NXT Superstar of the Month (July 2016)

Each time the camera lights go on, one star shines brighter among the rest. This individual is victorious, constantly showing themselves and the WWE Universe they are deemed worthy of air time, our time and our hearts (or hatred for our beloved heels).   Each month, this particular person will be awarded NXT Superstar of the Month and for the month of July, this title goes to Finn Balor.

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Finn Balor has been one of the most popular and most loved NXT Superstars to ever grace the developmental promotion.  Finn has defeated every Champion before him in the means of being the longest reigning NXT Champion at 292 days.  Although he was unsuccessful of retaining the NXT Championship from Samoa Joe at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, bigger things lied ahead.  When questioning what was next for Balor at NXT, his longtime friend and fellow NXT Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura answered it for him: a match.  It was not just a match, but a match between the two of them, a match NXT had been writing since Nakamura’s debut, a match that would resonate in NXT history, and a match that had the NXT Universe pleading for “The Icon of NXT” and “The King of Strong Style” to “fight forever.”  Although Balor’s arm was not raised in victory, he ended his legacy at NXT on quite a high note.  On July 19th, during the WWE Draft on the first ever Smackdown Live!, Finn Balor was drafted to Monday Night Raw as their third pick and was the first NXT Superstar out of six called up to the main roster.  The following week on Monday Night Raw which happened to fall on his 35th birthday, he won The Fatal 4Way as well as his match against the winner of the second Fatal 4Way, Roman Reigns.  This victory allows Finn to advance to SummerSlam to face Monday Night Raw’s first draft pick Seth Rollins to become the first ever WWE Universal Champion.

If Finn Balor is still wondering “What’s next?”, the answers are Championship gold, being in the main events on both Monday Night Raw and pay-per-views, WrestleMania moments, and many historic moments he’ll be creating as his legacy within WWE continues on.

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WWE Superstar of the Month (July 2016)

Each time the camera lights go on, one star shines brighter among the rest. This individual is victorious, constantly showing themselves and the WWE Universe they are deemed worthy of air time, our time and our hearts (or hatred for our beloved heels).   Each month, this particular person will be awarded WWE Superstar of the Month and for the month of July, this title goes to Dean Ambrose.

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Dean Ambrose has been on whirlwind of success the past several months.  It all began in April, when Shane McMahon gave him his own show, The Ambrose Asylum.  Of course, that sparked a feud with Chris Jericho since his show, The Highlight Reel, had been cancelled as a result of Ambrose’s new show.  In May, they squared off at Extreme Rules in the first ever “Asylum Match”, named in Dean’s honor.  This entailed being locked in a steel cage with weapons hanging from the top, allowing your inner maniac to shine through.  That’s exactly what Dean did, as he hit Jericho with an aray of object followed by Dirty Deeds onto a bed of thumb tacks  (69 to be exact) to win the match.  In June, he won the Money in the Bank briefcase and cashed it in that same night, becoming out new WWE Champion.  Although Stephanie McMahon tried to pull a fast one at the last Monday Night Raw prior to the WWE Draft stating Seth Rollins had won their scheduled title match, the referee reviewed the tapes and determined Ambrose was still the WWE Champion.  A rematch occurred between the two on the premiere of Smackdown Live and once again, Ambrose came out on top.  He would put his title on the line yet again at Battleground this month against his former brothers of The Shield, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns which he came out victorious.  Dean has certainly had to go through battle to keep his title at WWE Champion, but he has continuously proven to Shane McMahon as well as Daniel Bryan why they made the best decision selecting him as their first draft pick as well as proven to us that he has truly earned his reign as WWE Champion.

CWC Participant of the Month (July 2016)

Since The Cruiserweight Classic debuted on The WWE Network on July 13th, it has become an immediate success.  Those who may not be familiar with the cruiserweight division or independent wrestling are being introduced to a whole different world of high fliers and agility from the best talent from all over the globe.  There was no denying that The Cruiserweight Classic would be something special but these competitors have truly stolen the hearts and attention of everyone tuning in every Wednesday.  It left such an impression on me that as a blogger, I just had to dedicate a monthly blog segment in its honor aside from the weekly tournament results.  I have already brought you the first ever Cruiserweight Classic Match of the Month last Monday and now, it’s time to announce the first ever Cruiserweight Classic Participant of the Month!

kotaibushiKota Ibushi was no doubt one of the more well-known and popular participants selected for The Cruiserweight Classics.  Ibushi has been wrestling independently for twelve years prior to The Cruiserweight Classic Tournament and since his debut on CWC, his star has taken flight.  Ibushi successfully defeated his opponent Sean Maluta on the debut show of The Cruiserweight Classic and has been pegged by The WWE Universe to win the entire tournament!  Not only that, but Ibushi made his NXT debut last Wednesday and won his match against former Tag Team Champion, Buddy Murphy.  Ibushi’s hot streak is just getting started and I am excited to see just how far he will go within WWE.

