Date: March 25, 2022
Location: HEB Center, Cedar Park, Texas
Commentators: Taz, Chris Jericho, Excalibur
We are back on Friday and that means we should be in for the heavy wrestling show. There is also a title match this week as Shane Strickland gets to challenge Ricky Starks for the FTW Title. Other than that, hometown boy Dustin Rhodes is facing Lance Archer in a bid for revenge from months ago. Let’s get to it.
Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes
Archer drags one of Rhodes’ students to the ring but here is Dustin for the save. Hold on though as Dustin has to beat up Dan Lambert (who is still managing Archer, despite them not being together much lately) but Archer makes the save. They head inside with Archer knocking him around and hitting him in the head. Dustin fights back up and knocks him outside, only to miss the flip dive off the apron.
Back in and Dustin is bleeding from the ear, with the blood on Archer’s hands for a good visual. A twisting middle rope splash gives Archer two and we take a break. Back with Jericho pointing out that Archer’s hoot is unlaced before Archer bites Dustin’s finger. Dustin fights up anyway and hits some clotheslines but the snap powerslam is countered into a belly to belly.
The bulldog gets Dustin out of trouble and the Cross Rhodes connects for two. Archer is back up with a chokeslam for the same but the Black Out is escaped as Dustin…well just collapses. Back up and Archer tries to send him into the corner but gets sent face first into the exposed buckle (which apparently was exposed earlier), allowing Dustin to grab a jackknife rollup for the pin at 9:32.
Rating: C. Ok they got me with the surprise here, though Dustin winning a match over anyone with value is a bit of an odd choice. I’m not sure why Archer needed to lose here, but at least Rhodes didn’t lose in his hometown. Granted he could have lost at any other time and it would have been fine, but it did come after a decent enough match. Rather surprising ending though.
Post match Archer hits Rhodes with the steps to bust him open before beating up Dustin’s students for daring to try a save. The chokeslam through the table leaves Rhodes laying.
Jay Lethal starts laughing about his loss last week and says he can’t get past the two blemishes on his record. He took Adam Cole and Ricky Starks to the limit and they both had to cheat to beat him. That should make his proud, but all he sees are the losses and them getting opportunities. He needs a better way and is off to find it.
Fuego del Sol is here to talk about how close he has gotten to a bunch of big wins. He made these people chant his name because they believed in him. That makes him want the House of Black, so the lights go off and the entire House is in the ring with Fuego. The beatdown doesn’t take long but here is the Dark Order to stare down the House of Black. Tensions seem to be boiling.
The Men of the Year say the TNT/Co-TNT Titles are no longer subject to open challenges. Therefore, if you want a title shot, you better bring a good resume. If you want a shot, get it the hard way, because the open door is closed.
ReDRagon vs. Dark Order
5 and 10 for the Order here with O’Reilly kicking 5’s leg out to start. Angels slips out of a double suplex and sends Fish outside, setting up the rolling tag to 10. A lifting wristlock takes O’Reilly down and a double middle rope shoulder drops ReDRagon. We take a break and come back with 10 hitting a clothesline out of the corner and making it over for the tag (even as O’Reilly chokes him). The hot tag brings in 5 to clean house but O’Reilly reverses a northern lights suplex into a guillotine. 10 spinebusters Fish onto the two of them for the save, earning himself stereo kicks to the face. Chasing the Dragon finishes 5 at 6:59.
Rating: C. This was close to a squash for ReDRagon and that’s what it needed to be. The Dark Order may be a fun team but they aren’t at ReDRagon’s level in any important way. Odds are ReDRagon is going after the titles again soon so they need to win matches like this to build them up after their Revolution loss.
Post match the beatdown stays on but the Jurassic Express makes the save. Cue Adam Cole to steal the Tag Team Titles.
Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero say they interrupted Thunder Rosa on Dynamite because they wanted to disrespect Thunder Rosa. Now Rose is going to show how dominant she can be.
Thunder Rosa has plans for Rose and Guerrero.
Nyla Rose vs. Madi Wrenkowski
A backsplash into the Beast Bomb finishes Madi at 42 seconds. Of note: Madi is a Thunder Rosa student, so Rose is making it personal.
Here are QT Marshall and Aaron Solow to present Hook with the Certificate of Accomplishment. Cue Hook, with Marshall saying that he isn’t the kind of trainer to feel jealous when the student surpasses him. We see the award, with Hook sending Solow face first into it. Hook goes to leave but Danhausen pops up to curse him. That does nothing for Hook, who keeps walking to leave Danhausen confused.
Ricky Starks says the last time Shane Strickland had a house, he got ejected from it. Strickland laughs it off and says this is the same Starks he has always heard. Tonight, Strickland is going to take the FTW Title. Mark Henry doesn’t like this getting a bit too personal so he goes to the catchphrase.
FTW Title: Ricky Starks vs. Shane Strickland
Starks, with Powerhouse Hobbs, is challenging. Feeling out process to start but Starks takes him down and poses in the corner. Back up and Strickland drops to the mat to avoid a clothesline, nips up, and hits a headscissors into a great dropkick to cap off an awesome sequence. Starks is back up to send him into the corner though and we take a break. We come back with Starks hitting a tornado DDT for two and grabbing a seated abdominal stretch.
Strickland is back to his feet for a jumping knee to the face, setting up the middle rope uppercut to the back. Strickland goes up top but jams his knee coming back down, meaning he has to block the Roshambo attempt. Starks is knocked outside and Strickland follows him out with a running shooting star off the apron. Back in and the Swerve Stomp gets two but the half nelson driver is broken up. A rollup is countered and the kickout sends Strickland to the floor, allowing Hobbs to take him out. Now the Roshambo can retain the title at 11:21.
Rating: B-. I know it is his reputation, but my goodness it can be fun to swatch Strickland. He is so smooth in the ring and he makes this look like an art. You don’t see someone who can do that very often and it was fun to see again here. Strickland got cheated out of the win, though I really could have gone for him not being pinned here. Starks is a promising star too and it is nice to see him getting back to some longer matches after his injury.
Post match Starks’ entourage pull up a Starks banner but Keith Lee pops up behind it and comes in to help Strickland go after Team Taz to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was an entertaining enough show and some of that was due to the pace slowing down just a hair. There were entrances for the opener and I got more of a feeling that things were given a chance to breathe. Good enough show here, though it didn’t have any kind of a standout match this week.
Dustin Rhodes b. Lance Archer – Jackknife rollup
ReDRagon b. Dark Order – Chasing The Dragon to 5
Nyla Rose b. Madi Wrenkowski – Beast Bomb
Ricky Starks b. Shane Strickland – Roshambo
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