BOUT BLITZ 9 Review ft. the best of last week in AEW, WWE, and IMPACT TV | Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest 143


Match Ratings

  1. Kofi vs Ivar ***
  2. McIntyre vs Jey NR
  3. Butch vs Bate ***1/2
  4. WWE Women's Title: Sky(c) vs Asuka ***
  5. ROH World/NJPW STRONG Titles: Claudio(roh) vs Kinston(strong) ****
  6. AEW World Title: MJF(c) vs Joe ***1/2
  7. ROH 6-Man Titles: Mogul Embassy(c) vs The Elite ***1/2
  8. TNT Title: Luchasaurus(c) vs Christian vs Darby **3/4
  9. White vs Andrade ***1/2
  10. Texas Death Match: Danielson vs Starks ****1/4
  11. Ultimate-X: Ace vs Speedball vs Swann vs Samuray vs Angels vs Wentz ***1/2
  12. Kim, Kong, James, Grace, Trinity vs Love, Steelz, Purrazzo, Shaw, Evans ***3/4
  13. Alexander vs Trey ***1/2

Wrestler of the Week- Eddie Kingston

Match of the Week- Danielson vs Starks, Texas Death Match

Segment of the Week- Shelley/Alexander title match building block

Show of the Week- Impact! on AXS

WWE continues on the road to No Mercy

We begin the latest edition of BOUT BLITZ with the debut of WWE to the series, also serving as the return of the product to RW+B coverage in general. We do so with of rock, paper, scissors and we kick things off with Raw action and drama this week.

Kofi Kingston defeated Ivar in a fairly good contest while Max the Impaler's number one fan, Sarah Logan, screamed at ringside. Did you know that Rowe and I once dated the same girl?

A package promoting Jey's move to Raw, and Drew's displeasure at the situation, ran next.

Rhea was injured by Nia and was MIA as a result. Dom came out to talk shit to Cody and Rhodes returned the favor. Cody would defeat Dom. in a short, unreviewed contest.

Jey would be interviewed backstage in a follow-up, as JD wants him on their side. Priest interrupted and said his team actually wants Jimmy, but that he personally wants Main Event Jey. Uso would go on the confront Kevin, who was chatting with Sami, and Zayn played peacemaker.

The main event saw the solo brother and McIntyre work a singles match. They were given a quarter of an hour to work with and it added up nicely enough. Finn, Priest, and Dom watched at ringside and got involved in favor of their recruit but Jey would eventually hit all three with superkicks, leading to a distraction finish that would see Drew get the W.

After, Finn's crew would gang up on Jey in response. Drew considered assisting the former Bloodline but took so long that Cody eventually made the save instead.

Whether or not Jey was going to join Judgement Day was a major part of the installment and the conclusive choice to close the show all combined to make for a decent program. Nothing too major here, though.

On NXT, Butch and Bate worked a Global Heritage Invitational contest that turned out to be pretty dang good. Butch would end it as time neared an end to move onto the finals.

On the blue brand, we start with Styles and Cena having a chat in front of the Smackdown crowd and deciding that they would align to deal with The Bloodline. Jimmy and Solo quickly answered, making their way down to the ring just to backdown and backoff to end the segment.

Next, a hype video promoting Asuka versus Sky. Well done stuff.

Jimmy and Solo attacked Styles backstage. Solo even gave a major splash to AJ off camera to send him to the ER. Cena ran back to assist but was too late.

Sky would now defend the WWE Women's Championship against Asuka. I love seeing the former Io as the top champ of the world's main wrestling fed and her defending against Asuka of all people is a major bonus. Damage CTRL were at ringside while Flair sat at the table, watching on.

Bayley would get attacked by Charlotte when she got involved, leading us into the finish that saw Sky retain. While I honestly thought this underdelivered a bit, it was largely good overall. Just a building block throwaway, to be honest, but a solid one at that.

Jimmy, Solo, and Paul were in the ring to talk some shit but Cena ran out to fuck some shit up. He did not, indeed, fuck anything up. Instead, John would get crushed to close out or SD content roundup.

Nothing WWE put out this week really felt like a slam dunk, but basically everything I pulled was at least good for what it was. Make the NXT contest embedded at the top your priority and just pick and choose anything else, if anything at all, from the rest of the included matches and moments. 

