Hey everybody, it's the post-Takeover recap show, so this one probably won't take up very much time. In fact, following the traditional full-show recap montage, we go straight to the ring for the promised match between Kairi Sane and Lacey Evans. Spoiler, it's about all that's worth watching this episode for. Evans, by the way, has finally fully captured the WWII pin-up look she's been angling at since day one. I like Evans; for a fully in-house talent, she's really come along and improved a bunch, plus she's got a great look and a solid gimmick. Anyhoo, following the lockup, Sane does some bouncing around, and eventually comes up with a headscissors takeover into a dropkick for two. Evans comes back by bouncing Sane into the turnbuckle, then hits a pretty solid springboard elbowdrop. A short-arm front kick sets up a big clothesline, and then Evans goes into a cobra clutch, which I think is a solid addition to her arsenal. However, she drops the clutch and covers for two, which is a weird way to use that move. She hammers on Sane a bit, then locks on the clutch again for another two count (still weird), before hitting a big wrecking ball bronco buster in the corner. Sane tries to chop her way free, but Evans comes right back with a shoulder breaker, a move I feel we don't see enough of these days. Eventually, though, Sane is able to forearm her way loose and hit the big interceptor spear. She trips up Evans and hits an axe kick, then a blockbuster sets her up for the march forearm. Sane goes up top and hits the flying forearm and then lays in some kind of leg submission, but Evans uses her power to break free. Evans wants some kind of pumphandle move, but Sane wriggles free and pops her with a spinning backfist. That stuns Evans long enough to go up and hit the InSane elbow for three. Match Rating: Pretty Decent Darkmatch Opener.
Now, we kind of move into the less interesting content. We recap the ladder match and the tag title match, then catch up with the Era. Cole offers to explain what's up with Roderick Strong (thank you Cole!), but then Strong cuts him off (NoNoNoNoNo!). Fortunately, Strong doesn't want to talk, he just doesn't want anyone to talk, so they leave the mic stand hanging.
I mean, the whole point of this arrangement is to have Cole do the talking for Strong, right?
We get a recap of the AoP appearance on RAW, followed by a little bit of chatter from the AoP telling Paul Ellering that it's not about him, and that his chapter is over. I hope they find something else for Paul to do down in Orlando. I'd hate to lose my most beloved running gag because of this.
We get a recap of DIY Explodes, which ends with a really, really great edit of the finish of the match combined with a bunch of previous history moments. It's the other highlight of this episode. For the record, I've spend nearly a solid week thinking about this match and how great it is. I really went back and forth as to whether I liked this more than the Almas match, and I've decided that I do, which actually really surprised me. As you've probably all figured out by now, I am a super mat-work nerd, and on that basis the Almas match is clearly superior. However, the Ciampa match was Wrestling-as-morality-play on a level that we haven't seen in ages, right down to Gargano offering Ciampa one last chance to change his ways at the end. I could write an essay on that match (although I won't, and you're welcome). So yeah; great, great match.
Anyhoo, we also recap the women's match, and get some words from Baszler. She's got a great line about how this isn't a band-wagon, it's a war-wagon, and she says that things are going to change now because it's not going to be about how pretty you are, it'll be about how well you can fight. Has, has she ever actually watched this show before? Like, I fell like she maybe hasn't?
We follow up on Ember Moon's RAW debut. She excited about the new opportunities, but she regrets giving up the rematch and leaving Baszler at the top of the NXT division. So, there's your answer to that question.
We recap the NXT title match, then take a quick look at the call-ups for NWJ and the Iconics. Billie and Peyton have belonged on the main roster for about a year at this point, and I think NWJ has a gimmick like Elias, where he'll actually do better up there than he did at Full Sail. I guess we'll see.
Finally, our "main event." I'm doing this in writing, but if you could imagine heavy air quotes on that, I'd appreciate it. It's Heavy Machinery fighting Sabbatelli and Moss again. So, pbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhthbthhth. Match Rating: To Clarify, That's The Sound Of A Long, Wet Shit.
The real story here is that this match ends in a No Contest when it gets "interrupted" (air quotes!) by War Machine. Ahem, excuse me, the War Raiders. Wow, that is an almost impossibly bad name. Like, spectacular. I am, truly, amazed by it's terrible granduer.
And that's the show. For the record, I've always liked the presentation of War Machine, and they've got a great sense of theatrics, but they are absolutely shit in the ring, and I'm curious to see if the Performance Center can do anything about that. The rest of the show was pretty much pure recap, so I don't think I'd go out of my way to catch this one.
I've watching NJPW on occassion over the past 2 years, trying to catch the big shows and I've become a huge fan of Naito. The guy is just special. That match with Tanahashi was great. Going back & forth with knee kicks. Just awesome.