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By Mike Johnson on 2020-02-14 08:00:00

February 14th

On this day in history in ....

1982 - Dutch Mantell defeats Jerry Lawler in Memphis, Tennessee to win the AWA Southern Heavyweight Title for the second time, ending Lawler's ninth reign with the title.

1982 - UWA held their 7th Anniversary Show at El Toreo (a famous bullfighting arena) in Naulcalpan, Mexico.  The show was headlined by a two out of three falls match where Abdullah The Butcher & Perro Aguayo defeated Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami.  In order two win a fall, both members of a team had to be defeated.  In the first fall, Fujinami pinned Aguayo and Abdullah was counted out.  In the second fall, Aguayo pinned Fujinami and Inoki was counted out.  In the final fall, both Inoki and Fujinami were disqualified.

1984 - At a WWF television taping in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the long-awaited singles match between Sgt. Slaughter and The Iron Sheik never began as Sheik attacked Slaughter before the bell and whipped him with a belt.  During the taping for the next episode, Slaughter attacked The Iron Sheik after Sheik began insulting Slaughter and the U.S. after defeating Eddie Gilbert.  Slaughter ran off the Sheik and then vowed to defeat him and defend the United States.

1988 - John Tatum & Jack Victory won back the World Class Championship Wrestling Texas Tag Team Title in unusual fashion in Ft. Worth, Texas.  The belts had been held up following a controversial match with the Fantastics on January 28th.  To decide the championship, the teams drew from a deck of cards. Tatum & Victory drew the high card and got the belts back.

1994 - Eddie Gilbert defeated Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee ending Lawler's 18th reign after only a week.  This also started Gilbert's own fourth run with the belt.  On the same card, Brian Christopher defeated Doug Gilbert for the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title, ending a one week reign for Doug, and starting his tenth run with that title.

1996 - Brian Christopher defeated Tommy Rich for the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title, starting his 21st reign with the belt.  On the same card, Jesse James Armstrong & Tracey Smothers defeated PG-13 for the USWA Tag Team Title.

1999 - WWF held the St. Valentine's Massacre Pay-per-view at The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. It featured the debut of Paul Wight, now known as the Big Show.  Wight had jumped from WCW (where he was known as the Giant) and signed a long term deal with the WWF. Here are the results of the show:
- Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor defeated Matt & Jeff Hardy.  This match was shown on Sunday Night Heat.
- Viscera defeated Test via disqualification. This match was shown on Sunday Night Heat.
- Billy Gunn vs. Tiger Ali Singh ended in a no-contest.  This match was shown on Sunday Night Heat.
- Goldust defeated Bluedust (Blue Meanie) with the Curtain Call.
- Hardcore Holly defeated Al Snow to win the vacant Hardcore Title by wrapping Snow in a length of chain link fence outside the arena and pinning him.
- Big Boss Man defeated Mideon with a side slam.  After the match, the Ministry attacked Boss Man and carried him out.
- World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett defeated Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown when Jarrett beat Henry with a figure four after Owen hit his leg with a guitar.
- Val Venis defeated Ken Shamrock to win the Intercontinental Title after Billy Gunn knocked out Shamrock.
- Kane & Chyna defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley & X-Pac when Chyna pinned Helmsley after Kane chokeslammed him.
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion Mankind vs. Rocky Maivia in a "Last Man Standing" match ended in a draw when neither man could answer the ten count after hitting each other simultaneously with chairshots.
- Steve Austin defeated Vince McMahon in a steel cage match when Paul Wight attacked Austin and threw him into the wall of the cage.  The cage broke, and Austin fell to the floor.  Since Austin made it to the floor before Vince, he was declared the winner.

2010 - TNA held their Against All Odds PPV.  Here is Mike Johnson's original report on the show:

The PPV opened with Ric Flair storming in the building with Christy Hemme trying to calm him.  Flair was irate about Eric Bischoff being added as the special referee tonight.  He said that everyone knows he hates Bischoff and when he gets his hands on Bischoff, he's going to get the respect he deserves.  He said that he's not going to let Bischoff hate for him spill over to AJ Styles and effect Styles' run as TNA champion. Flair told Hemme to go tell Bischoff he's looking for him and Bischoff and Hulk Hogan are going to show Flair the respect he deserves as "a God around here" or else.

TNA aired a video feature on tonight's event.

8 Card Stud Tournament: Pope D'Angelo Dinero vs. Desmond Wolfe

The crowd was strongly behind Dinero.  They did some nice back and forth opening sequences early.  Wolfe began using his European style on Dinero, who reversed several unique moves.  Wolfe nailed him with a European uppercut but Dinero nailed him with several clubbering elbows and a flying forearm.

Wolfe tossed Dinero to the floor and when he returned to the apron, snapped him over the ropes.  Wolfe went for the Tower of London but Dinero escaped.  Wolfe took out Dinero's legs and began focusing on his shoulder, driving him shoulder first into the corner.  Wolfe followed it up with a modified armbar.  Dinero tried to make a comeback but snapped into a DDT for a two count.

Wolfe tied up Dinero in a cravate headlock and scissored Dinero's leg with his own.  Dinero broke free and nailed a series of forearm shots, followed by a clothesline.  He nailed an inverted atomic drop and a flying forearm.    Dinero hit a flying bodypress off the top rope for a two count.

Wolfe nailed a catapult into the corner but Pope stopped himself and clocked Wolfe with a back elbow.  He ascended to the top but Wolfe cut him off and nailed a superplex.  Wolfe covered Dinero for a two count.  Wolfe went for a lariat but Dinero ducked and rolled him up from behind.  Wolfe yanked Dinero's shoulder.  He missed a charge into the corner.  Dinero used the ropes to snap Wolfe's neck to the mat.

Dinero nailed the Dinero Express in the corner and scored the pin.

Your winner, advancing, D'Angelo Dinero!

Real good opener.  Some nice wrestling here as both continue to impress inside the ring.

Ric Flair stormed into Eric Bischoff's office.  He demanded to know why Bischoff added himself to the main event and said that Bischoff can't act like God, because Flair is the only wrestling God around here.  He told Bischoff any changes have to go through Flair because he's AJ Styles' manager.  Bischoff said he thinks Flair is mad Styles has to defend against Samoa Joe tonight.  Flair said he didn't care about that because Styles is the best and the best always wins, plus he has Flair in his corner.  Bischoff said he will call the match down the middle and warned Flair to "keep his distance tonight."  Flair looked like he wanted to jump Bischoff but instead walked off.  Bischoff started rubbing his face out of frustration.  Good stuff from both men.

Jeremy Borash interviewed the TNA Tag Team champions Hernandez and Matt Morgan.  They basically said that they would still be the champions after tonight but they have to face each other due to the luck of the draw.  They wished each other well.

8 Card Stud tournament: TNA Tag Team champion Matt Morgan vs. TNA Tag Team champion Hernandez

They locked up at the bell with Morgan forcing Hernandez into the corner.  Clean break.  They lock up again, this time with Morgan being backed up.  Deja vu with the clean break.  Morgan grabbed a side headlock but was shoved off.  He rebounded off the ropes and took Hernandez down with a series of shoulder blocks.  Hernandez responded in kind and Morgan went down.

