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 rumors and recaps involving WWE, NXT, Impact Wrestling, ROH, Lucha Underground, NJPW, House of Hardcore, ICW, CZW, FIP, AAW, EVOLVE, SHINE, SHIMMER 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 ***
- Finn Balor Update: The WWE Universe has anxiously been awaiting the return of Finn Balor ever since it was announced that Balor has been cleared to wrestle. Recent updates, however, now are saying that we may not see the return of The Demon King until the RAW after Wrestlemania, which leaves Balor off the biggest event of the year.
- Naomi Update: Naomi's father recently tweeted out this week that Naomi should be back in time for Wrestlemania 33 and has been on the DL with a sprained ACL. Naomi had to vacate her WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship a few weeks back due to the injury.
- Kurt Angle Update: Kurt Angle was interviewed this week and stated that WWE have huge plans for Angle coming up after his induction into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame. Angle wouldn't say what those plans were, but he did say that they will be un-wrestling related at the moment. There have been rumors circulating that Angle may take over as the new RAW General Manager after Mick Foley leaves to have hip surgery. Angle also said that Vince McMahon and Triple H may let Angle get a few more matches in sometime in the future.
- Beth Phoenix's Inductor Announced: WWE announced this past week that Nattie Neidhart will induct Beth Phoenix into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017 during Wrestlemania 33 weekend.
- Rock and Roll Express' Inductor Announced: WWE announced this week that former WWE manager Jim Cornette will induct Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Cornette had a major feud with the R&R Express in NWA in the 80's with his clients The Midnight Express.
- Hardy Boys Contract Update: A day after the announcement of contract talks with the Hardy Boys were announced, a contract update was released. Rumors were stating that The Hardys were in the "When" they will return to WWE and not "If" they will return talks. One major obligation The Hardy's are looking to have in their contracts are a part time schedule, as they don't want to be on a full time travelling schedule again.
- Wrestlemania Axxess: WWE announced this week that they will have talent from PROGRESS Wrestling and Insane Championship Wrestling at this year's Wrestlemania Axxess shows the weekend of Wrestlemania 33. Wrestlemania Axxess will also have NXT and 205 Live talent at the shows. As of now the list of PROGRESS and ICW wrestlers appearing are: Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins, TK Cooper, Travis Banks, Dahlia Black, Toni Storm and Jinny. WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate, PROGRESS Champion Pete Dunne and ICW Champion Trent Seven.
- WWE Badd Blood Returning: WWE announced this week that they will be bringing back the Badd Blood pay per view for a July event for RAW.
- AJ Styles' Original Wrestlemania 33 Opponent: Shawn Michaels was recently on The Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast and broke the news that he was asked to work with AJ Styles at Wrestlemania 33 and turned it down. Michaels stated the following on the podcast:
"I guess I'm breaking something with you and I don't even know if I should but look, I mean, I could have had that match. They did not have an opponent for AJ at Wrestlemania. It was just something 'hey, we don't have anybody to work with him and everybody would like to see you guys, are you interested?' And I said 'look, I wish that young man was here 10 years ago, man. I honestly do. I think he's very talented.' But I think him and Shane will have a pretty decent match."
- Conor McGregor Will Not Be At Wrestlemania 33: WWE have been working hard to land the Irish UFC Fighter for a Wrestlemania 33 special appearance, however, McGregor has stated that he will not be at the sports entertainment's version of the Super Bowl. McGregor is focusing only on boxing at the moment and getting his challenge to Floyd Mayweather locked down for this year. Many wrestling fans were hoping for a McGregor appearance after making insults about the wrestling industry and how scripted it is.
This hasn't been Paige's only hiccup with the WWE, as she's had other problems in the past that has raised the WWE's eye. Last year, while fighting a nagging neck injury which ended up requiring surgery, Paige was busted twice for failing the WWE Wellness Policy. Paige and her family were very vocal about the suspension on Twitter, accusing the WWE doctors of knowing about the medication she was taking for her injury. Throughout the year, her father, brother and mother have each taken turns publicly criticizing the WWE leader for one reason or another every chance they get.
** 205 Live Recap **
This week WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville battled Mustafa Ali in the main event.
1.) Backstage, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville says he's fighting Mustafa Ali tonight to prove to the locker room that he annihilates anyone that dares to step up to the King of the Cruiserweights.
