Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kane & Daniel Bryan… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
The opening video promo is all about the Kassius Ohno/Richie Steamboat rivalry. It’s the usual awesome WWE video package.
Bo Dallas vs. Michael McGillicutty: The broadcasters makes sure to mention that McGillicutty has a future NXT title shot as per his victory over Tyson Kidd a few weeks ago. William Regal marvels at the fact that both of these wrestlers’ grandfathers competed against each other. That would be Blackjack Mulligan and Larry “The Axe” Hennig, respectively. I don’t know if Mike Rotunda and Mr. Perfect ever squared off against each other, though. They lock up and pound on each other; Dallas backs Michael into the corner and kicks away. They continue to trade blows intensely. Dallas hits a pair of flapjacks; he tosses McGillicutty and hits a third flapjack. He tosses McGillicutty into the corner and hits a series of rapid fire clotheslines. Dallas hits an elbow to the face and McGillicutty gets a bit of a Mr. Perfect-like oversell there, falling through the ropes to the floor off of it. Bo comes after him and they take turns ramming the other off the apron. Back in the ring… McGillicutty rolls back out; Dallas is waiting on the floor and hits a running clothesline. They continue to brawl on the floor and reenter at the seven count. Dallas continues to overaggressively punch away in the corner; he gets a bit too overzealous and the referee has to step in and McGillicutty takes over via punch to the face. He tosses Bo’s shoulder into the post as we head to break. Back from commercial, McGillicutty is mount punching Dallas on the mat as the over-hot crowd chants along to each blow. He works a hammerlock chicken-wing on the mat. Bo tries to erect himself but Mick grabs the hair to keep the advantage. He works the arm like an Anderson and knocks Bo onto the apron. He puts the badmouth on him and continues to punch him right between the eyes. Dallas counters a third shot and capitalizes with a sunset flip, for two; he turns right into a single arm Flatliner. McGillicutty gets two off of that. McGillicutty methodically stomps in the corner; Dallas tries to fight back and eventually begins a one-armed comeback.
He hits a trio of lariats (with the good arm) and a forearm to the back. Bo hits a splash and a bulldog; he got that from his father’s old US Express tag partner. McGillicutty retreats to the ropes to goad the overaggressive Dallas over; it works as the referee has to pull him back and Michael snags the momentum with a running forearm. The McGillicutter finishes. 6.5/10 This was a pretty good match here. NXT is pushing McGillicutty as a serious threat here; looks like he is going to be Seth Rollins’ first serious contender. Dallas seems a bit repetitive (and boring) in the ring on O, but that’s what this show is about: getting seasoned. He’s in his early twenties so he’ll probably improve. McGillicutty continues to impress me on this show (as opposed to WWE version, but I say that every week); I think that he could become a huge star despite his long complicated name.
Here is your winner… Michael McGillicutty @ about 13:55 (broadcast) via McGillicutter pinfall.
A video package for Paige is shown; she calls the fans part of the NXT Universe. Paige is not a “diva” but a “fighter”. She feels it’s better to not know more about her.
Jake Carter vs. Leo Kruger: I love this incarnation of Kruger much more than South African royalty version. His psycho smile is awesome and khaki pants tucked into his boots are different look that can differentiate him from the rest of the roster. Carter is of course, Vader’s son. Pre-match, Kruger hangs in the corner motionless like Delirious but does not go crazy when the bell rings, he just attacks. Kruger backs Carter into the corner and stomps the living crap out of him. Carter fights back and floors Leo but he pulls Carter, through the ropes, to the floor; Kruger crawls out under the ropes (like heel Jake Roberts used to do); he sneaks up and tosses Carter back inside and stomps more. Kruger misses a clothesline and Jake fights back; Leo just casually kicks his leg out and mount punches him a bazillion times. He drops a bunch of elbows and a knee. He maintains his psycho smile throughout the match. Leo tortures Carter with a unique STF-like move. He rips at Carter’s face from a chinlock position. Kruger hits a second-rope shoulderblock for two. Jake counters a telegraphed backdrop with a faceplant. Carter fires up with a bunch of clotheslines; he misses a splash in the corner. Kruger fires up by pounding his head and hits Kruger’s End to get the three. 4.5/10 I mentioned this earlier I like Kruger’s deranged poacher gimmick much better; his ring attire fits him better too, it can make him stand out rather than looking like everyone else. His finisher, Kruger’s End (a hangman’s facebuster) is deadly looking too.
Here is your winner… Leo Kruger @ about 4:20 via Kruger’s End pinfall.
