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NXT, 205 Live, Indie Talent to Wrestle at Wrestlemania Axxess

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Well pro wrestling fans, it is Wrestlemania week and people can expect a plethora of wrestling events in New Orleans and surrounding areas during the weekend.

While WWE is holding Wrestlemania and NXT events, pro wrestling brands like Shimmer, Ring of Honor and Progress will be holding events during the weekend as well.

Even WWE is getting in the opportunity to hold some smaller cards in the leadup to Wrestlemania.

On April 2,  WWE announced that four tournaments will be held at Axxess all of them with NXT title opportunities for the winner.

The four tournaments are as follows: The WWE United Kingdom Championship Invitational, the NXT North American Invitational, the NXT Tag Team Invitational and the NXT Women’s Invitational.

In addition to the tournaments, there will  be matches featuring competitors from NXT, 205 Live, the United Kingdom Championship Tournament and the Mae Young Classic will compete at the event.

There will even be appearances from wrestlers who compete for WWN, PROGRESS and EVOLVE Wrestling.

Below is the current Axxess schedule WWE released. Matches are listed by date and tournament.

Axxess – Day 1: Thursday, 6 p.m.

WWE U.K. Championship Invitational First Round

Lio Rush vs. Buddy Murphy

Dan Matha vs. Drew Gulak

NXT North American Invitational First Round

Fabian Aichner vs. Jason Kincaid

Akira Tozawa vs. Kona Reeves

NXT Tag Team Invitational First Round

Moustache Mountain vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss

Street Profits vs. Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude

NXT Women’s Invitational First Round

Nikki Cross vs. Aliyah

Kairi Sane vs. Bianca Belair

There will also been a WWN Championship Match between titleholder Keith Lee and Kassius Ohno. TJP, Kalisto, Gentleman Jack Gallagher and Buddy Murphy will also be in action, as well as talent from the Mae Young Classic.

Axxess Day 2 Friday, 5 p.m.

WWE U.K. Championship Invitational First Round

* Lince Dorado vs. Raul Mendoza

* Mark Andrews vs. Zack Gibson

NXT North American Invitational First Round

Chris Dijak vs. Ariya Daivari

Hideo Itami vs. Wolfgang

NXT Tag Team Invitational First Round

SAnitY vs. Forgotten Sons

TM61 vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

NXT Women’s Invitational First Round

Dakota Kai vs. Lacey Evans

Candice LeRae vs. Peyton Royce

Wrestlers from NXT, PROGRESS and the Mae Young Classic will also be in action.

 

Axxess Day 3, Session 1: Saturday, 8 a.m.

Semifinal matches from all four tournaments.

Also, matches featuring wrestlers from NXT, the WWE U.K. Championship Tournament, the Mae Young Classic and more.

Axxess Day 3, Session 2: Saturday, 1 p.m.

NXT North American Invitation Finals, the United Kingdom Championship Invitational Semifinals, an EVOLVE Tag Team Championship Match, as well as matches featuring wrestlers from 205 Live, NXT, the Mae Young Classic and more.

Axxess Day 3, Session 3: Saturday, 6 p.m.

The U.K. Championship Invitational Finals, the NXT Tag Team Invitational Finals and the NXT Women’s Invitational Finals. Also, Kassius Ohno vs. PROGRESS’ Walter and matches featuring TJP, Kalisto and Gran Metalik, NXT stars, wrestlers from the Mae Young Classic and more.

Axxess Day 4: Sunday, 8 a.m.

WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne vs. U.K. Championship Invitational winner

NXT North American Champion vs. NXT North American Invitational winner

NXT Tag Team Champions vs. NXT Tag Team Invitational winners

The session will also feature a WWN Championship Match, a PROGRESS Women’s Championship Match, a PROGRESS Championship Match, a PROGRESS Tag Team Championship match and more.

 

On one hand, these Axxess events are a great opportunity for wrestlers to perform in front of a live WWE audience. It is also a good chance for wrestling fans to partake in quality wrestling while being close to the Wrestlemania festivities. This can be conflicting for pro wrestling fans who want to enjoy Wrestlemania and NXT Takeover: New Orleans, but also want to partake in other wrestling events in hopes of seeing their favorite independent performers.

However the Axxess is also a good opportunity for die hard wrestling fans who love the NXT and 205 Live programing to watch their favorite wrestlers compete in a more intimate setting. For die hard wrestling fans, this is a chance to introduce your WWE friends to a different kind of wrestling.

 

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WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? December 10, 2018

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The Good

For Raw, their main event was between Seth Rollins and Baron Corbin in a TLC match for the Intercontinental championship and it was a great match to end the show. It had some crazy spots and was intriguing from start to finish. To make things even more interesting, Heath Slater’s story of him being a referee played into this as well and questions what lies ahead with him too. Rollins ended up winning so the championship match with Dean Ambrose at TLC is still on.

For Smackdown, the opening match between Daniel Bryan and Mustafa Ali was as good as it sounds. Along with that, they had a promo before their match started in where Daniel Bryan picked on Ali and ended up slapping him right in the face. Bryan ended up winning after applying the heel hook,which may be his new finishing submission since he has been doing that the past few weeks. After the match, Bryan proceeded to attack Ali even more on the entrance ramp, giving him all the momentum in his title match against AJ Styles.

The Bad

For Raw, it seems a little crazy that they are trying to embrace that their ratings are at an all time low. To open the show, Seth Rollins had some things to get off his chest towards Baron Corbin. In his rant,he stated that the ratings were at an all time low and that the recent shows have been bad because of Corbin. While it is a good way for management to look bad, it still looks bad to address the bad numbers and try to think of a bailout reason to address why that is.

For Smackdown, the rap battle between the Bar and the Usos was bad and good at the same time. While it was pretty humorous to see the Bar try their best Vanilla Ice impersonation, the whole concept of having a rap battle is what made it bad. While it did help build up the tag team championship match at TLC, their could’ve been another route WWE could’ve gone.

The Final Verdict

With TLC being this Sunday, both brands needed to put on good shows to get fans prepared for the PPV. Both shows did give a lot of time building it up, but things feel a lot smoother on Smackdown compared to Raw. Smackdown has done a really good job of putting time into their championship matches along with things just meant for their show. A prime example of this is giving proper build up for the WWE Championship match while at the same time wanting fans to turn in every week to see where things go for the Miz and Shane McMahon as the Miz keeps trying to get Shane on his side. Due to this,Smackdown had the better show this week and overall had a really good build for all of their matches at TLC. In conclusion, the matches for Smackdown have all the momentum going into TLC.

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News

Kevin Owens Likely to Return In March

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WWE Superstar Kevin Owens is slated to make his return to the ring sometime in March, but despite his timetable making him available for WrestleMania 35, it is still unclear if WWE has plans for Owens at Mania.

Owens is still recovering from surgery and WWE may be hesitant in putting him a big angle for WrestleMania, opting instead to hold off on his official return to the ring until after WrestleMania 35, perhaps at the Monday Night RAW following the event.

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New Japan Pro Wrestling

WWE Reportedly Interested In KUSHIDA

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA is reportedly drawing interest from WWE, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

KUSHIDA, 35, has been the cornerstone of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s light heavyweight division and one of their most recognized stars, globally.

The report indicates that NXT is the destination if WWE were to lure KUSHIDA from New Japan.

With NXT globalizing, an NXT Japan seems like a natural progression for the brand and KUSHIDA could be in those potential plans moving forward.

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