Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views - September 13, 2016

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WrestlePro Sept 10 Results

  • Triple Threat: Craven Varro def Sonjay Dutt and Delroy Alexander

  • Chris Avery Queling def. Dave D-Struction

  • Taboo Crew and Fallah Bahh def The Heavenly Bodies

  • WrestlePro Title: Bobby Wayward def Anthony Bowens (interference by Chris Avery Queling)

  • Kevin Matthews def. Brian Myers

  • Qualifying match for Trios-Pro Championship Tournament: Aestheic Males def. Team Espanakos

  • Matt Macintosh def. Johnny Clash.  Matt tried to recruit Johnny into his ranks as a member of the Apple Corps, but Clash declined.  Matt, Hellen Vale, and Matt’s newest acolyte, Valerio LaMorte, gave Clash a beatdown after match.

  • Danny Maff won a Six-Way match to become Number one Contender over Habib Hasham Khan, Mario Bokara, Chris Payne, Colt Cabana, and Alex Reynolds

  • CPA def Grado

  • Cody Rhodes def Pat Buck

Mike Maillaro: WrestlePro topped themselves this weekend, and that’s saying a lot.  I always have a great time at WrestlePro shows, but top to bottom every single one of these matches was terrific.

Before the show, we got to meet Cody Rhodes and Ric Flair.   Cody Rhodes was a very funny guy.  He seemed to be talking non-stop, and he was great.  I have been lucky to meet a lot of cool wrestlers, but Cody Rhodes might be number 1.  He genuinely seemed so excited to meet people.  After the show, my sister came in to get a picture with Cody and Pat Buck (we had an extra ticket because my daughter managed to get herself punished just before the show started) and she thought he was great too.  

You hear a lot of stories about Ric Flair being disinterested in the fans at these kinds of shows, but that was definitely not our experience.  He was very gracious and again seemed very happy to be there.  He got a huge grin when I told him how much we loved Charlotte.  He said,  “She makes me feel like a fan again every time I see her in the ring.”

Josh Pollard: Yeah, Flair was just a sweetheart. And Cody was probably the chillest wrestler I’ve ever met. Only topped by the time Terry Funk took like ten minutes at a photo meet with us since he was insisting we get our autograph (none of his pens would work) and then that the picture be a good one. “Naw, that pic’s no good. Do it again. Fighting pose!”

Mike: The opening triple threat could have been a little longer, but it was a great match to start the show.  It got the crowd hot, exactly how it was supposed to.  And we never came down from that.  And I’m always glad to see Craven getting a win.  Reality Check for life!!!  

Dave D-struction and Chris Avery Queling also has a real short match, but it was still a solid match from both guys.  Queling seems like he may be getting involved in the title scene...more on that later.

Josh: Queling is really growing on me. I always was a sucker for the Crazy wrestlers, and everything he does comes across like he wants to murder the other guy. Plus that damn Doors song makes me break out my lighter and wave it.

Mike: Grado Vs CPA...with special guest referee Swoggle.  I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my entire life.  These guys wrestled a great match, but at the same time there was real funny comedy from all three guys.  I cringe when WWE tries to do comedy, because they usually fall way short and it’s just stupid.  Next time WWE wants to do a comedy segment, they need to be shown a video of this match.   

Josh: CPA won! I immediately turned to Mike after that and was like, okay, CPA won. Nothing will top witnessing a miracle, let’s beat the traffic.

Just amazing stuff all around in this match. I love any wrestling match that can somehow spark an Ireland vs Scotland argument in the crowd.

Mike: WrestlePro has a history of great six-man matches, and tonight was no exception.  It was great to see Mario Bokara back in the ring, and he just about stole the show when he did a german suplex to 300 pound Danny Maff...who had already had Habib on his back for a Burning Hammer.  There was a guy sitting next to me who grabbed my arm and yelled, “WHO IS THAT?”  I responded, “Mario Bokara.  He’s a total beast!”  But Danny Maff won the match, putting him as Number One Contender.

Josh: And that is why Bokara is unabashedly my favorite wrestleguy. 

