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Hello wrestling fans! This is Lenny Mouse and I am proud to introduce the first volume of “Wrestling with Lenny”! In this first volume we will be addressing the opening cards of PWI and the EWA. Both are Pay Per Views and are separated by nine days, so while they are opposing opening day events, they are not directly competing. The way the format of my regular analysis will go from here on out is that I will assess and predict the EWA cards and I will assess and preview the PWI cards. So, without any further delay, let’s get this show rolling.
First we have EWA’s “Hell Hath No Fury”, which features the Elite Wrestling Alliance opening their second round in an historical Pay-Per-View which will exclusively showcase the Knockouts Division (a.k.a. their women’s division). I’m not picking this event to pick on my youngest sibling’s promotion, but because it is literally going to be the first non-WOW professional wrestling event since 2014. It will air on December 28th, preempting the PWI by just over a week. What makes this event historical is that never before in this industry have the women of professional wrestling been the sole focus of any event, ever.
Now, before I get into this analysis, let me just state clearly the amazing moment we are witnessing here and what got us to this point. Both Mickey and Benny have made women’s wrestling a major focus of their promotions for years. Mickey pioneered many great pushes for women – at one time, his promotion was the only one to even have a women’s division, as the USWA was the first wrestling promotion in history to introduce such – and Benny forced the world to take women more seriously with the introduction of his so-called “Knockouts”. After Amazon had become the UWA world champion, the world changed, and Benny’s emphasis on women in the fourth era of wrestling forced the UWA and the EWA to compete in terms of being the best in showcasing women. All of this brought us to the point where we are now: with the women finally having a major card of their own.
So, with only one match up officially made for EWA’s opening day I will assess and offer a prediction based on what we know now for that match and will then analyze all of the other women in the tournament and offer my prediction as to who I think will come out on top of the whole thing.
For starters, let’s just look at all the women not scheduled in the only official match:
Nikki Cross: Nikki’s signing was announced via the WOW Blog by an elated EWA news team. It was clear that EWA knew that Mickey wanted Nikki, but Benny managed to secure a deal with her first. There may be big things planned for Nikki’s future, and part of how that will be laid out is in this tournament. I will be surprised if Nikki is not in the main event, triple threat finals.
Kelly Kelly: An Mmouse Enterprises alum, Kelly Kelly had a great career in the UWA and the PWI as well. She will have some great moments in EWA as well, but I don’t expect any major push for her, primarily because it was rumored that Benny may have been lukewarm in picking her during the draft. I expect a first round elimination for Miss Kelly.
Naomi: Another special signing that was nabbed from under Mickey’s nose. Naomi will do great in this tournament and in the future, but I don’t expect her to be a finalist.
Megan Mouse: My other niece! I am excited to see how well she does in the ring and I know my brother has made a big deal out of his daughter’s debut. I only didn’t pick Naomi as a finalist because I expect Megan to be there. If Megan doesn’t make it to the finals, then my prediction reverts to Naomi in that match.
Mickie James: A true great in this industry. She took the independent circuit by storm and Mickey badly wanted to draft her. I do expect her to perform well in the tournament, but she won’t be a finalist.
Beth Phoenix: I know for a fact that drafting her was a top priority of Mickey’s. Benny was smart to make Beth one of his ten exemptions, because Mickey was prepared to draft Beth first. I also know that Beth’s popularity will mean a fantastic career in the EWA just as she had last time around. Even so, I reluctantly have to say she will not be a finalist.
Natalya Niedhart: Another top draft pick priority of Mickey’s that he felt robbed of. The Hart Family legacy is strong in this industry and after Mickey worked with Bret and Stan, he was dying to work with their niece. Fortunately, Mickey drafted Nattie’s father, Jim. Either way, I don’t expect her to be a finalist, but it will be fun to watch where she goes in the coming years.
Charlotte Flair: It would be too obvious to put Charlotte in the finals. She is a natural born leader of the division and I believe she will one day be champion, in either promotion. Mickey desperately wanted to draft her in the shadow draft, and reportedly had a conniption when Benny got her. So, while it would be logical to say she is a finalist, I have a feeling that she will probably fall to an upset for that spot…possibly to Nikki.
Torrie Wilson: Another talented veteran of sport whom is as gifted in the ring as she is beautiful. Mickey was very fond of Torrie, and not for the creepy reasons some may think. Her personality is very uplifting, and she is so fun to be around. She won’t be a finalist, but she will deliver a great match or set of matches.
Finally, we come to the only officially announced match of the card: Athena Starr v. Ronda Rousey. It is my prediction that the winner of this match will likely become the champion as well later in the evening, or they will fall victim to a stunning upset (Nikki?). Athena is still reeling from her loss at From Dusk Til Dawn 3, and that is an important story to keep telling, and the dangerous Rousey is nipping at her heels. This will be a five star opening bout, but I predict that Rousey will come out victorious here, because Athena is a veteran who doesn’t need the victory.
Now, we move to PWI’s “Greatness Reborn” Pay-Per-View on January 6th, 2020. Forget for a moment about all of the controversy surrounding one match in particular, this is a solid show worthy of any Pay Per View in the past or even the future. Mickey and Catherine – when they were still getting along before the explosion between them at From Dusk Til Dawn this year – worked diligently to put together a solid show. Catherine, naturally, led the way and Mickey was happy to see such booking. It was guaranteed – in their minds – to get the world talking, and that is exactly what happened as we will delve into next.
First, we have the highly-controversial and much deliberated opening bout. Initially announced at From Dusk Til Dawn 3 to immediate mixed reviews and later boiling into a full-fledged scandal for the industry, the first ever “Extreme Battle Royal” (wherein elimination can occur by being tossed over the top rope, pinfall, submission, crippling, or laceration) was slated to crown the so-called “Immune One” for the duration of the Third Season, and was also initially booked as an intergender match. That last part in particular was what drove so many nuts. The thought that such a violent match would include women against men caught everyone off guard. Protests were immediate – in fact, it was reported that several demonstrations occurred at the Mmouse Enterprises Headquarters in Memphis over the course of that week -, an online fan petition was drafted and garnered countless signatures, and our competition seized the moment to appear like champions of justice.
Regardless of who envisioned the match, the decision to have women at risk of being brutalized by men hungry for immunity from punishment was the wrong gamble and it sparked a great debate within the corporate headquarters. A couple of women who served as Board members resigned, and there were even rumors of a women’s roster strike. This controversy was at the heart of the growing division between Mickey and Catherine as their visions for the future of this company took completely different approaches, eventually compelling Mickey to come out of retirement, seizing control of his shares, and ultimately forcing a brand split unlike any other we’ve seen before.
As the competition promoted the fan petition for canceling the match, the pressure from within mounted. Eventually, Catherine sought to save face for the company (and maybe herself) by reversing her previous position on the match, and demanding that it be changed to exclude women. Mickey pushed back and refused to make any such changes. This sharp disagreement was intolerable for the Board as they convened a special meeting which dragged on for over 12 hours until that mystery 3rd 24% shareholder weighed in via a proxy vote and sided with Catherine, thus overriding Mickey’s veto, changing the match and subsequently banning all intergender matches in the PWI.
In the aftermath of that chaos it is clear that the world now has more interest in “Greatness Reborn” than they ever did beforehand. It may primarily be an interest piqued by the scandal created by a terrifying booking decision, but it worked in terms of generating internet searches and a general discussion about the card and the promotion hosting it. Now, per the decree of a majority of the Board with the support of 48% of the shareholder vote as represented by Catherine and the mystery co-owner, we have a 20-man opening “Extreme Battle Royal” to determine who will be immune until Motivation 7 from all forms of punishment.
This opening bout will feature X-Pac, Test, Taz (who was already in the match, but was accidentally announced as a replacement for Sunny), Randy Savage, Mr. Kennedy, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jon Moxley, Marty Scurll, Drew McIntyre, Matt Taven, John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, The Miz, Cesaro, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Ken Shamrock, Triple H (who was the real replacement for Sunny), and a mystery participant! Considering the focus of the world on this match and the high stakes for the winner, there is no doubt that this will be the most insane bout of the night. Expect bloodshed and brutality. Expect possible injuries. Expect the “Immune One” to earn that damn prize!
The next bout is between the “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels and Kurt Angle. Kurt has had a long and storied career which spans all the way back to his days in the USWA during the “Second Era”, but the man constantly reinvents himself to get better with each new “era”. Meanwhile, Mr. Daniels debuted about a decade ago but has yet to display the full range of his talents in front of the world. I fully expect this match to be a barn burner with one man looking to prove himself to the world while the veteran aims to demonstrate that he still has what it takes!
Following the Angel versus Angle bout will be the match that was just created as the dust settled over that Board Room war involving the opening bout. The ten women who were originally slated to risk their careers and maybe even their lives against ten men in the Extreme Battle Royal were given a different high-stakes match at this point in the card. The ten women – Ariel, Molly Holly, Maria, Layla, Ivory, Michelle McCool, Stephanie McMahon, Sable, and Sunny – will attempt to survive a Gauntlet Match to determine the first number one contender for the women’s championship! The great thing about this match is that the women were spared from being ousted from the card just because they weren’t in the opening bout, and they were given a golden opportunity to boot!
Our next match is between two men who are quite familiar with each other: Brandon Lee and Rob Van Dam. Both have excelled in singles and tag wrestling and with Sean Olson having been drafted to the EWA in the summer Lee has now been forced to go solo yet again. Rob hasn’t seen a major push since his epic feud over the UWA title against the Rock, and he is determined to get back to the top again. These men have squared off countless times in the past and have proven over and over again that they can tear down the house when they are center-stage. Both are veterans of the “Second Era”, and both seem to be in the best shape of their lives. This won’t be one to miss!
In the next match we have an interesting test for two men. The veteran Jeff Hardy – one of the most gifted athletes to ever grace the skies over the ring – will compete against the son of Lance Storm who made a name for himself as a ruthless predator in the PWI; Robby Storm. Robby Storm stole headlines this past summer when Mickey surprisingly used one of his exemptions to protect Benny from picking him during the draft. Benny reportedly laughed hysterically at the idea that he would have drafted the famous “Little Robby”, but Mickey apparently felt that he was justified in shielding this talent from possible confiscation. Robby may have seduced Mickey’s affection for him with the aforementioned ruthlessness he displayed during the PWI’s original run in the “Fifth Era”. Robby revealed himself in late 2014 to be Dragonfly’s mystery assailant who caused Dragonfly to have a concussion and cost who was once Mickey’s absolute favorite talent to miss out on dominating that era in addition to losing to Metalhead. Now, Robby is apparently hoping to build on this delayed momentum as he sets his sights on Hardy. However, the world is wiser about Robby now and no one expects Hardy to be a pushover in this or any encounter. Robby is also quite gifted in the ring with a skill set similar to Hardy’s as well as his own father’s. This will be a great match.
