Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE brings you the Weekend 3 Count. W3C brings you wrestling news, rumors and recaps from around the wrestling world. You'll find news and recaps involving WWE, NXT, TNA, ROH, Lucha Underground, GFW, NJPW, House of Hardcore and any Indy promotion that I find an interesting story or a cool discovery in. Be sure to check out the W3C every Sunday afternoon at @TripleThreatCLE.
*** WWE ***
- Best Of 2016: After looking far and wide and reading opinions from all the wrestling fans on the internet, I've come to the conclusion that these are in no order whatsoever, the top 10 matches everyone should see from WWE that took place in 2016 and are all my personal favorites:
#9: RAW vs. Smackdown Live Men's Elimination Match: WWE Survivor Series.
#8: John Cena vs. AJ Styles: WWE SummerSlam.
#7: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens: WWE Battleground.
#6: Kota Ibushi vs. TJ Perkins: Cruiserweight Classic Tournament.
#5: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch: Wrestlemania 32.
#4: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte: Falls Count Anywhere: RAW December.
#3: Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. The Miz: Fatal Four Way: WWE Extreme Rules.
#2: Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens: WWE Royal Rumble.
#1: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz: WWE No Mercy.
- La Luchadora's Identity: This past week the masked La Luchadora made another appearance as she helped Alexa Bliss defeat Becky Lynch. Rumors are stating that La Luchadora may eventually be revealed to be either Tamina Snuka, Mickie James or Deonna Purrazzo when she's finally unmasked.
- John Cena Returns: This past week on Smackdown Live, John Cena returned and cut what many are feeling was kind of a heelish promo. Cena stated he's sick of this new era and plans to make it his era again. Cena will challenge AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the WWE Royal Rumble.
- Kurt Angle Comeback?: According to PW Stream, many wrestlers were contacted to make surprise appearances in the Royal Rumble and one of those major stars was the Olympic Gold Medalist himself Kurt Angle. According to sources, Triple H, Vince McMahon and Kurt Angle have all met together and are all for an Angle return in 2017. Sources have also stated that Angle has turned down all independent wrestling promotion jobs after March, which means that Angle would be a lock for Wrestlemania 33.
- Cruiserweight Injury: This past week on 205 Live, Independent and WWE NXT enhancement talent "Mr. 450" John Yurnet made his WWE 205 live debut, lost and also suffered an injury. Yurnet posted on Twitter that he blew his knee out in his debut match.
- Big Show Death Hoax: Last week a fake story broke stating that The Big Show (Paul Donald Wight II) had been involved in a car accident and was taken to a hospital where he apparently died. The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the story was a poorly written article and The Big Show was alive and well. Chris Bellitti, who is a WWE spokesman, announced the story as false and that The Big Show is just fine. The Big Show then tweeted out a picture of himself working out at the gym and getting ready for his Wrestlemania 33 match against Shaq, putting all the rumors to bed.
- Axelmania Running Wild Again: Curtis Axel brought back his Axelmania gimmick this past Tuesday at a WWE Live show. WWE originally abandoned the gimmick after Hulk Hogan was fired from the company for making racist remarks in the past and WWE wanted to steer clear of anything Hogan related. Now that Hogan may be back in WWE's good graces, WWE have brought back Axel's old Axelmania gimmick.
** 205 Live Recap **
This week's show saw WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann battle Neville in a one on one non title match.
-- Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese: Drew Gulak accompanied Nese to the ring. The match closes out with Gulak at ringside and arguing with Alexander's girlfriend Alicia Fox. Alicia takes off her shoe to use, but Gulak gets the referee's attention on Alicia. The referee ejects Alicia from ringside. During the distraction, Nese hits a palm strike on Alexander and scores the pinfall.
-- Backstage, Noam Dar appears with mistletoe and stands by Alicia Fox. Alicia unloads two slaps on Dar and storms off.
-- Neville Interview: Neville says he was irritated that WWE officials passed him over for the Cruiserweight Classic, the WWE Universe and Americans are all discriminatory against him and he will take it out on the division.
-- Mustafa Ali vs. John Yurnet: The match closes out with Ali making quick work of Yurnet, hitting an inverted 450 Splash and scores the pinfall.
-- "A Gentlemen's Duel": Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher: Daivari chooses a lead pipe and Gallagher chooses an umbrella for their weapons. Both men go back to back and take five paces. Daivari gets to two and immediately attacks Gallagher from behind. Gallagher fights back and chases Daivari from the ring.