Mike: I was expecting a lot from the title match, because I’ve been dying to see some closure between the former Untouchables teammates.  The match definitely delivered.  I typically hate “interference” finishes, but it fits Bobby Wayward so well.  He’s just a great heel, and if he’s going to be the champion, this is the perfect way to get the belt around his waist.  Definitely curious how Chris Avery Queling fits into this.  I watch wrestling for the storylines, and Bowens has been at the heart of great stories since WrestlePro started.  I loved the crowd chanting “You can’t beat him” at Wayward every time Bowen kicked out.  I had never heard that one before.

Josh: I feel sometimes like I missed a lot in regard to the whole Wayward/Bowens saga since I wasn’t watching when the Untouchables were a thing. But christ, Wayward is a license to print hate. The crowd just wants that man to die for the crime of showing up.

No idea what the hell was going on with the end, but that’s a good thing. Surprise me.

Mike: I am really excited to see Macintosh looking to build up his Apple Corps.  Hoping this leads to big things with Macintosh.  I did think it was odd to drop him from being champion to fighting perpetual jobber Johnny Clash, but as always, Macintosh made the most out of it.

Josh: Matt Macintosh: Cult Leader has legs, I tells ya. I was halfway expecting this to turn into 1-2-3 Kid over Razor Ramon, but it didn’t happen. Yet...

Mike: I did want to see a rematch for Taboo Crew for the titles, but the match with Fallah Bahh and the Heavenly Bodies was awesome.  They make a great combination, and Bahh doing a Banzai Drop outside of the ring was just crazy.  

Josh: Yeah, you said it best. “That’s a lot of humanity falling on you.” ;)

Bahh is just amazing in everything he does. That dude has a crazy connection going with the crowd.

Mike: Probably the most emotional match of the night was Kevin Matthews Vs Brian Myers.  These two have a hell of a history together.  In fact, my first time seeing either of them live they had a brutal barbed wire match.  With Brian Myers FINALLY going back to WWE, this might be the last time we see him at WrestlePro, and the crowd and Matthews all gave him a fond farewell after a terrific match.  I especially loved the finish.  Myers’ hitting the Ego Driver (Matthews’ finisher) was awesome (he totally needs to do that in WWE), with Matthews then hitting Myers with a spear followed by an Ego Driver of his own.  Myers should be making his Smackdown debut this Tuesday!  We wish him nothing but success!

Josh: Kind of sad that it seems like a foregone conclusion WWE will do nothing half as interesting with Myers as what he’s been bringing to the table (whenever I saw Myers I wondered how on earth WWE could *not* make a million bucks with that guy), but the guy is insanely talented and deserves all the spotlight in the world. I hope I am wrong!

Mike: The main event featured Pat Buck and Cody Rhodes.  Pat Buck was Cody Rhodes’ first opponent way back when he started wrestling.  The two of them matched up perfectly.  It was a lot of back and forth action with some terrific throw backs to Cody’s past gimmicks including him putting on the old mask he wore after “Dashing Cody Rhodes” broke his nose.  And the finish involved a ladder with “yellow polka dots.”   Both guys left everything in that ring, and it was the perfect way to end the show. Everyone yelled “Please come back” at Cody Rhodes, and hopefully he will take us up on that.  Cody Rhodes Vs Kevin Matthews or Matt Macintosh would be incredible.  

One last comment here!  Not knocking my boys the Aesthetic Males...but Coach D and his crew got robbed!!!  As you may know from past columns, I am a total mark for Coach D who has always been real cool to us.   But of course, this was another great match from both great teams.  Every time Beefcake does that moonsault of his (this picture is actually from a different show), I go into full fanboy mode.

Chris Delloiacono: I definitely missed an awesome show.  It's a shame when your plate becomes too full.  I will be back for the November 19 show in Rahway with the “broken” Hardy Boyz and Ryback!  Cannot wait for that one!

Mike: WrestlePro also has some big shows coming in October, featuring Ryback, Sean Waltman, and Santino Marella

WrestlePro October 14th in Cresskill NJ and WrestlePro October 15th in Brooklyn NY.  Some huge matches already announced:

The October 14th show with feature Ryback and Pat Buck Vs WrestlePro Tag Champs, The Heavenly Bodies.  The October 15th show will have Ryback Vs Danny Maff!