Then we have our Double Main Event, starting with the Six Pack Challenge to crown PWI’s new World Champion, a title which – I must remind everyone – was cleverly unified by Catherine’s decree in 2014 with the WOW Undisputed Championship. This match was announced at From Dusk Til Dawn this past summer with the first two participants revealed right after Teo and Attitude finally had their long-anticipated match (a match we had been waiting for and which had been endlessly teased since 2004). Teo and Attitude put on one of the greatest matches of that night and of all-time, and Mickey was happy to gloat about the talent in the ring, considering that he had drafted both men. He announced that both of them would be involved in this Six Pack Challenge, and the other participants are as follows: Scott Nash, Drakus, Petey Williams, and Rhyno!
Don’t take any of these men lightly. Each is equally hungry and none should be overlooked for any reason. Teo is obviously obsessed with the idea of being the champion, especially ever since Mickey dubbed him in a 2011 interview to be the next big superstar in the industry…saying that Teo has “it”. Teo will undoubtedly stop at nothing to become champion again and it is rumored that he will not settle for anyone but him becoming PWI’s first champion post-Terry Austin.
Attitude is an amazing talent in and of himself. No one, absolutely no one knows Teo better than Attitude. Reeling from his heartbreaking loss to Teo at From Dusk Til Dawn, Attitude will likely be looking to steal this moment from his former tag team partner. He has much to prove even though he has long demonstrated that he is one of the greatest.
Scott Nash is among the most feared and revered Icons in this industry. Having debuted 23 years ago in the USWA, revitalizing his career with that incredible revamped NWO story in HCW 11 years ago, and an eye towards another streak of dominance, Scott has never been one to step away from a fight. It is remarkable that he can still deliver after all these years, and he is ready to prove that he can rise to the top in 2020!
Drakus is another veteran of the industry who has made a career out of constant reinvention. A protégé of Keeper, a former Disciple of the Soultaker, and a multi-time World Champion who first rose up in new form like a wrestling phoenix in his excellent and dominant LWF run in 2004 and then rose to the occasion again during his HCW days in 2008, Drakus has proven to be among the most relentless superstars in any roster. He will not stop until he is the best in the business, and very few people can argue that he is not among the best of all time.
Not enough can be said about the immense talent of Petey Williams. Williams may not have started in HCW, but he certainly stole the show when he arrived there in 2008, and that is where he made a name for himself. Many contrasts are drawn between him and his career-long rival AJ Styles, but Williams really comes into his own when he is in that ring. Let’s not forget that Williams actually bested Styles at From Dusk Til Dawn (whether sneaky or not) and you can expect that same cunning approach to action when he enters this match.
Finally, we have Rhyno. It is insane to think that Mickey and Catherine booked this match without either FRED or Dragonfly, but chose Rhyno who feuded in numerous legendary battles with both of them. Rumor has it that Mickey felt Dragonfly and FRED needed to be punished for losing at From Dusk Til Dawn and this was his special way of delivering that punishment. Either way, no one should ever overlook this veteran, who has been competing at a high-intensity level for 18 years. We should not expect any different this time around.
Now, last but absolutely not least, the PWI and the women thereof make history yet again as the Second Main Event of the night features the FIRST EVER Women’s Total Anarchy Match for the Women’s Championship! Living Dead Girl, Amazon, Victoria, and Angelina Love will battle it out for half an hour to crown our new champion of women! Let’s look at each of these fantastic superstars:
Living Dead Girl made her debut working for Benny and Mickey had always desired signing a contract with the original phenom of women. When she arrived in PWI she quickly demonstrated how brutal she can be and that brutality was on display yet again at From Dusk Til Dawn when she laid waste to all of the women after she was eliminated that night. Living Dead Girl apparently intends to decimate all three of her opponents on this evening, and it could be terrible for them that they have to experience this abuse for half an hour!
Amazon is arguably the greatest women’s wrestler of all time. While her historic World Championship victory was shrouded in controversy and only last a month, Amazon has always been among the toughest in-ring competitors in the world. She is aggressive and while she may not have the endurance she had 20 years ago in the USWA she is still proving that she belongs in the title scene, especially after defeating EWA’s Athena Starr at From Dusk Til Dawn!
Victoria is one of Mickey and Catherine’s favorites in the locker room. She is among the hardest of workers and her in-ring skills have helped her earn her place at the top numerous times. No doubt she is dying to get back at the gold after so long, and while she may not be the toughest in that she, she is still as determined as ever.
Lastly, we have the final PWI Women’s Champion of the Fifth Era. Angelina surprised many doubters in the locker room with her speedy ascent to the championship in the PWI and shut the down completely when she appeared as dominant as she was. Her status as the last champion the previous time around was a key factor in her placement in this match, and deservedly so. Angelina will fight hard to maintain her status after all is said and done, but if she wins the question remains whether she will survive as the standard bearer in the most stacked and talented women’s division in industry history and that is a question which may vex all four of these women.
So, there you have it. Both premieres analyzed as we hurdle towards the opening bells of the Sixth Era; the Era that was not supposed to happen. I hope you are excited as I am, because it will be a hell of a ride!
Next time I come to you we will be analyzing the first head-to-head competition in years as EWA’s Revolution goes up against PWI’s Asylum on January 13th, 2020!!
Welcome back wrestling fans for a much-delayed second volume of “Wrestling with Lenny”. I’ve been having a heck of a time adjusting to the new era, but things are getting better now that I am catching up with the action over at my youngest brother Benny’s promotion in the Northeast. In this edition of my article I will cover the first two EWA events of the Sixth Era (have yet to watch the December 16th episode of “Revolution”). Then, after I review the third event of EWA, I will offer a preview for what is to come on January 6th across the industry!
Let’s get started!!
FIRST UP: EWA presents “Hell Hath No Fury” on November 30th, 2019
We kick things off with a beautiful rendition of the American National Anthem. In the background we – for the first time ever – get a good look at the excited crowd standing behind our talented singer.
We then cut to a darkened camera view. I’m initially left with the impression that we will be treated to an amazing opening video package for the evening, but the fact that we weren’t didn’t really hurt this historic moment or the awesome theme music which accompanied its introduction. The commentators are soon revealed to be newcomer Renee Young and the iconic Arn Anderson with the firework display, a roaring Madison Square Garden, and a wonderful look at the legendary special guests sitting near the entrance.
OPENING BOUT: Athena Star v. Ronda Rousey
It was a very nice touch to have the most underrated and underappreciated icon of women’s wrestling, Jane Mouse doing the ring announcing (fun fact which went unmentioned: Jane was the FIRST EVER women’s champion in this industry, having won the USWA Women’s Title back in 1999, so her announcing the participants is a perfect, maybe unintentional, nod to Jane’s contributions to women’s wrestlers everywhere).
Jane welcomes Master Splinter – the greatest and most celebrated icon in the history of this sport -, as he will present the Knockout’s Championship to the tournament winner. You can never go wrong with Splinter, true story.
I personally loved Ronda’s first ever entrance in a fighting realm that she is not entirely familiar with. It was a great way to open up the show.
The match itself was outstanding. My only critique was that the spot off of the ladder was made a little less fantastic by the fact that we couldn’t see half of what Star and Rousey were doing up there before the big fall on to the chair below. That spot could have ended a career and we didn’t get to see all of their hard work which they put into it. Other than than, the pace was perfect, the story was just as amazing. I was shocked by Nia Jax disrupting what was arguably THE MOST anticipated match in the history of women’s wrestling. I had predicted a win by Rousey, but this works too!
In the post-match mayhem, we see Rousey – who stumbles into the back – continuing the fight with a beaten down Star. She attacks Star on the stretcher, as Rousey goes to break Star’s arm the crowd actually shouts “Oh no!”
We then cut to Benny who is hilariously lecturing the Establishment – Recon and Sniper, his long-serving terrible bodyguards – about not washing their pants, which they have been wearing for nearly two decades! He then takes a jab at Mickey and Catherine, saying he expects things to get dirty when they are around, but expects better from his guards. Molly then enters the room and the residual tension is on display from their mysterious showdown at BWM Inc. headquarters days prior to the show. Molly tells Benny that she doesn’t want him at ringside despite his adopted daughter preparing for her first match ever.
MEGAN V. NAOMI:
This match wasn’t super impressive for any particular reason. It was far from terrible, but it was nowhere near the level of awesomeness of the opener. Still, the spot at the end where Megan paid homage to her Uncle Vinnie with the “sucker punch” and “Mouse Slam” made this match better than good for me. During commentary, Renee accurately pointed out that Megan is actually the biological daughter of Saguna. (Fun Fact: Molly and Saguna knew each other since middle school, and made history together in the USWA as the first ever Lightheavyweight Tag Team Champions, which also means that Molly is the FIRST woman to win ANY championship in this industry, including what is traditionally regarded as a “man’s” championship).
We go back to an irritated Benny still angry about those dirty pants as Nia Jax enters…which only aggravates him more. Benny insists that Nia leave, having “ruined” the anticipated match, but she promises that her path of destruction will only continue and that she will eventually get her hands on Rousey and Star again.
I was very pleased to see the return of DAVE MATHEWS (he’s got chairs!!) He is standing by with Lady Love who promises to induce the largest collective vomit party by introducing her latest lover. In her mind, this night would not have been complete without her. My stomach disagrees strongly.
Then, we cut to the Jackal, as he is standing by with officials who unveil that Star has been injured, Rousey may have been concussed, and that Megan is getting a bye as a result. In the end, Jackal sends us “Black to ringside”.
NIKKI BELLA v. KELLY KELLY
Jane (who sounds more like a “Jack” for a moment) botches the introduction of Kelly Kelly (who I always liked in the UWA, as she demonstrated repeatedly her great talents). Arn demonstrates some creepiness as he checks out Brie Bella (Arn and Ric Venom have always been two birds of a feather for many reasons, and this is one of them). Kelly Kelly performed better than I expected (I only say that because I was concerned that the EWA would bury her), as Nikki wins a pretty decent match.
We are treated to a false promise of a backstage segment only to be given a cut from one camera angle to the next. The return of Kevina Love (Kevin Kelly, who went through a TRANSformation after Lady Love kissed her years ago) saved this moment for me. She joins Renee and Arn at ringside, chiding Renee for her lackluster performance on commentary. The three then offer a much-belated apology for Jackal’s “Black to ringside” moment, promising that the EWA has nothing against the iconic Lawrence Mason.
NIKKI CROSS v. MICKIE JAMES
This match was every bit as excellent as I thought it would be. Mickie did very well in the ring, but Nikki’s star burns bright in the EWA (my pick to win the whole thing, remember?). Nikki picks up the anticipated and proper victory!
We head to the back and see that Lady Love had been attacked by what I suspect was one of her would-be vomit victims. Lsdies Man comes to her belated rescue and insists on medical attention (wait, is he the one giving it to *BARF*).
