Post by Ross Report on Apr 28, 2020 23:02:06 GMT
It's been over a week since one of the greatest shows in the near 20 year history of the EWA, and I'm still getting my head wrapped around what we saw unfold! Still, I'll do my damnedest to analyse all the biggest moments, right here in the Ross Report!
The night kicked off with "balls-to-the-wall" tag team competition as "Tokyo Vice" faced off against "TMDK." This was a contest which had been brewing for weeks, ever since the mysterious Japanese group looked to make a name for themselves at the expense of their Aussie counterparts. Between backstage assaults and Io Shirai defeating Kellyanne, they'd certainly had the advantage all throughout this rivalry, so this was a chance for Shane Haste and Buddy Silva to score some retribution. Unfortunately for the exciting duo from "Down Under" however, they just weren't enough for Katsuyori Shibata and "El Desperado" on this night. Indeed, as soon as "Tokyo Vice" turned the tables in their favor, this result was academic, handing the team their first EWA win in a major way. It'll be interesting to see how they build on this success in the weeks to come!
Before our next match, we'd find ourselves introduced to one of the EWA's latest signings (and there's been a hell of a lot of them recently!), Jeremy Wyatt! While the self-styled "Monarch" might not familiar with most of the EWA Universe, he is certainly assured of himself and his abilities! And it seems we'll get our first opportunity to see just how justified his self-belief is when Wyatt makes his in-ring debut on next week's SLAM! against the returning Tom Lawlor!
Meanwhile, we had ourselves an explosive three-on-two handicap match which pitted "The Standard" against the unlikely combination of Pete Dunne and Samoa Joe! Those two men spent the better part of five months beating the holy hell out of one another in 2019, culminating in a bloody and violent Three Stages of Hell Match which the EWA Universe voted as the Stipulation Match of the Year! Needless to say then, I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking it was more a matter of when, not if, this uneasy alliance fell apart at Civil War! And yet, as the match rumbled on, it looked like that wasn't going to be the case after all. In fact, Dunne seemed to have Joe's back throughout and even saved him from a Bull Hammer by Stu Bennett at one point, before "The Bruiserweight" and "The Destroyer" then worked in tandem to finally allow Joe to get his long-sought revenge against Nick Aldis! Post-match, "The Samoan Submission Machine" would look to bury the past by offering Dunne a fist bump out of respect, with Dunne seemingly returning it in kind...only to shock the world with a low blow kick followed by a heinous assault! It's tempting to say something within Dunne snapped in that moment, but honestly, this looked about as cold and predicated an attack from the former World Champion as you can get. And if you need further proof, you only need to look at the way he recovered a cinder block and sledgehammer from under the ring after laying Joe out with a Bitter End, as if he knew they were there all along. What happened next was one of the most disgusting sights I've witnessed in nearly 50 years in the business, as Dunne placed the block against Joe's skull before smashing them both to pieces with the sledgehammer! But what I can't understand is, why? Dunne had multiple opportunities to turn on Joe throughout their match, not to mention before Civil War as well, so why wait until that particular moment to strike? I have no earthly idea, but one thing I do know for sure is that the damage Samoa Joe sustained is more than likely career-ending. While I'm not privy to the conversations Joe has had with his doctors over the last week, one has to believe he may have suffered a cracked skull at worst and an almighty concussion at best, if you can even call that a best case scenario. The prognosis isn't good either way, and with a newborn arriving imminently, I just hope there's enough left of Joe for him to still be the father his child needs him to be. And as for Dunne? Well, you've got to believe there'll be major repercussions for his actions here, and frankly, I think he deserves whatever punishment ends up coming his way. No matter what's happened between him and Joe in the past, nobody deserves what "The Bruiserweight" dished out last Sunday.
As we prepared for the second-ever Women's Civil War Match, we found out that Toni Storm had finally signed that brand new EWA contract after a week of heavy deliberation. The Gold Coast native would then immediately up the ante by putting her career on the line, demanding Harry Smith fire her if she failed to walk out with the Women's Championship! I'm not sure any extra motivation was necessary, but that didn't stop Storm from putting that additional pressure on her shoulders to inspire herself to victory. As we'll see though, I can't help but wonder if maybe Toni might be regretting that decision now.
