Preview – Extreme Rules

WWE’s latest pay-per-view event fails to whet the appetite as the last major event before 2018’s SummerSlam in Brooklyn.

Team Hell No will strive for tag team glory for the first time in over five years and Bulgarian Brute Rusev also has his first chance at securing the WWE Championship against AJ Styles.

Here is a short rundown of the card and what you can expect to see tonight in Pittsburgh.

Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas will make his main roster PPV debut against Sin Cara, who he has been performing with on house shows since moving to Smackdown Live. As the newer member of the roster, expect Almas to have a good match and get the win – before moving onto bigger and better things.

Also on the pre-show, fellow NXT call-ups SAnitY come up against The New Day in a match that could easily feature on the main card. With all three members of both stables competing, this could be a wild match with a few big spots in a limited amount of time. Similar to before, Eric Young’s group including Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe should come out on top of the ‘Tables Match’ as the newer and fresher team.

Sanity

SAnitY (minus Nikki Cross) only debuted on Smackdown in June.

Both Raw and Smackdown have rematches for their women’s championships. Alexa Bliss goes against WrestleMania opponent Nia Jax with Ronda Rousey poised at ringside in this ‘Extreme Rules Match’. This could easily go to a non-finish and will most likely set up Rousey against Bliss at SummerSlam next month.

Carmella and Asuka have their rematch after James Ellsworth’s appearance ruined Money in the Bank’s title match. This time around, Ellsworth will be suspended high above the ring in a shark cage, limiting the amount of interference he can cause. Asuka has been poorly booked since her loss to Charlotte Flair at ‘Mania and a win here could see her regain some momentum.

Bliss

Alexa Bliss regained the Raw’s Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank (Credit: WWE.com)

Elsewhere on the Smackdown side, Team Hell No try and capture gold for the first time in five years as they face The Bludgeon Brothers. Whether Kane is sticking around for a while is unknown, but keeping Bryan in the tag division for too long seems like a foolish idea. Expect Harper and Rowan to deal substantial damage to Bryan before seeing off Kane for the win.

On the Raw tag team scene, stars are aligning for a certain team to win the belts at SummerSlam. Before that, however, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt have to defend the championships against Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Admittedly, The B Team’s rise to the top has been fairly funny but they do not seem a legitimate threat to The Deleters of Worlds. Hardy and Wyatt should retain comfortably before going on to face Rezar and Akam of the Authors of Pain next month.

Team Hell No

Nobody saw the reunion between Daniel Bryan and Kane occurring on Smackdown a few weeks ago. (Source: WWE)

There are three singles matches, including one inside a Steel Cage, on this card with no title on the line.

Braun Strowman will try and destroy Kevin Owens more than he has recently on Raw inside the cage, but look out for Owens getting a sneaky win by flying through the cage onto the floor. Roman Reigns takes on Bobby Lashley in a match which many are seeing as a number one contenders match for the Universal Championship. Finally, Finn Balor takes on Constable Baron Corbin in a match that could easily have been made way for Sasha Banks and Bayley.

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Crazily, there is no room on this card for Sasha Banks and Bayley (Source: cagesideseats.com)

The last three matches on the card could all steal the show in their own way.

Dolph Ziggler defends his Intercontinental Championship in a 30-minute Iron Man match against Seth Rollins. Undoubtedly, The Kingslayer has been the Performer of the Year so far and he could put on another great showing against Ziggler, who is always great inside the ropes.

068_RAW_06182018kk_2291--d7a89e0d053c15b22945bb2140172bd7

Dolph Ziggler shocked the world when he won the Intercontinental Title on Raw last month. (Source: WWE)

In a different and presumably slower style of match, Jeff Hardy will face Shinsuke Nakamura for the United States Championship. It is public knowledge that Hardy has been competing for weeks with a trapped nerve and with Nakamura only recently recovering from a dog attack, this one is anybodies guess.

HARDY

Jeff Hardy has adopted a new look in recent weeks. (Source: WWE)

Although it may not close the show, AJ Styles will fight Rusev for the WWE Championship in a match which will completely divide the crowd. Despite being a heel, Rusev has won over the crowd with his ‘Rusev Day’ gimmick whereas Styles has been a brilliant champion on Smackdown since winning the belt from Jinder Mahal in November.

