Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

From wikihow.com for cheating on a math test.

From wikihow.com for cheating on a math test.

I was surprised at how many people thought it was surprising that John Cena won. Though the WWE has done a good job of building up Daniel Bryan, they haven’t really built up any of the other new Superstars to the level that they could win the WWE Title. Another era of John Cena begin. Let’s roll.

HHH & Steph come out and look happy. Steph babbles about Seth Rollins and his big win. HHH tells us that John Cena was always an A+ player. He then introduces Cena. Let’s hope he doesn’t shake hands with them. They didn’t. Congrats. Steph gives him the big roll out for WWE 2K15 with Cena looking quizzical. Cena calls them out on their looks from last night. HHH plays white rapper which I find funny for some reason. HHH then throws down the veiled threat. HHH gives him the hard way at Battleground. It’s a Fatal 4 Way match. Randy Orton & Kane will be taking on Cena & Roman Reigns. HHH tells Cena that there’s always a Plan B if he survives the Fatal 4 Way. Seth Rollins comes out while Stephanie looks like a troll.

RVD is taking on Seth Rollins. RVD gets to continue his job tour for the WWE. (Next Day Note: I make RVD sound like an idiot for coming back for the same reasons Chris Jericho did later. Smart idea by RVD to be a stepping stone too.) RVD gets the upper hand with an enziguri after the early exchanges. RVD shoulder blocks him in the back. RVD continues to work the back over. Rollins regroups outside and catches RVD unaware. Break. Rollins counters into a single leg crab. Still think that move is stupid. RVD kicks Rollins in the jaw. Rolling Thunder on the back. Most psychology by RVD in a while. Split legged moonsault continues the work on the back. Rollins gets thrown into the turn buckles with a head scissors take over. RVD nails Rollins with a cross body to the floor. Rollins Dragon Screw leg whips RVD while he’s in the ropes. Curb Stomp for the victory. Rollins wants to be called the right thing. He’s Mr. MITB. I wasn’t wrong Seth. I picked you to win. Sometimes in wrestling there are hijinks. Dean Ambrose interrupts him. Dean tells him Kane was Plan B because Rollins’s Plan A didn’t work. Ambrose tells him he’ll be there any time he tries to cash in the briefcase. Smart move on his part.

Rusev comes out with Lana. Please let there be no promo. Crap, in ring promo. America is used to failure. No one can stop Rusev. Jack Swagger‘s music hits. Awesome! They should come down according to their own words. Zeb Colter is defending our country. He gives us a free speech brush up. They are taking advantage of our freedoms. I’m guessing Swagger loses but a win here would be welcome. We The People! Working better with the crowd already than Big E did. A pair of arm drags to make Rusev run? Really. I’m glad they’re not rushing it either. Let this happen at your all too soon next PPV. (Next Day Note: The WWE tries to work in shades of gray more these days but they still usually book a baby face vs a heel. This angle though is a perfect shade of gray. Plus I feel like heels should hate each other more than baby faces. The later could do more of a UFC respect thing.)

Winning from captiveinternational.com

Winning from captiveinternational.com

Sheamus is in the ring and awaiting the introduction of the Usos. They are taking on the Wyatt Family. People enjoy the entrance but it’s catch up time for me. Jey starts against Erick Rowan. Jimmy comes in for double team action. Break because of the entrance.  Jimmy & Rowan are in the match still. Bray Wyatt splashes Jimmy in the corner with some help. Luke Harper comes in quickly. Jimmy hits Whisper In The Wind. Sheamus battles Rowan. Sheamus does Ten Beats. Sheamus double shoulder blocks Harper & Rowan on the outside from the top rope. Wyatt distracts Sheamus. Rowan knocks him out of the ring. Harper gives Sheamus a big boot in the mush. Poor Mitchell Cool trying to sell that dumb Sgt. Slaughter move still. Sheamus kicks Wyatt who fires back with an uppercut. Super kick by Harper. Sheamus with a back breaker. Jey starts to clean house. Flying Uso who cleared by a lot today. Super kick by Jey leads to a two. Exchange of finishers. Jey gets hit by the Harper clothes line for the win. Much needed win for the threesome after all losing last night. Who is this announcer? Tom is his name. Nikki didn’t think she made a mistake last night. She gets to take on the Funkadactyls by herself next. Did Steph happen to be extremely close or that they knew when Nikki would be interviewed? If it’s the later, how since matches aren’t determined?

