- Seth Rollins returned home to WWE NXT after this week’s TV tapings at Full Sail University. Rollins was there as a babyface but mocked fans for always trying to get themselves over. The NXT crowd chanted “you bought in” at Rollins instead of “you sold out.”
Rollins talked about his match at Hell In a Cell and was interrupted by The Vaudevillians. Aiden English sang a song to welcome Rollins back and they approached him in the ring. Rollins, wearing a suit, ended up hitting Simon Gotch with his briefcase and taking English out with a Curb Stomp. Rollins celebrated to end the tapings.
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- Below is the full schedule for Friday, day 243 of the WWE Network launch:
12:00 am ET – WWE NXT: 10/23/14. The future is here. Witness the entertainers, the leading men and women, the Superstars of tomorrow – this is NXT!
1:00 am ET – WWE Superstars: 10/23/14. WWE Superstars features the best of the best in matches you’ll have to see to believe. You never know what to expect – so expect everything!
2:00 am ET – WWE Main Event: 10/21/14. WWE Main Event features incredible in-ring action from the WWE Superstars and Divas of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
6:00 am ET – Legends House: 5/22/14. When the WWE Legends engage a ruthless enemy in a game of live action role play (LARP), their strength as a group is tested.
7:00 am ET – WWE NXT: 10/23/14. The future is here. Witness the entertainers, the leading men and women, the Superstars of tomorrow – this is NXT!
8:00 am ET – WWE Superstars: 10/23/14. WWE Superstars features the best of the best in matches you’ll have to see to believe. You never know what to expect – so expect everything!
9:00 am ET – Legends House: 5/22/14. When the WWE Legends engage a ruthless enemy in a game of live action role play (LARP), their strength as a group is tested.
10:00 am ET – WWE NXT: 10/23/14. The future is here. Witness the entertainers, the leading men and women, the Superstars of tomorrow – this is NXT!
11:00 am ET – WWE Superstars: 10/23/14. WWE Superstars features the best of the best in matches you’ll have to see to believe. You never know what to expect – so expect everything!
12:00 pm ET – Legends House: 5/22/14. When the WWE Legends engage a ruthless enemy in a game of live action role play (LARP), their strength as a group is tested.
1:00 pm ET – WWE NXT: 10/23/14. The future is here. Witness the entertainers, the leading men and women, the Superstars of tomorrow – this is NXT!
2:00 pm ET – WWE Superstars: 10/23/14. WWE Superstars features the best of the best in matches you’ll have to see to believe. You never know what to expect – so expect everything!
3:00 pm ET – WWE Beyond The Ring: 6/6/06. See how a common man made it to the top of the sports entertainment industry in this tell all feature on The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
4:30 pm ET – Total Divas: 8/4/13. Eva Marie tries to fast track her way to the top. The Bella Twins vacation with their boyfriends. Trinity and Ariane have wardrobe issues.
7:00 pm ET – WCW Monday Nitro: 2/18/96. ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair battles ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage in the main event. Hulk Hogan goes one on one with Arn Anderson.
8:00 pm ET – WWE Beyond The Ring: 6/6/06. See how a common man made it to the top of the sports entertainment industry in this tell all feature on The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
9:30 pm ET – DX: Confidential: 10/21/14. Triple H and Shawn Michaels take you inside all things Degeneration X in this never before seen tell-all panel. Are you ready?
10:00 pm ET – WWE 2K15 Roster Reveal: 9/22/14. Hosted by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Renee Young, a panel of WWE Superstars and Legends reveal the roster for the WWE 2K15 video game.
10:30 pm ET – WWE 2K15 Roster Reveal: 9/26/14. Hosts ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Renee Young, a panel of WWE Superstars and Legends continue the roster reveal for WWE 2K15.