Morgan came back with a kick to the gut but missed the Carbon Footprint.  Hernandez went for the Border Toss but Morgan escaped.  He nailed his rapid fire back elbows in the corner.  He charged Hernandez in the corner but was kicked in the gut.  Hernandez went to the top for a bodypress.  Morgan was supposed to catch him but they ended up crumbling to the ground and Hernandez covered him for a near fall.

Hernandez was selling his ribs as Morgan nailed an Avalanche in the corner.  Morgan nailed a side slam for a two count.  He choked Hernandez's throat against the top rope then launched himself atop Morgan, clotheslining his partner over the top rope.  Morgan drops a guillotine legdrop across Hernandez' throat on the apron.

Morgan covered his partner but Hernandez kicked up.  Morgan yelled at him to stay down.  Hernandez tried to escape a side headlock but was blasted in the ribs.  Morgan maneuvered Hernandez onto the apron but was hit with a slingshot shoulderblock into the ring.  Hernandez exploded with offense, including a splash in the corner for a two count.  Hernandez avoided a backdrop attempt and picked up Morgan for a delayed vertical suplex.

Morgan rolled out onto the rampway to the ring.  Hernandez hit a dive over the ropes onto Morgan.  Hernandez grabbed his shoulder as he landed and immediately went down grabbing his shoulder.  Hernandez was almost counted out but Morgan stopped him, saying he didn't want to win that way.  Morgan held the ropes for his partner to get in the ring, then ran him into the corner shoulder-first and rolled Hernandez up, hooking the tights.

Your winner, Matt Morgan!

Morgan held up Hernandez' arm after but Hernandez shoved him off and walked out.  Really solid match that set the stage for a teased heel turn from Morgan at the end when he cheated to win by taking advantage of his partner and hooking the tights to boot.  You can't expect Malenko vs. Guerrero from guys of this size but for what it was, minus that one miscue, I thought this was really enjoyable.

So, Pope vs. Morgan in Round Two.  Weird mix on paper.

They aired a video feature on the Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles feud.

Christy Hemme interviewed Kurt Angle.  Angle said that he owed a huge apology to Hulk Hogan.  He said that last Thursday, Hogan had his back when the Band attacked Angle.  Angle said that as a man, he knows Hogan has his back.  Hemme asked Angle about mental preparation for tonight given his beating on Thursday.  Angle said he's a pro and is going to burn through the tournament and get his title shot.  He said he's going to introduce Ken Anderson to TNA the only way he knows how, by beating his ass in the ring.  Oh it's real, it's damn real.

8 Card Stud Tournament: Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle

Anderson introduced himself as the winner of this match and the one after that and the one after that.  Great line.

In the ring, they started out slow with some back and forth wrestling.  Angle worked a side headlock on Anderson early.  Angle charged Anderson in the corner but Anderson moved and Angle drilled his shoulder into the ringpost.  Anderson began mocking him, then began digging the medal Angle wore to the ring into Angle's face, busting him open.    Anderson began stomping Angle's face and worked him over with punches in a corner.

Angle tried to battle back with several rights but was caught with a DDT.   Anderson cinched in a rear chinlock.  Angle made his way back and nailed a belly-to-belly overhead suplex.   Angle drilled Anderson with a clothesline for a two count.  The storyline the announcers were pushing were how long Angle could go while losing so much blood.  Angle began drilling Anderson with a series of German suplexes.

Angle went for the Angleslam but Anderson avoided it and hit his rolling forward Samoan Drop for a two count.  Anderson began unhooking a turnbuckle pad.  When the referee began fixing it, Anderson ripped a second one off.  He tried to slam Angle's face into it but Angle held him off and drilled an Angleslam for a two count.

Angle pulled the strap down and cinched in an anklelock.  Anderson kicked him off.  Angle charged Anderson into a corner but Anderson moved and Angle ran headlong into the exposed turnbuckle.  Anderson hit the Mic Check and scored the clean pinfall on Angle.

Your winner, Ken Anderson!

After the match, Anderson draped the medal on Angle's chest and snotted him.  Match was solid and told a good story.  It was obvious TNA was trying to springboard Anderson as a player here.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff told Mick Foley and Abyss he was sorry he put them in this situation but when you run a wrestling company you have to give the fans the best entertainment.  He warned them to kill each other, not to work in collusion or else Abyss would have to unmask.  Foley asked him how they knew he wasn't going to pull something on them.  Bischoff said he would make it a No DQ match so they could use a barbed wire bat, but if he didn't think they were treating this as their most important match, Abyss' mask was a goner.  Abyss didn't want to have to beat up Foley but Foley was fine with doing what had to be done.

8 Card Stud Tournament: Abyss vs. Mick Foley - No DQ.

Interesting to see them making this more or less a hardcore match on paper since you would think that would be what's planned for 3D vs. Nasties, but we'll see.

Foley came out with the barbed wire bat and was dressed in old school Cactus Jack leopard print.  Abyss grabbed a headlock on Foley, then shoulderblocked him down.  Foley went to grab the bat but Abyss kicked it away from him.  Abyss nailed a splash in the corner. Fans chanted for Abyss to use the bat but he had his doubts after he picked it up, so he dropped it back down.

Abyss told Foley he didn't want to use the bat, so Mick slapped and punched him.  He dared Abyss to use the bat while punching him, trying to fire up Abyss.  Abyss began drilling Foley with right hands.  Foley went to the floor.  Abyss followed.  They brawled around ringside.  Foley grabbed a fan's chair and beat Abyss over the back with it.  Foley worked over Abyss, screaming at him to use the bat and asking him if he wanted to lose his mask.

Back in the ring, Foley grabbed the bat but Abyss kicked him as Foley charged.  Abyss choked Foley against the ropes.  He shot Mick into the ropes but Foley caught him with a swinging neckbreaker as he rebounded.  Foley worked over Abyss with a series of forearms in the corner.  He grabbed a sack of thumbtacks and spread them across the ring.  Foley tried to punch Abyss into the tacks but was grabbed by the throat.  Abyss teased slamming him on the tacks but instead slammed him in the corner away from them for a two count.  The announcers wondered if that could be what Bischoff needed as ammunition.

Abyss grabbed Mr. Socko away from Foley for the Mandible Claw but was hit with the double arm DDT.   Since he had no sock, Foley pulled one off the referee.  Abyss and Foley used the Mandible Claw on each other at the same time but eventually only Foley had it cinched him.  Abyss faded down to the mat.  The referee checked Abyss' arms to see if he was out.  Meanwhile, red Mike Posey is walking around the ring with one foot barefoot.  Sheesh, put the sneaker back on!

Foley grabbed the barbed wire bat but Abyss grabbed him and nailed the Black Hole Slam into the tacks for the pin.  The storyline was that Abyss was going on instinct and didn't "want" to hurt Foley.

Your winner, Abyss!

After the match, Abyss was checking on Foley and removing tacks.  This was OK (nothing memorable) but it told a good story.  Actually, I think all the first round matches told a basic but solid story in each bout, although whether you were going to be into it or not was subjective.

Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed The Nasty Boys.  Brian Knobbs said that they know why they are here, but everyone assumes they know why.  Knobbs said that everyone knows they are Hulk Hogan's longtime friends and he told them to go through the TNA Tag Team roster and show them what real tag teams are all about.  He said they went right after Team 3D because they are the top tag team here and if they can't beat 3D, why are they even here?  Promo was fine.

Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed The Nasty Boys.  Brian Knobs said that they know why they are here, but everyone assumes they know why.  Knobs said that everyone knows they are Hulk Hogan's longtime friends and he told them to go through the TNA Tag Team roster and show them what real tag teams are all about.  He said they went right after Team 3D because they are the top tag team here and if they can't beat 3D, why are they even here?  Promo was fine.

The Nasty Boys vs. Team 3D

The Nastys cut off 3D as they charged the ring.  They worked over 3D early.  3D made a comeback so the Nastys powdered to the floor.  It settled down into a traditional tag with Brother Ray and Jerry Sags starting out.  Sags caught him with a clothesline in the corner.  Knobs cut off Ray as he tried to fire back.  The Nastys tagged in and out.  They tried to do the Pitstop on Ray but he shoved Sags into Knobs, knocking Knobs off the apron.

Devon tagged in.  They took out Sags but Knobs pulled him out of the ring as 3D called for the Dudley Death Drop.  Fans began chanting for tables. Knobs returned to the ring, where he ate a Devon clothesline.  Devon rebounded off the ropes but Sags pulled the rope down and he crashed to the floor.  Sags worked over Devon on the floor.

Ray came out of nowhere and drilled the hell out of Sags from behind, sending him flying into a cameraman.  That was awesome.    The announcers noted the cameraman was down.  It was obvious it was a mishap but was one of those accidental moments that ended up being the best thing thus far in the match because it was so stiff.

Back in the ring, Sags and Knobs continued working over Devon as Ray kept trying to get in the ring and help.  Knobs locked in an abdominal stretch.  Sags tagged in and nailed Devon in the ribs.  Sags whipped Knobs into Devon in the corner but Devon avoided him and then nailed Sags.

Devon made the tag to Ray, who began cleaning house with slams and punches on the Nastys.  He sandwiched the Nastys in the corner and nailed a running splash on both.  Ray went for an uranage on Sags and it fell apart.  Ray elbowed Knobs in the head.  3D nailed the wazzup headbutt on the Nastys.  They were about to call for Tables when Sags charged them.  They nailed him with the Dudley Death Drop.

Ray covered Sags but Jimmy Hart ran out (the camera missed this) and handed Knobs a motorcycle helmet.  Knobs drilled Ray with it and put Sags on top.  He scored the pin as Knobs held Devon to prevent him from breaking the pin.

Your winners, The Nasty Boys!

They tried hard but it didn't come together.  There were a few moments that were OK here but it's obvious it wasn't the Nasty Boys of old (and how could it be, with age, weight and injuries holding them back?) and at times, there were some cringe worthy moments.  Knobs really looked like he was hurting bad and was out of place.  Way too much stalling.  It was obvious 3D were trying to do everything they could to get the Nastys over.

The Jimmy Hart addition is an interesting one, but I suspect people who aren't fans of the Hogan regime will roll their eyes at this one.  You can't ask for a harder working guy for your company than Hart though.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff was talking to Samoa Joe.  Joe said the most important thing for a company is a champion they can believe in.  Bischoff agreed with him and talked about how much he hated Flair and said he was going to handle it right down the middle.  They are pushing it so hard that I almost expect Bischoff to screwjob Joe and be behind the other screwjob from a few weeks ago.  Bischoff asked Joe to keep his Samoan temper in check.  Joe told Bischoff to take care of Flair and he'd handle Styles like he has in the past.

8 Card Stud Semi-Final: D'Angelo Dinero vs. Matt Morgan

Dinero tried to use his speed and offense to keep Morgan off balance early.  He attempted to whip Morgan but Morgan just pulled back and sent Dinero over the top to the floor.  Morgan followed to the floor.  He threw Dinero back into the ring and nailed a Fall Away Slam.  Morgan was showing some arrogant heel swagger in the ring.

Morgan stepped on Dinero's chest, forcing the air out of his chest.  He then choked Dinero against the ropes.  Morgan nailed the old Big Bossman charge across the ring and land across the opponent draped on the ropes.  Morgan cinched in a bearhug.  Dinero escaped and unloaded with offense.

Pope nailed a drop toehold on Morgan, snapping him into the ropes.  Dinero rebounded off the ropes but was drilled with a discus clothesline for a two count.  Morgan began beating down Dinero with headbutts.  He measured and charged but Dinero avoided the Carbon Footprint and crotched himself in the corner.

Dinero nailed the former Elijah Express in the corner, hit a splash off the ropes and scored the pin.

Your winner, D'Angelo Dinero!

Morgan threw a fit in the ring after the loss.

Match didn't stand out in my opinion.

Jeremy Borash interviewed Ken Anderson.  Borash said he had defeated Kurt Angle.  Anderson said he doesn't like when people repeat themselves but had Borash say it again.  Anderson said he beat the best wrestler in the world.  He noted he beat Abyss last month and would be the guy that's going to do it again tonight and get the title shot, then win the title.  Anderson said everyone is waiting for him to carry the company into the future and he would.  He was hilarious doing his "ANDERRRRRRRSON" bit into Borash's face at the end.

8 Card Stud Tournament: Abyss vs. Ken Anderson

They slugged it out in the center of the ring.  Anderson attempted a high cross bodyblock but bounced off.  Anderson called for a test of strength but when Abuss went for it, he punched Abyss.  Abyss grabbed him for a slam but Anderson escaped and they faced off.

Anderson got nailed with a big boot and clotheslined over the top to the floor.  Outside, Abyss slammed him into the ring steps.  Anderson fired back with a right hand.  Anderson went to slam Abyss into the guard rail but Abyss overpowered him and it was Anderson who ate steel.   Abyss did the running charge in the corner but Anderson dropkicked him in the knee.  Anderson worked over Abyss with punches and tried to unmask Abyss.  Abyss rushed himself backwards into the corner and fixed the mask.

Anderson came from behind with a chop block, taking out the knee again.  Abyss punched off Anderson but was tied up in the corner.  Anderson nailed a dropkick to the knee.  Abyss tried to make a comeback but couldn't get the chokeslam.  He backdropped Anderson and began drilling him with right hands.  Abyss nailed the running charge in the corner and hit a sideslam for a two count.

Abyss called for a chokeslam.  Anderson kicked him in the gut but was unable to get the Mic Check.  Abyss went for and nailed Shock Treatment for a two count.  Abyss went for a chokeslam but Anderson pulled the mask out of alignment.  Abyss was blinded and grabbed at the referee, allowing Anderson to nail him low and score the Mic Check for the pin.

Your winner, Ken Anderson!

Anderson vs. Pope in the final.  Crowd was way down for this and the last match.  I didn't think this match really stood out either.

Christy Hemme interviewed TNA champ AJ Styles, who now has blonde frosting in his hair and Ric Flair.  Styles said that there wasn't anyone who could shine his boots, including Hulk Hogan and the Funk Brothers.  Styles said wrestlers like him only come around once in a lifetime.  Styles is trying to find himself as a heel promo but it wasn't bad at all.  He looked like he was having the time of his life.  Flair told Hemme he was sorry for his anger earlier and promised that Eric Bishoff would call it right down the middle.  He did his typical Flair promo, putting over himself and the champ.  The only problem there was it showed Styles isn't all the way there yet.  Still, I am enjoying this.