 

NXT Match of the Month (July 2016)

With the weekly airings of Monday Night Raw and Smackdown along with monthly pay-per-views, we are bound to witness one match that outshines the rest.  One match that has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, thrashing your body around in excitement, and screaming in happiness, anger or anxiety throughout the entire match.  It leaves your heart pounding and any word off the tip of your tongue that night is about that match.  That match will be featured in this blog segment titled NXT Match of the Month!

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The NXT Universe had been anxiously waiting for these two Superstars to meet in the ring and there was no doubt Triple H and those working alongside him were just waiting for the most opportune time to make it happen.  With the NXT Championship around Samoa Joe’s waist, we thought that was the last we would see of the most previous Champion.  However, one of NXT’s most popular and beloved Superstars had his eyes set on a match with the former NXT Champion before he was able to go after the title himself.  So it was settled; on July 13th at Full Sail University, “The King of Strong Style” Shinsuke Nakamura faced “The Icon of NXT” Finn Balor!

As two of NXT’s favorite Superstars, the crowd got behind them both with chants of “Nakamura!” and “Let’s go, Finn!”  Finn Balor controlled most of the match as he had several Headlocks on Nakamura and really focused his time on inflicting pain to Nakamura’s knee that he injured with a Double Kick early in the match.  At one point, we all thought Balor had won when he had hit Nakamura with a Reverse 1916, but shockingly – Balor especially – Nakamura kicked out at two.  Although Balor ruled a majority of the match, Nakamura surely had his moments where he reigned supreme.  He hit Balor with “Good Vibrations” twice due to the fans’ boisterous request and a Kinasha which Balor kicked out of once, but not twice.  The second Kinasha solidified Nakamura’s victory and defeating “The Icon of NXT” as he was so determined to do.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Both men were incredibly emotional after the match, as it would be Finn’s last in NXT.  These close-knit friends shared a hug, a few words between each other, and bowed as a sign of respect for one another.  There was no better way for Finn to end his three year tenor in NXT than a match against one of the world’s very best professional wrestlers and one of his very best friends. Finn certainly left on a high note with a match that has been deemed “Match of the Year” by many of The NXT Universe and one, if it could ever be possible, we would love to see fight forever.

If you guys missed it or want to relive the excitement of this match, it is available to re-watch again and again on The WWE Network as well as HuluPlus!

 

Week 3 of The Cruiserweight Classic Qualifying Matches

cwcLast night, we witnessed last four matches in Round 1 of The Cruiserweight Classic. The men who won their matches last night will be moving on to face those who also won their qualifying matches, getting closer to crowning the winner of The Cruiserweight Classic Tournament.  The matches from tonight’s Tournament and the winners advancing are as follows:

 

Tyson Dux vs Zack Sabre Jr.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Drew Gulak vs Harv Sihra

Winner: Drew Gulak

Tony Nese vs Anthony Bennett

Winner: Tony Nese

Raul Mendoza vs Brian Kendrick

Winner: Brian Kendrick

 

To be honest, I was doing other things as I was watching this week’s Cruiserweight Classic Tournament (it’s been a busy week!) so I can’t honestly announce which match I felt was the match of the evening. I saw most of Sabre vs Dux, but I don’t want to give it the title of match of the night based on that fact alone.   Next week, we’re onto Round 2!

 

Who do you feel would be considered the match of the evening? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Title matches announced for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn

NXT General Manager William Regal has begun creating the card for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn and so far the matches announced have been for title matches!

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After Shinsuke Nakamura won his match against Wesley Blake last night, William Regal informed Shinsuke that he would have his opportunity at the NXT Championship when he faces current Champion Samoa Joe for the title at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.  Shinsuke was thrilled by this announcement!  Samoa Joe however did not share the same emotions.  Samoa Joe was clearly pissed and addressed it in the center of the ring after Buddy Murphy’s match with Kota Ibushi.  Samoa Joe informed not only The NXT Universe but William Regal that “due to oversight by the General Manager for not consulting with him first”; he will not be putting the NXT Championship on the line at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn against an “undeserving opponent”.  At this time, William Regal came out to inform Joe that he will face who he wants him to face.  If Joe refuses, then he will strip Joe of his title right now and find Shinsuke an opponent to face for the vacant NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.  Joe said he wasn’t going to be stripped of anything and accepted the challenge, if Nakamura can make it to TakeOver since he may hurt him the next time he sees him.  Nakamura, being ever so ballsy and without a care in the world, came out and stood never to William Regal.  Joe did nothing but stare fiercely in Nakamura’s direction.