Backlash predictions

Mike: Column ran late this week, but we wrote these up earlier in the week, and I didn't want them to go to waste:

Mike: This is VERY sparse, lackluster card.  6 matches spread across three hours and nothing that is exactly MUST SEE.  That is what happens when you have a split roster and schedule a PPV just three weeks after one of your biggest shows of the year.   One thing that is really strange here is that they seemed to decide to work an injury story with American Alpha in order to give some credibility to The Usos as heels.  So despite the fact they lost in the tournament, The Usos and Hype Bros will get a shot to face Heath and Rhyno in the finals.  And one of the hottest teams in the company will be kept off the card for your “launch” PPV.

I guess it is possible that Gable is really injured, but since they said he would be back in 2 or 3 weeks, it seems unlikely to me.  

Chris: The worst aspect of the brand split is the added PPVs.  I don't know who could be excited for so many cards filled with meaningless matches.  WWE needs less time between events, so they can concentrate on good storytelling.  That could have happened if they just took turns having PPVs instead of cramming two into a month. More product isn't really the answer.

This card really illustrates how few people are on the Smackdown roster.  Here's hoping Curt Hawkins gets involved in a big way next week.  He could and SHOULD get a big push.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. AJ Styles - WWE World Championship

Mike: The only thing about this show that really excites me is the question: “Does the WWE pull the trigger on AJ tonight?”  I think after having AJ beat Cena clean, he seems on the fast track to be the “face that runs the place.”   It’s rare that someone has jumped right to the main event picture like AJ has, but he’s already built up such a following around the world that WWE knew they would be wasting him on a lower level.  I don’t typically like predicting all new champs during one show, but I think it’s almost a certainty that AJ wins this match and the WWE Title unless there is some kind of messy finish.

Chris: I'm stunned WWE has pushed AJ to this level.  I never in a million years thought Vince would put Styles on top, but it sure looks like it's going to happen.  The product still isn't on the level that it should be, but Vince realizing AJ is one of the best he has, well, that gives me hope that things are going to continue improving.

  • Mike’s Prediction: AJ Styles
  • Chris’s Prediction: AJ Styles

Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Nikki Bella - Six-pack elimination challenge for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship

Mike: Smackdown has done a pretty job giving a spotlight to all the women.  I am not sure a heel turn was the right choice for Carmella, but it definitely helps her stand out.  Honestly, I could see pretty much any of these women winning this new title.  My daughter is picking Nikki Bella...but I think I’m going to go with the Princess of Staten Island.  How you doing?

Chris: I've got to agree with Kira here.  Nikki is back and she's going to get the Cena push.  None of the other ladies seem like the type WWE will make a standard bearer. Still, I like all the other ladies better than Nikki, so I'm hoping to be wrong.

  • Mike’s Prediction: Carmella
  • Chris’s Prediction: Nikki Bella

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt

Josh: Brain says Wyatt never wins anything important (and Orton will probably win just to rebound from Brock killing him), heart says Bray very well should win *something* (man, he couldn’t beat New Day while literally armed with an axe). Hell with it, I’ll maintain optimism and say Wyatt.

Mike: Yeah, Bray Wyatt is one of the most underutilized guys in the WWE.  They give him lots of big feuds and segments...but he loses all the time.  I don’t think WWE understands how much that damages the rep of someone you are trying to push as an unstoppable monster.  Bray should lose most of his matches by DQ or countout, not cleanly getting pinned as often as he does.  It really weakens the character.

Orton should be one of WWE’s top guys, but they seem to have no idea what to do with him.   I think after the loss against Brock, he pretty much needs to win this or else he’s just going to be floundering for a while.  I guess they could drag this feud on longer, but I am not sure that is the right move for either of these guys.  I see Orton getting past Bray, and then facing off against whoever’s WWE champ.  