Regardless, the Women's Civil War finally got underway with Momo Watanabe and Becky Lynch starting things out. Momo obviously "earned" the dubious honor of the number one spot after being pinned during that wild Six Pack Challenge back at Insurgency, putting her at a clear disadvantage. It didn't take long for the ring to start filling up either, as Scarlett Bordeaux, Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans all joined the action, before we got our first real surprise of the night when Kylie Rae was stopped from entering the match as Asuka stole her spot! No one was expecting to see "The Empress of Tomorrow" throw herself into the mix, something that arguably gave Asuka somewhat of an advantage! She would soon be followed by Daizee Haze as well, who obviously won the right to come in at the final spot in that aforementioned Six Pack Challenge only to turn down that opportunity, looking instead to earn the gold the hard way! A respectable decision from "The Haze," but would it pay off?
Nikki Cross would end up the first woman to be eliminated after Lacey Evans sent her packing, with Becky Lynch soon following suit mere moments after her close ally Winter joined the match. The ring kept filling as both Mandy Rose and Kelly Klein joined proceedings, before we got another surprise with the one-off return of Awesome Kong, winner of the first Women's Civil War back in 2012! Kong quickly showed that she hasn't skipped a beat, taking out Winter and threatening to run roughshod over the rest of the field as well! Before that could happen though, the participants put all of their differences aside to turn their attention towards Kong, working in unison to send the former Women's Champion tumbling out of the ring! Business quickly picked up with the arrival of Charlotte Flair, as she would combine with her fellow "Dominion" member Lacey Evans to cut a swathe through their competition. It's been a long time since we last saw Flair in action and clearly the prospect of capturing the Women's Title again was an opportunity too tempting to turn down!
Despite Kelly Klein's best efforts to save her best friend, "The Dominion" would eliminate Watanabe, who was soon replaced in the match by Emma and Nidia. The latter would make a quick impact as she knocked Scarlett Bordeaux out of the ring, right before Judy Bagwell made a surprise appearance! As you'll no doubt recall, Momma Bagwell was a participant in the men's Civil War match a couple of years ago, and she was able to use that experience to immediately eliminate Mandy Rose, only to eventually be dumped out by Lacey Evans! Meanwhile, we saw another shocking moment as Carmella joined the fray from the number 17 spot! It's been almost two years since we last saw "The Princess of Staten Island" in action, but she looked better than ever as she clashed with a very different women's division to the one she left behind! She wasn't alone either, as JoJo would prove another big surprise, as the former two-time Women's Champion came in like a proverbial house on fire! Her exuberance may have cost the "bWo Babe" however as she quickly ran into her old sparring partner Charlotte Flair before getting sent over the top rope by Carmella, with Lacey Evans soon joining JoJo on the long walk to the back thanks to Kelly Klein!
We finally had our final entrant as Toni Storm came in at number 20, meaning it was all or nothing from here on out! Klein, Emma and La Hiedra would see their hopes dashed, while Charlotte Flair struck up an alliance of convenience with Toni Storm only to quickly stab the Australian grappler in the back! At the same time, Carmella would end Asuka's night, only to have "The Empress of Tomorrow" throw a fit at ringside, grabbing Carmella's foot to distract her long enough for Charlotte to score the elimination! Nidia would also be sent packing during the interim, taken out by Daizee Haze, who was the longest lasting participate in the match after having entered at the number 7 spot! This was a gutsy performance from "The Haze" as we reached our final four of Daizee, Toni Storm, Charlotte Flair and Aliyah! Things broke down into a tag team match of sorts as Haze and Storm paired off against Flair and Aliyah, resulting in another huge scalp for Daizee as she ended "The Queen's" night! She'd then resume hostilities with "The Boujee Bratz," who'd entered at the 18th spot and used her sneaky ways to avoid elimination! More so than that, she'd even blind Daizee with some Skinnyfit detox tea powder, which would result in Toni Storm finally ending that incredible run by dumping Haze! That meant we were down to two, and with a lot riding on Toni Storm's success, you could feel the tension in the air! And yet, despite avoiding elimination by skinning the cat back in and then coming damn close to taking out her last remaining opposition, it would ultimately be Aliyah who walked out the winner after being dumped onto the apron and then low-bridging Storm as she charged towards her! Talk about a meteoric rise as well, with Aliyah having been with the EWA for less than a month and only competing in her third match, yet somehow walking out with the Women's Championship! It's easy to criticize her for flaunting her wealth and having a big ego, but when "The Boujee Bratz" can back it up like this, she deserves all the credit in the world! Still, it's one thing to win the gold and another to keep hold of it, so we'll no doubt soon find out what kind of champion Aliyah proves to be in the coming weeks and months!