Bo Dallas has a moment of silence for Daniel Bryan and Bad News Barrett. The crowd stays a little too quiet. Jerry Lawler makes a lot of Bo jokes. Don’t stop Bo-lieving. Nikki is miraculously ready to go including hat cutely crooked. Big threat there Steph. Cameron & Naomi come out. Why would anyone think this is a problem since the Funkadactyls have had their own problems? Cameron starts out. Face buster by Nikki. Naomi tags herself in. Nikki tries to jump her but gets kicked in the head. Naomi with the Final Cut for the win. Cameron steps to Naomi after the match. Charles Robinson knows how to chill bitches out like Ringo.

Wade Barrett has a separated shoulder. The IC Title is vacant. It will be determined by battle royal at Battleground. Yuck. We have seen entirely too many battle royals lately. Paul Heyman introduces Cesaro as the next IC Champion. I could handle that. His opponent is Kofi Kingston who gets an inset promo. We’re supposed to believe he has a chance at the title. Cross body by Kofi early. He monkey flips Cesaro thru the ropes. Flip dive to the outside by Kofi. The announcers have been pushing the Network harder than normal in my opinion. I like Cesaro’s gear. I might have missed it last night. Cesaro does away with the Swing. Kofi head scissors into a victory roll. Uppercut to the back by Cesaro leads to a break. Kingston beat Cesaro during the break. (Next Day Note: This would have been a perfect spot last night to confirm my suspicion that they were pimping the Network more than normal. Having a match finish during the break is a perfect way to do it.) Cesaro starts Kofi around ring side. This could work better than a victory. Cesaro drags Kofi by the hair. Cesaro repeatedly slams Kofi into the ring post chest first. Cesaro turns him inside out with a clothes line. Nice old school beat down. Not good to hear that Michael Cole is down. Santino is talking to Cobra when Adam Rose comes in to pimp Twisted Tea. Cole dusts himself off and says he can continue.

Damien Sandow comes out as Vince McMahon. He starts using McMahon’s catch phrases. Ending with “You’re fired!” Stephanie is pissed. The Great Khali is his opponent. Chop to the head for the win. Quick & painless. Evidently there were rumors about someone all day. I had no idea.

The Miz is back and dressed all in white. He just finished Marine 4. I’m sure it’s great. They should be playing this up if they want him to mean something. It’ll freshen up his character. Similar to what his gimmick was. Chris Jericho interrupts his speech. I have enjoyed his podcast most of the wrestlers so far. Even if they sound more poorly recorded than ours. The Miz isn’t phased. Jericho gives him the Code Breaker. Before it becomes Raw Is Jericho, the Wyatts hit the ring. Jericho loves doing jobs to get people over. God bless him. He gets it. A beat down occurred ending with Sister Abigail. Did I even need to type that?

Fandango is taking on Dolph Ziggler who will be on Main Event against Cesaro too. I hope Chris gets that watched tomorrow. Fandango stomps away but starts gyrating. Ziggler doesn’t take advantage. Layla kisses Fandango. It has been a lively crowd tonight. Summer Rae walks into the middle of the ring and kisses Ziggler. Fandango is a little pissed. Ziggler kisses Summer. Zig Zag while Fandango is distracted. JBL “I think Ziggler got a win win tonight.” Amen.

Will Dolph Ziggler get a new valet? from fanpop.com

Will Dolph Ziggler get a new valet? from fanpop.com

Stardust & Goldust are taking on Rybaxel again. WWE, we need two more tag teams. I’m just saying, it’d help. Put Titus O’Neil back in one. I can’t remember if Darren Young got cut. Goldust starts against Curtis Axel. Ryback comes in on a sneak tag. Ryback uses power to domionate Goldust. Spine buster on an attempted Meat Hook. Stardust & Axel come in. Tucked DDT by Stardust. He hits a Reverse Downward Spiral for the win. JBL is selling the crazy angle.