The Women’s NXT Championship discussion was nowhere near as hostile or demanding, then again, we’re talking about one of the sweetest people on the planet – let alone NXT – Bayley! She approached William Regal in his office to plead her case for a rematch against Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship.  William Regal agreed that she was indeed ready for a rematch and informed Bayley he would speak with Asuka and upon her agreement; he will draft the papers for both women to sign off on.  Asuka said last week that she would wrestle both Bayley and Nia Jaxx so I have no doubt she will not hesitate to say yes on this matchup.

It’s no surprise that this card is shaping up to be a terrific show. NXT never, and I mean, never disappoints.  I’m incredibly excited to see how Regal will continue to fill the card as NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn gets closer and closer.  I’ll be sure to update you all with additional matches added as they become known to The NXT Universe.

The new Smackdown Live in The New Era

If you thought last night’s Smackdown Live! was just as good as Monday Night Raw, you’re not alone.  Grant it, they didn’t debut a new Championship belt, nor did any title changes hands, but Smackdown Live! does have an incredible Women’s roster, two of the hottest free agents signed to their brand, and undeniably the best #1 Contender for the WWE Championship WWE has seen in a long, long time.

The show kicked off just like Raw, with a new video compliation of their roster accompanied by new music.  After it ended, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon were standing in the center of the ring, surrounded by their roster on the apron. Daniel announced that they would hold a 6 Pack Challenge as their main event where six members of the roster will compete to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship.  The #1 Contender will then face Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam. Daniel and Bryan announced five of these six men would be John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin and AJ Styles.  The sixth man would be determined by whoever wins the Battle Royal which was the first match to kick off the show.

The final four of this Battle Royal were Kalisto, Kane, Zack Ryder and Apollo Crews. Kane eliminated Kalisto first, followed by Zack Ryder, which left him and Apollo Crews as the final two.  Apollo Crews somehow channeled the strength to throw The Demon over the top rope and advanced to the 6 Pack Challenge.  The 6 Pack Challenge was an exciting main event and everyone did a fantastic job, but ultimately, it was Dolph Ziggler who Superkicked The Phenomenal AJ Styles in the face followed by the pin to solidify his spot as the #1 Contender.  Of course Dean Ambrose came out and had a stare down moment with Dolph but the interaction between these two men was cordial and both Bryan and McMahon came out to celebrate this exciting matchup.

The Womens roster on Smackdown Live! is incredibly diverse, and we were reintroduced to them last night.  After Becky Lynch was discussing her win against Natalya, she was interrupted by Alexa Bliss, a former NXT Superstar.  Alexa was then interrupted by Naomi, making her return after being out of action due to injury and filming Marine 5.  Naomi was the interrupted by another NXT Superstar Carmella who was interrupted by the final member of the Womens roster, “All Red Everything” Eva Marie.  I was so excited to see the Women’s roster of Smackdown Live! together in one room.  Every woman is so unique and so talented in her own way and I am so excited to see what lies ahead of them in Smackdown Live!

One person who doesn’t know what lies ahead is Heath Slater. He interrupted the show demanding a spot in the 6 Pack Challenge, making it a 7 Pack Challenge (which makes no sense) and a spot on the roster.  Insulted when Shane McMahon informed him he needed to send in a resume, Heath Slater erupted in a rant, stating he was the hottest free agent in the industry.  He was incorrect, as one of the hottest free agents, who also happened to be signed to Smackdown Live, was just waiting for the opportunity to hit Slater with his signature move.  The wait was finally over, and Slater’s rant was ended with a GORE! GORE! GORE!  Yes ladies and gentlemen, Rhyno has been signed to Smackdown Live! Rhyno will be accompanied by another hot free agent who will be returning to Smackdown Live! soon: “The Gold Standard” Shelton Benjamin!  I practically died at this announcement because I have always been a big fan of his.  To hear he’s coming back to WWE, to Smackdown Live! made me just as excited as Dlph Ziggler becoming our #1 Contender.

I thought the first night of Smackdown Live! was just as exciting and as entertaining as Monday Night Raw.  I felt a more warming, unified feeling while watching Smackdown Live! than I did watching Raw, but it may just have been because yesterday was my two year anniversary with my boyfriend HAHA.  Still, I loved it and once again feel like “The New Era” has truly begun within WWE.

What are your thoughts on last night’s Smackdown Live!?  Let me know by leaving a comment below!