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

A_Lot_Going_OnSo I have plenty going on these days. I got engaged for the second time. I traveled to one of the more pathetic 20th Reunions in the history of reunions. Good thing we had quality time with the family and a pair of friends I talk to every time I head back to Altoona. Then there’s the big announcement. It keeps getting teased but it’s almost ready. I promise. No more teasing, on to Raw. Let’s roll.

We get a replay of the opening and closing segments from Raw last week. Roman Reigns comes out. I did notice on Smackdown that they’ve tweaked Reigns outfit. Not sure I like it any better. Reigns didn’t exactly tear the house down with his first big mic time. He tried to have extra swag but he didn’t sell it to me. Reigns pulling out “Bitch” to Kane is the exact word you use for a reaction but you can’t sell it. Reigns had the early upper hand but Kane took over just before the refs and agents came to the ring. Reigns goes bananas on the agents and Superman Punches Kane. Good thing Dean Malenko got out unhurt.

The Wyatt Family in the form of Erick Rowan & Luke Harper appear in the ring with little fan fare. The Usos get to do their Haka dance still. Jimmy started against Rowan. Harper got things moving in the right direction for the Wyatts. Rowan scres up so that Jey can come in. Rowan makes up for it quickly. Mitchell Cool noted using the tattoos to tell the Usos apart. Shouldn’t you describe them? Because that is a good tip. The right arm is inked differently. The word “Fatu” down Jimmy’s arm. Pretty sure Jey has it also except he added tattoos around it to look like a partial sleeve. My favorite move is applied by Rowan when we come back from break. Stupid knuckles. Cool then pretends he forgot which Uso was in the ring. There hadn’t been a tag during the break. Jimmy does get the hot tag. Flying Jey takes out Rowan. Harper attempts a suicide dive but gets punched. Super kick by Jimmy only gets a two count. Harper crotches Jimmy on the top rope. Jey breaks up a sit down power bomb. One of the great rivalries is mentioned by the announcers. Harper hits the Clothesline From The Bayou for the win. Oh, they’re playing up the mix up. No wonder Michael Cole cut himself off. I’ll guess they didn’t tell him this angle was coming. (Next Day Note: It was interesting to see “Twin Magic” back fire since I’ve only ever seen it work.) Randy Orton is commiserating with Kane about having backs at Battleground. Seth Rollins picks up on the “solidarity.” Rollins stirs the pot by mentioning cashing in the briefcase. Everyone hates each other.

Nikki Bella is fighting Alicia Fox while both have one arm tied behind their backs. Fox ends up assaulting Nikki. JBL should be creaming Cool about the conspiracy theory. Instead, he only brings up Roswell. Alicia Fox has been snapping on TV for weeks now. Just say she’s been crazy for at least a month now. How hard is that? (Next Day Note: Would the producers tell the JBL not to go the simple route?)

Lana is cut off by RVD. Thank you. Rusev is around too. RVD hits a tornado DDT early. Rusev tosses him off the top rope. Rusev gives RVD the knees and fall away throw. Zeb Colter challenges Rusev to a match at Battleground. Rusev stomps on RVD. This match is confusing me. RVD winning does nothing for the Swagger feud. Isn’t part of the appeal that an American will beat the “Russian”? Rusev beating RVD means that he’s going to beat Swagger, right? RVD hits the side kick off the top rope. Rusev heel kicks RVD. Rusev locks in the Accolade for the win. Swagger has to be losing. (Next Day Note: RVD isn’t below Swagger in the depth chart, right? Still need to check the next day.)

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Randy Orton gets to take on Dean Ambrose again. Randy Orton got the early upper hand but gave way to some offense by Ambrose. Orton stops it with a big clothes line. Orton plays to the crowd too long. Ambrose tosses Orton out of the ring to take us to a break. Orton got to work over Ambrose’s shoulder during the break though. He continues to do so. Ambrose buys time with a DDT when Orton goes early for a back drop. Ambrose knocks Orton down. Ambrose locks in a Figure Four. Orton gets to the ropes. Ambrose comes up short on the jump. Orton tries to cover but even the announcers are trying to cover for it. The crowd is weird. I swear I’ve heard it loud but they weakly chanted “You fucked up.” Ambrose tosses Orton into the barricade. Ambrose starts playing with furniture. Orton tosses Ambrose bad shoulder first into the post. then over the barricade. Hanging DDT off the barricade. Ambrose barely beats the count. He looked like a fish flopping back into the ring. Ambrose goes for the sling shot clothesline but gets hit by the RKO. Fun match. That’s why I don’t understand the crowd apathy. Renee Young gets to look cute while talking to John Cena yet again. He is the biggest target in the WWE. He lives to be the target. Roman Reigns strolls in. He wishes him good luck. They have a nice little exchange. That’s more Reigns speed of segment. Just keep him in a more controlled environment.

Fandango is on the head set. Alberto Del Rio is taking on Dolph Ziggler. Fandango has to put on his voice too much with a head set. Enziguri after Ziggler gets caught in the ring apron. The winner faces Sheamus tomorrow for the US Title. Layla is primping it according to Fandango. Del Rio pushes ziggler head first into the post. Del Rio then reverse suplexes him from the top. JBL implies there could be more than two women. DDT by Ziggler for a two count. Drop kick by Ziggler turns things around. Fame-Asser for a two count. Fandango starts dancing on the announcer’s table. Del Rio kicks a distracted Ziggler in the head for the win. Of course a heel would face the baby face champ. I hope Chris Calamita covers that. Stardust and Goldust are putting together some good weird stuff.

Fandango runs into Layla back stage. He only has eyes for her. You see him looking at Summer Rae who is awfully well lit in that random rear hallway. Jerry Lawler then gets to introduce Bret Hart. Canadians are so predictable. The crowd is eating it up. He is interrupted by Damien “Bret Hart” Sandow. Third World Country didn’t get the heat expected. Bret punches Sandow out of the ring. Sandow looks like Grumpy Cat. Sheamus comes out. He hugs Bret in the ring. (Next Day Note: I wasn’t the only one expecting Hart to be out there longer, right?)

Sheamus and Sandow start their match after the break. Sandow is in control. Sandow drops down a fore arm. Sheamus grabs Sandow’s beard. 10 Clubbing Blows. Canadians like to count too. Brogue Kick for the win. Yep, about what it deserved. Renee Young interviews the Miz who reads a letter from a fan. He lauds himself and runs down Chris Jericho. He gets thousands of letters like this one. What would the fans lose without his face? Wow, close up of his fist. Woof even for the gimmick.

My woman every time "Jeri" hits the stage.

My woman every time “Jeri” hits the stage.