Chris: You guys hit this nail in the head.  It's hard to care about Bray because he always loses and never accomplishes anything he spouts on about.  I know it's fake, but his character has zero credibility.  And, as you both said, Randy needs this after getting manhandled by Brock.  So, I'm going Randy because picking Bray to beat anyone is a fool’s proposition.

  • Josh’s Prediction: Bray Wyatt
  • MIke’s Prediction: Randy Orton
  • Chris’s Prediction: Randy Orton

The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler - WWE Intercontinental Championship

Mike: Miz has been on fire the last few weeks cutting some of the best promos of his career.  Dolph is sort of in a weird place coming off his losses to Ambrose and AJ Style in the last few weeks. I am not sure he can really afford to take a loss here, but WWE would be insane to take the belt off Miz when he’s this hot, unless they plan on doing bigger things with him.   I really have no idea what the WWE’s plans are for this one, but it should be a good match.  I am going to go with The Miz, but I could be wrong about this.

Josh: Miz is the most hilariously underrated guy in ages. He can talk up a storm, he can make the crowd love someone just because they are Not Miz and are up against him. That said, he’s been champ for so long that I can totally see him dropping it here “just because”.

Chris: Dolph is similar to Bray in that WWE has made me not care about him in the least.  I love his work in the ring, but there's never going to be any kind of sustained push or character development.  It's the same old crap week after week, and that usually ends with DZ’s shoulders on the mat.

  • Mike’s Prediction:  The Miz
  • Josh’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
  • Chris’s Prediction: The Miz

The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley) Tag team match to qualify for the tag team tournament final match later that night

TBD vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno - Tag team tournament final for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.  Heath Slater needs to win to get a Smackdown contract

Mike: Heath Slater and Zack Ryder both managing to make it onto a PPV at the same time?  Has someone been actually reading this column??  I have long been impressed by both of these guys’ ability to take whatever idea WWE has for them and run with it.   

Unfortunately, the WWE seems determined to keep putting their muscle behind the Usos.  And there is probably more legs to Heath’s storyline as long as he keeps struggling to find his spot on Raw or Smackdown.  So, the only way this can possibly play out is Uso’s winning, only for them to feud with American Alpha when they return from injury in a few weeks.  I am hoping I am wrong.  Not knocking The Usos, just want to see some surprises.

Josh: Yeah, the Usos are in that unfortunate Cena category where I always think they’re going to win, even when they really shouldn’t be. I blame them for murder death killing the Wyatts back when Harper and Rowan should have gotten the titles, but instead the Usos beat them into permanent irrelevance.

Chris: I agree it's unlikely that Gable is hurt, and that really stinks.  The Usos used to be fun to watch but not even a heel turn interests me at the moment.  I think WWE blew it by removing Alpha and throwing a second chance match with the “losers” on the show.  Boring.  

  • Mike’s Prediction: Usos over Hype Bros.  Usos over Heath/Rhyno
  • Josh’s Prediction: Usos over everyone
  • Chris’s Prediction: U so boring

 


Backlash Results

  • Baron Corbin def  Apollo Crews
  • Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE SmackDown Women's Title: Becky Lynch vs. Noami vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss  - Becky Lynch wins!
  • Second Chance Tag Team Tournament Match: The Usos def The Hype Bros
  • WWE Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz def. Dolph Ziggler (after Ziggler was maced by Maryse)
  • Bray Wyatt Vs Randy Orton was cancelled due to injury.  Turned into No Holds Barred Match: Kane def Bray Wyatt (Orton interference)
  • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title Tournament Finals: Rhyno and Heath Slater def The Usos
  • WWE Title Match: AJ Styles def Dean Ambrose (ref distraction allows AJ to get low blow to set up for Styles Clash)

Rise 1 “Internet Darling”

Mike: Several local  wrestlers are competing to get added to Rise1’s November show in Chicago.  As we say week after week, we love indy wrestling.   C-Bunny and Gemma Cross both performed at WrestlePro last month, and they are both terrific young wrestlers.  I definitely hope they get a lot more exposure!  Voting started September 11.  

For now, check out and like these promo videos from Gemma Cross and C-Bunny.