TNA champ AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe with Eric Bischoff as the special referee: The Prelude

I can't believe this isn't going on last.   Anderson and Dinero, working their third match in one night, going on after Joe vs. Styles is just unfair.  There has to be some sort of angle set here, especially since we haven't seen Hulk Hogan yet.

Oh whoops, there's Hogan.  He stopped Bischoff backstage and told him he and Ric Flair needed to let it all go.  Hogan said that after 15 years, there's no reason for any of the animosity and they both needed to tone it down a few notches.  Hulk said he knew what Bischoff was up to tonight and it wasn't going to happen.  Hogan told Bischoff there were to be no shenanigans and no ga-ga after the Earl Hebner situation.  Hogan said they the wrestlers and the fans needed to believe in the ref and demanded Bischoff call it right down the middle.  When Hogan walked off, Bischoff looked pissed and said, "damn it!"

They showed an intense Joe walking out with his briefcase.   Joe's work lately has been inspired and he's really an MVP when it comes to putting guys into good wrestling situations, so I am really looking forward to this one.

Backstage, Flair had dressed Styles in an old school, Flair style robe.  Styles strutted down the hallway but then stopped and pulled a hood over his head.  I am sure some fans will cry they are making Styles a Flair knock-off but I have no problem with this.  Buddy Rogers gave way to Ric Flair and TNA is doing a solid job with the idea of Flair giving way to Styles.  Fine by me.

Jeremy Borash was back with the big time Jimmy Lennon style ring introductions.

TNA champ AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe with Eric Bischoff as the special referee: The Match

Styles demanded Bischoff hold the title up in the air.  There was a moment where Flair and Bischoff stared at each other.  They rang the bell.

Joe and Styles locked up and they started out fast, but Styles jumped to the floor before Joe could get any real damage in.  Styles returned.  Joe got a lot of offense early, including a running knee in the corner for a two count.  Styles came back with chops.  Joe ducked a clothesline and nailed a running knee for a two count.  Joe nailed Styles with a big chop to the chest.

Joe began drilling Styles with roundhouse kicks to the legs and chest.  Styles grabbed Joe's leg and hit a Dragon Screw legwhip.  Styles began stomping away on Joe's knee.  Styles went for a figure four but Joe kicked him out of the ring.  Styles took a scary as heel bump to the floor.  Joe hit a suicide dive to the floor, but began selling the bad knee after hitting the floor.

Joe tossed Styles back in the ring but they ended up back outside.  Styles began pulling the padding covering the ringside area, exposing the concrete.  Styles went for a suplex on the floor but Joe reversed it.  Styles landed on his feet but Joe nailed him.  Styles landed in Flair's arms and they backed off as Joe stalked them outside.  Styles returned to the ring and dropkicked Joe as he followed.

Styles elbowed Joe across the back of the neck.  He drilled Joe with a dropkick as he rebounded off the ropes.  Styles began whipping out the "Woos" as he chopped Joe but Joe returned in kind.  They went back and forth.  Styles placed Joe atop the turnbuckles and went for a top rope rana.  Joe pushed him off and drilled a knee off the ropes for a two count.

Joe began beating on Styles with right hands and punches in the corner.  Styles avoided a Joe charge but when he went after Joe, was caught with a Uranage out of the corner.  Joe charged Styles but was kicked off.  Styles mounted him with a series of right hands but Bischoff pulled him off.  Styles and Bischoff argued while Flair grabbed Joe and slammed his leg into a ringpost.  Styles clipped Joe from behind.

Styles began working on Joe's leg, snapping the hamstring and stomping the leg to weaken Joe for a submission attempt.  Styles locked on an Oriental Torture Device followed by the figure four leglock.  Joe was nearly counted down on the mat several times.  Flair began helping Styles.  Bischoff spotted it and broke up the submission.

Style charged Joe but was backdropped over the top to the floor.  Joe began racking up the offense including a back senton splash for a two count.  Joe nailed the snap powerslam for a two count.  Joe chopped Styles in the corner.  Styles came back with a springboard into a forearm for a two count.    Styles mounted Joe for more punches.  Joe came back with thrusts and punches.

Styles caught Joe with a back elbow and set up Joe for the Styles Clash.  Joe escaped and went for the rear naked choke.  Styles went for the ropes but Joe kicked off the ropes for momentum and flipped Styles backwards into a back suplex.  Joe placed  Styles on the top rope for a muscle buster but Flair grabbed Joe's leg.  Bischoff began arguing with Flair on the floor and decked him,  Meanwhile, there was no one to count the pin.

When Bischoff returned to the ring, he began screaming at Bischoff and grabbed him by the shirt.  Styles hit the Pele Kick on the distracted Joe, then hit the Styles Clash.  Bischoff slowly counted three, although he wasn't happy about it.

Your winner and still TNA champion AJ Styles!

Flair grabbed the mic and demanded Bischoff raise Styles' hand.  Flair yelled at the fans to show him and Styles respect.

This was your usual good Joe vs. Styles bout but with the Ric Flair heel vs. babyface template over it.  Easily the best thing from an in-ring standpoint on the show.  To me, it seems Flair and Bischoff are actually in cahoots, but we'll see.

Ken Anderson cut a promo saying he was going to finish off his bucket list tonight after checking off beating Kurt Angle and Abyss.  He said he was going to finish off by sending Dinero back to the Harlem Street Corner he came from.  His promos are on fire tonight.

Jeremy Borash interviewed Dinero.  Dinero was giving his usual fun promo when Scott Hall and Sean Waltman attacked him, throwing him into the wall of the TNA interview set.  Security held them back.  Hall yelled for Hogan, saying he shouldn't turn his back on the Wolfpack.  Cue Jerry McDevitt.

So Dinero is going to go in and win after the impossible for a huge pop as a babyface or Anderson becomes the heel who back doored his way into a title match.

8 Card Stud Tournament Final: D'Angelo Dinero vs. Ken Anderson for Lockdown title shot.

They played Dinero's music but no initial sign of him.  They stopped playing the music and instead introduced Anderson.  They ref rang the bell and began counting out Dinero.  At six, Dinero emerged on the stage.  Anderson hit a running clothesline on the ramp.  He returned to the ring to break up the countout then went right back after Dinero on the ramp.

Dinero began to mount a comeback.  Anderson went to the floor off the ramp to try and escape but Dinero was right after him.  Anderson cut him off with a kick to the gut.   He whipped Dinero into the steel steps.  They showed AJ Styles and Ric Flair watching the match on a monitor backstage to see who gets the Lockdown title shot.  Anderson worked over Dinero and returned to the ring, telling the referee to count him out.

Dinero pulled himself to his feet and got to the apron but Anderson knocked him back off the apron to the floor.  Dinero finally returns to the ring.  He tries to suplex Anderson but it's reversed.  Anderson covered Dinero but he kicks out.   Anderson stomped Dinero's hand, which seemed to fire up Pope, who nailed several shots.

Anderson escaped a small package and drilled Dinero with a series of elbows for a two count.    Dinero keeps trying to fire up but Anderson just cuts him right back down.  Anderson continued to control the bout with Dinero getting a small flare of offense.  The fans started to chat for Dinero, who called for Anderson to keep bringing it.  Anderson did.

