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.)

sign

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

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

From wikihow.com for cheating on a math test.

From wikihow.com for cheating on a math test.

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

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

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

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

Winning from captiveinternational.com

Winning from captiveinternational.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.)

 

#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

The_Persistence_of_Memory

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

I went to bed last Thursday night without watching the end of Impact Wrestling. I had caught the beginning where MVP, Kenny King and Bobby Lashley come out upset that Eric Young had evaded their attempts to take the TNA World Championship from him. MVP called out Eric Young who promptly threw down a challenge to MVP which was then accepted by the impetuous Kenny King due to MVP’s injury. Eric Young won in short order thanks to help from everyone in the back who is now anti-MVP. In the next segment, MVP set up a second match for the champion against Bobby Lashley. This is where I stopped watching. Much to my surprise when I saw headlines the next day, Bobby Lashley had been crowned new TNA World Champion. Here’s my break down of this epic ineptitude.

As noted in previous editions of this column, I try to start with a clean slate. When EY came out for his verbal beat down, the crowd in Bethlehem PA was very much behind him. I feel like the Orlando crowd was getting behind him too. I can accept that everyone doesn’t view him as a blatant rip off of Daniel Bryan so he’s worthy of being cheered. Even though many people, including myself, ripped the decision to give EY the belt, he is trending in the correct direction so you shouldn’t take the strap off of him. Having the heel faction in charge continue to put him behind the eight ball is Wrestling 101. I did think to myself “More copying of Daniel Bryan” but what other options are available for an unworthy, small wrestler? I can accept repeating that aspect of the angle by having EY take on both King and Lashley. After that point though, I start scratching my head.

I don’t get why you’d take the belt off of EY once you commit to the angle. If the wrestler in question were a big name, I may be able to accept it. I am assuming that MVP was going to be the recipient of the title had he not been injured. I’m also assuming they were going to have him win the strap at the Slammiversary. If that was the case, why not give Lashley the title at the PPV? Jeremy covered this on Stunt Granny Audio 260 when he said that it was carnie booking. If the advertised match doesn’t happen, the person who was advertised for the match has to win. I think that is a dumb theory. MVP isn’t a big enough name to get me to accept this angle though I would argue he’s a more recognizable name than Lashley. TNA doesn’t realize that Lashley isn’t a big enough name. Lashley may have been in the WWE but he was far from a big name there even if Donald Trump chose him as his combatant in a Wrestlemania match against Vince McMahon & Umaga. One would think that TNA would realize that if Hulk Hogan can’t move the needle, no retread from the WWE is going to do so.

Since I’m assuming MVP was going to win at Slammiversary, the next question is why chose Lashley instead of letting MVP heal? MVP is doing all of the talking for his faction. He is the more complete package as far as wrestling and mic work goes. It is terrible how he has been booked going from baby face to heel with a drop of a hat. I think MVP’s delivery and demeanor have come off well in the segments. If you believe MVP, his injury wasn’t major. Why not wait until he heels to move the strap over on the next PPV? You could feud Young with King and Lashley so that Young can finally get to MVP. You could build up EY while waiting for a better option as your future champion to recover.

Bobby Lashley has said next to nothing in the group. Kenny King has supplied the comedy for that group. I’m really glad TNA decided not to give him the belt. The reason Lashley hasn’t gotten the mic is that he is terrible on it. It’s been quite a few years now that being good on the mic is a required skill for a main eventer. Brock Lesnar may have a mouth piece in Paul Heyman, but he’s got a couple of things Lashley doesn’t. He isn’t terrible on the mic. Lashley may have won the NAIA Wrestling Championships but Lesnar trumps him by winning the NCAAs. Lashley may have been in MMA but Lesnar was the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Could Lashley tie most of us into a pretzel? Sure. Does he have a resume even close to that of Lesnar? No.

