WELCOME BACK!! This is Jeff Esiason, your guide for the lazy wrestling fan who doesn’t want to watch the PWI broadcasts. I am back to cover the 2020 Preseason and then the Fourth Season, which starts on September 20th. Let’s get to it!
PWI LIVE, AUGUST 3RD, 2020:
Catherine kicks this show off with a major announcement. She applauds the women for preparing to make history and promises that they are far from done after now. She reveals that there will be a major ladder match to determine the number one contenders for the Women’s Tag Titles in two weeks and that Living Dead Girl is ready to accept an open challenge! Finally, she reveals that every episode of the preseason MUST feature an open challenge for a championship!
After the opening video package and pyro we are treated to Stephanie McMahon serving as a referee for the first time in the opening bout between Allie and Gail Kim. Kim and Allie did battle against Asuka for the Immunity Championship at Motivation after Kim had defeated Allie, who was number one contender at the time. This match was pretty decent with a lot of great spots, including the return of the glass case, which Allie shattered over Kim’s head! In the end, Allie picked up a shocking victory over one of the most sought after women in the history of the industry!
When we returned from commercial we saw Sunny standing by with Alexa. Alexa is keeping her cards close to her, but she lets us know that the peasants of the women’s division will soon know to bow before her with the help of Slammer. Sunny reveals that she is a new “correspondent” serving in an interviewing role, but that she will also be teaming with me for our show “Esiason and Sunny Report”. For some reason, she said it backwards.
After Sunny gets done talking we see Lawrence Mason standing by with Ascendant Commissioner, the legendary Slammu. Slammu shares the look of our brand new “Ascendant Championship”. He expresses how excited he is about the opportunity this presents for the Ascendant talent and he reveals that there will be a special Gauntlet Match on the return edition of Ascendants to crown the new champion. The two of them then reveal that they will have a new podcast starting this week called “Back To Ringside”!
Lance Storm is now officiating his first match between Zelina Vega and the debuting Bianca Belair! Just before the bell it is revealed that this will be a Premier Athlete Tournament Roulette Qualifying Match!! This soon? Wow! The match gets intense real quick and Zelina sees her opportunity to jump to the top pop up yet again. She wants to make an example of Bianca, but Bianca displays her incredible power and stuns everyone by ending the match in about half the time of the previous bout! Bianca is then celebrating her win when Ivelisse barges into the ring and attacks her in brutal fashion. Ivelisse does a devastating Red Eye Bomb on a steel chair and then slices Bianca’s face open with one of the nearby glass shards from the previous bout. Zelina is stunned and doesn’t know what to think as Ivelisse stares her down and exits the scene.
We return from commercial to see the Allure (the Tag Champions, that is) standing in what appears to be their locker room. Angelina Love shows up and proclaims that the “Queen Bitch is back” and that the Allure now will focus on paving the way for Love’s permanent dominance. Amber Gallows tries to agree with Love, but Love assures her that she will regret bring this version of her back, because she insists that she is more insistent upon dominating than she was in the independent circuit. Amber practically bows to her “Queen Bitch” as Love demands that they keep their tag gold when they meet their challengers in two weeks.
Next, we see Catherine in the press briefing room, alone. She is apparently getting ready to leave when she swears that she hears something. She keeps hearing what seems like laughing. She insists on knowing if it is her father, but she receives no answer.
The Undying Legends – Molly Holly and Ivory – are ready for their opportunity in the upcoming ladder match. They are discussing how much this means to them when Tag Team Icon Stevie R shows up! The Legends are shocked by Stevie R’s arrival. At first Molly asks if she should could call him “TAR” (Totally Awesome R), but he says that he chooses not to speak of those days, because it is behind him now. They ask why he has graced them with his presence and he states that it is because he loves tag team wrestling!! As a self-proclaimed “expert” in the field, Stevie R mentions the fact that the Harlem Turtles were the most dominant tag team in the history of the industry and that he hopes the women make him proud tonight!
