January 16, 2012

Attendance: 7,708 (47.7%)

- A recap of events from Brutality is shown. Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels welcome everyone, for the second straight night, to Vancouver. A steel cage hangs above the ring. It is announced that the first of three qualifying matches for the Best of the Best battle royal will be held tonight.

— HWL Owner Peter Bradshaw comes out to the ring. Bradshaw says that he’s not at all happy with the way things went last night, sitting by and watching two of the biggest matches of the event fall through. Bradshaw says that he has never been as embarrassed as he was last night, and that he has come out tonight, to apologize to the fans in Vancouver, for what can only be called a “massive failure” on the parts of some of the HWL superstars. Bradshaw says that if he were a paying customer last night, he would have been disappointed that he was nit given what was advertised. He says that, tonight, he will do everything in his power to ensure that the fans get to see what they have paid their money to see - and then some. Bradshaw acknowledges the steel cage hanging above the ring, and says that tonight, The Conglomerate will face Kurt Angle and Martin Maldonado inside the structure. Bradshaw also says that the Tag Team Titles will be on the line as Steve Corino and Eddie Edwards will defend the titles against Kaz and Evan Bourne. Bradshaw then apologizes again, before leaving the ring.

Commercial Break

— Backstage, Matt Morgan tells Ric Flair that it seems like Peter Bradshaw has it out for The Conglomerate, because Morgan has to fight twice tonight - for a chance in the battle royal at Best of the Best, and in a cage match against Kurt Angle and Martin Maldonado. Flair says that Morgan is called “The Blueprint” for a reason. Flair says that there’s no one like him in the HWL, and that he and Rob Terry will come out victorious, and that he will speak with Bradshaw himself.

Santino Marella vs. Alex Shelley
After fighting to a draw two weeks ago against the X-Division Champion, Rami Sebei, Santino Marella came out looking to pick up a victory. Alex Shelley, who has been absent from the ring for a couple weeks, looked to restart his path back to gold. From the onset, this match was a battle of reversals and counters, as both men had clearly scouted each other very well. Shelley tried to take the advantage by moving the match to the outside, but Marella hindered his plans with more counter moves. Back inside the ring, both men brawled, before Marella ducked a clothesline attempt and hit the Cobra for the 1-2-3.

Santino Marella pinned Alex Shelley with the Cobra in 0:15:03.
Rating: *** ½

— Alisha Hicks is shown with Steve Corino, Eddie Edwards and Shane Hagadorn. Alisha asks how both men feel about having to defend the Tag Team Titles against Kaz and Evan Bourne, and having to possibly face each other in the Qualifying Match for the pay-per-view. Hagadorn says that these two men are champions for a reason. They have fought through all sorts of adversity to get where they are tonight. Hagadorn says that both men know what’s at stake in the qualifying match, but they also know that they have the obligation of leaving Vancouver as the Tag Team Champions.

Commercial Break

— Returning from break, Alisha Hicks is seen with Kurt Angle and Martin Maldonado. Angle says that he and Maldonado feel like the odds are in their favor tonight, since Matt Morgan will be wrestling for the second time inside a steel cage. Martin says that, after what Morgan and Rob Terry did to him at Caged Rage - and the months of cheap shots from the Conglomerate - tonight, they will finally pay for their actions.

Best of the Best Qualifying Match
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Matt Morgan vs. Luke Gallows vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Steve Corino

It’s that time of year again, when the top 15 men with the best records in the HWL all do battle over the course of a month to see who will have the chance to face the Heavyweight Champion at Wrestleocalypse II. The great thing about this month is the match-ups that are created as all 15 men fight for the coveted 15th entry into the Best of the Best battle royal. In the first of three qualifying matches, the HWL Tag Team Champions faced off against each other; and Matt Morgan took part before climbing into the steel cage with Rob Terry to take on Kurt Angle and Martin Maldonado. In this year’s version of the qualifying matches, Peter Bradshaw has changed the elimination process. No longer will an athlete need to be thrown over the ropes to be eliminated; but starting tonight, the only way they can be eliminated is by pinfall or submission. Bradshaw said that this change was made to make the matches more exciting for the fans.

The first elimination came after Matt Morgan connected with a power slam on Luke Gallows for the pinfall.