Renee Young in the back now and standing with newcomer Kaitlyn who makes an announcement that she will be entering her name in the Money in the Bank and promises to show the world her talent. I am intrigued, but I know nothing about her honestly.
BETH PHOENIX v. TORRIE WILSON
The announcers reveal that it was amateur hour in the booking meeting as they “flipped” Wilson and Kelly Kelly on the card (this is code for, “they forgot who was jobbing out to whom”, but I digress). Other than that, the match was a great demonstration of Beth’s incredible dominance (which we saw some of at From Dusk Til Dawn 3). Torrie went the distance in trying to survive, and I was pleasantly surprised to see yet another Mmouse Enterprises alum treated to such a decent showing even as she was crushed by Phoenix.
Dave Mathews tries to offer Charlotte a chair in the back, but she is not interested. Charlotte promises that she is very prepared for Nattie and is happy that Jim Neidhart isn’t here (he works in PWI now) to witness what is about to happen to his daughter. After Charlotte leaves, Dave thinks the camera cuts away as he starts to bitch about no one ever taking his chair offers. Good stuff.
The iconic Bret Hart joins Natalya Neidhart to tell her how proud he is of her. In talking to her about her past, he pokes fun at Benny’s management style (specifically referencing how she became a champion in the last installment of ECW in the latter part of the Fourth Era only to never get a chance to run with it because of its premature collapse). He promises to watch her on behalf of her PWI-employed father.
Megan Mouse is now standing by with Renee. She says that she hates that she is getting a bye in the tournament. Dedicates this match to her deceased maternal grandfather (who died on television back in the early UWF phase in the Third Era) and expresses her desire to prove just how independent she is.
CHARLOTTE v. NATALYA NEIDHART
This was an entertaining match which left you rooting for Nattie, even if you knew in your heart that Charlotte was walking out the victor. Excellent bout moving the tournament along.
Renee is now standing by with the Bella Twins. Nikki Bella is angry that I unintentionally forgot to mention her in my predictions (it really was an accident, but that was made easier because I did not expect her to be the winner, more on that later). She points out that she and Brie have been overlooked throughout this year despite having made such an impact at From Dusk Til Dawn 3. This interview had me rethinking my predictions a little…just saying.
NIKKI BELLA v. NIKKI CROSS
Undoubtedly one of the best matches of the night. I came into this pay per view expecting Cross to win it all, but came into this match expecting Nikki Bella to defeat Cross to spite me and everyone else. The interview completely changed my pick for the tournament’s outcome from Nikki Cross to Nikki Bella. Either way, the match definitely delivered, with “Twin Magic” being the fantastic final nice touch followed by a post-match beat down of my original pick to win it all!
We do that thing again where we are promised to go to the back only to come back to the ring on the opposite side in preparation for the final semi-final bout. We suddenly hear Benny’s music play as Molly angrily watches her husband make his way to the ring after explicitly telling him to stay away. Hilarity then ensues as Benny demands that the camera focus on him only to have it finish off worse than it started! HA HA HA HA HA!!
Benny proceeds to talk about the history making occasion for no reason whatsoever than to be the center of attention (something that Mickey does as well, it is a problem in our family), and even nonsensically starts to promote the debut of Revolution on the 9th (which we will discuss when I am done with this PPV). Then, he saves the segment by pivoting towards asking his wife to join him in the ring (she had been at ringside since Megan’s match).
He quickly regrets asking her to join him when an argument about infidelity unfolds. Molly touches on the history of their tumultuous marriage, referencing the affair with Jane (standing in the ring this whole time) and then unveils to the world that Benny had been having an affair with Renee Young, which is why she received her recent promotions! (Fun fact: this news did not go over well with PWI Talent and Renee’s husband, Jon Moxley…more on that at a later time perhaps). This back and forth escalates to the point where Molly asks Benny to look at the titantron to behold her current lover: HCW’s JOHN BROWN!!
The promoter of the now-defunct Hardcore Championship Wrestling appears via satellite, confirms the affair with Molly, reveals that she has given him control of BWM Inc (her half of the shares, that is), and that – not Benny – is actually the father of Molly’s new child!! This was the biggest “Holy Shit” moment in wrestling in years, and the crowd’s reaction reflected such!
BETH PHOENIX v. CHARLOTTE
This was one of the absolute best matches I have seen in a long time. Phoenix and Charlotte tore the house down and while Charlotte came out on top, Beth proved that this division is every bit as Elite as it is chalked up to be so long as she is involved. Natalya accidentally costing her friend Beth the match was a great way to bring certain things full circle for the night. After the bell, Beth attacked everyone to show the world just how outraged she was!
MAIN EVENT: KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT:
NIKKI BELLA v. CHARLOTTE v. MEGAN MOUSE
We cut back and forth and were told that Charlotte refused medical attention (commentary notes that she may have been removed from match if her likely injuries were discovered). This match was an incredibly outstanding performance by all three women involved. It was an appropriate way to top off one of the most historic and important nights in this industry’s history. Truthfully, Nikki Bella’s plunge from the set should have marked the end of her hopes to win, but her determination to overcome all the odds shined through led to a great victory! What a night of wrestling!!
NEXT: Premiere of EWA “Revolution”, December 9th, 2019
We kick things off seeing Benny laying on his couch looking drunk as Rob Ammick tries desperately to wake his boss for the show and when that funny bit fades out we are treated with an impressive opening video package which left me ready for a revolutionary night of wrestling! The best part about the opening video is that it ending did not cut off the music. Everything about the opening sequence of the show was perfect, in my view! Additional comment: I love the set for the show!
OPENING BOUT: Money in the Bank Ladder Match to determine Number One Contender for Nikki Bella’s Knockout’s Championship
This match was a fantastic way to kick off the new Monday ratings war! Interestingly, this match competed directly with the Ladder Match on Asylum to crown the new PWI Tag Team Champions. There was plenty of beautiful chaos here accompanied by an accidentally hilarious moment when Nia Jax had a ladder collapse under her. All eight of the women did their jobs very well, but there were some stand-out performances: Nia put the women of wrestling on notice with her dominance here, but she was not dominant enough to overcome seven other women. AJ Lee shined, as expected, because she has a bright future in front of her. She was a top target by Mickey with the shadow draft but Benny nabbed her first. Shayna Baszler (pronounced Bay-zler, just to lend a helping hand to the confused commentators) had quite the impressive showing…even more so than Nia. Finally, it was a very pleasant surprise seeing Ember Moon getting the win. She was truly exciting to watch. Great things remain ahead for her. Oh yeah, and how about them damn, unbreakable tables?! Those poor women.
Rob Ammick is then seen asking Megan Mouse to try and lift Benny’s spirits, seeing how she has always been the one to cheer him up when no one else cab. She obliges.
We then see Renee Young (why isn’t SHE trying to cheer Benny up? I kid…don’t kill me Mox) as she is standing next to Randy Orton. Orton flirts with her, calling her “easy” (see, Moxley, go after Orton, not me) and then complains about being “overlooked” despite his many accolades which include defeating Dragonfly at From Dusk Til Dawn 3 and becoming the first EVER EWA champion back in 2008. He then expresses that he feels the Crimson Car Match should be banned for good, because of its brutality.
X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: AJ STYLES v. LADIES MAN
Before the match, Ladies Man asks for a microphone and proceeds to tell the audience that he is a “changed man” advocating for “women’s rights”. This fake feminist then proceeds to say things like women don’t belong in the same ring as men and then he takes a shot at Mmouse Enterprises for the intergender controversy over the summer. He claims that his change of heart came with the “Me Too” movement and that he wants to dedicate this match to having a “world for the ladies” with him as their “champion”.
The match itself was decent, despite Ladies Man having some obvious ring rust. Thankfully, AJ Styles carried the match for both of them. There was one spot which made me laugh out loud as Ladies Man “accidentally” took out the woman referee. Personally, I think it was ultimately the right thing to put the belt on Styles. Another fun note: commentary informed us during the bout that count-outs had been suspended by decree of John Brown and Molly Mouse as EWA follows the lead of PWI.
In the back, the Establishment is with Ammick. Another hilarious moment comes when the Establishment suggests that washing their pants might help to boost Benny’s spirits. Megan returns to the picture, informing Ammick that she failed and even “made it worse” by purportedly and unintentionally reminding Benny of her mother.
Renee is now with Hash (man, she really gets around, huh? I am kidding…Jon…seriously, I own a gun and I am warning you to stay away) Calling Hash “legendary”…um, is he going to appear on a future episode of Legends? I think not. Hash expresses how irritated he has been with CM Punk’s delay tactics of numerous demands for a drug test. Hash is then asked about his famous ex, Athena Star. He notes that Star is injured with a broken arm for two months but that he has no idea what Star is thinking about right now.
Jackal is standing by with Christian. Christian joins the bitch fit over the Crimson Car Match, saying it is barbaric and insisting that we look at his face and contemplate the damage the match could do to it. He then insists that Benny will regret ignoring him and even cutting his segment from the Pay Per View nine days prior. Jackal finished the interview with his racist-esque send-off again.
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Homicide, Mysterio v. The Outsiders (not USWA’s Kevin Hall and Scott Nash…the other Nash and Hall) v. New Little Man and Big Man (with Dutt replacing Saguna) v. The Legacy (Cody and Dibiase Junior) v. Yokozuna and Umaga
EWA has an excellent tag division, and it makes sense that they chose these teams to kick off the new era. Having said that, wrestling fans are more primed to love singles wrestling than tag wrestling. Even so, you CAN’T have wrestling without this important division. I say all of this to point out that this match was not bad, but it wasn’t excellent either. The teams did their thing and I like all of them. These types of tag matches can either be awesome hits, flops, or just ok. I think it was better than ok, but it wasn’t my favorite match of the night. Interesting and appropriate choice for Yokozuna and Umaga (the newest team of all the teams involved) to pick up the win. Good luck unseating them (no, seriously…try getting them off of a seat)!!
Return from commercial break and we have Dave Mathews conducting a standard interview with Molly Mouse, explaining the “why” regarding what happened at the Pay Per View. Molly tells us about how she once loved Benny, respects him for how he helped her with Megan, and noted that Benny once spoiled her. She told how Benny stopped winning her over after her father died and his initial compassionate side ceased. Jane Mouse’s awkward presence (due to her affair with Benny in 2008, which resulted in a pregnancy that was ultimately prematurely ended when Rhyno accidentally gored her)…(fun fact: Jane was Mickey’s ex-wife until I later had an affair with her. Vinnie might be the only one of us not to diddle her).
Molly goes on to highlight that John Brown treats her right, that he is the man for this job of running EWA especially since he knew how to defeat the EWA repeatedly with the HCW. She promised to let Brown run EWA and then promised that he will be in attendance on the 6th! Before Molly could ride Brown’s nub any further she was interrupted by Nikki Cross. After Nikki protests her loss at the PPV thanks to “Twin Magic” and demands a rematch, Molly grants Nikki’s wish and bans Brie Bella from ringside!