11:00 pm ET – WWE Beyond The Ring: 6/6/06. See how a common man made it to the top of the sports entertainment industry in this tell all feature on The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
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Doctor’s Orders: Starrcade vs. WrestleMania (Part 2: The Seeds Get Planted for the Monday Night War)
Annually, wrestling fans flock back to WWE’s product in droves during a time of the year that has affectionately become known as “WrestleMania Season.” From the hype for the Royal Rumble all the way to the stadium-held extravaganza in late March/early April, we expect the best. After all, the most memorable and enduring moments in most of our respective fan histories are WrestleMania-related. Yet, I want to take you back to a different era, when Mania was a sports entertainment brand in its infancy and when there was another event that could lay claim to the title of professional wrestling’s “Granddaddy of ‘em All.”
The Monday Night War was the most famous part of the twenty year struggle for wrestling supremacy between WWE and WCW (previously the NWA). In the 1990s, Vince McMahon was a little down on his luck. The mainstream media’s affair with sports entertainment proved fleeting. WWE, once rolling after several consecutive gambles in a row had paid off, came economically crashing back to earth. Furthermore, federal charges accusing Vince of distributing steroids quickly turned national attention against WWE. Though he was acquitted, McMahon was drained of considerable resources and his brand was damaged. Ted Turner had been waiting for an opportunity to catch up and surpass WWE since he had purchased Jim Crockett Promotions (basically the NWA as people knew it) in 1988. Launching Nitro was his way of pouncing on a wounded lion. WWE struggled through the next three years.
The less heralded part of the war took place when it was Vince who was trying to take down the aging king of the pride. The NWA was the most prestigious outfit in pro wrestling for forty years, but it was a loosely unified bunch of territories. McMahon said “to hell with that” and broke through traditional barriers. Back then, it was everyone else who was reeling and Vince the opportunist. The advent of Starrcade gave the National Wrestling Alliance a much-needed shot in the arm in its Jim Crockett-led fight for survival against McMahon’s WWE. It was a revolutionary event that garnered critical acclaim, but it was not without its consequences. A bigger spotlight on the stars of the NWA made them more valuable. McMahon was looking to build an unrivaled roster for his campaign to take WWE national.
1982-1984 was the talent acquisition phase of Vince’s plan. After the success of Starrcade ‘83, he acquired Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine, and Bob Orton from the NWA. All three would become focal points of WWE’s first WrestleMania in 1985. Hulk Hogan and a litany of other historically relevant stars were brought to WWE during the same period. Hogan won the WWE Championship in early 1984. Vince had become adept at promoting special attractions on a national scale in the 1970s when he and his father helped make Andre the Giant a household name. When he got hold of Hogan, coming off of his memorable appearance in 1982’s 5th highest grossing film, Rocky III, and his guest role on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson that same year, he knew what to do with him. Hulkamania proceeded to run wild.
The other phase of Vince’s strategy was to get his television show in all the markets across the United States. You know from years of watching WWE programming that they are nothing, in Titanland, if not incredibly gifted TV producers. Even in the ‘80s, their shows had a sleek, professional look to them that even the richest regional NWA broadcasts could not match. McMahon’s production value has always been better than his competition’s. It was hard to turn down his more aesthetically pleasing product featuring big stars. However, he bit off more than he could chew. Remember from Part 1 the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Superstation TV slot for Georgia Championship Wrestling? Vince bought GCW from Jim Barnett and Jack and Jerry Briscoe. Jerry got a job out of it that ultimately led to him being McMahon’s lackey on TV during the Attitude Era. Vince got the incredibly awesome TV deal…or so he thought.
“The problem with this plan was that there was a vast in-ring difference between the two products: the Georgia show featured an emphasis on in-ring action with talented workers, and the WWE show featured a bunch of one-sided ‘squash’ matches that had already aired on the USA Network,” wrote R.D. Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez in The Death of WCW. “When the switchover took place on ‘Black Saturday,’ July 14, 1984, over 1,000 fans angrily complained to the Superstation.”