-- Neville vs. Rich Swann: The match closes out with Swann dodging the Red Arrow and getting a near fall Swann Song. Neville and Swann fight on the turnbuckle until Swann drops Neville off. Neville hits an enziguri on Swann and then a superplex off the ropes to score the pinfall. After the match, Neville viciously attacks Swann with punches and kicks and demands to be given the WWE Cruiserweight Championship even though it was a non title match.
*** NXT ***
- Best Of 2016: After looking far and wide and reading opinions from all the wrestling fans on the internet, I've come to the conclusion that these are in no order whatsoever, the top 10 matches everyone should see from NXT that took place in 2016 and are all my personal favorites:
#9: DIY vs. The Revival: Takeover: Toronto.
#8: The Revival vs. American Alpha: Takeover: Dallas.
#7: The Revival vs. American Alpha: Takeover: The End.
#6: The Revival vs. DIY: Takeover: Brooklyn 2.
#6: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries: Takeover: The End.
#5: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe: Takeover: Toronto.
#4: Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor: Steel Cage Match, Takeover: The End.
#3: Asuka vs. Bayley: Takeover: Brooklyn 2.
#2: Asuka vs. Mickie James: Takeover: Toronto
#1: Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn, 2 Out of 3 Falls.
- NXT Two Hour Special: This past Wednesday, NXT showed their two hour special that took place in Osaka, Japan. This Wednesday, NXT will kick off the New Year by showing another two hour special of their live event that was taped in Melbourne, Australia on December 8th.
*** TNA Impact Wrestling ***
** TNA Impact Recap **
This week's show was a best of the Hardy's New Year's Special.
-- At the Hardy Estate, Vanguard 1 is drinking a mojito and everyone sings the 12 Days of Deletion. Broken Matt Hardy says the 7 deities will soon reveal the gender of their next child that Reby is pregnant with.
-- At the Hardy Estate, Matt Hardy asks Vanguard 1 and Senoŕ Benjamin to go to Brother Nero’s house with him. Vanguard 1 is drunk and Matt says he reeks of alcohol. Benjamin tries to defend Vanguard.
-- At Brother Nero’s House, Jeff doesn't answer the door so Vanguard 1 searches the grounds. Vanguard 1 finds Willow in a shack and then Matt finds Itchweed. Matt says he needs to speak to Brother Nero.
-- The Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy "I Quit Match" is shown, which caused the beginning of the Broken Matt Hardy gimmick.
-- The Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy match at TNA Slammiversary is shown.
-- The Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy Final Deletion match is shown.
-- At the Dome of Deletion, Matt points out the broken table that he put Jeff through. Matt says that the 7 Deities told him to do it and Jeff has grown back stronger since being deleted. Matt asks Jeff to carry the broken table and follow him.
-- At the Pit Of Rubbish, Matt says Jeff's debt is paid, he helped win the TNA World Tag Team Championship and helped defend The Hardy Compound in Apocalypto. Matt gives Jeff his essence and free will back, as Vanguard 1 transfers it back into Jeff. The 7 deities then make the broken table obsolete.
-- The Decay or Deletion Match is shown.
-- The Great War at Bound For Glory is shown.
-- Matt asks Jeff if he’d prefer him have a boy or girl. Jeff says he’s blessed either way.
-- At the Hardy Estate, Everyone is gathered by the volcano near the Lake of Transformation for the baby gender reveal. The volcano erupts in a blue smoke revealing a baby boy on the way. Matt announces the next generation of The Hardy Boys as the show closes.
- Best Of 2016: After looking far and wide and reading opinions from all the wrestling fans on the internet, I've come to the conclusion that these are in no order whatsoever, the top 10 matches everyone should see from TNA that took place in 2016 and are all my personal favorites:
#9: Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett vs. Eddie Edwards vs. DJ Z: TNA Slammiversary.
#8: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy, Falls Count Anywhere, Full Metal Mayhem: TNA Slammiversary.
#7: Bobby Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards, Title vs. Title, Six Sides of Steel: July Impact.
#6: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy, The Final Deletion: July Impact.
#5: The Broken Hardy's vs. The Decay, The Great War: September Impact.
#4: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew Galloway: TNA Slammiversary.