Paige is in the ring and gets a mic. She is a woman of few words. She talks about her nay sayers. Last night put that story line to sleep. AJ Lee comes back. It’s been quite a night. She admits that Paige was right. Lee still manages to toot her own horn. She needed a slap of reality. Paige isn’t as dumb as AJ thinks. For some reason, Paige leaves it up to the crowd to determine the match although Lee brings it home. Mike Chioda magically appears. Paige boots Lee in the face. Paige head butts her. Clothesline by Paige. Small package and AJ wins. Interesting turn of events. No reason she shouldn’t have kicked out of that. Why the announcers are happy for AJ is a mystery to me.

Main event introductions are always optional. Should be caught up at the very end. John Cena starts against Randy Orton. After some jockeying, Roman Reigns is tagged in. Orton tags in Kane. Orton is in control after the break. Reigns turns it around with a jumping clothes line. Kane blocks the apron drop kick. Orton catches Reigns by surprise. They continue to work over Reigns. Orton extinguishes a tag attempt. Reigns boots Kane. They trade upper cuts. Samoan Drop by Reigns. Cena is in against Orton.  Shoulder blocks. Five Knuckle Shuffle. Kane gets in. Five Knuckle Shuffle. RKO. Reigns tosses Orton out. Superman punch on Kane. Reigns & Orton fight to the back. Cena gets tossed into the steps. Is that part of the Five Moves of Doom? Kane hits Cena with the stairs for the DQ. Tombstone to make us think Kane has a chance in the Fatal 4 Way. I still don’t believe. Charles Robinson calls for the doctors. Seth Rollins music hits. Did everyone forget about Ambrose? (Next Day Note: I’m still confused how Rollins, HHH and Randy Orton can all forget about Ambrose.) Dean fights Rollins through the crowd. The ref correctly pointing in that Cena was hurt. Reigns comes back to spear Kane. Reigns stares down HHH. Good Summerslam match. The stare down stops my DVR. I didn’t feel like going to USA. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Lunch Conversation – #WWE ‘Future Endeavor Day’

th

Jeremy: So no more releases as of yet.

Kevin: I would have to think it’s ended now unless the rumor mill is true that no one can get a hold of JTG.

Jeremy: HA, poor JTG. Did you realize he was still employed?

Kevin: Yes because I’ve gone thru that roster page too often recently during shows. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t know. He doesn’t even make Main Event.

Jeremy: If there was ever a time to replace him wouldn’t it be now? They have Xavier Woods after all.

Kevin: There is no reason to pay someone who can’t even make it to Main Event. JTG should be gone.

Jeremy: Unless he is a trainer behind the scenes? I have no clue what he does as a function for the company.

Kevin: Knowing the inner workings would always help. Maybe he helps choreograph the Funkadactyls routines.

Jeremy: Saw Chris post that he hasn’t had one match this year. What a great way to make money.

Kevin: More reasons to can the guy unless he’s doing something else for them. I bet he’s the mole who is giving TNA the scoop on the WWE’s story lines.

Jeremy: Then he is the worst possible mole ever. I have always figured TNA’s “mole” was the TYV in the office. “Hey look what they are doing. We should do that.”

Kevin: I can’t wait to see what they try to replicate tonight. Hold on, weren’t we talking about everyone who got canned? We haven’t mentioned any of them yet.

Jeremy: Oh yeah, well it sort of goes hand in hand. Some of these people could end up in TNA.

Kevin: If TNA is smart, they’ll stay away simply because more rip off jokes will follow. I know some of them might be useful with re-packaging but none of them are so good that they’ll drag TNA out of the dregs.

Jeremy: Out of the list of the released Evan Bourne will probably end up in ROH again or Dragon Gate USA. He is too talented for this to be the end of his career.

Kevin: He should land on his feet. No one else will care about the pot smoking. The rash of injuries usually subsides at some point. Hell, once brittle Fred Taylor even had a string of injury free years for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jeremy: His injuries were from a car accident as well and then a string of “bad luck.” Regardless he has immediate merchandise potential as I have said since WWE called him up. TNA should take a look but they won’t.

Kevin: He’s the only guy I wouldn’t blame them for picking up. I’d be disappointed in him if he did that though. Everyone in wrestling has to know it’s a black hole.

Jeremy: At this time though if they come calling you sort of have to listen and at least consider it. Drew Mcintyre can still make a go of things.

Jeremy: Allow me to interrupt this conversation for breaking news: JTG has been released.

Continue reading

Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

art

coursebuffet.com

I think the only reason I mention I don’t have an introduction is because I enjoy writing them. I’m not sure anyone cares. So let’s just get to this review.

Evolution comes out first. HHH says this won’t end until the Shield no longer exists. Batista has the brains to ask for his title shot. HHH calls Batista a choker. Ha. HHH tries to sell his plan of beating the Shield. Batista understands the plan and quits. HHH tells Batista that he’s finished for reals. Yeah, like anyone can sell that in wrestling. Not much of an introduction segment either. Short and sweet.

Batista is done with the empty promises. I don’t blame him. Sheamus & RVD are set to take on Cesaro and Bad News Barrett. The latest gets an in set promo and assures us no Five Star Frog Splash tonight and a Bull Hammer Elbow for RVD. Paul Heyman joins us on commentary. Heyman reminds us of the cheapness of last night’s small package win. Cesaro and Sheamus square off while this goes on. RVD ends up pairing off with Barrett. Bad News takes over before the break. Heyman continues to harp on the style of win. Heyman turning heel tactics on it’s ear. Barrett & Cesaro take turns beating RVD down. Cesaro takes a cheap shot at Sheamus on the apron. It gives RVD an opening. Barrett gets to be the beaten. Cesaro dodges a Brogue Kick and ducks out of the ring. They leave ring side. Winds of Change by Barrett. Brogue Kick followed by a Five Star for the win. I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news, Barrett will not be the next Paul Heyman guy.

Damien Sandow comes out as “Lance Stephenson.” Sandow goes for the easy trolling jokes. He gives us a display of his “skills.” Big Show appears “from nowhere.” He’s looking slim. The fact that Sandow could deliver the “mad skills” line without cracking a smile is awesome. Lana can’t do that. Sandow gets WMDed.

Kane beating up Kofi Kingston was forgotten by yours truly as soon as it happened. Kingston is in the ring to take on Bo Dallas again. The Heat Bo-Lieved. The WWE never beats a joke into the ground. Surprising to hear that in back to back segments. Kofi kicks Bo out of the ring. Swinging neck breaker by Bo. Dallas hits a trifecta of knees. If the small part of the crowd is chanting “Bo-ring”, that’s kind of funny. A cross body by Kingston gets a two count. Dallas drops Kingston neck first over the top rope. Running Bo-dog for the win. This cracks me up. I’m not sure it’s translating though. Renee Young asks Stephanie McMahon about Batista. She tells us what’s in tune for the 9 PM segment.

From RxMuscle.com originally by way of TMZ.com

From RxMuscle.com originally by way of TMZ.com

Stephanie tries to sell the angle more. She tries to sell her great leadership skills. She does know how to get the crowd to chant “Yes!” She makes a match at Money In The Bank, Daniel Bryan against Kane in a stretcher match. If Bryan can’t fight, it will be determined in the MITB match. I’m jealous of Chicago for the awesome John Cena matches they have gotten. CM Punk from a few years ago and last night. Stephanie jumps on Cena’s point about a fighting champion. Cena fires back and talks up Bryan. Stephanie making valid points to counter Cena. He stays on point and pushes home her embarrassing track record with Daniel Bryan. Steph makes a match with Kane and Cena. She confirms that she is a bitch. Man, really good stuff from both sides.

Kane is beating up Cena when we come back from commercial. I would imagine that Bryan will be recovered by then. I would imagine the fights to get into the match will be good. Cena rallies like normal. Cena actually sells being tired from last night. Kane fights out of an AA. Kane knees Cena into the corner. Cena wins by DQ. Kane tosses Cena into the steps, which he is the champ of selling. He even got the lower part this time. Even better than his normal standard. Kane sets up for a Tombstone but Cena slips out. Cena pushes him into the post. Cena then tosses the top of the stairs at Kane. Renee Young talks to Randy Orton. Batista took his ball and went home. He has a match against Roman Reigns tonight.

Los Matadores have El Torito with them. 3MB comes out. Heath Slater brings out Hornswoggle with an afro. The little people will finally not be involved in this feud. Drew McIntyre is with Slater. Heath hit a leg lariat and celebrates. El Torito removes the wig. Why didn’t he finish shaving his head? Slater is distracted. One of the Matadores rolls up Slater for the win. El Torito dances with the afro.

Nikki Bella is put in a handicapped match against Aksana & Alicia Fox. JBL has to explain in a very wordy way that Mitchell Cool is right about Stephanie being vindictive but Cool doesn’t brag about it. I’m confused. Alicia Fox picks up the win. Fox picks up Nikki & tosses her out of the ring. Aksana puts the boots to Nikki more. Fox gives her a back breaker. Shouldn’t a Total Diva make a save? Maybe the Divas Champ Paige who was just feuding with Fox? Luke Harper tells us the Usos will pay for their actions. The flock will suffer for the Usos misdeeds. Follow the Buzzards.

Zeb Colter gets to complain about Adam Rose more. It looks the crowd may be getting a hold of this guy. Jack Swagger keeps getting his ass slapped. Reverse running elbow by Rose. Swagger gives Rose a boot to the face. Swgger wears down Rose. Rose fires back with punches. Swinging neck breaker to Swagger. Cannonball in the corner. Cravat DDT for the win. Byron Saxton gets to talk to the Usos. They’re going to handle their business tonight. I love their enthusiasm.

From deviantart.com which is becoming quite a destination for pictures.

From deviantart.com which is becoming quite a destination for pictures.

Luke Harper & Erick Rowan are in the ring with no Bray Wyatt at ring side. Rowan starts against Jimmy. Rowan gets the better of the injured Uso. Harper makes his first appearance. Jimmy gets in a leg lariat and tags in Jey. Rowan ends up taking over on Jey. He tries to slam Rowan but falls over. They tag in and out beating on Jey. Rowan lets him tag in Jimmy. He drop kicks Rowan thru the ropes. Harper gets punched outside. Break. Harper is in control after the break. Rowan is the screw up again when he runs into the ring post with his shoulder. Whisper in the Wind by Jimmy. Jey & Harper come in. Harper takes his eye off the prize by looking at the chair. Jey unloads on him but Harper doesn’t stay down. Jey takes Rowan on the outside. Harper hits a suicide dive. Jimmy connects with the over the top rope dive. Harper raises the knees on a Superfly Splash attempt. Harper goes for the clothesline but gets super kicked. Rowan secret tags but it doesn’t pay off. Rowan gives Jey a modified urinogi for the win. He gets the win after playing fool in the match. (Next Day Note: I’d laugh at my own writing if I didn’t know Rowan got assaulted when he came in but then quickly got the pin.)

Dolph Ziggler takes on Alberto Del Rio in a match that will determine someone’s chance of still having a career in the WWE. Ziggler drops the consecutive elbows. Del Rio goes to work on the arm. Del Rio goes for a cover after a belly to back suplex. Really. Ziggler tilt a whirls out of Del Rio’s grasp and drop kicks him. Ziggler gets shots in the kidneys. Famous Asser by Ziggler for two. Tilt a whirl back breaker only gets Del Rio two. Super face buster by Ziggler after ADR takes his time going up. After countering some moves, ADR slaps on the cross arm breaker for the win. Don’t answer the phone Dolph. (Kevin’s Edit: I didn’t think either of these guys have a chance at the briefcase anyway.)

Rybaxel is in the ring waiting for Goldust and his new partner chosen by Cody Rhodes. It’s Sin Cara. I wouldn’t mind Goldust teaming with younger guys to help them out. Curtis Axel starts the match with Goldust. Sin Cara & Ryback are in quickly. JBL’s hunch back joke dies with silence. Ryback knocks Goldust out of the ring. Axel powers Goldust into the barricade. They tag in and out to wear down Goldie. JBL is doing a good job of selling on Cody recovering his form though. Sin Cara gets to be the hot tag. Ryback saves the match. Sin Cara kicks Axel in the face. Sin Cara misses the Swanton. Was that a neck breaker into a face first DDT? Whatever it was, it won the match for Axel. (Next Day Note: I don’t know where this story line with the Rhodes brothers is going, which is normally a good thing. I just don’t really care about either of these two so the mystery is just there.)

Lana comes out and is getting the “USA” chants. Alexander Rusev is being recognized by the Russian Federation. “USA!” They give him a medal. Rusev speaks in Bulgarian. Long live the Super Athlete. Where’s Nikolai Volkoff when you need him?