Chris Jericho comes out for his match for the Miz. Jerry Lawler talks about Cleveland. Miz is protecting his face. Jericho drop kicks him off the apron. Jericho bull dogs him when they get back in the ring. Miz tosses Jericho out of the ring. Miz drives Jericho into the apron. Miz tries to wear him down. Double axe handle by Jericho from the top. Miz kicks Jericho in the face. Jericho dodges then hits an enziguri. Miz kicks out Jericho’s leg then DDTs him. Miz locks in the Figure Four. Popular tonight. Jericho gets to the ropes. Jericho whacks Miz in the face. Walls of Jericho for the win. Bray Wyatt wants Jericho to save us. He tells Jericho that the Jericholics aren’t behind him any more. Jericho wants a piece of Wyatt. Harper & Rowan show up. Stalemate.

We get replay of AJ Lee winning the Divas Title. Paige comes out. She introduces AJ Lee. It could be interesting of Paige became AJ’s new Tamina. Cameron won’t tag in to Naomi. Paige takes over because of the non-tag. Cameron starts putting on lip gloss. Paige comes in. They double clothesline each other. Cameron gets in. Paige Turner because she’s distracted. The Funkadactyls fight. Funk is on a roll. That pun needed to happen. (Next Day Note: I know Paige isn’t the intimidating presence Tamina was but I think she works better as a lackey.)

Paul Heyman introduces himself and Cesaro. The later acts like French Canadian is a crappy language. They’re trying to get him some boos. Kofi Kingston is his opponent. He drop kicks him out of the ring. Kingston slams Cesaro into the apron. Cesaro trips up Kofi on a spring board. Cesaro jumps on Kofi from the apron. Kingston gets caught by Cesaro. Press slam gut buster. Kingston rolls up Cesaro again for the win. Cesaro assaults Kingston. Big E comes out for the save. I’m so confused. Why? (Next Day Note: So you have Cesaro win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal in grand fashion then pretty much only dump on him after? Even Paul Heyman can’t help losing to Kofi in back to back weeks.) Seth Rollins comes in and tells John Cena he’s going to pin the best champion ever. Cena tells him not to get a big head with the brief case. He wonders if Rollins can still scrap.

Bo Dallas comes to the ring for a match against El Torito. Bo never ducks out of a challenge. Bo gets down on his knees. Torito slaps him. He head butts him in the stomach. Running Bo-Dog. The Streak is alive.

The entrances for John Cena & Seth Rollins allow me to nearly catch up. Rollins gets Cena in a pinning predicament early. Break. A flipping reverse DDT by Rollins only gets a two count. Cena with a side slam. Sit down power bomb by Cena only gets a two count. Rollins catches Cena going to the top with an enziguri. Rollins misses a splash.  Five Knuckle Shuffle. Rollins flips out of an AA. Cena turns it into an STF.  He pulls Rollins away from the ropes. Kane comes out. Randy Orton attacks from behind. Roman Reigns music hits. Superman Punch to Kane. And another for Orton. Rollins nails Reigns and Cena with the brief case. Rollins calls for an official. Dean Ambrose attacks Rollins. I don’t feel like the WWE has had this kind of set up before with the MITB holder. AA to Orton. Spear to Kane. The baby faces stand tall. – Kevin

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Kevin’s Blog: Definitely Live & Half Assed Review of #WWE Money In The Bank

From howstuffworks.com

From howstuffworks.com

My first wrong prediction hits early with the Usos coming out to defend their Tag Team Championship against Erick Rowan & Luke Harper from the Wyatt Family. I’m digging the new shorts for the Usos. Harper & Rowan are starting an early beat down on Jimmy. Jey gets tagged in to turn things around. Jey gets tossed into the barricade from the top rope. Harper gets to start the new beat down. They tag in & out to continue it. Harper cleans Jey off the apron to maintain the beating. Rowan misses a splash. Then rams his shoulder into the post. Jimmy gets the hot tag. He gets to do a corner splash. Samoan Drop for a two. A pair of super kicks gets two. Jimmy saves Jey from getting fall away slammed. It almost back fires. Sit down power bomb gets a two count. Both Usos are down outside. Jimmy gets double slammed. Jey makes the save. Rowan goes to the top rope. Jimmy crotches him. Cool double superplex by the Usos. Two splashes by the Usos for the win. Great plan to get the crowd fired up. Good work by both teams.

Dean Ambrose thanks Seth Rollins for putting him in the match. He tells Rollins that he will take home the briefcase and that Rollins will need to face his daddy with disappointment. I am wrong again as Naomi comes out for her match for the Divas Title against Paige. They won’t break up a lock up. Paige gets flipped to the floor. Naomi cross body blocked Paige on the outside. Naomi hits another cross body in the ring. They counter pins into a Naomi submission. Paige knocks Naomi off the top rope. Naomi falls off to the outside. Ouch. That looked bad. Paige kicks Naomi on a roll through. Stump puller submission by Paige. Flying clothes line by Naomi. Rear view for a two. Kick to the head by Naomi. Paige gets her knees up on a splash. Paige with a super DDT for the win.

I took a break to work on my bathroom. Still need to put the doors back on their hinges. Damien Sandow came out as Paul Revere and ran down Boston. Adam Rose comes out with the Exotic Express. Shoulder block into a charging Sandow. Rose pulls out all of his off kilter offense. The announcers give us a historic run down of Revere’s life. The Elbow Is Coming! Ha. Rose turns out of a chin lock. Rose punches him. Sandow clothes lines a charging Rose. He kicks out. Sandow misses a moonsault. Rose nails the Party Foul for the win.

The announcers tell us that Wade Barrett is out of the match. No replacement is named. Everyone gets a little promo time except Ambrose who got his own. Will that be telling of who the winner is? Seth Rollins strolls out first. RVD, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and finally Dean Ambrose. Boom drop on Swagger early. Kofi goes for it early. Ambrose pushes the ladder over but Kofi hits four people. Underhook suplex by Ambrose on Rollins onto a ladder. Ambrose tries to go up but the crowd recovered. Kofi & Ziggler fight at the top of the ladder. Rollins whacks them with a ladder. RVD monkey flips Rollins onto a ladder. RVD tosses Rollins into a ladder. Rolling thunder on Rollins on a ladder. Step thru heel kick on Swagger by RVD. He then nails the Five Star on Swagger. Kofi stops RVD. But not for long. They fight on the top rope. Swagger nails them with a ladder. Swagger drags RVD to the top of a ladder. Swagger gets tossed off. Rollins attacks RVD on the ladder. Swagger Bomb on RVD, who should be taking a break. Ambrose with a superplex from the top of the ladder. Both men stay down. Wile E. Coyote cam is awesome every MITB PPV. Swagger catapults Ziggler into a ladder. He slams one into Kofi. Swagger Swagger Bombs Kofi. RVD makes the save. Ambrose & Rollins start fighting. Ambrose gets attacked by Swagger. Ambrose pushes the ladder before Rollins can get the brief case. The doctors take Ambrose away. RVD stops Rollins from getting the case. Kofi builds a bridge. RVD kicks Rollins but falls off the ladder. Kofi back drops Rollins onto the bridge ladder. Ziggler stops Kofi from winning. Ziggler starts cleaning house. Zig Zag to Kofi onto a ladder. Ziggler climbs the ladder. Swagger puts him in the Patriot Lock. Ziggler kicks Swagger. Too slow to win it. Rollins whacks him with a chair. Ambrose comes back out and attacks with a chair. Ambrose is about to grab the case when Kane shows up. Choke Slam on Ambrose. Tombstone. Rollins climbs the ladder and grabs the brief case. I got one right! (Next Day Note: I started wondering last night how many times I typed ladder. That number is 16.)

Stardust & Goldust are taking on Rybaxel to cool off the crowd. Ryback takes on Stardust. Stardust wins with speed. Goldust comes in. Curtis Axel is now wearing a singlet. You’re still not your father. Ryback wears down Goldust. Axel comes in to continue the process. Ryback plants Goldust with a spine buster. Back elbow by Goldust gets the opening he needs. Stardust cleans house. DDT by Stardust. Axel accidentally hits Ryback. Stardust rolls him up for the win.

I miss the skit with Layla, Fandango & Summer Rae to get a beer. Coronado Brewing Company Idiot IPA. Lana is extolling Rusev when I come back. This new Big E delivery isn’t doing it for me. Big E gets the better of the early slugfest. Rusev knees Big E who was going for a shoulder block. Rusev with forearms. Rusev gives him a reverse chin lock. Rusev misses a splash. Belly to belly suplex by Big E. Rusev knees Big E into the corner. Judo take down or urinogi for Big E. A clothesline by Big E. He counters a Rusev move. Big spear thru the ropes. Rusev head kicks Big E. Leg lariat by Rusev. The Accolade. Rusev doubles down and wins. Good showing for both men.

I don’t write much about the Stephanie encounter with the Bellas because it’s filler. Fandango comes out first. Summer Rae is next. Layla comes out with a mask on. I’m surprised they didn’t scrap this match. Introductions for the other match will take a while. Layla puts Summer in an Indian Death Lock. Did the announcers dance around it’s name? Layla kicks Summer in the face for the win.

I would figure the back up plan for HHH tonight is have Seth Rollins cash in if Kane or Randy Orton don’t win. I haven’t noticed the ppvs going long now that they’re on the Network. I feel like this match is going to be shorter than I expected. Sheamus is a dummy and uses the short ladder in his first attempt. Kane sandwich with Sheamus & Roman Reigns. Alberto Del Rio beats on Reigns. Kane tosses everyone off the ladders. Chokeslam on Del Rio & John Cena. Kane picks up Orton by the throat but tosses him on the ladder to climb it. Reigns stops Orton. Super upper cut by Cesaro. Bray Wyatt leaves Cesaro & Sheamus hanging. They both tumble down. Orton brings out another ladder. Sheamus attacks him. Sheamus slams Orton’s head into a bridged ladder. Hanging DDT by Orton on the same ladder. Orton climbs for the belts. Everyone stops him. Kane knocks down Cesaro & Reigns. Sheamus fights Kane. Sheamus beats on Kane. Sheamus shoulder blocks Reigns. White Noise to Orton. Brogue Kick to Cena. Sheamus tosses Orton out of the ring. Kane snags Sheamus. Kane gets thrown into the steps. Cesaro bridges a ladder. Cesaro & Sheamus fight at the top of the ladder. Reigns lifts the ladder up. Sheamus & Cesaro fight at an angle. Cena sets them right. Cool spot. Wyatt tosses Cena down. Sheamus gets pulled down by Kane & Orton. Reigns spears Kane. Orton whacks Reigns with a ladder. Superman Punch on Orton. Sheamus gets sent out. Reigns cleans up at ringside. Reigns faces off with Cena. They punch away. Reigns spears Cena. He sets up a ladder. Orton attacks. He ends with a back breaker. Wyatt stops Orton & hits Sister Abigail. Del Rio stops him. Del Rio side kicks Wyatt. Sheamus tosses Del Rio off the ladder. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick. Upper cut & Neutralizer. RKO on Cesaro. Reigns stops Orton. They fight on the ladder. Kane choke slams Reigns. Orton is bloody & going for the belt. Cena AAs both Kane & Randy Orton. Cena climbs the ladder to win the the WWE Title. I got the big two matches right. – Kevin (Next Day Note: 14 times in this match for a grand total of 30 ladder mentions. Once as a plural.)

 

#WWE Money In The Bank Preview

The Federal Reserves vault of coins. From npr.org.

The Federal Reserves vault of coins. From npr.org.

Money In The Bank Contract MatchKofi Kingston vs RVD vs Dolph Ziggler vs Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose vs Wade Barrett vs Jack Swagger – If I were the WWE, this match would be the opener. What better way to keep the Championship match winner on his toes than to open up the PPV with this one? Let’s start a process of elimination for winners. Wade Barrett seems to have been injured at this week’s Smackdown taping but as of now the final diagnosis hasn’t been given. It has been rumored as fairly significant by Bleacher Report. I agree with them that he could have been a potential winner in this match. Even if it’s only a minor injury, it seems bad enough to keep him out of the PPV so he’s out. Kofi Kingston is there for his spot and that’s all. RVD was the butt end of 2005 jokes by Seth Rollins this week. That’s exactly why he isn’t winning this match. RVD isn’t on the level to get one last run. Jack Swagger is there because the announcers can say he was a former World Champion. It’s pretty easy to whack those four. I made an argument this week on Stunt Granny Audio 260 that I don’t think Seth Rollins is going to win it. I believe that Dean Ambrose will cost him. Jeremy picked Ambrose to win it. But there could be a scenario that Dolph Ziggler takes advantage of the two warring Shield members and grabs the case. I doubt that happens though. I’m going against my own instincts and picking Seth Rollins. He seems like he’ll hold it over people’s heads for a while and then cash it in down the line.

Summer Rae vs Layla with special guest referee Fandango – I would imagine the WWE will book a breather match after a ladder match. A women’s match that was made on Main Event and confirmed on Smackdown is the perfect answer. I still have no idea who I’m supposed to cheer for. Summer Rae is a heel on Total Divas, NXT (Thanks for the write ups Chris), Raw and Smackdown. Layla is a heel with a heel partner in Fandango. Summer Rae & LAyla have gone back and forth with catty trashings so I can’t even guess with even steven booking rules. I’ll go with Total Divas rules, Summer Rae wins.

Rusev vs Big E – I’m supposed to care that Big E is from the US. I’m supposed hate Rusev because he is “Russian” even though he has a Bulgarian flag on his shoulder. I’m supposed to find Lana hot. That part has been accomplished by the WWE. The other two parts are are unfulfilled. This match should be that of two power houses colliding but is just a match with no real stakes. Big E has had a downward trajectory since winning the Intercontinental Title. Rusev has gone nowhere quick. The WWE hasn’t fed him anyone of consequence. If they felt he was catching on, he could have beaten Dolph Ziggler, the Great Khali or Mark Henry. I think Rusev still has enough new toy shine on him to get the win. Congratulations, every male will still just care about Lana.

Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs The Usos for the Tag Team Titles – I think the WWE will only book title matches back to back on this PPV at the very end since the Divas Title doesn’t really count. After a couple of snooze worthy match ups, we get what should be the third best match of the night. The Usos have gotten themselves over well. Harper is starting to separate himself from being in Bray Wyatt’s shadow. Erick Rowan is still in Wyatt and Harper’s shadow. I think that’s precisely why the Wyatt Family will win this match. The Usos can recover from a loss. They might even be able to move on as singles competitors since that is the WWE way. For the time being, Rowan is dependent on Harper and to help push the Wyatt agenda of taking over the WWE, they win the tag team straps.

Stardust & Goldust vs Rybaxel – This match was added on Smackdown also. I’m getting a kick out of Cody Rhodes re-inventing himself yet again. We had The Legacy version of him, “Dashing” Cody, “Old School” Cody with the white strap on the IC Title, Rhodes Scholar with a brief appearance of mustache Cody, straight man to Goldust and now Stardust. The guy knows how to keep himself on TV. Ryback & Curtis Axel are just window dressing in this match. They could take a page out of Cody’s book and re-invent themselves with some gimmick. Or they could pull a Goldust and find a persona that Vince loves so much that he uses him over three decades. Whatever Rybaxel does in the future is immaterial for the time being. Stardust & Goldust win this one easily.

Naomi vs Paige for the Divas Title – Naomi looked like she was on her way to a championship reign when Aksana decided to bring that to a halt with an errant knee to the orbital bone. She hasn’t gotten much traction since her return to the ring. Paige is starting to get a following. Having her duel with Cameron on the head sets this past week was a middle of the road effort. Cameron had no leg to stand on with her arguments since Paige had already beaten her twice. It’s hard to come up with trash talk other than “I beat you twice” when you’ve made a person tap on both occasions. I think Naomi’s drought for the title would play out much better if Cameron costs her the match tonight so that Paige retains. Naomi and Cameron can have a feud then Naomi and Paige can meet up later down the line.

Money In The Bank WWE Title MatchKane vs Sheamus vs Alberto Del Rio vs Cesaro vs Roman Reigns vs John Cena vs Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt – This match has about the same possibilities of the other ladder match. Though I’d be less surprised by some of the winners in this situation. Alberto Del Rio is not one of those options though. Neither is Kane. I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Sheamus won it but I don’t think it’s his time right now. Randy Orton is a possibility but he hasn’t really gotten TV time recently so I don’t think he’s going to win it either. I’d give Cesaro more of a chance to capture the WWE Title than Dolph Ziggler of winning the contract but I still think it’s a little early in his push for the top for that to happen. It’d also create and awkward spot for Heyman who continues to appropriately mention his other client, Brock Lesnar. Bray Wyatt has a real chance to win but much like Cesaro, it seems early in his run. He has the possibility of the rest of the Wyatt Family to help him win the title since these types of matches are no DQ. The WWE doesn’t tend to have that determine a title victor of this magnitude though. Harper & Rowan may interfere but I think the other contestants bounce them in prompt fashion. Roman Reigns has been getting some big moments from Summerslam, Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble. Could this be his big crowning acheivement? It’s possible but like many of the competitors in this match his relative inexperience, especially on the mic, I don’t think he’s getting the strap. That leaves me with John Cena. I don’t like that pick but he seems the most logical to me. I would think a strong heel would be best in this situation so that whenever Daniel Bryan returns, he can feud with them but the WWE is fresh out of those guys unless you count Orton. The WWE though loves dueling chants so we’ll have John Cena vs Daniel Bryan sooner rather than later.

Stunt Granny Audio #259

Sideshow Freaks: Human Oddities by Travis Haight Photography by way of DeviantArt.com

Sideshow Freaks: Human Oddities by Travis Haight Photography by way of DeviantArt.com

Kevin is back to talk wrestling, this time with our Main Event & NXT expert Chris Calamita. Kevin attended the Main Event tapings that were prior to Smackdown. What epic tag team match started off the tapings? Was it even on the tapings? They move along to someone who is definitely on the show, Seth Rolllins. He got to announce a Money In The Bank contract match. Is this a good idea since they have another ladder match on the card for the WWE Title? How much time did Chris & Kevin spend on Rusev? In the Funkadactyls break up angle, why does Chris think Naomi is unlikeable? Why does Kevin think Cameron is unlikable? How is Paige connecting with the live crowd? If there’s a good match for the main event of Main Event, will anyone care? Will they make a bigger deal out of Goldust & Stardust showing up for a dark match against Rybaxel? Chris & Kevin move on to the spoilers from the Smackdown taping. What traditional angle for the WWE Title was followed by a brawl to start off the show? Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose both get mic time. Who is getting the better of the exchange? Who has a better new look now that Rollins changed his in ring gear for Smackdown? Did Dolph Ziggler get some Bad News in his match with Wade Barrett? Ambrose wrestled Kane at the top of the hour. How many times did interference happen in all of these taped matches? As I said on Twitter “We all know ADR took the pin but who got the pin & biggest reaction of the night. spoilers?” Chris requested he get some time to address his least favorite person on the roster right now. Does Kevin agree with him? Click on the link below to find out the answers to these questions and more!

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

destructoid.com

destructoid.com

I’ve thought about a couple of introductions and scrapped both of them. One will become a column. The other will remain on the scrap heap. So, let’s roll.

Bray Wyatt greets us during the Raw introduction with another rendition with “I’ve Got The Whole World..” I do dig his choice of Hawaiian shirts. After singing with him, the crowd starts “What?”ing him. Have they finally found John Cena’s equal in being able to split a crowd? Then after talking about his teacher lady more, they start singing again. Wyatt is evil. Necessary at that. He calls Cena a phony. Now a “Cena sucks” chant. Hold on, are they in Chicago again? I have a good picture set up for Stunt Granny. John Cena pulls some misdirection music and attacks Wyatt who was by himself after Luke Harper & Erick Rowan ran for the ramp. He AAs Wyatt and leaves the ring before they can attack. I’d love to know why they keep replaying Steph & Brie. It’s terrible acting.

Paul Heyman ends up insulting the crowd then patting himself on the back when defining what the crowd & stars roles are. Awesome. Oh, they’re in England. If there are spoilers out, I didn’t read them. He announcers a match between Cesaro and Sheamus for the US Title later in the night which ends up being right now. I wish this match had more build up. Does it make sense that they could be building up the US Title too quickly? Whatever, I’ll take this match. I have enjoyed their past slugfests. The match picks up after the break. Sheamus gets in the Irish Curse Back Breaker & Rolling Hills. He can only get two. Cesaro turns it around by tossing Sheamus into the corner face first. Sheamus gets caught with an uppercut as he jumped off the top. Sheamus power slams Cesaro. Heyman distracts Sheamus. Cesaro takes advantage and wins with a German Suplex. Nice. I like Heyman playing more of a role in Cesaro’s matches. Lesnar & CM Punk were well established and he enhanced them. Cesaro dodges the hand shake. Nice. I’m not sure Sheamus goes into Evolution if he’s going to feud with Cesaro.

Big E Langston is taking on Ryback in the first of a series of Beat The Clock Challenge for a shot at Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Title. I hate these challenges because the matches are inevitably short. Ryback is distracted by the clock. It’d be much better just to attack the person. You’re wasting time by looking at the clock especially in the first match. You’re setting the standard. It matters when the clock counts down after wards. Big E takes the Meat Hook Clothesline but kicks out three consecutive time. Big E gets tossed too far but pops up quickly. Big Ending at 5:02. Great, matches shorter than 5:02. My favorite kind. It reminds me of the Daniel Bryan interview with Chris Jericho. They both said that no matter how hard they worked, they were never satisfied with a three minute match. It wasn’t enough time to make it quality.

Why isn't this one on Total Divas?

Why isn’t this one on Total Divas? from 2009abc.deviantart.com

R Truth has the Funkadactyls. The English love Fandango and Layla El. Before the match starts, Summer Rae comes to the ring. She kisses Fandango and attacks Layla. So is that Summer’s music? Is she a baby face now? Truth, Cameron & Naomi become window dressing.

Stephanie comes out to Daniel Bryan’s music. Ha. She is at her mocking best. Stephanie is ready to say “Bad News” when they introduce Wade Barrett. Oh no, she just uses a video prop. She’s only contemplating stripping Bryan of the title. She then gives ideas for who should be champion. The crowd plays along with her games. She then demands he be at Raw next week. Where I expect him to say he can defend the title at the PPV.

The Union Jacks comes out. Nice of them to remember this gimmick. Heath Slater gets mic time for the first time in a long time. Lana comes out hoping not to laugh at herself again. Alexander Rusev shows up. He takes out Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre then Jinder Mahal. It appears as if Slater will have a match with him. The whole “Crush” thing is stupid. The Accolade. Great a short match even when there’s no clock to worry about. The Shield is in the back in some odd room as usual. Dean Ambrose thinks Evolution is scared of them and he doesn’t want that. He wants their best shot. Roman Reigns tells them they’re going to keep coming at Evolution. Seth Rollins admits to a mistake in his last match with Batista. He’s going to correct that mistake. Believe In The Shield.

RVD takes on Alberto Del Rio, who gets a terrible in set promo. He’s some smug crazy person now. JBL only plays up the angle more. Congrats, ADR, you have a gimmick again. RVD takes a Back Cracker with 2:30 to go. Del Rio wastes time and gets clocked. RVD misses the Frog Splash. 1:30 left. Del Rio rests entirely too much time. Van Dam rolls him up for the win with 47 seconds left. Great, matches shorter than 4:15. The announcers have to act excited about this development.

Renee Young interviews John Cena. He’s bringing the Usos with him again. I can handle this rub especially if we get an Usos vs Harper & Rowan match at Payback in two weeks. They do some silly heart pounding thing. HHH talks their group up. Randy Orton tries to continue it. Batista is going to do it all by himself. Let this not be a short match in this sea of short matches.

Seth Rollins comes to the ring. HHH makes himself an announcer and Randy Orton as the time keeper. He then introduces Batista. Mitchell Cool correctly questions JBL’s opinion. Rollins has a microphone for some reason. Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns come down as guest commentators. This just became stupid. Ambrose informs us that Brad Maddox made them official commentators. Why did Ambrose take us to break? Why am I laughing about it? Rollins barely touches the steps he’s supposed to crash into. He’s no John Cena who shoulder blocks those things into the ring barrier. Batista starts the ground and pound on Rollins back in the ring. I know why I laughed earlier now, because Ambrose is killing me. “Reigns’ momma hit him harder than that” about the nine stitches. Rollins fights off the superplex. Rollins nails a Block Buster. Rollins runs into a boot. Rollins drop kicks Batista thru the ropes. Suicide Dive by Rollins. “He didn’t do anything” after Orton at least attempted to grab Rollins leg. Order is restored. Rollins nails a spring board knee for a two count. The Game pushes Rollins off the top rope. Orton and Ambrose join the fun. HHH clocks Rollins which gets the DQ. Batista is the brunt of another spear. HHH distracts the Shield, Batista slips out. Why is Evolution the underdog after losing again? They need to out smart the Shield and soon to seem credible.

James Van Der Beek from TheAtlantic.com

James Van Der Beek from TheAtlantic.com

Alicia Fox is in the ring. Paige is her opponent. The crowd politely applauds. I go to get a beer, Sun King Brewing Fistful of Hops, which I picked up on an unexpected trip thru Indianapolis. My trip should really make it to air or print. Complete ridiculousness. Paige gets to learn about WWE policy mandating that you job in your home town. Alicia Fox wins. Luke Harper compares John Cena to a mouse. Bray Wyatt thinks Cena & the Usos are like dominoes in a mine. They all fall down.

Mark Henry is taking on Dolph Ziggler, who wants to show off quickly. Henry comes into the inset promo and laughs at him. If my boy wins this match under the time limit, I’d feel really bad for Mark Henry. That’s another thing about these beat the clock matches, the formula is predictable. It is usually longest match, shorter match, time limit match (this one) and winner of the challenge. Ziggler is recovering with 1:30 to go. A second drop kick takes way too much of a toll on Ziggler. Henry catches Ziggler and power slams him. Henry wastes time. Zig Zag but time runs out. Thanks for sticking to the formula and not making me look like an ass. It’s only three matches? Bad News Barrett lays out a celebrating RVD. The crowd is much more behind Barrett. He informs us that England sets the time for the entire world. I guess I’ll have to look up Bloody Yak like everyone else that isn’t English. (Next Day Note: It usually has penis attached to it according to the Urban Dictionary. I didn’t get amusement out of finding the answer.)

Adam Rose comes out with more action than Paige, less than Barrett. Renee Young interviews him. Sort of. She asks to know what a “Rose Bud” is. We’re not to be lemons. JBL cracks me up with Bunny hate. Rose just wants Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger to have some fun. The crowd cheers for them too. The Bigg Hoss still cracks me up. Colter tries to insult them but they keep up being Rose Buds. Zeb challenges Rose. Swagger sucker punches him. Swagger goes after someone in the Exotic Express. Adam Rose gets the jump on him. Colter & Swagger beat a hasty retreat.

I blow through the ring entrances for John Cena & Luke Harper. Just short of catching up. They cut to commercial early which I agree with. I can skip first gear. Cena takes too much time on the Shuffle. Harper misses a Mafia Kick then a clothes line. Cena gets in the Five Knuckle.  Harper gives him a tilt a whirl face plant. This back and forth is too quick for my liking. Harper takes over and finishes it off with a suicide dive. Harper nails a super kick but Cena kicks out at two. Neck breaker by Harper only gets another two. Cena nails a clothes line. STF gets locked in. Harper breaks it. The Usos stop interference by Erick Rowan. Wyatt Abigails the Usos in the ring. Attitude Adjustment on Harper. Rowan blasts Cena for the DQ. Sister Abigail to Cena. The crowd plays sing along. Harper & Rowan attack Cena. Fall away slam onto the ramp. Sister Abigail on the stage. Cena loses a shoe. Sing along time, because we haven’t had enough of it. – Kevin

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

From Street Fighter the movie.

From Street Fighter the movie.

So I had to laugh that the first pay per view I could have watched on the WWE Network, last night’s Extreme Rules, ended up being a side show that I couldn’t do a post on because the Pittsburgh Penguins were playing the New York Rangers. Of course I’d have something else to watch when this PPV was on. I did keep an eye on the final four matches while watching the game but that didn’t give me a good feel for them. Since the Network has the ability to watch said PPV as soon as it is over, I did just that last night, this morning and at lunch to play catch up. Now I’ve got to play catch up on Raw with another game on tap tonight. Let’s see how far I can get before the 3rd period starts.

Dean Ambrose has to win a 20 Man Battle Royal to retain his US Title. Of course, JBL agrees (Next Day Note: I had ends in there. Wow. Brutal error.) this dumb decision. Jerry Lawler makes it worse by agreeing with JBL on battle royals being exciting. They’re not until there are 4 people left which is essentially a tag team match. Mitchell Cool is busying driving home the point that The Authority set up this match to weigh in. Three times in the opening three minutes isn’t quite enough because our attention spans are a maximum of sixty seconds. Big Show spanked Heath Slater who acted like Show got some taint. A segment. No surprise. Back after the game goes to overtime or is over. My boy Dolph Ziggler gets eliminated by Cobra. Yuck. Ryback, Curtis Axel, Sheamus, Jack Swagger & Dean Ambrose are alive. Axel gets back dropped out of the ring by Ambrose. It was silly that Ambrose won the slugfest with Ryback (on the ring apron). Good low drop kick to eliminate him though. Ambrose wiggles out of being tossed to eliminate Swagger. Sheamus nails Ambrose with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus tosses him to win the US Title. Not even Sheamus can bring prestige back to that belt without consistent defenses and being featured. HHH comes out after Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns try to calm Ambrose down. He announces a match between the Shield vs the Wyatt Family. How many times can we go to this well? I’m sure I’ll enjoy the match though.

Renee Young gets to interview Sheamus. He admitted that things haven’t gone as he’d have liked since returning from injury. He tells Dean Ambrose to have no hard feelings. (Next Day Note: Not exactly getting a warm & fuzzy feeling about the US Title from that short promo.) Brie & Daniel Bryan are interrupted by Stephanie McMahon. She warns them to stay put until their matches tonight. A Kane mask is on the back side of the door. Ominous!

RVD comes out for a singles match with Cesaro. The later is preceded by Paul Heyman. Rolling Thunder connects early so that Cesaro can get advice from Heyman. Good ploy on their part. Finishing off my Seventh Son Lost Sparrow Black IPA as a victory Sippy Time Beer. Pens 2-0. RVD keeps the offense going. A sling shot leg drop only gets a two count. I really hope this CM Punk chants stops. (Next Day Note: I heard it at least 2 more times last night. Chicago will not be any better next week.) Cesaro takes over by clothes lining RVD over the top rope. RVD leaped into an upper cut. Running, jumping upper cut in the corner by Cesaro. His triple gut wrench suplexes only get a two count. RVD  gets caught trying to monkey flip. RVD gets caught in the turn buckles. RVD got his foot out then put it back in. Cesaro gets DQed by going over board on RVD. Van Dam looks “clueless” as the medical staff tries to help him. (Next Day Note: I was thinking this feud had more potential for Cesaro than Jack Swagger. You can’t take back that triple threat match especially since it was elimination style. They could have planted the seeds last week then started on this feud. The problem with my idea is that RVD doesn’t get PPV money then.)

The Wyatt Family is in Albany. I will take this time right now to address anyone who thought that child last night with the voice alteration machine was creepy as fuck, I will be sure not to seek your opinion on scary movies. I would imagine that you never read our Walking Dead reviews because that be too much for you. (Next Day Note: Here is such an article. He claims to like slasher flicks. I call Bravo Sierra and revoke your man card.) John Cena should have kicked that kid right in the mush and walked out of the cage. Wyatt looks to be continuing this feud with Cena. Wyatt says that he is doing this for the children, a bunch or random groups and then the crowd. They boo which still makes me wonder why people sing along with him. Bray Wyatt is a god. Of course they sing. Why? I just heard you boo him. Boo him singing. He does it poorly enough to be booed. Though I think that’s part of the act so I don’t have a problem with it. (Next Day Note: Cena beat three men and lost to a little child. What else is there to explore in this feud?)

Cody Rhodes comes down with Goldust. Ryback was already in the ring with Curtis Axel. Cody is taking on Ryback in singles action. Ryback uses his power early. The announcers talk about the Rhodes Family slump. Ryback with a delayed suplex. JBL makes a good joke about Wyatt calling himself a god. (Next Day Note: I believe it was after Cool acted indignant that Bray Wyatt would do that. JBL’s response was “I don’t know anyone else who’d do that.” Why neither Cool or Lawler laughed is beyond me.) A Disaster Kick by Cody gets me into the match. Cody goes to the top rope. Goldust tries to stop Curtis Axel from interfering. Goldust gets pushed into the post which wobbles Rhodes. Ryback Shell Shocks Rhodes for the win. Daniel Bryan and Brie are in the room when the lights go out. They flee and run into Stephanie, who will bring their car around. How about firing Kane and not allowing him in the building if you can’t control him? Wouldn’t that be best for business?

Los Matadores & El Torito get to throw a Cinco De Mayo. They toss candy into the crowd. 3MB save us? They offer peace so that they don’t wreck their party. Everyone fights. No one is entertained. (Next Day Note: There’s a reason I didn’t highlight anyone in this segment.)

From Dailiywrestlingnews.com

From Dailiywrestlingnews.com

Alexander Rusev gets to beat Kofi Kingston. The amount of pictures Lana took before coming the WWE reminds me of the good old days when you could find soft porn pictures of almost all of the Divas. Kofi gets the feet up to stay in it. A cross body barely gets a one count. Kingston nails the fulcrum kick. Rusev “crushes” Kofi. Rusev gets Kofi to tap out to the Accolade. Daniel Bryan is paranoid as they get into a car. Stephanie has a heavy hand. (Next Day Note: I swear one of the writers watches Archer because they make fun of Lana Kane for having man hands all of the time.) She then tells them to wrestle their matches. Um, why did you offer to get their car then? (Next Day Edit: Why not have Stephanie tell them she’d get the car pulled around then not have it where it was supposed to be? Steph could say the valet screwed up and deny the trouble Kane has caused again.)

Alberto Del Rio gets to job to Daniel Bryan even though he’s sure to get distracted this match. Del Rio gets the early push. Bryan turns up the heat. A back cracker gets things turned around for Del Rio. He tosses Bryan against the barricade. As I watch this match, I can’t get a tweet from Mick Foley out of my head about this angle. He compared the angle with Kane & Bryan to the Kane & Zack Ryder skits. Del Rio softens up the arm with a four count arm pull. Bryan works over the knee. Del Rio drops Bryan on the barricade. Bryan with a  drop toe hold that lands Del Rio’s face into a turn buckle. Del Rio shoulders Bryan in the corner. He lays into Bryan with a clothes line. Bryan fights Del Rio off the top rope. Flying Goat head butt only gets two. Drop kicks in the corner by Bryan. Suicide dive by Bryan. Del Rio enziguris Bryan off the top rope. Del Rio takes too long going for the cross arm breaker. Bryan puts on the Yes Lock for the tap out win. Bryan & Brie run back stage. They get into the car but it won’t start. So you pop the hood first? Kane is in the back seat. Kane ends up on the hood of the car. Bryan drives a short distance away then checks on Kane who entirely too straight to fool anyone except Bryan. Bryan & Brie still drive away unharmed. I have no idea what Mick Foley is talking about. (Next Day Note: It also drove me nuts that Bryan has been shown as an environmentalist on Total Divas but they decided to give him a Lincoln Continental for some reason.)

Big E Langston is taking on Bad News Barrett again. The Intercontinental Title is somehow being defended on Raw. Big E is on the offense early. After Big E beats him up outside the ring, he tosses him back in. Big E shoulder blocks a steel post when Barrett dodges. Big E barely beats a ten count. The crowd is sitting on their hands. They finally break after I anticipate it during the count. Barrett misses a high kick. Big E turns it around. Barrett gets the knees up on the splash. Big E gets kneed trying for a running shoulder block. Big E runs into Barrett. Big E spears Barrett through the ropes. A pair of over head suplexes by Big E. Barrett rakes the eyes. Barrett nails the Bull Hammer Elbow for the win. I still have some hope for Big E after that match. Not a complete burial. (Next Day Edit: I can’t wait for Barrett to get the same de-push Big E got after winning the title.)

From crazy-einstein.com Exotic roses didn't look as cool.

From crazy-einstein.com Exotic roses didn’t look as cool.

Zeb Colter comes out with Jack Swagger who is wearing a Bigg Hoss zip up sweater. He debuts the deportation list. Adam Rose shows up with his Exotic Express. He stages falls into them. They carry him around the ring. Rose dances around them. He wants Zeb to be a Rose Bud. Does this ridiculousness happen every time this guy comes out? It’ll get obnoxious but it’s a good introduction.

The Shield taking on the Wyatt Family is the main event. All three fight to start but Erick Rowan & Dean Ambrose end up starting the match. Luke Harper ended up pairing off with Seth Rollins. Roman Reigns comes in to share in the beat down. Rollins ends up back in the ring to sell for the Wyatts. It would make sense for the Shield to favor Rollins & Reigns. They try to push Main Event for John Cena’s response to the Wyatts. I won’t watch. Ambrose gets the hot tag against Rowan. Ambrose nails the middle rope sling shot clothes line. The teams face off three on three. Ambrose & Harper are in the ring. Ambrose ends up taking more of a beating because we can’t have Reigns sell yet. Rollins nails the senton over the top rope. Rollins hits a combo in the corner. Standing shooting star press. Rollins gets pushed off the top ropes. What a ballsy move. Looked pretty safe. Harper nails a suicide dive. Bray Wyatt charges into Rollins in a corner. Ambrose gets tossed into the announce table. Rollins gets Harper off the top ropes. Rollins gets to hot tag Reigns. He gets to take out Wyatt first. Reigns shouldn’t jump to clothes line. It looks better than Kofi’s but it’s still stupid and unnecessary. Everyone brawls in the ring. Ambrose & Rollins take out Harper & Rowan. Superman Punch by Reigns. Evolution comes out. Ambrose & Rollins nail another pair of suicide dives. Superman punch on HHH. Wyatt takes advantage and cross bodies Reigns in the stomach. Sister Abigail’s Kiss for the win. Evolution attacks the Shield. Lawler busts out the battle/war analogy. (Next Day Note: So why didn’t Evolution win with some under handed tactics at Extreme Rules if this feud is going to continue?). – Kevin

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

the-ultimate-warriorSo I have completely forgotten what my introduction was going to be tonight. I had something in mind earlier today and I should have written it. Oh well. Let’s roll.

They start off with a nice Warrior Tribute. It’s tough to see. I loved him as a child. I thought he was walking funny last week while we were at Raw but in no way was I expecting that. It still hurts a little bit. Another bummer from today was the passing of Otto Petersen who was a ventriloquist comedian. I’ll post some of his stuff later. I always got a laughed at his material when he was on Opie & Anthony.

Alberto Del Rio takes on RVD is a tournament to take on Big E Langston for the IC Title. Does someone really want a shot at that title? Nothing much happening before the break. We missed Rolling Thunder but not. Del Rio counters the split legged moonsault. Del Rio only gets a two from a Backstabber. RVD nails a heel kick when Del Rio came off the top rope. Del Rio catches RVD going to the top. An enziguri only gets Del Rio a two count. Thank goodness the scissor pin didn’t work. IT’s worse than a regular roll up. Five Star Frog Splash. I’m expecting him to job to Cesaro after his win later tonight. Enough with the brackets already!

After a nice little video package, Stephanie, HHH, Randy Orton & Batista are talking. I just can’t take JBL seriously. It’s okay for the boss to assault the wrestler but it’s not okay for the wrestler to assault the boss. I remember watching the Ultimate Warrior beating Honky Man. Man, would I bitch about how short that match is now after a nice long build up. Then, I was happy as a clam. Funny what time will do to you.

HHH is coming out of his talk about the World Title situation. Stephanie knows who can stop the Shield. Nobody can stop Evolution if we stay on the same page. Batista & Randy Orton sell HHH down the river. It smells of set up to me. (Next Day Note: I was wrong. Stupid Shield. Granted Evolution did resolve their difference so same end result that I was expecting.) Rybaxel is taking on Goldust & Cody Rhodes. Goldust starts against Curtis Axel. Goldust gets the upper hand and tags in Cody Rhodes. Goldust comes back in to work over Axel. Curtis creates an opening and tags in Ryback. They tag in and out to work over Goldust. Cody gets in and goes to work on Ryback. I love when Mitchell Cool has to say “He just barely got him.” Is that worse than going “Wow, he really blew that spot?” Cody nailed Axel with the Disaster Kick. He went to do it to Ryback who caught him with the Meathook Clothesline for the win.

They did a good job of informing us who don’t watch NXT what Paige is all about. I was thinking it was Sara Del Ray who came out. I could do without the Goth White Face. She is taking on Alicia Fox. I can’t believe she’s only 21. I didn’t think she was old but wow. I was asking if anyone extra young could make it in the WWE these days. Alicia Fox is whooping on Paige for the beginning of the match. A thrust kick to the stomach stops Fox. Paige does a triple clothesline. Paige locks in a modified Scorpion Cross Lock, at least according to Cool. She seems to be getting a lot from Ms Chif’s character.

The Usos are taking on Batista & Randy Orton for some revenge. They get off to a quick start with the double over the rope splash. The new chest tattoo has thrown me and the announce team for a loop on which Uso is which. I don’t remember Cool saying anything on Smackdown either. I know one is larger than the other but I still have a hard time telling them apart. Batista & Orton are beating one of them down. It looks like Batista is wearing soccer shin pads. Orton goes on the attack against the other one. The Shield takes out Orton for the DQ. They surround Batista. Superman punch sends Batista outside where Orton drags him away. I’m not sure why the Shield would do that. Let Batista & Orton stay off of Hunter’s agenda as long as possible. I was so pumped up watching Wrestlemania VI.

HHH greets Batista & Randy Orton then walks away. I think that was well done. It’s officially even more awesome that Paul Heyman gets to gloat about Brock Lesnar breaking the Streak than the Streak continuing. I was a little skeptical of Lesnar being the one but the reason I didn’t want it to happen, mostly he had the credentials already, are also a perfect argument for why he should have won too. Heyman then introduces Cesaro. He is taking on Mark Henry. Cesaro is just going straight at Henry which is having moderate success. Flying Uppercut knocks down Henry finally. Neutralizer for the win. Do they give him the IC Title? They haven’t done much with Big E recently.

HHH is talking to Brad Maddox. He is to relay a message to the Shield about their match in the main event. I’m disappointed that Maddox is reduced to this little air time. I think he’s a good character. Lana introduces Alexander Rusev. I asked last week on the Facebook & Twitter why Rusev wasn’t over like some of the other NXT call ups. The one response I got said it’s because he’s not as quick as the others. I can see that angle. I think the whole from another country gimmick isn’t working like it once used to. (Next Day Note: Alberto Del Rio hasn’t exactly gotten over being Mr. Mexico. The Great Khali & Jinder Mahal haven’t gotten heat at different times for being from India. Sheamus isn’t over because he’s from Ireland. Sure, the fighting thing factors into his popularity which has “stemmed” from being Irish but I think people like brawlers in general.) People aren’t viewing him as Commie scum from Bulgaria. Rusev taps out Xavier Woods with a camel clutch.

I loved that blue cage. It took me a while to get used to the cage that I feel hasn’t changed much since I started watching again in 1997. Jack Swagger is taking on Sheamus in the IC Title Tournament.  Swagger gets dumped to the outside. Sheamus is ready to club Swagger when Zeb Colter distracts him. Swagger would make sense as an opponent for Big E. I’m not sure Sheamus loses to Swagger. He could lose to Bad News Barrett. Swagger misses a charge in the corner. Sheamus takes advantage. Sheamus with a new running knee in the corner. (Next Day Note: I mentioned that move because I don’t think I’ve seen that from Sheamus before.) Sheamus gets in the clubbing now. Sheamus sling shots himself into a Patriot Lock. Sheamus powers out of it. Swagger attacks Sheamus’s knee. Brogue Kick out of nowhere for the win. As soon as I saw the brackets, I knew my boy was losing so this result confirmed it.

Damien Sandow is mad because Big Show made his entrance during his speech. It helps make his point. Well played WWE. Big Show ends up KOing him when he gets in his face later. (Next Day Note: Good promo but it goes for naught when Show goes over. It was funny but I’m not sure I want Sandow to be a comedy act.) The Wyatts are next.

Birmingham, we’re here. Bray Wyatt is different. He has never lied to the crowd. John Cena is lying to us all. He is beast. Wyatt calls out Cena. The Wyatts can’t take on the Shield now too, right? This is too long of a segment. John Cena answers the call. He makes his usual jokes about their outfits. He’s getting a mixed reaction to the Roll Tide comment. Oh Jiminy Cricket. It’s Photoshop class. John Cena ends up challenging him to a steel cage match because those always keep people out.  (Eyes rolling.)

Layla-Underwear

Fandango gets an inset promo where Layla El gets to fawn him. It’s one way to repackage him. He won on Smackdown so I assume the momentum will continue. Layla tags in to save Fandango from the Cobra. Emma locks in “the Dilemma”.  Santino takes out Fandango but it distracts Emma. Layla takes advantage, yanks Emma off the middle rope and pins her. Stephanie gets to berate Kane. He’s quibbled with people lower than him. Stephanie talks up his mean streak. Kane stares at the mask and then uncovers it. Kane is going to send Daniel Bryan to the depths of hell. I’m frightened! (Next Day Note: It does give Bryan something to do while Batista & Orton deal with The Shield and Lesnar enjoys his time off.)

Bad News Barrett is going to beat my boy Dolph Ziggler. Barrett got in the offense early. Ziggler made a brief come back. Ziggler got tossed against a ring post. Commercial. Barrett rams his own shoulder into the ring post. Ziggler cross body blocks him then punches a lot. Waste Land but Ziggler kicks out. Barrett goes for a pump handle slam but Ziggler reverses out and nails a Fame Asser. These people have a low threshold for awesome. Barrett takes too long on the top rope. Facebuster off the top ropes on a second attempt. Ziggler only gets a two count. Even Mitchell Cool isn’t buying what the crowd is selling. Ziggler kicks out of the Winds of Change. Ziggler reverses out of some stuff but ends up catching the Bull Hammer Elbow for the Barrett win. (Next Day Note: It was almost like an ROH match with Ziggler kicking out of 2 old finishers except it’s been made obvious that the Elbow is his finisher. Waste Land was pretty lame as a finisher so I’m good with it.)

The Shield are facing Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, Fandango, 3MB, Titus O’Neil, Rybaxel, Alexander Rusev and Wade Barrett. If the team with more men doesn’t use it to their advantage, the Shield can win. Seth Rollins gets to take the beating for the Shield. Reigns takes out Ryback but the rest of the team assaults him. Rollins dives over the rope onto everyone. I know Bryan can’t help but shouldn’t some other people help? Someone else doesn’t like the Authority, right? Evolution comes down and lays waste to the Shield after they’re beaten. You know, this may not have been the WWE’s plan when Batista came back. But I love it a hell of a lot more than any conceivable Batista baby face run. – Kevin

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