3.) Backstage, Drew Gulak appears dressed in a suit and tie. Gulak apologizes for his outburst last week, but says there is a problem in 205 Live like he said last week. Gulak says the problem isn't the wrestlers, it's the fans who demand high spot maneuvers every week. Gulak says he has a solution to this problem.
5.) Backstage, Noam Dar and Rich Swann mock each other and agree to a match next week.
*** NXT ***
- More NXT On The Network: Can't get enough of NXT? Well now you'll get more. WWE announced this week that they are adding more NXT episodes from 2012 and 2013 to the WWE Network. Now you'll get an even closer look at Triple H's brain child as it slowly began to develop into what it is today. Check out NXT's early days with Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Bo Dallas, Ethan Carter III aka Derrick Bateman, Kassius Ohno and more.
- Top 10 NXT Superstars That Should've Been NXT World Champion: A top 10 list was recently posted this week of 10 former NXT superstars that felt should've been an NXT World Champion before jumping to the main roster or leaving the company all together. Looking at this list I probably disagree with 50% of the names chosen, but that's just my opinion. Here is the Top 10 names listed.
#10: Baron Corbin
#9: Curtis Axel
#8: CJ Parker
#7: Solomon Crowe
#6: Austin Aries
#5: Tye Dillinger
#3: Tyson Kidd
#2: Tyler Breeze
#1: Apollo Crews
*** Impact Wrestling ***
** Impact Wrestling Recap **
The "She" that is running the company finally reveals herself. Tag team action took place this week as Impact Wrestling gets ready to crown new tag team champions next week.
1.) Davey Richards vs. Suicide: The match closes out with Richards hitting a suplex and then a running forearm on Suicide. Richards ends up connecting with a side kick to the head of Suicide and scores the pinfall.
2.) Backstage, Konnan says last week was just a warning, LAX are marksmen and never miss their targets. Konnan brings up The Hardy's, without name dropping them, taking his tag team titles out of Mexico last month and plans on LAX taking Impact Wrestling's in return.
3.) Backstage, a drunk Laurel Van Ness still in her wedding dress claims to be fine, then bursts into tears and says she's not fine. Laurel blames everyone including Maria Bennett and Sienna. Sienna arrives and tells Laurel the real enemies are Allie and Braxton Sutter and to go clean herself up.
4.) Idris Abraham, Fallah Bahh and Mario Bokara vs. Mahabali Shera, The Laredo Kid and Garza Jr.: The match closes out with Shera getting the hot tag and unloads on everyone. Shera hits Bahh with a Sky High and then follows that up with another Sky High on Bokara for the pinfall.
5.) The Decay vs. Reno Scum: The match closes out with Luster tossing Abyss into the steel steps. Crazzy Steve grabs Thornstowe and Rosemary spits mist. Thornstowe dodges the mist and it blinds Steve instead. Luster press slams Rosemary on top of Abyss outside. Reno Scum hit a double foot stomp on Steve to score the pinfall.
6.) Bobby Lashley Backstage Interview: Lashley talks about his career, how he almost made the 2004 Olympic Team, how he was in the military during that time, how he was robbed and assaulted while training for the Olympics and $40,000 was taken from him. Lashley says after that he's had a huge chip on his shoulder and changed the person he is today.
7.) "Impact Grand Championship Match": Moose (c) vs. Eli Drake: The match never happens as Cody Rhodes appears and attacks Moose from behind. Cody lays Moose out with Cross Rhodes and holds up Moose’s title as Impact Medical attend to Moose.
8.) LAX vs. The DCC: The match closes out with Storm fighting off LAX alone and nails a lung blower on Santana. Storm goes for The Last Call, but Ortiz grabs Storm's leg. Kingston goes after Ortiz, but accidentally hits Storm in the process. Santana and Ortiz hit a double team flapjack on Storm and score the pinfall. After the match, Storm and Kingston argue with each other and start shoving each other. Storm tells Kingston and Bram that he doesn't need their crap anymore because he's The Cowboy.
9.) Backstage, Braxton Sutter says he heard the threats that Sienna and Laurel Van Ness made against him and Allie. Sutter says he'll do whatever it takes to protect Allie.
10.) ODB vs. Rebel: The match closes out with Rebel irritated with referee Earl Hebner's slow count. Rebel tries to slap Hebner, but he blocks it and kisses Rebel. ODB hits a fall away slam and goes for her flask, but Hebner grabs it and takes a swig from it. ODB kisses Hebner, hits the TKO on Rebel and scores the pinfall.
