Around the Ring: Local flavor invades WWE Raw
By Mike Pankow
October 11, 2018
Several local independent talents worked for WWE during its stop in the Chicago area at Allstate Arena on Monday night.
Egotistico Fantastico, Roy “Flash” Gordon, Pat Monix and CJ Esparza were among the local wrestlers who competed in the “Global Battle Royal” on Monday Night Raw that determined one of the qualifiers for the World Cup Tournament at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia next month.
Fantastico and Gordon are regulars with Berwyn Championship Wrestling. Monix recently has worked for Zelo Pro, Warrior Wrestling and Black Label Pro. Esparza, from Normal, Ill., has done shows for AAW, Zelo Pro and Chicago Style Wrestling this year.
Interim Raw general manager Baron Corbin included himself in the match, believing it would be a cakewalk victory, but he was eliminated by the Conquistador, who unmasked and revealed himself to be Kurt Angle.
Angle joins John Cena, Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton as the first four qualifiers for the World Cup Tournament, which takes place on Nov. 2’s Crown Jewel special.
The main event of Raw featured Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeating the Shield in a six-man tag team rematch from WWE Super Show-Down. Dean Ambrose walked to the back by himself after he took the pin from McIntyre, perhaps teasing some dissension with him, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
In the other big news from Raw, the Bella Twins turned on Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey following their six-woman tag team victory over the Riott Squad. Rousey will defend the title against Nikki Bella at WWE Evolution, the company’s first all-woman pay-per-view event on Oct. 28.
In addition, WWE appeared to turn Bobby Lashley heel during his victory over Kevin Owens. With the Chicago crowd already annoyed by Lashley’s manager, the talkative Lio Rush, Lashley added to the hatred by brutal attack Owens after the match.
Glorious weekend: IMPACT Wrestling presents their biggest pay-per-view event of the year, Bound For Glory, this Sunday at the sold-out Melrose Ballroom in New York City.
The main event of Johnny Impact challenging IMPACT World Champion Austin Aries should be one of the company’s best matches of the year.
Also, Johnny Impact’s wife, Taya Valkyrie will challenge Tessa Blanchard for the IMPACT Knockouts Championship in what should be another strong match.
In other matches, LAX (Santana and Ortiz) and Konnan will face The OGz (Homicide and Hernandez) and King (aka Eddie Kingston) in a six-man “Concrete Jungle Death Match. IMPACT X Division Champion Brian Cage, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix team up against Sami Callihan and the Crist brothers (Dave and Jake) in a six-man “oVe Rules” bout. Former NFL offensive lineman Moose (Quinn Ojinnaka) squares off against former friend Eddie Edwards in a grudge match.
Bound For Glory will be available on pay-per-view on most cable and satellite providers and on the FITE.tv app.
On Saturday night, the “Monster” Abyss, one of the company’s original superstars, will be inducted into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Ringside chatter: EVOLVE returns to the Chicago area on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Summit Park District, featuring a guest appearance by WWE 205 Live competitor and Chicago native Mustafa Ali. … AAW’s debut show in Austin, Texas, on Friday night will be streamed live on Twitch. … WWE superstars Seth Rollins, Alexa Bliss and the Bella Twins will be appearing at ACE Comic Con Midwest at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Friday afternoon for photo ops, autographs and panel discussions. Former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia also will be in attendance and will moderate the WWE panels.