AEW Grand Slam & Grand Rapids

On to AEW, starting off with Dynamite for this week's Grand Slam themed episodes.

Up first, Eddie Kingston challenged Claudio for the Ring of Honor World Title while simultaneously defending his NJPW STRONG Openweight strap. I'd be lying if I said this wasn't special to me. I've been a fan of both dudes since their CHIKARA days so the circumstances attached to this singles bout really resonated big.

The Kawada/Misawa reference was a nice touch, by the way.

The two worked a physical, emotional battle that delivered nicely on the promise sold when this was announced. The outcome felt like a big deal and the match, and outcome, combined nicely to ensure that this was honestly one of the biggest moments in US wrestling of the entire year.

Fuck yeah!

Claudio handed over the belt without issue after.

Sammy Guevara and Jericho's clash was up second. A decent contest with a cutesy finish, seeing Jericho catch Sammy mid-shooting star press with a code breaker to move ahead. This was a good contest between the two and in post the two would embrace.

The friendship was not okay, though. Sammy would kick Chris in the balls and Don appeared to make it clear that a choice had been made. I sincerely hope this means Sammy is going to get something to actually sink his teeth into.

A backstage promo featuring Eddie Kingston is up next, working nicely as a cherry to the AEW MOTW. He dedicated his victory to Xavier. After, he announced that he was no longer going to be working indie dates while being responsible for defending both titles.

Our beaten scumbag faced the Samoan Submission Machine in the episode's main event. MJF played from underneath and was consistently destroyed throughout, allowing for Joe to do what he does best. While this was certainly more a story-focused TV contest instead of a workrate classic, they succeeded rather well in execution and the entire thing made for quality content. In all, a borderline great addition to the genre but one that is for sure polarizing. I'm a bit torn on it all, but I appreciated the old school attitude and, in a vacuum, I consider it worth a look so you can decide for yourselves.

I loved the champ's attire here. Too bad the Mets underdelivered BIG this season. 

After a nearfall that saw MJF kicking out of a muscle buster, the King of TV locked the NY standout into a sleeper. Cole ran out, fucking himself up a bit in the process, to give his pal a spark and to provide for a distraction, allowing MJF to choke out his opponent with a chain for a shit finish.

In post, Joe was mad but respected the champ enough to offer his hand. The two shook hands, Joe walked off, and MJF held his neck.

ROH recap showed us Eddie's victory and a quick look at the rest of the week's results for those interested in such things.

From Rampage, we start with Don and Soup in the ring while Tony Schiavone largely stood in a corner. Callis introduced Sammy officially as a new member of his family, bringing out Chris seeking payback. Instead, the numbers game quickly came into play and the heels went to town on Y2J with a chair.

A well-placed screwdriver awaited, but Kenny made the save and ran them off with his large pipe. The Canadians stood tall to end the segment, resulting in a weird image meant to sell a future match or two and the next chapter to the overall, ongoing plot.

The other pull from the Friday series featured The Hung Bucks challenging Cage and his pals for the Ring of Honor 6-Man belts. That this main evented while the AEW Trios defense ran earlier in the night felt a bit funny from a visual stance. It'd be like WWE airing a NXT defense as the main and a contemporaneous contest earlier in the evening, but whatever.

The finish saw Page and Swerve stare at each other for a moment after the former missed a buckshot. Adam ate a lariat after, but would then get a flashpin victory for his side. The Elite are Ring of Honor title holders once again. A very good match that should've had a better finish and, perhaps, a different outcome.

Mogul continue to be booked in a very inconsistent manner.

Over to Collision, Cage joined his championship dinosaur and Darby in a TNT Title three-way. The company is big on Captain Charisma right now, which is perhaps a smart and logical choice, and he was given the nod here. Much of this was essentially a handicap match and it ended with Cage stealing the pinfall from Allin, getting the 1, 2, 3 on the dino to officially get the belt for himself.

Luchasaurus helped Cage celebrate after. It was alright.

Next, Jay White and Andrade while Bullet Club Gold watched on. They were given the better part of half-an-hour and the two pros used the time decently. Juice would help Jay by placing his foot on the rope, essentially given the lucha star a visual victory but the heel unit tactics would be too much.

A blade runner sealed the victory.

Very good stuff with a quality drop thanks to a shit finish, ensuring this was more a building block than anything else.