It was good to hear from Tom Lawlor and Rhea Ripley again. "The Singularity" haven't been around for a couple of months now, and I know there's a whole lot of fans eager to see them back again! While neither chose to compete in their respective Civil War matches last week, Lawlor will be in action against Jeremy Wyatt this coming weekend, as already noted.
I've talked plenty in recent weeks about the sheer intensity of this rivalry between "Rhino" and Jacob Fatu. We've already seen that a regular match couldn't contain their desire to destroy one another, so I was glad to see EWA management make a late addition to the card with this No Disqualification Match for the TV Title! As you'd expect between two tough hombres like these, they quickly put that environment to good use, beating each other with weapons and showing no mercy whatsoever! Both "Rhino" and Fatu took some serious punishment in this one, but ultimately, it all seemed to come down to the table that was introduced into the match by Rikishi right before he was taken out with a Gore. It seemed like whoever went through it would likely come up short, and that ended up being the case as Fatu looked to deliver a double jump moonsault on his opponent, only to have "The Man Beast" drag himself out of harm's way, causing the second generation superstar to crash through the table on his lonesome! That allowed "Rhino" to follow up with a devastating Gore to pick up the win and the TV Championship, ending Fatu's brief but impressive run! And what a career comeback this is for "Rhino," who proves he doesn't need "The House of H" behind him to still be a success in the EWA!
Right before the main event, we'd get ourselves an introduction to another new superstar in Eita! While he may be small in stature, "The Millenial God" was determined to make a big impression, and he'd do precisely that as he immediately threw himself into the thick of the Civil War action!
Speaking of which, it must have been a shock to the system for Braun Strowman to find himself starting this year's men's Civil War at number one after originally earning the right to enter last way back at SuperBrawl Free-For-All, only to sell that spot to Bo Dallas! I've seen speculation in the days since the Pay-Per-View that "The Monster Among Men" coming in so early may have been punishment of sorts from EWA management, although that remains unconfirmed. Still, Strowman immediately sent "Big E" on his way back to Gettysburg before being joined by Meng, Jax Dane and Tyler Breeze! The latter would struggle among his gigantic opponents, soon knocked out by the returning Dane, who'd then be joined by his "Dogs of War" tag team partner, James Storm. It's been a couple of years since we last saw this team in the EWA but it's great to see them back! Meanwhile, Strowman would score a second elimination by quickly ending Orange Cassidy's night, before Meng was ambushed by the superstars he beat out in a vote to earn a spot in the match, who dragged him over the top rope and stopped any chance of going all the way! But then, in a shocking Civil War first, "The Dogs of War" inadvertently eliminated themselves at the same time as taking out Braun Strowman, leaving an empty ring! Todd Grisham took that break in the action as an opportunity to try and get a word with a dejected Toni Storm, but needless to say, she wasn't much in the mood for an interview after losing out on the vacant Women's Championship and seemingly her job in the EWA as well!
As we turned our attention back to the action, Civil War essentially started all over again with Jamie Noble and Primo Colon as our new de facto number one and two! A beaten up Jacob Fatu and "The Lucavi's" Adam Rose would soon join them, closely followed by Abdullah The Butcher and Eita making their in-ring EWA debuts! Abby may not be as mobile as he once was, but that madman can still wield a fork with the best of them, as he repeatedly jabbed Primo in the head until Epico showed up to make the save! The Colon cousins then combined forces to gain a measure of revenge against Abdullah, sending him tumbling to the floor! The ring would once again start to fill up as Alexander Hammerstone arrived, along with "El Desperado" and Chuck Taylor shortly thereafter! "Sexy Chuckie T's" time in the match would soon be over when Trent Seven came in after him and took Taylor out lickity split! Joining the fray next was Ron Simmons, who missed out on an opportunity to work with Adam Rose and make good use of "The Lucavi's" numbers...but then the EWA Universe was shocked to see Ellen DeGeneres show up! The daytime talk show host has obviously had plenty of interactions with "The Shining Colons" and "Best Friends" in recent times, yet rather than help out Primo and Epico, she'd eliminate the pair instead! However, Ellen's moment of triumph would be short-lived as she was then sent over-the-top by Jamie Noble, sending her straight back to NBC!
