Saturday, December 31, 2016

Weekend 3 Count 12.31.16: #BestOf2016 Special Edition

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

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:

#10: Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles: Extreme Rules.
#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.

- My Pick For Wrestler Of The Year: AJ Styles: Ever since his debut at WWE Royal Rumble, Styles has been on a rampage in the WWE. Having great matches against Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and John Cena and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship have capped an amazing 2016 for the Phenomenal One.

- My Pick For Tag Team Of The Year: The New Day: Love them or hate them, The New Day were one of the best things going in the tag team division in 2o16. The New Day proved their dominance by winning and retaining the World Tag Team Championship for over 478 straight days, breaking the previous record set by Demolition. 

- My Pick For Women's Wrestler Of The Year: Charlotte: Charlotte has had an amazing 2016, winning the WWE Women's Championship 4 times and having a great feud with Sasha Banks. Charlotte had her Wrestlemania moment when she defeated Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch to become the first ever WWE Women's Champion. Then together with Sasha Banks, Charlotte competed in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, Hell In A Cell Match and an Ironman Match throughout the summer and fall, helping to put the Women's Division back on the map in the WWE.

- New Tag Team Champions Crowned: In case you missed Smackdown Live this past Tuesday, American Alpha was crowned the new Smackdown Live World Tag Team Champions, after defeating The Wyatt Family, The Usos and Heath Slater and Rhyno in a Fatal Four Way Elimination Match.

- 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. 

- Goldberg Returns: WWE announced that Goldberg will return to RAW tomorrow night for the first RAW of 2o17. Goldberg will more than likely begin his WWE Royal Rumble storyline in which Brock Lesnar will also be apart of.

- 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.

-- Tajiri returns to the WWE next week on 205 Live.

-- 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:

#10: Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Takeover: Dallas.
#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.

- My Pick For Wrestler Of The Year: Shinsuke Nakamura: Nakamura has had five star matches this year against Sami Zayn, Austin Aries and Samoa Joe. Nakamura also claimed the NXT World Championship twice in 2016.

- My Pick For Tag Team Of The Year: The Revival: The Revival became one of the most hated tag teams in NXT, but the fans love them. The Revival claimed the NXT World Tag Team Championship twice and had five star matches with both DIY and American Alpha.

- My Pick For Women's Wrestler Of The Year: Asuka: Since arriving in NXT, Asuka has buzz sawed her way through all comers, past and present. As of this writing Asuka is the first and only undefeated NXT Women's Champion in NXT history.

- 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:

#10: Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway: February Impact.
#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.

- My Pick For Wrestler Of The Year: Matt Hardy: Whoever would have thought that with one gimmick change, Matt Hardy would become one of the most talked about stars, not only in TNA, but all over the world. With his new "Broken" gimmick, Final Deletions, Great Wars, Apocalyptos, 7 deities, fireworks and drones, Matt Hardy has become the staple of TNA. Oh and he also won a TNA World Heavyweight Championship and a TNA World Tag Team Championship within 2016.

- Bobby Lashley deserves an honorable mention.

- My Pick For Tag Team Of The Year: The Decay: Abyss, Crazzy Steve and Rosemary have been the tag team divisions dominate faction throughout 2016. The Decay feuded with Beer Money, The Wolves and The Broken Hardy's throughout 2016. The Decay captured the TNA World Tag Team Championship in March and held it up until October. Before the year closed out, Rosemary added the TNA Knockouts Championship to The Decay's resume.

- My Pick For Women's Wrestler Of The Year: Gail Kim: One of the legends in Women's professional wrestling today. Gail spent 2o16 winning another TNA Knockouts Championship and even being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Gail spent most of 2016 feuding with Maria Bennett. 

*** 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.

- My Pick For Wrestler Of The Year: Jay Lethal: Jay Lethal held the ROH World Championship for over a year before losing it in a serious heated feud with Adam Cole. Lethal also held the ROH Television Championship at the same time as the ROH World Championship at one time, playing double champion. Lethal recently resigned with ROH after fending off offers from the WWE.

- Adam Cole deserves an honorable mention.