Back to ringside, where we have three officials surrounding the ring (Brutus White, Road Dogg, and Johnny Stamboli…this is a great thing about having six officials, barely anyone ever has to work more than once!!). It is announced that this Five Team Ladder Match for the Number One Tag Team Contendership is called a “Ladder War”. We see the introduction of the five teams: Team Laycool, Undying Legends, Comic Nightmare, The Agency, and Fire & Desire. The match is a great example of chaos, which sees Comic Nightmare’s Thundra dominating much of the action, including a spot where she put Mandy Rose through a LADDER! The action comes to a crazy stop only when Layla grabs the briefcase above the ring. What a war!
Following our final commercial break, we see a man in a leather jacket leaning over a desk talking to someone in a fancy office chair, whose back is also turned. The man in the jacket inquires if this person in the chair is sure about what they are about to do, which the man in the chair affirms that he is. The man in the jacket circles the table and reveals himself to be HCW legend, Blade! Blade is talking to the man in the chair, who thanks him for his years of loyalty and tells him to take a seat nearby, because he will “take it from here”. The man in the chair then reveals himself to be HCW’s Ted Brown! Brown reveals that while he is retired from the ring he has been getting “that itch” to be involved again. He explained that Mickey reached out to him with an offer about 6 months ago after John Brown had got involved in EWA. A deal was reached, and Ted Brown sold his half of HCW shares to Mickey!! This was done in exchange for Ted being Mickey’s proxy. He stated that under his rule, a “new world order” would be established in the company and that things will get to where they need to be!
Back to the ring, we see Earl Hebner already ready to officiate. Living Dead Girl arrives with the Women’s Championship and dares someone to take up the open challenge. Then, the music of the Immunity Champion Asuka hits!! Jim Cornette is standing by with her, he proclaims that he and Asuka have been keeping an eye on Living Dead Girl for some time now and that it was time that her reign came to an end! Asuka enters the ring and Living Dead Girl gets the jump on her before the bell rings. Living Dead Girl manages to dominate for a short while, but Asuka comes back on fire. She nails a martial arts kick to the head, taking the Champion down! The Champ tries to fight back but Asuka latches on her patented Asuka Lock, after fighting it for a moment, Living Dead Girl succumbs, passing out, and the referee calls for the bell!! We have a new champion!!
The night comes to an end with the former Champion laying on the mat as Asuka holds both of her championships above her head as she becomes the first woman in history to become a DOUBLE CHAMPION!!!
PWI LIVE, SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2020:
So, let’s not get started on the whole “we took another month off because of terrorists” bullshit. I don’t care to relive that madness. Things were moving smoothly in this preseason until the problems started. Apparently being erratic is in the Mouse blood…just saying. Anyways, PWI returns to television by starting off with a special press conference with Chairman Murrey. Murrey addresses the fact that we have tripped up on our schedule a little. He hints at blaming a “certain someone” but refuses to name them because of a supposed lack of evidence.
Murrey also takes questions from the press, reveals that the PPV card will be unveiled tomorrow night, and updates us on Mickey’s obedience to the counseling requirements forced upon him by the Board as a prerequisite for reinstatement. He also briefly warns Mickey’s proxy – Ted Brown – against being an “agent of chaos”. With that we kick off the show!
Starting the program is an opening bout between Christopher Daniels and Marty Scurll. Scurll and Daniels tear it up in quite the si-saw battle until Scurll surprises Daniels with an innovative “Bird of Prey”. Marty doesn’t get much time to celebrate before Lesnar’s music hits. Lesnar comes down and is suddenly targeted by both men until Lesnar gets ahold of Daniels as Marty escapes.
After the break we see Drake Nash and Mr. Clean of the Untouchables in the hallway. They are soon greeted by Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins of the Street Profits. Dawkins and Ford tease the Untouchables about their age and when the legendary team pushes back the Profits inform them that they are ready for a fight.
Teo is then seen approaching Rhyno. Teo expresses some confusion about why Rhyno helped him at Motivation and Rhyno responds that he could see the screwjob developing against Teo. That’s why he had to act. Rhyno tells Teo that he is seeing the champion becoming the person he always thought he would be as the champion leaves.
In Commissioner Slammu’s office we hear a knock on the door. It turns out to be IRON CLAW! Slammu is pleasantly surprised to see his old WPW and USWA pal back. Claw is very curious about how things are working around here. Makes a snide joke about how Slammu likes to “boss people around” and informs Slammu that he will be around a lot. Hmmm.
