Date: April 27, 2022
Location: Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
We’re back with another focus on the Owen Hart Foundation tournament as Dax Harwood faces Cash Wheeler. In addition to that, we won’t be see Hangman Page this week as he has come down with the Coronavirus, meaning that we don’t quite get any advancement in his feud with CM Punk. Let’s get to it.
Owen Hart Foundation Qualifying Match: Dax Harwood vs. Cash Wheeler
CM Punk is on commentary and the guys come out together for a nice touch. They go to the mat to start as Punk talks about how he doesn’t necessarily like these guys but he does respect him. A series of headlocks takeovers are countered with a series of nip ups and we get a standoff with some applause. An armdrag into an armbar has Wheeler in control as commentary cracks some jokes about the wrestlers’ names.
Harwood pokes him in the eye though and Wheeler doesn’t seem happy. Wheeler takes it back to the mat for a quickly broken chinlock as Harwood takes him up top for a heck of a superplex. We take a break and come back with Harwood sending him flying off a suplex. They both hit crossbodies at the same time for a double knockdown before it’s off to an exchange of rollups for two each.
Harwood tries a slingshot powerbomb but gets reversed into a hurricanrana for two and they’re both needing a breather. The second slingshot powerbomb attempt works for Harwood but Wheeler is back with a piledriver. Harwood is able to catch him on top but Wheeler slips through the legs and pushes Harwood down.
The belly to back superplex is countered into a crossbody for two on Wheeler and a running crossbody sends them both to the floor. They both make it back inside at nine but Wheeler has a banged up knee. Harwood can’t bring himself to stay on the leg (Punk: “You gotta sharp that shooter!”), allowing Wheeler to try a small package, which is reversed into another one to give Harwood the pin at 14:26.
Rating: B. This was the kind of match you would expect from these two and Harwood wins with a wrestling move in the end. That’s all you could have asked for from these two and now they can go back to being the best team in the world. They teased just enough tension to make it interesting without going over the line and it was good quality stuff on top of that, just in case you didn’t think this would be pretty awesome.
Official for Double Or Nothing: CM Punk vs. Hangman Page for the World Title.
CM Punk heads to ringside and says he has never been in a locker room with as much talent as this before. Before he came back here, he wasn’t sure if he could still do this again. Now he knows that he can do this again and while he can’t guarantee a win, he can guarantee that he will give 100%. He has never been a gambling man, but you can bet that he will fight until the wheels fall off in Las Vegas.
Scorpio Sky says it is no coincidence that he is here, fighting for the TNT Title again. He didn’t ask Frankie Kazarian to step aside if he was going to win and the fans are here to see him beat up Scorpio Sky. There can only be one face of TNT and you’re looking at him.
Blackpool Combat Club vs. The Factory
Wheeler Yuta gets the hometown reaction and William Regal is on commentary. The Club has nothing to do with this waiting around and jumps them before the bell. Moxley hits the release suplex on Aaron Solow and hits a belly to belly suplex. Regal loves that Solow’s eyes are watering so Moxley can “batter the granny” out of him without him seeing it coming. Yuta comes in with a dropkick for two but doesn’t quite hit the one on Comoroto that well (Regal: “We’ll have to work on that.”).
We take a break and come back with Marshall making the mistake of mocking Danielson, allowing Yuta to snap off a German suplex. Danielson comes in to clean house, including the dive to the floor. There’s the missile dropkick to Solow but Marshall breaks up the LeBell Lock. Moxley takes Marshall down and clotheslines him to the floor, leaving Danielson to kick Solow out of the air. Yuta gets the tag but is thrown around by Comoroto. A pair of chokes doesn’t work on Comoroto so Yuta elbows away and rolls him up (with Moxley and Danielson choking out the other two) for the pin at 8:20.
Rating: C+. I think we’ve firmly established the idea here and now it’s time for these guys to move into an actual feud. The Club is a hard hitting team who feels like they could fight anyone, but they’ve been beating up lower level people for weeks now. They need to move into an actual story rather than a bunch of one offs, as their status is pretty clear. Maybe they can make one more of these things work, but find them some good opponents soon.
Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter and Toni Storm are willing to just talk and avoid physicality but Storm brings in Ruby Soho, who has also qualified for the Owen Hart Foundation tournament. Soho knows the two of them have always had something to say so she wants to fight right now. Baker says no physicality because they’re off to Soho’s home in catering.
Jungle Boy says that he should have beaten Kyle O’Reilly last week but he didn’t get it done. Christian Cage says that Jungle Boy sounds like a loser, even if he isn’t one. Cage says he’s throwing out the challenge to any top five ranked team so here is Team Taz, ranked #3, to accept. Luchasaurus growls.
Lance Archer vs. Wardlow
Before the match, MJF and Shawn Spears are in the luxury box again, with MJF saying Philadelphia women use their personality as birth control. Wardlow comes out to no music and wearing handcuffs, allowing Archer to dive onto him as the handcuffs are removed. The bell rings and Wardlow sends him straight into the corner, setting up a running shoulder to the ribs. The Powerbomb Symphony is broken up, as is Archer’s chokeslam.
They clothesline each other down and it’s Archer up first to hammer away. Archer walks the ropes to set up a moonsault into the chokeslam for two, with the crowd not really reacting. The Blackout gets two but Wardlow knocks him off the top and hits a Swanton of all things for two of his own. A four movement Powerbomb Symphony finishes Archer at 5:26.
Rating: B-. The booking of Wardlow continues to be the high point around here and this was no exception. Wardlow survived a beating against someone with some success and won in the end to slay the monster. That’s all it should have been as he gets one step closer to MJF. Double Or Nothing is coming and I’m curious to see what the stakes will be for their showdown.
Here is the Jericho Appreciation Society for a face to face sitdown with Eddie Kingston/Santana/Ortiz. There will be no physicality so get the three of them out here right now. The chairs are turned over and Jericho talks about how lucky everyone is to be living in his era. Santana flips Jericho off and says that Jericho forgot who got him here.
Trash is talked because Santana and Ortiz can’t hit them and Kingston isn’t happy with this standing around. Kingston talks about what a hit means in his world but Jericho says this place is Kingston’s last chance if he gets kicked out of another company. That’s too far for Kingston, who backs Jericho into a chair and threatens to put him in the ground. Jericho looks terrified as Eddie and company leave. They really need to announce/get to a match between these guys already because they’ve talked a lot.
Sammy Guevara is ready to beat Scorpio Sky again because Sky is so boring.
Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
Street fight with Shida hammering away to start. The middle rope missile dropkick sends Deeb outside and then rams her into the buckle from the apron. Deeb falls back to the floor but manages to chair a flying Shida out of the air to take over. Back in and a shinbreaker onto the chair makes it worse for Shida as we take a break. We come back with Shida’s knee in big trouble but managing to counter another shinbreaker onto the chair. Deeb is sent outside but comes up with some powder to blind Shida.
That’s broken up as well as Shida comes back with a kendo stick shot, allowing her to wash her eyes out with some water. The Katana is cut off with a chair to the knee though and Deeb wraps the chair around Shida’s leg. That’s broken up as well and Shida hits the super Falcon Arrow for two. Deeb is back with Deebtox onto the chair for the same, setting up some rams of the knee into the chair. The Texas Cloverleaf makes Shida tap at 11:37.
Rating: B-. It was fun enough, though I don’t think it needed the weapons to prove the same point. This feud stopped being interesting more than a few weeks ago and I didn’t exactly need the blowoff but at least the right person won. Deeb gets the win to end the feud and should be on to a run against Thunder Rosa, which should be a good match.
MJF screams at Lexi to get out of his frame and then calls someone, offering him six figures to face Wardlow. He called someone bigger, taller and stronger than Wardlow….and you can’t teach that.
The House Of Black has taken out Fuego del Sol. They tease unmasking him but Alex Abrahantes pops up in the ring to say not so fast. The House goes after him but here is Penta Obscuro, Pac and…..Alex Abrahantes, because it’s Rey Fenix in the Abrahantes costume in the ring. Death Triangle clears the ring and we seem to have a six man tag set. This is another feud that has dragged on for so long now that I can’t quite bring myself to be interested. Also, it’s hard to care that much when I keep expecting Pac or one of the other members to go away for a month and a half after the match.