- My Pick For Tag Team Of The Year: The Addiction: Wrestling veterans Christopher Daniels and Kazarian dominated the tag team division throughout 2o16. The Addiction defeated War Machine to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship. The Addiction had great feuds throughout the year with The Young Bucks, The Briscoe Brothers and The Motor City Machine Guns.

- 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.

-- Backstage, Texano is working out when Famous B and Brenda offer their services. Texano threatens to kick Famous B's ass. Famous B tells Texano to think about it and Brenda flirts one more time to end the segment.

-- 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.

-- "Best of Five Ultimate Opportunity Match #5, Anything Goes Match": Cage vs. Texano (Series Tied 2-2): The match closes out with Texano trapping Cage in a crossface submission. Texano releases the submission after almost getting pinned by Cage and goes for the sit out power bomb. Cage hits a discus clothesline for a near fall and then whips Texano with his own bullrope. Cage lifts Texano into the air and hits a spiked brainbuster to score the pinfall and win the series 3-2. After the match, Dario Cueto invites Cage into his office to receive his Ultimate Opportunity prize.

-- 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:

#10: Aztec Warfare III: Sexy Star wins Lucha Underground Championship. December 2016.
#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.

- My Pick For Wrestler Of The Year: Matanza Cueto: Matanza has been an unstoppable force within the Lucha Underground Temple. Matanza became the Lucha Underground Champion in his very first match in Lucha Underground and has dominated the title scene, defeating all comers in one on one matches, up until his defeat in Aztec Warfare III.

- Johnny Mundo deserves an honorable mention. 

- My Pick For Women's Wrestler Of The Year: Sexy Star: Sexy Star became the first ever Gift of the Gods Champion and first ever Lucha Underground Champion all within the same year and has proved that even a lady can hang with the guys in professional wrestling.

- 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.

- My Pick For Wrestler Of The Year: Kenny Omega: Omega spent 2016 becoming the leader of The Bullet Club after turning on AJ Styles. Omega would go on to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and then the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Championship with The Young Bucks. Omega capped off 2016 by winning the G1 Tournament and earning himself a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in 2017.

- My Pick For Tag Team Of The Year: The Young Bucks: The Bucks kicked off 2016 as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, lost them, then won them back later in the year for a record setting fifth time. Along with Kenny Omega, The Bucks would win the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship. The Bucks also captured and are currently the ROH World Tag Team Champions. 

- 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!

Friday, December 30, 2016

TV Weekend 12.30 - 12.31

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (FRI, NBC, 8pm)
Last Man Standing (FRI, ABC, 8pm)
Bones (FRI, FOX, 8pm)
MacGyver (FRI, CBS, 8pm)
iHeartRadio Music Festival (FRI, The CW, 8pm)
New Japan Pro Wrestling (FRI, AXS TV, 8pm)
Dr. Ken (FRI, ABC, 8:30pm)

Dateline NBC (FRI, NBC, 9pm)
Shark Tank (FRI, ABC, 9pm)
Sleepy Hollow (FRI, FOX, 9pm)
Hawaii Five-0 (FRI, CBS, 9pm)

Blue Bloods (FRI, CBS, 10pm)

A Toast To 2016! (SAT, NBC, 8pm)
Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin Eve (SAT, ABC, 8pm)
Nicki Minaj: Live From Brooklyn (SAT, BET, 10pm)

Pitbull's New Year's Revolution (SAT, FOX, 11pm)
NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly (SAT, NBC, 11:30pm)
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2017 (SAT, ABC, 11:30pm)


Bucks @ Timberwolves (FRI, NBA TV, 8pm)

Cavaliers @ Hornets (SAT, FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)
Bucks @ Bulls (SAT, NBA TV, 7pm)

Top 10: Rookie Seasons (FRI, NFL Network, 8pm)
A Football Life: Brett Favre (FRI, NFL Network, 9pm)

Capital One Orange Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida State (FRI, ESPN, 8pm)

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: LSU vs. Louisville (SAT, ABC, 11am)
Taxslayer Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky (SAT, ESPN, 11am)
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: Washington vs. Alabama (SAT, ESPN, 3pm)
Playstation Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Clemson (SAT, ESPN, 7pm)

