Philadelphia, PA – 11.12.2021
Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni & Silas Young.
Mike Bennett vs. Kenny King
King slams Bennett’s ankle into the mat. He keeps control until Bennett is able to reverse a suplex and clothesline King to the floor. Outside the ring, however, King is able to suplex Bennett onto the floor. When he whips Bennett into the side of the ring, Bennett bounces off the ropes and clobbers King with a forearm strike to the face. King desperately bites Bennett’s side when they get back in the ring, but a hammerlock DDT keeps Bennett in the driver’s seat. He puts King in the London Dungeon when King goes for a sunset flip, and King gets to the ropes to escape. King trips Bennett into a half crab, and Bennett uses the ropes to escape. They knock each other down when Bennett forearm strikes King and King responds with a Capoeira kick. La Bestia del Ring makes his way ringside and puts a chair into the ring. Bennett gets rid of it before it can be used. He nails King with a rolling forearm strike and re-applies the London Dungeon. King is tapping out, but referee Jake Clemons doesn’t see it because of a distraction from Bestia. King Dragon suplexes Bennett and puts him away with a Tiger Driver at 13:42. This was solid, and we now have both one half of the champions and challengers going into Sunday’s title match at a deficit with their respective injuries. (Update: neither of these injuries mattered at all in the title match.) **½
Dragon Lee joins Bestia and King in a post-match beatdown on Bennett. Matt Taven runs out to save his partner. Taven tells King that he would’ve never defeated Bennett without Bestia’s help. He then challenges Dragon Lee to a match on the spot. Lee throws his water bottle at Taven, and Taven dives onto him. LFI swarms Taven and takes out Bennett, then throws Taven into the ring to get this impromptu match under way.
Matt Taven vs. Dragon Lee
Lee kicks Taven in the corner before hitting the Tranquilo pose, then dropkicks Taven in the back of the head for two. Taven drop toe holds Lee into a strike to the neck, and follows that up with a suplex and mounted punches. He drops Lee with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Lee escapes the Climax and hits a slingshot dropkick to a seated Taven in the corner. A seated dropkicks leads to a half crab. A fight breaks down between Bennett and the rest of LFI outside, and when Taven gets involved, Lee wipes him out with a tope con hilo. However, Taven is able to land a lionsault back inside the ring for two. He does some more damage to Lee’s neck and gets two with Just The Tip. Lee uses the ropes to hit a rebound German suplex. Taven fails to fight out of a tree of woe double stomp, but is able to get his shoulder up to avoid being pinned. Taven pulls Lee into the Climax. King pulls Jake Clemons out of the ring to avoid the pin. Lee pulls an Eddie Guerrero with a chair. It does not get Taven disqualified, but it does enable Lee to catch him in a small package for the pin at 9:58. I actually enjoyed this match more than King vs. Bennett, but that ending just stunk. It also felt a bit superfluous, as I think Bennett vs. King achieved what it needed to in adding some tension to the upcoming tag title match. **½
Shane Taylor Promotions then comes to the ring, and Week by Week ends with Shane Taylor and Kenny King face to face in the ring. Two days later, it was confirmed they would face off at “Final Battle” in December.
Tag team action was featured on the November 10th episode of Women’s Division Wednesday:
Willow & Trish Adora vs. Vita VonStarr & Gia Scott
Scott and VonStarr’s teamwork fails to halt Adora in the early going. Willow gives her some aid as well. Scott goes to the eyes when Adora attempts a belly-to-back suplex and drops her with an STO. VonStarr damage’s Adora’s neck. Adora slips out of a bodyslam from Scott and gives her a back suplex, giving her an opening to tag Willow. She Pounces Scott out of the ring when Scott tries to save VonStarr. Willow gives VonStarr a spinebuster. VonStarr uses a chinbreaker to escape her grasp. Scott spears Willow, and VonStarr follows up with a moonsault. Adora saves Willow from being pinned. A series of offenses between the four competitors leads to Adora pinning Scott with Lariat Tubman at 10:37. Shane Taylor nods in approval from the entrance stage. This succeeded in giving Adora and Willow some momentum as they vie for a possible Women’s Championship opportunity at Final Battle, but in a vacuum this was just a decent match. **¼
Now onto this week’s episode!