The final AEW pull featured Ricky Starks and Bryan Danielson working a Texas Death Match in Michigan. This program so far has been pretty dang good and has served well as a kickstart to the Dragon Retirement Tour that we have burning. Bryan was, of course, excellent here and Ricky, once again, delivered nicely, too.

Played even, both men were sold as believable victors and the intensity level worked nicely for the circumstances. One moment saw Ricky, chain wrapped around his throat, turning purple just to fight back and keep this going. Moments later, Starks poured blood down his face and spit up at Danielson while The American Dragon rained down boots. Bryan would eventually win thanks to a knee shot, wrapped in the chain. The entire thing was awesome and I found this to be the easy MOTW for AEW and for the set in general!

Collision did drop a lot of its identity when Punk was fired. They are still trying to figure out the new direction, but I love the focus on Danielson that the series seems to be shifting toward.

AEW had some fire this week, but they still look to be seeking the blaze again to get the entire fed hot again. I don't think there was enough here, not to mention all of the additional content that I skipped, to do that. The perception that AEW is a bit cold right now will not change overnight.

You know that trend where a show dips in quality when a bunch of key players split off, or work double duty? Tony has an overloaded schedule of responsibilities

You can also expect more jumps from AEW soon. Cody's kids want to be by his side, apparently. Not all of them, though. Mone will be debuting very soon, too. Edge is very likely joining in on the fun as well and I'd be surprised if his arc wasn't legit. Emma might additionally align herself with The Outcasts and Ali should be considered a possible BCC member in the near future. There's a new era on the way, folks, and you should expect AEW this time next year to look a lot different. You'll also have new ways to watch to company soon, with their move to the expected streaming service via their upcoming expansion playing host as well as the trigger for massive adjustments to the overall layout for the company. The positives listed are likely to help aid in the current image issue and should outweigh the negatives.

IMPACT 1000 Part Two

Episode 1001 of Impact started with an Ultimate-X match. I am an old TNA fan and I have always loved the X-Division as well as the Ultimate-X stipulation. I feel that IMPACT is always at its best when the X-Division is strong. Right now, it's pretty strong. I know the company will never drop the TNA stink completely, which is a tragedy, but they have been so fun for a while now and it's sad that dudes like Bey, Alexander, and Gresham aren't getting as many eyes as they deserve.

This Ultimate-X match was exactly what I wanted it to be: a quick, spotfest match that showcased the talent decently along the way.

That's really all it needed to be and they succeeded. I could've done without all the spray paint stuff, but it's minimal. The winner, Angels of all people, earned the right to challenge Sabin for the division title anytime they wanted it. Maybe 5 leaving AEW wasn't a terrible idea after all?

Why doesn't Ace wear real BC gear that much?

Angels kicked Speedball in the balls and then climbed back up to grab the giant X in the finish.

A pretty good representation of the past and present of the Knockouts division followed via a massive ten-woman showcase. We even got a Beautiful People entrance for the first time in a while, for fans of such things. Honestly, this was special. The Knockouts division is equally as important historically, to the company and to the business itself. The vets of this match were responsible for the American women's revolution movement in large part and they have all of my respect.

This worked as a reminder that the divas style can still feature real work attached to it, too. It's something a worker like Love has done for years now and her contributions here, as an example, took nothing away from the overall quality. In fact, this match did pretty well to showcase all involved.

A satisfying, must-see contest for anyone that appreciates the names involved!

Love apparently wants to stick around.

Yuya was fired, as expected, as he's due back in Japan. Bey landed himself, and Ace, a shot at the tag belts. I love ABC so that's great. Moose will face Shelley, or Alexander, for the World belt. Steve gets to face Dreamer in a match no one will care about.

Trey Miguel and Josh Alexander worked nicely enough as a throwaway. A pretty good, sub-ten minute bout that, like the rest of the matches from the episode, did well to promote all involved. Wentz would get involved late, leading to Alex appearing to take him out. Moments later, a C4 spike added to the former Impact World Champion's win-column.

A patronizing response to Shelley was met with a clear response:

I wanted to hurt them (The Rascalz), not help you!

Words were exchanged, and a stare down followed to promote their title match and to send us off.

Dynamite and Collision had the two best matches of the week, but Impact was honestly felt like the best, and most important, overall show due to the tone and delivery of the content that was covered here in this set.

Check out the things that look most interesting to you and have a great day.

Oh, and thank you, as always, for reading!


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