Anderson cinched in a side chinlock.  Dinero tried to fire back and drilled Anderson with a shoulderblock off the ropes.  Dinero suplexed Anderson, then nailed a German suplex.  He went for a second but was nailed with an elbow.  Dinero came back with a clothesline for a two count.

Dinero was up and over in the corner as Anderson charged and kicked Anderson in the face.  He nailed the Elijah Experience into the chest of Anderson for a two count.  Anderson came back with a clubbing clothesline.  He called for the mic to lower into the ring.  He announced we were one Mic Check Away from the next number one contender.

Anderson nailed the Mic Check but Dinero kicked out.  Anderson threw a fit over the kick up.  Dinero began pulling himself up in the corner.  Anderson went for the Rolling splash.  Anderson missed a swanton off the top rope.  Dinero avoided a rush in the corner, then hit the double knees and scored the pin.

Your winner and top contender to the TNA title, D'Angelo Dinero!

2011 - Dwayne Johnson returned to WWE, announced as the Guest Host of Wrestlemania 27 during an edition of Raw. Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are live from Anaheim, California and your announcers are Michael ‘I hope the Miz will be my Valentine’ Cole and Josh ‘Condolences on the passing of Jerry Lawler’s mom’ Mathews.

We see footage from last week’s main event when John Cena got disqualified with a low blow on CM Punk and then Cena held off Nexus with a steel chair.

John Cena thanks Jerry Lawler for the assist last week. Cena comments on the crowd. Cena says that he sees some guys smiling and some guys sweating so it must be Valentine’s Day. Cena says that nothing says ‘I Love You, honey’ more than a pair of tickets to Raw. Cena says that not only is love in the air, Wrestlemania is in the air. He reminds us that we will find out the host of Wrestlemania. Cena says that everyone has been talking about it and there are theories about it. Cena suggests that anyone who is brave enough to appear at the Grammys in an egg, then Lady Gaga could host it. If Sammi left the Jersey Shore, then she could host Mania. Cena suggests that Michael Cole could be the host. Cena says that it is a man who has experienced a special moment, he talked about a special attraction, and has been involved in something never seen before. Cena says that he gets a ‘special moment’ whenever he gets a message from the General Manager. Cole has a special attraction with Miz and Alex Riley. We have never seen proof that Michael Cole is really a man. We find out tonight who the host is, and on Sunday we find out who main events Wrestlemania. Cena says that after the year he is having, he needs this Wrestlemania moment. Cena says that he was a slave at one point, working for a group of radicals. Then he was fired and he lived off milk and crayons. Then he came back and had to deal with Nexus. At the Elimination Chamber, only one man from Nexus can enter the Chamber.

CM Punk comes out and he has something to say from the stage. He tells Cena that he does not need to listen to this any more. He does not need the members of Nexus 2.0 to help him. Punk says that it is in Gray’s Sports Almanac that the last two times they met, it is CM Punk 2, John Cena 0. He does not need to hear Cena run down a good Samaritan like Michael Cole. He does not need to listen to Cena like the people in Anaheim because he is a good person. Punk says that even here, good things happen to good people.

Match Number One: John Cena versus CM Punk


They lock up and Cena backs Punk into the corner and Cena with a clean break. Punk charges at Cena and Cena moves. Cena with punches and an Irish whip but Cena charges into the post and goes to the floor when Punk moves out of the way. Punk goes to the apron and he hits a clothesline on Cena and Cena is down. We go to commercial.

We are back and Punk with a kick to the chest and he gets a near fall. Punk with a suplex on Cena and he gets another near fall. Punk with a key lock but Cena with an arm drag. Cena charges into a boot and Punk with a near fall on a jackknife cover. Punk with a body scissors on Cena. Cena powers out of the hold and he tries for the ankle to set up the STF. Punk kicks Cena in the back and then he stands on Cena’s head.

Punk punches Cena and then he connects with jabs and another kick. Cena with punches followed by two flying shoulder tackles. Cena with a Blue Thunder Bomb followed by the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena gets Punk up for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk interrupts the Legendary Sequence and hits a leg lariat for a near fall. Punk with a figure four leg lock but Cena gets Punk on his shoulders. Cena with a knee and a gutwrench suplex and a near fall.

Punk with a kick and the knee in the corner. Cena blocks the bulldog and tries for the STF. Punk avoids it and gets a near fall on Cena. Punk tries for the Go To Sleep but Cena with a crucifix for a near fall. Punk with a kick to the head and he gets another near fall. Punk goes up top for a cross body and Cena rolls through and gets Punk up for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk gets to the apron. Cena kicks Punk off the apron. Punk is given a chair from someone under the ring and he puts it in the ring. The referee deals with the chair and Punk hits Cena with a wrench. Punk hits the Go To Sleep for the three count.

Winner: CM Punk

Michael Cole mentions that Josh Mathews is his co-host tonight because of the passing of Jerry Lawler’s mother. They send their condolences to Jerry Lawler. Cole says that Lawler will be at the pay per view on Sunday.

We look outside in Anaheim and wait for the host of Wrestlemania to arrive.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the Slam of the Week: The Alberto Del Rio announcement that he will win the World Title at Wrestlemania . . . and Edge’s rebuttal. Then we see Alberto Del Rio go El Kabong on the shoulder followed by the cross arm breaker.

It is time for that long time Raw regular, Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce Alberto Del Rio.

Alberto drives into the building and then he makes his way into the ring. Alberto tells us who he is, but we already know that. It does not matter to him who wins the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday for Smackdown because it is his destiny to be the World Champion at Wrestlemania.

Another Raw regular, Edge makes his way into the building. Edge asks Alberto ‘que pasa’ and then he says that he has been so busy beating Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown the last two weeks that he almost forgot that Alberto attacked him with a guitar two weeks ago on Raw. Edge says that Alberto talks about a destiny and Edge says that he has a destiny too.

Edge takes Del Rio down and he punches Del Rio. Edge takes off his jacket and then he pulls his hair as he sets for the spear. Ricardo Rodriguez runs interference on the apron and Edge punches him. Del Rio rolls to the apron and then he drops Edge’s arm on the rope. Edge spears Alberto off the apron.

Vickie Guerrero comes out and she says that on Sunday there is a World Title Match in the Elimination Chamber, but she wants to introduce the new World Heavyweight Champion, her boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler.

We go to footage from Smackdown last week and we see Edge hitting a spear while Vickie was recovering from her failed spear attempt on Edge.

Vickie reminds Edge that she told him over and over and over and over again that if he uses the spear, he will face the consequences. On Friday night, there will be the official coronation of Dolph Ziggler as the new World Champion.

Vickie says that Edge lost the title last Friday night and he will lose something else tonight. She says that she has proof that Edge is the one who assaulted Teddy Long and Edge will lose his job. Vickie laughs maniacally.

Eve Torres and Natalya walk in the back as we get ready for their title match.

We go to commercial, but who will be on Raw next week to fulfill the 2/21/11 prophecy?

Match Number Two: Natalya versus Eve Torres for the Divas Title in a Lumberjill Match


They shake hands and Natalya with a side head lock take down and Eve with a head scissors. Eve with a side head lock take down and Natalya with a head scissors. They each try for drop kicks at the same time. Natalya with a series of near falls followed by a waist lock but Eve with an arm drag into a hammer lock. Natalya with a surfboard on Eve and Eve is able to get her arms free and she gets a near fall. Natalya with a side head lock. Eve with a back elbow and flip leg drop for a near fall.

