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.

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

From behindthesteelcurtain.com

From behindthesteelcurtain.com

Chuck Noll, the coach who has more Super Bowl wins than any other coach in the history of the National Football League, passed away on Friday. I didn’t really get to enjoy those four Lombardi Trophies that he helped bring to Pittsburgh. I was 3 when they won #3 and 4 when they lifted #4 but I was too young to remember. By the time I had started to really watch football, the Steelers were pretty terrible. I didn’t know him as a winner but rest assured that my Grandpa Sheehan and my father have filled me in on some of that past glory. If you want to read more about what he means to Pittsburgh, I suggest reading Dejan Kovacevic’s Noll Made Us All Steelers article in the Pittsburgh Tribune -Review, which had very little to do with football.

As for wrestling, I will be attending Smackdown tomorrow so you won’t hear my lovely voice until at least Wednesday if not later. I’ll be wondering if everyone that loses is going to get fired considering Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre and Aksana all got to take losses before being “future endeadvored” on Wednesday. It’s time for Raw though. Let’s roll.

We get the locker room on the entrance stage. HHH & Stephanie McMahon greet us from the middle of the ring.They run down Daniel Bryan more. Giving rise to even more speculation in my mind that he’ll be back for the PPV. I don’t feel like they played Dr. Maroon’s part last week that said he would be re-evaluated to get him back in the ring as soon as possible. Steph announces a battle royal. Only the idiots in Cleveland would cheer for that pile of trash style of match. (Next Day Note: Since I didn’t comment on them for the rest of the night, that was a second consecutive good crowd in Cleveland.) HHH boots Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & John Cena from the match. Can I say they’re doing a solid smarm job but still not like having to endure this garbage? Evil Authority. HHH acts like Kane hasn’t lost to Cena more times than I care to remember.

Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring. He gets to lose to Seth Rollins in another good match that he won’t be rewarded for. We get a video package about Rollins betrayal. The match doesn’t go much of anywhere when the break hits. Rollins in control after it. Jaw jacker by Ziggler. Rollins tosses him outside. Ziggler cracks Rollins when he goes for a suicide dive. Rollins kicks out the back of Ziggler’s leg to take over. The big DDT gets Dolph a two count. Ziggler slaps on the sleeper hold. Fame Asser for a two count. Ziggler goes for the DDT a second time but Rollins turns it into a buckle bomb. That looked like a good recovery. Second buckle bomb leads to the Curb Stomp. Dean Ambrose attacks for the DQ win. He then gets some mic time as Rollins backs away. He challenges him to a match. HHH gives him Bad News Barrett. I wish he’d drop the fascination with the cape spot for his entrance.

Ambrose is dressed in a black tank top & jeans. Is this a new look? If so, why is he the first to change his in ring gear? Ambrose gets tossed off the top rope to the floor for the first significant move. Ambrose re-injures his shoulder. Barrett works it over. A back elbow and Tornado DDT gets Ambrose an opening. I keep trying to block out the announcers but it’s not working. They bicker so poorly that it drives me bananas. Ambrose hits the catapult clothes line. Rollins distracts Ambrose. Ambrose side steps a charging Barrett. Ambrose nails them with a suicide dive. Ambrose gets counted out fighting Rollins in the crowd. Ambrose attacks Barrett and nails Dirty Deeds. JBL makes one valid point “That sneak attack is okay?” No answer from Mitchell Cool or Jerry Lawler. Ugh. Roman Reigns tries to sweet talk Vickie. It’s just a ploy to spike HHH & Steph’s drinks with what I’m assuming is pepper since Vickie sneezed. Do cartoons still do that gimmick? Seems like a dated reference to me.

From occultspace.com

From occultspace.com

Bray Wyatt comes out and talks in low light around a ladder. Power is his game. He points to the belt and says that’s all the power he’d ever need. Wyatt then starts to hype Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. I would be perfectly happy to see them as tag champions. I just hope the Usos don’t hang it up since that tends to happen when losses happen. Sing along time. Sheamus reminds us that it’s bad luck to walk under ladders. Wyatt welcomes the fight that Sheamus promises to bring. Sheamus works over Wyatt at first. In what looks like a botched spot, Wyatt falls down. He gets up and tackles Sheamus. It looks like Sheamus is going to be attacked by Harper & Rowan when the Usos decide to show up.

It remains a singles match after the break. I was expecting a six man to start. Sheamus fights back. A high running knee was missed by Sheamus. Wyatt ends up hitting the cross body block. Sheamus power slams Wyatt. Sheamus backs into the corner when Harper & Rowan grab him. The Usos join the fight. The Usos end the fracus by running up a ladder and diving onto Harper & Rowan. HHH whacks Vickie as she tries to give him his coffee. So just Steph is going to be sick.

Steph is still drinking away as she is interviewed by Renee Young. She ends up running off. Paul Heyman thankfully is the replacement. He runs through the possible champions but then tells us that Cesaro being the next champion is not a prediction but a spoiler. Heyman even makes the most of short ones.