With four men in the ring now, the attention turned to Yoshi Tatsu, who was clearly the weaker of the four in terms of strength and size. But, what he lacked in those categories, he made up for in reserve and determination. Morgan, Edwards and Corino double- - and at times - triple-teamed Yoshi with vicious beat downs all over the ring. Edwards used every trick he could in the book to put Yoshi away, but every time Yoshi found a way to kick out. Frustrated, Edwards tossed Yoshi to the floor - which was now allowed - but that didn’t stop the onslaught. Outside the ring, Edwards continued to work on Yoshi; and Shane Hagadorn even got into the mix as the referee’s back was turned! Edwards tossed Yoshi back into the ring, and the match continued, with all three men still trying to put him away. Yoshi tried everything he could to fight back, but the numbers were just too much. And when Corino hit the Sliding Lariat, Yoshi’s chances of continuing were cut short, as he was eliminated.

X Yoshi Tatsu was eliminated by Steve Corino in 0:16:18.

The match quickly continued as Morgan and Edwards went after one another as Corino got back to his feet. Edwards and Corino quickly used their skills as the Tag Team Champions to over power Morgan, tossing him to the outside. Inside the ring, the two men shook hands, and waiting for Morgan to re-enter the ring. Both men went after Morgan as he crawled under the bottom rope, which caused the Champions to get into a shoving match. Morgan snuck up behind Edwards, dropping him with a forearm, before going after Corino. Edwards got back to his feet, and apparently forgot about the handshake earlier, and attacked his partner from behind. Morgan took a step back, and watched as the champs went toe-to-toe with each other. Corino got the better of Edwards and started working him over, pulling out every move in his bag to pin his friend; but Edwards would somehow find a way to kickout. With the attention off of Morgan, RIC FLAIR jumped up onto the apron, and tried to hand “The Blueprint” something, but Shane Hagadorn ran around the ring and pulled “The Nature Boy” down to the ground and got into a verbal confrontation with the 17-time World Champion. The distraction allowed Morgan to connect with a lowblow on Corino, taking him out for the time being. Edwards and Morgan went after each other, with Edwards doing his best to avoid Morgan’s more powerful moves. Morgan was able to connect with a stiff short lariat, and looked to set up for the Carbon Footprint, but before he could hit it, Edwards rolled under and rolled Morgan up. Corino, back on his feet, saw the pinfall and aided Edwards by hold Morgan’s feet, keeping him from kicking out as the referee counted the 1-2-3!

X Matt Morgan was eliminated by Eddie Edwards in 0:25:15.

As Morgan got up fuming, the referee demanded that he and Flair both leave the ring area. Hagadorn grabbed a microphone from the other side of the ring, and said that he wanted to make sure that Corino and Edwards knew that “no matter what, you two are the Tag Team Champions!” Hagadorn asked for both men to shake hands and to let the best man win. Edwards and Corino shook hands, in the center of the ring, but out of nowhere, Edwards turned the gesture into the Achilles Lock! With nowhere to go, Corino had no choice but to tap out and be eliminated.

X Steve Corino was eliminated by Eddie Edwards in 0:25:39.
Rating: ¾
[Chelsea interfered against Yoshi Tatsu.]

After the match, Edwards rolled out of the ring, and grabbed both Tag Team Titles. He slid one under the ropes to Corino, but kept walking up the ramp, as Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels wondered if they were going to keep things under control in the locker room.

- Backstage, the camera shows Ric Flair and Matt Morgan walking through the hallway, when Peter Bradshsaw steps out of his office. Flair confronts Bradshaw, saying that what he’s doing to The Conglomerate tonight is an injustice. Flair is certain that Bradshaw wants to see Flair - and The Conglomerate - “crash and burn”.

- A preview for Best of the Best is shown. The event will be held on February 12th, live from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California!

Commercial Break

Cage Match
The Conglomerate (Matt Morgan & Rob Terry) w/Chelsea & Ric Flair vs. Kurt Angle/Martin Maldonado

The steel cage, surrounding the ring, is shown as Josh and Scott go over the events that took place yesterday before the match that was scheduled for the pay-per-view. Josh says that it is very clear that Kurt Angle’s actions have infuriated every member of The Conglomerate. Scott reminds the crowd of the heinous attack on Martin Maldonado last month at Caged Raged, that helped AJ Styles earn his Heavyweight Title Match last night against CM Punk.