Caprice Coleman vs. Ken Dixon
Silas Young is on commentary for this bout. This was originally announced as Coleman vs. Beer City Bruiser, but Bruiser says Coleman has to go through Dixon first to prove he can still “go.” Bruiser and Brian Milonas are in Dixon’s corner. Coleman manhandles Dixon so thoroughly that Milonas has to distract referee Joe Mandax so that Bruiser can take out Coleman with a clothesline. Dixon gets in a few shots but is taken down with a leapfrog reverse X-Factor. Dixon escapes Father Time and kicks Coleman to the floor. Coleman is able to fend off the Bouncers and deliver two suplexes to Dixon. He drops Dixon with Father Time, and before Dixon can submit to the modified chicken wing, Bruiser sucker punches Coleman. This gives Coleman the DQ victory at 8:01. Even for a match that’s entire purpose was to set-up yet another match, Coleman worked hard and produced some good wrestling. I wonder if this will lead to Ricabonni’s second ever match. *
The Bouncers continue their attack after the bell, concluding with Bruiser giving Coleman a rolling DDT.
The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) vs. Flip Gordon & PJ Black
We are reminded with a pre-match video that due to taking a Jay Driller onto a chair, Gordon is suffering from amnesia and believes it is the year 2018. PJ Black has been using home remedies to try and cure Gordon, as well as encouraging him to write down any strange dreams or memories he has. Gordon is confused that Bennett is on the roster. Gordon is too preoccupied with figuring things out that Black takes the lead on the wrestling front. Black also saves Gordon from the Hail Mary by shoving Taven off the top turnbuckle. Gordon wipes out Bennett with a spin kick and tags in Black, who lays out both of the OGK with a lionsault into a double reverse DDT. Taven superkicks Black into a spear from Bennett for two. Black gets his foot on the rope to prevent getting pinned by Taven after an elbow drop onto Bennett’s knees. Black escapes the Proton Pack/pump kick combo and tags Gordon. He superkicks Taven to the floor and lands dives onto both OGK members on opposite sides of the ring. Taven avoids a 450 splash back in the ring. Gordon however strings together a Samoan Drop driver, a running shooting star press, and a twisting press. Gordon knocks Bennett to the floor with the Kinder Surprise and assists Black with a Doomsday South African Destroyer. Bennett prevents Taven from being pinned. Bennett ducks a superkick from Gordon and Gordon accidentally wipes out Taven. Bennett spears Gordon, and the OGK hits Hail Mary for the pin at 9:43. This was a solid win for the OGK heading into their tag title match on Sunday, and an interesting way for this Gordon amnesia angle, however misguided it may be, to continue. **¾
The Foundation (Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus) vs. The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman & Dutch)
Vita VonStarr is in the Righteous’ corner and Jay Lethal is in the Foundation’s corner. Vincent plays some footage of Jay Lethal saying “I don’t even like The Foundation” from a conversation they had. The Foundation obviously questions the context of this, and as Lethal defends himself, he decides to head backstage. The Righteous ambush Gresham and Titus, as Williams has walked up the entrance to try and talk to Lethal. The Righteous repeat the phrase “I don’t even like The Foundation” as they beat down Gresham in their half of the ring. Gresham enzuigiri’s Vincent and tags in Williams who dumps Bateman with a crotch hold suplex. He nails Vincent with a rolling clothesline and pins Williams, but referee Joe Mandak informs Williams that Gresham is still legal because Williams wasn’t holding the tag rope. Titus and Williams are not happy about this, and Dutch body blocks Gresham into the barricades. The Righteous maul Gresham back inside the ring. Williams breaks Vincent’s pin after he lands Red Rum onto Gresham. After the commercial break we see Gresham Vincent belly-to-back suplex Gresham onto his head and drop him with a basement STO. Gresham fights his way out of the Righteous corner and tags Titus. He jams Bateman’s arm on the top rope before knocking him to the floor with the Hydraulic dropkick. He brings Bateman back into the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex, then tope con hilo’s onto Dutch. Titus and Williams double team Bateman back in the ring, with Bateman kicking out of a belly-to-belly suplex. Titus locks him in a half crab. Dutch throws Gresham out of a gutwrench onto Titus to break the submission. Dutch drops Titus with a Jackhammer. Vincent takes out Williams with Orange Sunshine. Dutch says “he’s going to love it” before delivering a ripcord Boss Man Slam to Titus for the pin at 12:25. This was a weird match and a weird way to end the show. The Righteous and Foundation feuding on paper is a fun idea, with their ideas of “purity” being mismatched, but now with Lethal out of the equation I wonder what the outcome will be. **¾
Jay Lethal returns ringside after the match. Gresham and Williams give him some untrustworthy looks as Lethal tells them they need to get Titus out of the ring.
Overall: This was a strange episode of TV, as it technically took place before “Honor For All”, but was seen by most after that show. It was most apparent in regards to Jay Lethal not being with the Foundation at “Honor For All” and the angle with the dissension between him and the group beginning on this episode. You can comfortably skip this episode and miss nothing. Next week has some promise.
NEXT WEEK: Brian Johnson faces John Walters in a Pure Rules match, a triple threat match will decide who Willow faces in a #1 Contenders Match for the Women’s Championship, and Dragon Lee defends the Television Championship against Dalton Castle!