Natalya with a discus clothesline. Eve throws Natalya out of the ring and the Bellas, Melina, Alicia Fox, and Maryse attack Natalya while Gail Kim and Tamina save Natalya. Eve with a cross body on the rest of the Divas on the floor.

Eve with an Irish whip and then they both bump heads and go down. Natalya with a La Magistral but Eve rolls through and gets the three count.

Winner: Eve Torres

After the match, they shake hands.

We go to commercial.

We are back and Did You Know that Raw is live in Germany? (and Did You Know they have new graphics for the Did You Know factoids?)

Rev Theory is in the crowd.

The Bellas are yelling at Eve and then they attack her but Gail Kim is nearby to help out. Natalya joins in and then some referees try to break things up.

It is time to take another look at The Chaperone.

Match Number Three: Mark Henry . . .

Sheamus attacks Henry from behind and then hits Henry with a pump kick.

Sheamus grabs the mic and he tells all the fellas in the Elimination Chamber that is a reminder of what he is capable of. If they want a bigger reminder, they can see what he is going to do to Randy Orton later tonight.

Referees try to help Mark get back to his feet and that gives Sheamus the chance to hit another pump kick.

Miz and Alex Riley walk in the back and Miz pushes someone out of the way and then he walks past Michael Tarver.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the WWE Rewind: Daniel Bryan and Jerry Lawler defeating Ted DiBiase and Miz last week on Raw.

As Miz walks to the ring Michael Cole ‘marks out’ at the fact that Miz is walking towards him.

Alex Riley joins Cole and Mathews at the announce table, so if you want to mute or go to the Spanish broadcast, remember me for having to stay with the English.

Match Number Three: Miz with Alex ‘Michael Cole wishes that he could be me’ Riley versus Daniel Bryan in a Champion versus Champion Non-Title Match


They lock up and Miz with a side head lock and shoulder tackle. Miz yells at Daniel Bryan before they lock up again. Bryan with an arm drag or two into an arm bar and hammer lock. Miz with an elbow to Bryan but Bryan with drop kicks to Miz. Bryan with a kick to the chest but Miz responds with a kick of his own. Miz kicks Bryan in the chest and knees him in the back. Miz with an elbow and then he puts Bryan in a rear chin lock. Miz with a reverse chin lock but Bryan with elbows. Bryan with a choke on Miz and Miz makes it to the ropes. Bryan with kicks to the leg but Miz responds with a back elbow and Miz gets a near fall.

Miz with a reverse chin lock but Bryan with forearms and then he hits a flying clothesline after flipping off the turnbuckles. Bryan with a running drop kick into the corner and he gets a near fall. Miz with a kick and punch to Bryan but Bryan sends Miz over the top rope to the floor. Bryan sets for the suicide dive but Miz moves out of the way. Bryan goes to the apron and he hits a running knee and Miz knocks down part of the ringside barrier.

Bryan goes up top and he hits the missile drop kick and he gets a near fall. Miz with a jaw breaker but he goes in the LaBell region and Bryan tries for the LaBell Lock but Miz gets to the ropes before he can lock it in. Miz hits Bryan from the apron and then hits a neck breaker as Bryan hits the floor awkwardly.

We go to commercial.

We are back and Bryan is put on the turnbuckles and Miz tries for a superplex but Bryan blocks it and he hits a sunset flip power bomb for a near fall. Bryan gets to his feet first and he kicks Miz in the chest a number of times as William Regal has sympathy pains. Miz with a rollup after he ducks another kick. Miz with an inside cradle for a near fall. Miz with the Reality Check but Bryan blocks the second neck breaker and Bryan with a German suplex followed by a kick for a near fall. Bryan tries for the LaBell Lock but Miz is able to get to his feet and he sends Bryan into the turnbuckles. Bryan with an elbow and then Miz sends Bryan into the mat and then he hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the three count.

Winner: Miz

After the match, Cole and Riley mark out for Miz’s victory.

After the match, Miz gets on the mic and he asks everyone if they just saw what he did to the United States Champion. He says that everyone saw it, but there is one person who did not see. That person is Jerry Lawler. We know that Jerry is not here tonight because his mother passed way. Miz says that he wants to offer his sincere condolences, however he hopes that Jerry does not use this as an excuse why he loses the match on Sunday at the pay per view. Miz says that he will still be WWE Champion because he is the Miz . . . and he’s AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWESOME.

Alex Riley gets to live the dream that Michael Cole wants by getting to stand next to Miz.

We go to commercial.

We are back and we see footage of John Morrison being attacked by CM Punk last week.

Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga with Mason ‘Nottista’ Ryan versus John Morrison and R Truth


Michael and Truth start things off and Michael with a shoulder tackle and Truth with an arm drag or two into an arm bar. Ryan grabs Truth’s leg and Michael sends Truth to the floor and then Ryan kicks Truth in the ribs when Morrison distracted the referee. Michael sends Truth into the apron and then they return to the ring and Michael gets a near fall.

Otunga tags in and they hit elbows on Truth. Otunga with a suplex for a near fall. Otunga with a reverse chin lock but Truth with punches to Otunga. Truth with a belly-to-back suplex and both men are down.

Morrison tags in and he punches Otunga and then he takes Morrison down. Morrison brings Michael into the ring and he punches him and kicks him. Morrison with kicks to the ribs and the referee pulls Morrison out of the way. Morrison with a running boot to Ryan that knocks him off the apron. Morrison sends Truth over the top rope onto Ryan and then Morrison with a Shining Wizard for the three count.

Winners: John Morrison and R Truth

After the match Ryan goes after Morrison but Truth and Morrison take care of Ryan.

Chris Jericho’s new book comes out on Wednesday with “Undisputed” (and you can see him on Red Eye on Fox News Channel later tonight).

We go to commercial.

We are back and Did You Know how much the Elimination Chamber weighs? It is heavier than the WWE roster.

Todd Grisham is in the ring with Ariel Winter who stars in The Chaperone. She says that she is excited to be in the ring on Raw. She mentions that her father in the movie is played by Triple H. She says that it is time for the Khali Kiss Kam. Great Khali and Runjin Singh come to the ring and it is time for everyone to dance.

Khali speaks and Runjin says that this is a special Valentine’s Day Edition of the Khali Kiss Kam. He says that the Kiss Kam is rolling in the arena and backstage. After a few shots in the crowd, we see Santino and Tamina. Vickie is with Dolph in the office. We see Ted and Maryse but Maryse refuses Ted and kisses Yoshi Tatsu before leaving. William Regal and Zack Ryder are in the back and Regal interrupts Ryder by kissing him. It ends with Hornswoggle and Ariel.

We go back outside and who will be the one to host Wrestlemania?

Randy Orton walks in the back only as Randy Orton can and we go to commercial.

We are back and who wants some more 2/21/11 imagery?

We see footage of Sheamus attacking Mark Henry earlier tonight.