It's a testament to how badly the superstars all wanted this that the ring would again start filling up, with Buff Bagwell, Katsuyori Shibata, Trent? and Goldberg all arriving...while "The Honky Tonk Man" decided to hide under the ring and wait until things had cleared out a bit, or at least until he had some support in the match! Still, while "Honky" was staying away from the action, Goldberg was showing how explosive he can be as he started wracking up the eliminations to help clear the ring! First he'd send Hammerstone packing, then both members of "Tokyo Vice" at the same time, and then Trent? as well, with Adam Rose also getting dumped courtesy of Eita in-between! No doubt about it, Goldberg was on a mission as he then set his sights on Curt Hawkins as the journeyman wrestler entered the match at 27, having seemingly only been offered the spot to help make up the numbers! However, Hawkins proved that he was capable of much more than that, using Goldberg's own momentum against him to toss "Da Man" out of the ring in arguably one of the biggest surprises of the entire night!
Seth Rollins and Maven would quickly arrive, while Santino Marella turned his sights towards Buff Bagwell, having apparently become convinced that he needed to stop "Buff Daddy" from winning the match above all else. "The Italian Stallion" would prove successful in that goal at least, while "The Lucavi" duo of Maven and Ron Simmons combined forces with Eita and Trent Seven to make Jacob Fatu's night even more miserable night by taking down "The Samoan Werewolf," before Simmons and Maven then tossed Seven as well! However, while Maven and Curt Hawkins then went at it, Seth Rollins would pop up from out of nowhere to take out Ron Simmons, leaving Maven the last member of "The Lucavi" standing! And even that wouldn't last long, with Tyler Bate entering at number 30 and making an instant impact by taking the Berryville native out as well! "Killer Kross" and Richard Holliday would soon enter the contest, closely followed by my old pal Jerry "The King" Lawler! And wouldn't you know it, as soon as "The King" arrived on the scene, "Honky" re-emerged from under the ring to work beside him! Not that "Mr. Shake, Rattle And Roll" bothered to help out his actual Tag Team Championship partner, who'd been in the match for several minutes by that point! Still, the ring began to get mighty crowded again as the new TV Champion "Rhino" entered the battle, with "Prince Albert" making an appearance not long after! "The Piercing Prince" wasted little time in taking down Tyler Bate with a Baldo Bomb, allowing the Memphis legends to sneak in and eliminate "The Big Strong Boi" themselves! National Champion Sammy Guevara would be next out, one week after taking the gold in that wild triple threat match on SLAM!, as Eita also fell victim to the imposing proprietor of "Ink For Your Stink."
We'd soon witness Civil War history though as "MJF" arrived at number 37! Not only was this just the third time ever that a World Champion entered Civil War, but it was also the first time that every single male champion in the EWA was in the match at the same time as well! However, Friedman's arrival would inadvertently distract Richard Holliday and result in his elimination at the hands of Curt Hawkins, who continued to defy the expectations he'd been lumbered with coming into the contest! "Bradley" would make a short cameo appearance, his quest for Civil War glory coming to an end by "The Salt of the Earth." But then we'd get an even bigger shock as Al Snow showed up for the first time since being sent to prison at last year's Red, White & Bruised for all his various crimes against humanity! "The Snowman" has obviously been a huge part of Civil War history over the past 12 years, and it seems not even being behind bars was going to stop him from trying to finally walk out with the win, as EWA security and officials had to plead with law enforcement to hold off their pursuit of this fugitive from justice! Well, at least until he'd been eliminated anyway!
Meanwhile, we'd finally see the final entrant as Bo Dallas came in at number 40, having grown somewhat anxious over the last week about not letting down his "Bo-Lievers." I fear that anxiety may have got the better of him though as Bo burst into the ring and ended up having his own momentum take him straight out of the match, meaning he spent less time in Civil War than anyone else! And this after paying $20,000 for the privilege of doing so as well! Still, Bo would soon be followed by Seth Rollins as Santino utilized the dreaded Cobra Strike to send him out of the ring, only to find himself confronted by Jerry Lawler. When "Honky Tonk Man" seemingly looked to play peacemaker however, he "accidentally" tripped and sent Santino right into a back body drop from "The King" to end Marella's night! If I've said it before I'll say it again, but things definitely aren't right between those three! "Honky's" treachery would be rewarded with a sudden elimination at the hands of "Prince Albert" though, while Jerry Lawler somehow managed to save himself from following suit, if only for the time being.