Metalhead is with Renee (who isn’t these days? Am I right? I’m just saying, Jon…put a rubber on it…and know that I have an entire arsenal here just in case you go all…Moxley on me) and instead of hitting on the Easy One he contributes to the theme of entitlement we’ve seen from most of EWA’s leading talent since the PPV by complaining about his lack of a match at From Dusk Til Dawn 3 (fun fact: FDTD 3 was supposed to take place in 2010 at the end of the Fourth Era, but Benny backed out and that card was supposed to feature one final battle between Dragonfly and…Metalhead) and he noted that this apparent snub was despite everything he had done for both of the leading Mouse Brothers. He pledges to prove that he has more left to offer this industry after being a 23 year veteran.
NUMBER ONE CONTENDER FOR EWA CHAMPIONSHIP: CM PUNK v. JESSE HASH
This match was excellent, but the moment Edge appeared to distract CM Punk and deliver his famous “kick in the nuts” (a call-back to the epically hilarious feud between Punk and Edge in the HCW) which helped Hash win…that is when this became instant GOLD! Note, as emphasized by commentary: Edge is not employed by EWA.
MAIN EVENT: CRIMSON CAR MATCH: EWA CHAMPIONSHIP: Metalhead v. Randy Orton v. Christian
Let me just say that these matches are always gold to me. I loved the spot with Metalhead driving into the center of the fighter’s pit of cars and weapons. These three men risked their careers and very lives putting on an amazing show. The car spots with Metalhead’s vehicle were brutally beautiful. In the end, Orton winning was perfect!!
That wraps it up for my review of EWA’s first two programs of the Sixth Era. I shall return with my review of the second installment of “Revolution” which will accompany a preview of Asylum for the January 6th show!
Thank you everyone for joining me in this third installment of “Wrestling with Lenny”! Now, let’s review the latest in what we’ve seen from our competition: Revolution on January 6th! (Interesting side note, this episode takes place in the same venue where PWI Asylum on the 20th is slated to transpire)
It is worth noting that this is only the 3rd EWA show since November 30th, 2019 while PWI has held 8 shows in that same period.
Right out of the gate (no pun intended), Ronda Rousey was stopped from entering the building, per Nia Jax’s restraining order against her. There was an odd reference to “Politifact” which I was taken aback by. Does Rousey not know that the “Politi” in “Politifact” is a check on inaccuracies in politics, not wrestling? Maybe she hit her head on the way down from that ladder the last time we saw her.
Anyways, we move on to the official kick off of the show with EWA’s amazing opening video package. It’s a real shame we don’t have a guarantee of seeing this more often. Perhaps their familiar…unstable…schedule is a reason for their continued success in the ratings. Not sure, but it would be interesting to see how the company would fare if they regularly had to keep pace with the PWI. Just a thought.
In the opening of the show, the music suddenly cuts off as the announcers recap what happened weeks ago…on the last episode of Revolution (I promise, that’s the last reference to the inconsistency…I’m not Mickey, after all). Recaps are always a good way to bring everyone up to speed, but it was a little odd without the music.
KNOCKOUT’S CHAMPIONSHIP: Nikki Bella defends against Nikki Cross!
I have to hand it to the bookers for slating this anticipated bout to start the show! Honestly, my money is on Bella to retain, because it is WAY too soon to have a title change hands.
Overall, an average championship match. A few decent spots for Cross, but Nikki Bella retains without issue. Cross looked good when she was able to dominate a bit – keeping her in the future title picture -, but Bella was the inevitable winner…as predicted.
After the match, we find out the Brie was hiding under the ring only to emerge at the end of the match, because she was banned. I will admit that this was a tad confusing since hiding under the ring and unveiling yourself after accomplishes the same thing as heading down the ramp to join the victor…at least in this context. Are we to believe that they may have pulled a “twin magic” without us knowing? Hmm.
Then, out of nowhere, Ember Moon (Miss Money in the Bank) bursts onto the scene and teases a cash-in, but the Bellas escape, enabling an “epic staredown”.
We head to the back and see the arrival of Molly Mouse and hear her talking to someone in the car. It is clear from the voice emanating from said car that John Brown is in there, as he assures Molly that he was “born ready”.
We then head back to the ring, with Matthews preparing to interview the new and improved Mr. Me Too, Ladies Man. Feminist Man has the gull to ask Jane Mouse “are you ok?” when she accidentally falls down…as if this con man cares. In the interview, Ladies Man fake protests the mixed tag match on Asylum back in December; calling it “disgusting” and even castigating wrestling fans for enjoying it so much, as exhibited through that segment’s peak in the ratings. Feminine Man also basks in the limelight as Catherine’s cheerleader, calling her “brave”. (Ehhh…is he expecting to get canned soon, or something? What’s with the lovefest for Catherine?)
This Ladies fest of love is interrupted by Rusev and Lana. I will say that Lana sounds less like a “Ravishing Russian” and more like a Mushroom-Stomping Italian straight out of a cheap Russian bootleg of Super Mario Brothers, but I digress. Lana commands Rusev to pounce on Ladies Man, and that brings this to an end.
We then head to the back, whereat we see Cody and Ted Dibiase Junior discussing their future as a tag team. They are apparently slated to confront the Fatboys Part Deux (did you think I forgot Yokozuna’s previous tag team with his monster twin, Satu?). Cody – who is ready and able to pursue a singles career – notes that they will disband as a team if they lose (which they will, sorry Dibiase). Cody calls Ted a “brother”, which is usually code for “Imma stab you in the back”. This won’t end well for the son of Ted Dibiase.
METALHEAD v. REY MYSTERIO
Great job, EWA, on giving away an easy money match on your second Revolution. The announcers remind us that “Metalhead needs a win”, which is a warning sign that he may not win. I just witnessed Metalhead’s old age kicking in…he got none of that suicide plancha. I’m starting to wonder if the cameramen are still on strike, because this one seems to be a little…absent. Nice angle with Mysterio pulling off the win using a reverse Acid Drop. Good match.
We come back from commercial and see Rey Mysterio discussing his victory with his partner Homicide (the guy who stole the show at From Dusk Til Dawn, and a top draft pick prospect for Mickey if he had only been able to nab him). Metalhead, in typical heel Metalhead fashion, interrupts the get-together by attacking both men. He then demands a bout with Homicide on the next installment of Revolution!
Renee is standing with Nia Jax, who insists that she is “destined” to be the Knockout’s Champion. That may be so, but I’m sure ol’ Ronda will have something to say about it first (No, Miss Bella, I did not forget you…but let’s be real…you aren’t stopping Ronda or Nia).
X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP, FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE: AJ Styles v. CM Punk
I believe I just heard the announcers admit that this was a “blatant ratings grab”. Yes, it is, but that’s the nature of our industry. Truth be told, EWA doesn’t have too many of said “ratings grab” tricks left. How long can they keep this up? Wait…is this evidence that John Brown really is calling the shots? Am I slowly becoming Chris Hyatte? Noooooooo!!
It is noteworthy that the change in venue from CM Punk’s hometown of Chicago deflated him a bit, as he couldn’t feed off of their usually frenzied reaction to him. We are informed that Punk had security scan the arena for Edge before the match, hoping to avert a rekindling of that old hilarious story. Hard not to laugh as we see the revenge of the unbreakable tables. This used to be a regular curse in Mmouse Enterprises-led companies and even a little in HCW, but it is increasingly the case now in EWA. Their poor backs! I’m wondering if Mickey has somehow managed to switch our tables with theirs. Hmmm. I get a good laugh as the match spills into the backstage area revealing Ted Dibiase Junior still chilling where his Legacy Tag Partner left him. Are you ok, Ted? After the awesome insanity backstage, we head back to the ring where Edge plays some amazing mind games to assist Styles in his victory. Great segment!
Our attention then turns to Molly Mouse’s office…er…wait, that’s Benny’s office, and WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS COUCH?!! Megan enters the room and castigates her mother for destroying her father’s couch. The two get into an argument, Megan complains about her mother’s “geriatric pregnancy”…gross…and Molly rewards her daughter with a Knockout’s Championship. I like Molly’s passive aggressiveness here. Megan doesn’t want to get opportunities this way, but Molly is determined to assert herself in this industry.
Molly then leaves her office and is caught off guard by Natalya. Nattie gets into her grudge with Charlotte and…I’m sorry, I’m still distracted by the fact that MOLLY DESTROYED THE COUCH!! At some point in the midst of me trying to get over that I miss some important details about how Molly is setting some interesting things up for the first Women’s Revolution. Hmmm. Oh yeah, and I can’t help but notice that Nia seems to win big in all of this.
MAIN EVENT, EWA CHAMPIONSHIP: Randy Orton v. Jesse Hash
The announcers are petrified of criticizing Benny when it is obviously Molly and Brown with all of the power. During the match, I couldn’t help but notice that Hash may need to check his supply before his pre-match smoking ritual…I mean, sheesh, how do you botch the coast to coast that badly? I was definitely a fan of the RKO on Hash in the middle of the 420 splash, and of course Orton retains. Great match, overall.
We finally see Rousey get her hands on Nia out back as Nia sort of forgot to extend her protection order beyond the arena. Geez dummy, don’t you know that wrestling protection orders end once you leave the venue? Either way, I am so looking forward to the story between these two unfolding.
We are back in the ring for the face-to-face between Brown and Benny. The announcers are always so quick to point out – obsessively – how uncomfortable Jane must be feeling. I mean, as someone who has been all up in that at one point, I can tell you a thing or two about how she fe…oh, wait, where am I? Oh yes, the segment!
Benny makes his lackeys leave in order to draw Brown into the ring for this encounter. Brown then appears WITH TWO LEGS!! LIEUTENANT DAN, YOU’VE GOT NEW LEGS!!!
In the back and forth, John Brown accuses Benny of having a prosthetic penis. Well, I mean, his paint chips weren’t exactly helping that part of his anatomy, so…
John Brown then informs Benny that there will be a meeting amongst the Board of Directors soon and that they will soon take a “vote of no confidence” in Benny’s leadership, thus paving the way for Brown to be BWM Inc.’s new CEO! Benny goes apeshit and attacks Brown, rips off his legs! Damn you, Benny!! Brown responds by dispatching the Bludgeon Brothers into the ring to even the playing field.
This got real interesting, and then it ended with a cliff hanger…until next time.
What a show, I’m ready for the next installment of EWA. Thank you for reading…and someone please find out how much it costs to fix that couch, it was made by our grandfather…with his BARE HANDS!!
Welcome back fans of professional wrestling for the long-awaited 4th Volume of “Wrestling with Lenny”! We all know why it has been months since the last time I shared my thoughts with you, but that is neither here nor there (kind of like EWA, most of the time…but I digress).