Rusev is out to face the One Man Band. Did Mitchell cool just call him simply Slater? If so, they have gone too far with the single name status. Lana gets to talk from the middle of the ring this week. She gives us a Mount Russiamore. He speaks. He is the super athlete. Slater gives us the go back speech. American rock star, baby! Kick to the face. Crush. The Accolade. I hope I don’t see him tomorrow. (Next Day Note: I still don’t want to see him tonight.) Vickie has to check on Stephanie and gets puked on. Sigh. Vickie is now in charge but is told to take a shower. Scream by Vickie. (Next Day Note: I’m was so confused. Vickie sneezes in the segments to imply pepper was the spiking agent but Steph is puking so much that she has to leave the arena. Reigns didn’t go with laxative, which has more potential for pervs who want to see Steph on the toilet, so what did he use exactly? Pepper won’t make you violently puke.)

Roman Reigns lobbies Vickie Guerrero again. Smart plan by Reigns. He gets what he wants. Why would she do that? (Next Day Note: Just send the clip of Reigns spiking their drinks. Or how about HHH & Steph watch their own product so they don’t fire Vickie wrongfully. Now you really are screwed.) They advertise “Think Like a Man Too” which I won’t see no matter how great Kevin Hart is in this segment. He gets to meet Adam Rose. Hart won’t be a Rose Bud. He’s going to do commentary? That’s probably going to be better than a dumb segment with him.

Kevin Hart is on the head set next. I don’t FF as Hart starts cracking on Fandango & Layla. Did they have him out just to ask that question for Mitchell Cool to throw to replay? It appears as if it’s a ladies match with Summer Rae. Oh, Adam Rose is joining her. The guys start the match. Summer Rae goes hell cat on Layla. Layla tags out ASAP. Party Foul by Rose for the win. What the fuck? Kevin Hart joins Rose for a victory dance. They both crowd surf. I’m just shaking my head. It should be noted that one of my lady’s co-workers will be taking his eleven year old girl to Smackdown tomorrow. I’m wondering if she isn’t as disgusted by that segment as me. I doubt it. Boo-tista Unleashed where he gets to cry. Hey man, don’t say the internet didn’t like you. As soon as you played what you should be playing (ahem a heel who won’t be cheered) your run was fantastic. Said it then, will continue to say it now.

Dark Royalty by Shiroin.com

Dark Royalty by Shiroin.com

The Battle Royal is on. Santino & Damien “Lebron James” Sandow were eliminated early. A Matadore then another got tossed by Rusev. They talk about Bo Dallas a lot. Titus O’Neil gets tossed by Reigns. Sin Cara gets tossed. Ziggler gets staying in the match. Jack Swagger should toss Kofi but it’s ass backwards. The US beat Ghana 2-1. I don’t care that it was bowling shoe ugly. 3 points is 3 points. I can keep track of this garbage on the app. No thanks. No eliminations so it really didn’t matter. Ryback eliminates Ziggler. Reigns goes bananas in the ring. Ryback slows him down. Reigns spears Rybaxel. Fandango gets eliminated. Ryback gets low bridged. Axel leaves. RVD gets occupied with Barrett and Dallas. RVD fights them both off. RVD goes for a monkey flip when Dallas tosses him. Dallas hugs Barrett who clothes lines him. Bo gets tossed but holds on. Dallas gets speared and tossed by Reigns. It’s down to Reigns and Rusev. They aren’t giving this to Rusev. The heel kick by Rusev finally looks significant. Reigns fires back on Rusev. They fight with Rusev on the apron. Superman Punch to eliminate Rusev. John Cena just saw the impossible become possible. He’s happy about the stretcher match. Whatever dude. (Next Day Note: What I should have typed was “Even Cena realizes he’s beat Kane more time than he can count.)

Naomi & Cameron both still have jobs. Paige gets to wrestle Cameron. Oh goody. Cameron’s main offensive weapon is a slap. Not good news. Naomi acts disappointed in Cameron. We’re getting a break up angle. Good for Naomi, bad for Cameron. Paige locks in the PTO.  The announcers go back over the Rhodes saga. Byron Saxton gets to interview Goldust. He is excited about his new partner who is super galactic. Definitely Cody in some kind of gear.

Goldust is the first out. Stardust is out second. Cody with a star on his face. Dear lord. Stardust makes short work off Curtis Axel. (Next Day Note: I just feel bad that the king of the one trick pony gimmicks has another gimmick. It has kept him on TV so maybe it isn’t so bad.)