This match was bound to happen, sooner or later, because off the friction that had arisen between Angle, Maldonado and the Conglomerate faction. Tonight was the first night that Angle and Maldonado could get their hands on Morgan and Terry - and have it mean something - after what occurred at Caged Rage last month. This was a very even match, as all four men relied on their strength to get the upper hand. Angle was able to used his mat wrestling skills to pull the match into his team’s advantage, briefly; but from the start, this match was all about which team would be able to inflict the most punishment. Cage escapes and pinfalls were both acceptable ways to win this match, and in the early going, neither team seemed concerned with either option. Rob Terry took the brunt of the assault from Angle and Maldonado, as both men took turns introducing “Big Rob” to the steel cage, opening up a small gash in Terry’s forehead. After a hot tag to Morgan - which garnered a round of boos from the crowd - The Conglomerate was able to even things back up. Their comeback was short-lived, as the toll Big Rob had taken left The Blueprint virtually alone, taking on both Angle and Maldonado. Angle and Maldonado worked over Morgan. Maldonado ran over to the corner, and took care of Big Rob, as Angle connected with the Angle Slam on Morgan in the center of the ring. Angle and Maldonado slowly made their way up the cage - with Ric Flair and Chelsea scream for Morgan and Terry to get up - before touching the concrete outside and being announced the winners.

[Cage Match]:
Kurt Angle & Martin Maldonado defeated The Conglomerate (Matt Morgan & Rob Terry) by escaping the cage in 0:16:17.
Rating: *** ½

After the match, Angle and Maldonado celebrated their victory as Flair and Chelsea entered the cage to check on their charges. Angle and Maldonado made their way up the ramp as Anarchy went to commercials.

Commercial Break

- ADAM COLE walks down to the ring, looking battered and beaten, as Josh and Scott talk about the Last Man Standing Match from last night. Inside the ring, Cole says that he has never been in as much pain as he is tonight, but that he wouldn't change it for the world. Cole says that, last night, he put himself through hell, and even had to fight a so-called "fan", all for the chance to walk away with the X-Division Title. He says he's aware that he doesn't have the title tonight, that it still belongs to Rami Sebei, but that if things were different last night, he had Sebei covered for a ten-count. Cole says that neither man won last night, so Sebei can't say he was victorious. Cole says Sebei was fortunate. Fortunate that Cole didn't have the power to claw his way back to his feet, and stand here tonight as the new champion. Cole says that if Sebei is in any worse, better, or same condition that Cole is tonight, and willing to show he's a fighting champion, he will put the title on the line - one last time - tonight, in a Ladder Match.

This brings out RAMI SEBEI, who joins Cole in the ring, looking no better condition then Cole. Sebei says that he and Cole have both had the honor of holding the X-Division Title, and that they know what it takes to hold on to it. Sebei says that he doesn't like Cole - and probably never will - but, he respects the fact that Cole came out here tonight. Sebei says he wants there to be a clear winner; for one person to say that he was better than the other, and to earn the right to be called champion. Sebei agrees to the match for later tonight.

CM PUNK's music plays as the Heavyweight Champion makes his way on-stage. Punk says it's great to see that Sebei and Cole are getting along, but that the people in the arena didn't show up to see them become best friends. Punk says that the Ladder Match tonight will be great television, but that he has something that will make the prize even sweeter. Punk says that, in the spirit of everyone clamoring to be named "Best of the Best", and earn a shot at him at Wrestlocalypse, that he is willing to make an offer to Sebei and Cole. Punk says that, as of tonight, he doesn't have an opponent for the pay-per-view, and that he will give the spot to whoever walks out of Vancouver with the X-Division Title. Punk says, on February 12th, he wants to find out who the better champion is in the HWL. Punk leaves the stage as Cole and Sebei stare at each other.

Commercial Break

- Returning from the break, Josh and Scott talk about the replay from last night, showing the attack on Kaz and Even Bourne by Steve Corino, Eddie Edwards and Shane Hagadorn. Backstage, on a monitor, Kaz and Bourne watch the video, as Alisha Hicks ask them what their thoughts are before tonight’s Tag Team Title Match. Kaz says that he’s too frustrated to say anything. Bourne says that there are a lot of thoughts running through his mind; but the one things that keeps coming back to him is the word: retribution. Bourne says that retribution won’t come in the form of a beating, nor injuring Corino or Edwards. Bourne says that the best form of retribution would be by leaving the arena tonight, as the new Tag Team Champions.