In this installment I will be reviewing the May 4th, 2020 return of EWA with what the Elite Wrestling Alliance call “Retro Revolution”, where Benny and company promised to bring the fans on a trip down memory lane.
As always, the opening commentary from Kevina Love and Arn Anderson is always excellent. I mean, how can you go wrong with these guys? Arn was one of my personal favorites back in the WWF days in the First Era as I will always remember fondly his epic feuds against Jesse Ventura and Krusader. Wow, we haven’t even seen the promised legends of the past and I am already feeling it! It is noted that they have been having problems “as of late”…ummm…you mean like a century ago?
During the commentary preparing for the opening bout they admit the “erratic nature” of their product. Well…admitting you have a problem is typically the first step. Kevina and Arn convey that Benny – whose music hits quickly – MUST explain the absence of EWA to the wrestling world. Kind of harsh placing this all on my youngest brother’s shoulders. A lot of blame to go all around that company.
I was absolutely slayed when Benny suggested that John Brown’s expected child with Molly may wind up born legless! “That’s not how it works”, Kevina insists. I was laughing too hard to catch Arn’s goofy response to Kevina, but it was hard to concentrate for a second there.
With no surprise, Benny notes that the Board of Directors of BWM Inc. voted “no confidence” in him (that seems to be a thing these days…just saying). In response, Benny promised to go out with a bang (why we’re here tonight) and to name a temporary replacement as the new chairman of the company! In summary, tonight’s show is Benny’s “Last Act” to give the audience something special before he steps down and seeks treatment.
We are now cleared for the X-Division Championship match, as AJ Styles defends against an unknown opponent. The lights go out and FUCKING GHOSTRIDER APPEARS!! I jumped out of my damn seat with excitement when you saw his glowing green noggin. One of the best and most exciting talents of the late-First Era through to the middle of the Second Era! His run in the WWF under Murrey inspired Mickey to hire a similar superstar – who likewise became a notable legend – by the name of Demonrider. I was marking out, though, over this moment. From what the ratings report showed, this is when the viewership for Revolution shot straight up as word quickly spread on social media that this event truly was going to be something special. It marked a major momentum swing in favor of the EWA, honestly.
Ghostrider reveals that he is now the manager for AJ’s opponent: Pac (formerly known as Neville). As the match unfolded, I couldn’t help but to fight with myself a little about how I had wanted Ghostrider to wrestle tonight. I knew it was unlikely, given his age, but it was the nostalgia overtaking me. The match, though, was great, and Pac looked great with his historic win. It was noted by commentary that Pac would be the first debuting superstar (presumably in EWA) to win a championship. This is certainly true in EWA, but it may also be true for the entire industry.
We find ourselves blessed with the presence of Legacy member Ted Dibiase Junior. Dibiase unveils that while he is ready to participate in tonight’s tag championship match he has learned that his partner, Cody Rhodes, has decided to skip out on their team. Hmmm. AJ Styles then emerges and tells Renee that he will be demanding his rematch in the Ultimate X Match that he was “promised”. I was unaware that a scheduling change meant that the affected talent was entitled to the match they were originally signed up for. Is AJ a four year old whining for his turn on the carousel or is he a sore-losing professional wrestler? Hard to tell.
Molly Mouse is seen on the phone having a cute little conversation with her Beau, John Brown. They are apparently in the midst of finding a house (she says “we need a place to live”)…well, that is, unless you are Edge. I mean, that guy literally lives his days camping out at CM Punk’s place, using feral cats for makeshift ass-wipes and singing creepy lullabies to the man from the dog house in his backyard. Needing a place to live is overrated, Molly. Sheesh. The fun is suddenly ruined when my adopted niece Megan bursts into the room. She demands to know why her mother is tormenting Benny the way she is. In their exchange we also learn that Molly apparently isn’t even sure that Benny had an affair with Renee Young to begin with! Megan leaves furious at her mother for all the havoc that her teenage antics have caused.
We come back to the arena and get a shot at the legends in the skybox, with Phobe, Terminator, Hulk Hogan, Vicious, and Katu being amongst them! These shots are always nice to see. It is also a great reminder that not every legend will have a neat little segment of the show specifically carved out for them.
The Knockouts Championship Match is next and we are about to see Nikki Bella defend her gold against Megan Mouse. As the match picks up, Brie yells “come on, Nikki!!” to which Arn starts to note that he’d like to do so before Kevina cuts him off. HA HA HA HA HA!! Gotta love that Arn guy! Megan gets racked on the ropes and before I could even mockingly react in my notes Kevina quips “as a woman, that’s normally where my nuts are!” Jesus!! LMAO!!!! Megan executes a cool asai moonsault onto Nikki as Nikki is laying on the steps and then executes a “Mouse Slam” on to the chair in the ring. Now, this is when something weird happened in my downloaded stream of the show (I am forbidden by my contract from watching EWA programming live). For whatever reason, my version of the show inexplicably looped right before the finish of the match. I thought to myself: “does EWA stand for ‘Eh…WA?’” and then I wondered “is this what Benny meant by “Retro”? I know that the live viewers saw the match unfold naturally, but this twilight zone experience was enough for me to get my own helping of a beef sandwich and a handful of oreos. I needed the boost to get through this without calling Benny myself and demanding an express copy of the entire uninterrupted match. Bleh!!
Before I have a moment to process the mental pretzel that EWA’s amateur hour editing delivered upon my precious mind we are then given a treat as Splinter and Splidder meet up with an old friend/foe: Krusader! One of the greatest and most celebrated icons in the business! He excelled everywhere that he went; from WWF through USWA and UWA, then back to his brief exposure in the NEW. Krusader is an icon on the same level with Splinter himself. We are also treated to the appearance of USWA and WPW legends, Lt. Stone, Steel Claw, and Garz Gargoyale (wow, Garz is really letting himself go in retirement…sheesh). This segment was a lot of fun and it was appropriately topped off with Randy Orton decimating all the legends in sight!
Megan angrily approaches Molly, demanding justice for the injustice that I was robbed of seeing. Apparently “twin magic” was executed shortly after the Mouse Slam, which paved the way for Brie Bella to pin an unsuspecting Megan. Molly denies Megan a chance at a rematch. As Molly is trying to leave she is suddenly approached by Crock’s second sidekick and LWF original: Retardo. The handicapped former Co-host is begging to know where he can go “dookie”. I hate that I found this funny. HA HA HA!! After Retardo gets out of Molly’s hair she is then confronted by the most hated USWA Champion of all-time, the Houdini of battle royals: Midget Hogan!! Midget Hogan tries to strike a conversation with Molly, and she is not having it, as she claims to have never conversed with him in her life. This may be true, actually, because while Midget Hogan and Molly were employed in USWA at the same time, there is no proof that they ever actually mingled. This chaotic segment is then topped off with the best damn cameo in history with “Cool” Johnny Quest – the USWA Icon, who was the first ever Lightheavyweight Champion and one half of the First Ever Tag Team Champions in Mmouse Enterprises – as he simply tells Molly that what he just saw “wasn’t cool”. I popped so hard for that!!
The EWA Tag Team Championship was on the line next as the champions Yokozuna and Umaga had to defend against the Bludgeon Brothers, Rey Mysterio and Homicide (the two of whom will eventually have to meet their maker in Metalhead), and Goldust!!! With Goldust’s tag partner being….Stardust?! I was stunned to see Cody Rhodes team with his brother, but I was outraged that Raven wasn’t the partner! BOOOOOO!!!! Commentary claims that there is an “erratic nature of the business”….ummm….what? Maybe business in your backyard….just saying. They also make the erroneous claim that we will see a women’s hell in a cell match for the first time ever. Yeah, in EWA, but there were literally two women’s matches inside of a cell in PWI long before this. I will have to assume from now on that they mean EWA every time they make these kinds of claims…sheesh. I was shocked that Yokozuna and Umaga were eliminated first! Metalhead appears (coming “out from the crowd”…which is apparently tucked under the ring…is that the mysterious Ethiopian fanbase that Mickey was alluding to 16 years ago?) and helps Harper and Rowan eliminate Mysterio and Homicide. At this point we then see the return of ARMAGEDDON!! We hadn’t seen this beast since From Dusk Til Dawn when he disappeared with FRED. Armageddon exacts some revenge for Benny by helping Goldust and Stardust win the gold as he makes Pete his puppet hilariously making the unconscious referee count the three!
The RETURN OF 420 then blesses our screens and I feel like I am a younger adult than I am right now all over again! The set is awesome, especially with the leafy furniture! Hash kills me when he suggests that a minor disagreement led him to unplug his grandfather’s life support. I thought to myself “where’s Athena?” Then I remembered…oh yeah. Hash states that he smoked with Cool Quest and I could absolutely believe that. The Quests were constantly getting suspended back in the day for their…activities. His special guest is Jesse Ventura!! I mark out as he and Car make their way to the ring. One interesting historic fact about Jesse Ventura. Not only was he the tallest wrestler in the industry from the early 1990s until the Giant Gonzales debuted, and not only was he a then-record holding 15 time WWF Champion in the First Era, but Jesse dominated the USWA. He literally held EVERY SINGLE CHAMPIONSHIP that he was eligible to compete for, and he stands out as one of ONLY TWO superstars in the history of USWA to have been a true Grandslam Winner (HBP holds the distinction as the other one)!
Hash pays homage to the Crock as someone who inspires him in many ways, including the Crock’s new knack for “investigations”. Jesse Hash highlights that Ventura has no kids, and that his wife Rudolph is barren for a reason. At this moment we hear Lady Love’s music plays and Kevina can’t control herself. Kevina remarks that she is jealous of Jesse’s view as Love steps into the ring (I had to replace my computer monitor before continuing this segment just from the sheer force of the vomit impact). Love reveals that she was inspired by Rudolph to become the first trans athlete in wrestling history. Ventura is confused as Lady Love reveals that Rudolph is a MAN!! Ventura is apoplectic as Car confirms the news! Ventura’s agony is soon forgotten as Lady Love reveals that her attacker was Ladies Man, who wanted to cover up their relationship!! We are then mistreated to a look at Love’s fuzzy nipples…and now I am again in need of a new monitor. It’s a good thing I got my stimulus check!!
My interest in captured when we see an ad for the coming debut of Demon Finn Balor. Ooooo. The next match is the Hell in a Cell match between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey. Nia starts on top of the Cell, with a chair. Rousey brings a table with her to meet Nia on top of the structure. It is clarified that this is a first ever women’s cell match in EWA (good, now I feel bad for typing what I typed earlier…no, I don’t. It was irresponsible quasi-sports journalism for Kevina and Arn to misrepresent the truth earlier, even unintentionally…trying to lie to the audience like that). With a suplex from Nia both women break the top of the cell and plummet 15-20 feet to the ring below!! Athena Starr returns half a segment too late from her 420 no-show (I kid…) and she proceeds to beat the hell out of two carcasses, topping things off with a mega 420 splash and then a mega hurricanrana that sends Rousey through a table and into the First Era.