West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (FRI, ESPN 2, 4pm)
Northwestern @ Michigan State (FRI, Big Ten, 6pm)
Baylor @ Oklahoma (FRI, ESPN 2, 7pm)
Texas @ Kansas State (FRI, ESPNews, 8pm)
VCU @ George Mason (FRI, CBS SportsNet, 8pm)
Kansas @ TCU (FRI, ESPN 2, 9pm)
USC @ Oregon (FRI, FOX Sports 1, 10pm)
Arizona @ California (FRI, ESPN 2, 11pm)

Xavier @ Georgetown (SAT, FOX Sports 1, 11am)
Duke @ Virginia Tech (SAT, ESPN 2, 12pm)
Louisville @ Indiana (SAT, CBS, 12:30pm)
Villanova @ Creighton (SAT, FOX Sports 1, 1pm)
Florida State @ Virginia (SAT, ESPNU, 2pm)
WOMENS: Ohio State @ Indiana (SAT, CBS, 3pm)

Blue Jackets @ Wild (SAT, FOX Sports Ohio, 6pm)

UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey- Prelims (FRI, FOX Sports 1, 8pm)

World Series Of Fighting: New York (SAT, NBC, 4pm)

English Premier League: Liverpool FC vs. Manchester City FC (SAT, NBC, 12;30pm)

Buckeyes Preview 12.30.16: Playstation Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State vs. Clemson

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

As 2016 comes to a close this New Years Eve the college football playoff will be kicking off as the no.3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will be traveling to the Fiesta Bowl to take on the no.2 ranked Clemson Tigers for a chance at a national championship.  

Statistically Ohio State and Clemson are very similar.  Both teams are loaded with NFL players, many of which will be early round selections. Clemson features a Heisman trophy candidate at quarterback and possibly the number one wide receiver in the upcoming draft.  Ohio State has one of the most dynamic players in the nation and the best secondary in the nation.  Lets take a closer look at a couple match-ups to keep eye on come Saturday night.

Conley, Lattimore and Hooker vs. Watson, Williams and Leggett
This match-up is chock-full of NFL talent.  Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore are two lock down corners for the Buckeyes and Malik Hooker has a knack for taking interceptions to the house.  They will have their hands full as they take on the Heisman trophy runner-up Deshaun Watson and the no.1 ranked WR in next years draft, Mike Williams, and a 6-5 freak athlete tight-end, Jordan Leggett.  

Although Lattimore may be the Buckeyes best NFL prospect, Ohio State's best corner is Conley.  Conley has only given up one touchdown this season and is physically equipped to handle the 6-3 220 pound Williams.  Ohio State has seen some very good WR in the past couple bowls in Amari Cooper and Sammy Watkins.  Mike Williams may be the best of them all.  Having Conley and Lattimore on the field allows the Buckeyes to focus more on total scheme rather than worrying about where Williams is lining up.  The Buckeyes can allow both Lattimore and Conley to lineup with Williams and if one is having more success, allow him to shadow Williams for the rest of the game.  

Watson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.  He has focused more on his passing this year and has ran the ball 78 times less this year with half of the yardage of 2015.  Despite Watson rushing less he is always a threat to break a big play with his legs.  

It might be in the Buckeyes best interest to keep him in the pocket and force Watson to beat them with his arm.  Watson has been prone to turnovers as he has thrown 15 INT's this year.  Buckeye safety Malik Hooker will be roaming the field looking for an opportunity to chase on of those balls down and take it for a score.  Hooker has three touchdowns this year and would like nothing more than to add to that total.  Hooker may have his hands full if he gets the responsibility of covering Leggett.  Leggett is versatile and will line-up at the slot along with other positions on the field.  With Mike Williams getting so much attention if you forget Leggett is on the field, the match-up nightmare will make you pay.  

Isiah Prince vs. Christian Wilkins
Anyone who has watched Ohio State this year knows that Isiah Prince has struggled in certain moments.  This first year starter at right tackle has been the subject of some strong praise from coach Urban Meyer over the last three weeks.  Meyer has mentioned the work Prince has put in and how much he has progressed during these bowl practices.  Let's hope Meyer is right because Isiah Prince will have to block a 6-4 300 pound defensive end in Christian Wilkins.  Wilkins is an All-American and had 52 tackles, 12 being for a loss, and 3.5 sacks this year.  If Prince can't handle Wilkins alone Ohio State will be in trouble.  Clemson also has three other studs on the defensive line so Prince will most likely be on an island against Wilkins.  If Prince struggles, Ohio State will have to find a way to get him help without hurting his offenses ability to handle the rest of Clemson's D-line.  