11.) Bobby Lashley vs. Jake Holmes: Easy squash match for Lashley, who toys with Holmes until finally hitting the spear for the pinfall.
12.) Karen Jarrett Promo: Karen is revealed as the "She" running the company. Karen says the Jarretts had a lot to do with Impact being successful in the past, Impact had changed so much since the last time the Jarretts were in charge and the Jarretts will bring Impact Wrestling back to the great company that it once was. Ethan Carter interrupts, praises everyone and the fans, considers himself a leader of the locker room, claims to be the only great superstar that Impact has created and says he's on board with making Impact great again......but not for the Jarretts, for the Carters. Commentator Josh Mathews interrupts and rips into Karen about Bruce Prichard, Dutch Mantell and Jeremy Borash being stooges. Mathews makes fun of the fans and says the only reason they're here is because they couldn't afford a ticket. Mathews says his wife Madison Rayne has been put on the back burner and has been completely ignored by Impact Wrestling. Mathews says it'll only be a matter of time before the Jarretts screw things up and will be gone from Impact Wrestling again, but this time permanently. Karen slaps Mathews, which sends him flying to the mat. Impact ends with Karen and Mathews staring each other down.
- Impact Wrestling and AAA Mexico Make A Deal: Impact Wrestling and Anthem announced this week that a deal has been worked out with the Lucha Libre style promotion AAA in Mexico for both companies to work together in the future.
- Reby Hardy Continues Her War With Impact Wrestling: Just when you thought the current war between Reby Hardy and Impact Wrestling couldn't get anymore interesting...Reby Hardy returns. This past week, Reby Hardy made it well known that Impact Wrestling never once had her son Maxel included in The Hardy's contracts, which would be breaking child labor laws, as Maxel appeared on many occasions and even "wrestled" for the company. Reby Hardy is accusing the company of breaking television child labour laws by employing the services of her son, Maxel Hardy, without signing any legal documents that’d permit the company to use him as an on-screen character. We're still waiting for Impact Wrestling to respond.
*** RING OF HONOR ***
** ROH TV Recap **
The main feud advertised for this week was Lio Rush battling Kenny King, after Rush refused to join King and The Rebellion. The Top Prospect Tournament continued and Jay Briscoe battled Jay White in the main event.
1.) Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser vs. Will Ferrara and Cheeseburger: The match closes out with Bruiser delivering a frog splash on Ferrara and scoring the pinfall.
2.) "Top Prospect Tournament First Round Match": Josh Woods vs. Chris LeRusso: The match closes out with Woods getting the pinfall victory and advancing to the next round.
3.) Lio Rush vs. Kenny King: The match closes out with Rush hitting a frog splash on King and gets a near fall. King comes back and hits the TKO on Rush for a near fall. King ends up hitting the Royal Flush on Rush and scores the pinfall. After the match, Rush gets beat down by The Rebellion. Shane Taylor hits the ring to help Rush, but pulls a swerve, joins The Rebellion and helps beat Rush down.
4.) Jay Briscoe vs. Jay White: The match closes out with Briscoe taking off White's head with a lariat and scores the pinfall to end the show.
** The Broken Hardy's: According to sources they only signed on until April 1st. Rumors have already begun that the Hardys might be signing with the WWE and might be at Wrestlemania 33 on April 2nd.
** ROH World Champion Adam Cole: Rumors have said that Cole has already shown interest in jumping to the WWE when his contract expires soon.
** Bobby Fish: Fish announced that he is opening up his options to other independent companies.
** Lio Rush, Donovan Dijak, and Kyle O’Reilly all have departed from ROH. Out of the three, O'Reilly has been the only name that has been brought up as a possible future WWE signing.
*** NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING ***
Night #7 was upon us with the Semi-Finals to the New Japan Cup Tournament. EVIL battled Bad Luck Fale and Tomohiro Ishii battled Katsuyori Shibata. Which two wrestlers would move on to the Finals on Night #8 and battle for the New Japan Cup Trophy?
1.) "Six Man Tag Team Match": Hirai Kawato, Katsuya Kitamura and Yuji Nagata vs. David Finlay, Juice Robinson and Yomoyuki Oka: The match closes out with Robinson hitting Pulp Friction on Kitamura and scoring the pinfall.