My jaw completely destroys the floor below me when Benny reveals his temporary replacement to be Saguna!! This night really should have been called “EWA Holy Shit!!” We haven’t seen Saguna since the Third Era – where he gave away his rights for Megan to Benny – after his career ended with his historic tag partnership alongside Big Show as part of “Little Man Big Man” and as part of the most famous Love Triangle Storyline in all of wrestling history wherein Big Show and Saguna had gone to war over their shared love of…LADY LOVE (dammit…now the keyboard needs replaced). I have always had love for Saguna, and this was indeed a smart move on the part of Benny. Can’t wait to see where this goes.
The Main Event segment comes about and we prepare to see who will answer the call for Randy Orton’s open invitational for any and all legends to challenge him. My head and I am sure Mickey’s voicebox collectively explode when we see the debut return of GRANDDADDY DUXEN!!! It was well known for months since From Dusk Til Dawn that Mickey, Catherine, and Murrey spent months reaching out to Duxen to secure his return to the company. Duxen was a personal favorite of Mickey’s, and Mickey had long yearned for his return to the company since his departure at the end of the Second Era. Duxen made his way to the ring alongside his grandson and fellow legend, Jimmy Duxen. We are told by commentary part of the way into the match that Duxen has been signed with EWA (not sure if that screeching sound I just heard was some weird noise in my house or the sound of Mickey’s screams breaking the sound barrier). We get an awesome callback to Duxen’s famous old “Boxing Tournament” challenges, wherein he defeats Orton with a knockout (AND STILL UNDEFEATED!!)! Duxen gets too close to winning for Orton’s liking and the World Champion gets himself disqualified to save his ass.
All around an excellent show and admittedly the best of this era, so far. The ratings showed that this was the HIGHEST RATED show from an individual promotion in HISTORY. I can’t say that I am surprised, because you can’t go wrong with a perfectly-delivered trip down memory lane. Nostalgia is a powerful force in entertainment and this show demonstrated exactly why that is the case. Still, the entire show meshed perfectly well. I personally doubt that this success can be duplicated in the coming shows, but I could be wrong. Either way, we shall see.
Until next time, this is Lenny Mouse and I appreciate you reading “Wrestling with Lenny”!!
WELCOME BACK EVERYONE!! This is the fifth volume of “Wrestling with Lenny” and NO it is not the year 2021 just yet. I know, remarkable, isn’t it?! What a difference a change of the guard up north makes!
ANYWAYS, we start off this episode of Revolution – which aired on May 11th, 2020, to follow up the history-making, record-breaking episode from the previous week – with an announcement from BWM Inc. Co-Chairman, John Brown via satellite. Brown brags that he was the only man – with a special swipe at Mickey and Murrey – to finally depose Benny and he promises that with Benny gone the era of “erratic” will now be a thing of the past. All I can say is that I will let the facts speak for themselves in a few weeks.
The cameras then take us to the arrival of Jesse Hash, who meets with Athena Star. Hash tells his former human blow-up doll that he is heartbroken to learn of the passing of her mama (wow, I feel like I am becoming more and more like how Ric Venom used to be as he analyzed the “other guys”. I guess being forced to write about our competition has the asshole effect on people). Hash offers her a hug and expresses his hopes for her to become the champion again and Athena responds that she hopes he wins too. Awww, this kiss of death. See, Hash, this is why you leave as soon as they start talking. Nothing good ever comes from this. That weed is slowing down your hit it and quit it game, yo (shit, a little bit of E-Dawg slipped out there).
During the opening Kevina Love praises the “Leader-sherp” of Saguna. Not sure what a “sherp” is, but if this is about some West Virginia sheep action I am turning the channel immediately. I’ve heard stories about Saguna’s escapades and how he ended up wearing a helmet for the rest of his life.
Now the Ladies Man is coming out here to defend himself from Lady Love’s claims of having her man-clam jammed by the Love Machine. We see Ladies Man’s insecurities about being outed as a guy who likes to TRANSfer his semen to certain holes that may cause his exile in the Gentleman’s Club as he combats the claim that he “attacked IT!” (his hateful words, not mine. I reserve my bigotry for spiders and babies with bigger noses than my own). He also reminds the audience that Lady Love’s birth name was Frank (which we first learned about 16 years ago in the UWA). Ladies Man calls himself “Mr. Me-Too” and praises Jane Mouse’s wrestling acumen (he has a significant obsession with Jane).
Lana comes out with her Italian-esque Russian accent and while she talks Ladies Man can’t help but stare deeper into the eyes of Kevina Love at ringside (that’s what I am gathering, based on his…history). During this match between Rusev and Ladies Man, Pete (the longest serving referee in the industry right now, having been in the business since the late-1990s) does an Earl Hebner impression asking if Ladies Man submits and the match ends with Rusev going apeshit after Ladies Man takes Lana out “by mistake”.
Goldust is in the back and tells Ted Dibiase Junior that he has no idea where Cody is. According to Goldust, Stardust is nowhere to be seen, but Cody is likely at home taking care of Dusty. Dibiase isn’t happy with this explanation and leaves promptly. It is just awesome seeing Goldust back in the game, and especially as a Tag Champion again!
Benny’s former Head of Security, the incompetent Rob Amick approaches Saguna. He thinks of Saguna as the “new Benny”. Honestly, knowing Mickey and Benny so well (as my brothers), I can honestly imagine that both of them have replaced “boss” with their name as the official terminology to be used by mandate by their immediate subordinates. They really do have a God complex. Anyways, Amick warns Saguna that “danger lurks” and that he can be really useful for Saguna to protect himself. Saguna is visibly nervous about this new role and he has little time to recover from being bombarded by Amick before his daughter Megan shows up insisting upon a rematch. Megan points out that she has never asked him for anything and Saguna folds like origami in granting such…in a strap match next week. My quick observation here is that Megan is playing the typical bratty child role pitting her parents against each other to get what she wants. This is why I left all my children in tube socks and condoms…where they belong.
We then have our second match of the evening. Ted Dibiase Junior and Cody Rhodes (the Legacy) must win this match against Yokozuna and Umaga to become number one contenders OR they have agreed to disband. Cody is initially a no show as he probably came to his senses after taking a glance at Ted and saw the second coming of the Fatboys (the popular tag team in UWA which consisted of Satu and a Yokozuna 1000 eaten twinkies and small children earlier). Arn Anderson remarks that it is “too bad [that] this isn’t Retro Revolution” so that Ted Dibiase Senior (you know, the one with talent and a personality) could actually be out here to help his son.
Dibiase insists on wrestling without a partner but he doesn’t have to for very long before Cody makes a fashionably late appearance (he must be having trouble remembering his schedule and getting a signal to retrieve such since his personal satellite dishes were surgically trimmed long ago). The turnbuckles detach for a second consecutive week, because it seems that this is a new feature of the EWA (new motto: “With Turnbuckles As Unstable As Our Schedule”). Commentary blames the turnbuckles on Benny and the Legacy pulls off the victory. Even so, Ted is not pleased with Cody as the Butter Boys obliterate the guy who looks an awful lot like a current Tag Champion.
AJ Styles is on with Renee Young (no, he is not ON Renee, because that would make Jon murder me…and AJ…but me first) and he conveys that he is just fine with being seen as a “crybaby” in demanding his rematch. He tells the world that if we don’t believe him…we better. Damn, AJ, you got me there.
The cameras cut to someone sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. I’m already laughing because I can see where this is headed in this hilarious callback to one of the most famous and popular bits in HCW history from the Fourth Era. CM Punk angrily approaches the person holding the newspaper and learns that it is Maniac – who the announcers call the Edge “lookalike”, despite the fact that Maniac literally debuted in Benny’s ECW in 1998, but I digress – (remember, Punk repeatedly and mistakenly attacked Rocky Johnson Junior all the time in the highway, thinking he was Edge stalking him). We soon see that Edge was hiding in the dumpster as he attacks Punk and steals the newspaper from Maniac so as to read it in the dumpster. Perfect.
Our next match is between Rey Mysterio and Metalhead. I’m pretty damn sure that this was supposed to be a match between Metalhead and Homicide, but I suppose none of that matters since the coronavirus disrupted EWA’s schedule. Yes, it was the coronavirus. (WINK) It is claimed that Metalhead was the “longest reigning world champion” in the history of the business. This may actually be in dispute, but then again they are likely putting together both of his UWF title reigns in the Third Era, which collectively added up to just shy of two years. Metalhead pays tribute to Petey Williams with the Canadian Destroyer, Kevina Love suggests that she could be a mother (a reference to Mother’s Day, excuse me while I vacate the contents of my stomach outside of my window and onto a family of unsuspecting cats). Metalhead then imitates Paige, declaring that this is his “house” (ummm, does he intend to impress management at PWI?).
Kevina thinks she is a psychic for calling a back suplex before it happened and I am frightened about the thought of the Princess having a Crystal Ball in hand…or any ball for that matter. Commentary keeps up their series of apologies, saying they are becoming a company increasingly apologetic for everything (Revolution’s next season theme song should be “All Apologies” by Nirvana…I mean…it works, right?). Arn excuses the shoddy camera work by saying the workers haven’t been worked enough to get the experience they need (what the hell? Did they hire their crew off the damn streets?). Pete gets knocked down during the scuffle, Homicide jumps into the picture with weapons as he and Mysterio turn heel and secure a victory for Mysterio. They proceed to beat Metalhead down until the lights go out and Heavymetal returns to save his brother! Very interesting how we go from Metalhead being an entitled former champion aggrieved by his embarrassing loss to Mysterio a few episodes ago to now Mysterio becoming the bad guy and Metalhead’s younger brother and a former chief rival coming back to help him transition to babyface. We will see where this goes.
In the back we see Saguna next to “Cool” Johnny Quest. Quest has apparently found a proper role for himself in this era – his first official role since the Second Era – as he asks Saguna about his thoughts on the show. You can tell from watching that Saguna is not quite feeling this new role just yet. The legend is very unsure of himself as the boss, it seems. They discuss the options for dining in the area and Quest is not impressed with Saguna’s lack of knowledge about Columbus. Saguna does, however, exhibit the first signs of taking decisive action as he makes major announcements about the all-women’s Revolution (called “Takeover: Revolution”). He decides officially on Megan’s title rematch.