Curtis Samuel vs. Cordrea Tankersley
The question mark is because Clemson hasn't tipped their cap to how they exactly plan on defending the play-making dynamo for Ohio State. Tankersley is an All-American and Clemson's best cornerback.  Clemson has had a hard time covering backs out of the backfield to go along with tight end's and slot wide receivers.  Samuel has spent most of his time this year out of the backfield or lined up in slot.  Although Tankersley typically lines up on the outside, he has spent some time in the slot.  Clemson might give him the responsibility of shadowing the Buckeyes best playmaker.  If Clemson decides to keep Tankersley on the outside they may live to regret it.  Tankersley is the only player on that side of the ball with a chance of keeping Samuel from turning an 8-yard catch into a 70-yard touchdown. 

Urban Meyer vs. Dabo Swinney
We would be re-missed if we didn't take a closer look at the leaders of these two teams; head coaches Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney.  Coach Meyer is an incredible 9-2 in bowl games and has three national championships.  Meyer and his Ohio State Buckeyes won the first ever College Football Championship with their third string quarterback under center.  When coach Meyer gets multiple weeks to prepare for an opponent he has shown an ability to get his kids ready and focused but keep them loose and enjoying the experience as well.  

Dabo Swinney has turned Clemson into a powerhouse program.  Although Swinney doesn't boast the same success as Meyer in bowls, he is still has a winning percentage north of .500 at 5-4 in 9 bowls.  Swinney had his Tigers in this same position last year as they lost to Alabama in the National Championship game.  Clemson has been looking forward to this all year and through Swinney's leadership has handled the pressure of being an elite team with elite expectations well.  

With these two teams so evenly matched this game has all the makings of a nail-biter.  J.T. Barrett has struggled with down field accuracy all year.  If he continues to struggle then the Buckeyes are in trouble.  If Barrett can complete some of those throws for big plays then the Buckeyes will be in good position to return to the National Championship game.  

For many, this is the game they have been waiting to see this bowl season. New Years toasts can wait. Keep the champagne on ice.  Hold off on dropping the ball for a couple extra minutes.  2017 isn't going anywhere.  There are more important things at stake this Saturday night.  

What:  College Football Playoff Semi-final; Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers
When:  Saturday December 31, 2016 at 7:00 PM ET
Where:  University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale Arizona
Watch:  ESPN
Line:  OSU -3, O/U 59

Browns Preview 12.30.16: Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The (1-15) Cleveland Browns travel to Pittsburgh to take on the (10-5) Steelers. This is going to be a weird game for a few reasons. First off, the Steelers are expected to sit Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown this week since they already clinched the third seed in the AFC playoff standings. On the other hand if the Browns lose this week, they will clinch the 1st overall pick for the first time since 2000.

Browns Offense vs Steelers Defense

It sounds like Robert Griffin III will start this week, since he was cleared to be taken out of Concussion protocol. If Griffin doesn't start, Cody Kessler will start in place of him. Another a few other shifts on the offensive line. Jonathan Cooper was released this week and Alvin Bailey was activated off of the suspension list and will start this week. Cam Erving will shift over to right tackle in place of Austin Pasztor and either Anthony Fabiano or Gabe Ikard will start at center this week.

The game plan this week should be the same as the past few weeks with Griffin at quarterback. Use Griffin's legs to set up the zone-read running game for Isaiah Crowell. The Browns should run the ball a lot to the right to test Cam Erving at right tackle. It will be interesting to see if the Browns active Darius Jackson this week. Jackson was claimed a few weeks ago from Dallas and has yet to be activated for a game.

The passing game should be the same also. Take some shots down field to keep the defense honest, but overall just take what the defense gives Griffin. Corey Coleman should get a lot of targets since Terrelle Pryor is still banged up. Duke Johnson should get his normal touches out of the backfield in the check down game.