2.) Jado and Gedo vs. Taka Michinoku and El Desperado: The match closes out with Jado dropping Michinoku with the draping DDT and scoring the pinfall.
4.) "Eight Man Tag Team Match": Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA, Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi: The match closes out with Taguchi scoring the pinfall with the La Magistral cradle.
5.) "Eight Man Tag Team Match": YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa: The match closes out with Okada delivering the Rainmaker on Takahashi and scoring the pinfall.
** New Japan Cup Night #8 Recap **
The Finals of the New Japan Cup have finally arrived, after a grueling week long tournament. The final two have come down to Katsuyori Shibata and Bad Luck Fale in the Finals. Which man will walk out the 2017 New Japan Cup Winner?
1.) Yomoyuki Oka vs. Hirai Kawato: The match closes out with Oka dropping Kawato with a shoulder block and then trades punches with him. Kawato gets a near fall small package on Oka when the bell suddenly rings. Both men have gone to a ten minute time limit draw, but continue to brawl with each other after the match.
2.) "Six Man Tag Team Match": Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger and David Finlay vs. Takashi Iizuka, Taka Michinoku and El Desperado: The match closes out with Tiger's team working over Michinoku. Finlay hits a Stunner and picks up the pinfall for the win.
3.) Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Katsuya Kitamura and Yuji Nagata: The match closes out with Kojima and Tenzan attempting the TenKoji Cutter, but Nagata counters with an Xploder. Kojima hits the Koji Cutter on Kitamura, but Nagata stops the pinfall. Nagata gets taken care of and then Kojima hits a lariat on Kitamura to score the pinfall.
4.) "Six Man Tag Team Match": Hirooki Goto, Jado and Gedo vs. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru: The match closes out with Gedo landing a low blow on Kanemaru and then lays out Taichi with a microphone stand. Jado locks Taichi in a crossface submission and gets the tap out victory.
5.) "Ten Man Tag Team Match": Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA, Michael Elgin, Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi and EVIL: The match closes out with Robinson getting a near fall on Naito with a jackhammer. Naito counters Pulp Friction and lands a low blow on Robinson. Naito hits Destino on Robinson and scores the pinfall.
6.) "Eight Man Tag Team Match": YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa: The match closes out with Ishii taking out Takahashi and Omega. Roa counters out of Okada's Rainmaker, but eats an Okada drop kick instead. HASHI lays out Omega as Okada hits the Rainmaker on Roa to score the pinfall.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match Announced: Immediately after the 2017 New Japan Cup winner was crowned, NJPW announced their main event for April's Sakura Genesis Show. Kazuchika Okada will defend his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the New Japan Cup Winner Katsuyori Shibata.
*** AAW ***
The main event of the show saw AAW World Champion Sami Callihan defend his title against independent wrestling icon and former Impact Wrestling X Division Champion Low-Ki. New AAW World Tag Team Champions were crowned. The show also included Impact Wrestling's Abyss, Impact Wrestling's Homicide, Impact Wrestling's DJ Z, former WWE and Impact Wrestling's Drew Galloway, ROH's ACH, Lucha Underground's Pentagon Jr., Impact Wrestling's Trevor Lee and many more independent wrestling greats.
1.) "AAW World Tag Team Tournament Semi-Finals Match": Jake Crist and Dave Crist [OI4K] defeated Chuck Taylor and Trent [Best Friends], by pinfall, to advance to the Finals of the tag team tournament.
3.) Drew Galloway defeated DJ Z, by pinfall.
4.) AR Fox defeated Shane Strickland, by pinfall, in Strickland’s debut with AAW.
6.) "AAW World Tag Team Tournament Semi-Finals Match": Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz defeated Davey Vega and Matt Fitchett [Besties in the World], to advance to the Finals of the tag team tournament.
7.) The “Iron Manager” JT Davidson dared Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz to face his clients Jack and Dave Crist right now in the Finals of the tournament. Xavier and Wentz accept, get attacked from behind by the Crist brothers and the Finals are happening now.
9.) Rey Fenix defeated Trevor Lee.
10.) Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Kyle O’Reilly.
*** Other ***
- Jan Ross Passes Away: This past Wednesday, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross suffered a major tragedy in his family. JR's wife Jan Ross was struck by a car why riding home from the gym on her scooter. Jan suffered major skull fractures, was placed on life support and later passed away. Deepest Condolences to one of the greatest commentators of my generation.
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!