#3: The Broken Hardy's Tag Team Apocalypto Open Invitational Match: Total Nonstop Deletion.
#2: Ethan Carter vs. Matt Hardy: January Impact.
#1: Bobby Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards: November Impact.
- Bobby Lashley deserves an honorable mention.
*** Ring of Honor Wrestling ***
** ROH TV Recap **
This week's show highlighted not one but two ROH Television Championship Matches that took place last month, in a best of 2016 show.
-- "ROH Television Championship Match": Bobby Fish (c) vs. Will Ospreay: The match closes out with Fish locking Ospreay in his knee bar submission. Ospreay counters out, bridges Fish in a pinfall and scores the three count to win the ROH Television Championship. After the match, Fish handed Ospreay his newly won title and raised Ospreay's hand in victory.
-- "ROH World Tag Team Championship": The Young Bucks (c) vs. Will Ospreay and Matt Scurll: The match closes out with Scurll getting hit, but kicking out of the More Bang For Your Buck finisher. The Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver, but Ospreay tries to block it with a hurracanrana. Ospreay gets taken out and Scurll gets hit with the Meltzer Driver, allowing The Bucks to score the pinfall and retain their tag team titles.
-- "ROH Television Championship Match": Will Ospreay (c) vs. Matt Scurll: The match closes out with Scurll trapping Ospreay in the cross face chicken submission with an added leg grapevine for extra leverage. Ospreay ends up tapping out and Scurll wins the ROH Television Championship.
- Best Of 2016: After looking far and wide and reading opinions from all the wrestling fans on the internet, I've come to the conclusion that these are in no order whatsoever, the top 10 matches everyone should see from ROH that took place in 2016 and are all my personal favorites:
#10: The Young Bucks vs. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Briscoe Brothers vs. The Addiction: ROH Supercard of Honor X.
#9: Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe: ROH Best in the World.
#8: Hangman Adam Page vs. Jay Briscoe: ROH Death Before Dishonor.
#7: The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoe Brothers: ROH Final Battle.
#6: Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly: ROH Supercard of Honor 10.
#5: Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal: ROH Death Before Dishonor.
#4: Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee: ROH Final Battle.
#3: Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly: ROH Final Battle.
#2: Jay Lethal vs. Lio Rush: ROH Supercard of Honor.
#1: The Addiction vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Young Bucks, Ladder Warfare: ROH Allstar Extravaganza.
- Adam Cole deserves an honorable mention.
- Jay Lethal Resigns With ROH: ROH announced this past week that Jay Lethal has resigned and will be staying in Ring of Honor for the time being. Lethal was one of many wrestlers that the WWE were looking at bringing in for NXT, but obviously missed their opportunity.
*** Lucha Underground ***
** Lucha Underground TV Recap **
This week Texano battled Cage in Match #4 and #5 to close out their Best Of 5 Series with the winner receiving an Ultimate Opportunity prize from Dario Cueto.
-- In an unknown location, Vampiro tells his resurrected student Prince Puma to rise and begin his journey into darkness. Puma says he's ready, gets grabbed by the throat by Vampiro and Vampiro demands Puma to pledge himself to Vampiro. Puma says he does.
-- Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes: The match closes out with Prince Puma arriving and attacking Muertes with a singapore cane. With the referee distracted by Catrina, Puma unloads cane shots on Muertes and it allows Crane to score the pinfall. After the match, Puma destroys Muertes with more cane shots and then kneels towards his new master Vampiro.
-- Backstage, an unknown fan approaches Sexy Star, offers her a present and states that he's given Johnny Mundo presents in the past. Inside is a spider, which scares Sexy, forcing her to scream in anger.
-- Jack Evans and PJ Black vs. Son of Havoc and Angelico: The match closes out with Angelico hitting a cross body on Evans and dislocating his own elbow, leaving Havoc to fend for himself. Havoc gets double teamed and Evans hits a corkscrew inverted splash on Havoc to score the pinfall.
-- In Dario Cueto's office, Sexy Star demands a match against Mariposa, thinking that's her spider stalker. Cueto grants it for next week. Cueto meanwhile opens a box that supposedly has a great treasure inside and will be awarded to either Texano or Cage later.
-- "Best of Five Ultimate Opportunity Match #4": Cage vs. Texano (Cage leads 2-1): The match closes out with both men fighting on the top rope. The top turnbuckle comes loose and Cage falls headfirst into the exposed turnbuckle steel, busting himself open. Texano hits a sit out power bomb on Cage, scores the pinfall and ties the series 2-2.