Another person that I could think to compare Lashley to is Roman Reigns. He was in The Shield. He was the guy who didn’t get any mic time in his group. Reigns still isn’t getting much mic time which I think is a good decision on the WWE’s part. But he and Lesnar both possess something that Lashley hasn’t even had, good in ring skills. Lashley may have a laundry list of accomplishments, but it hasn’t translated to the ring for reasons that are unknown to me. Lashley is a big guy but not a monster like Lesnar. Lashley (6′-3″, 275) is about the same size as Roman Reigns (6′-3″, 265) but he doesn’t possess his athleticism. Lashley isn’t going to pull off an apron drop kick any time soon. Lashley has neither the mic or in ring skills to be a champion.

Another reason I could think of to take the strap off of Young is that he needs to go film his show “No Limits” for Animal Planet. In that case, TNA shouldn’t have committed to giving him the title in the first place. EY isn’t taking off time though. He was on Fox & Friends to hype both his show and TNA. I’m just throwing this out there, but maybe if he’s the guy getting TV time, EY should be the one toting the strap. After EY is the pitch man, Lashley comes in an awkwardly stares at him to end the segment. The reason Young is out there is that he has been at a minimum good on the mic or else he wouldn’t have stuck around as a comedy act or been recruited to be a TV host.

The timing of these title changes is a whole separate problem from worthiness of who has the strap. TNA has now gone two consecutive pay per views, keep in mind that they only have four, without a Heavyweight Title change. But to keep you on your toes, they decided to have EY win the strap the show prior to one while Lashley won the show after one. Anyone that shucked out money for either of those has to feel like an idiot or at a minimum like they didn’t get their money’s worth. It is a no win position to try and defend how their decisions not to have the pay offs on PPV.

Giving the TNA World Title to Eric Young was a mistake. Having MVP win it Slammiversary would have been a mistake too. Allowing Bobby Lashley to win the title on a regular televised show is the biggest mistake of the three. Congratulations TNA, you have allowed Ring of Honor to become the second best promotion in America. – Kevin

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

 

Stunt Granny Audio #258

Malkin-meets-Putin-thumb

Vladimir Putin is not impressed by Evgeni Malkin. From penguins.nhl.com.

We’re back with an audio show about wrestling. How about that? Who is we though? Well, it’s Kevin and Shahid after a few technical difficulties. The list of topics was so simple that they kept on running into each other. They started off with the easiest topic, Daniel Bryan being stripped of the WWE Title. Who does the WWE give the title to? John Cena? Randy Orton? After those two, the WWE roster gets pretty thin at the top since CM Punk left and Daniel Bryan out due to injury. Would the WWE bring in Brock Lesnar to be champion? Why is Paul Heyman still touting him at every turn if he doesn’t come back for a shot he said he wanted before Wrestlemania? How awkward would it be if they decided to give the strap to Heyman’s other client, Cesaro? Would any of the young guys like Cesaro be considered? The WWE is giving us plenty of Rusev, so does he have a chance? Will Lana ever order him to “Crush” someone other than black gentlemen and Zack Ryder on the roster? Would the WWE give the title to Seth Rollins?  Speaking of Rollins, how good was his promo? How about Dean Ambrose? Last but not least, Roman Reigns? Or is he least? Would Ronda Rousey fit in with the Shield? Does the WWE give Ambrose & Reigns a third person or will they split up after this feud concludes? Because this is the first wrestling show in a while, Kevin & Shahid don’t conclude until they’ve answered all of these questions and more. Click on the link below to figure out those answers!

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

20140607_111246I spent the past weekend in Richmond VA visiting with my older brother and his family. I will fill in the particulars later in the week but let’s just say I definitely went to a pair of breweries thanks to his hospitality. I did manage to squeeze in Smackdown then Impact Wrestling after we got home from the trip. There were only two memorable things between the shows. One was my boy Dolph Ziggler continuing his “big mouth” persona and having a great match against the newly turned heel Seth Rollins. I also enjoyed that Rollins, HHH and Orton didn’t spill the bag on the reasoning for the turn. Another small positive from the show was that neither Dean Ambrose or Roman Reigns showed up. TNA yet again showed how inept they are by cruising into a rating under 1 million people. The only positive in yet another train wreck of a show was James Storm making a re-appearance after a year plus hiatus. Ken Anderson has been doing some terrible work and Storm got to call him out on it. Like many TNA story lines though, Storm looks awesome and likeable as the heel and Anderson looks like a douche as a baby face. On to Raw now. Let’s roll.