Match Number Five: Sheamus versus Randy Orton


They lock up and the referee has to separate them. Sheamus with a kick and forearm to the back. Orton with a Thesz Press and punches. Orton misses a knee drop and Sheamus responds with a shoulder tackle and then he punches Orton. Sheamus with a forearm but Orton with a back breaker. Orton with a leaping knee drop and he gets a near fall. Sheamus with a running forearm to the head and he gets a near fall. Sheamus chokes Orton in the ropes. Sheamus with forearms across the chest as he has Orton tied up in the ropes and then he hits a running knee on the apron.

Sheamus with the slingshot shoulder tackle for a near fall. Sheamus with an arm bar but Orton punches Sheamus and then connects with head butts. Orton with an Irish whip but Sheamus with a shoulder. Orton with clotheslines followed by a power slam and a kick to the head. Sheamus with a uranage back breaker for a near fall.

Sheamus puts Orton on the turnbuckles and hits a superplex. Sheamus goes at Orton but Orton pops up and hits the RKO for the three count.

After the match, CM Punk and Nexus 2.0 come to the ring and attack Orton. They must have forgotten that Sheamus is in the match too. John Morrison and R Truth come into the ring and there is pandemonium.

John Cena comes into the ring and he goes after Mason Ryan. Orton with an RKO to Otunga and McGillicutty. Orton punches Ryan and hits him with a European uppercut. Cena and Orton send Ryan over the top rope to the floor. Punk has Orton up for the Go To Sleep but Orton gets out of the hold and Orton pushes Punk to Cena who hits an Attitude Adjustment.

Orton and Cena stand tall in the ring.

A limo has arrived at the arena and the door opens. There is a pair of female legs that emerge from the limo and we don’t see above the knees as we go to commercial.

We are back and Justin Roberts introduces the host of Wrestlemania 27 . . . the lights go out in the arena and then the TitanTron is filled with the lightning.

The host is The Rock.

Finally, the crowd stops long enough for the Rock to say after seven long years, FINALLY, the Rock has come back to Anaheim. That means that Finally the Rock has come back to Monday Night Raw. That means Finally, the Rock has come back home.

Before we electrify and turn this out tonight, for those of you who don’t know, the Rock has many nicknames. The Great One. The Most Electrifying Man in all of Entertainment. The People’s Champion.

He says that he wants to say something as Dwayne. It has been a long time since he has been back. He wants to take this moment to tell everyone why he is back. It isn’t because of the money or to promote a movie. It is because of everyone in the audience. When he left the WWE, he dreamed big and he accomplished his dreams because the people never left his side.

He tells everyone in the building and watching at home, thank you and he loves you. He says that it is because of them that he is back in the ring and he is never going away.

Rock says that he is back and he is back because he wanted to do something that no man had done before. He wanted to host Wrestlemania. He called Vince McMahon and he says that he knew why he was calling. Vince says that there is only one man who could electrify the people and that man is . . . Justin Bieber. Rock says that he told Vince that Justin is a cool kid, but there is only one man capable enough to host Wrestlemania. The Jabroni Beatin’ . . . Pie Eatin’ . . . Trail blazin’ . . . Eye brow raisin’. . . Step off the brake, put your foot on the gas. . . always ready to kick some ass. . . The Rock.

He says that he is going to Wrestlemania and he is going to layeth the smack down. But to who? That is the question. Could it be the WWE Champion The Miz? Rock mocks Miz and he says that he ain’t no scientist but if you have to go around tell everyone that you are awesome, then you 100% completely suck. There is one more man who the Rock wants to see. One more man who the Rock is going to see. That man is . . .

Interrupted by the most annoying noise in Sports Entertainment. And the computer goes off too. Michael Cole rises smugly from his seat and he says that he has received an e-mail from the anonymous Raw General Manager.

Rock tells Cole that if he takes one more step toward the computer he will slap the taste out of his mouth. Rock says that he is not going to let Cole interrupt him when he is live on Raw. Rock says that nobody gives a damn what the General Manager has to say.

Rock asks Cole if that is what he thinks.

Cole starts to talk, but Rock tells him IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Rock tells Cole to sit his ass down at the announcer booth and take off his headset and not say a word. Rock quotes that he needs to know his role and shut his damn mouth. If he doesn’t the Rock will have some pretty cool Facebook photos to show tonight. Rock says that if Cole doesn’t do what he says, then they will get a photo of Rock going over to the computer and he will shine it up nice and twist it sideways and stick it up Michael Cole’s candy ass.

He tells the drunk hobbit to sit down.

Rock says that there is one man that he is going to see. One man that he has to see face to face. A guy he met and thought he was a cool guy. He wished him well and was happy for his success. Eventually this man started talking trash about the Rock. He doesn’t know why and he doesn’t care. That man is John Cena.

Rock wants to get it straight. The WWE has gone from the powerful ‘Austin 3:16’ to the dominant and iconic ‘Can You Smell What the Rock is Cooking’ to ‘You Can’t See Me’. Rock wants to know if they are playing peek-a-boo. Rock says that a blindfolded Stevie Wonder in the basement can see his ass. Rock says that with all of his shirts, Cena looks like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

Rock tells Cena that he will see him at Wrestlemania, just like he will see the Miz. Just like he will see everyone at Wrestlemania. Just as sure as the Rock turns this into the most epic Wrestlemania in history. Just as sure as John Cena looks like he got shot out of Barney’s anus. Rock guaran-damntees three things. He guaran-damntees to show that he is the most electrifying man in entertainment. At the drop of the dime, he will layeth the smacketh down on their candy asses. He guaran-damntees that the Rock and the millions . . . and millions of his fans will electrifying Wrestlemania like no one else. If you smelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllalalalala what the Rock is cooking.

2012 - "Superfly", the autobiography of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka is announced.

2012 - TNA President Dixie Carter announced the following via her Facebook:

"TNA and Vince Russo have mutually parted ways as of this week. The separation is amicable and professional. We are glad for the opportunity to have worked together and wish each other nothing but good luck and success in the future."

2014 - TNA signed Extreme Tiger and Santana Garrett, who were rechristened Tigre Uno and Brittany, respectively.

2015 - New Japan Pro Wrestling ran "New Beginning" in Sendai, Japan.  Matthew Macklin filed the following report:

NJPW The New Beginning in Sendai, February 14th

The big news here was that due to being unable to compete because of the flu, Togi Makabe relinquished the NEVER Championship. So that gave us Tomohiro Ishii vs Tomoaki Honma to crown a new champion.

Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan defeated Yohei Komatsu & Satoshi Kojima. This turned out to be a fun opener, and much better than expected mainly due to the hard work of Kojima and Komatsu, who work very well as a team. Nakanishi got the win with the Argentine Backbreaker into a neckbreaker on Komatsu.

Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish (ReDRagon) defeated Jay White & Tiger Mask IV. This was really really good, as you'd expect with a match involving ReDRagon. Jay White looked great in his big show debut and was given plenty of time in the ring. O'Reilly and Tiger had some fun exchanges as Kyle becomes seemingly more at home in NJPW with every match. ReDRagon got the win after Chasing The Dragon on White.

Mascara Dorada, Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA defeated Kenny Omega, Nick & Matt Jackson. My advice would be to stop reading this and go and watch this match. This was bat shit crazy and wrestled at a ridiculous pace. As mentioned before, The Bucks & Omega work amazingly well as a team. Some of the highlights were a triple superkick from team Bullet Club, a ridiculous sunset flip powerbomb to the floor from Dorada and a double Indytaker as Omega & Matt simultaneously tombstoned Time Splitters. Dorada pinned Omega when he countered the One Winged Angel into a sunset flip. I am already looking forward to the Omega/Dorada match whenever it happens.

NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship: Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Chase Owens. Bruce Tharpe's jacket colour of choice here was pink. It's sometimes very easy to forget Liger's age due to being covered up, but the way he still moves in the ring is incredible for his age. This was another really solid match with Liger winning after a roll up. Owens isn't bad, but he's just not very memorable. After the match Liger challenged Tiger Mask to a title match. Tiger accepted. I'm looking forward to this one as both can still go in the right scenario.

NWA Heavyweight Championship: Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Rob Conway. Tenzan is the new NWA champion. If there was ever a match that overachieved this was it. As I mentioned before, Tenzan is badly broken down and although he is capable of pulling out miraculous performances, I wasn't sure if Conway was the guy he'd do it with. Well this turned out to be great. There were lots of great near falls towards the end with Tenzan escaping the Ego Trip, and Conway escaping the Anaconda Vise. After Tenzan took out Tharpe, he hit a moonsault for the win. As broken down as Tenzan is, it's always amazing to see him hit a picture perfect moonsault.

Tetsuya Naito & Kota Ibushi defeated Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba. Given that Yano & Sakuraba are up there with the most bizarre pairings ever and the fact that their ring styles are the polar opposite of Naito and Ibushi, this somehow worked. After just a few minutes I was already wanting an Ibushi vs. Sakuraba singles match as Ibushi seems to be joining the list of the few guys that Sakuraba has chemistry with given how awkward he is in the ring. Naito got the win after Yano's usual exposed buckle/low blow shenanigans after countering Yano's roll up into one of his own. I really hope we see Ibushi & Naito as a regular team as they could have incredibly fun matches with Gallows & Anderson and Meiyu Tag.

Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale. The story here was Okada getting back on track as he pinned Yujiro after a Rainmaker. This was another fun match. Okada still has Fale in his sights as he looks to get his win back from him. It looks like we might get Okada winning the New Japan Cup while beating Fale along the way. YOSHI-HASHI is criminally underrated and I would love to see him get a spot in the G1 Climax this year.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Tama Tonga, Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson. Tanahashi got the win here with a High Fly Flow on Tama in yet another fun tag match. Bullet Club worked over Tanahashi's eye injury from Osaka for most of the match. At one point Shibata hit a trifecta of his corner dropkicks on all members of the Bullet Club team. Tama Tonga looked good here and I'd love to see him given more of a chance to shine. Bullet Club paid tribute to KISS with their face paint.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tomoaki Honma. Just stop reading this and go and watch this match. Ishii and Honma had an absolute classic. The circumstances were a bit odd with Makabe relinquishing the title and I'm not sure what qualified Ishii for the title opportunity, but what we got was an absolute belter and one of the best matches so far this year. This was better than anything on the NXT Takeover show, and that's not to take anything away from NXT. Honma and Ishii are two of NJPW's toughest bastards who fight from underneath and if you didn't find yourself getting behind Honma in this one you're probably not human. Even if you have never seen him before I can guarantee you will be begging for him to win come the end of the match. He is right up there with Sami Zayn as the most sympathetic performers in pro wrestling. Ishii was my wrestler of the year in 2014 and he is on track for another amazing year. How he does what he does with all the injuries he has is crazy. These guys hit each other with everything and it was a spectacle to watch. Ishii got the win with a brainbuster.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Yuji Nagata. Before the match we got an emotional video package showing Nagata with his wife and son leading into the match. Nagata was accompanied to the ring by the NJPW veteran army of Tenzan, Kojima & Nakanishi, so this already felt special and everyone was rooting for Nagata, even if you were the worlds biggest Nakamura fan. The match fell below expectations, but that's not to say it was bad. It was a really really great match which had the unfortunate task of following Ishii vs. Honma. The finish fell slightly flat as Nakamura pinned Nagata with a Boma Ye that felt like it came from nowhere. Nagata proved what we already thought and that is that he is still as good as anyone and deserve a more prominent position on the card than multi man tag matches.

This show was much better than the Osaka show and the whole show is worth going out of your way to see, particularly Bucks/Omega vs. Dorada/Time Splitters, Honma/Ishii & Nagata/Nakamura. Honma was the MVP of both shows with the best match of the night on both.

Both shows are available on demand on

2015 - WWE ran Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.  Graham Caygill filed the following report:

The crowd again around 80 percent full at Zayed Sports City - John Cena merchandise worn by more than 50 per cent of the children there - easily the most popular guy there, with Ryback and Ziggler next up.

Ryback and Dolph Ziggler defeated Luke Harper and Tyson Kidd by pinfall in a tag team match. Both Ryback and Ziggler got big reactions from the crowd as they came to the ring. The climax saw Ryback perform Shell Shock on Kidd to get the pin and the victory.

Erick Rowan defeated Curtis Axel in an over the top rope challenge. A very short encounter saw Rowan throw Axel over the rope. Axel tries to attack Rowan from behind post-match, but is rewarded by being thrown over the top rope again.

Sami Zayn defeated Bo Dallas by pinfall. Zayn spoke to the crowd in Arabic beforehand to delight the home crowd. He picked up the pinfall win after delivering the Helluva Kick on Dallas as he stood against the turnbuckle.

Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins by pinfall. A slow paced match, which surprisingly lacked intensity for much of it despite the best efforts of Ambrose's facial expressions. Finish saw Rollins go for a Curb Stomp on his former Shield stable mate, but Ambrose moved, and struck Dirty Deeds to get the victory.

Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods beat Goldust and Stardust by pinfall in a tag team finish. Stardust walked out on his brother to the back mid-match, leaving Goldust on his own. He was beaten after Kingston and Woods combined for a diving double foot stop/backbreaker combination, with Woods getting the pin. Post-match, Curtis Axel ran down and threw Kingston and Woods over the top rope, but was then chucked out of the ring himself by Big E.

Rusev defeated Jack Swagger by submission to retain the United States championship. Swagger at one stage had Rusev in the ankle lock for more than a minute before Rusev made the ropes to escape. The finish came when Rusev raked Swagger's eyes when the referee was unsighted, kicked Swagger in the face and applied the Accolade to get the victory.

John Cena defeated Bad News Barrett by disqualification in a match for the Intercontinental championship. Really fast-paced match. Business picked up when the referee was knocked out of the ring after being struck in the face by Barrett's feet as Cena attempted an Attitude Adjustment. Cena then applied his STFU submission move and Barrett tapped out, but there was no official there to see it. Barrett then hit a low blow on Cena and struck him with the bullhammer and a second referee came out, but Cena kicked out to Barrett's considerable frustration as he then shoved the second official out of the ring. Barrett then struck Cena with the title belt, but was seen by the recovering original referee, who disqualified Barrett. The result gave Cena the victory but Barrett retained his title. Post-match, Barrett went for another belt shot, but Cena ducked and hit the Attitude Adjustment to delight the fans.

Curtis Axel then ran down and intimated he wanted to throw Cena over the top rope, but received an Attitude Adjustment for his trouble as Cena celebrated with the fans to end the show and the WWE's three night stay in Abu Dhabi.

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