-- Dario Cueto Promo: Cueto exits his office and arrives at ringside. Cueto says he loves seeing all this violence in the Best Of Five Series so he announces that the fifth and final match will happen now and it'll be an Anything Goes Match.
Dario Cueto exits his office in The Temple. He says that he loves the violence between Cage and Texano in this series. How they both want to badly win the "Ultimate Opportunity". He calls for The 5th match to begin now. The show goes to break and when it returns, Dario Cueto is still in The Temple outside his office. He takes the mic again. He says that he forgot to mention that this upcoming match will be an anything goes match.
-- Inside Dario Cueto's office, Cueto gives Cage the box with the treasure inside and Cage doesn't seem impressed. Cueto reveals it to be an iron glove called The Gauntlet and says it has powers that you wouldn't believe. Cage doesn't want it, but Cueto suggests that he try it on first. Cage puts on the glove, electricity shoots throughout the glove and Cage suddenly develops super human strength with that hand as he lifts Cueto up in the air by his throat. Cage decides he's keeping his prize as Cueto smiles to end the show.
- Best Of 2016: After looking far and wide and reading opinions from all the wrestling fans on the internet, I've come to the conclusion that these are in no order whatsoever, the top 10 matches everyone should see from Lucha Underground that took place in 2016 and are all my personal favorites:
#9: Trios Title Elimination Match: Ivelisse and Son of Havoc vs. Prince Puma, Rey Mysterio Jr and Dragon Azteca Jr vs. Joey Ryan, Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco vs. Fenix, Jack Evans and PJ Black: April 2016.
#8: No Mas Gift of the Gods Aztec Medallion Match: Sexy Star vs. Mariposa: May 2016.
#7: Aztec Warfare II: March 2016.
#6: Lucha Underground Title Match: Mil Muertes vs. Pentagon Jr vs. Prince Puma: March 2016.
#5: Six to Survive #1 Contender’s Match: Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. vs. Ivelisse vs. Johnny Mundo vs. Taya vs. King Cuerno: June 2016.
#4: Lucha Underground Title Match: Mil Muertes vs. Fenix: March 2016.
#3: Lucha Underground Title Match: Matanza vs. Cage: June 2016.
#2: Prince Puma vs. Rey Mysterio: July 2016.
#1: Loser Leaves Lucha Underground Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero: November 2016.
- Johnny Mundo deserves an honorable mention.
- Wrestlers Growing Frustrated: According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, some Lucha Underground talents are reportedly frustrated since the company will not be taping Season 4 until the fall of 2017. Many of the LU talent are under contracts and can not compete in any other promotions such as WWE, TNA, ROH or NJPW while on break from LU tapings. This will leave many wrestlers without work throughout the first 8 months of 2o17. Some LU talent are reportedly looking to get a lawyer in place to see if there is any way to be released from their contract.
*** New Japan Pro Wrestling ***
- Best Of 2016: After looking far and wide and reading opinions from all the wrestling fans on the internet, I've come to the conclusion that these are in no order whatsoever, the top 10 matches everyone should see from NJPW that took place in 2016 and are all my personal favorites:
#10: Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay: NJPW Super Juniors Tournament 23.
#9: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata: Wrestle Kingdom 10.
#8: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Wrestle Kingdom 10.
#7: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada: Wrestle Kingdom 10.
#6: The Bullet Club (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) vs. ACH, Matt Sydal & KUSHIDA: ROH 14th Anniversary.
#5: Kenny Omega vs. Michael Elgin: Road To Wrestling Dontaku.
#4: KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay: NJPW Invasion Attack.
#3: KUSHIDA vs. Kyle O'Reilly: Best Of The Super Juniors.
#2: Will Ospreay vs. Ryuskue Taguchi: Best Of The Super Juniors Finals
#1: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito: NJPW Dominion.
- Kenny Omega Comments On WWE: Kenny Omega recently was asked about his opinions on the WWE signing talent and was asked about being on the WWE's list of talent they want to sign. Omega stated that the WWE are signing people just to sign people and take over the professional wrestling world. Judging by Omega's comments he is staying in NJPW with no interest in signing with the WWE at all.
And that's this week's W3C! Join me every Sunday afternoon as I bring you news, recaps and rumors all around the wrestling world!