Sometime after I wrote this introduction, news started to trickle out that Daniel Bryan is too hurt to compete at MITB. HHH & Steph are here are brag about being right. They give us footage of Dr. Joseph Maroon of telling us that Daniel Bryan can not compete. I had to look up images of Maroon and they actually got him to do that video. How much did they pay him for his time? Steph strips him of the title. They are really hamming up this angle up. The crowd is really flat. Alberto Del Rio is the first entrant into the match for the title. HHH informs us that Randy Orton gets a spot because of his status. I’m starting to think the crowd is bummed. Anyone who loves wrestling should be. No matter how much they make logical points, Bryan being out of wrestling sucks. HHH turns to Seth Rollins talk. They are in a match against the Wyatt Family with a partner of their choosing. That doesn’t get much heat either.

Sheamus vs Wade Barrett is a MITB qualifying match. These guys have fought a lot recently and I can’t really argue about it. His Bad News is that he’s coming down with the title. That’s not bad news! JBL sounds like he’s drunk already. It could be an interesting night. He figured the opening segment bombed with the crowd so he’d join in. I do feel like Barrett is getting some of the swagger back in his promos recently. Sheamus clubs away on Barrett. He then brings Barrett in the hard way. Sheamus cross body blocks them over the top rope to get the break. Barrett suplexes Sheamus. I guess I don’t understand Jerry Lawler & Michael Cole’s view point on the title stripping. Sure, it’s disrespectful to strip the title without informing him but at the end of the day, it’s the right move with the injury. Barrett hits Winds of Change for a two count. The crowds awakens with dueling chants. Sheamus misses a dive from the top rope to the barricade. Sheamus gets in at nine. Wasteland but Sheamus kicks out. White Noise from an attempted Bull Hammer Elbow. They exchange punches. Head butt by Barrett allows him to toss Sheamus into the post twice. Brogue Kick from the corner for the win. Sheamus sold the damage in the corner before pinning him. Another good match and I understand putting Sheamus into the spot. Let Barrett keep racking up wins on lesser opponents. Barrett should be in that picture soon if he keeps up. Luke Harper sometimes get urges from a deep, dark place. Bray Wyatt admits to his urges. Wyatt reminds us that the Wyatts beat them. Wyatt is reborn. I love that angle which started on Smackdown. (Next Day Note: With all of the religious words thrown around Wyatt’s promos, being reborn after a crushing defeat is perfect. Now he just has to win an extended feud.)

Lana comes out and runs down Obama as a girly man. He is no Vladmir Putin, who has wrestled bears. Crush! is so stupid. Crush was only cool in Finding Nemo, dude. Lana, we don’t need to worry about Mother Russia. We should continue to be worried about China. It’s going to help to name him simply Rusev. Yep, going to make all of the difference. Zack Ryder gets to lose to him again. His record is unblemished because he’s wrestled 3 guys a bunch of times. The Accolade. The whole “control” by Lana is very antiquated too.

Goldust is teaming with R Truth against Rybaxel. Truth starts against Ryback. Curtis Axel takes over on the early beat down. Goldust gets a luke warm tag. A crossbody by Goldust takes out Axel & Ryback. Ryback makes a save on a pin. Truth gets tossed out of the ring. Axel rolls up Goldust for the win. A heel wins in his home town. Layla El is acting really catty to the make up lady when Summer Rae comes in and dumps milk on her then beats her up. Layla’s character has taken a big step back in the toughness department. I don’t like that.