Swerve Strickland and Darby Allin are ready for their Owen Hart Foundation qualifying match on Rampage. They have fought for years and don’t quite see eye to eye on whose house it is.
Undisputed Elite vs. Varsity Blonds/Brock Anderson/Dante Martin/Lee Johnson
Martin gets punched in the head to start but the Blonds come in for the save. The non-Elite takes turns kicking everyone to the floor and it’s a pair of dives from Johnson and Martin. The good guys rule the ring and we take an early break. Back with Johnson getting double superkicked, setting up a four way BTE Trigger, setting up the Boom for the pin on Johnson at 6:27.
Rating: C. They hyped up this match as something important and then it’s a six minute match with a break in the middle? Kind of a weird way to go with this one but they didn’t bother with much of anything in the way of wasting time. Just have the bigger team take a few shots and then win in the end, as should have been the case. Now maybe we can move on to the most interesting thing in the world: the Bucks having friends.
Post match, the Undisputed Elite all put on matching shirts.
The Jericho Appreciation Society has jumped Santana and Ortiz and throw a fireball at Eddie Kingston. This company has an obsession with angles involving someone being blinded.
Quick video on Trent Beretta vs. Samoa Joe for the Ring Of Honor TV Title.
TNT Title: Sammy Guevara vs. Scorpio Sky
Guevara is defending in a ladder match. They fight on the floor to start with Sky sending him into the barricade but Guevara comes back with a Release German suplex on the ramp. That lets Guevara bust out some angels in the snow, which has JR a bit taken aback. They get inside with Sammy going up (nowhere near the belt) and then diving off….and hitting only the mat, leaving him knocked silly as we take a break.
Back with Sky climbing a ladder so Guevara dives off another, only to get pulled out of the air with a cutter. With nothing else working, it’s time to bring out a barbed wire ladder (because that’s a thing). Guevara fights up and sends Sky into the ladder but Tay Conti and Dan Lambert get in, with Conti kicking him low. Cue Paige VanZant so the big brawl can be on, with Conti kicking him in the face.
The ladder is set up and they both climb, each with a woman on their back. The women are thrown off, leaving Sky to bite Guevara’s finger. Guevara shoves him down anyway and goes up, only to be knocked down onto the barbed wire ladder. Sky goes up and, after knocking the springboarding Guevara down again (because he was back up in 12 seconds), wins the title at 14:02.
Rating: C+. This show ended about 20 minutes ago now and I have no idea what to make of this match. They certainly did some stuff and Sky gets the title back, but that’s about the extent of the logic. I was more or less checked out on the match as soon as the barbed wire ladder was brought into play, as that sounds like something you put in a comedy match rather than something important. Throw in Sammy bouncing back up from landing on it and the rather scary landing before the break and this was much more a WHAT ARE THEY DOING match than anything I would have liked to see.
Overall Rating: B-. Given how ridiculously (and I don’t mean that in a good way) stacked this show was, I was fairly disappointed in what we got. The ten man tag was a squash, the street fight was pretty good and the ladder match…..hey did you see that street fight? They crammed A LOT into this show but most of it only somewhat delivered.
There was some rather good stuff in here though as Wardlow continues to be presented perfectly and Sky winning the title again got a great reaction. I liked Punk’s stuff too and the opener was very good, but the parts that they hyped up the most didn’t work all that well and it brought things down a bit.
Dax Harwood b. Cash Wheeler – Small package
Blackpool Combat Club b. The Factory – Cradle to Comoroto
Wardlow b. Lance Archer – Powerbomb Symphony
Serena Deeb b. Hikaru Shida – Texas Cloverleaf
Undisputed Elite b. Brock Anderson/Dante Martin/Lee Johnson/Varsity Blonds – Boom to Johnson
Scorpio Sky b. Sammy Guevara – Sky pulled down the title
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