John Cena & Kane allow me to nearly catch up. The announcers have to sell Kane’s mean streak. Kane tries for the stretcher before the first break. Several times. Stupid. Cena tosses Kane into a chair wedged into the ropes. Kane choke slams Cena. Kane goes to attack Cena with the stairs when Cena drop kicks his legs. Kane cracks his face off the stairs on the way down. Kane reverses an AA into a DDT onto the stairs. Cena rolls off the stretcher. He tosses Kane into the post. Cena bounces off the barricade. Kane cleans off the announce table. Cena pops up and gives him the AA thru the table. Cena is a moron so he carries Kane to the stretcher. Take the stretcher to him.How about lowering the stretcher? Seth Rollins and Randy Orton attack Cena. Ambrose makes the save. He gets choke slammed by Kane. Cena dumps Kane to the outside. Cena tosses the stairs at Kane. Rollins & Orton had the numbers to finish the job. Kane sits up near the finish line. A reverse gets an AA onto the stretcher which poor Kane has to sell. Cena pushes him across the line for the win. – Kevin

 

Definitely Live & Half Assed Review of #WWE #Payback

payback grandmaSheamus comes out first even though he is defending the US Title. Paul Heyman comes out and quells the CM Punk chants. He then introduces Cesaro. JBL has it right that the WWE is happy about the early slugfest between the two. We get 10 Beats early in the match. Sheamus goes in for seconds. Cesaro nails an European Uppercut when Sheamus goes for a sling shot shoulder block. CEsaro only gets a two count when he suplexes Sheamus back into the ring. Double stomp from the ground by Cesaro. Irish Curse back breaker only gets Sheamus a two count. Sheamus drops a knee from the middle rope. He hits it three times. An uppercut turns things around for Cesaro. He hits the Super Uppercut. Tilt-a-whirl slam by Sheamus continues the back and forth. White Noise only gets a two count. Blackhawks score early. Chicago could be rocking tonight. Sheamus locks in the Cloverleaf as Pedro Alvarez drives two in for the Pirates. Cesaro Swing for the first time in a while. Cesaro takes time after the swing. Sheamus rolls him up for the win. It protects Cesaro a little bit but I still feel like they should have given him a win. I would have been really happy with both of them having easy wins at Payback then start a feud. It doesn’t help that roll ups are always weak especially after a smash mouth match.

For some reason, we have a Rybaxel vs Cody Rhodes & Goldust. They only had three matches planned for Payback so it’s going to be a guessing game the whole time. Axel gives Goldust a running knee that gets a two count early. Ryback comes in and out with him to continue the beating. Axel tries to keep Goldust from tagging but can’t do it. Rhodes gets Ryback reeling. Rhodes with a pair of drop kicks on Rybaxel. Cody goes for the Disaster Kick but gets tossed into Goldust. Cross Rhodes is nailed on Ryback but Axel makes the save. Rhodes goes for another Disaster Kick. Ryback catches him in Shellshock for the win. Cody tells Goldust that he needs a better tag team partner than himself. I wasn’t expecting anything that simple.

Lana comes out to introduce Alexander Rusev. Just in case you didn’t know who to root for, Big E Langston has gone to wearing red, white & blue tights. I wonder if these two had a lengthy feud in NXT and the WWE is hoping moving the feud to the main roster will spark both of them. Langston spears Rusev off the apron. A leg lariat slows down Big E. The Accolade for the win. Or maybe we’re going to see the demise of Big E.

It looked like Kofi Kingston was going to Bo-Lieve but Kane comes down to the ring. Kane attacks Kofi. He ends proceedings with a Tomb Stone. Nice of them to get us to the nine o’clock hour. All Kofi has to do to come back is Bo-Lieve. What a douche. Ha. No one cares that Hornswoggle got his hair cut.

RVD comes out to challenge for the Intercontinental Title against Bad News Barrett. I don’t care about this match. RVD should do the job in this match. A slow moving swinging neck breaker for Barrett only gets a one count. RVD drop kicked Barrett who was on the outside. RVD tossed Barrett into the barricade. RVD nails the cork screw leg drop from the apron. Barrett kicks RVD in the stomach after tossing him into the air. RVD turns it back around with the round house heel kick to the face. RVD misses the Frog Splash. Winds of Change side slam only gets Barrett two. Barrett hits the post with the elbow. RVD takes advantage with a DDT but still can’t get the three. Barrett nails the Bull Hammer Elbow for the win.

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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

WrestleMania XXX Preview: The Shield vs. The Corporate Kiss Asses

kane shieldJeremy & Kevin are back to talk about the newly reunited Shield taking on the randomly thrown together team of Kane & the New Age Outlaws. Would we be looking forward to this match more if it was a three way match between Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns? Why exactly did the WWE decide not to pull the trigger on their break up? Was it because of CM Punk leaving? Will the Shield’s problems re-appear at Wrestlemania? The Corporate Kiss Asses have been pushed into this match when the Authority disavowed their actions from several weeks ago. Has that helped the story line for this match? Why would anyone not keep up on their Director of Operations? The Corporate Kiss Asses all have a laundry list of accolades but can they keep up with the Shield in the ring? Should we believe that Billy Gunn & Road Dogg can all of a sudden keep up when they couldn’t keep up with the Usos? Even though Kane’s character is still entertaining, can he make up for what the New Age Outlaws lack? Don’t worry, this podcast isn’t lacking anything so click on the link below.

 

 

 

WrestleMania XXX Preview Shows
WrestleMania XXX Preview: WWE Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way Match
WrestleMania XXX Preview: Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
WrestleMania XXX Preview: Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational
WrestleMania XXX Preview: Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker
WrestleMania XXX Preview- Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

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