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Csonka Reviews This Week’s WWE Free Matches

July 8, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka Reviews This Week’s WWE Free Matches  

Csonka Reviews This Week’s WWE Free Matches

Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match: Bianca Belair defeated Aliyah @ 5:30 via pin [**]
NXT Title Steel Cage Match: Champion Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor @ 16:08 via pin [***½]
– Samoa Joe defeated Baron Corbin @ 10:22 via submission [**¾]

Bianca Belair vs. Aliyah: This is a Mae young Classic qualifier that WWE uploaded; Aliyah signed with WWE in 2015, works the live events and has had some matches on NXT TV. Bianca Belair signed with WWE in 2016, was an All-American and All-SEC track-and-field performer in hurdles at the University of Tennessee and is also a CrossFit competitor and powerlifter. Former indie wrestler (and now under a WWE contract) Kennadi Brink is the referee for the match. Belair takes Aliyah down right away, looking to use her power advantage. Aliyah hits a back elbow, and a leg lariat follows for 1. Belair hits a forearm and slaps the hell out of Aliyah. Belair follows with clubbing strikes, and covers for 2. She follows with a squatting slam, and covers for 2. Belair then grounds Aliyah, working a double chicken wing and loose body scissors. Aliyah fights to her feet, but Belair hits a double chicken wing slam, covering for 2. Good control by Belair here, Aliyah escapes the chicken wing slam and gets a cradle for 2. Aliyah fires up with uppercuts, and clothesline follows. The neck breaker follows and then hits the bridging northern lights suplex for 2. Belair cuts her off and hits a neck breaker across the knee, and follows with a spear and picks up the win. Bianca Belair defeated Aliyah @ 5:30 via pin [**] Aliyah is a fine little babyface, but it doesn’t feel like she’s evolved much at all as a performer. Every time I see her, she’s generally fine, but does nothing that makes me feel she should be on TV or will be regularly soon. Belair came off well here, she has a good presence and while she needs some more tools in the kit, she looks to have a ton of potential and did well for as little experience (24 or so matches) as she has.

Champion Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor [NXT TakeOver: The End]: Balor plays stay away to begin, avoiding Joe’s striking game. The cage match was made because these two kept trying to kick the shit out of each other and Regal wanted to keep them isolated to protect the fans. Balor starts to put together some strikes, and hits the running dropkick. Joe keeps going for the door, looking to keep his title. Joe climbs the ropes, but Balor cuts him off with an enziguri. Balor climbs to escape, but Joe cuts him off and flings him into the cage a few times. This is where Joe is great, when he punishes someone and does it with that swagger of his ROH Title run/early TNA days. Joe then pummels Balor in the corner; working face washes and hits the big running boot. They trade strikes now, and Joe again just tosses Balor into the cage. Joe looks to exit through the door, but Balor grabs a leg and they brawl in the corner. Balor looks to crawl out the door, but Joe pulls him back in and plants Balor with a German for 2. Joe climbs to escape now, but Balor stops him and follows him up. Joe hits an enziguri to the back and they crash to the mat. Joe looks to continue the attack, but Balor sidesteps him and Joe runs into the cage. He’s in between the ropes and cage, Balor attacks but eventually misses. Balor escapes the choke and hits the shotgun dropkick. Balor climbs over Joe, who grabs a leg but Balor hits the PK and falls to the mat. Joe back in and hits the STJoe, the muscle buster is countered into a sunset flip for 2. They trade strikes and chops, PELE by Balor and both men are down. The crowd chants for both men, they get to their feet and climb to escape. They battle up top, and Balor takes Joe to the mat with a sling blade, and Balor covers for 2. Another sling blade connects, but Joe takes Balor down, hits the senton and muscle buster for a great near fall. Joe is pissed that Balor kicked out, and lays in a series of kicks. Balor escapes the powerbomb and sends Joe to the cage two times; hits sling blade and then the shotgun dropkick. He hits another, and heads up top, the double stomp hits and Joe kicks out at 2. Balor picks up Joe, looks for 1916, but Joe locks in the clutch. Balor fights, but starts to fade. He counters out and hits the running double stomp. Balor now eyes the top of the cage and climbs, but Joe cuts that off but Balor knocks him to the mat and Balor continues to climb but Joe is alive and stops him again and pulls Balor back in and hits a SUPER MUSCLE BUSTER and Balor is done. Champion Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor @ 16:08 via pin [***½] I actually missed watching this last year due to a completely unscheduled few days in the hospital, so I am looking at this completely fresh. The first thing I want to say is that it is so refreshing to watch a WWE cage match with no interference or bullshit, just two guys, fighting it out for the title and in the end, the best man won. While not a great match, I did find it to be a very good and very enjoyable match. Joe had some of that old school Joe swagger to him, Balor had good babyface fire and I thought that the final third was really great, with good near falls, the crowd’s reaction growing and Joe picking up the definitive and clean win.

Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin [NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2015]: Typical hoss battle stuff early on, with Corbin controlling by using strikes and Joe using his grappling and submissions to set the tone of the match. Joe almost got the clutch, but Corbin powdered to the floor. Corbin rolls back in after Joe dares him to return. Joe attacks, hit the running boot and Corbin spills to the floor. Corbin cuts off the elbow suicida, and then works over Joe in the corner, laying in the boots but Joe fires back with kicks and chops. Joe gets a slick cradle and transitions into the half crab. From there he drops into the cross face and then starts to work the other arm as well. Corbin makes the ropes, and then pulls Joe to the floor. Corbin to the apron and Joe trips him up and slams him to the barricade. Back in they go but Corbin works a heel hook, and Joe has to struggle to the ropes for a break. Corbin then hits deep six, covering for 2. Corbin misses a corner charge, Joe hits the enziguri for the double down. Joe works jabs, fires up but Corbin answers back. They trade strikes, with Joe hitting a spinning back fist. Corbin fights off the muscle buster, hits the big boot and suplex, covering for 2. Corbin lays the boots to Joe in the corner. Joe counters end of days into the clutch, but Corbin escapes and hits a chokeslam, Joe locks in the clutch and Corbin fights but the ref waves it off. Samoa Joe defeated Baron Corbin @ 10:22 via submission [**¾] This was a pretty good match and a little better than I remembered. Corbin’s control work wasn’t very interesting and was quite honestly dull. But there were times that it was looking really good; the striking exchanges and basic hoss stuff worked well, but I feel Corbin’s control portions really lacked. The closing stretch was well done and worked well, getting the crowd into it more than they had been, and providing a satisfying finish.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was a pretty good collection overall, giving some attention to Joe prior to his big title match at Great Balls of Fire. The Mae Young classic qualifier was solid stuff, with Bianca Belair showing a lot of potential. It’s not a bad way to kill 32-minutes…