Browns Defense vs Steelers Offense

Landry Jones will be starting this week for the Steelers. He has a career record of 1-2. And the one win was against the Browns last year when he got hurt and Big Ben replaced him. DeAngelo Williams will start and get the bulk of the carries with Bell out.

The Steelers should play conservatively. They don't want anyone to get hurt this game, whether its a backup or a starting offensive lineman. So heavy running, winning the time of possession, and limiting turnovers is going to be their game plan for this week,

The Browns will need to force a turnover or two to be able to pull out this game. And to do that they need to get pressure on Jones. Jamar Taylor should get multiple opportunities to make a play this.  On the run defense side, Shelton needs to set the tone at the line of scrimmage since DeAngelo Williams will get the start and many carries.

Five Guys to Watch

Cam Erving: Cam's is getting his first start at right tackle and it sounds like he could be the right tackle in 2017.

Robert Griffin III: This could be his last start in a Browns uniform. The Browns will need to make a decision about him this off-season and depending how things go, Griffin could be out of the NFL.

Isaiah Crowell: It will be interesting to see how the running game will play with a new look offensive line. Crowell is 200 yards away from 1000 for the season. Yes it seems unlikely but hey...its something to watch out for.

Emmanual Ogbah: Ogbah will need to get to the quarterback this week. Hopefully Ogbah can close out this year on a high note. He's played really well since moving to the defensive line.

Danny Shelton: The Steelers are going to run the ball with Williams a lot this week. Shelton is an easy pick this week. He needs to set the line of scrimmage and can't let the Steelers running game get into a rhythm.

Injury Report
Betting Line: Pittsburgh -6

Prediction: 24-17 Steelers

Don't worry Browns fans, they clinch the number one overall pick and draft talk can begin next week. The only good thing about this week 17 is that no changes should be made on "Black Monday". The Browns didn't go 1-15, aren't firing coaches, and clinched the number one overall pick...I'd say that a fairly successful "try-out" year.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

TV Tonight 12.29

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Celtics @ Cavaliers (TNT, 8pm)
Mavericks @ Lakers (TNT, 10:30pm)

Devils @ Capitals (NBC Sports, 7pm)
Blue Jackets @ Jets (FOX Sports Ohio, 8pm)

Belk Bowl: Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech (ESPN, 5:30pm)
Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Colorado (ESPN, 9pm)

Butler @ St. John's (FOX Sports 1, 7pm)
Kentucky @ Mississippi (ESPN 2, 8pm)
Vanderbilt @ LSU (ESPNU, 9pm)


Superstore (NBC, 8pm)
The Great American Baking Show (ABC, 8pm)
Hell's Kitchen (FOX, 8pm)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8pm)
IMPACT Wrestling (POP, 8pm)
The Good Place (NBC, 8:30pm)
The Great Indoors (CBS, 8:30pm)

America's Got Talent (NBC, 9pm)
American Housewife (ABC, 9pm)
Supernatural (The CW, 9pm)
Mom (CBS, 9pm)
Speechless (ABC, 9:30pm)
Life In Pieces (CBS, 9:30pm)

Modern Family (ABC, 10pm)
Scorpion (CBS, 10pm)

Radio Show 12.28.16: Best Of 2016, Browns, Tyrod Taylor, Cavs/Warriors & 2017 Predictions

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

You can now download the latest episodes of "'s Radio Show"!

Check us out every Wednesday night, 7pm EST, on or the Tune-In Radio app. Simply search "No Static Radio" or "Triple Threat CLE"

DOWNLOAD: Best of 2016, Browns, Tyrod Taylor, Cavs/Warriors & 2017 Predictions
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: Show Songs 12.28.16, Best Of 2016
Stream Here