AJ Styles

AJ Styles has only defeated Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura in one-on-one title matches since winning the WWE Championship. (Source: WWE)

 

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What To Expect When WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament Airs

The two day Royal Albert Hall event has now concluded and has thrown up some brilliant matches.

Already known to the public was the eight quarter-finalists who had won their first-round matches at Download Festival.

However, over the course of the shows, more matches were released and will be shown on June 25 and June 26 on the WWE Network.

SPOILERS INCOMING.

DAY ONE

To win the United Kingdom Championship Tournament, one wrestler would have to win three matches in a single night.

Zack Gibson did exactly that.

He beat Jack Gallagher, Flash Morgan Webster and then Travis Banks to secure the honour of facing Pete Dunne on day two.

Travis Banks had to beat Ashton Smith and Joe Coffey before losing to Liverpool’s Number One via submission.

Earlier in the tournament, Coffey beat fellow big man Dave Mastiff and Flash Morgan Webster beat Jordan Devlin.

20180611_Uk_Bracket_Feedcard_updated--ca3aafd55434a13b19e653fd60ed1452

WWE.com

Outside the tournament, Toni Storm became number one contender for the NXT Women’s Championship by defeating Isla Dawn and Killer Kelly – the match was restarted as a triple threat after Jinny got injured.

British Strong Style’s trio of Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate were able to beat The Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole, Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly.

At the end of the night, Triple H announced the new NXT UK division, which will include a tag and women’s belt alongside Pete Dunne’s UK Championship.

DAY TWO

Day two welcomed the NXT superstars and the show opened with a title change, as Moustache Mountain defeated Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong for the Tag Team Titles.

Moustache Mountain

Charlie Morgan defeated Killer Kelly as well as the return of Noam Dar confirming him as number one contender for the UK Championship – he beat Travis Banks, Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews.

On the title scene, nothing else changed on day two.

Pete Dunne defended his title against Zack Gibson in what I hear is a brilliant match.

Adam Cole retained against Wolfgang and Shayna Baszler only beat Toni Storm via count-out.

In tag team action, fan favorites Ricochet and Aleister Black beat The Velveteen Dream and EC3.

June 2018: Full Wrestling Schedules for WWE, NJPW and more!

Wrestling never has an off-season, unlike most sports.

Therefore, there is always somewhere to watch wrestling and accessibility to the internet has only made that easier.

WWE, New Japan and others have big months ahead – so let’s see what they are getting up for the next four weeks.

WWE

Money in the Bank Poster

Money in the Bank will host two ladder matches and a WWE Championship match

The biggest wrestling company in the world has a busy schedule ahead as the build-up to SummerSlam begins now.

Not only do we have Money in the Bank, probably the fifth biggest pay-per-view of the year, but also NXT TakeOver in Chicago as well as the United Kingdom Championship Tournament which features several NXT stars.

Raw will head to Houston and Arkansas whereas Smackdown goes to Texas and Tennessee before both rosters hit Chicago.

NXT has an intense schedule, with three days at Download Festival before Chicago on the 16th and then back to London on the 18th and 19th.

  • June 4th – Monday Night Raw: Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas
  • June 5th – Smackdown Live: American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas
  • June 8th to June 10th – Download Festival: Donington Park in Derby, UK
  • June 11th – Monday Night Raw: Verizon Centre in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • June 12th – Smackdown Live: FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee
  • June 16th – NXT TakeOver: Chicago II: AllState Arena in Chicago, Illinois
  • June 17th – Money in the Bank: AllState Arena in Chicago, Illinois
  • June 18th – United Kingdom Championship Tournament – Night One: Royal Albert Hall in London, UK
  • June 18th – Monday Night Raw: Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • June 19th – United Kingdom Championship Tournament – Night Two: Royal Albert Hall in London, UK
  • June 19th – Smackdown Live: Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio
  • June 25th – Monday Night Raw: Valley View Casino Centre in San Diego, California
  • June 26th – Smackdown Live: Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California

NEW JAPAN 

Omega and Okada

Omega and Okada will meet for the fourth time this month (Credit: njpw)

Also having a busy month in Asia is the New Japan roster, where Dominion dominates the headlines.

That show in Osaka will host Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada’s fourth match, this time in a 2 out of 3 falls scenario.

As well as this, the culmination of the Best of the Super Juniors between Taiji Ishimori and Hiromu Takahashi takes place tomorrow.