A sense of irony may strike you when you search the internet to find the picture or video of Vince McMahon standing in front of a backdrop depicting the name of the GCW TV show on TBS: World Championship Wrestling. It will be especially ironic for those of you that watched the final episode of Nitro in 2001. McMahon’s first purchase of WCW, if you will, was not as triumphant as the last. The ratings reflected the above-mentioned complaints. Interestingly, it was this disastrous deal that put McMahon and Ted Turner at odds. Turner neither appreciated the sinking ratings on his network nor the fact that Vince had not, as agreed upon, produced a separate show for the TBS time slot in primetime. WWE moved on from TBS, as Vince sold the Saturday night air time to Crockett for $1 million a year later. That was a lot of money in 1985. Frankly, Crockett didn’t have that kind of money to spare.
McMahon also landed a special event on MTV in the summer of 1984 that brought popular singer, Cyndi Lauper, right into the forefront of a storyline with Captain Lou Albano. Any issues that WWE might have had from the TBS deal were offset and downgraded considerably by the “Rock and Wrestling Connection.” Vince rode that train all the way to the first WrestleMania.
Jim Crockett had two things unique to the NWA with which to counter WWE’s surging momentum in 1984: Starrcade and Ric Flair. The Nature Boy, in the early 1980s, was poised to dominate the decade. McMahon had other ideas, but by the end of Starrcade ‘83, Flair had reached a level of credibility in the sport that nobody else could equal. To be put over by the wrestler of the 1970s at the biggest event in the history of wrestling was exactly what Flair needed to embark on the incredible run that he had in the ‘80s. With Vince and Hogan picking up steam, Crockett put his best player in the spotlight again on the grandest stage. Starrcade ‘84 would feature Flair defending the World Heavyweight Championship against the incomparable Dusty Rhodes, who had a huge name in his own right as a former two-time NWA titleholder and frequent babyface challenger to champions across the country in the late ‘70s.
Rhodes was actually running the creative for NWA in the 1980s. He came up with the name “Starrcade” and booked the shows. He was also one of the three biggest babyfaces in wrestling as of 1984 (Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter were the other two). As Flair took his foothold in the NWA as the top star, developing the character traits that made him famous, Rhodes was firmly entrenched as the common man living the moniker, “The American Dream.” They had a dynamic between them that was as entertaining as any rivalry produced from that era in either promotion, as evidenced by another sellout crowd and numerous closed-circuit locations across the southeast for Starrcade ’84: The Million Dollar Challenge.
Starrcade ‘84 was a bit different than its predecessor. They successfully made it unique, adding a $1 million purse (in story) to the winner of the World title match and adding boxing legend, Joe Frazier, as the special guest referee. Emerging NASCAR sensation, Kyle Petty, was a judge for the main-event in case of a draw. Using Petty further cemented the regional status of the NWA in some people’s minds, but they needed to counter WWE’s association with celebrities and the combo of Frazier and Petty was certainly better than co-promoting via the local Food Lion grocery store owners. Crockett also lured “Superstar” Billy Graham, the former WWE Champion, into the mix.
One of the bright spots was, again, Ricky Steamboat. He had worked hard to put his match in the conversation for the night’s best in 1983, but there was no question that his was the finest bout of the evening at Starrcade ’84. He challenged Tully Blanchard for the NWA Television Championship, with each putting $10,000 on the line. Blanchard was an outstanding second generation star from San Antonio who partly inspired Shawn Michaels to get into the business. He was every bit the personality that you would expect from a former star quarterback. He often drew comparisons to Flair for his antagonistic artistry. The critical acclaim for the Steamboat-Blanchard match was well-earned. I have often seen it described as “one of the hidden gems of the 1980s.” I concur and encourage you to move their match to near the top of your Starrcade “must watch” list. It will likely remind you of watching Steamboat vs. Naitch.
Overall, it was not a show that played to the NWA’s strengths. The first Starrcade had been, albeit top heavy, a great wrestling show. The second seemed to be an attempt to mix what they were good at with what they perceived the national audience to prefer based on WWE’s MTV special. So, just as with Starrcade ‘83, Starrcade ‘84 was a mixed bag, only for different reasons.