DOWNLOAD: Christmas Show; Browns/NFL, Pro Bowl, Cavs/NBA, College Players Sitting
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: Show Songs 12.21.16,
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns/NFL, Great Teams That Flopped, Sports Pet Peeves & More
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: Show Songs 12.14.16, Forgotten Hits
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DOWNLOAD: On CFB Playoff, Cavs, Klay, Browns/NFL, Gronk, First Albums & Guilty Pleasure Music (12/7/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Buckeyes/CFB Playoff, Best QBs, Most Valued Team, Russell Westbrook & More
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: Jay Z Playlist, 11/30/16
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DOWNLOAD: Thanksgiving Toss Up, Building A Team, NFL & NBA's Under 25 (11/23/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns, Tony Romo & Cowboys, Klay Thompson, CFB Playoff & Fact or Fiction (11/16/16)
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: TTCLE Playlist, 90s Show 11/16/16
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns, Raiders, LeBron James, College Playoff, Indians & More (11/9/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On World Series, Browns Getting Jamie Collins, College Football Playoffs & More (11/2/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Indians_Cubs World Series, Cavs_NBA Opening Night, Browns_NFL & More (10/26/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Indians World Series, Browns/NFL, NBA Preview & Tom Hanks
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: 1997 Show Songs, 10.19.16
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns/NFL Week 5, Indians/Postseason, NBA Talk & More (10/12/16)
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: Show Playlist 10/12/16
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns_NFL Week 4, Indians & MLB Playoffs, College Football & More (10/5/16)
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: TTCLE 10.5.16, Bad Boy Records Playlist
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns_NFL Week 4, Indians Clinch, College Football, BET Hip Hop Awards & More (9/28/16)
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: TripleThreatCLE 9.28.16, Kanye West Playlist
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns_NFLWeek3, Carson Wentz, Denzel Washington Movies & More (9_21_16).zip
PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD: Triple Threat CLE 9.21.16, 80s Pop & R&B Playlist
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns, NFL Week 2, College Football & Fall TV Shows (9/14/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns, NFL Kickoff, College Football & More (9/7/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns, Colin Kaepernick, Ohio State_College Football & Dwayne Johnson Movies
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns Wk 3, Olympics, Hands Of Stone_Boxing Films, Madden17_Sports Games (8/25/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns v Falcons, Olympics, NBA Schedule, #Fav7Films (8/17/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns, Hall of Fame_PEDs, Olympics, Suicide Squad (8/10/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On MLB Trade Deadline, Browns, Rio 2016, Pro Football Hall of Fame & More (8/3/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Indians Trades, Josh Gordon, Sports Conspiracies, MTV Shows & More (7/27/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Tim Duncan & Top 10 Power Forwards, Summer Movies & MORE (7/13/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, NBA Free Agency, ESPYs (7/6/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On NBA Free Agency, Team USA, BET Awards & 4th of July Cookout Music (6/29/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On #Cavs, #LeBron, #Kyrie & #NBAFinals, #NBADraft & More (6/22/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On #Cavs & #NBAFinals, #JimmyButler, OJ Made In America, #E32016 & More (6/15/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Cavs_NBA Finals, Kevin Durant's Future, What A Win Will Mean To You, Anniversary Show Shout Outs & MORE (6/1/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Cavs & OKCvsGSW, Fans and Media, #BBMAs & MORE (5/25/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Cavs & NBA Playoffs, Believeland, Role of the Media & MORE (5/18/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Cavs, NBAPlayoffs, True Fans, Unfulfilled Potential Athletes & More (5/11/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns & NFL Draft, Cavs & NBA Playoffs, Captain America_ Civil War and Summer Movies (5/4/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns Trade Down, Cavs & NBA Playoffs & More (4/20/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Kobe Moments, Kobe finale or 73 wins, Cavs Season, NBA Playoffs, Browns & More (4/13/16)
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DOWNLOAD: On Wrestlemania 32, NXT Dallas, RAW After Mania (4/6/16)
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DOWNLOAD: With Will Burge; On The Browns, RG3, Cavs, Kyrie Irving, D'Angelo Russell, Shows to Reboot (3/30/16)
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DOWNLOAD: With RJ The Movie Critic; On The Browns, Hue Jackson; Movies, TV & Games (1/13/16)
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Wrestling Lockup with Brandon 1.29.16: NXT Japan Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE, brings you this week's NXT recap.