Dave Mathews is standing in the ring with his famous chairs that no one ever wants. He offers Athena Star one and she quickly rejects the offer (can the guy get a break here? I would happily take the offer…damn). She comments that she is now at “100% health”. I mean, yeah, you only had FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS to recover and barely a handful of shows took place without you! I mean, anyone watching these episodes in chronological order without taking extensive breaks between episodes would barely notice the damn injury!! BUT I DIGRESS! Athena kicks Dave out of the ring after he falls, because she can’t risk another injury due to someone being a human wrecking ball around her. She expresses that she had nothing to prove and hints that she was ready to become one of those legends who sticks around but never pursues the gold. Ultimately, her confrontation with Rousey is what changed her mind and she still wants to know who would come out on top in an uninterrupted match, for which she issues a challenge to Rousey at No Boundaries. Shayna Baszler interrupts the Starfest and proclaims that Athena must defeat her next week in order to get to Rousey. So far, next week’s episode is shaping up to be a great show!
Natalya Neidhart is now set to square off against Charlotte to determine the Knockout’s Number One Contender. I will say that I thoroughly enjoy Nattie’s callbacks to the traditional Hart family moveset. I loved the spot where Nattie nailed a double axe handle by leaping over Kenzie! Arn apparently inherits some of Kevina’s psychic abilities as he steals the words from the original soothsayer’s mouth pertinent to Nattie making it back to her feet. We are treated to an unfortunate reminder that Natalya was robbed of a major push at the height of her career in 2010’s brief revival of the ECW following the original EWA folding. GODDAMMIT!! THIS STUPID COMPUTER HAS TO UPDATE RIGHT FUCKING NOW?!!! I HATE HATE HATE HAVING TO DOWNLOAD THESE SHOWS AND WATCH IT ON MY COMPUTER, BUT NOW MY COMPUTER DECIDES TO GIVE ME A BIG ASS MIDDLE FINGER IN THE FORM OF A TURTLE-PACE UPDATE WHICH MIGHT NOT BE FINISHED UNTIL WE FINALLY SEE THE END OF THIS EWA SEASON!! AHHHHH!!!
OK!! I had to reset my piece of shit desktop so that it could finish its updates and now I can get back to watching this match. We hear commentary remark about Nia “The Other Natalya” Jax and the HUGE announcement that she will be involved in a cage match against Rousey next week with the threat that any interference will result in an immediate termination. Kevina excitedly calls a kick to the “booby” and then Charlotte wins with a devastating spear. After watching this match I catch wind of a rumor which has it that BWM Inc. is actually signaling a willingness to trade Natalya with the PWI, so it is interesting to see what little they do with Nattie in these final weeks of the season. Hmmm.
MAIN EVENT TIME!! We are about to see one of my favorite matches in the industry, and one of the few which are worthy of mention created by Benny himself (alongside the equally awesome Crimson Car Match). The Massacre Six Match used to be the main event of the Pay Per View by the same name and used to precede No Boundaries. Anyways, we are set to see Granddaddy Duxen, Jesse Hash, Sean Olson, Christian, Armageddon, and AJ Styles compete for the number one contendership! I just have to quickly remark how awesome it STILL IS to see the Iconic Duxen back in the ring after a 17 and a half year hiatus. Mickey reportedly was beside himself after reportedly hearing about Duxen’s arrival. He destroyed his home office and left a major mess for the housekeeper. I don’t suspect that this will help his sanity any.
Arn Anderson comments that someone will be “leaving with the champion…ship title shot”. Like, is this your first go at commentary, man? I know you are a big legend in this industry, but I swear that all those shots that Krusader and Jesse used to deliver to your head have left permanent damage. It is natural to believe that Armageddon will dominate this match, but my money is on Duxen to win. The man just had one of the biggest returns in the history of this industry and he did so in a match against the EWA Champion and won against the champion via a disqualification. Plus, it would be too easy to side with Hash as the winner, because he has another story developing with Athena at the moment. It must also be noted that BIG MEN RARELY WIN THESE TYPES OF MATCHES! Eliminating the big guy is always seen as a major moment and creates a cool spot of temporary unity amongst the other stars trying to eliminate them. Final, neat, historical note: the last time that Duxen and Armageddon were in the same ring was in the USWA.
WHAT THE HELL?!! Armageddon doing F-FUCKING-5s?!!!! JESUS CHRIST!! Thankfully for the health of the talent in the ring the Bludgeon Brothers exact some revenge on Armageddon, helping AJ Styles toss the big man out whilst their music endlessly plays as if this was the BFCW (Bad Fucking Championship Wrestling…my old small side project in late-2000 through to the Second Era-ending Allegiance War of 2002) or the BAWA (Bad Ass Wrestling Alliance…one of Murrey’s numerous projects, which rose and fell in 2000). Armageddon attacks Styles as Kevina belches outside about him being a “sore loser”.
After the madness of Armageddon’s departure from the match it becomes clear to me that the other four participants not named “AJ Styles” all forgot that PINNING THE UNCONSCIOUS STYLES IS AN OPTION! Due to the seeming incompetence of the four remaining opponents for him I may have to revise my prediction of Duxen winning. Maybe.
Christian and Jesse ending up reHASHing (HA HA HA) their feud. Commentary reminds us about how Christian was at the center of the break-up between Star and Hash, but Styles winds up eliminating Christian before Hash could be reminded of why he started hating his cheating ex to begin with. Hash retreats to hide under the ring. This makes me wonder if he will pull a Midget Hogan, but I maintain that Granddaddy Duxen is the darkhorse in this match. THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO THINK HE WILL WIN! Very clever, guys, very clever.
Styles executes a cool spot wherein he is saved from elimination by landing on the ladder and Sean Olson borrows his brother Brandon Lee’s “Spin to the End” finisher (might be the only time you see that right now, as Lee is having some major problems with PWI management). The crowd starts getting behind AJ as he builds momentum. I’m convinced that this chant was started by an EWA group of employees to try and throw me off of Duxen’s trail. We then see Duxen with a sudden resurgence as he takes out Jesse Hash and Sean Olson. Olson lasted longer than Hash. This is noteworthy, because EWA has barely used Olson, who was one of their top stars in the Fourth Era. My guess is that this is an attempt to restore some of that credibility for his top-star status.
At this point, it is noteworthy that Styles and Duxen both have two eliminations (AJ eliminated Armageddon and Christian while Duxen eliminated Hash and Olson) and DAMN THAT WAS AN AWESOME SPOT OFF OF THE LADDER!! AJ does a Styles Clash through the usually-unbreakable announcer table. This triggers Arn to reveal that his pick was Duxen but that he is now starting to doubt such (classic reverse foreshadowing, people). Just as AJ looks like he is about to win the lights go out and Ghostrider comes in to attack him (a message from the X-Division Champion Pac, for sure) and handing the match to Duxen as I FUCKING PREDICTED!! BOO-YAH!!
The show wraps up with Arn telling all of us that he has been “seeing stars” announcing the finish of the match and event from his back and they leave me with a belly-aching laugh!
Well done on a show to follow up Retro Revolution last week. The pressure is now on for their next special card = Takeover: Revolution which will feature all women for the first time in history on a Monday show. Looking forward to it. Thank you for reading!
Welcome back, everyone to the long-awaited sixth installment of WRESTLING WITH LENNY!! In this installment, I will be covering my real-time reactions to EWA’s “Takeover: Revolution” which took place on May 18th and the Fourth Edition of No Boundaries which took place on June 20th. So, without further delay, here are my thoughts on both as they were happening!
TakeOver: Revolution started without an opening video package, and I am left here wondering why EWA insists on reminding us that the Knockout’s are somehow more special on EWA’s roster than they are in PWI’s when they can’t even be bothered to produce a unique video package for the women AS WE WERE FREAKING PROMISED!! Ok, it is a good thing that I didn’t actually scream that, because I have a headache and I don’t need to make it worse…but I digress.
Commentary reminds us that this is a truly historic moment as this will be the first ever Monday show featuring an all-women’s card. Bravo for that, by the way. We are then IMMEDIATELY treated to the sound of Saguna’s music as the First All-Women’s Monday Broadcast is started by a man. Seems about right.
Before I go on talking about Megan’s sperm donor, I must note how much I love the Spotlight effect that we see here. Very nice touch.
Another man, Dave Mathews, welcomes Saguna and invites him to take a chair AND SAGUNA TAKES A CHAIR!! Good lord! It finally happened! Saguna proceeds to insist that he had spent years trying to find a way back into Megan’s life, but that Molly kid-blocked him each time. Molly then interrupts (typical woman, interrupting a man on an all-women’s show!) She then follows Saguna’s lead and ALSO TAKES A CHAIR!! Twice in one night?!! My god!! Mathews should play the damn lottery!
Molly tells the man…er…Saguna…that she needs “answers” (I honestly forgot about the “question”…it’s only been a decade in my mind since we last saw an EWA broadcast, as this episode wasn’t available for on demand until a week before No Boundaries). She reminds us that the question was on the intent to “coexist” (THANK YOU FOR THAT, SERIOUSLY). Molly also tears into her daughter, claiming Megan is dependent on being the boss’s daughter for success. Saguna fires back, tells Molly that he had hoped his former Tag-Bang-Partner would have changed by now before he accepted her offer. He accuses her of exploiting their daughter for “sick games”. John Brown then comes down and Lieutenant Dan Version 2.0 sicks the Bludgeon Brothers on Saguna, but Armageddon emerges to try and eat them, I mean chase them away.
We then see Saguna approaching Rob Amick and telling him that he has decided to accept Amick’s offer for protection. So far, the ratio of sausage to taco on this supposedly all-taco episode is a little on the porky side.
Things get a little more Taco-ey when the Knockout’s Champion joins Arn and Kevina on commentary for the opening contest between Brie Bella and Naomi. The match itself was pretty decent, nothing spectacular, as Nikki and Brie leave looking strong.
In the back, AJ Lee meets Athena Star! There has been a lot of buzz about AJ since she was nabbed by EWA in the Shadow Draft last summer and I am excited to see what we get from her as she finally arrives in EWA. It appears that things are starting out with an obsession angle involving Lee and Star. Lee professes to be a major fan of Athena’s, Star tries to get away, and Lee is upset with herself as Star flees. Good stuff.
There is now an interview with Pac and Ghostrider by Frank Dutch. Ghostrider makes it a point to mock Styles about his excuses for losing and Sean Olson suddenly emerges and claims that his recent (and I am being very LIBERAL with the word “recent”) victory on “Dark” makes him the number one contender for the X-Division Gold. Could be interesting, if the bookers don’t forget that this is a thing sometime between now and Olson’s retirement.
In the next match, Miss Money in the Bank Ember Moon takes on Nikki Cross. Arn develops some EWA-induced amnesia and forgets when Cross was eliminated in their tournament (that’s ok Arn, we forgot too…) and then commentary admits that they have lost track of what to call their stars and the moves they use (*THROWS KEYBOARD AND WALKS AWAY FOR HALF AN HOUR*).
Cross uses a move that they call the “Perfect Storm” (Is Cross dating Robby or something?) and the match is suddenly ended by a Double Disqualification with the debut of a brutal new force in women’s wrestling named Akasha! I was losing interest until this moment. Sheesh, what a cool debut!
When we return from the break Dave Mathews has come back alongside Granddaddy Duxen and his Grandson Jimmy (who TOOK A CHAIR!! Pick some numbers now, Dave!). Mathews asks why Duxen returned after almost two decades away, and his response is that he wanted to be taken seriously for a change…and to be champion. He resented being a comedy act under all of his former promoters and he wants his legacy to be something bigger. He also felt it was his duty to shut Orton up. Damn…now, I want Duxen to win the gold.
We get a dark and sinister look at Akasha and Paul Bearer. Paul explains that Akasha is the fifth and final Callaway! This is different from Living Dead Girl, because Living Dead Girl was merely trained by a Callaway. Akasha is one! Bearer promises that this will be “wrestling’s darkest hour”. Don’t tell Bray that.
The Knockout’s Championship Match is next via a Strap Match and I am left disappointed that this match is in the middle of the card. Personally, I have always felt that the main championship should always be featured in one of three slots: Opening Bout, Second-To-Last, or in the Main Event. However, I believe this booking decision was driven by the notion that there was a Triple Main Event for the night. I still feel that this should have at least been the next match, but I will leave it be for now. Commentary notes that Megan trained a “week” for this, but the way they communicated it made me laugh more than feel sorry for Megan for only having a week to prepare. Megan executes a brutal Mouse Slam to the outside, Nikki then falls 20 feet from the ladder to the outside. Megan then picks up the win after hitting a Megan’s Edge through a table from the ladder! Great job, Niece!
Frank Dutch is now standing by after the commercial break ready to talk with the new champion. The Establishment interrupt and tell Megan that her “Real Dad” (Benny…) is “proud” of her. She is thankful to hear this and she is then approached by Lita, who promises some “Extreme Competition” coming soon. Before Megan can actually talk to Dutch, Molly suddenly interrupts and shows Megan a heartbreaking hidden footage which demonstrates that Nikki and Brie Bella actually switched places during the match, meaning that Megan never pinned the champion! So, Molly stripped Megan of the belt and renamed Nikki as the rightful champ! Megan is rightfully enraged, demanding another shot, which Molly refuses, initially.
Commentary then gives us a comprehensive recap of the show so far and they do a run-down of the card to come at No Boundaries, including a just-announced Triple Threat for the Knockout’s Championship which will feature Charlotte Flair and Megan Mouse challenging for Nikki’s gold.
We then get ready for Shayna Baszler versus Athena Star. Less than two minutes into the match commentary announces that Star will take on Ronda Rousey at No Boundaries and I about have a fucking conniption! If Star is guaranteed to face Rousey then WHY THE FUCK ARE WE WATCHING THIS MATCH RIGHT NOW??!!! I mean, commentary could have at least waited until after the match to reveal that Star would be facing Rousey, because they must have forgotten that Star agreed to a stipulation a few episodes ago wherein she would first have to DEFEAT Shayna to get to Rousey! AHHHHHHH!!!
After I successfully replaced another broken keyboard I resume watching the match and see that Shayna is apparently trying to get disqualified as she brutalizes Athena left and right. In the end, Athena picks up the victory in a match which was shorter than it should have been.
We then get ready for the night’s MAIN EVENT! All interferences are banned, lest the interfering star risk losing their job, and the steel cage is ready for action! This match between Nia and Rousey is every bit as brutal as you’d expect. Rousey escapes the cage in the end when the two of them bust through one side of the cage and Rousey rolls off first. Rousey then uses part of the cage to break Nia’s arm and sends a warning to Miss Star.
Just as we think it is safe to turn off the television, Benny chimes in and surprises all of us. He announces an emergency injunction issued against Molly and John Brown, forcing all EWA operations to shut down until No Boundaries. He does this to fight what he calls the “Hostile Takeover” of his company by the aforementioned offenders. He announces that Armageddon will join him and Saguna against John Brown and the Bludgeon Brothers in the first ever tag team Crimson Car Match at the Pay Per View to determined ownership of the EWA! What an ending. Now, I am psyched for No Boundaries!
We now move on to No Boundaries 4! I must say that I loved the Introduction Video Package! Very well done, EWA! Then, as we get introduced to the action we hear that HCW Alumni Tom Banks and Jeff Esiason have joined the EWA following an invite from their former boss, John Brown! (Chairman Murrey was reportedly livid upon hearing that Esiason had done this) The show starts off with the Ladies Man coming down to the ring. He scolds the crowd for attending a show in the midst of a pandemic and repeats his claim of being an assault victim courtesy of Lady Love. He says that he is on a “Mission to Cancel Lady Love”. How the mighty have fallen.
John Brown and Molly then arrive on the scene. Brown promises to kick Benny’s ass like he did with the HCW. Molly basically begs John to reconsider this match. Can’t say that I blame her. Armageddon alone is a big threat to everyone’s health in this match.
We then get to see the first Ultimate X Match of the Era for the X-Division title. AJ Styles takes Pac to the limit and we also get to see the legendary Ghostrider get involved in the action. This had the fans on their feet throughout up through the point that Pac retains by a hair. However, his celebration is cut short when Chris Jericho arrives and attacks AJ Styles!! Well done!
Renee Young’s cheating ass is standing next to Nia Jax next. Nia gets tired of Renee’s filthy, lying mouth and kicks her out of the interview. Nia then issues a threat to Rousey for revenge for the broken arm!
Ted Dibiase Junior is having an inner war as he is approached by his conflicted tag team partner, Cody. Cody claims to be “stoked” by the opportunity at hand, but Dibiase is not buying it.
The Tag Team Championship match is then presented in multi-team form, as per usual (it is still good, I’m kidding, but EWA does seem to be reluctant to hold standard tag matches). The match pits the Champions Goldust and Cody “Stardust” Rhodes against Cody “Nightmare” Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Junior (Legacy), the Brothers Metal (Heavymetal and Metalhead), and L.A.X. (Rey Mysterio and Homicide). I am surprised to see Metalhead – at one time the top guy in the industry – revert back to the midcard Tag Team scene. So much for him saying that Goldust winning the Legends Battle Royal at the last From Dusk Til Dawn would “be in vain”. It is revealed that this is “Elimination Rules”, Cody attacks Goldust to try and prove himself to Ted Dibiase Junior. L.A.X. are eliminated first, which effectively ends what was a very intriguing push for that team since Homicide won the Beginner’s Ball last year at From Dusk Til Dawn. Cody disappears and predictably reappears as Stardust, and Ted loses his damn mind again! The Legacy is soon eliminated by the Dust Brothers but Stardust puts up no fight to stop the Brothers Metal from becoming the Tag Team Champions (marking the first time Heavymetal has won a championship since he became UWF Champion in December 2003). Satisfyingly entertaining match!
Dave Mathews is standing by with Ronda Rousey and he is back to being rejected for his chair offers. It is revealed that the match between Rousey and Star will determine the Number One Contender for the Knockout’s Championship at the next season premiere in August. Rousey warns that the entire roster will soon be targeted by the “Baddest PERSON on the planet!” I believe her so much that I just shit my own pants. No joke, it fucking stinks in here now.
Frank Dutch is with Charlotte. Charlotte takes a swipe at Megan for being a “Billion Dollar Princess”…she’s not wrong, but Megan has the skill to back it up, honey.
Rob Amick sees Benny, he and the Establishment then rush towards their beloved leader, proclaiming how much they’ve missed him and that living in his absence was the “worst life ever”. Benny tells his minions that he is “tired of living in the past” and that tonight will begin something anew.
The Knockout’s Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match is next and I am stoked. Nikki Bella defends against Charlotte and Megan Mouse. Charlotte was my dark horse pick to win the match since all the focus had been on the other two ladies. The referee makes everyone happy by ejecting Brie Bella from the scene, and after a hellacious encounter, Megan picks up the victory!! I am jumping out of my seat and preparing to order a bottle of celebratory champagne sent to my niece when suddenly Miss Money in the Bank comes in and cashes in!! She steals the moment from Megan!! There’s goes another FUCKING KEYBOARD!!!
Randy Orton is now getting interviewed by Frank Dutch. Orton shits all over Duxen’s legacy, calling him a “joke” whose grandson was just sent to “a local hospital”.
Athena and AJ Lee meet again. Lee desperately wants Star’s attention. Star promises to sign AJ’s autograph “soon”, but insists that AJ leave her alone. This will not end well, ladies and gentleman.
It is now time for the Crimson Car Match (I slightly expected this to be the main event, given the stakes, but I was wrong). Team Benny (Benny, Armageddon, and Saguna) versus Team Brown (John Brown and the Bludgeon Brothers). This entire match could have just been Armageddon versus the Bludgeon Brothers, honestly. Armageddon did all of the heavy lifting here, and we couldn’t expect anything else from the original monster of professional wrestling. Team Benny largely dominated this match with few exceptions. Molly played the part of the idiot damsel as she came out to stop Armageddon, only to get decimated for her efforts, despite being with child! In the end, as I predicted, Team Benny won! After the match, Benny named Armageddon the Number One Contender for the EWA Championship at the premiere of next season and Armageddon destroyed all in sight.
In the back, we see Molly and John Brown being taken out on the stretcher when the officials are stopped by Benny’s security. Benny approaches the stretcher, taunts Molly, saying “I love you, darling” and he orders the two of them to be removed at once.
Cool Quest is standing by with Ember Moon, the new, thieving Knockout’s Champion. It is a perfectly normal interview until the lights go out and Akasha attacks! I like this new gal. I really do.
We then see a fantastic match between Ronda Rousey and Athena Star! Both women delivered here, for sure, and I think they should both be proud. This match has been anticipated since before the official start of the era, and they pulled through, and in the right way! Rousey came out on top, looking stronger than ever as she broke Athena’s arm (looks like Athena won’t be signing any autographs now). Athena also looked great in holding up her own until that ending. Great match!
Now it is time for the EWA World Championship match! Randy Orton defending against the legendary Granddaddy Duxen! As the match gets underway, it is noted by commentary that this has not been a good night for champions, which makes me dig in on my prediction that Orton will find a way to retain. Then, we see something unthinkable happen, Orton wins the famous boxing tournament!! Duxen’s twenty-two year undefeated record in his famous in-match comedy bit is over!! This MAJOR twist leads me to switch my prediction mid-match, because you don’t get something like THAT changed during a match unless you plan on handing the victim something bigger in exchange; the championship. Otherwise, taking away the “boxing tournament” and handing Duxen the loss means the end of his career. Then, after a great battle, Duxen comes out on top, winning the gold!
Duxen’s celebration is interrupted, though, as the lights go out and clear the way for Finn Balor’s arrival! The Demon enters the scene and sets his sights on Duxen! What a way to end the season! Join me next time when I review the EWA Season Premiere!!