To their credit, the NWA ended the second annual event with something memorable – Frazier stopping the main-event and awarding the match to Flair because of Dusty bleeding so badly. Such a finish would not have gone over well today, but in the context of the time in which it took place, it successfully built heat on Flair and made Rhodes more sympathetic. Well, at least that would be the apologists view of Dusty’s booking methodology; sometimes it could be difficult to tell if he was a genius with an eye on the next big money-making event or if he was stuck in a pattern that was behind the times.
WrestleMania took place four months later and totally wiped the floor with both editions of the Starrcade franchise, financially. Out of Mania, Vince McMahon earned tons of mainstream attention and his product really took off. Hulk Hogan landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. WWE added Saturday Night’s Main Event to their portfolio, aided by the $1 million sale of the GCW spot on TBS to Crockett. The NWA lost Steamboat to WWE shortly after Starrcade ‘84. 1985 was going to be a pivotal year for the National Wrestling Alliance, as they not only had to worry about finding a way to compete, but increasingly a way to survive. It was vitally important that the NWA counter.
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- WWE brought back indie women’s wrestler Leva “Blue Pants” Bates for tonight’s tapings. She wrestled Carmella in a match for the November 24th episode. This is a rematch from the October 16th episode.
- Former WWE Diva Maxine, who has been working for the Lucha Underground promotion, was in the crowd for tonight’s WWE NXT TV tapings at Full Sail University. She was spotted outside of the venue earlier by fans and tweeted the following during the day:
- Another top indie women’s wrestler worked tonight’s taping – Mia Yim. She will wrestle NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte in a non-title match on the December 4th episode.
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It appears Nintendo has gotten into the on-the-disc DLC game. Fantasy Life was released on October 24, 2014, and has day one DLC. The Origin Island expansion adds a new island to explore, relationship levels for companion characters, new kinds of pets, an additional storyline, extra character customization options, a higher level cap, and more. Considering there’s so much more, you’d think the download to add it to your game would be substantial.
Well, not so much. It seems the version of Fantasy Life that has been released outside of Japan is Fantasy Life Link!. There was a strong indication of this early on, since the base game includes the online multiplayer that wasn’t present in the 2012 original, and added for the 2013 Link!. However, it is now confirmed that purchasing the $8.99 Origin Island Expansion Pack DLC does involve downloading two blocks worth of data that unlocks the content within the game.
It’s a shame that the Fantasy Life Origin Island Expansion isn’t immediately included with the $39.99 game. Especially since the 2013 version of it released in Japan included everything at once. At least someone who does pick up Fantasy Life can take solace in the fact that the full game is massive and includes online multiplayer, so you really don’t have to pay the extra $8.99 for Origin Island unless you really want to. Much of the Origin Island Expansion DLC can’t even be experienced until you beat the main story, reach level 50, and befriend two, specific, important characters.
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The Subaru XV Crosstrek reportedly gets infotainment system improvements for the 2015 model year. (Photo courtesy Subaru)
If you, like my dad, have a soft spot for Subaru — and if you find the newest nameplate in Scoob’s doghouse appealing — good news: The Subaru XV Crosstrek and XV Crosstrek Hybrid are getting some impressive infotainment upgrades including a standard 6.2-inch screen.
According to a press release from Subaru, 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek models will begin arriving at dealerships in December. The automaker credited the XV Crosstrek with helping it set sales records throughout 2014, much as it has for the last six years.
As a nice little upgrade, Subaru said all XV Crosstrek trims, from 2.0i to 2.oi Premium and the XV Crosstrek Hybrid will get the 6.2-inch infotainment screen with rear vision camera. If you step up to the XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium with EyeSight, or a 2.0i Premium or Hybrid model, you get an even bigger screen — seven inches — with multi-touch gesture controls. Cool!
Both versions of the upgraded infotainment system reportedly will come with Subaru’s STARLINK smartphone integration platform. While we’ve not exactly loved STARLINK in the past, we’ve seen it improve year-over-year, so hopefully the 2015 iteration has ironed out most of the frustrating little things we didn’t like, such as unnatural voice command structure.