- Backstage, Adam Cole is seen in a supply locker somewhere inside the arena. He is surrounded by ladders of varying lengths. He says that his live hasn’t been the same since he lost the X-Division Title to Rami Sebei. Cole says that he can’t stand watching Sebei walk around carrying Cole’s title over his shoulder. Cole says, for so long, he was worried that he wouldn’t feel the weight of that belt around his waist again. But there’s hope. Cole says that tonight, he can climb a ladder, feel that gold once more, and bring the X-Division Title back where it rightfully belongs. Then it will be Sebei who’s live won’t be the same.

Tag Team Title Match
Kaz/Evan Bourne vs. © Steve Corino/Eddie Edwards (w/Shane Hagadorn)

As Anarchy returned, a recap shows the end of the first qualification match for Best of the Best. Josh and Scott talked about the possibility of Corino and Edwards being able to work together in this match, and if Hagadorn had any luck speaking to either of them during the show.

It was clear that whatever Hagadorn had said to Edwards did not make matters any better. As the bell rang to start the match, Edwards took Kaz down with a flying forearm and went for a quick cover. Kaz kicked out at two. Edwards got his feet, grabbed the referee by the shirt, and tossed him through the ropes, out to the concrete! Everyone in the arena looked on in shock as Edwards left the ring and made his way up the ramp. Slowly, the referee got back to his feet, and disqualified Edwards and Corino, awarding the match - but not the titles - to Kaz and Bourne.

[Tag Team Title Match]:
Kaz & Evan Bourne defeated Steve Corino & Eddie Edwards when Kaz defeated Edwards by disqualification in 0:00:12.
Rating: *
(Steve Corino & Eddie Edwards retained the HWL Tag Team Titles.)

After the match, Corino left the apron, grabbed both title belts, and made his way up the ramp, speaking with Hagadorn. Josh said things seems to be getting worse between the Tag Team Champions. Scott says that they need to figure something out, because they would only get worse as the battle royal comes into view.

- Backstage, Alisha Hicks is with X-Division Champion Rami Sebei. Sebei says that he has had quite a bit of success since he moved up from the PCW roster in the summer. Sebei says that he main-evented against AJ Styles; he beat Adam Cole for the X-Division Title; and if he wins tonight, he’ll head into Best of the Best to face the Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk. Sebei said that it’d be a dream come true to step into the ring with someone he considers a friend, for the sole purpose of finding out who the better wrestler is.

Commercial Break

Ladder Match for X-Division Title
Adam Cole vs. © Rami Sebei

Before the main event could begin, CM Punk made his way to ringside, where he joined Josh and Scott on commentary. Punk says that he has been busy with other things lately - mostly making sure that he keeps the Heavyweight Title around his waist for the foreseeable future - but that he is compelled by the situation between Sebei and Cole. Punk says that he came out to the ring to get a first-hand look at the man that will be challenging him for the right to be called the “Best of the Best” in the HWL.

Sebei and Cole got off to a very quick start in this one. Every chance they could get, both men found their way to the ladder and started climbing… only to have the other push the ladder over. There were not many actual wrestling holds throughout this match, as both men were just looking to keep their opponent down long enough to climb the ladder and grab ahold of the X-Division Title belt. From ringside, Punk said that both men were going to work themselves out of the title, if they didn’t focus on what was important: being dominant. The fight between Sebei and Cole poured out onto the concrete, and over to the broadcast booth. Punk said that he knew what it was like to be the best in the world, and he would show either Sebei or Cole who the best of the best is, next Sunday night. Cole, taking the advantage after slamming Sebei into the ring apron, turned around and started talking to Punk. Punk sat still in the broadcast chair, saying nothing in return, as Sebei countered Cole, and whipped him into the steel post. Back inside the ring, Sebei caught a second win, and kept up a fast-paced offense against Cole. Sebei connected with a scoop body slam, before climbing to the top rope and hitting a frogspalsh! Sebei, holding his ribs, made his way to the ladder, and slowly climbed to the top, where he grabbed the title belt, and was announced the winner.

[Ladder Match for the X-Division Title]:
Rami Sebei defeated Adam Cole in 0:05:59.

After the match, Punk got up from the broadcast table, and slid into the ring, where he shook hands with Sebei. Josh said that he didn’t like what he thinks Punk has in mind, as the pay-per-view gets closer. Scott said that Josh is just being a worrier, and said that Punk was just congratulating a friend on an impressive victory. Josh then thanks everyone for tuning in, and as Anarchy goes off the air, showing Punk and Sebei standing in the ring.

Card rating: ***

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