Post by Ross Report on Mar 16, 2020 22:00:30 GMT
Philadelphia might be known as the "City of Brotherly Love," but that certainly isn't the case whenever the EWA is in town! And last night's SLAM! was no exception to that rule!
We kicked the show off with the Tag Team Champions heading down to ringside! It's been pretty obvious to everyone (except Don West, it seems) that "The Honky Tonk Man" has been making a mockery of the tag titles and the EWA tag team division in general these last few weeks. Indeed, I'd bet a crate of JR's finest BBQ sauce that "Honky," Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart, and my old pal Jerry "The King" Lawler have struck up an accord with the Mulkey brothers, paying those goofs to play dress-up and make "Mr. Shake, Rattle And Roll" look like a world beater. Well, those antics finally came back to haunt them last night as they tried to rinse and repeat one more time, only to discover Bill and Randy Mulkey had been taken out of commission backstage! That then led to the arrival of "Ax" and "Smash," the first team "Honky" and co tried to make fools out of when this whole business began! In this instance though, it was poor old Santino Marella who took the brunt of their vitriol, with "Honky" and "The King" literally putting him in harm's way to save their own skin. Yet, that looks like it's nothing but a temporary reprieve for "The Honky Tonk Man" as "Demolition" officially answered his challenge and set up a barnburner of a Tag Team Title match at next Sunday's Insurgency Pay-Per-View! And with "Demolition" in no mood for fun and games combined with "Honky" and Santino still not being on the same page, I'd suggest there's a damn good chance that we might see new champions crowned in Morgantown!
You'd think after a big win over "PN News" to retain his Television Championship last Sunday, Jacob Fatu would be pretty pleased with himself. On the contrary, "The Samoan Werewolf" has been training harder than ever, frustrated that it took him so long to take down "The Rapmaster!" As a result, he looked to make an example out of his poor opponent last night, beating the ever-loving tar out of Gene Munny in a match that was excruciating to watch. That's because Fatu had several opportunities to pin Munny and end the bout, yet he refused to do so until he deemed enough punishment had been dolled out. No doubt Munny will be feeling the effects of this one for quite some time! And in the meanwhile, Jacob Fatu's hot streak continues unabated, as he threw down the gauntlet post-match, leaving an open contract for someone to challenge him for the gold at Insurgency! Who's going to step up to the plate? I can't wait to find out!
While things are shaky on top, the rest of the EWA tag team division seems to be constantly evolving as of late, with new additions receiving tryout matches and the chance to impress. Well, last night's show saw "The Butcher" and "The Blade" take the bull by the proverbial horns, as this deadly duo cut through their competition with seeming ease! I've got to admit, I was taken aback by the aggression on show here, not even allowing for traditional tags as they made short work of poor Darren Kearney and Nathan Martin! Hopefully we'll see a better test of "The Butcher" and "The Blade's" mettle in the coming weeks. One thing's for sure though, this pairing isn't here to make friends!
Sasha Banks has been on the lookout for a talent to take under her wing, and this week saw her first candidate, a luchadora by the name of "La Hiedra." The masked woman has plenty of pedigree in the wrestling business, something that showed as she took on Ashley Vox in a fast-paced, action-packed thriller in which "La Hiedra" emerged with her hand raised in victory! I can only speculate if Sasha Banks was impressed by that performance, but you can rest assured this old Okey certainly was! And so too apparently was EWA management, as I'll talk about a little later.
For weeks now, we've seen vignettes airing on SLAM! to hype the arrival of Bo Dallas, and at last, "The Inspirational One" appeared live and in person to address the EWA Universe! However, this isn't the same Bo Dallas you might be familiar with from his time leading the "Bo-Lievers" or teaming with Samuel Shaw. Rather, Bo has put those "dark years" behind him to experience a rebirth through the power of "Bo-Lieving," one which he clearly feels confident will take him right to the top of the pro wrestling mountain! Of course, he's not the only superstar to enter the EWA with such lofty ambitions, but then again, I don't think we've ever had a new arrival with as much self "Bo-Lief" as Bo Dallas either, so who knows how far he'll go! It sounds like we'll get a closer look though when Dallas returns to the ring on our next edition of SLAM! in two weeks!
It could be said that Michael Jarvi has always been the bridesmaid and never the bride during his previous stints with the EWA. Both "The Program of Supremacy" and "The Big Bad Boys" provided platforms for "The Titan" to show his stuff, but he more often than not found himself overshadowed by other members of those respective groups, limiting his opportunities. Well, that shouldn't be a problem this time around as Jarvi goes into battle all by his lonesome, literally fighting to survive after almost losing his home earlier this year. And judging by his performance against LJ Cleary, it seems as if "Big Ty" isn't about to let this chance to make a name for himself pass him by!