In the next match the Street Profits take on the Untouchables. This is a pretty even and traditional tag team match. It is clear from the start that the Profits have been studying the Untouchables and it becomes obvious as to why Ford and Dawkins are one of the hottest tag teams in the business today. After a hard fought battle, though, the Street Profits pick up the victory.
Fitz Riot then returns with his latest “Dirt Sheet Review”! Fitz expresses his being impressed with the Street Profits in what “works”, complains about the need to retire for the Untouchables in what “won’t work”, and he rails against the effects of the constant delays in what’s “whack”.
Petey Williams is then seen enjoying his time in his locker room when Alexa Bliss comes in with Slammer. Petey is confused as to why Alexa is still bugging him. Alexa tries to assure Petey that everything will be right when people realize how much power she has. Petey is perplexed by this, given the fact that Bliss already exhausted all her power from the Premier Tournament. Bliss says that she found “quite a few loopholes” which everyone will soon learn about.
The next bout turns out to be between Rhyno and Petey Williams in a match made for Pay Per View. The two did not disappoint as they tore into each other. Many close calls later see Rhyno squeaking out a victory over Petey who seems destined for a return to the drawing board.
The Main Event is next as Teo is poised to accept an open challenge. He takes a moment to first address his former partner, Attitude, whom he retired back at Motivation. Teo thanks Attitude for being the best of them and for representing everything that everyone has come to love about the industry. Teo then sets his sights on his challenger: STD, STAN HART!! The crowd loses their mind as Hart – the first ever PWI Champion, who beat Teo to become that champion – makes his way to the ring. The two men enter into a classic battle befitting a Pay Per View card. Ultimately, Teo comes out the victor and the two show respect towards one another.
Then, something insane happens, as Teo is leaving a bunch of glass cases fall from the rafter on top of him! Stan Hart and the Earl Hebner rush to see if he is ok. Hart calls for more help as we get a close up of the carnage and close out the night!
What a return!
PWI LIVE, SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2020:
This episode immediately kicked off with Alexa Bliss hosting – alongside Slammer – what she calls “Goddess Appreciation”. She went introduce the first person presumably to shower her with praises, but Sherri Martel interrupted her. The Sensational One proclaimed that she came down to demonstrate to Alexa what real talent looks like and the fight commenced soon thereafter. In their match, Alexa and Sherri battled back and forth for a little before Alexa – feeling overwhelmed – distracted the referee so that Slammer could nail Sherri with the Head Mashing Super Punch! Alexa got the pinfall and taunted the women’s roster as we went to commercial.
Then we cut to myself and Sunny in our first attempt at the “Superstar Report”. Sunny struggled to hold up her end of the deal – there was no sack attached to it, so she had no idea what to do – as I carried the weight of the first report running down the tentative card for “Clash of the Destined” and promised the report’s return very soon.
The cameras then catch Angelina Love in her locker room as Becky Lynch knocks on her door. Angelina tells Lynch that she has heard plenty about the “Irish Lass Kicker” and how the “other guys” didn’t give her a chance. Love then forewarned that Lynch was stepping into Love’s domain in the PWI and that she would also struggle here. Lynch indicated that she looks forward to crossing paths with “the bitch” and left the room so that Love could “watch this match”.
Our next bout featured another debuting superstar – Lacey Evans – against Madison Rayne. Rayne and Evans gave us quite the barnburner, but the obviously struggling Rayne – whom has yet to recover from her feud with Love a few months ago – was no match for the quick and strong approach of Evans, who came out victorious.
After the break the commercials catch a fight in hallway between Allie and Gail Kim before officials forcefully break it up. Things are really starting to pick up!
Then, we cut to Stevie R doing a headstand facing the wall. The Undying Legends Molly Holly and Ivory approach and scare him. He indicates that he is stuck on his head “like a normal turtle gets stuck on their shell” and asks the ladies for help. After the help him up, he promises them to share his secrets for tag team greatness via the “Instruction Manual” that only he and his brother Booker D have ever read.