Ryback vs. Aiden English & Frances Ramedorian two-on-one handicap match: Fans chant “feed me more”. They surround Ryback but eventually go at him head on. They team up to clubber him down but he no-sells and boots English down; he nails Ramedorian with a spinebuster. Ryback’s singlet gets ripped and he’s pretty cross about it. He clubbers English and then rams Ramedorian on the mat. English hops on his back but gets planted with the Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder. Ramedorian gets sent into the corner and nailed… I mean, cut in half with a running shoulderblock. He looks for the Sheffield Lariat to English but he cower down; Ryback jut clubbers him into goo. He powerbombs English into oblivion. The Sheffield Lariat ends Frances. William Regal puts it on par with Stan Hansen’s. Ryback hits the stacked Shell Shocked on both of them for the pinfall. 2.5/10 El squasho. I guess Ryback was hungry for a pair of NXT appetizers before taking on world champions in WWE. Ryback is probably at about 32-0 at about now; they have acknowledged the undefeated streak but have not put a number to it yet.
Here is your winner… Ryback @ about 4:50 via double Shell Shocked pinfall.
Richie Steamboat vs. Kassius Ohno: Jim Ross joins for the main event. This story has been building for a few weeks; this is either the blowoff or a continuum. They lock up and jockey on the ropes for a while until Ohno hides within the ropes. Ohno runs the ropes and Steamboat leapfrogs over him and hits a reverse crossbody. Steamer Jr. hits a foursome of shoulderblocks, all for nearfalls, forcing Kassius to retreat to the apron. Ohno slowly reenters and then quickly rushes into a kick; Steamboat catches the boot and chops with knife edges. He backdrops Ohno, high-angle style; Kassius begs off again. Richie tosses him around the ring and gets some stiff chops in the corner; he snags him in a chinlock as William Regal and JR discuss the drawbacks of having a Hall of Fame father for Steamboat. Big shadows cast and large shoes to fill. Michael McGillicutty will have the same problem. More chops from Richie. He attacks in the corner and Ohno crumples; Steamer tries a step-up-the-ropes move but he slips off (I think it was supposed to happen because he lands on his feet) and Ohno runs him along the apron into the post for a wicked bump to the floor. Back from break, Ohno has Steamboat in the cravat in the ropes. The ref forces rope breakage. Steamboat to the corner so Ohno gets in his chops; they trade chops sometimes referred to as CANADIAN VIOLENCE. Steamboat collapse in the opposite corner of Kassius so he tries the Ohno Charge; Richie counters with a lunging forearm. They exchange some pleasantries and Steamboat winds up with a second rope crossbody bur Ohno rolls through and gets two. Steamboat lassos him in a backslide for a nearfall. He heads up top for a submarine-style missile dropkick, which gets another nearfall. Ohno reverses a whip and clobbers him with a big boot and gets a really close nearfall. Fans chant “Steamboat”. JR gets in his one word that drives me crazy: “wherewithitall”; it’s “wherewithal”. I don’t know why that bugs me so much. Ohno scoots to the bottom rope to block a potential cravat; Ohno moves in slowly, to prevent over-aggressiveness, which ALWAYS leads to a counter. He pounds on Richie in the corner but Steamboat NAILS him with a superkick out of nowhere… for two! Steamboat goes for broke with a moonsault but completely misses; Ohno stacks him up for a nearfall. Kassius hits the Ohno Charge running forearm in the corner. He tries the roaring elbow but Steamboat inside cradles him and gets the three! Post-match, Ohno clobbers Steamboat from behind with the roaring elbow to regain his heat. He then wears Steamboat out with the cravat. A gaggle of officials come out to break it up as Ohno tenaciously continues to try to get back at him in the ring but its cut off; he celebrates at the top of the ramp to a chorus of boos. 8/10 Great main event! Good story as the babyface beat the evil heel with a wrestling move and then the heel regained his heat by attacking from behind. Nothing solved yet and the rivalry must continue. This was MUCH better than the other stuff that Ohno was doing up to this point (stomp, kick, stomp); he finally got to work an actual match with another competent wrestler that was not supposed to get clobbered. Steamboat is improving in the ring as well; he has the DNA for it.
Here is your winner… Richie Steamboat @ about 12:45 (broadcast) via inside cradle pinfall.
OVERALL 7.5/10 Great show this week with a entertaining opening contest and a fantastic main event; there were a pair of squashes wedged in between but it was still fun. The Steamboat/Ohno storyline will continue and it should be good as we FINALLY got to see more from him, which us ROH fans know he can do. Good show as usual but this week is much stronger that the prior weeks.