It turns out "The Butcher" and "The Blade" aren't the only new tag team in the EWA ranks, as Renee Young found herself introducing the EWA Universe to Orange Cassidy, "Trent?" and Chuck Taylor, AKA "Best Friends." To call this trio "unique" is certainly one way of putting it, and with such gregarious personalities, I'm sure it won't take long before they have our amazing fans eating out of their hands! After taking a long walk for a short drink of water to establish the correct pronunciation of "Trent?"'s name, they were soon joined by Primo and Epico Colon, two more newcomers to the tag scene. "The Shining Colons" might not have convinced anyone to invest in their Puerto Rico timeshares, but one thing they did achieve was setting up a double debut tag match against "Best Friends" next Sunday at Insurgency! And if this interaction was anything to go by, there's every chance it may end up stealing the entire show!
While I still can't say what exactly "The Zodiac" has offered to get so many followers under his sway, there's little doubt it seems to be working. Case in point, Maven was in action this week against "Big E," with both superstars looking to make a splash in their respective EWA in-ring debuts. While the early advantage went to the former Zaboni driving "Choc Lesnar," Maven soon turned things around and focused on the arm and shoulder of his opponent to turn the tide. The damage he caused proved critical in the outcome of this slobberknocker, with "Big E" eventually turning things around after a huge superbomb counter to a top rope hurricanrana, before setting up for the Big Ending. And yet, the pain in his shoulder caused him to put Maven down, allowing "The Lucavi" member to take advantage and win the match! It seems like momentum is really starting to build for this mysterious group, and as we saw last year, that successful team cohesion could prove vital when we head to my hometown of Oklahoma City for next month's 15th annual Civil War Match!
Following on from his second successful title defense last week, Harper had some defiant words to aim in the direction of his next challenger, "MJF." Indeed, "The Goatsman" has been proving his doubters wrong ever since shocking the world at SuperBrawl XIX when he captured the biggest prize in the sport, and that momentum has bred some well-deserved confidence in a competitor who has sometimes fallen into the trap of being unsure of himself. Still, one person who's never had that problem is Maxwell Jacob Friedman, who crashed Harper's interview with Todd Grisham to throw some shade at the World Champion ahead of next weekend's title showdown. "The Salt of The Earth" did everything he could to get under Harper's skin and antagonize "The Goatsman" by belittling his accomplishments, to the point it was little surprise that Harper felt the need to throw the first punch in the inevitable melee that followed! Of course, with the rest of "The Dynasty" backing Friedman up, it was hardly a fair fight, yet that didn't stop Harper from taking down both Hammerstone and Holliday, only to have EWA security stop him from laying a finger on "MJF" before their clash next Sunday! However, "MJF" won't be able to hide from Harper forever, especially not if he wants to capture the World Championship. And while "The Top 1%er" might have succeeded in pushing Harper's buttons here, could that end up backfiring against him at Insurgency? I guess we'll find in Morgantown!
Kelly Klein has, in many ways, become the glue currently holding the EWA women's division together ever since Sasha Banks' injury woes caused her to relinquish the gold. Between defeating Emma two weeks ago and striking up a friendship with Momo Watanabe, "The Final Girl" has been ever-present, resulting in a confrontation with Alexa Bliss last week that brought about a match between the two starlets on last night's SLAM! With Momo in her corner, Klein looked extra motivated to stand up for her new "bestie," yet "Dark Peach's" presence may have proved an unfortunate distraction more than anything else in the early goings, allowing Alexa Bliss to seize control of the match. Alas, "The Goddess" would suffer a similar setback to "Big E" earlier in the night after accidentally colliding shoulder-first with the ring post, giving Klein an opening back into the contest. From there, "KK" showed a darker side than we usually see from her as she damn near choked the life out of "Little Miss Bliss" before finally finishing her off with the K-Power! A dominant win for Klein, and with Harry Smith's huge announcement later in the show, it couldn't have been more timely! That's right, folks...this year will see the second ever Women's Civil War Match, where the winner will be crowned the new EWA Women's Champion! It's been eight years since Awesome Kong won the first Women's Civil War Match (and then joined the fray in the men's version later in the night!), and with Harry Smith offering an open invite to any competitors who want in, this is surely going to be a star-studded affair on April 19th! Yet before we get to that, "The British Bulldog" had another announcement to make. Namely that next Sunday at Insurgency, there will be a Six Pack Challenge featuring Emma, Momo Watanabe, Becky Lynch, "La Hiedra," Daizee Haze and Kelly Klein, where whoever scores the winning fall will enter Civil War last...and whoever is pinned will have to start from the dreaded number one spot! Talk about upping the stakes as we build towards one of the EWA's biggest nights of the year! And what an opportunity this promises to be for whoever rises up to take it!