This week's NXT was a special taped two hour event from NXT's live show in Osaka, Japan. Andrade "Cien" Almas battled Oney Lorcan in a one on one match. Liv Morgan and Aliyah teamed up to battle Billie Kay and Peyton Royce in Women's Division tag team action. Gargano and Ciampa defended their NXT World Tag Team Championship against Tajiri and Akira Tozawa. Asuka defended the NXT Women's Championship against Nia Jax. In the main event, Samoa Joe defended the NXT World Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura.

** NXT Japan **

- Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Oney Lorcan: The match closes out with both men trading shots. Lorcan hits an exploder suplex and nails Almas twice with punches. Almas counters a third attempt and gets a near fall after hitting double knees in the corner. Both men end up on the top rope where Lorcan delivers a Super Exploder suplex on Almas and scores the pinfall.
Winner: Oney Lorcan, by pinfall.

- Liv Morgan and Aliyah vs. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce: The match closes out with Billie hitting a suplex and a head butt on Aliyah. Aliyah counters a double suplex and hot tags Liv. Liv unloads drop kicks and hits a cross body, as Peyton makes a blind tag. Peyton lays out Liv with a bulldog face first onto Billie's knee and scores the pinfall.
Winners: Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, by pinfall.

- "NXT World Tag Team Championship Match": #DIY (c) vs. Tajiri and Akira Tozawa: The match closes out with Gargano spearing Tozawa through the ropes. Tajiri comes in and locks in the Tarantula. Ciampa tags in, and hits two german suplexes on Tozawa. Tozawa goes to return the favor with a dead lift german suplex on Ciampa, but Gargano makes the save. Ciampa and Gargano plant Tozawa with their double team finisher and score the pinfall to retain the titles.
Winners: #DIY, by pinfall, to retain the NXT World Tag Team Championship.

- "NXT Women's Championship Match": Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax: The match closes out with both ladies taking the fight outside. Nia sends Asuka into the apron and then back into the ring. Asuka lands stiff shots, a hip attack and then locks in a triangle choke submission on Nia. Asuka counters a power bomb and Nia counters the Asuka Lock submission. Nia plants Asuka with a power slam and gets a near fall. Asuka lands a spinning back fist and then drops Nia with a german suplex. Nia dares Asuka to bring more. Asuka delivers on the dare, kicking Nia's head off and scores the pinfall to retain the title.
Winner: Asuka, by pinfall, to retain the NXT Women's Championship.

- "NXT World Championship Match": Samoa Joe (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: The match closes out with Joe going for the Muscle Buster. Nakamura escapes, but eats an enziguri from Joe. Outside, Nakamura counters going into the steel steps and unloads on Joe with elbows. Back in the ring, Joe and Nakamura trade shots. Nakamura hits two straight kicks on Joe, goes for the pickup, but Joe's weight collapses Nakamura. Nakamura lands a knee into Joe off the top rope and then hits Kinshasa to score the pinfall and win the title.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall, to win the NXT World Championship.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

TV Tonight 12.28

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Clippers @ Pelicans (NBA TV, 8pm)
Raptors @ Warriors (NBA TV, 10:30pm)

Flyers @ Blues (NBC Sports, 8pm)

Russell Athletic Bowl: West Virginia vs Miami (ESPN, 5:30pm)
Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana vs. Utah (FOX, 8:30pm)
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Kansas State (ESPN, 9pm)

Wake Forest @ Florida State (ESPN 2, 5pm)
Nebraska @ Indians (Big Ten, 6:30pm)
DePaul @ Villanova (FOX Sports 1, 6:30pm)
Virginia @ Louisville (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Monmouth @ North Carolina (ESPNU, 7pm)
Georgetown @ Marquette (FOX Sports 1, 8:30pm)
UCLA @ Oregon (ESPN 2, 9pm)
Cincinnati @ Temple (ESPNU, 9pm)


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 8pm)
The Goldbergs (ABC, 8pm)
Undercover Boss (CBS, 8pm)
Lucha Underground (El Rey, 8pm)
Speechless (ABC, 8:30pm)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 9pm)
Modern Family (ABC, 9pm)
MacGyver (CBS, 9pm)
Vikings (History, 9pm)
Total Divas (E!, 9pm)
Blackish (ABC, 9:30pm)

Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10pm)
Match Game (ABC, 10pm)
Criminal Minds (CBS, 10pm)

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon 12.28.16: Smackdown Live Chicago Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE, brings you the Smackdown Live Recap for the week.