Before our next match can even get started Allie and Gail Kim are fighting their way towards the ring. When they finally get in the squared circle the announcement is made that this will be a Premier Athlete Tournament Roulette Qualifying Match (JESUS CHRIST, DID WE HAVE TO PICK SUCH A LONG DAMN NAME FOR THIS?!!)!! This back and forth brawl continues until Gail finally nails Allie with a “Break Yo Face” (or whatever it’s called) that she can’t kick out from and catapults herself into the first round!
Then it is time for our main event! The Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the line. The Allure enter the ring ready to win, followed by the former champions, Team Laycool – the team which earned this shot the last time the women hosted this broadcast -, and right before the bell rings Comic Nightmare makes their way to the ring. Starfire reminds everyone of the “open challenge” rule for every title match in the preseason as they officially enter themselves into this bout and make it a triple threat! What happens next truly shocked me. At first, Michelle McCool of Team Laycool and Velvet Sky of the Allure were able to get a few good hits in on Starfire, but then she fired back and tagged in Thundra. That’s when it all went to hell. Thundra absolutely decimated both teams. Keeping the other partners from tagging in, Thundra laid waste to the competition and soon cleared the ring so that she could set up for a devastating flip-spike Tombstone with the help of Starfire on McCool as Starfire tagged back in and got the pinfall! New Champions!! The show then ended with new champions standing tall! Wow!
PWI LIVE, SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2020:
We kick off the show with a match between the debuting Elias and Kevin Owens. We are told via Michael Buffer that this match will be a Premier Athlete Tournament Roulette Qualifying Match (from now on, I am calling these matches the PATR matches, because that name is ridiculously long). Anyways, the match is off to a great start and Elias seems to be giving Mr. Owens a run for his money. Owens acts in desperation, forcing the turnbuckle and ropes to collapse and uses the distraction to nail a low-blow and a Pop-Up Powerbomb on Elias for the victory!
We return from the break to find Mr. Murrey looking at something on his computer when he hears a knock on the door. It is ATTITUDE!! Attitude comes in to a surprised Mr. Murrey who thought we had seen the last of him with his career match at Motivation 7. Attitude notes that he is here because Teo is incapacitated and that the World Title is the only title that could possibly be defended tonight – for reasons we address later in the show -, and he would like to defend the gold on behalf of Teo. Murrey notes that this could get out of hand and that he may have to strip Teo of the gold after a while. Attitude understands (after all, he is RETIRED) and thanks Murrey for the opportunity to help his old friend.
Bray Wyatt is then seen with Braun Strowman and Scarecrow. Bray is elated that they have “snuffed out the darkness” in a “pit of fire” and “six feet below”. He then tells us about how he recently met a girl who had been “stripped of everything” and who needed a helping hand. He said he welcomed her to the family but that she needed to go down her own path to be “reborn”. Braun briefly interrupted Bray and was subject to his psychotic leader’s wrath immediately. Dark days lie ahead for sure.
The “Broken” Matt Hardy enters the ring to battle Braun Strowman and the match is surprisingly competitive. Hardy nearly secures a shocking victory of the Monster Among Men on a few occasions, but Strowman snaps Hardy into a vicious powerslam and gets the win.
Sunny and I return for another installment of the “Superstar Report”. We highlight the final card for “Clash of the Destined”, I note the top ranked superstars, and I pitch the upcoming episode of “Back to Ringside”. Sunny gets angry because I pick on her and we move on.
The next match features the team of Mr. Perfect and Anvil facing Mickey’s Henchmen Abyss and Kurgan. Abyss looks like he ate some babies over the summer as he bulked up to the extreme. Perfect and Anvil hold their own for a spell but that all changes once Abyss enters the ring and decimates all. The match ends with the Henchmen on top and looking at their best.
Our main event arrives and Attitude readies to serve as Teo’s proxy defending the World Title against…JEFF HARDY!! This match definitely winds up ranking among the best matches of 2020, if not the era overall as both men tear the house down. We see a more aggressive Attitude than we are used to, but it pays off for him in the end as he topples Jeff Hardy. What a match!!
However, just as we think we are done we get a look at what appears to be some kind of prison or something. We hear what sounds like wimpering and then BAM! Crock slams against the cage begging for someone to help him!
With that cliffhanger we prepare for the Fourth Season to begin on Sunday, September 20th!!