From a future Civil War Match to the only two-time winner of the event, Mr. Anderson made his long-awaited return to the EWA last night! Only, he hasn't done so as a superstar this time around. Instead, he was on hand in Philly to introduce the man he's been paired with to help achieve the kind of success Anderson himself enjoyed throughout his career, Tyler Breeze! Breeze is one of the most recognizable faces on the planet after a super model career that has seen him pose for the likes of Gucci, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford among other famous names, bringing huge brand awareness to the EWA! That said, I think I detected the slightest hint of a personality clash with Mr. Anderson, as Tyler seemed more interested in answering fans questions on a live stream and talking about his spring fashion line than listening to his new mentor. Things would take a strange turn though when another newcomer to the EWA decided this would be the opportune time to make his own debut, as Sammy Guevara interrupted proceedings. In fact, the self-styled "Spanish God" seemed to take umbrage with the fact that Mr. Anderson touted Breeze as the future of the EWA, when he felt that title belonged to him instead. This led to Anderson challenging Guevara to a match on Breeze's behalf, with Sammy making it official via a straight right that caught Tyler off guard and left him flat on his back! Sammy hightailed it out of there before Mr. Anderson could gain any payback, but his client will get the chance to do so himself when these two hotly-tipped young guns meet next Sunday at Insurgency!
Some may argue Samoa Joe made a mistake by returning to the ring so soon after he and Shayna Baszler had their brush with tragedy two weeks ago. It's honestly a testament to the drive Joe possesses that he accepted the match against Eric Young last night...and perhaps a testament to his need to vent some of the anger he's no doubt been carrying ever since Kamille speared his pregnant fiancée! Of course, Eric Young is no slouch in the ring, as he proved against Killer Kross last week, and earlier in the broadcast when "The World Class Maniac" called out Jack Gallagher for having not appeared since retaining the National Title against Chad Gable back at St. Valentine's Day Massacre. And with Nikki Cross in his corner and adding a whole new dimension to Young's arsenal, this turned out to be a wild main event that constantly felt like it was swinging back and forth! As Scott Stanford and Don West pointed out on commentary however, "The Samoan Submission Machine" was perhaps letting his heart rule his head a little too much, a fact that "EY" was able to capitalize on at several points. And yet, just when it looked like Joe had "The World Class Maniac" set up for the Muscle Buster, Nick Aldis and his team started making their way down to ringside. With Samoa Joe distracted, Eric Young did what he had to to score a victory that immediately puts him on the EWA map (if he wasn't already) and adds even more credence to his earlier demands for Jack Gallagher to hand over the National Title! Furthermore, that then allowed Nick Aldis to get in some more licks on Samoa Joe, who was still incapacitated from the piledriver he suffered at Eric Young's hands. Indeed, Joe was easy pickings for "The National Treasure," who locked on the King's Lynn Cloverleaf once again and forced Joe to pass out! Samoa Joe hasn't looked this vulnerable in a long time, not even during his intense rivalry with Pete Dunne last year, yet it seems as if Nick Aldis has his number at every turn right now! Can Joe find a way to stop the rot and gain his revenge? Or might Aldis be the man to finally end "The Destroyer's" career?
While we'll have to wait for an answer to that particular question, we can now move on to the moment you've all been waiting for as I share my top three movers and shakers for the week:
1. Eric Young
2. Kelly Klein
Top spot has to go to Eric Young this week, as he not only defeated one of the toughest men on the roster in Samoa Joe, but also staked a strong claim towards the National Championship at the same time! I've put Kelly Klein at number two following her second straight win of 2020 in a showing that arguably makes her the woman to beat both in next Sunday's Six Pack Challenge as well as the Women's Civil War Match next month! And last but not least, "Ax" and "Smash" may not have had a match, but they still made an impact after interrupting "The Honky Tonk Man's" latest charade, putting the Tag Team Champions on notice ahead of a blockbuster bout at Insurgency!
And boy, what a line-up we have for next Sunday's Pay-Per-View event! Headlined by "MJF" challenging Harper for the World Heavyweight Championship, there's also the aforementioned Tag Team Title showdown to look forward to, as well as Jacob Fatu issuing an open challenge for his TV Championship! And that's far from all either as six women fight it out in a match which has huge implications for Civil War, as well as two big time double debuts when Sammy Guevara meets Tyler Breeze and "Best Friends" take on "The Shining Colons!" Yes, Insurgency looks like the kind of show which has the potential to shift the landscape of the EWA on a seismic scale, so you'd have to be crazy not to sign up to the EWA Network today to be able to watch it from the sold-out West Virginia University Coliseum! Until next time,