  • June 4th – Best of the Super Juniors Final: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
  • June 9th – Dominion: Osaka-Jo Hall in Osaka
  • June 13th – Lion’s Gate Project 13: Shinjuku Face in Tokyo
  • June 15th – Kizuna Road 2018: Gymnasium of Tokorozawa Citizen Main-arena in Saitama
  • June 17th – Kizuna Road 2018: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
  • June 18th – Kizuna Road 2018: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
  • June 19th – Kizuna Road 2018 Super Strong Machine Retirement Ceremony: Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
  • June 20th – Kizuna Road 2018: Iwaki City Gymnasium in Fukushima
  • June 22nd – Kizuna Road 2018: Akita Terrsa in Atika
  • June 23rd – Kizuna Road 2018: Yamagata Big Wing in Yamagata
  • June 24th – Kizuna Road 2018: Iwate Prefectural Gymnasium in Iwate

 

EUROPE

Strong Style Evolved

Some big names from New Japan will be coming to the UK (Credit: njpw)

Rev Pro has one massive show at the end of the month in Milton Keynes, as Strong Style Evolved comes to the UK.

The show will feature many prominent New Japan wrestlers as the company frequently cross over with their talents – their current British Heavyweight Champion is Tomohiro Ishii and their Tag Team Champions are Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki.

Progress has two chapter shows this month, 71 and 72, either side of the Progress World Cup coming from The Dome in London.

71, titled F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S., comes from the O2 Academy in Sheffield and 71, which is yet to be named, is in Camden’s Electric Ballroom.

Defiant’s Built To Destroy is the company’s two year anniversary show. Rampage will face Martin Kirby for the Defiant World Championship and Jimmy Havoc will face Kay Lee Ray for the Hardcore belt.

 

Insane Championship Wrestling has just one event, Drunk and Drunker, in their home at The Garage, Glasgow.

AMERICAN OTHERS

ROH Best in the World

Best in the World is one of Ring Of Honor’s biggest shows of the year

Ring of Honor has two live shows in Texas on June 15th and 16th before their Best in the World pay-per-view on June 29th in Baltimore which is headlined by Dalton Castle vs. Cody vs. Marty Scurll.

Chikara has their Johnny Kidd Invitational featuring Colt Cabana on June 9th as well as Go Eat Worms! on June 23rd with Matt Riddle on the card.

CZW has two events including their Tournament of Death on June 9th in New Jersey and then #DarkCity on the 29th.

5 UK Wrestlers WWE Will Be Gutted To Have Missed Out On

WWE has been snapping up talent from the United Kingdom for the last two years as their expansion across the pond has continued.

With Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven at the forefront of their first tournament in January 2017, this year’s tournament will feature some completely new faces including Travis Banks, Zack Gibson and Kenny Williams.

However, as with every division expansion, there are some who escaped the clutches of Vince McMahon and Triple H.

WILL OSPREAY

8_1-9

Will Ospreay is known for his high-flying offense (Source: njpw1972.com)

The Aerial Assassin and member of Kazuchika Okada’s CHAOS, Will Ospreay is one of the best wrestlers in the world.

As current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, he has been putting on brilliant matches across the globe with competitors such as Kushida, Matt Riddle and even Okada himself at New Japan’s Anniversary Show.

Currently performing for New Japan, Revolution Pro and Defiant, amongst others, it doesn’t seem like a logical move for Ospreay to jump ship and head for Orlando just yet.

He has consistently said on Twitter and in interviews that he is very happy with where he is at right now, touring Japan and the United Kingdom as well as spending a month this summer in Australia.

GRADO

Grado

Grado is known as the ‘Wee Chancer From The Tap End of Stevenson’ (Source: Grado)

The Scottish man from Stevenson is one of the most charismatic performers in wrestling today.

His comedic prowess is second to none, and despite not being the greatest inside the ropes, the microphone skills would be very entertaining for the diverse WWE audience.

Currently, Grado has taken a slight step back from wrestling as he has focused on acting but did recently feature on Impact’s tapings during April.

He would be a good lower card addition if Grado did ever decide to go to WWE, however, it is unlikely we will be hearing ‘Like A Prayer’ through WWE speakers anytime soon as he is booked as the top babyface for World of Sport’s revived show.

JIMMY HAVOC

Jimmy Havoc

Jimmy Havoc is known as The King of the Goths (Source: Twitter)

British hardcore wrestling would not be at the level it is now if it wasn’t for Jimmy Havoc.

