hogan praised John Cena as being the champion that he used to be.

*WWE champion John Cena & Roman Reigns defeat Bray Wyatt & Kane when Cena uses the Attitude Adjustment on Wyatt and Reigns hits spear on Kane at same time with synchronized pinfalls.

2014 - WWE broadcast Superstars.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and your announcers are Renee ‘Home is where The Hart is’ Young and Tom ‘Patrick Roy’ Phillips.

 

Match Number One: Adam Rose versus Titus O’Neil

 

Rose offers his lollipop to Titus but Titus refuses. Titus misses a punch and Rose leaps into his arms and he gives Titus his lollipop. Rose with a waist lock and Titus with a standing switch. Rose enjoys having Titus behind him a little too much and Titus pushes him away. Titus catches Rose on a cross body attempt and Rose counters with a sleeper.

Titus with a snap mare to get out of the hold. Titus with a forearm to the chest and then he connects with a chop in the corner. Titus with another chop and then he kicks Rose. Titus with more kicks and the referee warns Titus. Titus with more punches and knees. Titus with a dog bark. Titus grabs Rose by the throat and he connects with a knee to the midsection. Titus sets for a back breaker on his shoulder and he drops down and gets a near fall.

Titus gets Rose up on his shoulders again for a back breaker and Rose with elbows to escape. Rose with an elbow and running forearms but Titus stays on his feet. Rose with jabs to Titus and then he connects with a right but Titus backs into the corner. Rose with a clothesline into the corner and then Rose with the Choo Choo. Rose sets for the Party Foul but Titus with punches. Titus runs into boots from Rose and Rose with a rollup for the three count.

 

Winner: Adam Rose

 

We go to commercial.

We are back with a look at what Roman Reigns said at the start of Raw.

Roman Reigns will face Rusev on Smackdown tonight.

Curtis Axel is getting ready for his match and Ryback stops in the locker room. Ryback talks about Curtis’ match with Tyson Kidd. Curtis calls him a professional wrestler turned Total Diva. Ryback talks about his show Total Big Guys. Ryback tells Curtis to get ready for his match. Curtis says that he will go to Battleground to become the Intercontinental Champion. Ryback points out that Curtis is a former champion. Curtis points out that Ryback has an 0 for in main events.

We go to commercial.

We are back with a look at the match between Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose on Raw.

We go to commercial.

 

Match Number Two: Tyson Kidd (with Natalya) versus Curtis Axel (with Ryback)

 

They lock up and Axel with a side head lock and shoulder tackle. Axel celebrates with Ryback over the success of the shoulder tackle. Kidd with a side head lock and rollup for a near fall. Kidd with a backslide for a near fall. Kidd with an inside cradle for a near fall. They lock up and Axel with a hammer lock. Kidd gets to the ropes and he comes back into the ring to tie Axel in the ropes and he kicks the ropes.

Kidd with an arm drag into an arm bar. Axel backs Kidd into the corner and Axel with a knee and punch in the corner. Axel with a kick followed by a hard Irish whip. Axel tries to send Kidd over the top rope to the floor but Kidd lands on the apron. Kidd with a body scissors to send Axel to the floor and then Kidd with a kick to the head as we go to commercial.

We are back and Kidd with an arm bar on Axel. Kidd with a kick to Axel and then he drop kicks Axel through the ropes and to the floor. Kidd goes for a suicide dive but Axel with a forearm to the head and Kidd is down in the ring. Axel sends Kidd into the corner and he kicks Kidd and punches him. Axel with a drop kick.

Axel with an elbow to the top of the head and then he applies a reverse chin lock. Kidd with elbows but Axel with a forearm to the back. Axel with an Irish whip but Kidd kicks Axel coming into the corner. Axel puts Kidd in the ropes and he connects with punches and then he connects with a clothesline to the back of the head of a defenseless Kidd. Axel gets a near fall.

Axel charges into the corner and Kidd with a drop toe hold that sends Axel into the turnbuckles. Kidd with a series of kicks and a corkscrew drop kick. Kidd with a drop kick to the temple. Kidd puts Axel in the tree of woe and Kidd with knees. Kidd with a hesitation drop kick into the corner and Kidd gets a near fall.

Axel with a Saito suplex and both men are down. Axel with a running knee to the head and he gets a near fall. Axel sets for the Axel Driver but Kidd rolls through and Axel gets to the ropes. Kidd with a slingshot into the middle rope followed by a slingshot leg drop by Kidd onto the apron. Kidd goes for a springboard elbow drop but Axel gets his knees up and Curtis hits the Axel Driver for the three count.

 

Winner: Curtis Axel

 

We go to commercial.

We are back with a look at the main event from Raw.

We go to credits.

2014 - PWInsider reported that WWE was working on a Daniel Bryan autobiography.

 

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