Elsewhere in the match and we saw two big hosses throw down as "Killer Kross" and "Rhino" went to war! This was the kind of battle that really intrigues me, resulting in "Kross" low-bridging the new TV Champion out of the ring! However, "Rhino" would get payback of sorts as he grabbed "The Devil of Sin City" while he was on the apron, allowing Curt Hawkins to charge in and score another big time elimination by knocking "Kross" to the floor! It's clear to see who "Killer Kross" blamed for that though as he and "Rhino" looked to pick up where they left off, leaving security with a hell of a job to pull them apart! The competition was starting to thin out now as "Prince Albert" took Jamie Noble down with a huge Baldo Bomb while Al Snow surprised "The King" with a cartwheel kick to end his Lawler's night! Sammy Guevara would soon join him after he and "MJF" combined to work over Curt Hawkins before the World Champion stood back to allow "The Spanish God" to take the elimination...only for Hawkins to turn things around at the last split-second and dump Guevara instead! Again I have to say, what an incredible showing from someone who many believed didn't stand a chance in hell, including some EWA officials! Alas, that fairytale run would finally draw to a close when "Prince Albert" nailed Curt from behind to send him crashing into ringside! "The Piercing Prince" would then turn his attention to Al Snow, looking to dump him as well...yet "The Snowman" would cinch in a front chancery as he was sent over the ropes, managing to drag Albert out while just about surviving! That seemingly left just Al and "MJF" to fight it out for Civil War glory, where the EWA veteran threw everything he had at the World Champion, even managing to toss him out of the ring at one point! However, "The Dynasty" were on hand to save the day, catching "MJF" before his feet could hit the ground, thus allowing Friedman to re-enter the ring and take out Snow to secure his victory! At least, that's what everything thought, "MJF" included...but it turns out we'd forgotten all about Jamie Noble, who had rested up since suffering that Baldo Bomb to then sneak back in and surprise "The Top 1%er" by dropkicking him off the ropes to the floor! And in that moment, Jamie Noble shook the EWA right down to its foundations as he became the fifteenth man to claim Civil War victory! Honestly folks, I don't know there's many who would have predicted this outcome a month ago given the fact that "The Redneck Messiah" wasn't even signed with the EWA at the time, but it's a testament to the fact that anything can happen in the E-Wrestling Alliance! And perhaps more importantly, it's an even bigger testament to the fact that Jamie Noble still has a whole lot to offer as well and can't be taken lightly!
I'm sure "MJF" will have his excuses for how unfair this result was, but at the end of the day, it doesn't change the fact that Jamie Noble secured the biggest payday of his career...along with that coveted "Anytime, Anyplace" contract for a World Championship opportunity, meaning Maxwell Jacob Friedman will no doubt be looking over his shoulder until Noble decides to cash it in! It's little wonder then that Noble and Nidia celebrated the way they did when it was all said and done!
Well, after such a momentous night, I guess it's now time to determine my picks for this week's top three movers and shakers, so here's what I've got:
1. Jamie Noble/Aliyah
2. Pete Dunne
Much as I've tried to pick between them, I just can't do it. Both Noble and Aliyah had to go above and beyond to win their respective Civil War matches, with "The Redneck Messiah" launching his career into the stratosphere while "The Boujee Bratz" just secured her spot at the top of the women's division! And the fact that they've both come from out of nowhere to do so just makes their success all the more amazing! Coming in at number two, and this is certainly not in any way condoning his actions, but there's no doubt what Pete Dunne did to Samoa Joe after their victory over "The Standard" will be remembered for a long time to come! And last but not least, "Rhino" deserves a ton of props for not only defeating the seemingly unstoppable Jacob Fatu in a brutal No DQ Match to capture the TV Title, but for also putting in a strong showing in the Civil War Match itself later in the evening! Impressive stuff from "The War Machine!"
You can find even more Civil War breakdown right here, with comprehensive coverage of both matches and all the stats coming out of this year's event! Still, while Jamie Noble and Aliyah might be the biggest winners of the night, the number of superstars who stepped up to the plate and made a name for themselves means they're far from the only ones to have improved their reputations! I truly love nothing more than seeing plenty of competition among the EWA ranks, so it's hugely encouraging that we've got such a hungry roster right now, all eager to rise to the occasion! And with some many potential threads waiting to be tugged coming out of this momentous Pay-Per-View, I'd wager the "war" is only just getting started! Until next time,