This week Smackdown Live was live in Chicago, Illinois. John Cena made his return to Smackdown Live to kick off the show. The Wyatt Family defended the WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Championship in a Fatal Four Way Elimination Match against Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Usos and American Alpha. Alexa Bliss defended the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship against Becky Lynch. In the main event, AJ Styles defended the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat Match.

- John Cena Promo: Cena says he missed this as the fans boo him on his return. The fans chant "CM Punk" and Cena asks if they're saying "Cena Sucks". Cena hypes tonight's show, says he's a fan of AJ Styles, but wonders if Styles can survive still the champ tonight. Cena says the reason he's here is to prove everyone wrong that he's not leaving the WWE for Hollywood and he's nowhere near being washed up. Cena announces that whoever wins tonight's WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match, he's challenging at the WWE Royal Rumble. It's time to turn this "New Era" b.s. back to the "My Time Is Now" era.

- Backstage, Maryse says the only interviews he's doing tonight is with the unprofessional journalist that slapped him last week, Renee Young.

- "WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Championship, Fatal Four Way Elimination Match": The Wyatt Family (c) vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. The Usos vs. American Alpha:

** First Elimination: Rhyno gets beat down until finally hot tagging Slater. Slater unloads and takes control until getting laid out with a super kick. Slater gets covered, pinned and Slater and Rhyno are eliminated.

** Second Elimination: American Alpha hit double Alphaplexes on Jey Uso, taking control. Gable lands a sunset flip pinfall attempt, but Jey counters into a near fall of his own. Gable counters and rolls through on a Jey pinfall attempt and scores the pinfall, eliminating The Usos. After the elimination, The Usos beat down Gable before finally leaving.

** Final Elimination: Bray gets a few shots in on Jordan outside, setting Orton up to hit the Hangman DDT on Jordan. Orton goes for the RKO on Jordan, but then turns his attention to Gable in the corner. Harper tries to help, but accidentally catches an Orton elbow, knocking Harper back. American Alpha hit Grand Amplitude, score the pinfall and win the tag team titles.
Winners: American Alpha, by pinfall, to win the WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Championship.

- Backstage, Dolph Ziggler says he's a wild card in tonight's title match and he could change everything.

- Backstage, James Ellsworth talks about people making fun of him for being different. Carmella interrupts and tells Ellsworth that it's the people that ask him stupid interview questions are the ones that make fun of him.

- "WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship Match": Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Becky Lynch: The match closes out with someone dressed as La Luchadora running down to ringside. Becky counters Twisted Bliss and traps Alexa in the Dis-Arm-Her submission. Alexa makes it to the ropes and La Luchadora distracts Becky. Alexa distracts the referee as La Luchadora attacks Becky and tosses her into the turnbuckle. Alexa hits a DDT on Becky and scores the pinfall.
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall, to retain the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship. 

- Backstage, Renee Young gets an attitude from Maryse. The Miz sends security away and brags about what he's done to Dean Ambrose. Ambrose appears dressed as a security guard and beats down The Miz.

- Backstage, Nikki Bella says she's proud of her success, came back from a career ending neck injury and is in love with John Cena. Nikki says anything she has to say to Nattie Neidhart she'll say to her face.

- "WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Triple Threat Match": AJ Styles (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin: The match closes out with Ziggler blocking a Styles Clash, kicks out of a rollup and gets a near fall super kick on Styles. Ziggler attacks Corbin, but Corbin lays Ziggler out with Deep Six and gets a near fall. Ziggler counters End of Days in midair and lays out Corbin with the Zig Zag. Corbin sends Ziggler into the corner and places him on the turnbuckle. Corbin lays out Ziggler with End of Days, but Corbin gets rocked with the Phenomenal Forearm by Styles. Styles, covers, scores the pinfall and retains the title. After the match, John Cena hits the ring and extends his hand to Styles. Styles talks trash, but Cena says he's trying to show him respect. Styles lays the title down as if drawing a line on Cena, shakes Cena's hand and says his title isn't going anywhere. 
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall, to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.