Continue reading

Main Event Review From Someone Who Actually Watches It

Late-Start-GraphicIntercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett comes down to the ring for a promo about his upcoming title defense later in the show. He blames Cesaro walking out on him for his pin fall loss to RVD which earned him a rematch from Payback later tonight. He said RVD has been hit in the head so much that he wanders around repeating his initials over and over. He did other lame jokes before RVD attacked and ran him off. Uninspired build-up.

Recap in the latest on the Bryan/Stephanie saga

Luke Harper/Erick Rowan vs Goldust/Kofi Kingston

First match of a 45 minute show begins 12 minutes past the hour. The makeshift team starts of with some good teamwork including an impressive double dropkick. The Wyatts took control and work over Kofi until Rowan got hit with boot to the face and Kofi made the hot tag. Goldust went wild and hit a huracanrana into a power slam for a near fall that was broken up by a Harper distraction. Rowan hits Goldust with a spin kick as we go to break. We come back from break to find Goldust being worked over until he is able to make his hot tag. Kofi comes back in and starts pulling out the high flying offense. A top rope huracanrana sends Harper to the outside and Kofi hits him with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring it breaks down with all four men in the ring. Goldust sends Rowan out over the top rope and the two legal men are left in the ring. Kofi misses a Trouble in Paradise and gets blasted with a spinning clothesline by Harper for the win for The Wyatts. Decent match but this Goldust “search for a new partner” storyline has no legs because no one wants to see Goldust team with anyone else. Well, except maybe Booker T.

Clips of the end of the tag team match where RVD pinned Barrett.

Renee Young interviews RVD who takes umbrage with Barrett for thinking he is the better man after just one victory. He said wins and losses are judged over the course of a career and not one match. RVD said he would win tonight like he has most of his career.

Recap of the Seth Rollins betrayal of the Shield.

Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam (Intercontinental Championship)

Barrett makes his entrance at 8:32 EST in only the 2nd match of the show. After RVD’s entrances Tony Chimel then does the in-ring introductions for this championship match. They exchange holds to start. Barrett teases the Bull Hammer early but RVD holds onto the ropes and they go back to exchanging holds. RVD hits the first impactful move of the night; that being a spin kick. Barrett ends up in the corner where he is greeted with a dropkick to the face. RVD continues his offense with 10 punches in the corner and a spun kick with Barrett against the turnbuckles. Barrett goes outside for a breather but RVD has other ideas as he baseball slide dropkicks Barrett to the retaining wall and then does a running somersault senton of the apron onto Barrett on the floor. Back in, RVD leaps to the top rope but is shoved off by Barrett and his the retaining wall himself as we go to break. Back from break RVD is in a chinlock. RVD ends up hung in the ropes where he is battered with knees and then knocked to the outside with a big boot. Barrett sends RVD head first into the steps and then back into the ring. RVD attempts a comeback briefly but is caught on a 2nd rope springboard with a clothesline. Barrett goes for another big boot while RVD is against the ropes but RVD moves out of the way and Barrett crotches himself on the top rope. RVD finally recovers and hits a superkick followed by Rolling Thunder for two. RVD gets caught in the Winds of Change after a back flip roll for another 2 count. Barrett misses a corner charge and RVD kicks him in the head before heading to the top. 5-Star-Frog Splash attempt is broken up as Barrett crotched RVD across the top turnbuckle. Barrett signals for the Bull Hammer which brings out Cesaro to break it up. Cesaro, angry over what Barrett said earlier, gives Barrett the Neutralizer to draw a DQ win for Barrett. Cesaro then turns his attention to RVD and gives him the Neutralizer as well. The show closes with Cesaro and Paul Heyman celebrating on the ramp.

Average match as Barrett/RVD just do not bring out the best in each other.

Final Thoughts:

Skippable show this week. Nothing you should go out of your way to see. – Chris

Class Is In Session: #NXT Review – Takeover

From artfire.com

From artfire.com

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

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

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

Adam Rose vs. Camacho

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

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

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

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

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

Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd (NXT Championship)

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

Grades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: