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

From themusicwithinus.com

From themusicwithinus.com

If you have ever been to this site, you know I put everything on hold when the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so you are not surprised I’m starting this column late. Hockey is my favorite sport. This year, things are made interesting by the fact that they’re playing the Columbus Bluejackets, to which I have half season tickets. I thought I would be going to all home games but it turns out I’m only going to half so that at least allows me to finish this column in somewhat timely fashion. It also means I’m attending Game 4 on Wednesday so this game tonight was extra important. I feel much better about going to that game with a 2-1 game lead than being down one. I love Columbus, but that’s on hold until this series is over. Let’s Go Pens!

Brie Bella gets her in ring time with her husband Daniel Bryan, except Stephanie McMahon interrupts the fun. We get condescending Steph so it’s a good one. We’re supposed to be worried about the evil Kane being back though which needs more convincing from me. Kane from “out of nowhere” aka just where Bryan & Brie walked to. Bryan gets tombstoned by Kane as Steph shouts “No!” Kane sets up Bryan on the lower half of the stairs. Another tombstone. Is Bryan injured? (Next Day Note: No he isn’t. Unfortunately his father died. Man, that’s tough. You accomplish your dream, get married way above your looks only to have that happen. Yuck. Condolences to the Danielson family.) A third tombstone on the announce table still doesn’t sell me on Kane being able to beat Bryan. They’re trying at least.

If Bad News Barrett wins this match against Sheamus, then Cesaro loses against RVD later. These two have had some fun brawls in the past so I expect a good match. The cross body block is getting popular for the big guys to show off the agility. It never quite looks right and Sheamus is no different. Sheamus gets kicked off the apron to go to break. Sheamus takes over in this stretch. He does look much smoother doing the top rope shoulder block. Barrett turns it around with the Winds of Change side slam. Barrett misses the Bull Hammer Elbow. Sheamus turns it into White Noise. The cross body block to the floor looks rough. So much can go wrong when you do that. Bull Hammer Elbow as Sheamus goes for the suicide dive. Nice win for Barrett. I like Barrett more as an IC opponent than Cesaro, who seems destined for larger prizes. (Next Day Note: Of course I’m assuming that they won’t go baby face vs Big E who is also babyface. I don’t see RVD holding the IC Title though at this time in his career. They could use him as a stepping stone if they go that route though.)

Bray Wyatt and the Family are on the stage. We’re a nation full of sheep, lead by wolves and owned by pigs. It’s a wonderful night for change. Everyone is abandoning John Cena and coming to his side. We get a sing along. He ends by warning us to fear him. I dig his work.

I was amused by the set up for the El Torito vs Hornswoggle on Smackdown. They wrestled a real match as far as the sequence of moves went. The crowd could have cared less. El Torito is an impressive athlete considering his limitations. Jinder Mahal breaks up a pin. Drew McIntyre comes in to take on El Torito. Los Matadores hold up McIntyre for El Torito to sit on him from the top rope. El Torito then pinned him. “Evolution has always been the measuring stick” from Jerry “The King” Lawler. Is he going heel? He was just running down El Torito. I’m so confused. (Next Day Note: Lawler went back into baby face mode for the rest of the show which makes me even more confused.)

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Stunt Granny Audio #254

Nerd Playing WOWJeremy & Kevin have recovered their voices from yelling at Wrestlemania and Raw last week in New Orleans. They talk about their experience in the Crescent City and somehow don’t cover all of the Sippy Time Beer that was consumed. They did consume a lot of drinks on Saturday night though. Who got them a grain alcohol shot? What did he promise them? How good was scene at the Chicken Shack after a night of drinking? What did their hotel neighbor add at the end of the night? Where does New Orleans rank against Detroit, Orlando and Atlanta? What made it different? Is it the reason we saw so many Superstars? Raw had a boisterous crowd but what made it different from this week’s Raw? Was the crowd as different as the stories being told? Is it good for Evolution to be back together? Will they have good matches with the Shield? When should HHH wrestle? What did Jeremy think of the Ultimate Warrior tribute? Why did Kevin plead ignorant on the situation? They end on a down note by talking about Eric Young winning the TNA Heavyweight Championship. How correct was Dusty when he wrote this article? Does ROH have more viable candidates to come to the WWE than TNA right now? Find out the answer to these questions and more when you click on the link below!

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.)

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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

@ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

Copy Cats– TNA is trying to copy the WWE again and failing miserably. Eric Young won a ten man gauntlet battle royal. I feel like they’re trying to make Eric Young the big underdog that the WWE made out of Daniel Bryan. It’s also just a tad bit convenient that they both have beards and crazy hair. They’re both undersized wrestlers. They’ve both been around for a while. Unfortunately for TNA, those surfaces similarities is where things stop. Let’s go point by point.

Underdog Status: Eric Young has been “under appreciated” his whole career in TNA is what he claims. Which is similar to, Daniel Bryan’s underdog, B+ status except that Bryan has proved it in the ring for the last four years in the WWE. Before that, he was one of the most respected in ring competitors for years in Ring of Honor before it was terrible. Eric Young has proven that he’s a capable wrestler over his ten year stint in TNA. Capable is nowhere near most respected worker in the business. Win: Daniel Bryan.

Crazy Beard & Crazy Hair: Both of them do indeed have large beards. One could make the argument that Young’s hair type makes his beard thicker than the Bryan beard that lays flat and straight. The crazy hair is where Young loses me. He’s going bald both in the back and receding in the front. Bryan just let’s that stuff grow hippie style which looks scrongey to me but it is a style that works for him. Win: Daniel Bryan.

Undersized & Been Around: I lumped these together because they have both partially been covered in the above topics. Young is not the wrestler that Bryan is. So his underdog gimmick is not believable. Another reason it isn’t believable is because Young hasn’t faced top flight competition. Daniel Bryan had Randy Orton “beaten” before HHH Pedigreed him. He had also beaten other top competition. Young has beaten no one. He didn’t even get to beat Abyss in their feud! Young hasn’t advanced his career in ten years. I don’t care if he ever hosted a barely watched TV show on Animal Planet. Bryan has worked his ass off for fifteen years and progressing at a solid pace. He is undersized so he has more to prove than your average wrestler. Considering he just captured the WWE Title at Wrestlemania XXX, I’d say he’s advanced as high as you can in professional wrestling. Win: Daniel Bryan.

Holy Shit: I never read spoilers so if this was posted I didn’t know about it. TNA actually had Eric Young win the TNA Title like Bryan just did. Just an incredibly dumb decision. I thought for sure since he got the shot on a “regular” Thursday night broadcast that he’d lose to Magnus. So I was more surprised at this victory than Bryan’s but that’s not a good thing. He shouldn’t win your most important title for the reasons listed above. For all of the dumb decisions TNA has made, this is the biggest. Ever. I apologize to Ring of Honor now for publishing the article directly below this one. You are absolved of all sins. Epic Fail: TNA.

Wrestlemania XXX: Live Version

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Since we attended Wrestlemania XXX, it was a little tough to do an “Almost Live” review so I posted after each match some thoughts over on our Facebook page. Just to get something up, I’ll expand on these points.

Very good opening match. No idea why it was on the pre-show other than time constraints.

We had no idea why this match got bumped to the pre-show but it’s pretty obvious that the segment after this bumped this match down a notch. The match itself was a lot of fun. The Usos weren’t going to lose considering how recently they won the tag titles. It was good to see Cesaro and Jack Swagger break up but it is a little weird that Cesaro is probably the “We the People” guy now despite the fact that Zeb Colter stuck with Swagger after the post match dust up.

I’m pretty sure my voice will be shot by the end of the night.

We all knew that Hulk Hogan was hosting Wrestlemania at the Silver Dome, brother. I had also seen reports that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was in town. I had no idea that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was in town so I certainly pooped for him the most. It also helps that between the three, he’s my favorite. What a fun moment it was to see the three biggest stars of the WWF/E in the ring to kick off the big show. Having Hogan stumble over the name of the place is hilarious. R Truth was probably celebrating in the back since he is officially off the hook as the last boob to forget where he was.

Good match, won’t be surprised if people thought the pacing was slow. Good reversals.

We saw the stage hands setting up HHH’s entrance as the above segment was going on so we knew HHH vs Daniel Bryan was coming first. I did like HHH’s entrance set up. He has been know to over do it but the slave girls taking off the cape and him removing his helm had a cool look to it. I would be interested to know the last time that HHH wrestled this early on the card. Even though we couldn’t hear the announcers, it was obvious they were selling Bryan as still injured from his attack since he had a wrap on his left shoulder. I was surprised that Stephanie didn’t play a larger role in the match though she did act great at ring side. The match was paced well to me but as noted, I wouldn’t be surprised if people complained about it. A lot of mat wrestling and reversals so it wasn’t as high paced as most matches are now. HHH is not the new variety of athlete. After Daniel Bryan won, he was still popular.

Hands in the air who think the opening segment went long & caused the Shield match to be that short?

Considering that the New Age Outlaws haven’t been a hit in the ring since their return and Kane has barely wrestled since turning in to Corporate Kane, I’m not exactly arguing with the beat down they received from the Shield but I did want to see Ambrose (I’m enjoying his character more again), Reigns and Rollins in the ring more. Oh well, no big loss. It’s their yard for the future. Now will they break up soon like the Real Americans?

My voice is definitely shot after Cesaro winning the Battle Royal.

Battle Royals suck to start with but when they only announce Sheamus & Big Show, you have no idea who all is in the ring. Considering they had “mystery participants” we figured they’d be announced but they weren’t. When you’re seated in a solid but still far away location, they suck even more. It did provide for a “Holy Shit” moment when Cesaro picked up Big Show and made him the last elimination. I popped big time as I was hoping they wouldn’t do the Andre – Big Show comparison for the first win. Cesaro taking the pin in the first match was a small price to pay for the big win. My voice and Jeremy’s are both shot so an audio post Wrestlemania wasn’t happening.

Is that Sister Abigail? and Not a fan of the outcome even if that’s what I thought would happen.

These comments were obviously in regards to the John Cena vs Bray Wyatt match. It was a night for victories for the young guys but not in this match. Granted, there’s some obvious differences to me. Bray Wyatt hasn’t been around quite a year. John Cena has more mileage left than Big Show, Kane, NAO and HHH. Wyatt can bounce back and has plenty of time to do so. The story of this match also didn’t seem to fit the action in the ring either. The temptation of Jesus, I mean John Cena, didn’t seem to be in the story telling leading up to the match. This match needed more context and you don’t get that live.  I did dig Wyatt’s entrance or else I wouldn’t have talked about “Sister Abigail.”

To say that was unexpected is an understatement. 21-1.

Brock Lesnar provided the biggest shock of the night against the Undertaker. I still don’t fully understand why this decision was made. Lesnar didn’t need the credibility. Jeremy made a good point that no matter who broke the streak, they were going to be hated. The WWE has done their best to make the Beast hated but it has failed. Part of the problem may be the mostly split crowds no matter what the match up. We heard enough HHH chants during the opener, I was openly saying “Let’s go Cena and Cena sucks” and there were Brock fans. This is the best they could do to bring out hate for someone. I still believe that Taker okay-ed it so maybe there’s something in store for tonight. Maybe a retirement for the Undertaker. Brock now going after the WWE Title. Both are possibilities. Jeremy & I cheered when the ref counted three. I’m geeked that I saw history. 21-1.

This might be the first time I’ve said this, but I feel bad for the Divas.

As our good friend Shahid Abdul-Hadi said “first and last time” that I’ll say anything like that. The Divas have been stuck in this spot for a couple of years now. They know they’re the rest match between the two main events. To make matters worse, people were pissed or still in shock from the Undertaker’s loss. I thought it was a creative loss for Naomi who wasn’t going to have her big win for the Divas Title in a fourteen woman match. AJ Lee gets some heat for cheating which should help their feud unless the WWE feels the need to include all of the Total Divas in matches going forward.

 That was an expected ending. Let’s see how the #YesMovement continues.

Daniel Bryan, by far, got the biggest response of the night. Batista and Randy Orton were just window dressing but they provided plenty of good action. I was disappointed that HHH & Stephanie felt compelled to inject themselves into this match but it was a quick and painless dispatching by Bryan helped to minimize that damage. Their appearance does make sense from a story line perspective though. In a night without any NO DQ or similar stipulation matches, this one provided the “Holy Shit!” action moment of the night with the Batista Bomb into the RKO on the tables which Orton paid for when his back landed square on a monitor. The stretcher moment amped the drama but I wasn’t that big of a fan of it. Let him take an Edge Coffee Break (tm, not really) and have the two former members of Evolution duke it out in the ring. Even though Bryan did get the largest response, I feel like his momentum is starting to slow down a little bit which is inevitable for anyone. It’ll be interesting to see where they take him. Orton can complain about not being pinned. Lesnar wanted a title shot at Wrestlemania. Two choices from my perspective. I guess I’ll find out what it is when we head to Raw in about an hour. – Kevin

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