In addition to the infotainment screen real estate upgrade, the Subaru XV Crosstrek retains optional navigation
- Thanks to Tara for the following WWE NXT spoilers from tonight’s tapings at Full Sail University:
* Finn Balor kicks off the show to a huge pop. He’s interrupted by Tyson Kidd and Natalya. Justin Gabriel also comes down and they corner Balor. Hideo Itami makes the save and we have a tag match. Balor and Itami get the win. Balor’s promo to start the show was said to be very good.
* Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss. Alexa had new music and got busted open. It was said to be pretty bad with blood all over her face.
* Sin Cara and Kalisto defeated Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. This may have been a non-title match and was described as a must-see tag match.
* Sami Zayn vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Title is up next. Zayn came out first to a big pop. The crowd is said to be almost entirely for Zayn. Neville got the win after Sami suffered an injury and while he was being checked on, Neville rolled him up.
* Becky Lynch defeated Bayley. Sasha Banks was at ringside with Becky and provided distraction. Charlotte came out to a big pop and chased Becky and Sasha away after the match.
* The Vaudevillians defeated the mini-Lucha Dragons. These were midget wrestlers supposed to be Sin Cara and Kalisto. Entertaining performance by Aiden English and Simon Gotch.
* Baron Corbin squashed Elias Samson.
* Bull Dempsey squashed Steve Cutler. Bull made his entrance while Corbin was still out and they teased something between the two in the future.
* Tyson Kidd vs. CJ Parker is next. No Natalya this time. Kidd won by submission and challenged Finn Balor after the match.
* Enzo Amore and Big Cass defeated Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. Carmella was at ringside. After the match, The Ascension destroyed everyone and cut a promo on Itami and Balor, calling them dead men. The Ascension is coming for them both.
* Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn have words in the ring over how their last match ended. William Regal interrupts and announces they will face each other at NXT Takeover: Evolution on December 11th. Sami says if he doesn’t win the NXT Title, he will quit WWE.
* Tyler Breeze did a lot of talking and quickly beat Marcus Louis, who is still bald. Louis threw a fit after the match and walked out the front door of the arena instead of going to the back.
* Enzo Amore, Big Cass and Carmella make their way out next. Indie wrestler Leva Bates is out next. This is her second match for NXT, both against Carmella and there was a “blue pants” chant. Carmella got the win and fans wanted more.
* Kalisto and Sin Cara defeated Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger. Dillinger and Jordan got “Charlie Haas” and “Shelton Benjamin” chants.
* Bayley comes out and talks about how bullies aren’t cool. She’s interrupted by Sasha Banks and then Becky Lynch. They beat Bayley up.
* Finn Balor vs. Tyson Kidd is next. The match ends in a no contest when The Ascension attacks Balor. Hideo Itami makes the save and we get a big brawl. Referees and wrestlers break it up but Balor and Itami clear the ring of everyone and stand tall.
* Charlotte defeated Mia Yim in a quick match. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the NXT Women’s Title is announced for NXT Takeover: Evolution. Sasha and Becky Lynch attacked Charlotte after the match. Sasha taunted Charlotte with the title.
* Bayley gets some payback on Sasha for bullying her before.
* The Vaudevillians defeated Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy.
* Bull Dempsey squashed Elias Samson. Baron Corbin made his entrance for the next match before Bull left, just like Corbin did two episodes ago.
* Baron Corbin squashed Steve Cutler.
* Hideo Itami and Finn Balor vs. Tyson Kidd and Tyler Breeze is next. Natalya is at ringside. Balor and Itami win after Breeze takes a double stomp from Balor and a kick from Itami. They re-did the finish because Itami’s first kick missed. After the match, Balor cut a promo and said he’s going to bring something The Ascension has never seen before at Takeover.
* There was a final promo of some sort for Sami vs. Neville at Takeover.
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by Kirk Hiner on October 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm
Apple’s iPad Air 2 is now out and in the hands of happy customers, including yours truly. Oddly, the device arrived on a Thursday this time, instead of the usual Friday delivery we see with new Apple products, but that gives us all one extra day to play around.
As you’ll see in the video the iPad Air 2 is, indeed, noticeably thinner and lighter than the previous model;
8/26/1978 (age 36)
CM Punk ProfilesPhillip Jack Brooks was born on…
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Partial Source: Pwinsideer
– There were several reports stemming from Monday’s edition of WWE RAW in Kansas City that claim CM Punk signs were confiscated from fans in attendance.
A WWE source was asked about the situation and was reportedly told that the current relationship between Punk and WWE is not going good at all.
Additionally, it’s said that WWE is likely going to now go out of their way to make sure no one brings attention to the fact that Punk is no longer around.
– WWE social media manager Cody Barbierri is gone from the company. WWE put a job posting online on Thursday seeking a new person for that position and people within WWE say that Barbierri left the company earlier this month. Barbierri, who had been with the company since September of 2012, is now working as an independent social media consultant. The reason for his exit isn’t known as of this writing.
You may recall the name, and that’s because as reported back in August, Alberto Del Rio was released for slapping Barbierri at a WWE event for refusing to apologize for a comment that Del Rio deemed as racist. Del Rio was initially told he would be suspended and felt that was fair, but was released several days later.
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Welcome to Wrestling Inc’s live viewing party and coverage of NXT! Let people know on social media know you’re here and participating, and be sure to join us in the comment section below!
If you’re following along live, refresh the page every few minutes for updates!
The show begins with The Ascension making their way to the ring for what will likely be a squash.
The Ascension vs. Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger
Jason Jordan controls Viktor with a waistlock, tossing him around but that doesn’t last long as he eats a bunch of chops and a back body drop. A tag to Konnor and a double shoulder block leads to Jordan getting picked apart for several minutes.
Eventually Jordan catches Konnor with an elbow and tags in Dillinger, who is immediately destroyed and hit with the Fall of Man for the pin.
Winners: The Ascension
After the match Hideo Itami’s music hits and he attacks both men, but eventually gets beaten down. He then is victim to the Fall of Man and is left laying as we lead to a commercial.
CJ Parker vs. Tyler Breeze
Breeze is on the offensive early as he dropkicks Parker to the outside. Parker gets back in and lands an elbow, and he’s really jazzed up tonight. A double axehandle off the top rope allows Parker to keep control.
A visibly injured Mojo Rawley comes out to watch the match as Parker comes up empty on a second axehandle attempt. Breeze hits a frankensteiner followed with punches straight out of Shawn Michaels‘ 1996 playbook. After a series of misses, Breeze with the Beauty Shot for the win, with Rawley looking on.
Winner: Tyler Breeze
The Vaudevillains vs. Buddy Murphy & Wesley Blake
Aiden English and Murphy start off, working each other’s arms until English throws a cheap punch in the corner before tagging out to Gotch. Simon doesn’t meet the same success that English did, as Murphy & Blake have their way with him landing a double back elbow and a slingshot senton.
Eventually Murphy ends up in the Vaudevillains corner, and English goes back to working the arm. Announcer Jason Albert picks up on it puts over the work of English and Gotch, as Gotch is back in and applies an armbar. Murphy escapes a suplex from Gotch and tags to Blake who cleans house.
Gotch gets a quick blind tag and ends the hot streak of Blake, and the two hit a European uppercut/neckbreaker combo to win.
Winners : The Vaudevillains
UP NEXT: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Bayley comes out to a good pop. Big dueling chants start the match, followed by a loud “Bayley” chants.
Bayley tries to go after Sasha aggressively, but Banks keeps getting into the ropes. Finally Bayley lands a big double-leg takedown and slams Banks head into the mat. A body slam and a wonky looking kneedrop from Bayley follow as she’s in control. A knee, clothesline and kick from Bayley gets a couple of 2 counts. She also lands a beautiful springboard armdrag.
Bayley is dominating Sasha until shes caught with a boot to the face. Banks repeatedly drives Bayley’s head into the mat and stalking her prey. Banks stands on Bayley’s hair while extending her arms, which the ref warns her to stop. A big slap to the face of Bayley gets the attention of the crowd as Banks locks in a modified surfboard.