The King of the Goths is a massive name in the UK and has the accolade of being the longest reigning Progress World Champion, as well as many other independent British titles.

He can work effectively as a heel or face, whether in a deathmatch/hardcore style of a match or in a more traditional WWE style.

He does have good links to Progress and Insane Championship Wrestling, both of whom have working relationships with WWE, therefore it is possible that we could see Havoc on Raw, Smackdown or NXT one day.

NICK ALDIS

Nick Aldis Global Force

Nick Aldis was formerly known as Magnus in TNA/GFW (Source: Global Force Wrestling)

Husband to Mickie James, Aldis has been a professional wrestler since 2003 and is originally from Norfolk.

As the holder of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, Aldis mainly performs for Ring Of Honor but does travel around the world; defending the most prestigious belt in wrestling.

You would think his marriage to James, who is currently performing on Raw, would mean his route to WWE would be simple but as it stands, Aldis doesn’t look close to signing for WWE.

His next biggest match could potentially be at All In with Cody, in a title versus title match in front of the biggest independent crowd ever seen so he won’t be in the WWE until at least October.

CHRIS BROOKES

Chris Brookes

Chris Brookes is already a veteran of the British independent scene.

Brookes is one of the few big UK independent wrestlers to not have been picked up by WWE or ITV.

Brookes has been a mainstay in Progress, Rev Pro, Defiant and IPW:UK over the years and still has time on his side, at 26 years of age.

He has formed successful tag teams with Kid Lykos in ATTACK and Progress, as well as Travis Banks as one half of CCK.

Originally from Tiptree in Essex, Brookes has pinfall victories over Trent Seven and Amir Jordan – meaning he would be a great addition to the WWE United Kingdom roster.

 

 

 

 

 

WWE UK Championship Tournament first round matches announced

WWE has announced the first eight matches of their UK Championship Tournament to take place this June.

 

 

Pete Dunne

Pete Dunne is the current WWE United Kingdom Champion (Source: Sky Sports)

 

Seven of the eight matches will occur on the 8th, 9th and 10th June at Download Festival in Derby, where NXT have performed for the last two years.

The final match between Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher will occur in America, presumably at Full Sail University where NXT is filmed.

The first round matches are as follows:

  • Drew Gulak vs. Jack Gallagher – Two full-time members of the 205 Live roster, Drew Gulak is the only participant from outside the United Kingdom to compete in the tournament.
  • Ashton Smith vs. Joseph Connors – Joseph Connors is one of this year’s few competitors who was in the inaugural tournament last January. Ashton Smith has been a champion in many British independent promotions, including ICW, GPW and FSW.
  • Flash Morgan Webster vs. James Drake – Both men made their WWE debuts this month when 205 Live was broadcast from London. Webster tagged with Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander to face Drake, Zack Gibson and Drew Gulak.

 

Gibson and Drake

Zack Gibson and James Drake (Source: BackBodyDrop.com)

 

  • Kenny Williams vs. Dave Mastiff – On paper, this match could be known as ‘The Bollocks’ versus ‘The Bastard’. Williams is former ICW Zero-G Champion and Mastiff has over 10 years experience as a pro wrestler.
  • El Ligero vs. Travis Banks – Ligero is a luchador who consistently travels the UK and puts on excellent matches. Banks is the current Progress World Champion and Defiant Internet Champion.
  • Zack Gibson vs. Amir Jordan – Liverpool’s Number One faces the most inexperienced wrestlers in the competition. Amir Jordan only began wrestling in 2015.
  • Tucker vs. Joe Coffey – Tucker is an Irish born wrestler who was trained by Finn Balor. Coffey was recently spotted at WWE Raw in London and is a former ICW World Champion.

 

Joe Coffey

Joe Coffey (Source: Defiant Wrestling)

 

  • Jordan Devlin vs. Tyson T-Bone – Devlin is current champion in OTT Wrestling in Ireland and competed in the tournament last year. Tyson T-Bone has had a fruitful 11-year career in Pro Evolution Wrestling and other independents, including ATTACK 24:7 and Target.

Once the first round matches occur, the winners will move onto the Royal Albert Hall where they could win the opportunity to face WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne on June 19th.

June 18th will presumably host the closing rounds of the tournament as well as seeing The Undisputed Era face British Strong Style in a six-man tag match.