Dean Ambrose starts yapping at 11:00. Why do I get the feeling this could go over the 10 minute mark? Seth Rollins points out that Evolution didn’t adapt. Why is it just dawning on me that this could be an angle? Roman Reigns talks about being brothers. He wants Randy Orton. HHH comes out with him bearing a sledge hammer. Rollins nails Reigns with the chair. (Next Day Note: I wasn’t surprised that this turn was still trending in the AM. Every time I saw anything about a turn, it was Reigns. The turn doesn’t make much sense though unless Rollins believes HHH won’t stop until The Shield is done.) He then takes out Ambrose. I didn’t see this coming. Curb Stomp onto a chair on Ambrose. Orton goes to work on Reigns. The new trio celebrates over the fallen and broken Shield. The WWE has surprised me more this year than any year in a long time. – Kevin

Class Is In Session: #NXT Review – Takeover

From artfire.com

From artfire.com

The show began with an excellent pre-show hype special hosted by Renee Young, Paul Heyman, and Christian. Christian was just kind of there but the chemistry between Renee and Paul was just off the page. These two have the potential to be the next Heenan/Okerlund if not the next Heenan/Monsoon (the highest level imaginable). Paul was definitely the star of the show as his analysis was spot on especially when establishing the stakes for Tyson Kidd in the main event. The pre-show in general was a hit and the pure sports feel was a welcome change to the clown show that is the Raw pre-show. If you a planning on watching Takeover on demand this week, do not skip over the pre-show as it is required viewing. (Kevin’s Edit: We might be known for publishing material late. This review is no different. We’ll be gunning for a more on time report, hopefully free of computer problems.)

As the pre-show was ending, viewers were treated to the arrival of Adam Rose and his entourage on the Experience bus. They danced their way into the building as the pre-show faded to black.

NXT Takeover began with an excellent historical video package and then went to Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and William Regal on commentary as Adam Rose and his entourage danced all the way into the arena for our opening match…

Adam Rose vs. Camacho

Rose was back at home at Full Sail University so he was mega over. Camacho has improved but considering how low he began, he still has a long way to go before even being slightly above average in the ring. The match was average at best but the crowd was totally into Rose as their returning cult hero so it was never boring. Rose won a short match with a cravat DDT he calls the Party Foul.

A video feature on Sami Zayn then aired where he spoke of his journey and the importance of his match. Good stuff again.

The Ascension vs. Kalisto (Samuray Del Sol) and El Local (Ricardo Rodriguez) (NXT Tag Team Championship)

This was a short match completely designed to show off the Ascension’s power moves and they were in there with the perfect opponents to do so. Kalisto and Local got very little so I do not know if they have a future together as a team after this. Local still has a bit of a gut on him so his moves were not as fluid as they should have been but the match was not about his team. The Ascension won with the Fall of Man high-low maneuver on Local.

Another very good video feature aired, this time on Tyler Breeze, who tried to get himself over as more than just a pretty face.

Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze

Best match on the show to this point by far. Sami was his usual great self and Breeze kept right up with him to create an exciting back-and-forth match with a lot of moves. There was argument from some pundits (cough Jeremy Maes cough) over whether they did too much in fact. I don’t agree as I believe a lot of leeway should be given to a spotlight match that is designed to get over the next top contender to the Heavyweight Championship. The only spot that was borderline too much was a suplex into a powerbomb from Zayn that got only a 2 count. If they had traded big spots for another 5 minutes then it would have been too much but from there they went right to the finishing sequence which was Zayn attempting his running boot in the corner and Breeze putting his arm up in such a manor that he “accidentally” crotched Zayn. While Zayn was doubled over, Breeze hit him with The Beauty Shot which is a spin kick that I can see the argument for being weak finish to a high impact match. Great match.

Next, Lana and Alexander Rusev came to the ring carrying a Russian flag. After Lana got the obligatory Putin reference out of the way, they were then interrupted by a flag waving Mojo Rawley. He charged at Rusev and was immediately overwhelmed and destroyed him ending the beating with 2 Accolade camel clutches, one in the ring and one on the floor at Lana’s command.

A great piece then aired on the Women’s Championship match focusing on family pride.

Paige arrived to that the Full Sail crown and wish the best of luck to both competitors in the Women’s Championship final.

Charlotte w/ Ric Flair vs. Natalya w/ Bret Hart ( NXT Women’s Championship)

Best match on the show and maybe one of the five greatest North American womens matches of all time. They did a perfect job building the drama of this match both in the ring and outside. This match was a labor of love for those involved and that is always a pleasure to see and that does absolutely translate to the audience in the arena and at home. The match finish came when the ladies were exchanging submission finishers. They did possibly the longest figure-4 reversal spot in history as they rolled from one end of the ring to the other rolling outside with with Charlotte still holding on as the referee counted to 5 for a break. Once back in the Charlotte put Nattie in the Sharpshooter right in Bret’s face. Nattie was able to use her last bit of strength to escape but that was all she had left as she fell prey to Charlotte’s Bow Down To The Queen for the win. After the match everyone exchanged hugs in an emotional scene as both Ric and Charlotte were in tears. The whole thing was phenomenal and worth $9.99 on its own.

Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd (NXT Championship)

Good match but it was not able to come close to the match that preceded it or reach the Zayn/Breeze match either. Following such exciting matches and the loser stigma attached to Kidd probably led to a less excited crown to close the show. To their credit, they used the stigma attached to Kidd as the story of the match and it built well. They got the crowd going again with a hot finishing sequence that saw Neville get the win with the Red Arrow corkscrew splash. After the match, a frustrated Kidd refused to shake Neville’s hand and stormed off.

Grades

Camacho – Improving steadily but still ways to go. Having a gimmick thats a copy of a copy, of copy, of a copy, etc. doesn’t help matters either. Grade: C

Adam Rose – He was in all his glory back at Full Sail but unfortunately they do not film Raw at Full Sail every week. The jury is still out as to whether his niche cult following can translate to big arenas across the world. That is also an issue with other cult NXT acts (see Emma). His in-ring was nothing special either which might be concerning for someone who spent so long in developmental. Grade: C+

The Ascension – Still a couple of green muscleheads without a lot of upside in my opinion. They were at their best tossing about smaller wrestlers here but they won’t always be in situations so specifically designed for them. Grade: C

Kalisto and Local – They didn’t get the opportunity to show much here and Local showed that he still hasn’t gotten the message about his physique. If this is the lowest weight he can naturally cut down to then all involved really need to think about his in-ring future. Grade: D-

Sami Zayn – What more can be said? He is a tremendously gifted performer who I’ve never seen in a bad match. Tonight his job was to get another man over while still keeping himself just as over as he came in and he did that in spades. Grade: A

Tyler Breeze – Breeze had a lot to prove here and I believe he succeeded in surpassing even the most optimistic expectations. He proved that he can go with the best and he is ready to challenge for the NXT Championship. Grade: A

Rusev/Lana – Basic stuff from them but I noticed an intensity from Rusev that has been missing on Raw and I am interested in seeing more that from him. Grade: B-

Mojo Rawley – I don’t get the Hype Man. He does nothing for me and him doing a low rent Jim Duggan impersonation was especially horrible. Grade: F

Natalya – I’m going to preface this by saying that I am not a Nattie fan at all. There is something about the way she carries herself, both in the ring and on Total Divas, that just makes her unlikeable to me. I won’t say much more than that because I’m not looking to take over the mantle as Stunt Granny’s resident “angry white man” (cough Jeremy Maes cough). That all out of the way; what a brilliant performance by Natalya here. She was the glue that held this match together and I don’t know if there is any other WWE Diva who could have lead Charlotte to that amazing of a match so early in her career. Grade: A+

Charlotte – She will be the most athletic diva of all time and in 5 years she will be the one leading the next great female athlete through her first great match. This show was much about her as anyone and she delivered a great performance beyond her years pro. Grade: A

Adrian Neville – He had a lot to follow so this was not a showcase night for him. He still put on a very good performance and was able to get an exhausted crowd back up one more time with his big moves in the homestretch. That is an accomplishment in its own right. Grade: B+

Tyson Kidd – This was a big night for him and, while I can’t say he blew me away, he performed well. The Tyson Kidd persona, as it stands, is damaged goods. But the guy is a talented performer and there may be potential for him as a heel if he can channel his legitimate professional frustrations into a new persona. A run as a Paul Heyman Guy could work for him (watch the post-show for more on this featuring a masterful performance from Heyman stirring things up between husband and wife). Grade: B

Overall Show – A fantastic show on all fronts. A show with 2 great matches, one very good match, great production, good announcing, and nothing offensive  gets a very high recommendation. Watch this show! Overall Grade: A – Chris

%d bloggers like this: